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PIB 23rd April

Contents

  1. Review of DARE/ICAR, Technology advancement via ICAR-KVK
  2. KVIC comes to the rescue of Cocoon Farmers
  3. Antimicrobial nanoparticles on PPEs, masks
  4. Super-luminous supernovae

REVIEW OF DARE/ICAR, TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT VIA ICAR-KVK

Focus: GS-III Agriculture, Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

The Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, took a review meeting of the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on 23rd April.

He emphasised on enhancing the reach of technologies amongst farmers and reach out to maximum number of farmers through the network of ICAR and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs).

Developments so far

  • Many of the ICAR varieties and technologies are earning foreign exchange and contributing towards food security of the country.
  • ICAR and KVKs have contributed positively in implementation of different Government Special campaigns like Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan, Jalshakti Abhiyan, tree plantation campaign and International Women’s Day celebrations.
  • The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan (KKA) is being implemented in 112 Aspirational districts of the country.
  • So far two phases of Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan have been completed in which 11.05 lakh farmers were trained by KVKs and over 5000 frontline demonstrations at farmer’s field were conducted.
  • ICAR has developed 66 vaccines & diagnostics during 2014-19 for the diagnosis and control of diseases of animals.
  • ICAR proactively worked for the prevention of stress to farmers due to COVID-19.

ICAR

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India.
  • It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture, and The Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president.
  • It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.

Aims and functions of ICAR

  1. To plan, undertake, aid, promote and coordinate education, research and its application in agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences.
  2. To act as a clearing house of research and general information relating to agriculture, animal husbandry, home science and allied sciences, and fisheries through its publications and information system; and instituting and promoting transfer of technology programmes.
  3. To provide, undertake and promote consultancy services in the fields of education, research, training and dissemination of information in agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences.
  4. To look into the problems relating to broader areas of rural development concerning agriculture, including postharvest technology by developing co-operative programmes with other organizations such as the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the universities.
  5. To do other things considered necessary to attain the objectives of the Society.

Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan

  • The Union Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare has launched the Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan from June 1, 2018 till July 31, 2018 to aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.
  • The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population, each in 111 Aspirational Districts identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per directions of NITI Aayog.

Various activities undertaken under Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan plan are:

  1. Distribution of Soil Health Cards to all farmers
  2. 100% coverage of bovine vaccination for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in each village
  3. 100% coverage of Sheep and Goat for eradication of  Peste  des Petits ruminants (PPR )
  4. Distribution of Mini Kits of pulses and oilseeds to all
  5. Distribution of Horticulture/Agro Forestry/Bamboo plant @ 5 per family(location appropriate)
  6. Making 100 NADAP Pits in each village
  7. Artificial insemination saturation
  8. Demonstration programmes on Micro- irrigation
  9. Demonstrations of integrated cropping practice

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)

  • A Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is an agricultural extension center in India.
  • Usually associated with a local agricultural university, these centers serve as the ultimate link between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and farmers, and aim to apply agricultural research in a practical, localized setting.
  • All KVKs fall under the jurisdiction of one of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) throughout India.

Functions of KVKs

  1. On-Farm Testing: Each KVK operates a small farm to test new technologies, such as seed varieties or innovative farming methods, developed by ICAR institutes. This allows new technologies to be tested at the local level before being transferred to farmers.
  2. Front-line Demonstration: Due to the KVK’s farm and its proximity to nearby villages, it organizes programs to show the efficacy of new technologies on farmer fields.
  3. Capacity Building: In addition to demonstrating new technologies, the KVK also hosts capacity building exercises and workshops to discuss modern farming techniques with groups of farmers.
  4. Multi-sector Support: Offer support to various private and public initiatives through its local network and expertise. It is very common for government research institutes to leverage the network of KVKs when performing surveys with a wide range of farmers.
  5. Advisory Services: Due to the growing use of ICT, KVKs have implemented technologies to provide farmers information, such as weather advisories or market pricing, through radio and mobile phones.

KVIC COMES TO THE RESCUE OF COCOON FARMERS

Focus: GS-III Industry and Infrastructure, Prelims

Why in news?

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), an autonomous body under Ministry of MSME, in collaboration with its Khadi Institutions (KIs) in Tamil Nadu has discharged its responsibility once again by purchasing cocoons from cocoon farmers.

The main objectives of KVIC was to help the cocoon farmers struggling to sell their crop due to lock down pandemic outbreak and secondly to ensure continuous supply of Cocoons to the khadi institutions involved in Silk production.

KVIC

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed in April 1957 by the Government of India, under ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
  • It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India
  • Aim of KVIC is: plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.

What is Khadi?

  • Khadi, (pronounced Khādī) refers to hand-spun and hand-woven cloth. The raw materials may be cotton, silk, or wool, which are spun into threads on a charkha (a traditional spinning implement).
  • Khadi was launched in 1920 as a political weapon in the Swadeshi movement of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Khadi is sourced from different parts of India, depending upon its raw materials – While the silk variety is sourced from West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and North Eastern states, the cotton variety comes from Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
  • Khadi poly is spun in Gujarat and Rajasthan while Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka are known for the woollen variety.

