- Fillip to water conservation and rainwater harvesting
- Though monsoon appears to be weak this time, Bihar government has made elaborate plans to take up rainwater harvesting and conserve water by revamping the water bodies and digging up ponds in most of the 38 districts in state.
- So far, 3202 schemes, most of those under Mgnrega, worth Rs 220 crore have been completed benefitting 40,000 hectares of land.
- In Gaya, one of the driest districts in state, the state’s ambitious pilot project has been launched to use drones for assessing the alignment of water bodies, including ahars and pynes—the traditional water canals and flood water harvesting system used by villagers to irrigate their land.
- Bihar completes 3202 schemes for water conservation and rain water harvesting in monsoons worth Rs 220 crore; 40,000 hectares benefited.
- State focus on all schemes, mostly under Mgnrega, following PM’S letter to states to complete projects for rain water harvesting, digging of ponds and restoration of water bodies before onset of monsoon.
- Drones being used to identify water bodies and assess alignment of ahars and pynes in Gaya, a district known for poor and check dams, ahead of the monsoon season could prove helpful in coming months, especially in districts like Darbhanga, Champaran, Madhepura and some south Bihar districts of Gaya, Aurangabad and Kaimur.
- Bihar has seen drought like situation in last many years evoking fear of water table depletion in many districts though experts say the situation is not alarming as aquifers have sufficient water in most districts.
- Rainfall and dry conditions Climate resilient work for increasing durability of assets like check dams for water conservation taken up in 35 blocks of eight districts.
- The districts are Banka, Gaya, Katihar, Nalanda, Begusarai, Madhubani, West Champaran and Muzaffarpur; two districts selected from four climatic zones in Bihar
· Studies found alternate cereals can save water
- According to the analysis of U.S. based Earth Institute, Columbia University and Indian School of Business, if alternative cerealssuch as maize, sorghum, and millet are used instead of rice and wheat, the demand for irrigation water can be reduced by 33%. It could also improve nutrient availability to consumers.
- India is mandated to provide 5 kg of foodgrains per person per month at subsidized prices of Rs.3/2/1 per kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.
- The researchers said that this alternative cereal production can help distribute nutrient production across the country and reduce the impact of a single local climate shock to national grain production.
- International Day of Cooperatives 2018: 7 July
- The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Cooperatives is observed on the first Saturday of July each year.
- Some of the day’s goals are to increase awareness on cooperatives, as well as strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other supporting organizations including governments.
- The theme for the 2018 International Day of Cooperatives (IDC) is “Sustainable consumption and production”.
- Nepal, India to jointly promote tourism
- Nepal and India have decided to jointly promote historically and culturally important tourism circuits like the Ramayana and Buddhist Circuit and adventure tourism.
- India will also extend all possible cooperation in the domain of human resource development in tourism.
- During a joint meeting of the Nepalese and Indian officials, both the sides also decided to establish an industry-led Indo-Nepal Tourism Forum with the support of the two governments.
· India to develop ‘World’s emptiest airport’ in Sri Lanka
- India would operate Sri Lanka’s loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airportin Hambantota, called the ‘world’s emptiest airport’ due to a lack of flights.
- This comes in the backdrop of China developing the Hambantota seaport project in Sri Lanka.
- The airport, which was named after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, was built with the capacity to handle one million passengers a year, was officially opened in March 2013.
· MoEFCC declared the area around Mudumalai as an ESZ
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) declared 438 sq.km. of the area around the Mudumalai Tiger Reservein the Nilgiris as an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ). This is to prohibit construction and commercial mining activities and restrict hotels and resorts near the reserve.
- The reserve, comprising the wildlife sanctuary and the national park, extending over an area of 321 sq.km, was declared a tiger habitat in 2007. Besides the tiger habitat, 367 sq. km. is the buffer area for a total of 688 sq. km. reserve area. The reserve is a critical part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve spread over 5,500 sq. km.
- NTA to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational Institutions
- The Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar has said that the National Testing Agency (NTA) has started its work and will be conducting various entrance examinations for higher educational Institutions from next academic sessions onwards.
- Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, he said that the NTA will bring qualitative difference in the examination process by its focus on research and scientific test design using services of Experts, Researchers, Statisticians, Psychometricians, Test Item Writers and Education Specialists.
- The new system will be student friendly, fair , transparent and flexible, the Minister added.
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