Indian tea industry records highest ever production, export in FY18

  • The Indian tea industry recorded the highest ever production as well as export for the 2017-18 financial year.
  • Tea production for the financial year was recorded at 1,325.05 million kg, up from 1,250.49 million kg – an increase by 74.56 million kg or 5.96%.
  • Meanwhile tea export stood at 256.57 million kg, an increase of 28.94 million kg or 12.71%, compared with last year’s tea export of 227.63 million kg.
  • The amount of foreign exchange obtained from tea exports for 2017-18 was $785.92 million. In contrast tea exports earned $690.73 million in 2016-17 – an increase of $95.19 million or 13.78%.

India Pavilion inaugurated at Cannes Film Festival 2018

  • The inaugural session of the Indian Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 was held at Cannes, France.
  • It was hosted by actor Sharad Kelkar. And among the Indian delegation were Prasoon Joshi (a writer, poet and the chairman of Central Board of Film Certification India); filmmakers Bharat Bala and Jahnu Barua; and Jerome Paillard (executive director of Marche Du Film Festival, Cannes Film Market).
  • The aim of the delegation was to showcase diversity in films of our country while furthering collaborations with various other countries.
  • A round table session was also held to discuss collaborations with countries including Brazil, Philippines, Austria, Sweden, Canada and New Zealand.

CM Pema Khandu inaugurates Arunachal’s biggest solar power plant

  • Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday inaugurated the State’s biggest solar power plant located at Energy Awareness Park.
  • The plant has a capacity of 1 MW and has an estimated investment of Rs. 8.50 crore.
  • The project was implemented by Arunachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (APEDA).
  • The new plant is expected to reduce the burden of energy bills on the State.

Rock discovered in Odisha is world’s second oldest, geologically important

  • Scientists have identified a rock in Odisha as the world’s second oldest.
  • The rock was discovered 8 years ago in Champua, in Odisha’s Kendujhar district.
  • In the rock, scientists found a grain of magmatic zircon, which is a mineral that contains traces of radioactive isotopes.
  • The rock is estimated to be about 4,240 million years old (or 4.2 billion years old).
  • This has put India at the forefront of geological research in the world.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches Bangladeshi satellite on Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket

  • Elon’s Musk space venture, SpaceX, has launched Bangladeshi telecom satellite Bangabandhu-1 on the latest version of its Falcon 9 rocket, dubbed the Block 5 version.
  • Bangabandhu-1 was successfully launched into geostationary orbit on May 11, 2018.
  • Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base carrying the 3,500-kilogram Bangabandhu-1 satellite.
  • Block 5 Falcon 9 is significant because it is a reusable rocket, which will save billions of dollars.
  • The Block 5 Falcon 9 can do 10 launches, before needing to be refurbished. And even after that, it can have an operational life of 100 missions.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba buys Pakistan e-commerce firm Daraz

  • Alibaba has purchased Pakistani online retailer Daraz, and it increases its overseas expansion in the South Asian consumer market.
  • Daraz was founded in 2012, and was purchased from Rocket Internet, a Berlin-based company that nurtures online startups.
  • China wants closer economic ties with Asian neighbours (including Pakistan) through its Belt and Road initiative. This is a strategy to increase trade links that is led primarily by infrastructure projects.