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News in Short

News in Short - 20-January-2021

Sugar output rises 31%

Date: 20 January 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • India’s sugar output rose by 31 per cent to 142.70 lakh tonnes in the first three-and-a-half months of the 2020-21. India is second largest producer of sugar.
  • Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has projected the sugar output to increase by 13 per cent to 310 lakh tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year on likely higher availability of sugarcane.
  • Sugar production in Uttar Pradesh, the country's leading sugar producing state, remained slightly lower because of reportedly lower cane yield and lower sugar recoveries in the state.
  • The output in Maharashtra, the country's second-largest sugar-producing state, rose to 51.55 lakh tonne from 25.51 lakh tonne in the said period.
  • Similarly, the production in Karnataka, the country's third-largest sugar-producing state, increased to 29.80 lakh tonne till January 15 of this year from 21.90 lakh tonne in the year-ago period.

New monsoon forecast models

Date: 20 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) may introduce new monsoon models this year to better forecast changes in rainfall.
  • The monsoon in 2019 was only the third time in a century that India saw back-to-back years of above normal rainfall. In both years  the IMD failed to forecast the magnitude of the excess and only indicated that monsoon would be “above normal”.
  • The trend in meteorology is towards dynamical models and though India uses several of them, the official forecasts rely on the outputs of statistical models.
  • The three models under consideration are: 12 global circulation models (dynamical) whose outputs would be combined into a single one; a model that gauges rainfall based on the sea surface temperature in the tropics and the statistical model based on climate variables observed during the pre-monsoon.

PM Modi elected chairman of Somnath temple trust

Date: 20 January 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected new chairman of the Shree Somnath Trust (SST), the religious body which manages and maintains the famous Somnath temple in Gujarat.
  • The post of chairman of the trust had fallen vacant following the death of Keshubhai Patel, former chief minister of Gujarat, in October 2020.
  • The Central government and the Gujarat government have powers to nominate four trustees each on the board of trustees of SST.
  • The SST board conducts election to the post of its chairman every year. Patel was serving as the chairman of the SST since 2004. He had become a trustee of the board in year 1999.

Covaxin not to be used in case of fever and allergy

Date: 20 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Individuals with any history of allergies, fever and bleeding disorder, on blood thinners and who are immunity compromised or on medication have been told by COVAXIN manufacturer Bharat Biotech not to take the vaccine.
  • The company said the vaccine was also contraindicated for pregnant/lactating women, those using other COVID-19 vaccines and people with any other serious health related issues as determined by the vaccinator/officer supervising vaccination.
  • The statement comes amidst reports of a slow uptake of the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the country that began on January 16.
  • Bharat Biotech has now released a fact sheet detailing the possible adverse events and those who are eligible for the vaccine.

No impact of lockdown on tobacco availability

Date: 20 January 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • The effect of last year’s COVID-19 lockdown was felt in many ways but it had little or no impact on the availability of tobacco products.
  • A survey among tobacco users found that nearly 60% reported easy availability of tobacco products during the lockdown.
  • The researchers also found an encouraging trend: nearly two-thirds of tobacco users reported a reduction in tobacco use and an intention to quit.
  • More than half of them reported easy availability of tobacco products. Nearly two-thirds purchased tobacco products daily from shops during the lockdown. While 27% had stocks of tobacco, the remaining 6% obtained tobacco from peers.