21 May 2020 Daily current affairs

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 In 2 Schemes worth Rs 30,000 crore, 40% of the Funding from States


  • 2 schemes – Pradhan Mantri Matysa Sampada Yojana (PMSY) and Scheme for Formalisation  of Micro Food Processing Enterprise (FME)- which have been launched under the campaign of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”, were announced on 20th May 2020.

Pradhan Mantri Matysa Sampada Yojana

  • Though currently it has been announced in the Third Tranche of the Rs.20.97 Lakh Crore stimulus package offered in “Atma Nirbhar Campaign”, the scheme was formally announced in the budget session of 2019-20.
  • It focuses on bringing  “Blue Revolution” in the country through the sustainable use of fisheries resources of India. It aims at “doubling fishermen income by 2024”.
  • The total estimated investments in the scheme have been pegged at Rs. 20,050 crores. Out of this, Rs. 9,407 crore is the centre’s share, Rs. 4,880 crores will come out of States’ pockets and Rs.5,763 crores will be the share from the beneficiaries.
  • The Scheme has two components – 1) Central Sector Scheme and 2) Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Within the framework of CS – contribution of the centre will be 60%, while states’ will be 40% and for Himalayan and North Eastern States, Centre-State share will be in the ratio of 90:10 respectively. For Union Territories, the centre will fund this scheme on a 100% basis. Under the CSS framework, the Centre will bear 100% funding under this scheme.
  • The beneficiaries – Individual or Group, including the National Fisheries Development Board- will receive assistance from the Centre, wherein 40% of the unit /project cost will be provided for General Category and 60% will be provided for Women/SC/ST.
  • The scheme is to be implemented for a period of 5 years from FY2020-21 and FY2024-25. The scheme will be implemented through the Department of Fisheries and try to build a stable supply chain, by making a structural change in infrastructure and modernisation, post-harvest management and quality control.

Blue Revolution in India

  • Globally, “Blue Revolution” had begun for the first time in China. It is a campaign which seeks to tap the potential of the Fisheries sector in an economy and transforming it into a modern profitable sector.
  • India is the 2nd largest producer of Fishes in the world and fisheries contribution in the total agricultural export from India has considerably increased in the last 5 years or so, making it India’s single largest agricultural export. Indian boosts of an 8,118 km coastline and is well endowed with ponds, rivers and lakes which is seen as a means to increase the potential of the fisheries sector of India.
  • India launched its first “Blue Revolution” strategy in the 7th Five-year plan (1985-1990) – leading to the establishment of  Fish Farmers Development Agency. During the 8th Five year plan, Intensive Marine Fisheries’ Programme was launched. Fishing harbours were established around this time at Vishakhapatnam, Port Blair and Kochi.
  • Blue Revolution Version 2.0 or Neel Kranti – was launched by the present Government of India, to help develop and manage the fisheries sector in India. It also intends to expand the sector into the hinterland of the country. Aiming to achieve the targets of modernizing the fisheries sector, doubling of the income of men engaged in it and making fisheries an additional source of income for farmers (especially those practising it in the hinterland) are its main goals.
  • Presently it is being implemented by the National Fisheries Development Board, which was established in 2006. The Board functions under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

Scheme for Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (FME)

  • Its estimated outlay is pegged at Rs. 10,000 crores; its funding is shared by the Centre and State in a ratio of 60:40.
  • It is a new scheme which will be implemented over a 5 year period, from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
  • The scheme is to be monitored by the Centre through an Inter-Ministerial  Empowered Group whose chairperson will be the Minister of Food Processing Industries. A state-level committee will be formed to review and sanction setting up micro-units(by SHG, FPO and Cooperatives) and their expansion
  • The scheme will focus on “Cluster” based approach and engage with Perishable products. 2,00,000 micro-enterprises are to be assisted with credit linked subsidy. Micro enterprises will get credit-linked subsidy at 35 per cent of the eligible project cost with a ceiling of Rs. 10 lakh.
  • The scheme will be inviting participation through a National Portal.
  • SHG will be provided with seed capital to set up such units; Rs. 4 lakh will be given for purchasing tools and necessary implements.
  • With 25 lakh unregistered food processing enterprises which constitute 98% of the sector and are unorganized and informal and nearly 66 % of these units are located in rural areas and about 80% of them are family-based enterprises- suffer due to a number of challenges including the inability to access credit, high cost of institutional credit, lack of access to modern technology, inability to integrate with the food supply chain and compliance with the health &safety standards. This scheme will focus on the eradication of these issues at the nearest possible.

