Varanasi Current Affairs - 2020

PM Modi inaugurates 50 projects worth 1000 crores in Varanasi

On February 16, 2020, PM Modi inaugurated more than 50 projects that are worth 1000 crores in Varanasi. It included 430 beds in a hospital at Banaras Hindu University, flagging off of Maha Kaal Express, 100 year celebration of Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul and unveiling statue of Deendayal Upadhyay.

Highlights

PM Modi inaugurated Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial Centre in Varanasi. Deendayal Upadhyay was a former leader of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the current BJP. In order to honor the leader, PM also inaugurated a 63 feet tall statue that was made of Pancha Loha

What is Pancha Loha?

Panchaloha is an alloy of Copper, Zincm Gold, Iron and Silver. Some times lead or tin is used instead of Zinc.

Maha Kaal Express

The Prime Minister also flagged off the Maha Kaal Express. It is the first overnight private train that will connect three Jyotirling pilgrim centres. They are Ujjain, Varanasi and Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh.

India’s first ever fresh vegetable export to Dubai by Sea Route

On December 20, 2019, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) sent its first trial shipment of fresh vegetables from Varanasi to Dubai by sea route. APEDA is the organization under Ministry of Commerce and Industry that promotes export of agricultural and processed food products from India.

Highlights

APEDA sent 14 Metric Tons (1 container) of fresh vegetables from Varanasi. The vegetables were processed and packed by laboratories in Varanasi to keep them fresh. The entire process till shipment from procurement was monitored by a committee under the chairmanship of commissioner of Varanasi.

The APEDA has identified 5 potential districts of UP namely Mirzapur, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Jaunpur and SantRavidas Nagar to set up export hubs.

Buyer Seller Meet

In order to set up the Export hub, APEDA also organized Buyer Seller Meet in Varanasi and the programme was attended by 100 farmers from regions of Kolakata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh. The meet also acted as a platform for the Farmer Produce Organizations (FPO) to meet the progressive farmers and exporters. This paved way to understand the potential of the region, infrastructure required to convince farmers in export-oriented crops and also learn about the quality of fruits and vegetables cultivated in the region.

At the meet, the Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Exporters Association signed four agreements with 4 FPOs from the region.

India’s Fruits and Vegetables

According to National Horticulture Database, India ranks second in fruits and vegetables production in the world next to China. India produces 90.2 million tons of fruits and 169.1 tons of vegetables (2015-16) annually.