Government of India Current Affairs - 2020

National Conference on Crop Residue Management held in New Delhi

Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare inaugurated National Conference on Crop residue Management for farmers from states of Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The conference was held at New Delhi.

Key Highlights of Conference

Organiser: This conference was organized by Government of India in collaboration with ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) in order to address concerns of farmers and State Governments.

Participants: The conference was attended by more than 1000 farmers from 4 states of Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, who shared their innovative ideas, experiences and suggestions adopted for in-situ crop residue management.

MoS for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare requested further support and ideas from farmers to ensure zero burning in all villages and stressed that success stories from these States should be shared with all farmers.

Significance:  The conference would go a long way in mitigating the problem of stubble burning besides creating awareness among farming community.


Agriculture Ministry has implemented a Central Sector Scheme for period 2018-19 to 2019-20 in States of Punjab, Haryana, NCT of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to support the efforts taken by respective state governments in addressing air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue through agriculture mechanization. The total outgo of Central funds is Rs.1151.80 crores

During the year 2018-19, State Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have distributed 32,570 machines to farmers on individual ownership basis and established 7,960 Custom Hiring Centres.  As a result, as per the report of High Power Committee chaired by Dr. Nagesh Singh, the straw burning events in 2018 have reduced by 15% and 41% as compared to that in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

Government implements Project ‘SPARROW-CBIC’ for online writing of APAR

Government of India has now implemented Project ‘SPARROW-CBIC’ for online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) in SPARROW, for over 46,000 Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ Officers of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) working in its various formations all across India. The term SPARROW stands for ‘Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window’.

Key Features

  • Background: Online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report’s (APAR) in SPARROW for IRS (C&CE) Officers has already been implemented in year 2016-17. The Indian Revenue Service C&CE handles set of indirect taxes namely Service Tax, Central Excise, Customs etc.
  • Implemented By: The Directorate General of Human Resource Development (DGHRD), the Human resources Management (HRM) arm of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) of Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance (MoF) is the implementing agency. It is being implemented in more than 400 formations of CBIC throughout India.
  • About SPARROW-CBIC: It is a project for online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) for Officers of CBIC. It is one of its kind project in terms of number and scale of employees covered as far as Central Government Departments are concerned. It seeks to bring a complete change in APAR management of large number of Group ‘B’ & Group ‘C’ Officers and Staff of CBIC. This would in turn lead to better Human resources
  • Significance: Project leverages modern technology for enhancing morale and overall efficiency of everyone working in Central GST and Customs formations of CBIC. It serves as an important milestone in journey towards digitisation and paper less working.