Regulations
Centre approves Minimum Support Price for kharif crop
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday gave its approval for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops during this year's kharif season.
 
The MSPs are based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and taking into consideration production cost, aggregate demand-supply situation in the Indian economy, domestic and international prices and other factors.
 
However, in view of large surplus of cereals in contrast to huge deficit in pulses, the cabinet decided to give a bonus of Rs.200 per quintal for pulses over and above the recommendations of the CACP.
 
"This is expected to give a strong signal to farmers to increase acreage and invest for increased productivity of pulses," a statement from the CCEA said.
 
MSP for common rice has been fixed at Rs.1,410 per quintal while pulses like 'moong' and 'tur' have been priced at Rs.4,850 and Rs.4,525 per quintal, respectively.
 
The price band of Rs.1,570 and Rs.1,590 per quintal has been fixed for two varieties of 'jowar' while medium and long staple ranges of cotton has been priced at Rs.3,800 and Rs.4,100, respectively.
 
Under the MSP system, the Centre purchases the produce from farmers at the declared price, thereby preventing distress sale.

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Indian Navy to observe Yoga day across oceans
The Indian Navy on Wednesday said it will launch multiple initiatives to introduce the practice of Yoga to its community on the first International Yoga Day on June 21.
 
Yoga day will be observed by the Navy units located at distant places as well as on the sea.
 
"The Navy will observe the first International Day of Yoga and celebrate the richness of Indian culture through a unique endeavour that only it can - Yoga across the oceans," the Navy's official statement said.
 
The statement said the naval community has been sensitised to the conduct and significance of the first International Day of Yoga through a message relayed widely to units at dispersed geographical positions in India and overseas.
 
"Accordingly, Indian Navy units located as far as the Mediterranean Sea on the west, the Western Pacific Ocean on the east and the Southern Indian Ocean in the south will participate in observing the occasion," the statement said.
 
"Widely dispersed ships of the Navy will conduct Yoga sessions that commence at the pre-decided local time of 7.00 a.m. (the exact time at which the occasion will be observed at Rajpath, New Delhi), such that as the sun moves across time zones in its passage from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, it will find personnel of the Indian Navy greeting it successively with their asanas across a vast geographical swath," the statement said.
 
The statement added that events have been planned at all naval units, including Navy schools, community facilities and welfare centres. These will comprise mass participation of personnel in basic asanas, which will be followed by qualified Yoga instructors expounding to the community on the long-term benefits of Yoga.
 
Handouts with descriptions of basic Yogasanas derived from the document "Common Yoga Protocol" issued by the government will also be distributed in large numbers.
 
To encourage children of all ages to be part of the event, painting and essay writing competitions are being organised at all naval schools.
 

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North Korea facing worst drought in 100 years
North Korea's state media claims the country is suffering from its "worst drought in 100 years", leading to fears of aggravation of the chronic food crisis plaguing the country since the 1990s.
 
"The worst drought in 100 years continues in the DPRK (North Korea) causing great damage," said state-owned KCNA agency in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
 
KCNA, the mouthpiece of the regime, says that nearly one-third of the 441,000-hectare (around 1,089,735-acre) rice fields in the country were drying up.
 
Lack of rain has especially affected the provinces of North and South Hwanghae, located in the south-east.
 
In North Hwanghae, 58 percent of the rice fields have dried up while in South Hwanghae the figure is around 80 percent, according to KCNA.
 
It added other crops were being planted on the affected rice fields to reduce the impact on agriculture.
 
It also warned that water at reservoirs had reached a critical level, and that rivers and streams were also drying up.
 
An official from South Korea's ministry of unification told Efe news agency, that North Korea was yet to ask for help to tackle the crisis.
 
Total precipitation in North Korea between January and March was only 57 percent of the average, according to the ministry.
 
Seoul calculates if the condition persists until July, agricultural production could be hit by 15 to 20 percent, causing a humanitarian disaster.
 
Despite the situation improving slightly in 2014, one in three North Korean children suffer from malnutrition, according to the World Food Programme. 

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