September 13, 2017
9 months

Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF)

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved setting up of Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund.
  • It was announced in the union budget 2017-18, under National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • The project will be implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC).
  • NABARD will give loans to NDDB and NCDC to help the milk cooperatives.
  • The project will focus on building an efficient milk procurement system, expansion of processing infrastructure for value added products for the milk unions and producer companies.

Homoeopathy Virology Lab

  • Union AYUSH minister has inaugurated India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab in Kolkata.
  • The laboratory has been established to develop new drugs and technologies in Homoeopathy to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.
  • The laboratory is the only one in India for conducting basic and fundamental research in Homoeopathy for viral diseases like influenza, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, chickunguniya and swine flu.

Nari Shakti Puraskars

  • The Ministry of Women & Child Development has invited nominations for the "Highest Civilian Honor for Women" – Nari Shakti Puraskars.
  • GoI confers this award every year on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8th March).
  • The objective of the award is to acknowledge and recognize the services of individuals and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment.

Report on fragile island ecosystem

  • Recently Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has published the first consolidated and updated information of the faunal diversity of Sundarbans, a mangrove ecosystem.
  • The Indian segment of the Sundarbans is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, forms part of the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta.
  • The researchers documented the famous tigers of the island which have adapted to aquatic conditions.
  • The report highlighted that rhinos, swamp deer, barking deer and hog deer, Asiatic wild water buffalo are not found in Sundarbans anymore.
  • But it has turtles and the River Terrapin (most threatened freshwater species) and Cartilaginous fish which have cartilage rather than bone.

River Terrapin

  • A terrapin is one of several small species of turtle living in fresh or brackish water.
  • The northern river terrapin (Batagur baska) is a species of riverine turtle native to Southeast Asia.
  • It is classified “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN.
  • The species is currently found in Bangladesh (in the Sundarbans), India (parts- West Bengal & Odisha), Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia.
  • A captive conservation breeding programme has been implemented in Sunderbans Tiger Reserve to protect the species against natural risks and also facilitate genetic management.

Vishwajeet Scheme

  • Vishwajeet scheme aimed to help top IITs to get top league in global rankings.
  • It had the provision of funding to top seven IITs over a period of five years to upgrade infrastructure, hire foreign faculty and collaborate with foreign institutions.
  • Recently, the scheme was scrapped by Union Finance Minsitry.
  • The ministry sent back the HRD’s request for in-principle approval of the project with a note that the IITs should first address “fundamental issues” such as the autonomy to fix fees, raising resources from corporate houses and alumni members, and strengthening existing schemes.
  • However, Union HRD ministry has introduced “Higher Education Finance Agency (HEFA)” to provide support to universities for creating the research infrastructure.
  • Click here to know more about HEFA.


Source: PIB, The Hindu.

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