PM-FME Scheme – GIS One District One Product (ODOP) digital map
Union Minister of Food Processing Industries has inaugurated the capacity building component of the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme) and launched the GIS One District One Product (ODOP) digital map of India.
- Launched under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM-FME) Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme aims to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganised segment of the food processing industry and promote formalisation of the sector and provide support to Farmer Producer Organisations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
- With an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25, the scheme envisions to directly assist the 2,00,000 micro food processing units for providing financial, technical, and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.
- The States would identify food products for districts keeping in view the existing clusters and availability of raw material. The One District One Product (ODOP) could be a perishable produce based or cereal based or a food item widely produced in an area. E.g. mango, potato, pickle, millet based products, fisheries, poultry, etc.
- Existing individual micro food processing units desirous of upgrading their units can avail credit-linked capital subsidy at 35% of the eligible project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs.10 lakh per unit.
How will it work?
- The Scheme adopts One District One Product (ODOP) approach to reap benefit of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products.
- The States would identify food product for a district keeping in view the existing clusters and availability of raw material. The ODOP product could be a perishable produce based product or cereal based products or a food product widely produced in a district and their allied sectors. Illustrative list of such products includes mango, potato, litchi, tomato, tapioca, kinnu, bhujia, petha, papad, pickle, millet based products, fisheries, poultry, meat as well as animal feed among others.
- Preference would be given to those producing ODOP products. However, units producing other products would also be supported. Support for common infrastructure and branding & marketing would be for ODOP products. The Scheme also place focus on waste to wealth products, minor forest products and Aspirational Districts.
What will be the support?
- Existing Individual micro food processing units desirous of upgradation of their unit can avail credit-linked capital subsidy @35% of the eligible project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs.10 lakh per unit.
- Seed capital @ Rs. 40,000/- per SHG member would be provided for working capital and purchase of small tools. FPOs/ SHGs/ producer cooperatives would be provided credit linked grant of 35% for capital investment along the value chain.
- Support would be provided through credit linked grant @ 35% for development of common infrastructure including common processing facility, lab, warehouse, cold storage, packaging and incubation centre through FPOs/SHGs/cooperatives or state owned agencies or private enterprise to use by micro units in the cluster.
- Support for marketing & branding would be provided to develop brands for micro units and groups with 50% grant at State or regional level which could benefit large number of micro units in clusters.
- The Scheme places special focus on capacity building and research.
- NIFTEM and IIFPT, two academic and research institutions under MOFPI along with State Level Technical Institutions selected by the States would be provided support for training of units, product development, appropriate packaging and machinery for micro units.
- All the processes of the Scheme would take place on an MIS including applications by entrepreneurs, their processing, approval of various projects by the States and MoFPI, release of grant and other funds and monitoring of the project.
- Individual entrepreneurs and other stake holders desirous of availing assistance under the scheme may contact the State Nodal Agencies of their respective states/UTs regarding the roll out of scheme and contact points at the district level.
Param Siddhi – high performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer
Param Siddhi, the high performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer established under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at C-DAC has achieved global ranking of 63 in TOP 500 most powerful non-distributed computer systems in the world.
- A supercomputer is a computer that performs at or near the currently highest operational rate for computers. Traditionally, supercomputers have been used for scientific and engineering applications that must handle very large databases or do a great amount of computation (or both).
- A supercomputer is not simply a fast or very large computer: it works in an entirely different way, typically using parallel processing instead of the serial processing that an ordinary computer uses. Instead of doing one thing at a time, it does many things at once.
- CDC 6600 – In 1964, there was the Control Data Corporation 6600 which is known as the first supercomputer.
National Supercomputing Mission
- A first of its kind attempt to boost the country’s computing power, the National Super Computing Mission is steered jointly by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
- The target of the mission was set to establish a network of supercomputers ranging from a few Tera Flops (TF) to Hundreds of Tera Flops (TF) and three systems with greater than or equal to 3 Peta Flops (PF) in academic and research institutions of National importance across the country by 2022.
- This network of Supercomputers envisaging a total of 15-20 PF was approved in 2015 and was later revised to a total of 45 PF (45000 TFs), a jump of 6 times more compute power within the same cost and capable of solving large and complex computational problems.
- With the revised plan in place, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, called Param Shivay, was installed in IIT (BHU) and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. Similar systems Param Shakti and Param Brahma were installed at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune. They are equipped with applications from domains like Weather and Climate, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Bioinformatics, and Material science.
