1) CRISPR: Its mechanism is often compared to the ‘cut-copy-paste’, or ‘find-replace’ functionalities in common computer programmes. A bad stretch in the DNA sequence, which is the cause of disease or disorder, is located, cut, and removed — and then replaced with a ‘correct’ sequence.
- In 2021: India approved a five-year project to develop this technology to cure sickle cell anaemia which mainly afflicts the tribal populations of the country.
2) FINTECH incentive Scheme (FIS) 2022: International Financial Services centres Authority (IFSCA) has launched a scheme to provide financial support to FinTech activities.
- Aim: To promote the establishment of world-class fintech centres at GIFT city (Gujarat)
- Incentive: grants for start-ups, proof of concept, sandbox, green FinTech, Accelerator etc.
- FinTech, or financial technology, is a term used to describe any new technology that aims to improve and automate the use and delivery of financial services.
- An IFSC caters to customers outside the jurisdiction of the domestic economy. Such centres deal with flows of finance, financial products and services across borders.
- Currently, GIFT-IFSC is the maiden international financial services centre in India.
3) National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM): The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) is a list released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- The medicines listed in the NLEM are sold below a price ceiling fixed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
- In India, it was framed on the lines of the Essential Medicines List (EML) released by the WHO.
- A drug is deleted from the list if it gets banned in India. Also, it is removed if reports of concerns about drug safety emerge. If medicine with better efficacy or favourable safety profile and better cost-effectiveness is now available, then it is removed from NLEM.
4) NPPA: NPPA was constituted by the Government of India in 1997 as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers as an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices.
- It was made to fix/revise prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce price and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995-2013 (DPCO).
- As per the Drugs (Prices) Control Order 2013, scheduled drugs, about 15% of the pharma market, are allowed an increase by the government as per the WPI (Wholesale Price Index) while the rest 85% are allowed an automatic increase of 10% every year.
- The annual change in prices of scheduled drugs is controlled and rarely crosses 5%.
- Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, the drugs are classified in schedules and regulations are laid down for their storage, display, sale, dispensing, leveling, prescribing etc.
5) Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables.