8,October 2016

1.Organic Farming (Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)

Source: PIB

The importance of organic farming has increased manifolds while keeping in view the immediate menace of climate change.

The Government of India has launched a Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY) and Organic Value Added Development (OVCDNER) schemes under National Sustained Agriculture Mission to promote organic farming in the country.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY)

  • It is the first extensive scheme which has been initiated in the form of Centre Sponsored Programme (CSP).
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Traditional Farming Improvement Programme) to support and promote organic farming and thereby improving soil health.
  • This will encourage farmers to adopt eco-friendly concept of cultivation and reduce their dependence on fertilizers and agricultural chemicals to improve yields.

Organic Value Added Mode Development Mission for North-Eastern regions:

Implementation in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim as well as Tripura during 2015-16 to 2017-18 while keeping in view the potentiality of farming in North-Eastern region.

This scheme aims at to develop authentic organic products in value added mode so that the consumers might be linked with consumers and from input, seed certification to unification, processing, marketing as well as grant formation initiative.

Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Unnat Krihsi Khiksha Yojna: (Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)

  • This scheme is being implemented by Agriculture Education Division related to Indian Council of Agricultural Research Council (ICAR)
  • A new scheme to fish out the talent of Indian youths and all over development of rural India has launched.
  • Under this course of action the trainers will be selected on village level so as to establish training centre, to impart knowledge about natural/organic/sustainable farming/rural economy.

2.Goa Maritime Symposium

Source: PIB

Inaugurating the first ever Goa Maritime Symposium conducted by the Naval War College, Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff reiterated the importance of cooperative engagement to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region)

SAGAR which means “Ocean” and stands for – Security And Growth for All in the Region.

Divided into four sub-themes,

  1. Strengthening of Regional Maritime Security Architectures;
  2. Enhancing Interoperability in the Indian Ocean Region;
  3. Challenges to Freedom of Navigation; and
  4. Maritime Security Challenges in the IOR.

Each sub-theme stimulated engaging discussions and collectively deliberated on several aspects of regional security mechanisms and cooperative frameworks in the context of present as well as future maritime challenges.

Basic security perception, projection, and understanding of all affairs maritime must have the essential elements of regional cooperation.


The symposium contributed majorly towards fostering a sense of maritime awareness that presupposes efficiency in cooperative mechanisms. It also brought out competing narratives and suggested roadmaps for the future including strengthening existing frameworks such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) – an Indian Navy initiative since 2008.

3.Energy Conclave, 2016 —  Securing India’s Green Future

Source: PIB

  • Replacing fossil fuels with cleaner natural gas for power generation, reviving stalled hydel projects, permitting only less polluting plants that use coal on govt agenda.
  • It is important to strike a balance between the conventional & renewable sources of energy and rapid societal development & environmental concerns.
  • To achieve the goal of ‘One Nation, On Grid, One Price’ at the earliest and create a robust transmission grid network where affordable power is seamlessly available to the common man throughout the Nation, at one price.
  • The Minister pointed out that the Government, after taking charge, has made the solar power target five times to 100 GW by 2022.
  • Informed the gathering that by consistent efforts made by the Government the prices of solar energy have come down by 40% in just 18 months. Moreover, concentrating on other sources of renewable energy, this year has been dedicated to hydro and wind energy and talks with international gas suppliers.
  • Ministry is in talks with PSUs like BHEL, NTPC and other private sector power generators on taking various measures to reduce coal imports and achieving criticality in plants designed to operate on imported coal, by making design modifications to enable use of abundant domestic reserves of coal.

4.Bankruptcy Board holds its first meeting

Source: Indian Express

Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India which was addressed by Minister of Finance.

The  board would have ten members. Apart from the Chairman, currently there are four government nominated members and rest of others appointed will be in this coming months.

The Code seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganisation as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.

Meanwhile, the Corporate Affairs Ministry, which would be the nodal Ministry for implementation of the Code, has come out with draft norms for registration of insolvency professionals and agencies.

Highlights of the Code:

  • The Code creates time-bound processes for insolvency resolution of companies and individuals. These processes will be completed within 180 days.  If insolvency cannot be resolved, the assets of the borrowers may be sold to repay creditors.
  • The resolution processes will be conducted by licensed insolvency professionals (IPs). These IPs will be members of insolvency professional agencies (IPAs).  IPAs will also furnish performance bonds equal to the assets of a company under insolvency resolution.
  • Information utilities (IUs) will be established to collect, collate and disseminate financial information to facilitate insolvency resolution.
  • The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for companies. The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for individuals.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India will be set up to regulate functioning of IPs, IPAs and IUs.

5.Swachh Survekshan in urban centres

Source: Indian Express

A Swachh Survekshan will be conducted in January 2017 and this will rank 500 cities and towns with a population of 1 lakh and above on 6 parameters for determining their rankings.

These parameters are:

  1. Strategy for Open Defecation Free town (ODF) & Integrated Solid Waste Management (SWM)
  2. Information, Education & Behaviour Change Communication (IEBC) activity
  3. Door to door Collection, Sweeping, Collection & Transportation Processing & Disposal of Solid Waste
  4. Public & Community Toilet Provision and
  5. Individual Toilet.

Asli Tarakki: It is a new campaign for Swachh Bharat Mission launched by the Ministry of Urban Development recently. It is aimed at sanitising six cities of the National Capital Region (NCR). Further, it will be replicated in other States if it succeeds. About 450 young men and women with “communication skills and leadership qualities” have been selected as “lead motivators” to spread awareness on Swachh Bharat Mission.

6.Centre opposes triple talaq, polygamy among Muslims

Source: The Hindu

The Centre opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy among Muslims.

It favoured a relook on grounds of constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries.

Concern for women:

Secularism & dignity of women: The fundamental question is whether, in a secular democracy, religion can be a reason to deny equal status and dignity available to women under the Constitution of India

Any practice by which women are left ‘socially, financially or emotionally vulnerable’ or subject to the whims and caprice of menfolk is incompatible with the letter and spirit of Article 14 and 15 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution.

7.Remittances to India to decline in 2016: World Bank

Source: The Hindu

India, the world’s largest remittance recipient in 2015, may receive a remittance of USD 65.5 billion this year, a drop of 5%.

In 2016, remittance flows are expected to decline by 5 per cent in India and 3.5 per cent in Bangladesh, whereas they are expected to grow by 5.1 per cent in Pakistan and 1.6 per cent in Sri Lanka,” the World Bank said in a latest report on remittances.

Despite the drop, India is likely to top the list of countries receiving remittance.

Weak economic growth

It is the main reason, especially in remittances-source countries.

Remittances from the GCC countries continued to decline due to lower oil prices and  Labour market ‘nationalisation’ policies in Saudi Arabia is also one of the reasons.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is an alliance of six Middle Eastern countries-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

In addition to Structural factors:

 Anti-money laundering efforts have prompted banks to close down accounts of money transfer operators, diverting activity to informal channels.

Impact of economic growth:

  • Remittances continue to be an important component of the global economy, surpassing international aid
  • However this new normal of weak growth in remittances could present challenges for millions of families that rely heavily on these flows
  • This, in turn, can seriously impact the economies of many countries around the world bringing on a new set of challenges to economic growth.

8.New termite species discovered

Source: The Hindu

A new termite species, Glyptotermes Chiraharitae, has been discovered at Kakkayam in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.

The species are named ‘Chiraharitae’, after the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, where the termite was spotted. The flying adults of this species are approximately 10 mm long, while the soldiers are around 9.5 mm long.


Leave a Reply