3rd July, 2019- Tuesday


New Zealand has officially banned single-use plastic shopping bags

Why in NEWS:

New Zealand has officially banned single-use plastic shopping bags with effect from 1 July 2019.

It has also introduced hefty fines for businesses that continue to provide them. As per United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) more than 80 countries have already introduced similar bans.

Background: The Waste Minimisation (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018, legislation regarding plastic ban was announced in August 2018 and came into force on 1 July 2019. It is supposed to have little practical effect, as New Zealand’s major supermarkets have already voluntarily banned plastic bags.

Ban Implies: Under new rules, New Zealand retailers including supermarkets, stores and restaurants will no longer be able to sell or distribute any single-use plastic shopping bags but law allows reusable carriers to continue being provided. Only exceptions are Plastic shopping bags in fruit and vegetable section and other areas of supermarkets.

What is Single-use plastic shopping bag? It is defined as any plastic bag which has handles and is less than 70 microns thick.

Why?The move was taken as Plastic pollution has become growing global concern. Every year nearly a million birds and over 100,000 marine mammals injured or killed by becoming entangled in packaging or ingesting it through the food chain.

Significance: Ending use of single-use plastic shopping bags would help country maintain its country’s clean and green reputation. Due to Ban people are now talking about single-use plastics and how they can phase them out


Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy

Why in NEWS:

University Grants Commission (UGC) has launched STRIDE scheme to boost research culture and innovation in colleges and universities. STRIDE stands forScheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy.

Objective: To identify young talent, build capacity, strengthen research culture, support trans-disciplinary research and promote innovation for India’s developing economy and national development.

Feature: This new initiative will seek to support local need-based, socially relevant, nationally important and globally significant research project.

Overseeing: An advisory Bhushan Patwardhan committee set up by UGC under chairmanship of Prof Bhushan Patwardhan, Vice Chairman, UGC will oversee entire scheme.

3 Components of STRIDE:

  • Attempting to identify motivated young talents with research and innovation aptitude in colleges and universities. This component is open to all disciplines (subjects) for grant up to Rs.1 crore.
  • Encouraging collaborations between universities, government, industries and voluntary organizations. This component is open to all disciplines for grant up to Rs.50 lakh to 1 crore.
  • Funding high impact research projects in humanities and Social Sciences via national network of eminent scientists from leading institutions of country. Grant available for this component is up to Rs.1 crore for one High Educational Institute (HEI) and up to Rs.5 crores for multi institutional network.

STRIDE web portal: will be open to receive applications from 31 July 2019.


Garuda-VI: Indo-French Joint Air Exercise begins

Why in NEWS:

Indian Air Force (IAF) and Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) are participating in Garuda VI, a bilateral air exercise at Mont de Marsan in France.

 Background: The last edition of joint exercise between IAF-FAF was held in June 2014 at Air Force Station Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This year is the 6th edition of exercise which is taking place from 1 July to 12 July 2019.

 About Garuda VI

Objective: This joint India-France air exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability level of French and Indian crews in air defenceand ground attack missions.

Drill: The exercise will see most potent fighter aircraft of India and France going head-to-head to validate latest defence strategies and fine-tune their waging capabilities.

Aircrafts Participating: It is expected to showcase fighter jets such as Rafale, Sukhoi 30 and Mirage 2000 from two sides.

  • IAF contingent comprises of- 120 air-warriors and 4 Sukhoi 30 MKI along with an IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft. Also, IAF’s C-17 Globemaster strategic lift aircraft will provide logistics support to contingent during induction and de-induction phases.
  • French Air Force (FAF) units will comprise- Rafale, Mirage 2000, C135, E3F, C130, Casa and Alpha Jet.

Significance: Such joint exercises between two countries increases understanding of interoperability during mutual operations between two air forces as well as provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices.

Questions for practice

1. ‘D’in STRIDE stands for
  1. Developed
  2. Development
  3. Developing
  4. Disciplinary
2. Garuda VI, a bilateral air exercise between
  1. India and Indonesia
  2. Indonesia and France
  3. India and Australia
  4. India and France



  1. C
  2. D