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13 August Current Affairs

Andhra Pradesh State Industrial Development Policy 2020-23

In News:

The Andhra Pradesh Government has launched a new State Industrial Development Policy for the year 2020-23. The policy aimed to create employment for youth and match national average in industrial GVA per capita. The previous Industrial Development Policy of the state was implemented between 2015-20

Details:

The policy was unveiled by the State Industries Minister Gautam Reddy. The policy aims to promote well-balanced regional growth. It ensures fast turn out time for grounding investment proposals. Also, it will train and provide skills to workforce in order attract global investment.

The main objective of the policy is to create employment. It also intends to balance growth across regions and communities in the state. Also, it plans to achieve environmentally sustainable growth.

Key Features of the Policy:

Infrastructure:

  • The policy paves way to develop infrastructure facilities targeting MSMEs at affordable rates.
  • The policy will enable development of mega industrial parks according to the local needs.

Industrial Zoning:

  • The industrial zoning is to be the key focus area of the policy to ensure planned industrial development.
  • The policy will also aim to provide risk-free investment friendly environment to industries. Above all, the policy will ensure minimised environmental impacts amidst industrial development.

Ease of Doing Business:

The policy will also enable faster approval process and enable district level interventions.

Skill Development:

The State Government of Andhra Pradesh is to create 30 skill development centres and two skill development universities under the policy. The policy will increase the speed of approval processes and enable district level interventions by collector and also will establish central helpline desk.

Background:

The Policy has been prepared by the State Government after extensive consultations with the stakeholders in industrial, academics and corporate sectors. The policy will provide skilled labours, best-in-class infrastructure and end to end handholding support for units to provide industry friendly environment.

Significance of the Policy to India:

The State is the 8th largest state in the country that holds 4% of population.

77 new species of butterfly found in Maharashtra

In News:

The study conducted by Bombay Natural History Society has found 77 new species of butterflies in the ecologically sensitive forest of Matheran hill station in Mumbai. With this the total number of butterfly species in the forest has gone up to 140.

Details:

Matheran hill station is spread over 214 square kilo metres and is located at 80 km from the Maharashtra capital. The study was conducted between 2011 and 2019. This is the first study in the forest in 125 years.

Key Findings of the Study:

The study found that seasonal variation in butterfly diversity was observed. The maximum diversity of butterflies was recorded in winter and the least was observed during monsoon. The study also said that the butterfly diversity in the region is stable and the chances of immigration or emigration to the surrounding regions are low.

Previous studies:

Prior to the study that was done by BHNS, a British researcher J A Betham had surveyed the hills of Matheran for its butterfly diversity in 1894. He had reported 78 species of butterflies then.

Significance of Butterflies diversity:

The Butterfly diversity indicate healthy environment and ecosystems. They indicate wide range of invertebrates. Butterfly diversity is seldom used by the ecologists to study the impact of habitat loss, climate change and habitat fragmentation.

Matheran Hills:

It is a hill station located in the state of Maharashtra. The rock types in the hills are mainly composed of Deccan Trap.

Deccan Trap:

Deccan Trap is a large igneous province in west-central India. The term trap has been used for the type of rock formations that are found in this region. They have multiple layers of flood basalt.

The Deccan Trap was formed 66.25 million years ago in the end of Cretaceous period.  Cretaceous period lasted between 145 million years ago and 66 million years ago. It is the final period of Mesozoic Era.

GoI scraps Powerloom Board after Handloom Board

In News:

The Ministry of Textiles has disbanded All India Powerloom Board after All India Handicrafts and Handloom boards. Also, all of the eight Textiles Research Associations in the country will now cease to be “affiliated bodies” of the ministry.

Details:

The Textile Research Associations will now act as approved bodies to conduct tests, researches and development activities of textiles sector. The decision has been made to stick to the principle of “Minimum Government Maximum Governance”.

The board was first constituted in November 1981. Powerloom is a mechanised loom that was developed during early Industrial Revolution.

The Handloom Board was scrapped on the National Handloom Day (August 7).

Textiles Research Associations:

The eight Textiles Research Associations in India are as follows:

  • Textiles Research Association in Ghaziabad
  • Ahmedabad Textile Industry Research Association
  • Bombay Textiles Research Association
  • Man-made Textiles Research Association in Surat
  • Synthetic and Art Silk Mills Research Association in Mumbai
  • World research Association in Thane
  • Indian Jute Industries Research Association in Kolkata
  • South India Textiles Research Association in Coimbatore.

