Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Varanasi and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. He dedicated the 6th International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) to the nation. The Institute is built at the campus of National Seed Research and Training Center (NSRTC) in Varanasi.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is an international agricultural research and training organization with headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna in the Philippines and offices in seventeen countries with ~1,300 staff.
IRRI is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to the Green Revolution in the 1960s which preempted the famine in Asia.
The Institute, established in 1960 aims to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability of rice farming. It advances its mission through collaborative research, partnerships, and the strengthening of the national agricultural research and extension systems of the countries IRRI works in.
IRRI is one of 15 agricultural research centers in the world that form the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers, a global partnership of organizations engaged in research on food security. It is also the largest nonprofit agricultural research center in Asia
01 January 2019 Current Affairs: ESAF Small Finance Bank received the Reserve Bank approval to operate as scheduled bank making it the fifth scheduled bank that operates from Kerala after Federal Bank, South Indian Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, and Dhanlaxmi Bank. The ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd has received the RBI’s approval for inclusion in the second schedule of the RBI Act, 1934 paving its way to operate as a scheduled bank.
In 2016, RBI gave approval to ESAF MFI along with 9 other applicants to start banking operations as a small finance bank and within two years of its commencement of operations, it has received the scheduled bank tag. On the operation front, the ESAF Small Finance Bank has a network of 432 outlets across 13 states with 2.6 million customers and a loan book of Rs 4,660 crore and deposits if over Rs 3,300 crore.
Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) reported that Sweden has been named the first best-performing country in the CCPI 2019 list. CCPI evaluates the climate protection performance of 60 countries, responsible for over 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Morocco has been named second. Morocco, the North African country significantly increased the share of renewables over the past five years and increased new renewable energy capacity. Lithuania is in the third position in CCPI 2019.
The bottom five in the list are Saudi Arabia, U.S., Iran, South Korea, and Taiwan. With the connection of the world’s largest solar plant to the grid, Morocco is on track for achieving its target of 42% installed renewable energy capacities by 2020.
The first SwS event saw interaction of 40 students and 10 teachers from select schools with ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan during which the students were briefed about Indian space programme and their benefits to the common man at the Anthariksh Bhavan, Bengaluru. The Q&A session that followed saw Dr. Sivan engaging students on a series of topics ranging from rockets, satellites, Chandrayaan, Gaganyaan, and various space applications.
The Chairman asked students to study science and mathematics with absolute seriousness which would enable them to take up challenging careers.
Israel and US officially withdraw from UNESCO over 'anti-Israel' bias
The US had notified UNESCO of its decision to quit the organisation in October 2017 and had called for its "fundamental reform". Israel followed the US in quitting UNESCO. The Paris-based organisation has previously criticised Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and granted full membership to Palestine in 2011. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was co-founded by the US after World War II with the mission of seeking to “build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.” UNESCO is best known for its work to preserve heritage, including maintaining a list of World Heritage sites, and programmes to promote education in developing countries. The US has pulled out of UNESCO before. The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt, and used to advance Soviet interests. The US rejoined in 2003.
Indian Navy Coordinates Largest Ever Coastal Defence Exercise Ten Years After "26/11"
Ten years after "26/11", the Indian Navy commenced the largest coastal defence exercise off the Indian coast today. Exercise SEA VIGIL, a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and is involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with all maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
Exercise SEA VIGIL aims to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since '26/11'. Seaward monitoring during the exercise will entail patrolling off coast, in Offshore Development Areas and off our islands by the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, supported by the State Marine Police. Closer coast, strategic assets, ports, Single Point Moorings (SPMs) will be patrolled by designated agencies. Seaward monitoring will also entail inputs from technical means, including intelligence sources. Shore-based monitoring will entail enhanced vigil by the State Police along the coast; monitoring of fish landing centres by state fisheries departments; as also monitoring of port areas by respective port authorities.
The exercise aims to simultaneously activate the coastal security mechanism across all States and Union Territories. The exercise will cover a wide frontage covering for the first time the entire coast of India, including island territories. The exercise will also go deeper, being spread over seaward, coastal, and hinterland areas. Evaluation of critical areas and processes, including inter-agency coordination, information sharing and technical surveillance will be undertaken. Multi Agency Audit and identification of gaps, shortfalls and incorporation of lessons learnt into SOPs are also the desired outcomes.
While smaller exercises are conducted in coastal states on a biannual basis, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of a security exercise at a national-level is perhaps the first of its kind. It reflects the distance that has been covered since '26/11' and the relative maturing of the organisation for coastal security to take on this large-scale endeavour. Despite, the gains, the challenges are enormous. Exercise SEA VIGIL will provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weakness and this will certainly help further strengthening of maritime security and in turn national security.
The scale of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met. The exercise is a build up towards the major theatre level tri-service exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which Indian Navy conducts every two years. SEA VIGIL and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security, including transition from peace to conflict.
All Operational assets of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard are participating in the SEA VIGIL. The conduct of the exercise SEA VIGIL is also being facilitated by the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State.
The Union Cabinet approved the introduction of a Bill to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST) of Arunachal Pradesh. The bill proposes deletion of the Abor tribe from the state's ST list 'as it is the same as Adi' tribe.
As there is no tribe called 'Khampti', the bill replaces it with 'Tai Khamti' on the list.
The bill seeks to include the Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi) and Taraon (Digaru Mishmi) tribes in the list. It also proposes inclusion of 'Monpa, Memba, Sartang, Sajolong in lieu of the Momba' tribe.
The Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho tribes would replace the words 'any Naga tribe' in the state's ST list.