DAC Current Affairs - 2019

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India attends International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

India attended the eighth session of the International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) at Rome, Italy. Agriculture Minister Shri Narendra Tomar attended the session representing India.

The Treaty is in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity. The treaty was negotiated through FAO.

About the session

  • The Governing sessions of the treaty are biennial.
  • Around 146 countries participated in the session
  • International organizations such as FAO, UN were also part of the session

About the Treaty

It is also known as the “Seed Treaty”. It is an international agreement to ensure food security by exchange of world’s plant genetic resources of food and agriculture. It also aims at conservation and sustainable use of seed varieties

Objectives

The International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is based on the following principles

  • Countries depend on plant genetic resources to produce food
  • To provide a broad integrated global system that will provide easy access of genetic materials to scientists, farmers and plant breeders
  • To help farmers on crop selection that adapts to unpredictable environmental changes and human needs.

The treaty provides a list of 64 crop species and their facilitated access.

India’s Nodal Agencies of the Treaty

In India, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is the nodal agency that fulfills the objective of the treaty. However, the ministry responsible to fulfil the treaty is Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as the guidelines of the treaty are completely based on environment resilience.

India’s Legislation

The Indian laws that abide by the treaty are as follows

  • Protection of plant varieties and farmers rights act
  • Biological Diversity Act, 2002. Along with the treaty, the act is also pursuant to India’s commitment towards United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity.

DAC approves procurement of 1,000 engines for fitment in T-72 tanks

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved procurement of 1,000 engines of 1,000 BHP (brake horse power) for fitment in T-72 tanks of Indian Army. These engines will be procured under ‘Buy & Make’ category at an approximate cost of over Rs 2,300 crore. Most of these engines will be manufactured by Ordnance Factories Board (OFB). Their fitment will enhance mobility, agility and acceleration of T-72 tanks making them more versatile and effective in the battlefield.

Defence Procurement Procedure(DPP)-16

DAC also approved several amendments to Defence Procurement Procedure(DPP)-16, the manual governing defence procurement. The amendments aim to reduce timelines in defence procurements and streamline Defence Procurement Procedures.

The amendments limit time period for executing Repeat Order to five years after date of completion of warranty of final delivery in previous contract. It also extended repeat order provisions to procurements by other services like Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

The amendments also include permissions to commence with benchmarking of cost for equipment immediately on receipt of trial report in Service headquarter, legislating provisions for exchange rate variations when pursuing procurement with ‘Option Clause’.

It also includes providing clarity on guidelines for easing provisions for imposition of LD Clause in upgradation and alteration cases, automatic incorporation of applicability of latest legislation or changes or amendment of any act or law, rules or regulations.

These measures will go long way in obviating under procedural delays. It will also hasten activities by shrinking procurement timelines and give due preference to indigenization.