- Opium on 225 acres in Gaya destroyed in 2018.
- The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), in coordination with the Bihar police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), destroyed opium crops on 225 acres of land in the state in 2018. The farm lands where opium was destroyed are located in four panchayats of Barachatti block in Gaya district.
- In 2017, opium on 252 acres was destroyed across the state.
- Opium is cultivated in remote riverine areas under the patronage of Maoists, who charge commission. Since 2016, when Bihar enforced total prohibition, there has been a jump in opium acreage in Barachatti.
- Under the NDPS Act, public representatives have to pass on information about any opium cultivation. Under the Panchayati Raj Act, district magistrates concerned can divest mukhiyas of their financial powers if opium cultivation is found in their area.
- In the country, only three states — Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan — have permit to cultivate limited production of opium for medicinal purposes. The government buys the entire produce.
- The Jharkhand government is trying to promote alternate cash crops such as marigold in affected areas.
· Chang e 4 lunar probe landed on far side of the moon
- Chang’e-4 lunar probe, a Chinese space probe, touched down on the far side of the moon.The probe, which has a lander and a rover, that was launched in December made the soft landing and transmitted the first-ever close-range image of the far side of the moon. It touched down at a targeted area near the moon’s south pole in the Von Karman Crater.
- The purpose of the Chang’e-4 includes astronomicalobservation, surveying the moon’s terrain, landform, and mineral makeup, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment of its far side.
- The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate as it orbits our planet, so most of thefar side or dark side is never visible to us. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none has landed on it. China’s space agency hailed the event as a historic first and a major achievement for the country’s space programme.
- Israel and US officially withdraw from UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel’ bias
- The US had notified UNESCO of its decision to quit the organisation in October 2017 and had called for its “fundamental reform“. Israel followed the US in quitting UNESCO.
- The Paris-based organisation has previously criticised Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and granted full membershipto Palestine in 2011.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was co-founded by the US after World War II with the mission of seeking to “build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.”
- UNESCO is best known for its work to preserve heritage, including maintaining a list of World Heritage sites, and programmes to promote education in developing countries.
- The US has pulled out of UNESCO before. The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt, and used to advance Soviet interests. The US rejoined in 2003.
- Bhoomi Rashi Portal launched for National Highway Projects
- The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has recently launched the BhoomiRashi portal. In the past years, acquisition of land for the purpose of National Highway projects, payment of compensation to the land owners etc were done manually by physical movement of documents in the form of files.
- However, in that procedure some constraints viz. delay in issuing notification, errors in the land/area details etc were being faced.
- In order to overcome these issues, to cut short delays and avoid parking of public funds with the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA), Ministry has developed a web based Utility –BhoomiRashi to fully digitize and automate the entire process of land acquisition.
- With the operation of this Portal, the land acquisition process has been expedited significantly, become error-free and more transparent and the notifications at every stage are being processed on real time basis.
· India floats mega tender of 7.5 GW for Jammu & Kashmir
- Solar Energy Corporation of Indiahas invited solar power developers to construct 5 GW grid connected projects in Leh and Kargil Districts in the state of Jammu & Kashmir under a competitive bidding process.
- Out of the 5 GWcapacity, 2.5 GW will be constructed in the Kargil district and 5 GW in Leh district.
- The tender is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of building 100 gigawatts of solar capacity in the country by 2022.
- Jan Aushadhis to sell their own brands
- Shops run by the government-owned generic drug franchise, Jan Aushadhi, will soon start stocking their own over-the-counter products such as adult diapers, pregnancy test kits and glucose powder, among others.
- These products will be branded ‘Jan Aushadhi’ and will be around 50% cheaper than similar products available in the market, according to officials from the Department of Pharmaceuticals.
- India has around 4,700 Jan Aushadhi stores, which had a combined turnover of more than ₹200 crore in the first nine months of the financial year 2018-19, according to BPPI
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