Bhitarkanika National Park
- Bhitarkanika National Park is a national park located in Kendrapara district of Odisha in eastern India.
- It spreads over 672 km2 and is surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It was designated as national park on 16 September 1998 and as a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002.
- Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary lies to the east, and separates swamp region cover with canopy of mangroves from the Bay of Bengal.
- The national park is home to saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Indian python, King cobra, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fauna.
- It hosts a large number of mangrove species, and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.
- The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, Pathsala.
- Bhitarkanika, one of the State’s finest biodiversity hotspots, receives close to one lakh visitors every year.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM):
- Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) or Integrated coastal management (ICM) is a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability.
- It is a World Bank assisted project.
- The ICZM plan involves identification of infrastructure requirements and livelihood improvement means in coastal districts. Conservation of mangroves is among the components.
- The national component of the project includes mapping of the country’s coastline and demarcation of the hazard line.
- It is being implemented by the Department of Forests and Environment with assistance from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
- The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai, will provide scientific and technical inputs.
Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT)
- IIFPT is a premier national Institute working under the administrative control of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India functioning from its headquarters in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
- The mandate of the Institute at its inception was to seek solutions for preserving high moisture paddy because the paddy harvest season in Southern India coincided with the tail end of the South West monsoon.
- The Institute was later upgraded as a national laboratory with the name Paddy Processing Research Centre (PPRC) in 1972.
- At the time of up-gradation the mandates of the Institute were also changed and the scientists in the Institute focused their research in identifying technologies for post harvest procession and preservation of paddy.
- The institute has been organizing an International Conference on Recent Advances in Food Processing Technology (iCRAFPT) during 17th to 19th August 2018 with the theme of Doubling farmers’ income through food processing.
- Millet is a common term to categorize small-seeded grasses that are often termed nutri-cereals or dryland-cereals, and includes sorghum, pearl millet, ragi, small millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, barnyard millet, kodo millet and other millets.
- An important staple cereal crop for millions of small holder dryland farmers across sub-saharan Africa and Asia, millets offer nutrition, resilience, income and livelihood for farmers even in difficult times.
- They have multiple untapped uses such as food, feed, fodder, biofuels and brewing.
- Photo-insensitive & resilient to climate change, millets are hardy, resilient crops that have a low carbon and water footprint, can withstand high temperatures and grow on poor soils with little or no external inputs.
- In times of climate change they are often the last crop standing and, thus, are a good risk management strategy for resource-poor marginal farmers.
- The Government has released additional NPR 470 million for the Postal Highway being constructed in Southern Plains of Nepal.
- The amount has been released to maintain fund liquidity for the ongoing construction of 14 road packages under Postal Highway Project.
- Postal Highway also called Hulaki Rajmarg runs across the Terai region of Nepal, from Bhadrapur in the east to Dodhara in the west, cutting across the entire width of the country.
- Since 1950, the Government of India has been supporting infrastructure development of Nepal.
- India has provided financial assistance for construction of various highways, roads, bridges, airports, etc as part of its multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional India-Nepal Economic Cooperation Programme.
- With this payment, a total of NPR 2.35 billion stands released to the Government of Nepal out of the total grant assistance of NPR 8.00 billion committed by the Government of India.
Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO)
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil), an initiative that will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel.
- The initiative has been launched nearly a month after the food safety regulator notified standards for used cooking oil.
- FSSAI may also look at introducing regulations to ensure that companies that use large quantities of cooking oil hand it over to registered collecting agencies to convert it into biofuel.
- Under this initiative, 64 companies at 101 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil.
- For instance: McDonald’s has already started converting used cooking oil to biodiesel from 100 outlets in Mumbai and Pune.
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) 2.0
- National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has upgraded unified payments interface (UPI) with enhanced security features and overdraft facilities.
- In addition to current and savings accounts, customers can link their overdraft account to UPI.
- The UPI mandate could be used in a scenario where money is to be transferred later by providing commitment at present.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
- NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India which aims to allow all Indian citizens to have unrestricted access to e-payment services.
- Founded in 2008, NPCI is a not-for-profit organisation registered under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
- The organisation is owned by a consortium of major banks, and has been promoted by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.
- Its recent work of developing Unified Payments Interface aims to move India to a cashless society with only digital transactions.
