PIB News 14th Oct, 2020


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

PM to release commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of FAO
PM to also dedicate to the Nation 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops

On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 16th October 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will release a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the long-standing relation of India with FAO. Prime Minister will also dedicate to the Nation 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops.

The event marks the highest priority accorded by the government to agriculture and nutrition, and is a testament of the resolve to completely eliminate hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition. It will be witnessed by Anganwadis, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Organic and Horticulture Missions across the country.  Union Agriculture Minister, Finance Minister and WCD Minister will also be present on the occasion.

 India and FAO

The journey of FAO in making the vulnerable classes and masses stronger, economically and nutritionally, has been unparalleled. India has had a historic association with FAO. Indian Civil Service Officer Dr. Binay Ranjan Sen was the Director General of FAO during 1956-1967.  The World Food Programme, which has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, was established during his time. India’s proposals for the International Year of Pulses in 2016 and the International Year of Millets 2023 have also been endorsed by FAO.

Combating malnutrition

India has rolled out an ambitious POSHAN Abhiyaan targeting over 100 million people with the aim to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anaemia, and low birth weight. Malnutrition is a global problem with two billion people suffering from micronutrient deficiency. Nearly 45% of deaths among children are linked to malnutrition. Appropriately, it is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. 

Aligning with the international priority, the development of nutritionally rich varieties of crops with elevated levels of micronutrients iron, zinc, calcium, total protein, quality of protein with high lysine and tryptophan, anthocyanin, provitamin A, and oleic acid, and reduced level of anti-nutritional factors etc. has been accorded top priority by the government. The National Agricultural Research System under the leadership of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) developed 53 such varieties during the last five years.  There was only one biofortified variety developed prior to 2014. 

Transforming Indian thali into nutri-thali

The 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops to be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister will have up to 3.0-fold increase in nutritional value. The rice variety CR Dhan 315 has high zinc;  wheat variety HI 1633 rich in protein, iron and zinc, HD 3298 rich in protein and iron and DBW 303 and DDW 48 rich in protein in wheat; Ladhowal Quality Protein Maize Hybrid 1, 2 and 3 rich in lysine and tryptophan; CFMV1 and 2 of finger millet rich in calcium, iron and zinc; CLMV1 of little Millet rich in iron and zinc; Pusa Mustard 32 with low erucic acid; Girnar 4 and 5 of groundnut with enhanced oleic acid and yam variety Sri Neelima and DA 340 with enhanced zinc, iron and anthocyanin content.

These varieties, along with other food ingredients, will transform the normal Indian thali into nutri-thali. These varieties have been developed by utilizing the local landraces and farmer’s varieties. The high zinc rice has been developed from landraces of Assam rice collected from Garo hills and those of finger millets from Gujarat collections of Dang district.

ICAR has started Nutri-Sensitive Agricultural Resources and Innovations (NARI) programme for promoting family farming linking agriculture to nutrition, nutri-smart villages for enhancing nutritional security and location specific nutrition garden models are being developed and promoted by KVKs to ensure access to locally available, healthy and diversified diet with adequate macro and micronutrients.

The production of bio-fortified crop varieties will be upscaled and linked with government programmes of mid-day meal, Anganwadi etc. to reduce malnutrition and make India Kuposhan Mukta through naturally enriched food ingredients. This will also usher in higher income of farmers and will open new avenues of entrepreneurship development.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Cabinet approves Special Package for UT of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved a Special Package worth Rs. 520 crore in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh for a period of five years till FY 2023-24 and ensure funding of DeendayalAntyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) in the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh on a demand driven basis without linking allocation with poverty ratio during this extended period.

This will ensure sufficient funds under the Mission, as per need to the UTs and is also in line with Government of India's aim to universalize all centrally sponsored beneficiary-oriented schemes in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh in a time bound manner.

This is based on the outcomes of the evaluation pointing to potential of the Mission to improve the quality of life of rural households and women's empowerment and given the changed circumstances in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh.

DeendayalAntyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a centrally sponsored programme that aims at eliminating rural poverty through promotion of multiple livelihoods for the rural poor households across the country. The launch of DAY-NRLM in June 2011 to address rural poverty marks a paradigm shift in poverty alleviation programmes.  DAY-NRLM seeks to reach out to all rural poor households, estimated at about 10 crore households, and impact their livelihoods through universal social mobilization by inter alia organizing one-woman member from each rural poor household into Self Help Groups (SHGs), their training and capacity building, facilitating their micro-livelihoods plans, and enabling them to implement their livelihoods plans through accessing financial resources from their own institutions and the banks.

The Mission involves working with the community institutions through community professionals in the spirit of self-help. This is the unique proposition of DAY-NRLM and that is how it is different from the previous poverty eradication programmes. The other distinguishing features of the programme is that it is implemented in a Mission mode by special purpose vehicles (autonomous state societies) with dedicated implementation support units at the national, state, district and block levels, using professional human resources in order to provide continuous and long-term handholding support to each rural poor family.

Background:

DAY-NRLM has been implemented in the erstwhile state of J&K by the Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKSRLM) as "Umeed" programme. As per the current funds allocation procedure under DAY-NRLM based on inter-se poverty allocations among states, the share of J&K was less than 1% of the annual allocation under DAY-NRLM. In order to ensure sufficient funding support under the Mission for J&K and to ensure adequate coverage of the rural vulnerable population in the state, Gol had approved a Special Package under DAY-NRLM for the State of Jammu & Kashmir to cover all the rural vulnerable households in the State (estimated at two-thirds of the total number of rural households) within a definite time frame of five years from FY 2013-14 to FY 2017-18. The Cabinet also approved allocation of funds to the State under DAY-NRLM on a need basis for implementation of the Special Package without linking it with poverty ratio. Originally approved financial outlay for the proposal was of the order of Rs.755.32 crores (Central share 679.78 crores) for the five-year period.

Due to various reasons and the disturbed conditions in the State, the Special Package as approved in May 2013, and subsequently extended by a year to up to 2018-19, could not be fully implemented. A detailed third-party evaluation of the achievements of the programme in J&K and assessment of the preparedness of the State Mission to implement the special package further was conducted by Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand, Gujarat in 2019. The evaluation has brought out many good outcomes of implementation of the DAY-NRLM in the erstwhile state. These included increase in income levels, improved assets base, creating new/multiple livelihoods opportunities for women, higher savings, higher investments for productive purposes, productive utilization of loans etc. In addition, it has had a positive impact on resolving community level issues, increased transparency in beneficiary selection, social harmony and mutual help. A large cadre of community resource persons and social capital in the form of SHGs members and officer bearers has also been created. 

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches second phase of “Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna” for underprivileged Thalassemic patients
Support Extended to Cover Aplastic Anaemia patients for 200 such patients
Dr. Harsh Vardhan recollects “Tears of Gratitude” while documenting Beneficiaries of Prime Minister’s ‘Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana’ scheme that similarly reduces Financial Burden of Major Health Ailments

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched the second phase of “Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna” for the underprivileged Thalassemic patients, virtually from Nirman Bhawan today.

Launched in 2017, this scheme is a Coal India CSR funded Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) program that aims to provide a one-time cure opportunity for Haemoglobinopathies like Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Disease for patients who have a matched family donor. The CSR initiative was targeted to provide financial assistance to a total of 200 patients by providing a package cost not exceeding Rs. 10 lakhs per HSCT.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated the doctors of SGPGI Lucknow, PGI Chandigarh, AIIMS Delhi, CMC Vellore, Tata Medical centre, Kolkata and Rajeev Gandhi Cancer Institute, Delhi for the successful transplantation of 135 children without charging any physician fee. He stated that “Data on the prevalence of silent carriers for various Haemoglobinopathies show that it is 2.9-4.6% for β-Thalassemia, while it can be as high as 40% for sickle cell anaemia especially among the tribal population. Haemoglobin variants like HBE in eastern India can be as common as 3-50% which calls for more attention to these diseases.” He also acknowledged CMC, Ludhiana and Narayan Hrudayalaya, Bangalore who have agreed to provide this advanced care therapy from 2020.