Mahajan Commission Report – Belgaum Dispute
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa condemned comments by Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar over the border dispute between the two states as an attempt to “incite fire”. Pawar sparked a controversy when he called the incorporation of Belgaum (Belagavi), Karwar and Nipani areas of Karnataka into Maharashtra a “dream” of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, as he paid tributes to the leader on his eighth death anniversary.
- The erstwhile Bombay Presidency, a multilingual province, included the present-day Karnataka districts of Vijayapura, Belagavi, Dharwad and Uttara-Kannada.
- In 1948, the Belgaum municipality requested that the district, having a predominantly Marathi-speaking population, be incorporated into the proposed Maharashtra state.
- However, the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, which divided states on linguistic and administrative lines, made Belgaum and 10 talukas of Bombay State a part of the then Mysore State (which was renamed Karnataka in 1973).
Mahajan Commission Report
- While demarcating borders, the Reorganisation of States Commission sought to include talukas with a Kannada-speaking population of more than 50 per cent in Mysore. Opponents of the region’s inclusion in Mysore argued, and continue to argue, that Marathi-speakers outnumbered Kannadigas who lived there in 1956.
- In September 1957, the Bombay government echoed their demand and lodged a protest with the Centre, leading to the formation of the Mahajan Commission under former Chief Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan in October 1966.
- The Commission, which submitted its report in August 1967, recommended that 264 villages be transferred to Maharashtra (which formed in 1960) and that Belgaum and 247 villages remain with Karnataka.
- Maharashtra rejected the report, calling it biased and illogical, and demanded another review. Karnataka welcomed the report, and has ever since continued to press for implementation, although this has not been formally done by the Centre.
- Maharashtra continues to claim over 814 villages along the border, as well as Belgaum city, which are currently part of Karnataka. Successive governments in Maharashtra have demanded their inclusion within the state– a claim that Karnataka contests.
- In 2004, the Maharashtra government moved the Supreme Court for a settlement of the border dispute under Article 131(b) of the Constitution, demanding 814 villages from Karnataka on the basis of the theory of village being the unit of calculation, contiguity and enumerating linguistic population in each village. The case is pending in the apex court.
Gullian Barre Syndrome – attacking the peripheral nervous system
In a rare complication, some patients infected with Covid-19 have been found suffering from Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS). A group of neurologists in Mumbai is now mapping these cases and their symptoms.
Guillain Barre Syndrome
- It is a very rare autoimmune disorder. The immune system, in an attempt to kill the coronavirus, accidentally starts attacking the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is a network of nerves that lead from the brain and spinal cord to different parts of the body. Attacking them can affect limb functions.
- The syndrome’s first symptoms are a tingling or itching sensation in the skin, followed by muscle weakness, pain and numbness. The symptoms may emerge first in feet and hands. A person then starts experiencing reflex loss and paralysis, which may be temporary, but can last for 6-12 months or longer. With Covid-19 a year old, it is still difficult to assess the nature of permanency GBS in such cases may present.
- GBS is caused by bacteria or viral infection. In the past, patients of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome showed GBS symptoms, as did those infected with Zika, HIV, Herpes virus and Campylobacter jejuni.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and sometimes plasma therapy helps recovery in patients with GBS. Some patients may develop severe complications and require intensive care treatment or ventilator support.
SC – Article 32 of Indian Constitution
Recently, a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde observed that it is “trying to discourage” individuals from filing petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution. The observation came during the hearing of a petition seeking the release of journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested with three others while on their way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to report on an alleged gangrape and murder.
- It is one of the fundamental rights listed in the Constitution that each citizen is entitled. Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, or affirms the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the Constitution. It states that the Supreme Court “shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part”. The right guaranteed by this Article “shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution”.
- The Article is included in Part III of the Constitution with other fundamental rights including to Equality, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Life and Personal Liberty, and Freedom of Religion. Only if any of these fundamental rights is violated can a person can approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.
- During the Constituent Assembly debates in December 1948, a discussion on this fundamental right (in the draft, it is referred to as Article 25), Dr B R Ambedkar had said, “If I was asked to name any particular Article in this Constitution as the most important — an Article without which this Constitution would be a nullity — I could not refer to any other Article except this one. It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it…” He said the rights invested with the Supreme Court through this Article could not be taken away unless the Constitution itself is amended and hence it was “one of the greatest safeguards that can be provided for the safety and security of the individual”.
