13-2-2019 UPSC Current affairs to prepare for UPSC exam

  • Use of Space Technology in Agriculture Sector:

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has been pro-active in using the space technology in agricultural sector. Since early 80s has been funding various projects, under which Indian Space Research Organisation developed methodologies for Crop Production Forecasting. The Dep of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare established a Centre, called Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre, in 2012.

The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare had launched KISAN project during October 2015. Under this  project, pilot studies were conducted in 4 districts of 4 States viz. Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The study provided many useful inputs , which were used to define Standard Operating Procedures  for use of satellite data in the revised guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna.

  • KUSUM Scheme:

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has formulated a Scheme ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM)’. The Scheme is currently under the process of seeking approval. The proposal on KUSUM Scheme provides for installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of Capacity up to 2 MW in the rural areas. establishment of independent off-framework solar water pumps to satisfy water system needs of ranchers not associated with network.

solarisation of existing matrix associated agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of grid supply and furthermore empower them to offer surplus solar power created to DISCOM and get additional pay. This information was given by Minister of State for Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Parshottam Rupala in Lok Sabha on 12-02-2019.

  • Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras functional in the nation:

Road Transport and Highways State Minister , Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya communicated that as on 05.02.2019, 5001 ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras’ are utilitarian in 651 regions of the country. Before long, the thing carton of PMBJP covers more than 800 prescriptions and 154 surgicals and consumables covering all accommodating.

The Minister additionally expressed that according to the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) Note on ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), the multi year plan of PMBJP visualizes that 1000 PMBJP Kendras will be opened in every year for example 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. The objectives for opening PMBJP Kendras amid 2017-18 and 2018-19 have just been achieved by the Government.

  • Production of Ethanol:

Ethanol produced from molasses in the country is primarily used for supply under Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme. During last three ethanol years (December-November) i.e. 2015-2016, 2016-2017 & 2017-2018, ethanol supplies under EBP have been respectively 111 crore litres, 66.5 crore litres and 151 crore litres. During current ethanol year 2018-2019; contracts for supply of about 235 crore litres of ethanol have so far been finalized.

The fuel grade ethanol has specified purity level of 96.6% or above. 114 proposals for enhancement/augmentation of ethanol production capacity have been accorded in-principle approval for availing loan from banks amounting to Rs. 6139.08 Crore for which interest subvention of Rs. 1332 Crore shall be borne by the Government.

  • Government releases comprehensive publication on various initiatives:

Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released a publication today in New Delhi on climate actions in India titled “India – Spearheading Climate Solutions”. This publication “India – Spearheading Climate Solutions” mentions the key actions India has taken under various sectors towards combating and adapting to climate change.

India recently submitted its Second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to UNFCCC in December 2018 as per the reporting obligations under the convention. The report brings out the fact that emission intensity of India’s GDP came down by 21% between 2005 & 2014 and India’s achievement of climate goal for pre-2020 period is on track.

  • Fifth International Dam Safety Conference at Bhubaneswar:

The 5th International Dam Safety Conference–2019 is being held during 13 and 14 February 2019 in Bhubaneswar as a joint initiative of the Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank under aegis of the ongoing World Bank assisted DRIP as a part of institutional strengthening.

Globally India ranks third after China and the USA in terms of the number of large dams with 5264 large dams in operation and 437 large dams under construction. About 80% of our large dams are over twenty-five years old. About 209 dams are over 100 years old and were built in an era when design practices and safety considerations were much below the current design and safety norms.