1 . 1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference held in New Delhi
- The 1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference was held at New Delhi on 9th Jan .
- It was a historic conference, where a Rainbow of Parliamentarians of Indian Origin from over 20 Democracies of the World gathered to share Parliamentary best practices and mutually enrich each other with their experiences.
- PIOs have achieved great heights in Politics and Governance in various countries and also become Heads of State which is a matter of great pride and happiness for 1.25 billion Indians.
- A total of 141 lawmakers confirmed their attendance and 134 leaders have made to the event .
2 . 65 satellites planned to be realised over the period from 2017 to 2021 by ISRO
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set itself an ambitious to-do list of making and launching around 65 satellites for a slew of uses. They are planned to be realised over the period from 2017 to 2021.
- The new goal of satellite launch puts ISAC’s (ISRO Satellite Centre ) annual asking rate at around 18 satellites a year: ISAC would now need to come out with three satellites every two months.
- ISAC’s spacecraft are meant for communication, navigation and Earth observation (EO), for both general and strategic purposes, while new emerging applications are getting added.
- In the four-year list, ISAC counts 26 for communication, 28 for EO and seven for navigation besides the scientific missions Aditya-L1 and XPoSat, apart from a few small experimental satellites.
About ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC)
The ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) is the leading centre of ISRO for design, development, fabrication and testing of all Indian made satellites. It was established in the year of 1972 as Indian Scientific Satellite Project (ISSP) at Bengaluru . Organisations under the umbrella of ISAC include the Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems (LEOS) and the ISRO Satellite Integration and Testing Establishment (ISITE).
3 . National anthem not mandatory in cinema halls : SC
- Diluting its earlier order, the Supreme Court has made playing of the national anthem in cinema halls before screening of films optional.
- However, should a movie theater choose to play the national anthem, the audience would have to stand as a mark of respect except for certain exempted class of people, such as the handicapped, the ill, etc.
- A three-judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra took this decision at the instance of the central government, which said it was examining the issue of respecting the national anthem in depth and would come up with new rules within six months.
- The court order would hold till fresh rules are notified.
- The government, through the Attorney General, had urged the court to dilute its earlier order mandating it to be played before every movie on the grounds that the home ministry’s new committee was looking into it.
- The court had on November 30, 2016, passed this order.
- It had acted on a PIL filed by Shyam Narayan Chowksy.
4 . Peru records highest export sales to India among Asian markets
- South American country Peru generated its highest export sales to India during January-October 2017 with shipments totalling $1.57 billion, as compared to other Asian economies like China, South Korea, Japan and the UAE.
- Also, Indian importers have shown a growing interest in Peruvian avocados, leading to a steady increase in its consumption since 2016.
- In 2015, Peru became the second largest exporter of table grapes- Red Globe variety- to India, a position it holds even today. These grapes are typically available in Indian supermarkets between December and April every year.
- Peru’s exports to India also include gold, silver, copper, Sacha Inchi, Quinoa, Camu Camu, among others.
- With the India-Peru trade agreement discussions, India will be able to move ahead of the stereotype of seeing Latin America through the Brazilian lens.
- Open trade barriers between the two countries provide Peru with a new and significant trade partner, because of which the Peruvian economy is enjoying a surge.
5 . Assam starts World bank funded Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project
- Assam government has recently started Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART), a World Bank funded project.
- This project would be able to fulfil the state’s much larger vision of an agriculture based rural transformation by increasing productivity, raising private sector investment and create better job opportunities among others.
- This new project would be able to supplement other state government initiatives like Chief Minister’s Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojna (CMSGUY), Ease of Doing of Business etc.
Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART)
- The Project will support the Government of Assam to facilitate agri-business investments, increase agriculture productivity and market access, and enable small farm holders produce crops that are resilient to recurrent floods or droughts in the state.
- The Project will be implemented in over 16 Districts of Assam.
- Over 500,000 farming households will directly benefit from the Project.
- At least 30 percent women are expected to participate in project activities.
- Specific focus will be given to women-led enterprises and their participation in the decision-making process of farmer producer organizations.
- The focus on geographic clustering of the production base for certain commodities will help agri-enterprises take advantage of existing and future market opportunities that they may not necessarily achieve alone.
- The cluster approach will allow for combining efforts, making use of synergies, and pooling resources to increase the competitive advantage of these products, while at the same time share the risks involved in introducing improved products or entering previously untapped markets.
- Another key component of the project will be to promote market-led production that can deal with the vagaries of climate change.
- Assam’s agriculture sector is highly vulnerable to climate variability and the state experiences recurrent floods and droughts.
- A market-led production system will take advantage of the rapidly changing market, introduce crops that are resilient to climate change, increase production and manage risks for farmers.
- The $200 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 7-year grace period, and a maturity of 16.5 years.