Gujarat: Bumper onion crop to boost exports
The possibility of bumper onion production has brightened the export prospects of processed onions from the state. A record 70,000 tonnes of dehydrated onions are expected to be exported in 2021-22 from Mahuva in Bhavnagar district, which accounts for about 90% of India’s exports of dehydrated onions.
With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the demand for dehydrated onions globally, its exports from Mahuva had dwindled to 50,000 tonnes during the current fiscal. About 90% of onions dehydrated in India go to export markets as domestic consumption is negligible.
With the area under onion crop doubling during this rabi season, Gujarat is poised for a bumper onion crop this year. According to the state agriculture data, the rabi onion acreage has jumped to 60,547 hectares against average onion sowing area of 38,827 hectares in the state. Of the total acreage, 40% area has seen the sowing of white onions, which are largely dehydrated and exported to overseas countries in the forms of flakes, powder, granules as well as chopped and minced onions.
According to industry players, the prices of red and yellow onions were high. Consequently, white onions also went into domestic consumption. Hence, onions were not available at rates feasible for processing.
The dehydrated onions are used in the spices and hospitality industry and exported to countries such as the USA, Australia, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, UK, Brazil, Poland, Austria, and Russia among others. China and Egypt are the major competitors of India in the world market. The export price of dehydrated onions last year was $ 2,200-2,400 per tonne, which is expected to hover around $ 1,800-2,000 per tonne this year.
News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Passed By Australia
The Australian Parliament passed a landmark legislation called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code on February 25, 2021. Highlights:
The regulation requires global digital platforms to pay for publishing Australian news content on their respective platforms.
The legislation mainly targets Facebook and Google.
The law is easy to pass, and the tech giants (Facebook and Google) signed an agreement with the government to pay Australian news organizations.
The agreement was signed to avoid the mandatory bargaining rules under the new regulations.
This legislation will ensure that news companies “are fairly paid for their content” It will also help maintain “public interest news” in the country.
MPEDA-NCDC MoU will Promote Export-Oriented Marine Product
Marine Product Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote Export-Oriented Marine Product. Highlights:
Signed a memorandum of understanding to coordinate with the export-oriented capture and cultural programs in the fisheries sector and other related sectors.
Signed by MPEDA Chairman KS Srinivas and NCDC Managing Director Sundeep Kumar Nayak.
The Memorandum of Understanding seeks to bring better value to stakeholders through multiple activities including export focus.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, both MPEDA and NCDC will develop programes to provide cooperatives with technical knowledge to expand the infrastructure created for primary production purposes.
It will also provide support for the post-harvest management of the marine product export sector.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, MPEDA will share a list of all clusters across the States with NCDC. Then, NCDC will enter the cluster to achieve export-oriented scale and aggregation.
National Science Day: 28 February
The National Science Day is celebrated on 28 February each year in India to spread the message about the importance of science in the daily life of the people.
The aim of this day is to commemorate the discovery of Raman effect.
Indian physicist Sir C V Raman discovered the Raman effect on 28 February 1928.and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for it.
Theme for 2021 – ‘Future of STI: Impact on Education Skills and Work’
Fino Payments Bank Upgraded To Scheduled Commercial Bank Status
Fino Payments Bank has been designated as a bank in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
By categorising Fino in the second schedule of the RBI Act, the payments bank now has a scheduled commercial bank status giving it the powers to expand its treasury operations and access to liquidity windows.
Fino is one of the only successful payments banks in the country, having broken even in the first-half of this fiscal while other payment banks continue to report losses.
For the June to September 2020 quarter, the bank posted its second consecutive net profit at Rs 1.9 crore compared to a net loss of Rs 10.9 crore during the same period a year ago.
The commercial bank status effectively gives Fino access to government business, it can become a member of a clearing house, in addition to the RBI’s liquidity window.
President’s Rule in Puducherry Approved by The Cabinet
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for the presidential rule in Puducherry. The proposal was approved a few days after the Union government led by Congress lost power after a vote of confidence. Highlights:
This decision was made because, after the resignation of the Chief Minister, no party claimed to form a government in Puducherry.
After resignation, the lieutenant general proposed the Puducherry presidential system approved by the Union Cabinet.
After the election committee announces the date of the election, the model code of conduct will also come into effect.
India’s presidential rule is the suspension of state governments and the implementation of Union government rule.
The President’s regulations are based on Article 356 of the Constitution. When the state government is unable to perform its functions in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, the regulations are implemented. Thereafter, the executive power is exercised by the governor appointed by the central government.
VL-SRSAM Missile System – DRDO
The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully conducted two Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM). Highlights:
The launch was carried out from a static vertical launcher at the Chandipur Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha.
Before the test, as part of the safety measures, approximately 8,000 people within a 2 km radius of the ITR were evacuated.
About VL-SRSAM: VL-SRSAM is used to eliminate various air threats in close range, including sea skimming targets. It was designed and developed indigenously by DRDO for the Indian Navy.
Advanced tank-based weapon systems can identify, track, engage and destroy targets with a high probability of killing. The strike range is about 40 kilometers.
2nd edition of Khelo India Winter Games begins in Gulmarg
The second edition of ‘Khelo India Winter Games’ started from February 26 and culminate on March 2 in Jammu and Kashmir’s winter destination of Gulmarg.
Around 1200 athletes and guests from across the country are scheduled to participate in the mega sports event.
Athletes from 27 states and Union Territories will converge on the snow-bound slopes of Gulmarg during the event to compete in different categories of sports.
The prominent sports activities, which will be the hallmark of the winter games, include snow shoe race, ice skating, ice hockey, skiing, Nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering and ice stock, etc.
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