11, April 2018

  1. FSSAI launches initiative to address Vitamin D deficiency

Source: Business Standard

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched ‘Project Dhoop’, an initiative aimed at shifting the school assembly time to noon to ensure maximum absorption of Vitamin D in students through natural sunlight.

  • The project was launched at National Bal Bhavan here, and saw participation of around 600 students from NCERT, NDMC and North MCD Schools.

Key facts:

  • “Project Dhoop’s Noon Assembly is an innovative and effective concept to ensure that school students get adequate Vitamin D through sunlight, while also opting to choose food products like milk and edible oils that are fortified with Vitamins A and
  • Opting for fortified foods (with +F symbol) was a simple and inexpensive way to address micronutrient deficiencies “without any radical change in behaviour or eating patterns

Background

  • The launch of project comes in backdrop of rising incidence of Vitamin D deficiency in country as the studies have found that over 90% of boys and girls in various Indian cities are deficient in Vitamin D despite most part of India receiving abundant sunshine all the year through.
  • Many factors can contribute to Vitamin D deficiency such as overuse of sun screen, wearing clothes that cover most of the skin, working inside all day in air-conditioned atmosphere among others.

  1. Silappathikaram

Source: The Hindu

A rare dance panel of Nayak period and an inscribed pillar of Chola period have been found on an abandoned brick mound at Pathalapettai near Kiliyur in Tiruchi. Silappathikaram has references to such ritualistic performances by rural folks.

The dance panel:

  • The dance panel is depicted on a stone slab that measures 1.21 metres in length and 33 centimetres in height.
  • Four pairs of well dressed male and female dancers, holding some object in one of their hands, are seen engaged in a ritualistic dance in the panel. Three pairs are shown hugging each other while the last pair is dancing keeping a distance between.
  • All of them are decked with ornaments and different head gears. The female deity with a flower in the right hand seen between the first two pairs and the pot depicted between the last two pairs denote the ritualistic nature of the dance.

The pillar:

  • The pillar found at the spot has an inscribed base. The base has a Tamil inscription of Chola paleography with a few Grantha letters used in between. Though seven lines are visible, the last two are not readable. The inscription records that a certain Rejaladeviyar Sativinjey, queen of Iladevayan, had gifted that pillar. A sketchy figure of a Mugalinga is seen sculpted on the first half of the pillar, suggesting its conversion into a Linga.

Silappatikaram:

  • It is one of the Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature according to later Tamil literary tradition. A poet-prince from Kodungallur near Kochi, referred to by the pseudonym Ilango Adigal, is credited with this work.
  • The epic revolves around Kannagi, who having lost her husband to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandyan Dynasty, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.

  1. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

Source: The Hindu

According to revised guidelines of the centre’s flagship scheme to promote organic farming, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), farmers will be eligible for an assistance of Rs 48,700 per hectare for a three-year period for adopting these traditional methods of cultivation.

Who is eligible?

  • According to the revised guidelines, farmers practising traditional methods of organic farming like yogik farming, gou mata kheti, Vedic farming, Vaishnav kheti, Ahinsa farming, Adhvoot Shivanand farming, and rishi krishi will be eligible for financial assistance, in addition to those adopting standard organic farming practices like zero-budget natural farming and permaculture.

Yogik farming

  • Yogik farming refers to a system where it is believed that farmers can channelize cosmic energy to their fields by performing yoga.
  • Rishi krishi is based on pre-Vedic, Vedic and medieval texts like Vishvavallava, Kashyapiyakrishisukti, and Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda.
  • Gou mata kheti is a system of farming which uses cow dung and urine from indigenous breeds of lactating cows.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY):

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).

Implementation:

  • Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through the adoption of the organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification.
  • Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50-acre land to take up the organic farming under the scheme.
  • The produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improving the health of the consumer.



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