1st January 2021

Agri India Hackathon

Recently, the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has inaugurated the Virtual Agri-hackathon 2020.

  • It is organised by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare in association with IARI, Pusa-New Delhi.
  • It will bring together the most important stakeholders from industry & governmentalongside India’s young bright minds, creative startups and smart innovators who will build new, fast and frugal solutions to tackle the big questions
  • The hackathon will happen in 3 elimination rounds and the final 24 winners will get a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh along with incubation support, tech & business mentoring and various other benefits.
  • The hackathon will accept innovations & ideas on farm mechanization, precision agriculture, supply chain & food technology, waste to wealth, green energy, etc.

Agri India Hackathon

  • It is the largest virtual gathering to create dialogues, and accelerate innovations in agriculture.
  • It is organized by Pusa Krishi, ICAR – Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) & Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare.
  • It works on the principle of 3 C’s i.e. Create, Connect and Collaborate.

Eligibility under Agri India Hackathon

  • Indian nationals only
  • Students studying at any Indian university/ institute
  • Start-ups, farmers, and professionals/ employed individuals
  • Solo founders, entrepreneurs, and other individuals


Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav

Recently, the Ministry of Agro & Rural Industries has carried out the cleanliness drive in Ibrampur, Veling and Parra villages under the Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav Programme.

Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav

  • It is the national innovative initiative of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and operational in many villages.
  • It is a farm-centric mission translating knowledge at farmer’s doorstep so as to address his farm-oriented problems in a holistic manner to accomplish livelihood security.
  • The objectives of this scheme are:
    • To provide farmers with required information, knowledge and advisories on regular basis by adopting villages.
    • To promote the direct interface of scientists with the farmers to hasten the lab to land process.
    • To ensure that farmers benefit from best farm practices by providing required information, knowledge and advisories on regular basis by adopting villages
    • To create awareness among farmers about the organisations and their programmes and schemes as well as government policies related to the farming sector.
  • It has enriched the farmers with latest technology and had made them to adopt latest improved technologies in form of interventions.
  • The ICAR Institutes and Universities have to provide financial support for meeting the minimum requirements like transportation etc. because it does not have separate budget.
  • Under this scheme, scientists will select villages as per their convenience and will remain in touch with the selected villages and provide information to the farmers on technical and other related aspects in a time frame.
    • The groups of 4 scientists at every Institute/University will adopt villages within a radius of 50-100 km from their place of working.


Lynx U2 Fire Control System

Recently, the Ministry of Defence has decided to develop 10 Lynx U2 Fire Control System.

  • The government has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for procurement of 10 Lynx U2 Fire Control systems for frontline warships of Indian Navy.
  • The Lynx system has been designed and developed indigenously that would further the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision of Prime Minister.
  • The LYNX U2 GFCS is a Naval Gun Fire Control System designed to acquire, track and engage targets amidst sea clutter.
  • The Lynx system is capable of accurately tracking air/surface targets, generating required target data for predicting weapon aiming points and engaging target.
  • The system will be installed on the Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV), Talwar and Teg class of ships.
  • The system including the Tracking Radar, Servo and Weapon Control Modules has been completely designed and developed by BEL.

Significance of Lynx U2 Fire Control System

  • The Gun Fire Control System has been designed with an open and scalable architecture permitting simple and flexible implementation in many different configurations.
  • The indigenous system will ensure maximum up-time of the system and guarantees excellent Product support throughout its life time.
  • The system proposed in the contract is of the fourth generation and is a completely indigenized system, developed in the true spirit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.


Laser Dazzlers

Recently, the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has signed a contract with Indian Navy for initially supply 20 Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation Dazzlers (Laser Dazzlers).

  • It is used as a non-lethal method for warning and stopping suspicious vehicles/ boats/ aircrafts/ UAVs/ pirates etc. from approaching secured areas during both day and night.
  • It is capable of dazzle and thereby suppresses the person’s/optical sensor’s actionwith disability glares in case of non-compliance to orders.
  • It disorients/ confuse/blind a person temporarily.
  • It also dazzles and distracts aircraft/UAVs.
  • It is a portable, shoulder operated and ruggedized for military use in adverse environmental conditions.
  • The Laser dazzler technology was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • It is indigenously designed and developed for first time for the Armed Forces.


Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC)-India

Recently, the Prime Minister is going to lay the foundation stone of Light House Projects (LHPs) under Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC)-India at six sites across six States.

  • The Prime Minister will also announce winners under Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators (ASHA) – India and give out annual awards for excellence in implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U) Mission.
  • The Prime Minister will also release a certificate course on innovative construction technologies named NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing).

About Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC)-India

  • It is conceptualized by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.
  • It aims to identify and mainstream a basket of innovative technologies from across the globe that is sustainable and disaster-resilient.
  • The GHTC-India platform aspires to provide an eco-system for the adoption of innovative technologies in the housing construction sector in a holistic manner.
  • The GHTC-India leverages the scale and successes of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and its Technology Sub-Mission.

Light House Projects (LHPs)

  • It showcases the best of new-age alternate global technologies, materials and processes in the construction sector for the first time in the country at such a large scale.
  • The light-houses are being constructed under GHTC-India, which envisages to provide an ecosystem for adoption of innovative technologies in the housing construction sector in a holistic manner.
  • The LHPs are being constructed at Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Rajkot in Gujarat, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Agartala in Tripura and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The projects will demonstrate and deliver ready to live houses at an expedited pace within twelve months, as compared to conventional brick and mortar construction.
  • The LHPs will serve as live laboratories for facilitating transfer of technology to the field and its further replication.


  • It aims to promote domestic research and entrepreneurship by providing incubation and acceleration support to potential future technologies.
  • Under ASHA-India initiative, five ASHA-India Centers have been set up for providing incubation and acceleration support.
  • The technologies, processes and materials identified through this initiative will provide a major fillip to young creative minds, start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs.

PMAY-U Mission

  • It has been designed to achieve the vision of Housing For All by 2022.
  • In order to recognize the outstanding contribution by States, UTs, Urban Local Bodies and beneficiaries, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has introduced annual awards for excellence in implementation of PMAY-Urban.


Global Pravasi Rishta Portal

Recently, the Minister of State for External Affairs has launched the Global Pravasi Rishta portal and mobile App.

  • The Global Pravasi Rishta Portal aims to connect with Indian Diaspora across the world.
  • The portal will act as a dynamic communication platform between the Pravasis of India.
  • The mobile app will be used by the diaspora and the Indian nationals, while the portal web interface will be used by the missions.
  • The portal is created to enable the registration of Indian diaspora members i.e. NRIs, PIOs and the OCIs.
  • The portal is going to facilitate the Indian government to connect with the overseas Indian community.
  • It will facilitate NRIs, OCIs and PIOs community by connecting them to various new and existing government schemes benefiting them in various areas of interest.
  • The Rishta portal will enable communication with the diaspora on a real-time basisand will have the ability to issue emergency alerts and advisories.

Need for Global Pravasi Rishta Portal

  • The government recognises the importance of India diaspora and has been engaging with them in various ways.
  • Presently there are nearly 3.12 crore overseas Indians globally of which nearly 1.34 crore are PIOs and 1.78 crore are NRIs.
  • There is no effective communication channel available with the ministry to connect with the Indian diaspora worldwide.


Nagaland declared as ‘Disturbed Area’ 

History of AFSPA

Recently, the entire state of Nagaland has been declared a disturbed area for six more months by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

  • It enabled the continuation of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Actwhich empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant.

What is Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act?

  • The AFSPA gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.
  • The AFSPA gives officer the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law.
  • The powers assigned to officers under AFSPA are:
    • Army can also arrest a person without a warrant;
    • Enter or search a premises without a warrant; and
    • Ban the possession of firearms.
  • Any person arrested or taken into custody may be handed over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station along with a report detailing the circumstances that led to the arrest.

What is a ‘disturbed area’?

  • A disturbed area is one which is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA.
  • An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
  • The Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.
  • Origin of AFSPA
  • The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the Northeastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control.
  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it was approved by the President in 1958.
  • It became known as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.
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