1.OBJECTIONABLE VIDEO FILMS OF JARAWAS ON YOU TUBE
- The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST) has initiated action on You Tube for objectionable video films on this social media platform.
- The Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shom Pens have been identified as aboriginal tribes.
- They are an indigenous people of the Andaman Islands.
- Their present numbers are estimated at between 250–400 individuals.
- They have largely shunned interaction with outsiders, and many particulars of their society, culture, and traditions are poorly understood.
2.FIRST MAIZE BASED MEGA FOOD PARK
- The foundation stone for First Maize based Mega Food Park was recently laid in Kapurthala, Punjab.
- Maize Based Mega Food Park is the first major and serious step in the history of India for containing the desertification problem of Punjab and would make farmers turn to maize cultivation which need less water for more production.
MEGA FOOD PARK SCHEME
- Mega Food Parks Scheme (MFPS) was launched in 2008 whereby, the Government provides Financial Assistance up to Rs. 50 Crore to set up modern infrastructure facilities for food processing called Mega Food Parks.
- The key objectives of the scheme are to reduce wastage of perishables; raise processing of food items from 6% to 20% and raise India’s share in Food Processing Industry from 1.5% to 3%.
- Mega Food Park is an inclusive concept that aims at establishing the direct linkages from the farm to processing to consumer markets.
- Implementation of the Mega Food Park is done through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) mechanism in which Financial Institutions/Banks, organized retailers, processors, service providers, producers, farmer organizations and other related stakeholders are the equity Holders.
The objective of the scheme is to link farm produce to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers. However, there are some major issues which need to be addressed to get the desired results.
- Firstly, land acquisition is major issue. It is very difficult to get 50 acre of land anywhere, particularly in small and hilly states. The government needs to provide flexibility to this requirement.
- Secondly, since most agri-business in our country happens through cooperatives, their integration into food parks is critical.
- Thirdly, though the scheme gives a grant to the SPV, the SPV finds itself unable to attract the PPCs(Primary Processing Centres) and CCs(Collection Centres). Here, the National Mission on Food Processing could play a major role by providing the Rs. 50 Lakh grant under that mission to units within the MFPs. But that scheme is now delinked from central support and states may have to decide if they want to continue or not. State governments may look into these issues case-by-case basis and provide attractions to these units as well.
- Fourthly, the MFP scheme provides maximum grant of Rs.50 crores for setting up a MFP in minimum 50 acres of contiguous land with 50 percent contribution to the total project cost from the SPV. This “one size fits all” approach has not been able to attract the investors having more or less requirements.
Lastly, the scheme has not attracted global companies because some of them would not work on basis of “grant” from a developing country. They would like to work on Joint Ventures.
3.UNESCO HAS PUT HEBRON ON ENDANGERED HERITAGE LIST
- UNESCO has declared the old city in the West Bank town of Hebron as a Palestinian world heritage site.
- This has outraged Israeli officials who say the move negated the deep Jewish ties to the biblical town and its ancient shrine.
- City located in the southern West Bank, 30 km south of Jerusalem.
- The city is venerated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims for its association with Abraham.
- In Judaism it is considered the second-holiest city after Jerusalem while Islam regards it as one of the four holy cities.