SOURCE: Indian Express

India faces Border Challenges on two Fronts


  • India is currently facing disputes along two fronts along its borders. Firstly, India has condemned Nepal’s new political Map which claims “Kalpani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh” as Nepal’s sovereign territories. This section of area has been under dispute and this new political map as been termed as “Unilateral Act” on Nepal’s part, according to Indian officials of External Affairs. This map was unveiled by the Prime Minister of Nepal, K.P.Oli; this was seen as a gesture to re-buff India’s claim on the disputed territory by the inauguration of Dharchula-Lipulekh Road,  which Nepal thought to be an assertive claim on India’s part on the disputed land.
  • Nepal with the release of its new political map has claimed the inclusion of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani within its border, which comprises an area of 310 sq.km and declared that its total area will now be 1,47,491 sq.km in total.
  • On the second front, China has accused the India Army of patrolling areas which are not within its territorial claims, blocking China’s patrol teams at two places within Chinese Jurisdiction – Baijing and Lujin duan section on Indo-Sino border and attempting to “Unilaterally” trying to change the status-quo of Line of Actual Control. According to the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of China, Indian troops have been accused of creating skirmishes along the western section of the Indo-Sino border and Sikkim Section by entering into Chinese territories.
  • Matters like these between the countries have escalated in the past but India- China engaged in diplomatic talks to resolve such border disputes. The most serious incident was the Doklam Face-off in 2017. Recently, incidents of such skirmishes were reported along the Pangong Tso Lake (Eastern Ladakh), Demchok and Galwan river nalah.
  • Chinese authorities have cited displeasure at the construction of a road which branches off the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie(DSDBO)Road. This construction falls in the Galwan river area, well within the Indian domain of control but Chinese discontented attitude has lead to an increase in the movement of Chinese troops to Eastern Ladakh area. Galwan River area is not a part of the disputed territory and Indian officials have failed to understand the reason behind Chinese actions as of yet.
  • The DSDBO connects Daulat Beg Oldie (at Karakoram base) with Shylok and Darbuk. It was completed a year ago. 255 km in length, it runs along Shylok and Tangste River.

Indo-Sino Border

  • The 3,448 km Indo- Sino Border has never been formally demarcated and has been the inheritance of the British Raj Era. It is divided into 3 sectors- Western, Middle & Eastern.
  • In the Western Sector, the dispute centres around the area of Aksai Chin. According to the Johnson Line proposed by British in the 1860s’, Aksai Chin belongs to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir while this area is claimed by China as its own as well. The Middle sector dispute is a smaller one and have been formally addressed by both countries and resolved. The dispute in the Eastern Sector is surrounding the Macmohan line; here the Twang tract has been occupied by India since 1951 according to the Chinese Government. However, going by the agreement signed between, British Government and Tibetan authorities in 1913-14 during the Shimla Conference which ceded Twang area to Imperial Britain and hence is claimed by India as its own. The Macmohan line has never been recognized by China and is termed as the impact of imperialist aggression.

Indo-Nepal Border Dispute Area

The issue between Indo-Nepal Border

  • The problem of identification of boundary limits in the region is interlinked to the identification of the source of the River “Makhali or Kali”. India claims that the source of the River is at Kalapani, where it is joined by many tributaries while Nepal claims that the source of origin of the river is at Lipulek pass where most of the river’s tributaries originate.

Source: The Hindu & Indian Express

New Scheme launched for Chattisgarh Farmers


  • A new Income Support Programme has been launched by the state government of Chattisgarh called “Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana” on the 19th death anniversary of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • The scheme will cover Rice, Sugarcane and Maize farmers initially  and expand to include other crop producers later on.
  • Under the scheme, the first instalment worth Rs. 1,500 crores, is going to be distributed among 18 lakh farmers of the state, 80% of whose beneficiaries will be small and marginal farmers. The annual cost of the scheme is pegged at Rs.5,700 crores.
  • Rice and Maize producers will be paid Rs.10,000 per acre while Sugarcane producers will get Rs.13,000 per acre. This money will be transferred in 4 installments.
  • The motive behind the scheme is to provide farmers with additional income to increase rural demand. This amount can be re-invested by farmers into farming activities which needs modernization of techniques like increase in irrigational and other supplements. Currently, the farmers engage in agricultural activities for just one cropping season, which can change with the help of benefits received under this scheme.

