Current Affairs 2017 - March

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Government approves 101 cold chain projects to boost food processing sector

The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (FPI) has sanctioned 101 new integrated cold chain projects across the country.

These projects will leverage a total investment of Rs. 3,100 crore for creation of modern infrastructure for the food processing sector.

Key Facts
  • Of the 101 new projects –53 projects are for fruits and vegetables, dairy (33) and remaining are fish, meat, marine, poultry, ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook sectors.
  • Maharashtra as cornered the maximum number (21) of the projects followed by Uttar Pradesh (14), Gujarat (12), Andhra Pradesh (8) and Punjab and Madhya Pradesh (6 each).
  • These projects will benefit around 4.7 million tonnes of agri and horticulture produce with a value of up to Rs. 12,000 crore and help to reduce wastage by 13%.
  • They will create additional capacity of 2.76 lakh MT of cold storage/controlled atmosphere storage. It will also benefit 2.6 lakh farmers and provide employment to 60,000 people.
  • The projects are aimed at doubling farmers’ income, reducing wastage in the agri-supply chain and creating huge employment opportunities.
Need for Cold chain grid
  • India is one of the largest food producers in the world and the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables yet only 2.2% of our fruits and vegetables are processed.
  • According to CIPHET (Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology) study, total wastage of fruits and vegetables in India was pegged at Rs. 92,000 crore on the basis of the wholesale prices of 2014.
  • Existing cold storages are concentrated in a few States and roughly 80% to 90% are used for potatoes
  • The National Cold Chain Grid in the country will connect food producing hubs to cold storage and processing industries. It will further aid to double farmers’ income and create huge job opportunities.

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Indian Navy de-inducts TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft

The Indian Navy has de-inducted TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft after 29 years of dedicated service to the nation and 30,000 hours of accident-free flying.

The aircraft was formally de-inducted at a ceremony held at INS Rajali naval air station in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu. Now its role will be taken on by the newly inducted Boeing P-8I aircraft.

Key Facts
  • TU-142M was inducted into the Indian Navy at Dabolim Goa from the erstwhile USSR in 1988. Later it shifted base and made INS Rajali its permanent home in 1992.
  • It was the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world. It had four powerful engines, contra-rotating, slender fuselage and swept wings.
  • Since its induction, it was the mainstay of maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare operations of the Indian Navy.
  • It had participated in all major naval exercises and operations such as operation ‘Cactus’ in Maldives, , Operation Vijay (1998), Operation Parakram (2002) and anti-piracy operations from 2011 to till date.
  • It also had played important role in transforming aspects of maritime reconnaissance and airborne anti-submarine warfare of Navy with its enhanced endurance, speed, long range weapons and sensors.
  • TU-142M aircraft squadron was awarded Unit Citation by the Chief of Naval Staff in 2002 and was adjudged the Best Frontline Squadron on numerous occasions over the years.

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