- Cotton yield tanks to decadal low in Gujarat
- India’s cotton yield slumped to a decadal low of 420.72kg or 2.47 bales per hectare during 2018-19, shows an analysis by Cotton Association of India (CAI).
- According to the apex trade body, cotton yield in Gujarat is estimated to be 549.83kg per hectare, which is lower than other states such as Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. At 283.73kgs, Maharashtra has witnessed the lowest yield among the Indian states.
- CAI has estimated a total 312 lakh bales (170kg each) production of cotton in 2018-19 season with Gujarat contributing 86 lakh bales. Less availability of water for irrigation, uneven distribution of rain and global warming have negatively impacted the cotton yield in India, say industry experts.
Nelson Mandela International Day: 18 July
The United Nations observes 18 July every year as Nelson Mandela International Day.
- The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.
- Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in South Africa.
- Mandela passed away in the year 2013, at the age of 95.
- He was imprisoned for life for campaigning against the apartheid system of racial segregation established by the National Party’s white-only government.
Palau becomes the 76th country to join International Solar Alliance
Palau, an archipelago of over 500 islands in Oceania, became the 76th signatory country to join the International Solar Alliance.
- The agreement was opened for signature during the COP22 at Marrakech on November 15, 2016.
- The International Solar Alliance is a group of 121 solar resource-rich countries with headquarters in Gurugram, India.
- Govt’s ”Find the Incredible You” campaign wins PATA award
- The “Find the Incredible You” campaign of the Tourism Ministry, has won the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award, 2019.
- The campaign focuses on digital and social media and the promotion of niche tourism products of the country.
- This year’s awards attracted 198 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide.
- The campaign won the award under the “Marketing – Primary Government Destination” category.
- PATA Gold Awards are given to tourism industry organizations and individuals making an outstanding contribution towards the successful promotion of the travel industry throughout the Asia Pacific Region.
- Google India’s ‘Internet Saathi’ programme to empower rural women
- Google India’s ‘Internet Saathi’ programmeaimed to empower rural women to use the Internet.
- They added two more states namely Punjab and Odisha.
- The programme reached 2.6 lakh villages in 20 states.
- A pilot project in 2015 along with Tata Trusts, ‘Internet Saathi’ programme
- The main focus is on on educating women on how to use the Internet.
- These women impart training to other women in their community and neighbouring villages.
- In the four-year journey, trained 70,000 “Internet Saathis” are using the Internet to drive positive change in their communities already benefited over 2.6 crore fellow women.
- There are also those who are driving awareness for issues like girl child education, menstrual hygiene and more.
- In Punjab, the programme covers around 5,000 villages.
- In Odisha, it will cover over 16,000 villages.
- Raman Kalyanakrishnan, Head of Strategy at Tata Trusts
- The women in rural India are provided with adequate opportunities and knowledge.
This has been made possible through the Internet Saathi programme.
- Govt scholarship to check brain drain
- For decades, India has quietly coped with the phenomenon called brain drain — its best young talent, from engineers and scientists to IT graduates and business professionals, moving overseas for higher studies or jobs in search of faster growth opportunities and a better quality of life.
- Now, the human resource development (HRD) is planning to start a programme that will offer scholarships to students who want to do their PhD in top international universities. There’s one caveat: the students will have to give an undertaking that they will come back and work in India when they finish their studies.
- The plan is the brainchild of the HRD ministry’s Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).
- The main objective of this scheme will be to facilitate deeper engagement of distinguished faculty and scientists with Indian institutions.
- Govt planning water reforms by bringing in new model law
- Centre government is drawing up a legislative package for water-sector reforms, including a model law aimed at managing what has become the scarcest resource in over a third of the country’s districts.
- The law is likely to be called the model water resources regulatory authority bill and only Maharashtra has such a body functioning since 2005
The government also plans to bring a second model law stipulating legal provisions for re-using and recycling water. Model laws are passed by the central government to offer a framework for states to legislate in areas where they have exclusive control, such as water.
- Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a “Jal Jeevan Mission” in Budget 2019-20 to provide potable water to every rural household by 2024, in step with the government’s larger thrust on water conservation and providing safe drinking water to all parts of the country.
- Now, a database of harmful chemicals in everyday items
- Ingredients in your everyday items may have an adverse effect on the body.
- Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) has created an online database — Database of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and their Toxicity Profiles (DEDuCT) — of 686 endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), many of which are present in everyday items.
- The database contains information on the environmental source of the EDCs, their adverse effects and chemical class.
- EDCs, which are largely manmade, are present in cosmetics, pesticides, plastic products, metals, medicine , additives or contaminants in food. Long-term exposure to EDCs can disturb the functioning of the endocrine system, which consists of glands secreting hormones that control development, growth, reproduction, metabolism, immunity and behaviour. Human exposure to EDCs takes place via ingestion of food, dust and water, inhalation of gases and particles in the air, and through the skin.
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