Addressing Agricultural Distress in India

  • Indian Agriculture witnesses the problem of high fluctuating prices and is under distress from a very long time. Low contribution of this sector to the National G.D.P has been a matter of grave concern for policymakers. Indian agriculture deals with issues like erratic monsoons, collapsing prices of products, a decline in the average size of the farms, fragmented supply chains, and lack of easy credit-with complete absence of private sector, has left the sector in a worrisome state.
  • To help farmers in the agricultural sector, the Indian Government, at Centre and State levels have engaged in providing them additional income support.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi

  • The additional income support through this scheme is being given to small and marginal farmers, by the Centre.
  • Farmers with landholdings of upto 2 hectares or less,  under this scheme are given assured income support worth Rs.6,000 per year via the Direct Benefit Transfer model.

Ryatu Bandhu Pathakam, Telangana

  • This scheme cover 31 districts of the state of Telangana. The transfer under this scheme is made twice a year, covering 2 agricultural cycles, i.e. Rabi and Kharif seasons.
  • Under the scheme, Rs.4,000 is given to each farmer, per acre.

Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) Scheme, Odisha

  • Under the scheme, 10 lakh landless farmers will be provided with Rs. 12,500 to help them take up agricultural activities like goat rearing, fisheries kit, mushroom cultivation and beekeeping etc.
  • Crop loans worth Rs. 50,000 will be provided interest-free to beneficiaries; all farmers will be provided Rs. 10,000 per family for cultivation.
  • The families under the scheme will be given amount Rs.5000 in two installment, i.e one in the Kharif season or on Akshaya Tritiya and the other in the Rabi season or on the day of Nuakhai. The scheme will be implemented for 6 cropping seasons between 2018-19 and 2021-22.

Source: The Hindu

Alternative Dwarfing genes in Wheat can help reduce Delhi’s Air Pollution

  • Pune based, Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (India) has mapped alternative dwarfing genes in wheat which might help eliminate the problem of stubble burning.
  • In the regions, where farmers have to sow wheat at the onset of the Kharif season, they are known to resort to the technique of burning down of leftover stubble from the previous cycle of cultivation. This has become a matter of concern, as it causes high levels of Air Pollution every year during the onset of winters, especially in the Delhi-NCR region.
  • The alternative dwarfing wheat varieties that have been mapped can be sown as deep as 7-8 cm, whereas earlier sowing  was limited to 4-5 cm (shallow sowing), hence no ground clearing in the form of stubble burning would be needed. Now it is possible for farmers to sow wheat under rice stubble-retained conditions.
  • The two alternative dwarfing genes Rht14 and Rht18 in wheat. These genes are associated with better seedling vigour and longer coleoptiles (sheath protecting the young shoot tip).
  • The deeper sowing of wheat seeds to avail advantage of residual moisture in the soil under dry environments and hence require less irrigation than current varieties.
  • The presently available semi-dwarf wheat varieties, which were explored during the Green Revolution, carry conventional Rht1 dwarfing alleles (a variant form of a given gene) and produce optimum yields under high-fertility irrigated conditions. However, they are not well adapted for deeper sowing conditions in dry environments due to shorter coleoptiles, and low early vigour often results in reduced seedling emergence. Moreover, crop stands of Rht1 wheat also remain poor where previous crop residues pose a barrier for seedling emergence due to the short coleoptiles.

Source: PIB

International Tea Day

  • 1st International Tea day is being observed today, i.e 21st May 2020.
  • It will be observed annually according to the United Nations.
  • The day will help raise awareness about the long history about one of the most favourite drink in the world, its cultural root and economic significance.
  • Tea likely originated in the region encompassing northeast India, north Burma, Yunnan and Tibet, as a medicinal drink. An early credible record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD, in a medical text written by Hua Tuo, a Chinese physician.
  • The British introduced tea culture into India in 1836 and into Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1867. At first they used seeds from China, but later seeds from the clonal Assam plant were used.”

Only black tea was produced until recent decades mostly in India, except in Kangra (present-day Himachal Pradesh) which produced green tea for exporting to central Asia, Afghanistan, and neighboring countries.

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