PIB News 16th 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 releases commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of FAO

Hails the role of FAO in ensuring food security across the globe
Dedicates to the nation, 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of crops
Reforms in India show India's commitment towards Global Food Security, says PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi released commemorative coins of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of FAO today through video conferencing. He dedicated to the nation, 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of crops.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister greeted the people across the world who are constantly working to remove malnutrition. He said, our Kisan Saathi - our Annadata, our Agricultural Scientist, our Anganwadi ASHA workers, are the basis of the movement against malnutrition. While they have filled the granary of India with their hard work, they are also helping the government in reaching the poorest of the poor. He added, due to all these efforts, India is fighting a strong fight against malnutrition even in this crisis of Corona.

The Prime Minister said over the years, FAO helped to increase agricultural production and eradicate hunger all over the world, including India and has played a huge role in increasing nutrition and its service is respected by more than 130 crore Indians. He said this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Program is also a major achievement for the FAO. He remarked that India is happy with the partnership and engagement which has been historic.

The Prime Minister said the world food program was started by FAO under the leadership of Dr Binay Ranjan Sen when he was the Director General in FAO. He had felt the pain of famine and starvation very closely and the scale of his work is still useful for the whole world. He said the FAO has also closely watched India's fight against malnutrition in the past decades but its scope had many constraints. He said for reasons such as getting pregnant at a young age, lack of education, lack of information, inadequate access to drinking water, lack of cleanliness, etc. we could not get the expected results.

The Prime Minister remarked that with years of experience fresh efforts were made in the country after 2014. He said with an integrated approach Government took a holistic approach and ended all the silos to work on a multi-dimensional strategy. He listed the initiatives by the Government to fight malnutrition such as National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan), construction of toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission, Mission Rainbow, Jal Jeevan mission, distribution of low cost Sanitation pads, etc. He highlighted the outcome of such efforts like Gross Enrollment Ratio of girls exceeding the Ratio for boys, etc. He said important work is done to tackle malnutrition like promoting coarse grains and crops rich in nutrition like protein, iron, zinc, etc.

The Prime Minister expressed thanks to FAO for fully supporting India's proposal to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets. He said this will encourage intake of nutritious food, increase their availability further and benefit small farmers a lot. He said the small and medium farmers mostly grow coarse grains on their land where there is a problem of water and the land is not so fertile. He added this will benefit not only to India but the whole world.

The Prime Minister remarked the common variety of some crops lacks some micronutrients and thus bio-fortified varieties were developed to overcome these shortcomings. He added today 17 bio-fortified seed varieties of several local and traditional crops including wheat and paddy are being made available to the farmers, which is an important step to strengthen the nutrition campaign.

The Prime Minister said experts around the world were concerned about starvation & malnutrition in India owing to the Corona pandemic. He said amid these concerns, during the past 7-8 months, India has distributed food grains worth about Rs 1.5 crore to the 80 crore poor free of cost, to fight starvation & malnutrition. He added special care was taken to include rice or wheat along with lentils in the ration, as India’s commitment towards food security.

The Prime Minister said until 2014 the Food Security Act was in force only in 11 states and only after that it was implemented effectively in the entire country. He said while the whole world is struggling due to Corona, Indian farmers made a record production of food grains and the government also made new records in procurement of food grains like wheat, paddy and pulses. He said reforms are being done continuously in India which shows its commitment towards Global Food security. He listed various agricultural reforms being done to increase the income of farmers. He said the goal of the amendments made to the APMC Act is to make it more competitive. He added several steps have been taken to ensure that farmers get one and a half times the cost as MSP. MSP and government procurement are an important part of ensuring the country's food security. So it is natural for them to continue

The Prime Minister said to give strength to small farmers, a large network of Farmer Producer Organizations i.e. FPOs are being developed in the country. Grain wastage has always been a major problem in India and amendments in the Essential Commodities Act will change this condition. Now the government as well as private players would get more opportunity to build better infrastructure in villages.

The Prime Minister while elaborating about the amendment to APMC Act, said when the farmer makes an agreement with any private company or industry, the price of the produce will be decided even before sowing. It will also provide relief from the price fluctuations and will encourage new technology in farming. He added apart from giving more options to the farmer, legal protection has been given to the farmer. If the farmer wants to break the agreement for any reason, then he will not have to pay any penalty. But if the institution that compromises the farmer breaks the agreement, he will have to pay a fine. He said the agreement will be only on the yield and there will not be any kind of crisis on the land of the farmer. That is, every type of protection to the farmer has been ensured through these reforms.

The Prime Minister concluded when the Indian farmers become strong their income will increase, so the campaign against malnutrition will get equal strength. He wished that increasing synergy between India and FAO will give further momentum to the campaign.


(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.)

