Gujarat’s tobacco acreage up by 116% in 19 years
In Gujarat — which has the ignominy of being known as the oral cancer capital of India — farmers in North and Central Gujarat are raking in the moolah from tobacco.
Tobacco was sown on 63,800 hectares in 2004, and this number has risen to 1.38 lakh hectares for the 2023 winter crop, a 116% increase. Gujarat accounts for 48% of the country’s total tobacco production of 8 lakh tonnes.
Experts say there are many factors for this, tobacco is a cash crop and keeps away wild animals such as nilgai and wild boar which may graze on and destroy food crops. The greater availability of water has also increased tobacco acreage.
According to figures from the agriculture department, the acreage sown with tobacco was 68,200 hectares in 2003-04, and rose to 92,900 hectares in 2013-14 and to 1.38 lakh hectares as of January 2023.
The figures show that till 2013-14, about 95% of tobacco was grown in the Charotar region — Anand, Kheda and Vadodara districts. However, in 2013-14, it started to be grown in North Gujarat, which now accounts for 30% of tobacco acreage, mainly in the districts of Mehsana, Banaskantha, Patan and Sabarkantha. In Central Gujarat, 96% of the area sown with tobacco is in Kheda and Anand districts.
Whiteshield releases Global Labour Resilience Index 2023 at World Government Summit
Whiteshield, a global strategy and public policy advisory firm, released its Global Labour Resilience Index (GLRI) 2023 during the World Government Summit. The index is a first-of-its-kind measurement tool that assesses the capacity of an economy to limit fluctuations in employment and quickly rebound from setbacks. The index ranked 136 countries for their resiliency in labour markets, policies, and key capabilities to face crises such as pandemics, technological disruptions, and transition to a green economy.
The last two years have tested the limits of labour market resilience and the global labour force would have been in a more challenging position if it were not for the unprecedented government support, the report revealed.
The GLRI 2023 analysed countries that are prepared for the future of work. Alongside structural vulnerabilities, the report ranked countries on their ability to absorb crises, recover, and align their economies with future trends.
Digital transactions will soon exceed cash in India: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed hope that digital transactions would soon surpass cash as Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is increasingly becoming the most preferred payment mechanism in the country.
Modi after the launch of the cross-border connectivity between the UPI and PayNow of Singapore said about 74 billion transactions amounting to more than Rs 126 trillion, which is approximately 2 trillion Singapore dollars, was done through UPI in 2022.
The linkage of these two payment systems would enable residents of both countries in faster and cost-efficient transfer of cross-border remittances.
It will also help the Indian diaspora in Singapore, especially migrant workers and students, through instantaneous and low-cost transfer of money from Singapore to India and vice-versa.
India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing ecosystems for fintech innovation.
Govt plans OTT platform, direct-to-mobile TV, FM auction to increase footprint
In a bid to increase its footprint, the government is planning a fresh auction of FM radio stations, roll out an OTT platform, and conduct trials of direct-to-mobile television broadcast this year.
Chandra said the government has made an allocation of ₹2,500 crore over a four-year period for the Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) Scheme to widen the reach of Prasar Bharati, including in the Left wing extremism, border and strategic areas.
The scheme aims to boost public sector broadcasting in the country and focuses on infrastructure development of Prasar Bharati, including All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).
Chandra said IIT-Kanpur and Sankhya Labs have installed transmitters along Kartavya Path and adjoining areas to demonstrate how television signals can be directly broadcast to mobile phones.
Cabinet approves ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ to improve livelihood in villages on northern border
The Union Cabinet approved the centrally-sponsored “Vibrant Villages Programme” for financial years 2022-23 to 2025-26 with an outlay of Rs 4,800 crore.
It will lead to infrastructure development and livelihood opportunity in four states and one Union Territory along the northern borders.
The programme will help encourage people to stay in their native locations in border areas and reverse the out-migration from these villages, thus adding to improved security of the border.
The scheme aids to identify and develop economic drivers based on local, natural, human and other resources of the villages on the northern border and development of growth centres on Hub and Spoke Model through promotion of social entrepreneurship, empowerment of youth and women through skill development and entrepreneurship.
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