- Nabard to set up 250 FPOs in Gujarat
- National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (Nabard) aims to set up 250 Farm Producers Organizations (FPOs) in Gujarat over the next three years.
- Setting up of the FPOs – which are farmers’ collectives that help reduce cost of production by encouraging common cultivation and bulk transport – is a NABARD initiative to help boost the income of small and marginalized farmers in the state.
- Currently, there are 168 FPOs operational in Gujarat, spread across Banaskantha, Bhavnagar, Dahod, Narmada, Sabarkantha, Bharuch, Bhavnagar and Panchmahal districts.
- According to Nabard data, small and marginal farmers in Gujarat have an average land holding of less than two hectare. However, after being part of the FPOs, individual income of farmers have increased significantly.
- Afghanistan begins exports to India through Chabahar
- Afghanistan began exports to India through an Iranian port.
- Officials said that 23 trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from western Afghan city of Zaranj to Iran’s Chabahar port.
- The consignment will be shipped to the Indian city of Mumbai.
- The Iranian port provides easy access to the sea to Afghanistan and India has helped developed this route to allow both countries to engage in trade bypassing Pakistan.
· Cobra Gold military exercise was held in Thailand
- The annualCobra Gold military exercise was hosted by Thailand and the United States. It is the biggest activity of its type in the Asia-Pacific region with 29 nations taking part as participants or observers.
- Apart from the 2 countries, 7 countries who participated in the exercise were India, Singapore, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea. In total9 countries participated.
- The Indian Army participated in the military training exercise with a 14-member contingent. India participated in this exercise for the first time in the ‘Observer Plus’category in 2016 alongside China.
· Scientists have discovered 300,000 new galaxies using a Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope
- A study conducted by 200 scientists from 18 countries has led to the discovery of 300,000 new galaxies using a Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescopein the Netherlands.
- LOFAR is capable of detecting low radio frequencies which is not visible to other telescopes.
Thus, scientists could spot lakhs of light sources, which were once too faint to be detected from Earth.
· ECI developed cVIGIL for Lok Sabha election
- Election Commission of India has developed cVIGIL, a mobile app, for the upcomingLok Sabha election. ‘cVIGIL’ stands for ‘Vigilant Citizen’. It was launched in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Complaints regarding the model code of conduct and expenditure violations can be lodged in during election time.
- To lodge a complaint,a voter should download the app from Google Play Store. Photos and two-minute video clippings regarding the violation can be uploaded via the app. Complainants also have the option to remain anonymous. Within 100 minutes of filing the complaint, the complainant will receive feedback on the action taken.
· RBI extends KYC deadline for digital wallets by six months
- The RBI has extended its February 28deadline for completion of KYC (Know Your Customer) norms for digital wallets [prepaid payment instrument (PPI) issuers] by six months.
- PPIs are instruments that facilitate purchase of goods and services, including financial services and remittance facilities, against the value stored on such instruments.
· Bihar becomes the 1st state to deploy dog squad to check liquor smuggling
- Bihar becomes the first state to deploy specially-trained dogs to check to smuggle of liquor.
- Around 20 liquor-tracker dogs were trained for nine months in Hyderabad, Telangana.
- They were trained at Hyderabad-based Integrated Intelligence Training Academy.
- Patna will witness deployment of 4 such dogs.
- This action was taken after the seizure of more than three million litres of illegal alcohol since April 2016.
- India successfully test fires QRSAM missiles off Odisha coast
- Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO, successfully test fired indigenously developed Quick Reach Surface-to-Air missiles, QRSAMs.
- The missiles were tested from ITR Chandipur off the Odisha Coast.
- The two missiles were tested for different altitude and conditions.
- QRSAM uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km.
- Currency printing presses and mints declared as public utility service by Govt
ð The government has declared printing presses and mints as public utility service under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
ð The printing presses and mints included in the declaration are
♦ India Security Press (Nashik),
♦ India Government Mints (Kolkata, Noida, Mumbai and Hyderabad),
♦ Security Printing Press (Hyderabad), Security Paper Mill (Hoshangabad)
♦ Services in the Bank Note Press (Dewas), and
♦ Currency Note Press (Nashik Road).
Likewise, chemical fertilisers industry and coal industry were declared as public utilities on December 28 and November 1 last year respectively.
Bhartiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Limited in Mysore and Salboni in West Bengal were also turned into public utilities on October 9, 2018.
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