- Others in the drafting committee also said that since it gives a person the right to approach the Supreme Court as a remedy if fundamental rights are violated, “it is a right fundamental to all the fundamental rights” guaranteed under the Constitution.
- The Constituent Assembly debated whether fundamental rights including this one could be suspended or limited during an Emergency. The Article cannot be suspended except during the period of Emergency.
Can High Courts be approached in cases of violation of fundamental rights?
Both the High Courts and the Supreme Court can be approached for violation or enactment of fundamental rights through five kinds of writs:
- Habeas corpus (related to personal liberty in cases of illegal detentions and wrongful arrests)
- Mandamus — directing public officials, governments, courts to perform a statutory duty;
- Quo warranto — to show by what warrant is a person holding public office;
- Prohibition — directing judicial or quasi-judicial authorities to stop proceedings which it has no jurisdiction for; and
- Certiorari — re-examination of an order given by judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative authorities.
In civil or criminal matters, the first remedy available to an aggrieved person is that of trial courts, followed by an appeal in the High Court and then the Supreme Court. When it comes to violation of fundamental rights, an individual can approach the High Court under Article 226 or the Supreme Court directly under Article 32. Article 226, however, is not a fundamental right like Article 32.
What have been its observations over the years?
- In Romesh Thappar vs State of Madras (1950), the Supreme Court observed that Article 32 provides a “guaranteed” remedy for the enforcement of fundamental rights. “This Court is thus constituted the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights, and it cannot, consistently with the responsibility so laid upon it, refuse to entertain applications seeking protection against infringements of such rights,” the court observed.
- During the Emergency, in Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur vs S S Shukla (1976), the Supreme Court had said that the citizen loses his right to approach the court under Article 32.
- Constitutional experts say that it is eventually at the discretion of the Supreme Court and each individual judge to decide whether an intervention is warranted in a case, which could also be heard by the High Court first.
Bru-Reang Agreement – Mizoram
Leaders of the Mizoram Bru refugees have demanded commencement of their permanent rehabilitation in Tripura in the light of the quadripartite agreement signed in New Delhi in January.
The government had selected 12 places including the Kanchanpur subdivision in north Tripura where the Brus have been housed in six makeshift camps since 1997. However, the decision to settle some of the refugees is facing protests from a local forum called Joint Movement.
- Reang or Bru are one of the 21 scheduled tribes of the Indian state of Tripura.
- The Bru are the second most populous tribe of Tripura after the Tripuris.
- The correct nomenclature for this ethnic group is actually Bru although the name Reang was accidentally incorporated by the Indian government during a census count.
- The Bru can be found all over the Tripura state in India.
- However, they may also be found in Mizoram, Assam, Manipur and Bangladesh.
Culture and religion
- The marriage system is similar to other Tripuri tribes of Tripura.
- There is no dowry system.
- Dance is an integral part of Reang life.
- The Hojagiri folk dance of Riang sub tribe is rather well known all over the world.
- ‘Buisu’ is the most popular festival of reang tribes.
- The majority of the Reang belong to the Vaishnav school of Hinduism and claim Kshatriya status.
- They are polytheists and believe in multiple Gods and Goddesses.
- In 1997, about 30,000 Bru-Reang tribals fled from Mizoram and took shelter in Tripura’s refugee camps. These refugees were said to have fled from Mizoram due to ethnic tension. Before the agreement, these people were living in temporary shelters at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura.
- To end the 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis, an agreement was signed in January 2020 which is known as Bru-Reang agreement. The Bru-Reang agreement was signed between the Government of India, presided by the Union Home Minister, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives on 17 January, 2020.
- According to Bru-Reang Refugee agreement –
- After the agreement about 34,000 Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura.
- Centre will provide help to these tribes for their all-round development and for this around Rs 600 crores were sanctioned.
- These tribes would get all the rights that normal residents of the State get and would be able to enjoy the benefits of social welfare schemes for Centre and State governments.
- Each displaced family would be given 40X30 sq.ft. residential plots.
- For 2 years, they will be given the aid of Rs 5000 per month, free ration for 2 years and about Rs 1.5 lakh aid to build their house.
- Under this agreement, the Tripura Government would provide the land.