18 August 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam

PM visits Kerala

  • The Prime Minister visited Kerala to review the situation arising out of floods in the State

Relief announcements:

  • The Prime Minister announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the State.
  • He also assured the State Government that relief materials including food grains, medicines etc would be provided, as requested.
  • PM also announced ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those seriously injured from PM’s National Relief Funds (PMNRF).
  • PM has directed Insurance Companies to hold special camps for assessment & timely release of compensation to the affected families/beneficiaries under Social Security Schemes.
  • PM has directed National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to repair main national highways damaged due to floods on priority.
  • The Central Public Sector like NTPC and PGCIL have also been directed to be available to render all possible assistance to the State Government in restoring power lines.
  • Villagers, whose kutcha houses have been destroyed in the devastating floods, would be provided Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin houses on priority irrespective of their priority in the Permanent Wait List of PMAY-G.
  • Under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, farmers would be provided assistance for replantation of damaged horticulture crops.

Scientists decode complex Wheat Genome

  • In a major scientific breakthrough, a team of international researchers, including 18 from India decoded the wheat genome.
  • The information generated will help to identify genes controlling complex agronomic traits such as yield, grain quality, resistance to diseases and pests, as well as tolerance to drought, heat, water logging and salinity.
  • Science & Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “cracking of the bread wheat genome will go a long way in developing climate-resilient wheat and help tide over possible impact of climate change on farm output.”
  • In an article published in ‘Science’, the authors said, the DNA sequence has been ordered and it represents the highest quality genome sequence generated to date for the bread wheat.
  • The reference genome covers 94% (14.5 Gb) of the entire wheat genome. The bread wheat has a complex hexaploid genome which is 40 times larger than that of the rice genome and 5 times larger than the human genome.

Advantage:

  • The availability of high quality reference genome would accelerate the breeding of climate-resilient wheat varieties to feed the ever-increasing world population and help address global food security in the decades to come.

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