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Digital India Policy by Government to spread its wings in Villages through new Digital Village initiative

This programme aims to cover 100 villages at its initial stage after which it will spread further

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Digitization Of Rural India
An Indian Village(pixabay)

New Delhi, Dec 20, 2016:  Government’s Digital India policy will soon see a boost with a new programme known as  Digital Village. This initiative will provide services like health and education in villages with the help of technology.

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This programme aims to cover 100 villages at its initial stage after which it will spread further, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. In an event Prasad said “We are going to unleash another important initiative- Digital Village. As per my understanding, it will be a collector-driven initiative. We propose to begin with 100 villages and expand it later.”

Collector in collaboration with local bodies may select a village to provide health, education and other virtual world service through Wi-Fi connectivity. The minister also appealed to the officers for pro-actively supporting government’s digital initiative aimed at transforming the country, mentioned PTI.

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“We have trained 18 lakh people over a span of four days. We may scale it (digital payments training) up in January,” he said.

Government has set a target of training 1.25 crore people on digital payments by March 31, 2017. Appreciating National Informatics Centre, Minister of State for Law and IT P P Chaudhary said that there are about 8,000 websites carrying information about government work and facilitating transactions.

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“I would like to suggest some of the areas where we have to perform. We are far behind in the generation of Intellectual Property. In the area of cyber security, we have to be pro-active and not only be reactive,” Chaudhary said.

This is the first time Indians are having access to the government without intermediaries, said IT secretary Aruna Sundararajan. At the event, e-governance service of departments from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Jharkhand won Digital India awards, earlier known as Web Ratna Awards.

Rajasthan won platinum award in the state category while Tamil Nadu received Gold and Haryana silver award for e-governance services. North Goa won platinum award in districts category. Kupwara received Gold and Udham Singh Nagar bagged silver award for e-governance. Municipal Corporations of Surat, Greater Visakhapatnam, Madurai and UP’s e-NagarSewaUP bagged award.

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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U.S. Senators Launch Investigation on Rising Insulin Prices

U.S. lawmakers have intensified scrutiny on prescription medicine costs as the issue consistently polls as a top voter concern.

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A syringe with insulin. VOA

Two U.S. senators launched an investigation into rising insulin prices on Friday, sending letters to the three leading manufacturers seeking answers as to why the nearly 100-year-old drug’s cost has rapidly risen, causing patients and taxpayers to spend millions of dollars a year.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the committee’s top Democrat, sent letters to the heads of Eli Lilly and Co., Novo Nordisk A/S and Sanofi SA, the longtime leading manufacturers of insulin.

The senators pointed to similar, large insulin price increases at all three companies. Eli Lilly’s Humalog, for instance, rose from $35 to $234 per dose between 2001 and 2015, a 585 percent increase, they wrote. Insulin has been available since the early 20th century.

The senators asked for information on the process used to determine list prices and the process used to determine net prices after negotiations with pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and health insurance plans. Their letters also asked for information about the cost of research and development, production, revenues and gross margins from insulin sales.

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U.S. lawmakers have intensified scrutiny on prescription medicine costs as the issue consistently polls as a top voter concern. Pixabay

“These hardships can lead to serious medical complications that are entirely preventable and completely unacceptable for the world’s wealthiest country,” the senators wrote in similarly worded letters.

‘Increasingly severe hardships’

“We are concerned that the substantial increases in the price of insulin over the past several years will continue their upward drive and pose increasingly severe hardships not only on patients that require access to the drug in order to stay alive but also on the taxpayer,” they wrote.

While Democratic lawmakers have launched several drug price investigations, this is one of the first bipartisan inquiries.

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“These hardships can lead to serious medical complications that are entirely preventable and completely unacceptable for the world’s wealthiest country,” the senators wrote in similarly worded letters. Pixabay

The Senate Finance Committee has the power to subpoena drugmakers.

The letters came just days before the same committee is scheduled to hold a hearing with seven pharmaceutical company executives, the latest congressional hearing on rising drug prices.

Also Read: What Does Architecture Of Houses in U.S. Tells Us About America

U.S. lawmakers have intensified scrutiny on prescription medicine costs as the issue consistently polls as a top voter concern. In January, top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee also wrote to the three insulin manufacturers asking for information on why their prices have rapidly risen.

About 1.2 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, requiring daily insulin. Type 2 diabetes, which affects nearly 30 million Americans, according to the American Diabetes Association, is treated with a variety of other medicines. But those patients may also eventually become dependent on insulin. (VOA)