Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 5 March, 2021

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. “CSIR Floriculture Mission”

Why in news?

Dr Harsh Vardhan on 4 March, 2021 exhorted scientists of CSIR laboratories across the country to develop the land available at each laboratory to be set up as a model under the “CSIR Floriculture Mission”.

Recently, CSIR Floriculture Mission has been approved for implementation in 21 States and Union Territories of India wherein available knowledgebase in CSIR Institutes will be utilized and leveraged to help Indian farmers and industry re-position itself to meet the import requirements.

The Minister was addressing the gathering at the launch of the “CSIR Floriculture Mission” through virtual mode in New Delhi on  4 March, 2021.

Key points are:

– This Mission is being implemented in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Directorate of Floriculture; Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC); Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce; Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED); Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre (FFDC), Kannauj, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Universities

– Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Farmers have little knowledge about floriculture which can give 5 times more return than the traditional crops. Floriculture has the potential to provide employment to a large number of people through nursery raising, floriculture farming, entrepreneurship development for nursery trade, value addition and export”.

– Since 1953, CSIR has been developing new floral varieties and several value addition technologies.

– Through the Floriculture Mission of CSIR, agro-technologies, new varieties and value addition technologies available with the CSIR institutions, efforts are being made to take these to farmers and entrepreneurs, and help them in multiplying their income.

– Market linkage and trade issues will be solved with a partnership of APEDA, state horticulture departments and TRIFED.

– The CSIR Floriculture Mission is expected to create an opportunity for entrepreneurship development in floriculture. Infusion of the latest technologies in the field of floriculture can be successfully led by CSIR.

– The mission will focus on commercial floral crops, seasonal/annual crops, wild ornaments and cultivation of flower crops for honey bee rearing. Some of the popular crops include  Gladiolus, Canna, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Gerbera, Lilium, Marigold, Rose, Tuberose etc.

– The Indian floriculture market was worth Rs 15700 cr in 2018. The market is projected to reach Rs47200 cr by 2024 during 2019-24.

– Dr. Harsh Vardhan also launched CSIR’s Societal Portal along with the Android App. This portal has been developed by CSIR Team with the help of the MyGov Team.

– The Portal is to facilitate the public to submit the societal problems that can be resolved using S&T interventions.

– This is the first step in terms of seeking inputs on challenges and problems being faced by different stakeholders in society.

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2. Biju Patnaik

Why in news?

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Biju Patnaik on his birth anniversary.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Tributes to Biju Babu on his birth anniversary. His futuristic vision for India, emphasis on human empowerment as well as social justice inspires us all. The nation is proud of his efforts for Odisha’s progress.”

3. Virtual Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sweden’s Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Stefan Lofven

Why in news?

Virtual Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden H.E. Stefan Lofven on 5th March, 2021.

Key points are:

– This will be the fifth interaction between the two leaders since 2015.

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Stockholm in April, 2018 for the First India Nordic Summit. Prime Minister H.E. Stefan Löfven had visited India in February, 2016 for the special Make in India week.

– Earlier, the two leaders had met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, 2015.

– In April, 2020, the two Prime Ministers had a telephonic conversation to discuss the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, Their Majesties Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden had visited India in December, 2019.

– India and Sweden have warm and friendly relations based on shared values of democracy, freedom, pluralism and rules-based international order.

– Both countries have very close cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, innovation, science & technology as well as research and development.

–  Around 250 Swedish companies are actively operating in India in various sectors such as health & life sciences, auto industry, clean technology, defence, heavy machinery & equipment.

– Around 75 Indian companies are also active in Sweden.

– During the Summit, the two leaders will hold comprehensive discussions on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and global issues including further strengthening of cooperation in the post COVID era.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 3 March, 2021

4. QS World University Rankings

Why in news?

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on 4 March, 2021 addressed at the unveiling of QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

Key points are:

– Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Chairman, UGC, Prof Dhirendra P Singh; Chairman, NAAC, Dr Virendar S Chauhan, Chairman, AICTE, Dr Anil D Sahasrabudhe; Vice President, QS Rankings, Mr Ben Sowter, Head of Evaluation, QS Rankings, Leigh Kamolins, Head of Institutions being felicitated today and other dignitaries were also virtually present on the occasion.

– Addressing on the occasion, the Minister expressed his happiness and congratulated 12 Indian Institutions on securing a position in the top 100 in the QS Subject Rankings for the year 2021.

– These rankings and ratings have fostered healthy competition amongst Indian Institutions motivating them towards global excellence, he added.