Expressing gratitude to Coal India and their CSR team for providing such opportunity to the BPL patients suffering from haematological disorders and extending the support for another two years from 2020, Dr. Harsh Vardhan mentioned the issue of high Out-of-Pocket-Expenditure on health services in India, “People go bankrupt selling ancestral land and the last property paying for their treatment. It is precisely that pain that moved Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi ji to introduce the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana for targeted populace.” “We had met beneficiaries of the scheme while documenting them and they had tears of gratitude for this valuable support in midst of the gloom in their lives,” he added.

Expressing satisfaction that the scheme has been extended to cover Aplastic Anaemia patients for a total of 200 such patients from this year, he said, “Such cases can be prevented by counselling using the Ayushman Bharat –Health & Wellness Centres network. We have made Blood Transfusion facilities available in every district hospital while some districts also offer the facility in health centres at sub-district level.”

Sh. Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Smt. Vandana Gurnani, AS&MD (NHM), Sh. Pramod Agarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, Coal India and other senior officials of the Health Ministry and Coal India were present on the occasion.

From the medical community, Dr. Vikram Mathews, HOD Hematology, CMC Vellore, Dr Soniya Nityanand, HOD Hematology, SGPGI Lucknow, Dr Dinesh Burrani, HOD Hematology, RGCI, Dr Pankaj Malhotra, HOD Hematology, PGI Chandigarh, Dr.  Manoranjan Mahapatra, HOD Hematology, AIIMS New Delhi, Dr. Mammen Chandy, HOD Hematology, Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata, Dr Sunil Bhatt, HOD Hematology pediatric, Narayan Hrudayalaya , Bangalore, Dr. Joseph John, HOD Hematology, CMC Ludhiana and many children affected by Thalassemia along with their parents joined the programme virtually. 

 

(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

Collation of India’s hydrogen & fuel cells research status launched
Hydrogen as an energy source will play a key role in transforming climate-neutral systems over the next few decades

A compilation of ongoing research activities in the country related to hydrogen being carried out by several scientists, industry, utilities, and other stakeholders from R&D laboratories and academia was launched by Secretary, Department of Science and Technology Professor Ashutosh Sharma recently.

The compilation titled India Country Status Report on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells was an outcome of a brainstorming discussions and presentations on various issues for developing programmes and strategies to accelerate the ushering in of hydrogen economy as part of India’s commitment as a participating country in Mission Innovation Renewable and Clean Hydrogen Challenge.

Greater utilization of renewable in our energy mix is our policy objective to achieve decarbonization. While there are several pathways for decarbonisation varying in time frames, Hydrogen produced from renewables is considered as the cleanest energy source. Hydrogen as an energy source will play a key role in transforming climate-neutral systems over the next few decades.

Hydrogen has high energy content per unit mass, which is three times higher than gasoline. Hydrogen is being used for energy applications with suitable fuel cells. However, in order to make renewable hydrogen a viable option, several key challenges related to materials, including new material development, electrolytes, storage, safety, and standards, need to be addressed. Since hydrogen technologies can help to reduce global warming, further acceleration of efforts is critical to ensuring a significant share of hydrogen in the energy system in the coming decades.

Two key developments have contributed to the growth of hydrogen in recent years-- the cost of hydrogen supply from renewables has come down and continues to fall, while the urgency of greenhouse gas emission mitigation has increased, and many countries have begun to take action to decarbonise their economies.

Hydrogen can help tackle various critical energy challenges, decarbonise a range of sectors including intensive and long-haul transport, chemicals, and iron and steel, where it is proving difficult to meaningfully reduce emissions and also help improve air quality and strengthen energy security. In addition, it increases flexibility in power systems. It is one of the best options for storing energy from renewable and looks poised to become the lowest-cost option for storing large quantities of electricity over days, weeks, or even months.


 










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