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PIB 15th September

Contents

  1. Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Ministry: Written Replies
  2. Cyclone Warning Services and ACWCs
  3. New Healthcare Scheme for Covid-19 Victims
  4. Development Action Plan for SCs, Overseas Scholarships

AGRICULTURE & FARMERS WELFARE MINISTRY: WRITTEN REPLIES

Focus: GS-III Agriculture, Indian Economy

Introduction to Steps taken regarding Agriculture Research

  • To promote agricultural research and education, and to make the country self- reliant in the agriculture sector, DARE/ICAR has developed a country wide network of more than 100 Agricultural Research Institutes, 75 Agricultural Universities ably supported by a network of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) at the district level mandated with technology assessment and demonstration for wider application and capacity development.
  • The institutes are developing and promoting high yielding varieties and technologies for higher production, reducing farm input (manpower, seed, fertilizer and water) and improving the income of farmers.
  • Due to the varieties of crops, improved breeds of livestock,  technologies and production practices developed by ICAR/NARS ably complemented by the programmes  and policies developed and implemented by the Government, the total production (2019-20) of food grains, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, horticultural produce, milk and fish has reached higher benchmarks thereby making India self-reliant or surplus in most of these commodities.

Study on Cultivation of GM Crops

  • Bt Cotton is the ONLY Genetically Modified (GM) crop that has been approved for commercial cultivation in 2002 by the Government of India.
  • Long term studies were conducted by ICAR on the impact of Bt cotton which did not show any adverse effect on soil, microflora and animal health.
  • With regard to Bt Brinjal resistant to brinjal shoot fly no further action on commercialization has been taken due to 10 years moratorium imposed on GM crops by the Technical Expert Committee (TEC) appointed by the Supreme Court.
  • Recently the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), MoEF&CC, Govt. of India has again allowed biosafety research field trials of two new transgenic varieties of indigenously developed Bt Brinjal in eight states during 2020-23 only after taking no-objection certificate (NOC) from states concerned and confirmation of availability of isolated stretch of land for this purpose.
  • GM mustard Dhara Mustard Hybrid is pending for commercial release as GEAC has advised to generate complete safety assessment data on environmental bio-safety, especially effects on beneficial insect species.
  • The Government of India has very strict guidelines to test and evaluate the agronomic value of the GM crops so as to protect the interests of the farmers.

National Research Centre on Camels

For setting up of a branch in Gujarat of National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC), Bikaner, an appropriate size of land and other resources on nominal cost/lease basis is desired from the Government of Gujarat.

Steps to protect Kharai camels:

  1. Kharai camel has been characterized, registered and gazette notified as breed by DARE/ICAR.
  2. NRCC has signed an MoU with Kamdhenu University, Gujarat for further breed conservation and development by:
    • Training of farmers for scientific camel husbandry;
    • Organizing Scientist-farmers interaction meetings;
    • Holding animal health camps;
    • Providing technical support for development of the entrepreneurship towards the camel milk.

Following is being carried out by NRCC, Bikaner to protect double humped camel in Ladakh:

  1. Camel health management by organizing health camps in Nubra valley.
  2. Nutritional management by utilizing local feed resources.

CYCLONE WARNING SERVICES AND ACWCS

Focus: GS-III Disaster Management

Introduction

  • In order to cater to the needs of Cyclone Warning Services and Marine weather services, there are seven Warning Centres covering the east & west coasts of our country.
  • Among these, three are Area Cyclone Warning Centres (ACWCs) located at Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata and remaining four are Cyclone Warning Centres (CWCs) located at Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar.
  • The Government of India has initiated the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) with a view to address cyclone risks in the country.

National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP)

  • The overall objective of the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) is to undertake suitable structural and non-structural measures to mitigate the effects of cyclones in the coastal states and UTs of India.
  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will implement the Project in coordination with participating State Governments and the National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM).
  • The Project has identified 13 cyclone prone States and Union Territories (UTs), with varying levels of vulnerability. These States/UT have further been classified into two categories,based on the frequency of occurrence of cyclone,size of population and the existing institutional mechanism for disaster management.

The Project development objective of the NCRMP is to reduce vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclone and other hydro meteorological hazards through

  1. improved early warning dissemination systems
  2. enhanced capacity of local communities to respond to disasters
  3. improved access to emergency shelter, evacuation, and protection against wind storms, flooding and storm surge in high areas
  4. strengthening DRM capacity at central, state and local levels in order to enable mainstreaming of risk mitigation measures into the overall development agenda.

DEVELOPMENT ACTION PLAN FOR SCS, OVERSEAS SCHOLARSHIPS

Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Introduction to DAPSC

  • As a part of the socio-economic and financial inclusion strategy of the Government to ensure that all segments of the society, particularly the Scheduled Castes, are benefited and adequate funds are allocated for their development, the concept of Development Action Plan for SCs (DAPSC – earlier known as Allocation for Welfare of SCs or SCSP) is being implemented by the Government so that targeted financial and physical benefits can accrue to the Scheduled Castes.
  • Under DAPSC, certain percentage of funds are earmarked by Ministry/Department wise exclusively for the welfare of SCs, for implementing identified schemes/programmes.
  • As per the Ministry of Finance guidelines, funds under the SC component are not re-appropriated to Non-SC heads.
  • Besides, most State Governments and the Union Territory Administrations are also allocating part of their budget for the development of SCs; there is no provision for State-wise allocation of funds under DAPSC.
  • As per Census 2011, the total SC population in the country is more than 20 Crores, which is 16.6% of the total population of the country. There is no provision for State-wise allocation of funds under DAPSC.

Overseas Scholarships for SCS, OBCS, EBCS and Weaker Sections

Government of India has been implementing following two schemes for Overseas studies:

1. National Overseas Scholarship for SC etc.

Under this scheme financial assistance is provided to the selected students from Scheduled Castes, Denotified Nomadics & Semi – Nomadic Tribes, Landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisans categories for pursuing higher studies at Masters level courses and Ph.D. abroad.

Hundred awards, subject to availability of funds, per year are available under the Scheme. 30% of the awards have been earmarked for women candidates.

2. Dr. Ambedkar Central Sector Scheme of Interest Subsidy

Under the Dr. Ambedkar Central Sector Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) under which interest subsidy is provided to the education loans for overseas studies availed by OBC/EBC students during the moratorium period i.e., course period, plus one year or six months after getting job, whichever is earlier.

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