Tamil Nadu Current Affairs

Tamil Nadu reports first case of Zika virus

Tamil Nadu has reported its first case of Zika virus in a 27-year-old man from a village in Krishnagiri district. RT-PCR test conducted on patient’s blood, urine and throat samples were found to be positive for Zika.

This is second case Zika reported in India. Earlier in May 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the first cases of Zika in in Ahmedabad, Gujarat after three cases were detected.

About Zika virus

Zika virus is vector borne disease transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the same mosquito that transmits dengue. It is also found that, sexual transmission of Zika virus disease is possible.

Threats: The virus is capable of causing serious birth defects i.e. neurological disorders and foetal deformation known as Microcephaly in which infants are born with abnormally smaller heads. Besides a possible link between the virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome (a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system) is also suspected.

Treatment: There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available to treat Zika. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

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Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura chosen for Krishi Karman Awards, 2015-16

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has selected Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura for the Krishi Karman awards for their record performance in the production of food grains during 2015-16. Apart from these states, Meghalaya would get commendation prize for total food grain production and would be given a cash award of Rs 1 crore.

Tamil Nadu has been chosen in large category (production more than 10 million tonnes), Himachal Pradesh in medium category (1 to 10 million tonnes) and Tripura in small category (less than 1 million tonnes).

Tamil Nadu had produced 130 lakh tonnes of foodgrains in 2015-16, which is the highest in the last five years. In terms of yield in foodgrains, the state managed to get a yield of 3.38 tonnes per hectare as against the all-India average of 2.028 tonnes per hectare, which is 67% more than the national average. The state had adopted an “innovative, eco-friendly integrated pest management” to achieve this feat. In addition, government interventions like post-harvest management, disbursal of subsidies and integrated soil health management were also taken into account by the agricultural ministry.

Tamil Nadu will receive a sum of Rs 5 crore for the award. Tamil Nadu had already bagged the award thrice in 2011-12 for highest food grains production, in 2013-14 for highest pulses production and in 2014-15 for highest coarse cereals production.

Tripura has been selected for the Krishi Karman Award 2015-16 for a commendable increase in food grain production in small category states. The state produced 825,000 tonnes of food grain in 2016. The state would also receive a cash award of Rs five crore. Tripura gets this national award for the second time. The state targets to produce 935,000 tonnes of food grain in 2017.

Krishi Karman Awards

Krishi Karman awards were instituted in 2010-11 by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to reward the best performing States in the production of foodgrains and individual crops of Rice, Wheat, Pulses and Coarse Cereals.

Totally, eight awards are given, including three for the States with highest foodgrains production in three identified categories-large, medium and small, and five awards are given for highest production under each of the crops Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Coarse Cereals and Oilseeds.

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