Government imposes anti-dumping duty on Ofloxacin import from China
March 21, 2018

The Revenue Department in the Finance Ministry has imposed anti-dumping duty on import of ‘Ofloxacin’, a pharma product used in treatment of certain infections from China.

It was imposed for three years following recommendations of Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) to protect domestic producers from below-cost shipments. In its probe DGAD had found that Ofloxacin exported to India from China was below its normal value, resulting in dumping. It had caused material injury to the domestic industry.


Ofloxacin is in class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. It is used to treat certain infections including bronchitis, pneumonia and infections of skin, bladder, urinary tract, reproductive organs, and prostate (a male reproductive gland). It works by killing bacteria that cause infections.

Anti-dumping duty

It is an import duty imposed by government on imported products which have prices less than their normal values or domestic price. It act as a protectionist and counter import measure used by a country under multilateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime to protect its domestic producers and market from below-cost/cheap imports.

 The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practises and creating level-playing field for domestic producers with regard to foreign producers and exporters. It varies from product to product and from country to country. In India, anti-dumping duty to be levied is recommended by Ministry of Commerce (i.e. by DGAD), while Finance Ministry imposes it.

NITI Aayog releases SATH-E Roadmaps
March 21, 2018

NITI Aayog has released comprehensive roadmaps and detailed timelines for its initiative Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E) project to introduce system-wide Governance Transformation in school education.

SATH-E project

SATH-E project aims at promoting vocational education, skill development, teacher training and introducing technology in classrooms. It will also promote data-driven analysis to strengthen academic monitoring across schools in the country.

It also aims to transform elementary and secondary school education across these three states. Its roadmap refers to time-bound, goal-driven exercise that will reach its logical culmination by end of academic year 2020.

It seeks to create role model states for education across country to facilitate qualitative and quantitative transformation of learning outcomes. It will use innovative, external third party funding and Public- Private- Philanthropic Partnership (PPPP) experimentation.
It will be facilitated by National Steering Group (NSG), chaired by CEO of NITI Aayog and including Chief Secretaries of 3 states, which will continuously monitor progress, introduce course-corrections and offer a platform for addressing issues in implementation.

Key Facts

The roadmaps  will operate between 2018 to 2020. They lay out detailed interventions to be taken by three participating states- Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha to become ‘Role Model States’ in school education. These roadmaps will present first-of-its-kind, customized, action-oriented programmes, outlining interventions at individual, district and State level. They were jointly prepared by NITI Aayog, three participating states and knowledge partners of SATH Initiatives, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Piramal Foundation For Education Leadership (PFEL).

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs. It is essentially an advisory body that seeks to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre. Prime Minister is ex-officio chairman of NITI Aayog.

Ptilomera nagalanda: New species of water strider found in Nagaland
March 21, 2018

Scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered new species of water strider named Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra in Nagaland. It was found in river Intanki in Peren district of Nagaland.

This newly discovered species belongs to Ptilomera agriodes genus. It measures about 11.79 mm and has long slender legs. It has orange with black stripes on dorsal side and pale yellowish brown ventral part of body. The presence of black stripes on dorsal side differentiates this species from other known species of subgenus Ptilomera. It is only found in rocky, fast flowing streams and rivers that are not exposed to lot of sunlight. It has hair on middle legs that help insects resist strong current of streams.

Water striders

Water striders aregroup of insects adapted to life on surface of water, using surface tension to their advantage. Their presence serves as indicator water of water quality and also play important role in food chain in river ecosystem as they feed on mosquito larvae.

Water striders have three pairs of legs. The front legs are relatively shorter than mid and hind legs and used to catch and hold prey. They possess needle-like mouth parts that are used for sucking the juice of prey. There are nearly 100 species of water striders found in India across different water bodies such as open ocean, ponds, pools, lakes, rivers, streams etc.

With discovery of Ptilomera nagalanda, the number of species of water striders belonging to subgenus Ptilomera has increased to six in India. These includes Ptilomera agriodes found in peninsular India, Ptilomera laticaudata, northern and northeastern India, Ptilomera assamensis found in northeastern India, Pltilomera occidentalis from Uttarakhand and Ptilomera tigrina found in the Andaman islands.

President releases commemorative coins on Nabakalebar festival
March 21, 2018

President Ram Nath Kovind has released Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 10 commemorative coins on the occasion of Nabakalebar festival at a function held in Puri, Odisha. These coins were release to mark the festival which is a symbolic recreation of sibling deities — Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.

Nabakalebara Festival

Nabakalebara festival is an ancient ritual that is observed in the Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha at predefined time according to Hindu Calender. Naba means new and Kalebara is body.

In this festival, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by new idols as it is believed that Lord Shree Jagannath adornes new body during Nabakalebara. It is usually comes in every twelve to nineteen years based on the auspicious two months of Ashadha in a year called as Purusottam month as per the Hindu calendar.

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