India Current Affairs [Gov. & Politics]

Latest India Current Affairs and Current Affairs related to Government policy, polity and administration in India. India’s National Current Affairs updates for 2019.

FSSAI: No sale of junk food within 50 metres of schools

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India recently announced that sale of junk and unhealthy food should be restricted within 50 metres schools and education institutions.

Highlights

The FSSAI has made the announcement to provide safe foods and balanced diet to children in schools. The foods referred to as HFSS (High in Fat, Salt and Sugar) cannot be sold in mess premises and scool canteens.

The FSSAI operates under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It was established as statutory body under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

Regulations

The GoI has brought in several regulations to make sure school children are provided with healthy food. The Mid-Day Meal scheme should receive license or registration from food regulating agency. Also, it should comply requirements of hygiene practices as specified under Schedule 4 of Food Safety and Standard Act.

The draft regulation against fast food within 50 metres of school premises was released in November 2019. It was titled as “Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and Healthy Diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019” The regulations are as follows

  • The food companies cannot advertise or offer free foods within 50 metres of the school campus
  • The regulation prohibits companies from using their logos, product names and brand names on educational materials such as school buses, buildings or athletic fields.
  • The school campus should be converted into “Eat Right School”.
  • The schools should get advice from dietitians and nutritionists to prepare menu for children periodically.

Background

India has the second most number of obese children among 195 countries according to WHO. Also, western diet affects the diversity of gut bacteria and sets stage for metabolic diseases. Therefore, these regulations that reduce the intake of unhealthy foods should be welcomed.

In 2015, the Delhi High Court ordered FSSAI to regulate junk foods being sold in school canteens. After this, committees were set up to frame new guidelines to make sure school children get healthy meals.

KVIC: First Silk Training cum Production Centre in Arunachal Pradesh

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission is to set up the first of its kind training cum production centre of silk in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The centre is to be launched in the first week of September, 2020.

Highlights

The KVIC will provide machinery such as handlooms, warping drums and silk reeling machines. The centre is to provide training to 25 local artisans and will boost weaving activities in the region.

Silk in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is the biggest state in the North East that has vast potential for Sericulture. The state produces all four varieties of silk namely Mulbery, Oak Tasar, Eri and Muga. Oak Tasar is practiced in higher altitudes. Eri and Muga are practiced foothills areas and Mulbery is reared in middle altitude.

Silk Production in India

India is the second largest producer of silk in the world. Of the four varieties of silks, Mulberry accounts to 74.51%, Eri accounts to 16.5%, Tasar to 8.5% and Muga accounts to 0.55%. India exports silk mainly to USA and European countries. The employment generation due to silk production in the country raised to 8.03 million persons in 2014-15.

Silk Samagra

Silk Samagra scheme is implemented by the Central Silk Board of India. Between 2017 and 2020, the GoI allocated Rs 2,161 crores for the scheme to develop sericulture in the country. The four main components of the scheme are as follows

  • Seed organizations
  • Coordination and Market Development
  • Research Development, Transfer of Technology and Training and IT initiatives
  • Quality Certification Systems, Technology Upgradation and Export Brand Promotion.

Central Silk Board

The board is a statutory body that was established in 1948. IT works under Ministry of Textiles. The headquarters of the board is located in Bangalore. The main functions of the board are as follows

  • To promote and develop silk industry
  • To assist and encourage scientific, economic and technological research
  • To advise central government on matters relating to developing of silk industry
  • To prepare reports relating to silk industry as required by the central government from time to time.