· State’s biodiversity board plans a levy on trade of bio resources
ð Jharkhand’s State Biodiversity Board (SBB) is preparing to levy charges from individuals or manufacturing units accessing or collecting any biological resources, as listed under the Biological Diversity Act 2002, for commercial purposes.
ð The levy will be charged by biodiversity management committees (BMCs) under the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS) objectives of the Act.
ð Notably, the Uttarakhand High Court recently directed Divya Pahrmacy, founded by Baba Ramdev and his aide Acharya Balkrishna, to share its profits with local and indigenous communities under the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing objectives of the Biological Diversity Act 2002.
· USA launches new innovation initiative at Raisina Dialogue, 2019
- Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of United States Chamber of Commerce launched a new innovation strategy at Raisina Dialogue, 2019 in New Delhi. The Initiative is titled as “Fair Value for Innovation”.
- The Initiative will examine economic underpinnings in order to enable breakthrough innovation and explore the opportunities to harness innovation capital in India and around the globe through research, advocacy, partnerships and programs.
- India is the first market where GIPC is launching this new innovation initiative.
- The theme of this year’s Raisina Dialogue is “A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes”.
- Gujarat becomes 1st state to implement 10% quota to EWS
- Gujarat Government has announced that the benefits of 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker sections of general category in educational institutions and government jobs will be applicable from midnight tonight.
- Official release said that this 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker class from the general category will be over and above the existing 49 per cent quota for SC, ST and OBC.
- The Centre had taken the decision under Article 46 of Guiding Principles of Constitution of India after Amendment of the Articles 15 and 16, incorporating 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections.
- Govt drafts five-year action plan to address drug abuse in the country
- The government has drafted a five-year action plan to address the problem of drug and substance abuse in the country. The National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction, 2018 to 2023, aims to employ a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue. It involves education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families.
- The Ministry has planned several measures, including co-ordination with implementing agencies for controlling the sale of sedatives, painkillers and muscle relaxant drugs, and checking the online sale of drugs.
- The move comes after the Ministry withdrew the draft National Drug Demand Reduction Policy from the Cabinet. It had been pending for more than five-and-half years and was redrafted twice during the period.
· ISRO aims to send human astronauts to space by the year of 2021
- The year 2021 will be a busy year for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)as it has set itself the target to send astronauts to space.
- The Gaganyaan project by the space agency will make India the fourth nation to independently send humans into space announced ISRO chief Dr. K Sivan.
- The Gaganyaan project was announced by PM Modi on Independence Day last year and union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month had said that three Indian astronauts will be sent to space for up to seven days by 2022 as part of the Gaganyaan.
· Govt relaxed norms for fertiliser exports
- The government relaxed norms for exports of fertilisers, including urea, potassic and phosphatic.
- Export policy of fertilisers have been revised and items under ‘restricted’ category moved to ‘free’ category.
- Urea is the only fertiliser under statutory price control and its import for direct agriculture use is permitted through state trading enterprises (STEs) namely MMTC, STC under the foreign trade policy of the government.
- President of India gives assent to The Constitution (One Hundred and third Amendment) ACT, 2019
- President of India,Shri Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 which grants 10 percent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections in the general category.
- The Act amends Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution to provide reservation to the economically weaker sections in the general category.
- The 10 percent reservation will be in addition to the existing 50 percent reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBC)making the total reservation quota 60%.
- Following a group of general category, people are eligible for the reservation as per the law
- Families with Income below Rs 8 lakh per annum.
· Indias longest single lane steel cable bridge opened in Arunachal
- India’s longest 300-metresingle lane steel cable suspension bridge was inaugurated by Arunachal PradeshChief Minister Pema Khandu.
- The bridge across the Siang river at Yingkiong in Upper Siang district has been named Byorung Bridge.
- The bridge, built at a cost of ?48.43-croreprovided by the DONER (Department for Development of North Eastern Region) Ministry, will reduce the distance from Yinkiong to Tuting by almost 40 km.
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