NATIONAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (NCMC)
- A National Crisis Management Committee is a committee set up by the Government of India in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations.
- It is headed by cabinet secretary.On the constitution of such a committee, the Agriculture Secretary shall provide all necessary information to and seek directions.
- A National Crisis Management Committee(NCMC) has been constituted in the Cabinet Secretariat.
- The composition of the Committee is as under:- Cabinet Secretary Chairman, Secretary to Prime Minister Member, Secretary (MHA) Member, Secretary (MCD) Member, Director (IB) Member, Secretary (R&AW) Member, Secretary (Agri & Coopn.) Co-opted Member, An officer of Cabinet Secretariat. Convenor.
LOCAL TO GLOBAL
- The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) will now explore the possibility of exporting the Khadi cotton and silk face masks to foreign countries after the Ministry of Commerce and Industries lifted the ban on export of non-medical/ non-surgical masks of all types.
- The move comes days after the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s “Local to Global” call in wake of the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”.
- Keeping in view the huge demand of face masks during the global Covid-19 pandemic, the KVIC has developed double layered and triple-layered Cotton as well as Silk face masks respectively, available in two colors for men and in multiple colors for women.
- The KVIC plans to supply khadi face masks in countries like Dubai, USA, Mauritius and several European and Middle East countries where Khadi’s popularity has significantly grown over the last few years. KVIC plans to sell Khadi masks in these countries through the Indian embassies.
- The export of Khadi masks will lead to spike in production and ultimately create large scale employment opportunity for artisans in India.
- These masks prepared from Double Twisted khadi fabric not only meet the quality and scale of demand but are cost effective, breathable, washable, reusable and bio-degradable.
- KVIC is specifically using Double Twisted Khadi fabric for manufacturing of these masks as it helps retains moisture content inside, while providing an easy passage for the air to pass through. What makes these masks more special is the hand-spun and hand-woven cotton and Silk fabrics. Cotton acts as a mechanical barrier while Silk is an Electrostatic barrier.
ALTERNATE DWARFING WHEAT IN GENES
- In India, close to twenty-three million tonnes of leftover rice residues are annually burnt by farmers to get rid of the straw and prepare their fields for sowing wheat, which is the next crop, resulting in air pollution. Also, dry environments pose a challenge for the germination of wheat varieties with short coleoptile.
- To overcome these problems, Scientists at Pune based Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, have mapped two alternative dwarfing genes Rht14 and Rht18 in wheat. These genes are associated with better seedling vigour and longer coleoptiles.
- Scientiests from Genetics and Plant Breeding Group, ARI have mapped the dwarfing genes on chromosome 6A in durum wheat, and DNA-based markers were developed for a better selection of these genes in wheat breeding lines.
- The DNA-based markers will help wheat breeders to precisely select wheat lines carrying these alternative dwarfing genes from a massive pool of wheat breeding lines.
- These DNA based markers are being used at ARI for marker-assisted transfer of these genes in Indian wheat varieties, so as to make them suitable for sowing under rice stubble-retained conditions and dry environments.
- Wheat lines with these alternative dwarfing genes, apart from reducing crop residue burning, can allow deeper sowing of wheat seeds to avail advantage of residual moisture in the soil under dry environments.
- The presently available semi-dwarf wheat varieties, which were explored during the Green Revolution, carry conventional Rht1 dwarfing alleles (variant form of a given gene) and produce optimum yields under high-fertility irrigated conditions. However, they are not well adapted for deeper sowing conditions in dry environments due to shorter coleoptiles, and low early vigor often results into reduced seedling emergence. Moreover, crop stands of Rht1 wheat also remain poor where previous crop residues pose a barrier for seedling emergence due to the short coleoptiles.
PROTOCOL ON INLAND WATER TRANSIT AND TRADE
- The 2nd Addendum to the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade was signed at Dhaka, between India and Bangladesh on 20th May, 2020 by the HE High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh on behalf of the Republic of India; and by Secretary (Shipping) on behalf of People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
- People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Republic of India have a long standing and time-tested Protocol on Transit and Trade through inland waterways of both countries. This Protocol, which was first signed in 1972 (immediately after independence of Bangladesh), is a reflection of shared history and friendship between the two countries.
