- 7th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA (IDY-2021)
- CEREAL EXPORT FOOTPRINT EXPANDED
- AMENDMENT IN FOOD SECURITY (ASSISTANCE TO STATE GOVERNMENT RULES) 2015
7th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA (IDY-2021)
Focus: Facts for prelims
Why in news?
The seventh edition of International Day of Yoga (IDY) was observed across the world in solidarity, both through limited physical events, and at the homes of people where COVID restrictions continue to apply. IDY activities have also reached more than one lakh villages today.
Significance of Yoga
The Prime Minister spoke of Yoga’s role during the pandemic, on the occasion. While Yoga is not a part of culture across countries, enthusiasm has increased globally. He stressed the importance of breathing exercises like pranayama and anulom-vilom for strengthening our respiratory system.
The mantra of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ which India has followed since ages, is now finding global acceptance. We all are praying for each other’s wellbeing, If there are threats to humanity, Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health.
India and WHO took an important step by launching M-Yoga app world-over, which will provide many videos of yoga training based on common yoga protocol in many languages. This will contribute to the efforts of ‘One World One Health’.
- M-Yoga has been developed by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Ministry of Ayush in partnership with the World Health Organisation.
A backgrounder to M-Yoga App
The Ministry of AYUSH and the World Health Organization (WHO) had jointly undertaken a project in mid 2019, focusing on mobile-Yoga. It envisaged the concept of the ‘Be Healthy, Be Mobile’ (BHBM) under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030.
- Be Healthy, Be Mobile (BHBM) initiative is a global partnership led by WHO which supports the scale up of mobile health (m-Health) technology within the scope of the National Health system to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
About the IDY
The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his UN address in 2014, had suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.
CEREAL EXPORT FOOTPRINT EXPANDED
Focus: GS III- Agriculture
Why in news?
India has started to succeed in its quest of expanding the footprint of cereals exports through exploring new opportunities in countries or markets. Such a sharp spike in exports in cereals, especially rice, wheat and other cereals in 2020-21 can be attributed to synergy and collaboration between various stakeholders – farmers, millers, exporters and government agencies in boosting exports.
Agency responsible for success
APEDA in collaboration with stakeholders have been exploring new opportunities through ensuring market access, adherence to products qualities and phytosanitary measures for cereal products.
APEDA has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains. The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA. REPF has representations from rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, ministry of commerce and directors of agriculture from major rice producing states.
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in December, 1985. Functions include
- Development of certain industries for exports through financial assistance or otherwise for undertaking surveys and feasibility studies, participation through joint ventures and other reliefs and subsidy schemes
- Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products
- Fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports
- Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughter houses, processing plants, storage premises, conveyances or other places where such products are kept or handled for the purpose of ensuring the quality of such products;
- Improving of packaging and marketing of the Scheduled products outside India
- Collection and publication of statistics from the owners of factories or establishments engaged in the production, processing, packaging, marketing or export of the scheduled products.
- Training in various aspects of the industries connected with the scheduled products.
AMENDMENT IN FOOD SECURITY (ASSISTANCE TO STATE GOVERNMENT RULES) 2015
Focus: GS III- Agriculture
Why in news?
The Department of Food & Public Distribution has notified an amendment to ensure right quantity to beneficiaries in distribution of subsidized foodgrains as per their entitlement under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
Incentive to states
The incentive comes in the form of utilizing the savings generated due the adoption of ePOS (electronic Point of Sale) devices in a judicious manner. By using ePOS, states were able to generate savings from an additional margin of Rs. 17 per quintal, provided by the central government. This was being provided to improve transparency in operations of the Targeted Public Distribution System under NFSA
- The additional savings thus generated can now be utilized by the states to buy and integrate electronic weighing scales with the ePOS.
- This amendment is an attempt to take forward the reform process.
- While distribution through ePoS devices ensures that subsidised foodgrains are provided to the rightful beneficiary through biometric authentication, integration of ePoS devices with electronic weighing scales would ensure that the beneficiary is given the right quantity of foodgrains by the Fair Price Shop dealer as per his entitlement.
Room for reform
The National Food Security Act provides for reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System through application of information and communication technology tools including end-to-end computerization to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels, and to prevent diversion and leveraging “Aadhaar” for unique identification, with biometric information of entitled beneficiaries for proper targeting of benefits under the Act.
About the Food security (Assistance to State Government Rules) 2015
The rules notified in August 2015, provide for additional margin to Fair Price Shop (FPS) Dealers for sale through electronic point of sale devices (ePoS) as an incentive to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels. Accordingly, the scheme “Assistance to State agencies for intra-State movement of foodgrains and FPS dealers margin under NFSA” provides for additional Margin of Rs.17.00 per quintal to all State Governments/Union Territories towards the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance of the point of sale device, its running expenses and incentive for its use. The additional margin is payable for the fair price shop which has installed a point-of-sale device and shall be limited to the transactions made through it.