1. Two hundred new mandis were added to the e-NAM platform.
On 1 May 2020, 200 new mandis were added to the e-NAM platform from 7 States in function was headed by Narendra Singh Tomar (Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare). And with this, the total e-NAM mandis in the country are 785.
The newly added 200 markets are from:- Andhra Pradesh (11 mandis), Gujarat (25 mandis), Odisha (16 mandis), Rajasthan (94 mandis), Tamil Nadu (27 mandis), Uttar Pradesh (25 mandis) & Karnataka (2 mandis).
And for the first time Karnataka State has been added to the list of e-NAM States.
Centre aims to add 1,000 Mandis to the e-NAM platform for marketing of Agricultural produce. It is expected that the Prime minister’s vision of using technology for the benefit of farmers will soon be realized.
e-NAM aims to reach the last mile farmer and transform the way of selling their agricultural products. e-NAM has gained more strength by reaching out to more farmers & traders of these new mandis. Already 785 mandis in 17 States and 2 Union Territories (UT) have been integrated and are working.
2. Five more States and Union Territories (UTs) added with the National Cluster under the “One Nation One Ration Card” plan.
The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan approved the integration of 5 States and Union Territories (UTs) with the National Cluster under the “One Nation One Ration Card” plan. The 5 states/UTs include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
Now 17 states and union Territories are under the One Nation One Ration Card plan.
The 17 are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.
The facility of national and inter-State portability will be available for nearly 60 crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries of 17 States/UT.
The beneficiaries now may lift their entitled quota of foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of these 17 States/UT by using their same or existing ration card under the One Nation One Ration Card plan.
The Department has shared the necessary guidelines for the implementation of national portability as it also imparted the requisite orientation training to the officers/technical teams of these 5 States/UTs.
Now all the 17 States/UTs will formally commence seamless inter-State/national portability operations in a single cluster. And also, the required web-services for inter-State transactions and the central dashboards have been activated with immediate effect.
3. Ministry of Tourism organized 12th webinar of Dekho Apna Desh series
The 12th session of Dekho Apna Desh of Tourism Ministry was held on 30 April 2020. It was titled as ‘Celebrating the Incredible Indian Women in Responsible Tourism’.
It presented some powerful and personal stories of a few incredible women in India, who offer an alternative imagination of travel.
The sessions are now available on the https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbzIbBmMvtvH7d6Zo_ZEHDA/ featured and also on all social media handles of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
The webinar series aims to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India including the lesser-known destinations and lesser-known facets of popular destinations.
The webinar explained how individuals can create change in their life and the communities they live in through tourism.
It taught how to use local resources, staying in homestays, supporting undocumented new lesser know enterprises eating at a small family-owned restaurant, all make a huge difference to the locals and thus helps in growing the areas which benefit from tourism.
The webinar presented ten inspiring stories namely Stanzin Dolkar from Maan village; Sunita Marawi from Bandha Tolavillage near Kanha, Phejin Konyak from Shiyong village in Mon district Nagaland; Laxmi a hospitality expert and masseuse from Delhi NCR; Rekha Rautela from Sarmoli village in Munsiari; Raksha Patekar from Dehene village in Maharashtra, a rural tourism expert, and master trainer; Sajna Shaji a drummer and travel guide from Mothakkara, Wayanad in Kerala; Pabitra Maya Khawas, home chef and entrepreneur from Chuikhim, north Bengal; Sumitra Biswas from Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
4. NASA partners with private companies for Moon-to-Mars campaign
The US space agency NASA has partnered with SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics to build lunar landing systems that can carry astronauts to the moon by 2024. The mission is accelerated under the space agency’s Moon-to-Mars campaign.
NASA is planning for a long-term presence on Moon so that it will eventually enable humans to reach Mars. For this campaign, NASA is leaning heavily on private companies built around shared visions for space exploration.
In 2019, Jeff Bezos unveiled Blue Origin’s design for the lunar lander, Blue Moon.
SpaceX is on the verge of launching its first manned mission for NASA in June 2020. The company also plans to develop its Starship landing system to send a crew and up to 100 pounds of cargo to the moon.
For this project, the three companies will share $967 million from NASA.
