Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2016

Protein-enriched rice variety developed by IGKV Chattisgarh

Researchers from Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV),Chattisgarh have developed a protein-enriched rice variety.

The new developed rice variety has over 10% protein content, which is 3% more than what is found in any popular variety and has 30 PPM (parts per million) zinc content.

Key facts

  • The protein-enriched rice variety was developed by researchers from IGKV’s Department of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
  • They had worked for seven years to develop the variety of rice that is rich in protein along with high zinc content.
  • This protein rice variety will play a crucial role in addressing issues of protein deficiencies and it will serve as a boon for malnourished population, especially children, in tribal-dominated Chhattisgarh.

Zinc-enriched variety of rice

Earlier in May 2015, scientists from Indira Gandhi Agriculture University (IGAU), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) had developed a high zinc-enriched called “Chhattisgarh Zinc Rice-1”. It was the first zinc biofortified rice variety developed in India.


Zinc and other mineral content are not lost upon polishing. The rice has long self-life and used after keeping it for long time. Even it tastes just as good as the conventional variety.

Why is zinc so important to the body?

  • Zinc is important to the body because over 300 enzymes in our body use it as an essential component in their action.
  • Zinc is essential in supporting our immune system, in synthesising and degrading DNA, in wound healing and several other activities.
  • Our body requires very small amount of Zinc, but if the level falls down to below normal it may result into growth retardation, diarrhoea, eye and skin lesions and loss of appetite.


  • As per a survey conducted in 2015 very high rate of malnutrition was found among preschool children in tribal areas across Chhattisgarh which is considered rice bowl of the country.
  • The survey had showed that over five lakh children in the state are underweight and stunted growth especially in the tribal districts.



Pakistan warns India against breaching Indus Water Treaty

Pakistan has warned India that it will take appropriate action if India violates the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) unilaterally.

It also mentioned that it was closely monitoring the situation after India decided to suspend all talks with Pakistan on IWT in the wake of the Uri attack.

Why Indus River is important for Pakistan?

Around 65% of the Pakistan’s geographical area including entire Pakistan’s Punjab province is part of Indus basin. The water of Indus River is lifeline of Pakistan and is source of irrigation, hydro power and drinking water for millions of Pakistanis. If the water from rivers is stopped by India it can surely cut lifeline of Pakistan.

What is Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)?

  • IWT is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan which was brokered by the World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development).
  • The treaty deals with sharing of water of Indus water system having six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum between the two countries.
  • It was signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan in Karachi on September 19, 1960.
  • As per treaty, control over three eastern rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej was given to India. While control over three western rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab was given to Pakistan.
  • It allows India to use only 20% of the water of Indus river, which flows through it first, for irrigation, power generation and transport.
  • Most disagreements and disputes have been settled via legal procedures, provided for within the framework of the treaty.
  • Under it Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing. Besides, treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.
  • A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing
  • It is most successful water treaty in world. Even, it has survived India-Pakistan wars of 1965, 1971 and the 1999 Kargil standoff besides Kashmir insurgency since 1990.indus-water-treaty
For more information: Recent clamour about abrogation of Indus Water Treaty


Triple talaq a highly misused custom: NCW

The National Commission of Women (NCW) has held that triple talaq was a “highly misused” custom and Government should scrap it to protect the rights of Muslim women.

NCW clearly mentioned that the traditional custom of triple talaq should be banned in an effort to protect the rights of Muslim women and it cannot be linked to the Uniform Civil Code. According to the commission, Muslim women feels disempowered because of the practice of triple talaq.

What is triple talaq?

‘Triple Talaq’ or ‘Oral talaq’ is a procedure of divorce mentioned under the Sharia Law which is a body of the Islamic law. Under this, a husband can divorce his wife by pronouncing ‘Talaq’ thrice.

Why triple talaq should be abolished?

The practice of ‘triple talaq’ has enabled husbands to divorce their wives arbitrarily, devoid of any substantiation. It impact adversely on the right of women to a life of dignity. The ‘triple talaq’ has been abolished in 21 Islamic theocratic countries including Pakistan. It is also against constitutional principles such as gender equality, secularism, international laws etc.

What is Government’s position?

Recently Central Government in affidavit submitted to Supreme Court held that the practice of Triple talaq is against the principles of gender justice, gender equality and dignity enshrined in the Constitution. This pernicious practice is not integral to the right to freedom of religion.  Triple talaq is not an essential religious practice in Islam and violates right to equality, non-discrimination on the grounds of sex and the right to live with dignity to women in par with men guaranteed in the Constitution.

About National Commission for Women (NCW)

  • The NCW is a statutory body generally concerned with advising the government on all policy matters affecting women.
  • It was established in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 as per the provisions of the Indian Constitution.
  • The objective of the NCW is to represent the rights of women in the country and to provide a voice for their issues and concerns.