- It has successfully completed the development of a domestic card payment network called RuPay, reducing the dependency on international card schemes.
- The RuPay card is now accepted at all the ATMs, Point-of-Sale terminals and most of the online merchants in the country.
- UPI is a path breaking innovation that is unprecedented globally. Its high volume, low cost and highly scalable architecture built on an open source platform is key to India’s transformation to a digital payment economy.
- The first version of UPI was launched on April 11, 2016 and in the last two years the platform has emerged as a popular choice among users for sending and receiving money.
Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL)
- On 10th June, 2003, the Electricity Act was notified by the Govt. of India.
- Appellate Tribunal for Electricity has been established by Central Government for those who are not satisfied with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission order or with a state.
- The Tribunal has the authority to overrule or amend that order, just like the Income-Tax tribunal or the Central Administrative Tribunal.
- The tribunal has to be approached within 45 days of the aggrieved person from getting the order.
- The Act extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Global Mobility Summit
- Steeply falling technology costs and business – model innovation are driving the world’s transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
- Against this background, NITI Aayog, in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners, is organising ‘MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’.
- This Summit will help drive Government’s goals for vehicle electrification, renewable energy integration and job growth and also speed up India’s transition to a clean energy economy.
- MOVE Summit aims to bring together and engage with key stakeholders within the rapidly transforming global mobility landscape and to evolve a public interest framework for a shared, connected, zero emission and inclusive mobility agenda for the future.
- The Summit, hence, aims to encourage synergies between indigenous industries such as Automobile Manufacturing, Information Technology, Electronics, Telecommunications and others, to integrate with global supply chains and cement India’s position as a progressive, forwarding looking nation.
Pitch to MOVE
- It is organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Invest India and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) as a part of a series of engaging featured events in the run up to the main event.
- The competition aims to identify and reward the start-ups offering innovative solutions for shared, connected, and environment friendly mobility.
- The Startups can be from the domain of Public Mobility, Electric Vehicles, Shared Transport, Last Mile Connectivity, Passenger Transportation, Battery Technology, Automotive IoT, Freight & Logistics, Powertrain/Drivetrain, Experiential, Travel, Mobility Infrastructure and Automotive Electronics etc.
- The Mobility Pitch Competition is open to primarily startups from various parts of India who are interested in showcasing their business ideas to jury members.
Aim of the initiative
- Startups working in the various fields of mobility can pitch their ideas to industry leaders and Venture Capitalists for raising investments.
- With rapidly evolving technologies and business models for delivering mobility services, our goal of cleaner and more efficient mobility systems will be achieved with the help of the dynamic entrepreneurial class of India.
- The objective is to harness the latest disruption for generating employment and growth in our country.
- Winners of the event will be felicitated by PM during the Global Mobility Summit.
Hague Adoption Convention
- The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption is an international convention dealing with international adoption, child laundering, and child trafficking.
- The Convention was developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the preeminent organization in the area of private international law. It was concluded on 29 May 1993 and entered into force on 1 May 1995.
- It is an effort to protect those involved from the corruption, abuses, and exploitation which sometimes accompanies international adoption.
- The Convention has been considered crucial because it provides a formal international and intergovernmental recognition of intercountry adoption to ensure that adoptions under the Convention will generally be recognized and given effect in other party countries.
- 96 countries including India has signed and ratified this convention. Whereas Nepal, South Korea and Russia are yet to ratify it.
- Oxytocin is a hormone that acts on organs in the body (including the breast and uterus) and as a chemical messenger in the brain, controlling key aspects of the reproductive system, including childbirth and lactation, and aspects of human behaviour
- Oxytocin is important during childbirth and breastfeeding
- Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter and a hormone that is produced in the hypothalamus
- From there, it is transported to and secreted by the pituitary gland, at the base of the brain.
- Minutes of the meetings of the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) and the Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) — (statutory bodies under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 cite experts from the medical and veterinary sciences who advised the DTAB that oxytocin is required in the treatment of both humans and animals
- Two studies by the Central government, by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Dairy Research Institute, conclude that the use of oxytocin does not have an adverse effect on either people or animals
- With cattle, the danger of misuse is that it may cause addiction, in which case cattle do not react to normal milk ejection stimuli