5. Ministry of Shipping launched new website
The website of the Shipping Ministry is http://shipmin.gov.in/
Ministry of Shipping has revamped its website and launched its new version on 30 April 2020. The new website is based on open source technology and is deployed on NIC cloud Meghraj.
The website has been designed as per Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW) issued by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India.
The new website has a well designed and dynamic Homepage and has Social Media Integration with a better video uploading facility is a new feature on this website.
6. Giridhar Aramane assumed charge as Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
Shri Giridhar Aramane assumed charge as Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. He held briefing meetings with senior officers to review the work of the Ministry and discussed pressing issues especially in the light of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Giridhar Aramane is a 1988 batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre. Shri Aramane was earlier serving as Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat. He has also been a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas from 2012-14. Shri Aramane has worked in the Government of Andhra Pradesh at various positions including field and policy level and has vast experience in organizational and finance matters.
He is an MTech in Civil Egg from IIT Madras and holds a Masters Degree in Economics. He has undergone training in finance and banking matters at Singapore and France, apart from the IIM Bangalore, IIFT New Delhi and Tata Mgt Trg Centre, Pune.
7. Prof Shobhana Narasimhan elected as International Honorary Member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Professor Shobhana Narasimhan from the Theoretical Sciences Unit (TSU) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) has been elected as an International Honorary Member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Prof Narasimhan heads the Computational Nanoscience group at JNCASR. She has done significant work on the rational design of nanomaterials, examining how the lowering of dimensionality and reduction of size affect material properties. Her work is relevant for a number of different applications, such as nanocatalysts for clean energy applications, and magnetic materials for memory storage.
She has also actively promoted women in STEM in India and abroad. She was a member of the Working Group for Women in Physics of International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). In 2011, She became a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India. She has received the Stree Shakti Samman Science Award in 2010 and the Kalpana Chawla Woman Scientist Award of the Government of Karnataka in 2010. She was a member of two committees set up by Govt. of India, the National Task Force on Women in Science, and the Standing Committee on Women in Science, to advise the government on how it can promote the cause of women scientists.
8. CRRI developed Kisan Sabha App to connect farmers
CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI), New Delhi developed Kisan Sabha App to connect farmers to supply chain and freight transportation management systems. The app was remotely launched on 1 May by DG, ICAR, and Secretary DARE, Dr.Trilochan Mohapatra. The portal aims to act as a one-stop solution for farmers, transporters, and other entities engaged in the agriculture Industry.
Kisan Sabha aims to provide the most economical and timely logistics support to the farmers and increase their profit margins by minimizing the interference of middlemen and directly connecting with the institutional buyers. It will provide the best market rates of crops by comparing the nearest mandis, booking freight vehicles at the cheapest cost thereby giving maximum benefit to the farmers. The portal acts as a single stop for every entity related to agriculture, be they a farmer who needs better price for the crops or mandi dealer who wants to connect to more farmers or truckers who invariably go empty from the mandis.
Kisan Sabha has 6 major modules taking care of Farmers, Mandi, Dealers, Mandi Board Members, Service Providers, and Consumers.
Kisan Sabha provides a platform for people who want to buy directly from the farmers.
The portal connects the farmers, transporters, Service providers including pesticides and fertilizer dealers, cold store and warehouse owner, mandi dealers, customers, and other related entities for timely and effective solutions.
Kisan Sabha also works for people in the agriculture services sector such as dealers of fertilizers and pesticides, who can reach out to more farmers for their services.
It would also prove to be useful for those associated with cold stores or godowns.
9. Visakhapatnam Smart COC functions round the clock for COVID-19 management
Smart City Operations Centre (COC) of Visakhapatnam operates 24×7 in three shifts to manage COVID-19. Covid Helpdesk or the Contact center at COC traces and monitors foreign returned citizens in coordination with CMOH & DMOH on a day to day basis.
The centre announces cautionary measures and information related to COVID-19 through Public Announcements Systems installed across 90 locations in the city.
It passes COVID-19 information disseminated through digital sign boards that are installed at 10 key locations across the city.
The surveillance system, 500 cameras installed across the city, monitors important areas and key junctions.
The helpdesk/contact center is functional 24×7 to coordinate with line departments like public health, city and district level officers from time to time. A toll-free number set-up at COC to answer emergency calls and follows up with line departments accordingly.
