1. Regional Raw Drug Repositories

The issue in news

Regional Raw Drug Repository for AYUSH Systems launched at Chennai.

Regional Raw Drug Repositories (RRDRs):

  • RRDRs are important components of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, National AYUSH Mission.
  • The repositories play an important role in medicinal plants cultivation.
  • As a step in this direction, the Ministry of AYUSH, through the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), initiated the establishment of the National Raw Drug Repository and Regional Raw Drug Repositories.
  • The collaborating institutes as identified by the NMPB are the National Institute of Siddha, with the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, and the Siddha Central Research Institute, all three located in Chennai.
  • The RRDR in Chennai would play a major role in the collection, documentation, and authentication of raw drugs collected from the agro-climatic region, that is, the Southern Plateau Region.
  • This RRDR will not only act as collection centres of raw drugs available and used in the southern region but also as an accredited reference library for authentication of raw drugs and establish standard protocols and keys for authentication of raw drug used in the herbal industries.


Background & Significance

  • Medicinal plants form the major resource base of India’s indigenous health care traditions.
  • Their relevance has grown substantially in the current pandemic scenario, thanks to their disease preventive effects.
  • The outreach and acceptability of AYUSH systems, both nationally as well as globally, are dependent on the uninterrupted availability of quality medicinal plants based raw material.
  • Though most of the raw drugs are commonly available, there is a lack of scientific documentation that makes research on these medicines very difficult. This also reduces the chances of commercial exploitation of these medicines.
  • Easy availability of authentic scientific data of the raw drugs will promote research on the medicines belonging to the AYUSH system which will lead to further propagation of these systems.


Additional Information

  • Currently, India has more than 9000 manufacturing units for Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy medicine.
  • However, the quality of medicines produced by these units critically depends upon the manufacturing process followed as well as the quality of raw material.
  • The Government has made it mandatory for all manufacturing units to adhere to the Good Manufacturing Practices as notified under Schedule T of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.


  1. Aquaponics

The issue in news

Union Minister inaugurates a pilot ‘Aquaponics facility’ at GADVASU, Ludhiana.

What is Aquaponics?

  • Aquaponics is an emerging technique in which both fishes as well as plants are grown in an integrated manner.
  • The fish waste provides fertilizer for growing plants.
  • The plants absorb nutrients and filter the water. This filtered water is used to replenish the fish tank.
  • This is an environmentally friendly technique.
  • Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. o Aquaculture is growing fish and other aquatic animals.

 Hydroponics is growing plants without soil.

  • Aquaponics uses these two in a symbiotic combination in which plants are fed the aquatic animals’ discharge or waste.



The issue in news

Due to an event referred to as “opposition”, which takes place every two years and two months, Mars will outshine Jupiter, becoming the third brightest object (moon and Venus are first and second, respectively) in the night sky during the month of October.


Main points

  • This year, while Mars’ closest approach to Earth was on October 6, the opposition happened on October 13, which will give the planet its “biggest, apparent size of the 2020s”, according to NASA.
  • Opposition is the event when the sun, Earth and an outer planet (Mars in this case) are lined up, with the Earth in the middle. The time of opposition is the point when the outer planet is typically also at its closest distance to the Earth for a given year, and because it is close, the planet appears brighter in the sky.
  • An opposition can occur anywhere along Mars’ orbit, but when it happens when the planet is also closest to the sun, it is also particularly close to the Earth.

When does opposition happen?

  • Earth and Mars orbit the sun at different distances (Mars is farther apart from the sun than Earth and therefore takes longer to complete one lap around the sun).
  • In fact, opposition can happen only for planets that are farther away from the sun than the Earth. In case of Mars, roughly every two years, the Earth passes between sun and Mars, this is when the three are arranged in a straight line.
  • Further, as the Earth and Mars orbit the sun, there comes a point when they are on the opposite sides of it, and hence very far apart. At its farthest, Mars is about 400 million km from the Earth.
  • In case of opposition, however, Mars and sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth. In other words, the Earth, sun and Mars all lie in a straight line, with the Earth in the middle

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