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PIB – 08 September 2021

CONTENTS

  1. GURU GRANTH SAHIB
  2. HEAT WAVE
  3. AGRICULTURE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

 

GURU GRANTH SAHIB

Focus: GS I- Medieval History

Why in News?

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the sacred occasion of the Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

About Guru Granth Sahib

  • The Guru Granth Sahib was first compiled by the Fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan Dev, in 1604 in the city of Amritsar.
  • Its second and last version was the handiwork of Guru Gobind Singh, and it was finalized at Damdama Sahib in the year 1705.
  • He added the hymns of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Ninth Master, and a couplet of his own to the volume wrought a century earlier.
  • One of the greatest glories of the Guru Granth Sahib is its catholic character.
  •  Perhaps it is the only scripture of its kind which contains within its sacred covers the songs, hymns and utterances of a wide variety of saints, sages and bards.
  • It is instructive to note that a fairly substantial part of the volume carries the compositions of Hindu bhaktas, Muslim divines, Sufi poets and other God-intoxicated souls.
  • The idea of Guru Arjan Dev was to affirm the fundamental unity of all religions, and the unitary character of all mystic experience.
  •  It may be observed that Guru Granth Sahib comprehends the compositions and utterances of the high-born Brahmins and the proud Kashatriyas as also of the so called lowly Shudras and the unlettered Jats. This was done at a time when the caste system in India had paralysed the conscience of man.
  • The revolutionary egalitarianism which such a step symbolized was, therefore, to become the creed of the Sikhs. Above all, a poetic and mystic collage bespeaks the essential humility of the Sikh mind, for humility has been given pride of place in the table of virtues drawn up by the Gurus. The Guru Granth Sahib, then, is a sui generis scripture in the world.
  •  In showing the path to spiritual salvation, the Guru Granth does not ignore the secular and creative side of man.

HEAT WAVE

Focus: GS I- Important Geophysical Phenomena

Why in News?

North-Western, Central, and further to south-central region of India are the new hotspot of intense heatwave events over the past half-century, said a study which found an increase in deadly Indian heat waves in recent years.

  • The study also highlights the need for developing effective heat action plans in the three heatwave hotspot regions with a focus on different vulnerabilities among the inhabitants

About Heat Wave

  • A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South Central parts of India.
  • Heat waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.
  • Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
 Criteria for Heat Waves
  • The heat wave is considered when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions.
  • If the normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40°C, then an increase of 5°C to 6°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition.
  • Further, an increase of 7°C or more from the normal temperature is considered as severe heat wave condition.
  • If the normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40°C, then an increase of 4°C to 5°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition. Further, an increase of 6°C or more is considered as severe heat wave condition.
  • Additionally, if the actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, a heat wave is declared.
 Health Impacts
  • The health impacts of Heat Waves typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
  • It also causes heat cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.
  • The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometimes resulting in death.
Reasons why India is experiencing more heat waves are:
  • Magnified effect of paved and concrete surfaces in urban areas and a lack of tree cover.
  • Urban heat island effects can make ambient temperatures feel 3 to 4 degrees more than what they are.
  • More heat waves were expected as globally temperatures had risen by an average 0.8 degrees in the past 100 years. Night-time temperatures are rising too.
  • Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becomingly increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
  • High intensity of UV rays in medium-high heat wave zone.
  • Combination of exceptional heat stress and a predominantly rural population makes India vulnerable to heat waves.

AGRICULTURE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

Focus: GS III- Agriculture

 Why in News?

On the 2nd day of the Chief Ministers’ conference on initiatives and schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Union Agriculture Minister emphasized that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is set up to drive infra investments and will facilitate and drive speedy sanctions through a user friendly online portal.

About Agriculture Infrastructure Fund:

  • It is a central sector scheme.
  • It is a part of the over Rs. 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Objective: To mobilize a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through incentives and financial support in order to improve agriculture infrastructure in the country.
  • The scheme provide financial assistance in the form of interest subvention and credit guarantee for setting Post Harvest Management (PHM) projects which will help better post harvest management and reduction in wastage
  • The funds will be provided for setting up of cold stores and chains, warehousing, silos, assaying, grading and packaging units, e-marketing points linked to e-trading platforms and ripening chambers, besides PPP projects for crop aggregation sponsored by central/state/local bodies.
  • Duration: Financial Year 2020 to 2029.
 Features:
  • Financial Support: Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Group (SHG), Farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs and Central/State agencies or Local Bodies sponsored by Public Private Partnership Projects.
  • Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with sanction of Rs. 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs. 30,000 crore each in next three financial years.
  • Moratorium for repayment may vary subject to minimum of 6 months and maximum of 2 years.
  • Interest Subvention: Loans will have interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs. 2 crore. This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.
  • Farmer Producer Organizations: In case of FPOs the credit guarantee may be availed from the facility created under FPO promotion scheme.
  • Management: The fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the Fund.
  • The National, State and District level monitoring committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.

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