A mobile application developed to trace and map all foreign returnees. Based on the information received through the mobile application, cluster mapping and high-risk colour coding map was digitized wherein category wise clusters were formed, that is, 0-14, 15- 28, and above 28 days were identified using GIS in COC.
The 20 Rapid Response Teams (RRT) formed in Visakhapatnam and these teams are being tracked through the Mobile tabs fixed in respective team Ambulances.
4 Mobile teams were formed for sample collection for symptomatic citizens. The teams are being monitored through COC through mobile Tab based tracking. Further, the concerned doctors submit details of the citizens through mobile applications on a real-time basis.
Door to Door survey by Volunteers is monitored and reports placed before concerned committee in-charges regularly.
A mobile application being developed to monitor activities like bleaching and other sanitation activities in containment areas by the public health wing.
Essential and Grocery vendor details circulated through Social media. Dedicated help desk numbers 0891- 2869106, 2869110 circulated to attend any grievance related to essential & grocery issues.
10. Yes Bank appointed Neeraj Dhawan as its Chief Risk Officer
Yes, Bank appointed Neeraj Dhawan as its Chief Risk Officer (CRO) with immediate effect.
The board of directors vide their resolution dated May 1, 2020, appointed Neeraj Dhawan as the chief risk officer of the bank for a period of three years.
He assumed charge on 2 May. He replaced Ashish Agarwal, the current CRO, who will be transitioning to a new role in the bank.
11. Sania Mirza becomes the first Indian to be nominated for Fed Cup Heart Award
Sania Mirza became the first Indian to be nominated for the Fed Cup Heart Award from the Asia/Oceania Zone along with Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia, Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit and Luxembourg’s Eleonora Molinaro from Europe/Africa, Fernanda Contreras Gomes of Mexico and Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg. The voting for the award opens from 1st May until 8th May.
Fed Cup Heart Award is an International Tennis Federation(ITF) initiative established in 2009 to recognise players representing their countries in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
The first Fed Cup Heart award was presented to USA’s Melanie Oudin in 2009.
12. World Tuna Day is observed every year on May 2.
World Tuna Day is observed on May 2 every year. The United Nations (UN) established the World Tuna Day to raise awareness about the tuna fish and its importance to humans and earth.
It is also observed to promote more sustainable fishing practices.
The United Nations general assembly officially voted in favour of observing World Tuna Day in the year 2016. World Tuna Day was observed for the first time in the year 2017.
13. CAIT to launch national e-commerce marketplace ‘Bharatmarket’ for retail traders
Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced to launch a national e-commerce marketplace ‘bharatmarket’ soon for all retail traders in collaboration with several technology partners.
The marketplace will integrate the capabilities of various technology companies to provide end-to-end services in the logistics and supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers, including deliveries at home.
The e-commerce portal will include nationwide participation by retailers and aims to bring 95 percent of retail traders onboard the platform, who would exclusively run the portal.
14. Indian-origin girl Vaneeza named NASA’s 1st Mars helicopter as ‘Ingenuity’
A 17-year old Indian-origin girl Vaneeza Rupani has named the 1st helicopter to be built for Mars as ‘Ingenuity’ (in Hindi it means the inventive character of a person). She received this credit when she submitted her essay in NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) ‘Name the Rover’ competition. Before this new name, It was just named “Mars Helicopter”.
Along with Rupani, a total of 28, 000 students from each state and territory of the US (United States) participated in this competition.
NASA in March 2020 announced that its next rover would be named ‘Perseverance’, based on an essay by seventh-grade student Alexander Mather. The agency had also decided to name the helicopter that goes with the rover on Mars.
15. World’s most expensive spice, Kashmiri saffron gets GI tag
Kashmir saffron is a spice and health rejuvenator and the pride of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been given geographical indication (GI) tag, protecting the uniqueness of the farm produce.
The unique characteristics of Kashmir saffron are described as longer and thicker stigmas, the natural deep-red color of stigmas, high aroma, bitter flavor, chemical-free processing, and high quantity of crocin (coloring strength), safranal (flavor) and picrocrocin (bitterness).
Kashmir saffron is cultivated and harvested in the Karewas (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir by local farmers.