Technology Development Current Affairs - 2020

Cabinet approves to set up a 12-member Technology Group

On February 19, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved to set a technology group. The 12-member group will provide scientific advice on mapping of technologies, commercialization of dual use technologies and develop a road map on selected key technologies.

The group will provide three major pillars of support namely Policy support, research and development proposals and procurement support.

Functions of the group

The group will help the GoI in achieving the following

  • To render advice on technology procurement strategy
  • To develop in-house expertise in developing merging technologies
  • To make sure the public sector technologies developed are sustainable.

Why was the group constituted?

The Group has been constituted as the GoI faced the following challenges

  • There was no mapping of technologies and their uses spread across the country
  • The Researches were not aligned to technology development
  • The dual use of technologies was not commercialized
  • The standards of technologies were not fixed. This led to sub-optimal industrial development
  • Silo-centric approaches to the development of technologies are being adopted

The Group will help in addressing these issues.

Global Potato Conclave to be held in Gujarat

The Global Potato Conclave is to be held between January 28 and January 31, 2020. PM Modi is to attend the conclave. PM Modi is to address the conclave.

Highlights

The conclave will hold live demonstrations of potato varieties, farm equipment, management practices. The conclave will include researchers from more than 30 countries and is to be conducted under 10 themes. It will cover next generation breeding practices, efficient management practices of potato cultivation, management strategies of potato diseases and pests. The themes of the conclave are as follows

  • Potato Biotechnology and Omics
  • Germplasm Management and Next Generation Breeding
  • AI and ICT in Potato R&D.
  • Potato Pest Management
  • Potato Disease Management
  • Technology transfer, social issues and policies
  • Potato Value Chain management
  • Advances in Seed Technology
  • Climate change and crop management
  • Post-harvest management and value addition.

Significance

After rice and wheat, potato is the third most important food crop in the world. The growth of potato has increased by 40% between 1961 and 2016. However, the area under potato production has decreased from 22.14 million hectares to 19.24 million hectares.