PIB – September 17 , 2019

GS -3rd Paper

Topic coveredFood processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)


APEDA organized a multi-product road show in association with the Embassy of India in Jakarta.


  • The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act in December, 1985.
  • The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
  • In order to promote products from India’s North Eastern States APEDA introduced Indian Kiwi Wine produced in Arunachal Pradesh for the first time in Greece.
  • APEDA is also promoting export of basmati rice through sampling and tasting campaign of basmati rice biryani in vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions.


In accordance with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985, (2 of 1986) the following functions have been assigned to the Authority.

  • Development of industries relating to the scheduled products for export by way of providing financial assistance.
  • Undertaking surveys and feasibility studies, participation in enquiry capital through joint ventures and other reliefs and subsidy schemes;
  • Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products on payment of such fees as may be prescribed;
  • Fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports;
  • Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughter houses, processing plants, storage premises, conveyances or other places where such products are kept or handled for the purpose of ensuring the quality of such products;
  • Improving of packaging of the Scheduled products;
  • Improving of marketing of the Scheduled products outside India;
  • Promotion of export oriented production and development of the Scheduled products;
  • Collection of statistics from the owners of factories or establishments engaged in the production, processing, packaging, marketing or export of the scheduled products.
  • Training in various aspects of the industries connected with the scheduled products.

Composition of the APEDA Authority

  • A Chairman, appointed by the Central Government
  • The Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Government of India, ex-offical.
  • One member appointed by the Central Government representing the Planning Commission
  • Three members of Parliament of whom two are elected by the House of People and one by the Council of States
  • Eight members appointed by the Central Government representing respectively; the Ministries of the Central Govt.
  1. Agriculture and Rural Development
  2. Commerce
  3. Finance
  4. Industry
  5. Food
  6. Civil Supplies
  7. Civil Aviation
  8. Shipping and transport
  • Five members appointed by the Central Government by rotation in the alphabetical order to represent the States and the Union Territories
  • Two members appointed by the Central Government from amongst specialists and scientists in the fields of agriculture, economics and marketing of the scheduled products.

GS -2nd Paper

Topic covered– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Ayushman Bharat


Ayushman Bharat Pakhwara celebration

About Ayushman Bharat

  • Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries).
  • It will provide coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

Salient Features

  • AB-NHPM scheme has two objectives-
  1. Creating a network of health and wellness infrastructure across the nation (for primary health care services).
  2. Provide insurance cover to minimum 40% of India’s total population (for secondary and tertiary health care services).
  • One of the core principles of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission is to co-operative federalism and flexibility to states.
  • For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, it is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.
  • States would need to have State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme.
  • To ensure that the funds reach SHA on time, the transfer of funds from Central Government through AB-NHPM to State Health Agencies may be done through an escrow account directly.
  • In partnership with NITI Aayog, a robust, modular, scalable and interoperable IT platform will be made operational which will entail a paperless, cashless transaction.


  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will have a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
  • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities.
  • To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.
  • Beneficiaries of health insurance under the scheme will include 50 crore economically weak citizens of India as defined in the social, economic and ethnic census 2011 database.
  • It will cover both rural (8.03 crore) and urban (2.33 crore) families.


  • It will provide a benefit cover of Rs 5 lakh/year/family.
  • Expenses incurred will be shared between Centre and States in 60:40 ratio.

Need and significance

  • As the public spending on these services are quite low compared to the world average, schemes like Ayushman Bharat are a welcome step.
  • The Government and private hospitals need to cooperate so that a scenario of universal health coverage in India may get closer and poor people are able to get better and affordable health care services.
  • It is believed that AB-NHPM scheme must bring together all relevant inter-sectoral action, linking health and development, so as to universalise the availability of-
  • Clean drinking water,
  • Sanitation,
  • Garbage disposal,
  • Waste management,
  • Food security,
  • Nutrition,
  • vector control.

For Prelims-

Air-to-Air missile, ASTRA


Air-to-Air missile Astra successfully flight tested from Su-30 MKI


  • It is the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air Missile.
  • It is an all-weather, state-of-the-art missile developed by DRDO.
  • Astra is capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets (up to 20 km) and long-range targets (up to 80 km) using alternative propulsion modes.
  • It can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when launched from an altitude of eight km and 21 km when fired from sea level.
  • It is a single stage solid fuelled missile.
  • It is radar homing supersonic missile having maximum speed of Mach 4 (four times speed of sound).
  • It has advance on-board electronic counter-measures that jam radar signals from enemy radar, making tracking of the missile difficult.

International Ramayan Festival


The 5th International Ramayan Festival organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), in New Delhi.


  • The International Ramayan Festival is being organized for 5th year in row.
  • During the Festival 17 countries have participated with their artists and rendered their versions of Ramayan.

Jan Dhan Darshak app


Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance and National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile app called Jan Dhan Darshak.


  • Jan Dhan Darshak app is as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative.
  • Jan Dhan Darshak app will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.
  • This app will find nearby Financial touch points, based on current location (Branches/ATM/Post offices).
  • It will search by place name.
  • Phone number of bank branches available in app, with the facility of call button for integrated dialing.