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10 Sep 2021: PIB Summary & Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Samvatsari
2. 100% first dose vaccination in Goa
3. "Transport and Marketing Assistance" (TMA) Scheme
4. Rice Fortification
5. KAZIND – 21
6. ATL Space Challenge 2021

1. Samvatsari

Context:

PM greeted people on the occasion of Samvatsari.

About Samvatsari:

  • Samvatsari is a festival celebrated by the Jain community, especially the Shwetambara sect.
  • It is the last day of an eight-day observance of prayers called Paryushana Parva or Paryushana.
  • It falls on Shukla Panchami each year in the Jain calendar month of Bhadrapada.
  • Samvatsari is also known as the Day of Forgiveness.
  • On this day, people seek forgiveness from others for wrongs done knowingly or unknowingly. People say the words Michhami Dukkadam to seek forgiveness from others.

Read more on Jainism in the linked article.


2. 100% first dose vaccination in Goa

Details:

  • Goa became the second state in India to complete 100% covid vaccination of the first dose for all its eligible residents.
  • Himachal Pradesh was the first state to achieve this feat.
  • As of Sept 11, the active case load in India stands at 3,91,516.
    • In the past 24 hours, 308 people died due to the infection, taking the death toll to 4,42,317.
  • The total tally is 3,32,08,330 according to the Union Health Ministry’s latest data.
  • So far, 73.05 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered in the country.
  • According to the union health ministry, around 58% of India’s adult population has received the first dose and nearly 18% both doses.
  • High numbers of cases are being observed in Kerala and Maharashtra.

3. “Transport and Marketing Assistance” (TMA) Scheme

Context:

Centre has revised the “Transport and Marketing Assistance” (TMA) scheme for Specified Agriculture Products.

Background:

  • In February 2019, the Department of Commerce had introduced ‘Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products Scheme’ with the objectives to:
    • Provide assistance for the international component of freight
    • Mitigate the disadvantage of higher freight costs faced by the Indian exporters of agriculture products
  • The scheme was initially applicable for exports effected during 2019 – 2020 and was later expanded up to March 2021.

Details:

  • Now, the scheme has been notified for the period April 2021 to March 2022.
  • In the revised scheme, the following changes have been made:
    • Dairy products, which were not covered under the earlier scheme, will be eligible for assistance under the revised scheme.
    • Rates of assistance have been increased, by 50% for exports by sea and by 100% for exports by air.
  • Enhanced assistance under the revised scheme is expected to help Indian exporters of agricultural products to meet rising freight and logistics costs.

4. Rice Fortification

Context:

To mark the ongoing 4th Rashtriya Poshan Maah, the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the Ministry of Women and Child Development jointly organised a webinar on rice fortification.

Rice fortification:

  • Biofortification is the process by which the nutritional value of food crops is enhanced by various methods including plant breeding, agronomic practices and modern biotechnological techniques. Read more about biofortification in the link.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines fortification as “deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefit with minimal risk to health”.
  • In rice fortification, micronutrients are added to regular rice keeping in mind the dietary requirements.
  • The cooking of fortified rice does not require any special procedure. After cooking, fortified rice retains the same physical properties and micronutrient levels as it had before cooking.
  • Various technologies are available for rice fortification, such as coating and dusting. For rice fortification in India, ‘extrusion’ is considered to be the best technology.
    • This involves the production of fortified rice kernels (FRKs) from a mixture using an extruder machine.
    • The fortified rice kernels are then blended with regular rice to produce fortified rice.
    • FRK has a shelf life of at least 12 months.
  • Why is rice fortification needed?
    • India has very high levels of malnutrition among women and children.
    • According to the Food Ministry, every second woman in the country is anaemic and every third child is stunted.
    • India ranks 94 out of 107 countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), which puts it in the ‘serious hunger’ category.
    • Fortification of food is considered to be one of the most suitable methods to combat malnutrition.
    • Rice is one of India’s staple foods, consumed by about two-thirds of the population.
    • Per capita rice consumption in India is 6.8 kg per month. Therefore, fortifying rice with micronutrients is an option to supplement the diet of the poor.
    • Milled rice generally is low in micronutrient content because its nutrient-rich superficial layer is removed during rice milling and polishing operations.
  • Rice fortification in India:
    • Under the Ministry’s guidelines, 10 g of FRK must be blended with 1 kg of regular rice.
    • According to FSSAI norms, 1 kg of fortified rice will contain the following: iron (28 mg-42.5 mg), folic acid (75-125 microgram), and vitamin B-12 (0.75-1.25 microgram).
    • Rice may also be fortified with zinc (10 mg-15 mg), vitamin A (500-750 microgram RE), vitamin B-1 (1 mg-1.5 mg), vitamin B-2 (1.25 mg-1.75 mg), vitamin B-3 (12.5 mg-20 mg) and vitamin B-6 (1.5 mg-2.5 mg) per kg.

India’s capacity for fortification:

  • The current capacity for rice fortification is at 18 L metric tonnes in 15 states.
  • 3100 rice mills have been installed with blending units.
  • The yearly production of FRK has risen from 7250 MT in 2018 to around 60,000 MT yearly.
  • The ‘Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under PDS’ scheme had been introduced in 2019-20 with a focus on 15 states.
  • 7 states have already started the distribution of fortified rice.

5. KAZIND – 21

Context:

Closing ceremony of KAZIND – 21.

Read more on KAZIND-21 in PIB dated Sept 1, 2021.


6. ATL Space Challenge 2021

Context:

ATL Space Challenge 2021 launched by the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in collaboration with ISRO and CBSE.

Details:

  • The challenge has been designed for all school students, mentors and teachers across the country who not only are associated with schools having ATL labs but for all the non ATL schools as well.
  • This is to ensure that students of classes 6 to 12 are given an open platform where they can innovate and enable themselves to solve digital age space technology problems.
  • The ATL Space Challenge 2021 aligns with the World Space Week 2021 which is being observed from 4 to 10 October each year at the global level in order to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology.
  • Students (from Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and Non-ATL schools) can submit their entries be it a solution or an innovation in teams of up to three members. Teams must be aligned to one of the Challenge Themes under which the problems can be identified.
  • Students can create a solution that can be implemented and adopted leveraging technologies such as:
    • Explore space
    • Reach space
    • Inhabit space
    • Leverage space
  • The application for the Space Challenge can be submitted on the AIM online portal. Each team based on their interest and understanding, must select one problem which falls under any one of the Space Challenge themes.

Read more on the Atal Innovation Mission in the link.

Read previous PIB here.

September 10th, 2021, PIB:- Download PDF Here

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