- It was last renewed in 2015 for five years with a provision for its automatic renewal for a further period of five years giving long term assurance to various stakeholders.
- During the discussions between India and Bangladesh at these meetings held in October, 2018 in New Delhi and in December, 2019 in Dhaka, key decisions were taken on the extension of protocol routes, inclusion of new routes and declaration of new Ports of Call to facilitate trade between the two countries. These decisions have been made effective with the signing of 2nd Addendum to the Protocol.
- The number of Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes are being increased from 8 to 10 and new locations are also added to the existing routes.
- Inclusion of Sonamura- Daudkhandi stretch of Gumti river (93 Km) as IBP route No. 9 & 10 in the Protocol will improve the connectivity of Tripura and adjoining States with Indian and Bangladesh`s economic centres and will help the hinterland of both the countries. This route shall be connecting all existing IBP routes from 1 to 8.
- Presently there are six Ports of Call each in India and Bangladesh under the Protocol.
- Five more Ports of Call and two more extended Ports of Call have been added, increasing the number to eleven Ports of Call and two extended Ports of Call in each country.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
- International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 is being celebrated on 22 May with the theme “Our solutions are in nature.”
- The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the international legal instrument for “the conservation of biological diversity” that has been ratified by 196 nations.
- Given the importance of awareness for the implementation of the Convention, the General Assembly proclaimed 22 May, the date of the adoption of its text, as the International Day for Biological Diversity by its resolution in 2000.
ECOLOGICALLY SENSITIVE AREAS OF WESTERN GHATS
- Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar today interacted with Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers & State Government Officers of six states viz, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu through Video Conference to discuss issues relating to notification of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) pertaining to Western Ghats.
- To conserve and protect the bio diversity of Western Ghats while allowing for sustainable and inclusive development of the region, Government of India had constituted a High Level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan.
- The Committee had recommended that identified geographical areas falling in the six States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu may be declared as Ecologically Sensitive Areas. A draft notification was issued in October 2018 mentioning the areas to be notified in the ESA.
- States were of unanimous view that looking into the importance of Western Ghats, there is need to ensure protection of the western Ghats. However, the states expressed their views as regards activities and extent of area mentioned in the said notification.
- It was decided that state specific issues shall be further deliberated so as to arrive at a consensus on the issue. The states expressed their desire to expedite early notification while protecting interest of ecology and environment.
- International Day for Biological Diversity – May 22 – Theme “Our solutions are in nature.”
- Uttar Pradesh government has launched the ‘UP Startup Fund’ to encourage the youth of the state for entrepreneurship. A large number of migrant workers had come to the state and that they needed to be given jobs on the basis of their skills. The current emphasis on startups will solve their problems.
- Who is recently appointed as the chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) – Chintala Govinda Rajulu. The appointments committee of the union cabinet also cleared the appointment of Shaji KV as deputy managing director at NABARD for five years.
- K. Haripal is appointed as the Judge of Kerala High Court. Kerala High Court Chief Justice – S. Manikumar
- Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan have announced a mini-tournament called the ‘European Solidarity Cup — Football for Heroes’, to raise funds for health care resources in Italy and Spain which have been depleted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
TODAY IN HISTORY
- Sher Shah Sur died. He was fatally wounded in an explosion on Kalanjara fort while preparing for an attack. He introduced the new silver rupee-coin “Rupiya” based on ratio of 40 copper coin pieces (paisa) per rupee and built several roads including the longest road of India known as Grand Trunk Road (now Natioinal Highway-2) – 25 May 1545
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy, great social reformer, lawyer and politician and founder of Brahmo Samaj, was born at Radhanagar in Hooghly district, Bengal – 22 May 1772
- Lord Brabourne laid the foundation stone of Brabourne Stadium in Bombay – 22 May 1936
- Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Darjeeling and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand were the first to conquer the Mount Everest – 22 May 1953
- Jnanpeeth Award was instituted and the first award was given in 1965. This award is given for the best creative literary writing by any Indian citizen in any of the languages included in the VIII Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The award carries a cash price of Rs 2.5 lakh, a citation and a bronze momento. – 22 May 1961
- Ravi Shastri appointed UNICEF’s national ambassador for children – 22 May 1996