The Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the distribution of E-Property Cards under the Svamitva Scheme. Around 4.09 lakh property cards were distributed. The cards were distributed on the side-lines of National Panchayati Raj Day celebrations.
Every year, the National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated on April 24. It is celebrated on this day as the Panchayati Raj Act was enacted on this day.
The Government of India has granted complete exemption from basic health cess on import of oxygen-related equipment and customs duty for a period of three months.
With the COVID-19 double mutant variant B.1.617 spreading rapidly in the country, the demand for medical oxygen exploded exponentially. In order fulfil this high demand, the Government of India has been taking several steps.
The GoI announced that 162 medical oxygen plants are to be established in public health facilities. Of this, thirty-three has already been established in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka Bihar, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, etc. Another 80 plants are to be installed by May 2021. The cost of establishing these plants have been estimated as Rs 201.58 crores. Of these hundred medical oxygen plants are to be funded by the PM CARES fund.
The GoI has planned to import 50,000 tonnes of Oxygen.
The Union Home Ministry invoked the Disaster Management Act. With the powers of the act, the Home Ministry has directed the states to ensure free inter-state movement of oxygen carrying vehicles.
The Ministry of Road Transport has exempted the requirement of permit under Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for vehicles transporting oxygen cylinders.
The Indian Air Force airlifted four cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore to meet the immediate needs of oxygen supply in country.
The Indian Railways launched the Oxygen Express to transport oxygen in the country.
In the current high shortage of Oxygen in the country, Kerala is the only oxygen surplus state managing the crisis. The oxygen production of the state is 199 tonnes per day. The COVID care demand of oxygen in the state is 35 tonnes per day. With surplus oxygen, Kerala has been sending oxygen to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa.
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare recently reported that as many as 116 districts in India have reported zero malaria cases in 2020.
India was one of the eighteen countries that endorsed Malaria Elimination Roadmap of Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance at the East Asia Summit that was held in Malaysia in 2015. Under the alliance, the leaders agreed to eliminate malaria completely in the region by 2030. Under this, India launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India (2016-2030). The recent achievement is a part of this framework,
The framework works under four objectives. They are as follows:
The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology recently announced that COVISHILED vaccine protects against B.1.617 variant. It is also called the double mutant strain. The vaccines were tested against the double mutant variety using the Vitro Neutralisation assay.
It is used to detect if an antibody is capable of preventing virus replication. This technique does not detect all antigen-antibody reactions. It only detects antibodies that can block virus replication.
India is keeping a close watch on possible new variants from incoming travellers from overseas and also from incoming travellers.
The exports of processed food products during April-February 2020-21 grew by 26.51%. Their exports amounted to Rs 43,798 crores during this period.
The FDI inflows in Food Processing Industry increased from 628.24 million USD in 2018-19 to 904.7 million USD in 2019-20.
APEDA is to make Action Plans to increase export of millet between 2021 and 2026. APEDA is Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.
On April 23, 2021, a Glacier burst occurred in Sumna, Neeti Valley located in Chamoli district in India-China border. A Border Road Organisation Camp came under the avalanche. The Indian Army has so far rescued 291 persons.
According to United Nations ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) glaciers in India, Bhutan, Nepal and China says that these regions have lost a vertical foot and a half of ice since 2000. This is double the amount of melting that occurred between 1975 and 2000.
The Glacier Bursts are caused by the build-up of water pressure. The high temperatures coupled with less snowfall accelerates melting and causes water to rise to dangerous levels in glacial dams. This increases water pressure and leads to glacier bursts. The Glacial dams are formed when glaciers block the flow of water out of a lake. Unlike the usual lakes, the Glacial lakes are made of ice boulders that have the potential to burst the glacier banks. The Nanda Devi Glacier Burst that occurred in Uttarakhand might be because of one such reason. However, the real reason behind the Glacier burst is yet to be found.
The 2013 Kedarnath tragedy was due to cloudbursts.