Gadkari inaugurates and lays foundation stones for 16 NH projects in Andhra Pradesh
Over 1400 km long Highways worth Rs 15,592 crore to boost the economy of the State
Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for 16 National Highways projects with a total length of 1411 kms worth Rs 15,592 crore in Andhra Pradesh. The event was presided by the Chief Minister Shri Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. Union MoSs Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh and Shri G Kishan Reddy, Ministers from the State, Members of Parliaments, MLAs and senior officers from the Centre and the State.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Gadkari said that the length of National Highways in Andhra Pradesh before May 2014 was 4193 Km, which has now increased to 6860 Km. Thus, there has been increase of 2667 Km (64%) in NH length during past 6 years. He informed that works costing Rs 34,100 crore are under DPR Stage and targeted for completion by 2024, while works costing Rs. 25,440 crore are under implementation. He said, 50-60% progress has been achieved in projects costing Rs 18,100 crore. The Minister invited the Chief Minister to Delhi at an early date to discuss and resolve pending issues. He assured his total support in sanctioning maximum number of developmental projects for the State.

He informed that 5000 Km of National Highways are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the State.  In addition, 400 Km of Port Connectivity Roads will also be developed under Bharatmala Pariyojana. He said, The Bharatmala Pariyojana was conceptualized through a scientific study of freight traffic movement between key origin-destination pairs to enable efficient freight and passenger movement. 35,000 km of National Highways are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the country.

The Minister said, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision for a New India, development of world-class transport infrastructure has been prioritized, through initiatives such as the Bharatmala Pariyojana, India’s largest ever infrastructure development programme. Many flagship corridors such as Delhi Mumbai Expressway, Delhi Amritsar Katra Expressway, Chennai – Bengaluru Expressway, Anantapur – Amaravati Expressway etc. are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana.

Shri Gadkari informed that the 335 Km Anantpur - Amaravati Expressway is being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana. The access control Expressway improving connectivity of Capital Region, Coastal and Northern region of Andhra Pradesh and will greatly enable the economic prosperity of the region. The Expressway has 16 Packages and is being developed with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore. It connects Amaravati, new capital city of Andhra Pradesh with Anantapuramu of Rayalaseema Region and it provides a major connectivity between NH-44 & NH-16 which are lifeline in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

The Minister said, the Bangalore – Chennai Expressway with a length of 262 Km is also one of the Expressways being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana. This access control Expressway, improving connectivity between Bangalore and Chennai, will greatly enable the economic prosperity of the region. Three packages with a total length of 85 Km are being developed in the State of Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 5,200 Crore. The Works have been sanctioned and construction is being initiated in another 16 projects of length 878 km at an investment of Rs 7,585 Crore.  It includes construction of Western Side Benz Circle Flyover in the city limits of Vijayawada.  

Shri Gadkari said, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is endeavouring and committed to ensure expedited completion of these projects to enable economic prosperity of the state. He said, the State Government has extended its co-operation in sharing the land acquisition cost for the Amaravati – Anantapur Expressway.  He requested the State Government to continue this co-operation for the implementation of other projects too, resolving the issues of the Toll Plazas and fast disbursement of compensation for land acquisition.

The Minister informed that projects with total length of 637 kms costing Rs 8306 crore are likely to be completed during 2020-21. These include 8 projects with road length of 150 kms at a cost of Rs 3850 crore by NHAI, and 19 projects with road length of 487 kms at a cost of Rs 4456 crore by MoRTH. Further, projects with total length of 535 Km costing Rs 11,712 crore are to be awarded during the current FY. These include 4 projects with road length of 217 kms at a cost of Rs 9071 crore by NHAI, and 9 projects with road length of 318 kms at a cost of Rs 2641 crore by MoRTH. Another 2371 Km projects costing Rs 34,133 crore are in DPR stage. These include 10 projects with road length of 713 kms at a cost of Rs 19559 crore by NHAI, 24 PC projects with road length of 404 kms at a cost of Rs 7004 crore, and 20 projects with road length of 1254 kms at a cost of Rs 7570 crore by MoRTH.

Chief Minister Shri Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy thanked the Union Minister for giving consent to various proposals sent by the State. He said, the State needs continued support of the Centre for ensuring enhanced progress of the people. He pointed out that sanctions for approved projects during first tenure of the NDA were still awaited. The Chief Minister also suggested eight road lengths to be taken up on priority in the state.

Union MoS for RTH Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh said, attention has been given to make Andhra Pradesh a prosperous State. He said, Andhra Pradesh is a hub where a large number of roads pass. Development of such projects will bring prosperity to State. He congratulated all those involved in these projects. Union MoS for Home Affairs Shri G Kishan Reddy expressed hope that more projects will come in near future, making Andhra Pradesh a happy and prosperous State.




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