- GPCB orders closure of Okha Port over air pollution
- The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has suspended operations at Okha Port in Devbhoomi Dwarka following closure order by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board.
- The major concern for GPCB was cargo like coal and bauxite being handled at port in open causing air pollution.
- The major commodities imported at the port include coal, coke, wheat, sulphur, fertilizer and limestone while exported items are calcium, bauxite, onion, chemicals and soda ash. Bauxite, coal and limestone comprise major portion of the cargo handled by the port.
The National Green Tribunal had issued guidelines for all the ports that handle coal and bauxite to have stacker platforms, wall and fogger machines to suppress the dust.
· 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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