Central Genomics and Quality Laboratory facility will help farmers in analyzing the quality of soil, water and produce
- Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare inaugurated Central Genomics and Quality Laboratory facility at ICAR – National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) in Cuttack (Odisha).
- Since its inception in 1946, the Institute contributed immensely in country’s Green Revolution and steered ground-breaking research in development of high-yield rice varieties thereby helping achieve self-sufficiency in rice production.
- For ensuring nutritional security, for the first time in the world, the Institute recently released two high-protein rice varieties (CR Dhan 310, CR Dhan 311) and two climate-smart varieties – CR Dhan 801 and CR Dhan 802
- NRRI is the nodal agency for planning, implementation and monitoring of Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI) programme which is being implemented in 118 districts of seven Eastern states.
- With its implementation, more than 25% of yield increase has been recorded in the states of Assam, Bihar and Chhattisgarh, whereas 12-15% yield increase has been reported in Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Eastern UP.
- Minister congratulated NRRI for developing Mobile App riceXpert which is helping in providinginformation to farmers in real time besides facilitating the flow of information from scientist to farmers.
Twin Success for Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile
- DRDO successfully test fired indigenously developed Quick Reach Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM) from ITR Chandipur, off the Odisha Coast .
- The test flights successfully demonstrated the robust Control, Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Structural performance and high manoeuvring capabilities thus proving the design configuration.
- Radars, Electro Optical Systems, Telemetry and other stations have tracked the Missiles and monitored through the entire flights. All the mission objectives have been met.
- QRSAM stands for quick reaction surface-to-air short-range missile
- It is developed by DRDO. It has been designed to be a quick reaction missile.
- It is an all-weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing.
- The missile has a strike range of 25 to 30 km and can engage multiple targets.
- QRSAM will complement the existing Akash short range SAM (surface-to-air missile) with a range of 25 kilometres which has already been inducted into the services.
India-Bangladesh Joint Military Exercise Sampriti – 2019
- As part of the ongoing India Bangladesh defence cooperation, a joint military exercise Sampriti-2019 will be conducted at Tangail, Bangladesh from 02 March to 15 March 2019.
- Exercise Sampriti-2019 is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh and this will be the eighth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.
- The exercise will involve tactical level operations in a counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment under the UN mandate.
Global health leaders adopt ‘Delhi Declaration’ on digital health
- 4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit held in New Delhi.
- The ministers and delegation adopted the Delhi Declaration on digital health for sustainable development, which called for WHO’s leadership in digital health and for it to establish a specific mechanism to centrally coordinate digital health to assist its Member States.
- The global intergovernmental meeting on digital health is being hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with WHO and the Global Digital Health Partnership(GDHP).
- Declaration marks India’s commitment in maximizing the digital health investments to ensure UHC and realize Ayushman Bharat.
NDMA to conduct national workshop on heat wave risk reduction
- The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is conducting a two-day national workshop on heat wave risk reduction on 27-28 February 2019.
- The workshop, to be held at Nagpur, has been organised in collaboration with the Maharashtra Government.
- Heat wave has emerged as one of the major severe weather events around the globe in recent years.
- Climate change is driving temperatures higher as well as increasing the frequency and severity of heat waves. India too is experiencing increased instances of heat waves every year.
- NDMA has been closely working with vulnerable States to reduce the adverse impacts of heat wave.
Some sustained efforts are
- timely release and effective implementation of the national Guidelines on heat wave,
- preparation of Heat Action Plans by 13 vulnerable States,
- regular follow-up and monitoring by NDMA,
- extensive awareness generation campaigns through print, electronic and social media.
- These efforts have significantly brought down the number of heat-related deaths in the past few years. From more than 2,000 deaths in 2015, the number came down to 25 in 2018.
- This workshop aims to sensitise the States to the need of preparing and implementing specific Heat Action Plans.
- The NDMA is apex statutory body for disaster management in India
- It is under control of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- Its provisions are envisaged in Disaster Management Act, 2005
- It was established in 2009.
- It is headed by the Prime Ministerof India.
- Its primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response.
- It is also apex body to lay down policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters.
What is Heat waves ?
- Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.
- Following criteria are used to declare heat wave:
- Based on Departure from Normal:
- Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.5°C to 6.4°C.
- Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6.4°C.
- Based on Actual Maximum Temperature (for plains only):
- Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45°C
- Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47°C
- To declare heat wave, the above criteria should be met at least in 2 stations in a Meteorological sub-division for at least two consecutive days and it will be declared on the second day.
Key missions launched on foundation day of Department of Biotechnology
- Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, celebrated its 33rd Foundation Day in New Delhi with the theme as Celebrating Biotechnology: Building Indian as an Innovation Nation.
- Minister for Science & Technology gave away the Biotechnology Research Innovation and Technology Excellence (BRITE) awards.
- The Minister announced key missions at the foundation day ceremony including Atal JaiAnusandhan Biotech Mission – Undertaking Nationally Relevant Technology Innovation (UNaTI), which is expected to transform Health, Agriculture and Energy sectors during the next 5 years.
- This mission includes GARBH-ini– A Mission to promote Maternal and Child Health and develop prediction tools for pre-term berth.
- IndCEPI– A Mission to develop affordable vaccines for endemic diseases, Development of Biofortified and Protein Rich wheat – contributing to POSHAN Abhiyan, Mission on Anti-Microbial Resistancefor Affordable Diagnostics and Therapeutics.
- Clean Energy Mission– Innovative Technology interventions for Swachh Bharat.