ICAR Current Affairs - 2019

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ICAR and NABARD sign MoU to develop Climate Resilient Technologies for farmers

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and National Board of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) signed Memorandum of Understanding on December 13, 2019. The agreement was signed to facilitate the research and technologies to develop climate resilient practices in the agriculture sector and hi-tech farming practices.

Highlights

Under the agreement, the organizations will take up technology transfer in integrated farming system, agro-forestry, crop intensification, horticulture and plantation. The initiative will help to strengthen the competition among NABARD officers and other working partners. The agreement will also help to upgrade technologies developed by ICAR. It includes hi-tech farming practices, climate resilient practices and models. It will also aid in evaluation of NABARD assisted projects like farm-mechanization, agri-incubation centres, and report generation for climate change projects.

In order to develop climate resilient agriculture, GoI has launched several initiatives. One among them is the National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA).

NICRA

NICRA was launched in 2011. The project has three main objectives namely strategic research, capacity building and technology demonstrations. NICRA has four main modules namely crop production, natural resource management, improving soil health and livestock. Though the scheme was launched for 2 years, it was extended and is still active. The scheme is implemented by ICAR.

The main objectives of the scheme include enhancing resilience of Indian agriculture covering crops, fisheries, livestock. It will also demonstrate technology specific packages for Indian farmers to adapt to climate risks. The scheme will also enhance the capacity of scientists in climate resilient agricultural research and application.

DRDO offers free access to its 450 patents

The Defense Research and Defense Organization has allowed free access to its 450 patents. The organization intends to provide a boost to domestic industries, especially startups and the strategic sector that has a network of 50 national laboratories that are involved in research and development

Highlights

The DRDO operating under the Ministry of Defence will offer complete access to its patents without charging royalty fees or licensing fees. It includes all the technologies related to life sciences, missiles, naval systems, electronics and communications, combat engineering, aeronautics.

Following DRDO, other R&D bodies like CSIR (Council of Scientific Industrial Research), ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), NRDC (National Research and Development Corporation) and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) will also portfolio their patents. However, they would charge licensing fees and royalty.

DRDO Industry Synergy Summit

As a part of the new ToT policy of zero loyalty, a one-day DRDO-Industry Synergy Summit is to be scheduled. The summit will discuss the required policy frameworks to be created to increase the success rates of its implementation. Also, discussions on high technology collaborations and defence manufacturing will be held.

Significance

The step is a great welcome to startups, industries and entrepreneurs. Also, this is the second time DRDO is offering such free access to its patents. Initially it happened for the first time in 2000 when Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was the principal scientific advisor. However, the access was restricted to CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) members alone.

The move will also support Make in India, Transfer of Technology policy and Domestic Production Policy that boosts domestic industries. Also, it will help India achieve the defense production target of Rs 90,000 crore set for the year 2019-20.