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PIB 12th June 2021




Focus: GS III- Agriculture

Why in News?

To empower the farmers through Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) scheme, Government of India has released funds for various activities of Farm Mechanization.

About  Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization

Nodal: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare

  • The Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) was introduced in April 2014 with an aim to have inclusive growth of farm mechanisation to boost productivity.
  • The scheme is implemented in all the states, to promote the usage of farm mechanization and increase the ratio of farm power to cultivable unit area up to 2.5 kW/ha.
  • Agricultural Mechanization plays a vital role in optimizing the use of land, water energy resources, manpower and other inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc.
  • Increasing the reach of farm mechanization to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low.
  • Promoting ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ to offset the adverse economies of scale arising due to small landholding and high cost of individual ownership.
  • Creating hubs for hi-tech & high value farm equipments.
  • Creating awareness among stakeholders through demonstration and capacity building activities.
  • Ensuring performance testing and certification at designated testing centers located all over the country.
Aim and Need SMAM scheme
  • To boost up mechanization in the agriculture sector improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs
  • For modern agriculture mechanization enhance the productivity of crops besides reducing human drudgery and cost of cultivation.
  • Mechanization also helps in improving the utilization efficiency of other inputs.
  • To boost the income of farmers and growth of the agricultural economy.
  • Agricultural Mechanization is one of the key drivers for the sustainable development of the agriculture sector.
Funding Provisions
  • SMAM will have Central Sector Schemes under component No.1 & 2 (given above) in which Government of India contributes 100%.
  • It will be a Centrally Sponsored Schemes are covered under component No. 3 to 8 (given above) including Administrative and Flexi funds in which Government of India contributes 60% and states contribute 40% except North eastern states and Himalayan regions states where it is 90 %(Central Share) and 10% (State Share). For Union Territories, it is 100% centre share.


Focus: GS II- Science and Technology

Why in News ?

For the first time in the country, through the I-STEM portal academic users in India will now be able to access the COMSOL Multiphysics software suite at no cost.

Key Facts

  • Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM) the national web portal for sharing R&D facilities and the COMSOL Group headquartered in Sweden have entered a collaborative arrangement for this.
  • Suite is hosted on the cloud server to provide user friendly access from anywhere in India.
  • The arrangement is expected to assist many students and researchers in the country
  • Especially those in the more remote and less-endowed institutions
  • Thereby enhancing learning outcomes and promoting R&D efforts across India.

Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM)

  • An initiative of Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India under the PM-STIAC mission.
  • The goal is to strengthen the R&D ecosystem.
  • Done by connecting researchers with resources in part by promoting technologies and scientific equipment development indigenously.
  • Also by providing necessary supplies and supports to researchers.
  • This will enable them to access existing R&D facilities through the I-STEM web portal.
  • The portal hosts the database of facilities across India.
  • Presently, the portal lists more than 25,000 pieces of equipment from 850 institutions across the country.
  • It has more than 20,000 Indian researchers.
  • The portal also features a Digital Catalogue of indigenously developed technologies.
Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM STIAC) 
  • It is a 21 member advisory council that advises the PM on science, technology, as well as innovation. It also coordinates implementation of PMs scientific vision.
  • It aids in the formulation and timely implementation of major science and technology missions and evolves interdisciplinary technology development programmes.
  • It also advises the government on developing ‘Clusters of Excellence’ in science including city-based R&D clusters.
  • It also aims to bring together all science and technology partners from academia and institutes to industries near such centres or cities.
COMSOL Multiphysics software
  • Developed by the COMSOL Group is used worldwide as an indispensable tool for a variety of computer simulations for R&D.
  • General-purpose simulation software package for modelling designs, devices, and processes in all fields of engineering, manufacturing, and scientific research.
  • One can also turn the resulting models into applications for instruction, especially in classes for undergraduates and graduate students.
  • A variety of simulation and modelling studies that can be applied in any physical system.

June 2024