Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Republic Day Tableau Kisan Gandhi bags First Prize
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) was awarded First Prize for its Tableau, Kisan Gandhi in the Republic Day Parade – 2019.
- The ICAR tableau displayed the importance of dairy farming, use of indigenous breeds and livestock based organic agriculture for rural prosperity.
- The ICAR tableau Kisan Gandhi portrayed the Gandhiji’s vision to improve agriculture and livestock for the prosperity of rural communities.
- To gain more insight, Gandhiji attended a training program on dairy farming for fifteen days in 1927 at Bangalore Centre of the ICAR – National Dairy Research Institute.
- He also visited and appreciated the ‘Indore method’ of composting at the Institute of Plant Industry, Indore in 1935.
- The Gandhian philosophy included promotion of Swadeshi breeds, organic agriculture and goat milk for better health.
About Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
- ICAR is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India.
- It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.
- It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education under the Union Ministry of Agriculture.
- The Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president.
National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP)
- Skilled human resources in agriculture must become the basis of agricultural advancement and in view of this, the government has given special emphasis on the upliftment of agricultural education.
- ICAR has recently launched Rs 1100 crore ambitious National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country.
- This project will be funded by the World Bank and the Indian Government on a 50:50 basis.
- In addition, a four-year degree in Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries and Forestry has been declared a professional degree.
- Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has been set up in Barhi, Jharkhand on the lines of IARI, Pusa New Delhi, and another IARI is being set up in Assam.
- In order to promote the participation of students in agricultural business, Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) scheme is being run, under which practical experience of agriculture and entrepreneurship is provided to undergraduate students.
International Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation inaugurated in New Delhi
- The 3rd Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation was inaugurated in New Delhi.
- This is the second conference to be held in India after 2012 and is expected to have wide ranging discussions on the status of the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) by the 13 tiger range countries.
- Environment minister who is also the Chairman of the National Tiger Conservation Authority said that conservation of tigers is a duty which has to be meticulously pursued and more innovative ways needs to be devised so that we can better the targets adopted by tiger range countries in 2010 at St. Petersburg, Russia.
- The New India that we envisage is not only for humans but for every aspect including wildlife, said minister.
- During the Petersburg declaration in 2010, tiger range countries had resolved to double tiger numbers across their range by 2022.
- At the time of deliberations at St. Petersburg, India’s tiger estimate stood at 1411, which after the third cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, 2014 has nearly been doubled to 2226.
- The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, 2018 is currently under way.
- Global and National Tiger Recovery Programs (GTRP/NTRP) were formulated by respective tiger range countries as a consequence of this historic decision.
- The conference is being hosted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, MoEF&CC in close collaboration with the Global Tiger Forum which is an International, Intergovernmental Organization for conserving tigers in the world.
- The 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) are Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
- NTCA is a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change.
- It was provided statutory status by the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006which had amended Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
- It addresses the administrative as well as ecological concerns for conserving tigers, by providing a statutory basis for protection of tiger reserves.
- It also provides strengthened institutional mechanisms for the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and endangered species.
- It ensures enforcing of guidelines for tiger conservation and monitoring compliance of the same.
- It also places motivated and trained officers having good track record as Field Directors of tiger reserves.
Banks to step up credit support to economy while consolidating 4R’s gains New Delhi
- There are visible signs of strengthening of the financial of PSBs as a result of Government’s comprehensive 4R’s approach of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms, which has positioned PSBs to step up their support to meet the lending needs of a growing economy.
- PSBs are committed to significantly step up the level of domestic credit growth from 9.1% year-on-year at the end the second quarter of the current financial year.
- Further, enabled by the recently approved MSME Restructuring Scheme and the 12-point agenda for supporting MSMEs announced by the PM, PSBs committed to step up MSME lending.
- Banks committed to further improve on the robust growth in credit and reducing trend in turnaround time for loan applications through growing use of fintech and technology as evidenced by the success of the 59 minutes loan portal.
- Banks also committed to step up their efforts for financing under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana which is aimed at securing Housing for All by 2022.
- In financial inclusion and customer EASE, the recent expansion of banking outlets as per the 5-kilometre from village distance norm was taken note of and banks were asked to expeditiously complete the opening of branches and banking outlets in LWE-affected areas.
- Banks were asked to ensure that the benefits extended under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana by making overdraft facility and accidental insurance cover on RuPay cards more attractive reach the common people.
- Emphasis on usage of accounts by enhancing DBT flows through these accounts, adoption of social security schemes, promoting digital payments through the use of RuPay cards, etc.
- Banks were asked to leverage the pipeline of Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) to provide better access to financial inclusion products and services to accelerate the realisation of a digitalised, financially included and insured society.
India and OECD sign agreement to enable India’s participation in Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) to be held in 2021
- Minister said that the participation in PISA 2021 would indicate the health of the education system and would motivate other schools /states in the subsequent cycles.
- This will lead to improvement in the learning levels of the children and enhance the quality of education in the country.
- Following are some of the important features of India’s participation in PISA:
- Schools run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and schools in the UT of Chandigarh will participate.
- Within the country, PISA covers a sample of 15-year-old students representing all forms of schooling i.e. public, private, private aided etc.
- PISA is a competency-based assessment which unlike content-based assessment, measures the extent to which students have acquired key competencies that are essential for full participation in modern societies.
- Learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency-based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning.
- The CBSE and NCERT will be part of the process and activities leading to the actual test.
- More than 80 countries, including 44 middle-income countries, have participated in the assessment since the first round of testing in 2000.
- Next round of PISA is going to be held in 2021. The list of registered countries includes Brazil, China (certain areas like Shanghai and Beijing) and countries from South-East Asia like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
What are the key features of PISA?
- PISA is a triennial international survey (every three years) which aims to evaluate the education system worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.
- Students are assessed in reading, mathematics, science and collaborative problem-solving.
- Participation in PISA allows benchmarking performance against a wide range of countries.
- PISA uses test items aligned with international benchmarks. Test items are adapted to the local context and language, pilot tested and validated before being used for the test.
- OECD have agreed to contextualize the questions for Indian students.
National Conference on “Prison Design” to begin in Visakhapatnam tomorrow.
- The first ever National Conference on Prison Design will begin in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh tomorrow (29th January 2019).
- This conference aims to provide a platform to the Police officers, Prison officers and Architects from Prison Department and Police Housing Corporation to meet and deliberate upon on the various issues relating with planning, Design and Constructions of prison keeping in view the safety and security need.
- Prison Administration is a very important aspect of Criminal Justice System.
- Though as per the constitutional provision, it is a state subject but the Govt of India over the years has been providing all the requisite support and assistance to modernise the correctional administration system in the country.
The deliberations of the conference will focus on the following themes:
- Design Criteria of region-wise categories of Jails, space requirement for different activities in the Prison Complex.
- Inter-relationship of various activities in the Prison Complex and their layout,
- Security aspects i.e. perimeter wall height, electric fencing, segregation walls inside prison, watch towers, high security block, quarantine block CCTV, metal detector, luggage scanners and construction details etc.
- Use of latest technology for Prison Design & Construction.
- Health & hygiene of inmates and overcrowding in prison.
- Sharing of Best Practices by States