Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 30 June 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. PMFME scheme
  2. Fortification of Rice.
  3. Atmanirbhar Krishi app.

1. PMFME scheme

News Summary

Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme, launched under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, marks the completion of its one year.

Prelims GS – Governance

PMFME scheme:
  • PMFME scheme was launched under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • It aims to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry and to promote the formalization of the sector and provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
  • With an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25, the scheme envisions to directly assist the 2,00,000 micro food processing units for providing financial, technical, and business support for up-gradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.

Click here to view the Courtesy: PIB release.

2. Fortification of Rice

News Summary

To address anemia and micro-nutrient deficiency in the country, the Centre has expedited the capacity of the fortification of rice to increase from 15,000 MT to 3.5 lakh MT by incentivizing and creating awareness among rice millers

Prelims GS – Governance

Fortification of rice:
  • Fortification of rice is a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in diets and a step towards nutritional security and to fight anemia and malnutrition in the country.
  • The Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on “Fortification of Rice & its Distribution under Public Distribution System currently implemented in 6 States, – Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh have started the distribution of fortified rice under the pilot scheme.
  • Rice kernels can be fortified with several micronutrients, such as iron, folic acid, and other B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and zinc.
Recommendations of WHO for Rice Fortification:
  • Fortification of rice with iron is recommended as a public health strategy to improve the iron status of populations, in settings where rice is a staple food.
  • Fortification of rice with vitamin A may be used as a public health strategy to improve the iron status and vitamin A nutrition of populations.
  • Fortification of rice with folic acid may be used as a public health strategy to improve the folate nutritional status of populations.

Courtesy: WHO

Fortified Food in India:
  • In October 2016, FSSAI operationalized the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016 for fortifying staples namely
    • Wheat Flour and Rice (with Iron, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid),
    • Milk and Edible Oil (with Vitamins A and D) and
    • Double Fortified Salt (with Iodine and Iron) to reduce the high burden of micronutrient malnutrition in India.
  • The ‘+F’ logo has been notified to identify fortified foods.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Governance(Health)

Importance of Fortification:
  • India has a very high burden of micronutrient deficiencies caused by Vitamin A, Iodine, Iron, and Folic Acid leading to Night Blindness, Goitre, Anaemia, and various birth defects. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4)
    • 58.4 percent of children (6-59 months) are anemic

    • 53.1 percent of women in the reproductive age group are anemic

    • 35.7 percent of children under 5 are underweight

  • Fortification is a globally proven intervention to address the much prevalent micronutrient deficiencies in the population.
  • Food Fortification has a high benefit-to-cost ratio.
  • The Copenhagen Consensus estimates that every 1 Rupee spent on fortification results in 9 Rupees in benefits to the economy.

Courtesy: FSSAI

Benefits of Food Fortification:
  • Nutrients are added to staple foods since they are widely consumed. Thus, this is an excellent method to improve the health of a large section of the population, all at once.
  • It is a safe method of improving nutrition among people. The addition of micronutrients to food does not pose a health risk to people. The quantity added is small and well under the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) and is well regulated as per prescribed standards for safe consumption.
  • It is a cost-effective intervention and does not require any changes in the eating patterns or food habits of people.
  • It is a socio-culturally acceptable way to deliver nutrients to people.
  • It does not alter the characteristics of the food like the taste, aroma, or texture of the food.

Click here to know more about Fortified food and click here to view the official PIB release.

3. Atmanirbhar Krishi app

News Summary

Atmanirbhar Krishi App was launched by the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt of India.

Prelims GS – Governance

Atmanirbhar Krishi app:
  • The Atmanirbhar Krishi app was created to equip farmers with actionable agricultural insights and early weather alerts.
  • Tech Mahindra Makers Lab team has designed and built the Atmanirbhar Krishi App.
  • Data related to soil type, soil health, moisture, weather, and water table were aggregated and analyzed to generate personalized insights related to crop selection, fertilizers requirements, and water needs for each farmer at the farm-holding level.
  • The app was envisioned in 5 stages:
    1. Data aggregation
    2. Building centralized insights
    3. Enable local expertise (KVK) supported interactions and insights
    4. Deriving Machine Learning inferences
    5. Continuous improvement

Click here to view the official PIB release.



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