Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 08 December 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Organic Farming.
  2. Invest India wins UN Investment Promotion Award 2020.

1. Organic Farming

News Summary

Lakshadweep islands have been declared as an Organic Agricultural area and only organic farming is allowed in the entire group of Lakshadweep islands.

Prelims GS – Agriculture

Organic Farming:
  • Organic Farming is a method of a farming system which is primarily aimed at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by use of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes (biofertilizers) to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco-friendly pollution-free environment.
  • As per the definition of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study team on organic farming “organic farming is a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, feed additives, etc) and to the maximum extent feasible rely upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection”.
The organic farming approach involves the following five principles:
  • Conversion of land from conventional management to organic management
  • Management of the entire surrounding system to ensure biodiversity and sustainability of the system.
  • Crop production with the use of alternative sources of nutrients such as crop rotation, residue management, organic manures, and biological inputs.
  • Management of weeds and pests by better management practices, physical and cultural means, and by the biological control system
  • Maintenance of livestock in tandem with the organic concept and make them an integral part of the entire system

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Agriculture

Characteristics of Organic Farming include:
  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by maintaining organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical intervention
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil micro-organisms
  • Nitrogen self-sufficiency through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation, as well as effective recycling of organic materials including crop residues and livestock manures
  • Weed, disease, and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, natural predators, diversity, organic manuring, resistant varieties, and limited (preferably minimal) thermal, biological, and chemical intervention
  • The extensive management of livestock, paying full regard to their evolutionary adaptations, behavioral needs, and animal welfare issues with respect to nutrition, housing, health, breeding, and rearing
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the wider environment and the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.
Benefits of Organic Farming:
  • It helps in maintaining environmental health by reducing the level of pollution
  • It reduces human and animal health hazards by reducing the level of residues in the product.
  • It helps in keeping agricultural production at a higher level and makes it sustainable.
  • It reduces the cost of agricultural production and also improves the soil health
  • It ensures optimum utilization of natural resources for short-term benefit and helps in conserving them for future generations.
  • It not only saves energy for both animals and machines but also reduces the risk of crop failure.
  • It improves the soil’s physical properties such as granulation, and good tilth, good aeration, easy root penetration and improves water-holding capacity.
  • It improves the soil’s chemical properties such as supply and retention of soil nutrients and promotes favorable chemical reactions.

Click here to know more about Organic Farming on the TNAU website.

(Note: is very useful for all kinds of agriculture-related questions in the exams)

2. Invest India wins UN Investment Promotion Award 2020

News Summary

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has declared ‘Invest India’ as winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award.

Prelims GS – Economic Development/Governance

Invest India:
  • Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India and acts as the first point of reference for investors in India.
  • Invest India, set up in 2009, is a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • Invest India focuses on sector-specific investor targeting and the development of new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India.

Click here to know more about InvestIndia.

  • United Nations Conference on Trade And Development(UNCTAD) is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964.
  • Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • UNCTAD is part of the UN Secretariat.
  • UNCTAD reports to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council but has its own membership, leadership, and budget.
  • UNCTAD is also a part of the United Nations Development Group.
Reports released by UNCTAD:

(Note: Reports of various organizations may be asked for Prelims Exam)

  • Trade and Development Report
  • World Investment Report
  • Economic Development in Africa Report
  • Least Developed Countries Report
  • Trade and Environment Review
  • Review of Maritime Transport

Click here to view the UNCTAD website.



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