09 April Current Affairs
April 9, 2020
11 April Current Affairs
April 11, 2020
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10 April Current Affairs

Madhuban Gajar: Biofortified Variety

In News:

Madhuban Gajar, a biofortified carrot variety, is benefitting more than 150 local farmers in Junagadh, Gujarat.


It is being planted in an area of over 200 hectares in Junagadh, and the average yield, which is 40-50 tonne/hectare (t/ha), has become the main source of income to the local farmers.

It is used for various value-added products like carrot chips, juices, and pickles.

Key Points:

Biofortified Variety: The Madhuvan Gajar is a highly nutritious carrot variety developed through the selection method with higher β-carotene content (277.75 mg/kg, source of Vitamin A) and iron content (276.7 mg/kg).

Developed By: Shri Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, a farmer scientist from Junagadh district, Gujarat.

He was conferred with a National Award by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi during Festival of Innovation (FOIN)–2017.

He was also conferred with Padma Shri in the year 2019 for his extraordinary work.

Tested By: National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology during 2016-17. It was found that the Madhuban Gajar carrot variety possesses a significantly higher root yield (74.2 t/ha) and plant biomass (275 gm per plant).

Areas of Cultivation: The variety is being cultivated in more than 1000 hectares of land in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh.

Kendriya Bhandar

In News:

Kendriya Bhandar prepared 2200 essential kits for distribution to needy families in Delhi in the wake of COVID-19.


Each such Kit consisting of 9 items is meant to assist one needy family for some time.

9 items in the kit are Rice, Wheat Flour  , Dal    , Cooking Oil   , Chiwda/Poha  , Salt    , Bathing Soap   bar, Detergent Soap   bar, and Biscuits   .

Key Points:

Kendriya Bhandar is the Central Government Employees Consumer Cooperative Society Ltd, established in 1963.

The society endeavors to serve the Central Government Employees and general public at large by providing quality goods of daily needs at reasonable prices and playing an effective role in the Public Distribution System through its retail outlets.

It functions under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

It is the largest Consumer Cooperative Society in the country. It is a Multi State Consumer Cooperative Society, i.e. functioning in more than one state.

Safety of Women During Lockdown

In News:

Recently, the Union Minister of Women and Child Development had a video-conference with personnel associated with the Ministry. The purpose was to consider measures to protect women in distress during the lockdown.


Nearly 1,000 people joined the video conference live, including the staff members of

1) One Stop Centres.

2) Shelter homes for women in distress ( such as Swadhar Greh, Ujajwala homes).

3) Working Women Hostels.

Key Points:

Reasons Behind Holding the Conference :-

Rise in Crimes Against Women: The National Commission of Women has recorded

A more than two-fold rise in domestic violence and sexual assaults and

A three-fold increase in cases of police apathy in the first week of lockdown since March 24, 2020.

Call Taken by Various Organisations: The gender rights activists and the United Nations (UN) have called for the need to boost helplines, psycho-social support and online counselling to support women in distress.

Instructions by the Ministry: Officials of the ministry were asked to ensure that One Stop Centre are linked with local medical teams, police, NIMHANS, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to ensure that their services are not impacted due to restrictions on movement.

NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences), Bangalore is a multidisciplinary institute for patient care and academic pursuit in the field of mental health and neurosciences.

One Stop Centre:

One stop centre is a centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). It is a subscheme of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women.

One Stop Centres have been established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces.

Funding: The scheme is funded through Nirbhaya Fund and the central government provides 100% financial assistance to the state governments /Union Territories administrations.

Swadhar :-

A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances was launched by the Department of Women and Child Development in 2001-02. The scheme through the provisions of shelter, food, clothing, counseling, training, clinical and legal aid aims to rehabilitate women in difficult circumstances.

Ujjawala Home :-

A comprehensive scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and re-integration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Phased Easing of Lockdown

In News:

An expert committee headed by former Chief Secretary K.M. Abraham has recommended a phased relaxation of the lockdown to contain COVID-19 for areas outside the seven hotspot districts in the State of Kerala from April 15, 2020.

Key Points:

The committee said that the phased withdrawal (in three phases) is sustainable only if there is a steady recovery and decline in the number of cases leading to initial flattening of the infection curve and then gradual tapering of the curve to zero infection cases.

It has asked the government to advise the people that in the event of a resurgence, they should be ready and willing to undergo the rigours of a complete lockdown once again.

The committee has also come up with health-related and non-health-related objectives for the withdrawal strategy and steps for management of hotspots and vulnerable populations.

The Committee has also set criteria for moving into three phases of lockdown withdrawal.

For example, for qualifying for Phase I relaxation,

  1. a) there has to be not more than one new case in the district for the entire week prior to the date of review on April 14.
  2. b) No increase of more than 10% of the number of persons under home surveillance in the district and no hotspots of COVID-19 anywhere in the district.

70 Years of Indian Council for Cultural Relations

In News:

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) observed its 70th foundation day on 9th April 2020.

However, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic it has decided not to hold any celebrations to mark the occasion.

Key Points:

The ICCR runs 36 cultural centres across the globe and its emphasis is on making India a hub of higher education.

Classical dance, music or Hindi and Sanskrit language classes are continuing at most of ICCR centres via skype and other applications without hindrance

ICCR, which is the only soft power institution of the country which plans to focus more on areas that have so far largely remained “neglected” like Indian literature, Indian artisans and also Ayurveda.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations:

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India, involved in India’s external cultural relations (cultural diplomacy), through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples.

It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister.

ICCR has been assigned the responsibility of facilitating the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by Indian Missions/Posts abroad since 2015.

ICCR has instituted several awards, which are conferred upon the foreign nationals for their contributions in different fields, under its mandate of promoting India’s cultural relations.

National Wildlife Board

In News:

National Wildlife Board issues final nod for Mumbai-Nagpur highway amid lockdown. The approval was given via video-conferencing.


The 701-km Hindu Hruday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg connecting Mumbai and Nagpur covering 10 districts, 26 talukas and 392 villages, will reduce the existing travel time of 15 hours to eight hours.

The project will require felling of over one lakh trees and passes through the 10-km eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of Katepurna and Karanja Sohal Blackbuck wildlife sanctuaries towards one end of the state while cutting through the ESZ of Tansa lake sanctuary closer to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

About National Board for Wildlife:

It is a “Statutory Organization” constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Roles and functions:

Its role is “advisory” in nature and advises the Central Government on framing policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in the country.

Primary function of the Board is to promote the conservation and development of wildlife and forests.

It has power to review all wildlife-related matters and approve projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.

No alternation of boundaries in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be done without approval of the NBWL.


The NBWL is chaired by the Prime Minister. It has 47 members including the Prime Minister. Among these, 19 members are ex-officio members. Other members include three Members of Parliament (two from Lok Sabha and one from Rajya Sabha), five NGOs and 10 eminent ecologists, conservationists and environmentalists.