Textiles Sector in India:

The domestic textiles contribute to 2.3% of GDP of India. Also, it contributes to 13% of export earning of the country and 7% of manufacturing production. Textiles industry provides second largest employment in the country providing employment to more than 45 million people.

The textiles sector is highly important to India as it generates huge employment to both skilled and unskilled labours after agriculture.

India is first in jute production and contributes to 63% of Global textile market. Most of the jute mills in India are located in the banks of Hooghly River. India faces tough competition from countries such as Brazil, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand and Egypt. The main markets of jute are Russia, USA, UK, Australia and Canada.

The textiles industry in India include silk, cotton, wool, jute and man-made fibres. Cotton contributes to 60% of Indian Textiles industry. The Cotton Textile industries are concentrated in the cotton growing belts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

FSSAI: No sale of junk food within 50 metres of schools

In News:

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India recently announced that sale of junk and unhealthy food should be restricted within 50 metres schools and education institutions.

Details:

The FSSAI has made the announcement to provide safe foods and balanced diet to children in schools. The foods referred to as HFSS (High in Fat, Salt and Sugar) cannot be sold in mess premises and scool canteens.

The FSSAI operates under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It was established as statutory body under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

Regulations:

The GoI has brought in several regulations to make sure school children are provided with healthy food. The Mid-Day Meal scheme should receive license or registration from food regulating agency. Also, it should comply requirements of hygiene practices as specified under Schedule 4 of Food Safety and Standard Act.

The draft regulation against fast food within 50 metres of school premises was released in November 2019. It was titled as “Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and Healthy Diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019” The regulations are as follows:

  • The food companies cannot advertise or offer free foods within 50 metres of the school campus
  • The regulation prohibits companies from using their logos, product names and brand names on educational materials such as school buses, buildings or athletic fields.
  • The school campus should be converted into “Eat Right School”.
  • The schools should get advice from dietitians and nutritionists to prepare menu for children periodically.

Background:

India has the second most number of obese children among 195 countries according to WHO. Also, western diet affects the diversity of gut bacteria and sets stage for metabolic diseases. Therefore, these regulations that reduce the intake of unhealthy foods should be welcomed.

In 2015, the Delhi High Court ordered FSSAI to regulate junk foods being sold in school canteens. After this, committees were set up to frame new guidelines to make sure school children get healthy meals.

KVIC: First Silk Training cum Production Centre in Arunachal Pradesh

In News:

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission is to set up the first of its kind training cum production centre of silk in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The centre is to be launched in the first week of September, 2020.

Details:

The KVIC will provide machinery such as handlooms, warping drums and silk reeling machines. The centre is to provide training to 25 local artisans and will boost weaving activities in the region.

Silk in Arunachal Pradesh:

Arunachal Pradesh is the biggest state in the North East that has vast potential for Sericulture. The state produces all four varieties of silk namely Mulbery, Oak Tasar, Eri and Muga. Oak Tasar is practiced in higher altitudes. Eri and Muga are practiced foothills areas and Mulbery is reared in middle altitude.

Silk Production in India:

India is the second largest producer of silk in the world. Of the four varieties of silks, Mulberry accounts to 74.51%, Eri accounts to 16.5%, Tasar to 8.5% and Muga accounts to 0.55%. India exports silk mainly to USA and European countries. The employment generation due to silk production in the country raised to 8.03 million persons in 2014-15.

Silk Samagra:

Silk Samagra scheme is implemented by the Central Silk Board of India. Between 2017 and 2020, the GoI allocated Rs 2,161 crores for the scheme to develop sericulture in the country. The four main components of the scheme are as follows

  • Seed organizations
  • Coordination and Market Development
  • Research Development, Transfer of Technology and Training and IT initiatives
  • Quality Certification Systems, Technology Upgradation and Export Brand Promotion.

Central Silk Board:

The board is a statutory body that was established in 1948. IT works under Ministry of Textiles. The headquarters of the board is located in Bangalore. The main functions of the board are as follows:

  • To promote and develop silk industry
  • To assist and encourage scientific, economic and technological research
  • To advise central government on matters relating to developing of silk industry
  • To prepare reports relating to silk industry as required by the central government from time to time.

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