Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 19 June 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. GM crops and GEAC
  2. Quality Council of India and ICMED Plus scheme
  3. IN – EUNAVFOR exercise

1. GM crops and GEAC

News Summary

The selling of illegal cultivation of herbicide-tolerant (HT) Bt cotton seeds has more than doubled and it has environmental consequences.

Prelims GS – Governance/Science & Technology

Bt Cotton:
  • Bt cotton is the only transgenic Genetically modified crop that is approved for cultivation.
  • Bt cotton hybrids exhibited excellent control of American Bollworm which is a pest and reduced the use of insecticides leading to create an eco-friendly environment without compromising on profitable yield.
  • HT Bt Cotton is a modification of Bt cotton making it tolerant to Herbicide Glyphosate but it is not approved by the Government for commercial cultivation.
  • Bt cotton technology does not harm non-target beneficial insects; besides reduction in production cost, increase in profit, reduced farming risk and improved economic outlook for cotton are the highlights of this novel technology.
  • The use of this technology is also helpful in improving wild life population, reduced run-off of insecticides, reduced air pollution and improved safety to farm workers and neighbors.

Click here to know more about Bt cotton in the TNAU Agritech portal

Ban on GM crops:
  • Bt. cotton is the only Genetically Modified (GM) crop approved in 2002 by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for commercial cultivation in the Country.
  • Cultivation of other unapproved GM crops is banned in India.
  • Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has issued advisories to States to take appropriate necessary action to curb and control the spread of Bt. Brinjal and HT cotton.
  • There is a well-established regulatory framework for approval of GM Crops as per “Rules for the Manufacture/Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms, Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989” under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 in the Country.

Courtesy: PIB release on the Ban of GM crops

  • The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • As per Rules, 1989, it is responsible for the appraisal of activities involving large-scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle. The committee is also responsible for the appraisal of proposals relating to the release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials.
  • GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

Click here to view the official website of GEAC.

2. Quality Council of India and ICMED Plus scheme

News Summary

The Quality Council of India (QCI), and the Association of Indian Manufacturers of Medical Devices (AiMeD) have launched the ICMED Plus Scheme.

Prelims GS – Governance

  • The Quality Council of India is an autonomous body set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India jointly with the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations i.e. Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • QCI is established to operate a national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.
  • The Council plays a pivotal role at the national level in propagating, adoption and adherence to quality standards in all important spheres of activities including education, healthcare, environment protection, governance, social sectors, infrastructure sector, and such other areas of organized activities that have a significant bearing in improving the quality of life and wellbeing of the citizens of India.
  • QCI is governed by a Council comprising of 38 members including the Chairperson and Secretary-General.
  • Chairperson of the QCI is nominated by the Hon’blePrime Minister of India.(Note: 2017  UPSC Prelims Question)

Click here to know more about QCI and its composition.

ICMED Plus scheme:
  • Indian Certification of Medical Devices scheme was launched in 2016 for Certification of Medical Devices.
  • The ICMED 13485 PLUS scheme will undertake verification of the quality, safety, and efficacy of medical devices.
  • ICMED 13485 Plus has been designed to integrate the Quality Management System components and product-related quality validation processes through witness testing of products with reference to the defined product standards and specifications.
  • This is the first scheme around the world in which quality management systems along with product certification standards are integrated with regulatory requirements.
  • This scheme will be an end-to-end quality assurance scheme for the medical devices sector in India.
  • This will also help in eliminating the circulation and use of sub-standard medical products or devices of doubtful origin that could prove to be serious health hazards.

Click here to view the Official PIB release.

3. IN – EUNAVFOR exercise

News Summary

Maiden IN – EUNAVFOR Joint Naval Exercise is being conducted on 18th and 19th June 2021.

Prelims GS – World News/International Relations

IN- EUNAVFOR exercise:
  • IN-EUNAVFOR is the maiden joint naval exercise between the Indian Navy and the European Union Naval Force(EUNAVFOR)
  • It is conducted in the Gulf of Aden.
  • Indian Naval Ship Trikand, mission deployed for Anti-Piracy Operations, is participating in this maiden joint naval exercise.
  • The two-day exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defense and anti-submarine exercises, cross deck helicopter operations, tactical maneuvers, boarding operations, underway replenishment, Search & Rescue, Man Overboard drills, and other maritime security operations

Mini Insights

Mains GS2  – International Relations

Significance of IN-EUNAVFOR navies :
  • EUNAVFOR and the Indian Navy converge on multiple issues including counter-piracy operations and protection of vessels deployed under the charter of the World Food Programme (UN WFP).
  • Indian Navy and EUNAVFOR also have regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and De-confliction) meetings held annually in Bahrain.
  • This engagement showcases increased levels of synergy, coordination, and inter-operability between IN and EUNAVFOR.
  • It also underscores the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive, and rules-based international order.

Click here to view the Courtesy: PIB release.




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