Relevance of Khadi and Village Industries

  • Any Industry that is located within a rural area, where the Fixed Capital Investment per Artisan (weaver) does not exceed Rupees One Lakh is a Village Industry.
  • The common characteristic found in both – Khadi and Village Industries is that they are labour intensive in nature. In the wake of industrialisation, and the mechanisation of almost all processes, Khadi and Village industries are suited like no other to a labour surplus country like India.
  • Another advantage of Khadi and Village Industries is that they require little or no capital to set up, thereby making them an economically viable option for the rural poor. This is an important point with reference to India in view of its stark income, regional and rural/urban inequalities.

Objectives and Functions of KVIC

  • The Social Objective – Providing employment in rural areas
  • The Economic Objective – Providing saleable articles
  • The Wider Objective – Creating self-reliance amongst people and building up a strong rural community spirit.

The KVIC is authorized to establish and maintain separate organisations for the purpose of carrying out any or all of the above matters besides carrying out any other matter incidental to its activities.

The KVIC may also undertake directly or through other agencies studies concerning the problems of Khadi and/or village industries besides research or establishing pilot projects for the development of Khadi and village industries.


ANTIMICROBIAL NANOPARTICLES ON PPES, MASKS

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

  • As part of Nano Mission programme, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has approved support for upscaling an antiviral nano-coatings for use as appropriate material for producing anti-COVID-19 Triple Layer Medical masks and N-95 respirator in large quantities.
  • Silver is known to have strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, fungus, and so on.
  • The use of highly effective antimicrobial nanoparticles on PPEs, masks etc is a useful application that will provide an extra layer of protection for the high-risk settings, such as for the medical workers.

Nanotechnology in India

  • India stands 3rd globally in the number of scientific publications in nanosciences.
  • In 2007, the government launched a 5-year program called Nano Mission with wider objectives and larger funding of USD 250 million.
  • But there is lot of room for improvement. The amount India spends on nanotechnology research is still just a fraction of the research spending of countries like Japan, USA, France and China.

Nano Mission / Nano-Science & Technology Mission (NSTM)

  • The Government of India launched the Nano Mission in 2007 as an “umbrella capacity-building programme”.
  • It is being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • The objectives of the Nano mission are:
    • Basic research promotion
    • Infrastructure development
    • Nano applications and technology development
    • Human Resource development
    • International collaborations
  • As a result of the efforts led by the Nano Mission, today, India is amongst the top five nations in the world in terms of scientific publications in nanoscience and technology (moving from 4th to the 3rd position).
  • The Nano Mission has established national dialogues to promote R&D in the development of standards for nanotechnology and for laying down a National Regulatory Framework Road-Map for Nanotechnology (NRFR-Nanotech).
  • In 2007 DST started Nano-Science & Technology Mission (NSTM) with a budget of 1000 Cr. This ‘nano-mission’ has been working to help scientists, institutions and the industry in terms of promoting basic research, development of adequate manpower resources, international collaborations, augmentation the infrastructure for research and generation of socially useful products.
  • Along with getting India to 3rd Position in Publications, it has also resulted in some useful products like nano hydrogel based eye drops, pesticide removal technology for drinking water, water filters for arsenic and fluoride removal and nano silver based antimicrobial textile coating.

ICONSAT 2020

  • The International Conference on Nano-Science and Nano-Technology (ICONSAT) 2020 was organized from 5th-7th March at Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • ICONSAT is the series of biennial international conferences held in India under the aegis of Nano Mission, Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • The conference intends to bring out cutting-edge developments in the domain of physical, chemical, materials as well as biological sciences with the help of nanotechnology.
  • It also aims to provide a potential platform for young researchers and students from within the country and abroad to keep pace with the latest development in the emerging areas of Nano Science and Technology.

SUPER-LUMINOUS SUPERNOVAE

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

Researchers at the Arayabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) found that SN 2010kd, a super-luminous supernova stands out with the amount of mass as well as Nickel ejected during explosion, which is much more than seen in case of normal core-collapse supernovae.

Background

  • Supernovae are a kind of energetic explosions where the core of massive stars (a few times to that of mass of our Sun) go to a catastrophic phase of explosion liberating huge amounts of energy.
  • This transient astronomical event occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star or when a white dwarf is triggered into runaway nuclear fusion.
  • The original object, called the progenitor, either collapses to a neutron star or black hole, or it is completely destroyed.
  • The peak optical luminosity of a supernova can be comparable to that of an entire galaxy, before fading over several weeks or months.
  • These events are visible through very far away distances much beyond our own solar system.
  • Super-luminous supernovae are a special type of stellar explosions having energy output 10 or more times higher than that of standard supernovae.
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