The Drug Controller General of India recently provided “Restricted Emergency Use Approval” for the use of “Virafin”. Virafin is used to treat Hepatitis B and C. Now it is to be used to treat moderate COVID-19 infections.
Zydus is also working on COVID-19 Vaccine ZyCoV-D.
It is a DNA plasmid-based vaccine. In January 2021, the DGCI provided permission to conduct the Phase III trials of the vaccine. The trials are expected to be completed by May 2021.
It is a type of vaccine that is produced by transfecting antigen-coded DNA sequence into immunised cells. Transfection is the process of introducing purified nucleic acids into Eukaryotic cells.
Eukaryotes are organisms whose cell nucleus are enclosed in a nuclear envelope (called the nuclear membrane). On the other hand, prokaryotes are organisms that lack nuclear membrane around their nucleus.
Antigen is a toxin or foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body. These responses are usually in form of antibodies.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare recently announced that it is to bring nine million tonnes of land under mustard cultivation. This will increase mustard production to 17 million tonnes by 2025-26.
The average mustard production in India, that is, the mustard production between 2015 and 2019 was 7.7 million tonnes. This was produced from 5.9 million hectares of land.
India imports around 70% of edible oil needs. Of this, Palm oil is the highest. There is a need to make India self-sufficient in oil. In order to achieve this, the GoI is planning to increase oil seed production. However, the problem is the low productivity, that is, mustards produced per hectare is low.
Currently, Rajasthan produces 40.82% of total mustards in India. It is the highest mustard producing state in the country.
In order to achieve the target, the GoI is planning to target 7.58 million hectares for the year 2021-22. Around 12.24 million tonnes are to be produced from these lands.
In 2020, the GoI targeted 368 districts from 13 states for mustard cultivation. This was done under Mustard Mission. In 2020, the GoI spent Rs 160 crores on mustard mission. This is to be continued for the current fiscal year as well.
In order to increase the productivity, the GoI has planned to use mustard seeds of high quality. This will increase the yield from 20% to 100%.
In 1986, the then PM Rajiv Gandhi launched the Yellow Revolution. It was based on Oilseeds Technology Mission. It was a big success. By 1993, India became self-sufficient in edible oil production. Through Yellow revolution India produced 97% of edible oil requirement within the country.
Sam Pitroda is called the “Father of Yellow Revolution”. It focused on nine oilseeds. They were mustard, groundnut, soybean, sesame, safflower, niger, sunflower, Castor and linseed.
The International Financial Service Centre recently granted permission for the Non-Banking Finance Companies to operate in Gujarat GIFT City. The NBFCs will now be allowed to offer whole range of services such as loans, investment banking, exotic derivative trades and third-party product sales.
The move will attract top financial services from all over the world. Also, it will help to localise services that are usually offered overseas.
The GIFT City was the first International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of India. It was established under Special Economic Act, 2005. The GIFT city provides services such as Offshore Banking, fund raising services for individuals, Offshore Asset management, etc.
The idea of GIFT city was conceived at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit, 2007. It was established based on Fibre to the home. It is an intelligent building with piped supply of cooking gas. Also, it the first city if India to receive city-level District Cooling System.
The Gujarat Maritime Cluster is to be established in GIFT City. A maritime cluster is a collection of institutions, businesses in the maritime sector.
The IFSC conducts business in foreign currencies. These centres deal with financial products and services across borders.
The insurance sectors and capital markets in the IFSC were regulated by multiple regulators such as SEBI, RBI and IRDAI. Thus, GoI passed the International Financial Service Centre Authority Act to bring all them under a single authority called the IFSC Authority. The act was passed in December 2019.
The Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 provides legal framework for establishment of Special Economic Zones.
Every year, the National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated on April 24. The first National Panchayati Raj day was declared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April 24, 2010. It is celebrated on April 24 as the Panchayati Raj System of India came into effect on April 24, 1993.
The Panchayati Raj Act came into effect on April 24, 1993 and thus, the National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated on April 24. It was introduced through the 73rd Constitutional amendment.
The establishment of Panchayati Raj System in the country was recommended by Balwant Rai Committee.