Current Affair-March 11, 2021

The issue of legalising cannabis cultivation in HP

  • Himachal state government is coming up with a policy to allow controlled cultivation of hemp or cannabis in the state.
  • This means the state wants to legalise commercial cultivation of the plant for non-recreational uses such as making medicines and fabrics.

Legal aspect of cannabis cultivation in India

  • In 1985, India banned the cultivation of cannabis plant under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
  • But this Act allows state governments to allow controlled and regulated cultivation of hemp for obtaining its fibre and seed for industrial or horticultural purposes.

Which states allowed the cultivation?

  • In 2018, Uttarakhand became the first state to do so. It allowed the cultivation of only those strains of cannabis plant which have a low concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis that produces a high sensation.
  • Uttar Pradesh followed a similar policy, while Madhya Pradesh and Manipur are considering it as well.

Uses of hemp

  • In parts of Himachal such as Kullu and Mandi, hemp had traditionally been used for making footwear, ropes, mats, food items, etc.
  • Its seeds can also be used for making paint, ink and biofuel.
  • Globally, cannabis products are increasingly being used for health and medicinal purposes, and the plant has also been used to make building material.

Psychoactive intoxicants prepared from cannabis plant

  • Mainly charas and ganja. The separated resin of the plant is called charas or hashish and it can be concentrated to obtain hashish oil (in Himachal, charas and the cannabis plant, in general, are called bhang while elsewhere, bhang may refer to an intoxicating drink prepared from the plant).
  • The dried flowers and leaves of the plant are called ganja or marijuana (also weed, pot or dope). Charas and ganja can be smoked and can also be used to prepare some edible drinks and foods.
  • Currently, charas, ganja, or any mixture or drink prepared from the two products are banned in India under the NDPS Act, regardless of hemp cultivation.
Source: Indian Express

National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Lok Sabha passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021.


  • The bill seeks to regularise unauthorised colonies that existed in the National Capital Territory of Delhi as on June 1, 2014and had seen development up to 50% as on January 1, 2015.
  • It gives ownership rights to those living in these colonies.
  •  It would facilitate access to institutional credit and also improve the basic amenities.
Source: The Hindu

Troika meet

  • Russia has announced it will hold a conference of special envoys from the U.S., China, and Pakistan, along with representatives of the Afghanistan government, Taliban and other senior Afghan leaders next week.
  • Unlike the UN­led formulation,India has not been invited to the Russian conference.

What is Troika?

  • It is a two­year old process, involving consultations between U.S., Russia and China.
  • A regular meeting of the expanded ‘troika’ is scheduled for March 18 in Moscow.
  • The meeting of Troika Plus will be at the level of special representatives of Russia, China, the United States and Pakistan.

Discussions in Troika Meet

  • It is dedicated to the intra­Afghan settlement.
  • It will discuss ways to assist advancing the intra­Afghan talks in Doha, reduce the level of violence and to end the armed conflict in Afghanistan
  • Troika Plus meeting would run “in addition to” and not “counter to” the U.S. proposals for the future roadmap for Afghanistan.
Source: The Hindu

INS Karanj

  • The Navy inducted the third stealth Scorpene class conventional diesel- electric submarine, INS Karanj, into service.
  • It was commissioned into the Navy by former Navy Chief Admiral V.S. Shekhawat, who was the Commanding Officer of the earlier INS Karanj in the 1971 India-Pakistan War.
  • It has been commissioned at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai.

This year is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ which marks 50 years of 1971 Indo – Pak war. Old INS Karanj, commissioned on 04 Sep 1969 at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took active part in the conflict under the Command of then Cdr VS Shekhawat.

Scorpene Class Submarines

  • Six Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France.
  • The Scorpene Submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. More deadly and stealthier than their predecessors, these submarines are equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface.
  •  INS Karanj would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Command’s arsenal.

Source: PIB

2021 Dandi March

  • Prime Minister will flag off a commemorative ‘Dandi March’ on March 12 to launch the celebrations of the 75th year of Independence.
  • The Prime Minister is expected to flag off the 21-day long Dandi March from a ground beside the Abhay Ghat, the resting place of late Prime Minister Morarji Desai near the Sabarmati Ashram, thus launching the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.

The original Dandi March

  • The Dandi March or Salt March was part of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent protest against the British monopoly on production of salt.
  • Led by Gandhi, 78 people started the 24-day march on March 12 and reached Dandi on April 5, 1930.
  • After making salt at Dandi,Gandhi headed to Dharasana Salt Works, 40 km south, but was arrested on May 5.
Source: Indian Express

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