Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

CCEA approves Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) Scheme with an outlay of Rs 10,881 crore to boost dairy sector.

It will be managed by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and shall be implemented from 2017-18 to 2028-29. Initially, Rs.8,004 crore loan will be provided by NABARD to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NDDC).

Key Facts

Under this scheme, NCDC and NDDC will be used to provide loan for building an efficient milk procurement system and other processing infrastructure. Loan will be provided for putting in place an efficient milk procurement system by setting up of chilling infrastructure and installation of electronic milk adulteration testing equipment. It will be also used for creation, modernisation and expansion of processing infrastructure and manufacturing faculties for value-added dairy products.

Beneficiaries: Initially, loan under DIDF will be given to 39 profit-making milk unions of 12 states. Other milk cooperatives can apply for loan under DIDF in subsequent years after they become eligible on basis of their net worth and profit levels. Milk unions, multi-state milk cooperatives, state dairy federations, milk producer companies and NDDB subsidiaries can also avail of loan after meeting the eligibility criteria.

Interest Rates: The loans under DIDF will have interest rate of 6.5% per annum with repayment period of 10 years with initial 2 years of moratorium. The state government will be guarantor of loan repayment. If the end user is not able to contribute its share for sanctioned project, state will contribute the same.

Benefits from DIDF: The investment in diary sector will benefit 95,00,000 farmers in about 50,000 villages. It will help for additional milk processing capacity of 126 lakh litre per day, milk chilling capacity of 140 lakh litre per day, milk drying capacity of 210 MT per day. It will also support installation of 28000 Bulk Milk Coolers (BMCs) along with electronic milk adulteration testing equipment and increase value added products manufacturing capacity of 59.78 lakh litre per day of milk equivalent.

Employment Generation Potential: The DIDF scheme will generate direct (40,000 people) and indirect employment opportunities (2 lakh) for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower on account of expansion of milk and milk product marketing operations.

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ZSI releases first compendium of animal species in Indian Sundarbans

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has published first of its kind compendium titled Fauna of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve in Indian Sundarbans. It has consolidated and updated information of faunal diversity of Sundarbans.

Indian segment of Sundarbans is part of UNESCO World Heritage site. It forms part of Ganga-Brahmaputra delta across 9,630 sq. km, distributed among 104 islands. It has largest tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world.

Key Facts

The compendium catalogues entire faunal diversity of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve covering 9,630 sq. km spread over 19 blocks in North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal. According to it, fragile Sundarbans ecosystem region hosts 2,626 animal species that come under zoological kingdom of Animalia, and 140 under more primitive Protista. It also includes diverse 25 phyla.

Animal and Mammalian species: Famous Bengal tigers adapted to aquatic conditions have been documented. 50 mammalian species are also documented including the Asian small-clawed Otter, Gangetic Dolphin, Grey and Marsh Mongoose. Wild Rhesus Monkey, only primate found in Sunderbans is also documented.

The mammal numbers are declining in Sunderbans due to pressure on habitat from people and natural threats that have shrunk mangrove swamp habitat. Two Rhinos, Swamp deer, Barking deer and Hog deer and Asiatic Wild Water Buffalo no more are not found in Sundarbans.

Bird species: There are 356 species of birds, including raptors (birds of prey). Other birds found here are Osprey, Brahminy Kite, White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Rose-ringed parakeets, flycatchers and warblers. Kingfishers are found abound and Sundarbans has nine of them.

Fish and amphibian species: The mangrove ecosystem covers about 350 species of fish. Cartilaginous fish make up 10.3%. The IUCN conservation status shows 6.3% fish are near-threatened and 4.85% are threatened. Also, there are 173 molluscs. Moreover, Crustaceans — crabs, shrimp and prawns — constitute 334 species. Besides, ten species of frogs and toads are found. There are 11 turtles, including the famous Olive Ridley, Hawskbill sea turtles and most threatened freshwater River Terrapin.

Insect and Reptile species: The region has 753 insect species. Of these, 210 are butterflies and moths. Crocodile, 13 lizards including three species of Monitor Lizards and five Geckos are also found. The rivers, creeks channels and islands together harbour about 30 snake species including monocled cobra, Russell’s viper, common and banded kraits.

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

ZSI is India’s apex organization on animal taxonomy. It was established in 1916. Its objective is to promote the survey, exploration, research and documentation on various aspects of animal taxonomy in Indian subcontinent. It also seeks advancement of knowledge on animal taxonomy. It has been declared as the designated repository for the National Zoological Collection as per section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002.

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