– 12 Indian institutions have made it to the top 100 of the world – IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IISC Bangalore, IIT Guwahati, IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, JNU, Anna University, University of Delhi, and O.P Jindal University.

– Amongst these top 100 ranked institutions, IIT Madras has been ranked 30th in the world for Petroleum Engineering, IIT Bombay has been ranked 41st and IIT Kharagpur has been ranked 44th in the world for Minerals and Mining Engineering, and the University of Delhi has been ranked 50th in the world for Development Studies.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 1 March, 2021

5. First export consignments of ‘red rice’ from Assam to the USA flagged off

Why in news?

In a major boost to India’s rice exports potential, the first consignment of ‘red rice’ was flagged off on 4 March, 2021 to the USA.

Key points are:

– Iron rich ‘red rice’ is grown in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam, without the use of any chemical fertilizer.

– The rice variety is referred to as ‘Bao-dhaan’, which is an integral part of Assamese food.

– The red rice is being sourced by leading rice exporter – LT Foods. The flagging off ceremony of the export consignments was carried out by APEDA Chairman Dr M.Angamuthu at Sonepat, Haryana. As the exports of ‘red rice’ grow, it would bring enhance incomes of farming families of the Brahmaputra flood plains.

– APEDA has to promote rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains.

– The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA. REPF has representations from the rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, the ministry of commerce and directors of agriculture from major rice-producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

– During the April – January period of 2020-21, the shipment of non-Basmati rice witnessed an impressive spike.

– The non-basmati rice exports was Rs 26,058 crore (3506 US$ Million) during April-January, 2021 against Rs 11,543 crore (1627US$ Million) reported during April-January, 2020 period.

– The exports of non-Basmati witnessed a growth of 125 % in Rupeeterm and 115 % Dollar terms.

– The sharp spike in rice exports especially during a phase where globally the COVID19 pandemic has disrupted supply changes in many commodities, has been attributed to the government taking prompt measures to ensure exports of rice while taking all the COVID19 related safety precautions.

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6. CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award

Why in news?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award and deliver the keynote address at the CERAWeek 2021 on 5th March at around 7 PM via video conferencing.

About CERAWeek

CERAWeek was founded in 1983 by Dr. Daniel Yergin. It has been organized in Houston in March every year since 1983 and is considered the world’s premier annual energy platform.  CERAWeek 2021 is being convened virtually from 1st March to 5th March, 2021.

About the Award

CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award was instituted in 2016. It recognizes the commitment of leadership to the future of global energy & environment and for offering solutions and policies for energy access, affordability & environmental stewardship.

7. Insurance ombudsman

Why in news?

The government has amended insurance ombudsman rules.

Key points are:

– Insurance brokers are now covered under ombudsman rules.

– Policyholders are now allowed to file online complaints.

– The scope of complaints has been enlarged to ombudsmen from only disputes earlier to deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers and other intermediaries.

– The ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings.

About Insurance Ombudsman:

The Insurance Ombudsman scheme was created by the Government of India for individual policyholders to have their complaints settled out of the court’s system in a cost-effective, efficient and impartial way.

Who can approach?

Any person who has a grievance against an insurer, may himself or through his legal heirs, nominee or assignee, make a complaint in writing to the Insurance ombudsman.

– One can approach the Ombudsman with a complaint only if: One has first approached insurance company with the complaint and;

They have rejected it

– Not resolved it to the satisfaction or

– Not responded to it at all for 30 days

– And the value of the claim including expenses claimed should not be above Rs 30 lakhs.

Appointment of Ombudsman:

– The Ombudsman is a person in the insurance industry, civil or judicial services, and is appointed by the insurance council. The serving term of the Insurance Ombudsman is three years.

– The Ombudsman will act as a mediator and arrive at a fair recommendation based on the facts of the dispute. Also, if you accept this as a full and final settlement, the Ombudsman will inform the company which should comply with the terms in 15 days.

About the Award

If a settlement by recommendation does not work, the Ombudsman will Pass an award within 3 months of receiving all the requirements from the complainant and which will be binding on the insurance company.

Once the Award is passed the Insurer shall comply with the award within 30 days of the receipt of award and intimate the compliance of the same to the Ombudsman.

8. National Population Register

Why in news?

The Registrar-General of India (RGI) is preparing to conduct field trials of the first phase of the Census and the National Population Register (NPR) using a mobile application in all the States and Union Territories.

Key points are:

The app will contain questionnaires on house listing and housing census and the NPR.

About National Population Register (NPR)

– It is a Register of usual residents of the country.

– It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

– It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.

– The objective is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.

– The NPR was first collected in 2010 and then updated in 2015.

– A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.

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