Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 08 April 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. PLI scheme for White goods approved by the Union Cabinet.
  2. Poppy straw to boost the yield of alkaloids.

1. PLI scheme for White goods approved by the Union Cabinet

News Summary

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for White Goods (Air Conditioners and LED Lights) with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 6,238 crore.

Prelims GS – Economic Development

Production Linked Incentive(PLI) Scheme:
  • The prime objective of the PLI scheme is to make manufacturing in India globally competitive by removing sectoral disabilities, creating economies of scale, and ensuring efficiencies.
  • It is designed to create a complete component ecosystem in India and make India an integral part of the global supply chains.
  • The scheme is expected to attract global investments, generate large-scale employment opportunities and enhance exports substantially.
  • The PLI Scheme for White Goods shall extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales of goods manufactured in India for a period of five years to companies engaged in manufacturing Air Conditioners and LED Lights.
  • Incentives shall be open to companies making brownfield or greenfield Investments.
  • The Scheme will be implemented as a pan India scheme.

Click here to view the official PIB release.

2. Poppy straw to boost the yield of alkaloids

News Summary

The Union Government has decided to bring in the private sector to begin production of concentrated poppy straw from India’s opium crop which will, in turn, boost the yield of alkaloids.

(Note: Different and important article for the exam. The following points give multiple dimensions on the probable aspects in exam point of view.)

Prelims GS – Science & Technology/ Environment

Poppy straw facts:
  • The term “poppy straw” as used internationally refers to the whole dried poppy plant.
  • Only a few countries have been permitted to cultivate opium poppy crops for the export and extraction of alkaloids.
  • India at present only extracts alkaloids from opium gum at facilities controlled by the Revenue Department in the Finance Ministry.
  • The Ministry has now planned to shift to the extraction of alkaloids using Concentrated Poppy Straw(CPS) as it showed higher extraction of alkaloids.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh are the three traditional opium-growing States.
  • In these states, poppy cultivation is allowed based on licenses issued annually by the Central Bureau of Narcotics.
Indian rules regarding poppy straw:
  • Poppy straw is the husk left after the opium is extracted from the pods.
  • This poppy straw also contains a very small morphine content and if used in sufficient quantities, poppy straw can give a high.
  • There are poppy straw addicts who are supplied with poppy straw.
  • Possession, sale, use, etc. of poppy straw is regulated by the State Governments under the State NDPS Rules.
  • Farmers sell the poppy straw to those licensed by the State Governments to purchase poppy straw.
  • Any excess poppy straw is plowed back into the field.
  • Poppy straw is one of the narcotic drugs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985  (NDPS Act, 1985).
  • Hence, anyone possessing, selling, purchasing, or using poppy straw without a license or authorization or in violation of any conditions of the license is liable to prosecution under the NDPS Act.
Opium and legal uses of alkaloids:
  • India is one of the few countries that legally grow opium poppy and the only country which legally produces opium gum.
  • The opium poppy (Papaver somniferous) plant is the source of opium gum which contains several indispensable alkaloids such as morphine, codeine, and thebaine.
  • Morphine is the best analgesic in the world.
  • In case of extreme and excruciating pain such as that of terminally ill cancer patients, nothing alleviates the suffering except morphine.
  • Codeine is commonly used in the manufacture of cough syrups.
  • Alkaloids also act as cardiac or respiratory stimulants.

Click here to view the Courtesy: official website of The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance to more on opium and legal rules.



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