GS- 1st Paper
Topic covered– Indian Heritage and Culture
PM greets the people on Kerala’s major festival ONAM.
The Onam Festival
- The festival of Onam is celebrated, during the months of August-September, across Kerala and by Malyalees living across India.
- This harvest festival is one of the major annual festivals in Kerala.
- It includes festivities such as boat races, tiger dances, elaborate flower arrangements and a mask dance.
- According to legend, king Mahabali practiced great penance and became all-powerful.
- Vishnu took the incarnation of a Brahmin dwarf, Vamana and asked the king to give him all the land he could cover in three steps as alms.
- The king agreed. At this Vamana grew to super-human proportions. Covering the earth and heaven in two steps, Vamana asked where he should place his third step. Mahabali offered his own head and was pushed into the nether world (or Patalam).
- In recognition of his piety, Mahabali was made King of Patalam. He is allowed to return to his former kingdom once a year in an invisible form.
- Onam is celebrated to assure King Mahabali that all remains well in his land, and that his people are happy and prosperous.
- On the eve of Tiruonam, the second and the most important day of the 4-day Onam festival, everything is cleaned and decorated in preparation for king Mahabali’s visit. Auspicious saffron colour cloths are presented to friends and relatives.
When is Onam Celebrated?
- Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham).
- The most important day of Onam is known as Thiru Onam. Rituals commence approximately 10 days before Thiru Onam, on Atham.
Onam games exhibits the bravado of the machos in a terrific manner in Kerala state.
The main games play on Onam are-
- Some of the best known Kerala dances are performed on the occasion of Onam.
- Most remarkable of them all are Kathakali, Kaikottikali and Thumbi Thullal.
- The other enchanting folk dances performed on the occasion of Onam include Kumattikali and Pulikali or Kaduvakali.
GS- 3 Paper
Topics Covered– Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
National Artificial Insemination Programme
National Animal Disease Control programme as well as the National Artificial Insemination Programme was launched in Mathura.
- PM launched National Artificial Insemination Programme in Mathura.
Acountry wide workshop in all the Krishi VIgyan Kendras(KVKs) in all the 687 Districts of the country on vaccination and disease management, Artificial Insemination and Productivity will be initiated.
- Prime Minister launched a major six-month drive to promote artificial insemination in cattle in 687 Districts which have less than 50% coverage of the technology.
- Currently, the national coverage is only 30%, though some States such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu use artificial insemination rates for more than 70% of their cattle.
- Artificial insemination can triple milk production rates, especially for the vast majority of non-descript indigenous cows, and improve the overall quality of the cattle.
- However, using sex-sorted semen — which increases the possibility of a female calf to about 90% — also drastically increases the cost of insemination, as the technology is still new in India.
- The government-subsidised price of a single semen dose is only ₹20; sex-sorted semen, on the other hand, can cost ₹500 to 600 per dose.
- Of the 11.9 crore semen doses produced in the country every year, only 10 lakh are sex-sorted.
- Currently, only four centres — including two owned by the government — produce such semen.
- Government would soon open 11 such centres across the country to promote widespread adoption of the technology and reduce costs.
National Animal Disease Control Programme
Prime Minister launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating the foot and mouth disease and brucellosis in livestock on Wednesday.
- The programme aims to control the livestock diseases by 2025 and eradicate these by 2030.
- The programme aims at vaccinating over 500 million livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against the FMD.
- The programme also aims at vaccinating 36 million female bovine calves annually in its fight against the brucellosis disease.
- NADCP project will cost ₹12,652 crores for a period of five years till 2024,.
- It will be funded entirely by the government.
- The Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis are common among livestock such as- cow, buffaloes, bulls, pigs, sheep and goats. Both the diseases have a direct negative impact on trade of milk and other livestock products.
- As per government data if a cow or buffalo gets infected with FMD, the milk loss is up to 100% which could last for4-6 months.
- In case of Brucellosis, the milk output reduces by 30% during entire life cycle of animal and animal and also causes infertility among animals.
- The infection of brucellosis can also be transmitted to farm workers and livestock owners.
GS- 3 Paper
Topics covered- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.
Fall Armyworm (FAW)
Maize crops falling victim to fall armyworm in Bihar.
Fall Armyworm (FAW), an insect indigenous to the Americas, has been spreading across the globe harming crops.
It migrated to Africa in 2016 and India in June 2018.
It has also spread to neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Southern parts of China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
Fall Armyworm in India
It was reported in India for the first-time in Karnataka.
Within a span of only six months, almost 50 per cent of the country, including Mizoram, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal, has reported FAW infestations.
Danger of Fall Armyworm
- It is the polyphagous (ability to feed on different kinds of food) nature of the caterpillar.
- It has ability of the adult moth to fly more than 100 km per night.
- Nearly 80 different crops ranging from maize to sugarcane are under threat of FAW attack.
- It can spread across large tracts of land as it can fly over large distances. This explains the quick spread of the pest across India.
Integrated Pest Management of FAW
- IPM is an integrated strategy of pest control.
- It aims at prevention of pests and its damage through a combination of techniques such as chemical, biological, new cropping system, modification of cultural practices, use of resistant varieties and through mechanical methods.
- IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms.
DRDO successfully flight-tests indigenously developed low weight, fire & forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile.
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) today successfully flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
- The missile was launched from a man portable Tripod launcher and the target was mimicking a functional tank.
- This is the third series of successful testing of MPATGM.
- The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
- The test paves the way for the Army to have developed 3rd generation man portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile indigenously.
Indian Institute of Skills, Mumbai
Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, lays Foundation Stone for Indian Institute of Skills, Mumbai.
- Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) in line with Institutes of Eminence including IITs and IIMs.
- Tata Group to invest Rs. 300 crore in setting up the 4.5 acres campus at Sion.
- IIS aims to enroll 5,000 students per year with campus placement of 70% trainees.
- The Union Cabinet had given its nod to set up Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) in three locations of the country — Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kanpur, to give wings to the Skill India Mission.
- These institutes will be constructed & operated on a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model and in not-for-profit basis.