1. e – RaKAM
- e-RaKAM (e-Rashtriya Kisan Agri Mandi) portal is a digital initiative launched recently that aims to bring together the farmers, PSUs, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and and buying process of agricultural products.
- Under this initiative, e-RaKAM centres are being developed throughout the country in a phased manner to facilitate farmers for online sale of their produce.
- RECENT INITIATIVES IN e – AGRICULTURE
Central, state governments and private organisations have taken ICT measures for agriculture extension which include ITC- e-choupal, Kisan Kerala, Aaqua, Rice knowledge management portal , e-krishi, Mahindra Kisan Mitra, IFFCO Agri-portal, Village knowledge centers (VKCs)- M.S Swaminathan research foundation (MSSRF), village resource centres (VRCs)- Indian Space research organisation, etc.
ICT AND AGRICULTURE
- Farming and Information Technology seems to be the most distantly placed knowledge sets in the world. Farming being the most primitive and most basic of the jobs and IT related being the most advanced and most modern.
- However we know the importance of farming as it is essential for life maintenance on earth and it is important for the developments in IT to aid for the betterment of farming to produce better.
- The information related to policies and programs of government, schemes for farmers, institutions through which these schemes are implemented, new innovations in agriculture, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Institutions providing new agricultural inputs(high yielding seeds, new fertilizers etc) and training in new techniques are disseminated to farmers through use of Information technology to ensure inclusiveness and to avoid digital divide.
- Access to price information, access to agriculture information, access to national and international markets, increasing production efficiency and creating a ‘conducive policy environment’ are the beneficial outcomes of e-Agriculturewhich enhance quality of life of farmers.
- Soil Management, Water Management, Seed Management, Fertilizer Management, Pest Management, Harvest Management and Post-Harvest Management are the important components of e-Agriculture where technology aids farmers with better information and alternatives. It uses a host of technologies like Remote Sensing, Computer Simulation, Assessment of speed and direction of Wind, Soil quality assays, Crop Yield predictions and Marketing using IT.
- In India, there have been several initiatives by State and Central Governments to meet the various challenges facing the agriculture sector in the country.
- The E-Agriculture is part of Mission Mode Project, which has been included in NeGP (under National E-governance Plan) in an effort to consolidate the various learnings from the past, integrate all the diverse and disparate efforts currently underway, and upscale them to cover the entire country.
- The MMP is to be operationalized by Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC).
2. JUSTICE B N SRIKRISHNA COMMITTEE
- The Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has constituted an expert Committee to study and identify key data protection issues and recommend methods for addressing them.
- The ten-member committee will be headed by Supreme Court Judge (retired) Justice B N Srikrishna.
- The government’s decision to focus on data protection comes on the back of a wave of privacy and data breaches.
3. WORLD BANK SAYS YES TO KISHANGANGA AND RATLE HYDRO POWER PLANTS
- World Bank has allowed India to construct Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers .
- Earlier Pakistan had opposed the construction of the Kishanganga (Jhelum River) and Ratle (Chenab River) hydroelectric power plants built by India in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Indus Water Treaty of 1960, has given Pakistan full control over three western rivers (Indus , Jhelum and Chenab) for unrestricted use. Besides, it also allows India to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers along with other uses, subject to constraints specified in annexures to the treaty.