- Bihar’s ‘Project Jal Sanchay’ Chosen for National Award
- ‘Project Jal Sanchay’, a water conservation model which is successfully adopted in Nalanda district of south-central Bihar, has been chosen for the national award for excellence in the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee programme (MGNREGP) by the Ministry of Rural Development.
- Nalanda being an agriculture-oriented district remained affected by drought-like conditions that hampered the farming activities in the district. Though the district receives flash floods during the monsoon, the water runoff in the district was very high so much so that the entire water got washed away in a span of 15 days. Under these circumstances, ‘project jal sanchay’ was launched under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGP) to offset the water crisis in the district. Under the project, check dams and traditional Aahar-Pyne irrigation systems were created. In addition, traditional water bodies were desilted and renovated. Campaigns about the usefulness of rainwater harvesting were also carried out. The project was a mix of modern day techniques and technologies with traditional knowledge and got evolved into a holistic program to conserve water.
- Sharjah named World Book Capital.
- Sharjah has been named the ‘World Book Capital’ title for 2019 by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
- The honour is a recognition of the emirate’s pioneering role in supporting and expanding the local and regional publishing industries.
- The accolade is an important addition to Sharjah’s existing portfolio of milestones like, Capital of Arab Culture (1998), Capital of Islamic Culture (2014), and Capital of Arab Tourism (2015).
- World Bank approves $500 million grant package for Afghanistan projects.
- The World Bank has approved financing worth more than $500 million for Afghanistan to support a string of projects to boost the economy, help improve service delivery in five cities and support Afghan refugees sent back from Pakistan.
- The bank said the six grants, including donor money, worth some $520 million would help the Afghan government
- NMCE, ICEX to merge to create India’s third biggest commodity exchange.
- National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE), India’s first demutualised online national multi-commodities exchange will merge with Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX). The merged entity will create India’s third biggest commodity exchange. The largest commodity exchange by volume is the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) followed by National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX).
- The new exchange will offer a wide range of contracts, including bullion, oil, rubber, and other agri-commodities. It will also offer the world’s first diamond futures contract, which has already received in-principle approval from the marker regulator SEBI.
Gk byte – Commodity Trading
- Commodity trading is an exchange where various commodities and derivatives products are traded. Most commodity markets trade in agricultural products and other raw materials and contracts based on them. These contracts can include spot prices, futures, forwards and options on futures.
- At present, India has six national commodity exchanges namely, Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), National Multi-Commodity Exchange (NMCE) and Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), ACE Derivatives exchange (ACE) and Universal commodity exchange (UCX) apart from numerous regional exchanges. Government had established regulatory body is Forward Markets Commission (FMC) in 1953.
- It was merged with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in September 2015.
- Nuclear reactor at Kalpakkam: World’s envy, India’s pride.
- Hidden from public, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Kalpakkam near Chennai, Indian nuclear scientists are in the final throes of starting a high-tech giant stove more than 15 years in the making.
- This novel nuclear reactor is a kind of an ‘akshaya patra’, the mythical goblet with a never-ending supply of food.
- The Department of Atomic Energy is getting ready to commission its ultra-modern indigenously designed and locally mastered fast-breeder reactor.
- Called a ‘Fast-Breeder Reactor’, these are a special kind of nuclear reactors that generate more atomic fuel than they consume as they work.
- India has been running an experimental facility called a Fast-Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) now for 27 years.
- This is a small nuclear reactor a forerunner for the monster that India has constructed at Kalpakkam called the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). This will generate electricity commercially using the fast breeder route.
- The world’s only commercially operating fast breeder reactor is situated in the Ural Mountains of Russia at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, not far from Russia’s fourth largest city Yekateringburg.
- Achal Kumar Jyoti to be India’s new Chief Election Commissioner.
- Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti has been appointed the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India by the Narendra Modi government.
- He will take charge as the CEC on July 6 after Nasim Zaidi retires.
- Jyoti, former Chief Secretary of Gujarat, was appointed as the Election Commissioner on May 7, 2015.
He will join as 21st CEC.
- Telangana to Have Separate Agriculture Budget from Next Year
- Telangana would have a separate budget for agriculture from the next year.
- Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao decided to substantially enhance funds for the agriculture sector and present a separate agriculture budget.
- Rao also asked the officials to form farmers’ associations at various levels — from villages to the state — to organise the cultivators.
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