13.09.19 Odisha (OPSC) Current Affairs



  • Website for progress of agriculture clusters launched


  • Agriculture production clusters in the tribal areas can be good business models for agri-entrepreneurs and set example for coastal farmers.


  • This project plans to trigger growth in farm sector with an objective of doubling the income of one lakh small and marginal farmers by establishing agriculture production clusters (APCs) in 40 backward blocks spread over 12 tribal-dominated districts over a period of four years with an investment outlay of Rs 401.6 crore.


  • Total 650 producer groups (PGs) and 30 producers company (PC) are being promoted and involved in synchronised market linked production. Around 750 markets linked agri-entrepreneurs will be groomed and nested as value chain enablers in these regions.


  • As a sustainable measure non-pesticidal management (NPM) practices are promoted in 40 per cent of the areas. To augment the livelihoods of the small and marginal farmers, livestock rearing (Goat, Sheep and BYP rearing) are being planned with around 40,000 families in these clusters.


  • Livelihood assets like irrigation in 16,000 acres of land, orchard development in 8,000 acres, farm mechanisation access to 70,000 farmers and shed for goat and backyard poultry with 30,000 farmers are being converged from existing schemes.






  • Thailand first in Asia to roll out plain cigarette packaging


  • Thailand rolled out plain cigarette packaging , the first country in Asia to introduce what activists say is an effective way to reduce the appeal of smoking.
    In 2012, Australia became the first country to require tobacco products to be sold without colourful brand logos.
  • Since then a host of mostly European countries have followed suit, including France, Hungary and the UK.


  • Sri Lanka flags off Pulathisi Express, a ‘Make In India’ train


  • The strong ties between India and its southern neighbour Sri Lanka received a boost when a newly ‘Make In India’ train rake was flagged of from Colombo Fort Railway station.


  • The rake of Pulathisi Express was manufactured in the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai.


  • Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Transport Minister Arjuna Ranathunga and Indian envoy to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu flagged off a new train to Polonnaruwa from Colombo Fort Railway station.



  • PM Modi launches Kisan Man Dhan Yojana for small, marginal farmers


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana’ at Ranchi in Jharkhand.


  • The Scheme will secure the lives of Small and Marginal Farmers by providing a pension of  3,000 rupees per month to those who attain 60 years of age.


  • According to an estimate, five crore farmers across the country including 10 lakh in Jharkhand will be benefited from this scheme.


  • The Prime Minister also launched the National Pension Scheme for the Traders and The Self-Employed.


  • The scheme aims at providing a minimum assured pension of 3,000 rupees to small traders and self-employed after attaining the age of 60 Years.


·         Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development launches Curriculum for Life Skills

  • Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shri Sanjay Dhotre launched the Curriculum for Life Skills – JeevanKaushal.It is designed by the University Grants Commission (UGC).


  • The demand for quality higher education for producing employable, exceptionally performing graduates qualified with skills, knowledge and ethics essential for leading a rewarding life and it is with this aim University Grants Commission issued Quality Mandate and its objectives. The UGC adopted in the National Conference of Vice Chancellors and Directors on Research & Innovation held between 26th to 28th July, 2018 and Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) for students.

·         Union HRD Minister launches several initiatives of MIC and AICTE to boost research and innovation

  • Union Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank attended the First Annual Innovation Festivalof the MHRD’s Innovation Cell (MIC). The Innovation cell showcased more than 70 top students innovations from across India.
  • He launched Smart India Hackathon 2020, Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2020, and Institution’s Innovation Council 2.0. The event witnessed the release of the Start-Up Policy Document and SIH Report, launch of Technical Teachers Training Module, ATAL Academies, Protsahan Mudra Scheme, Vishwakarma Award and the Vice Chancellor’s Meet on the Student Induction Programme.


  • The MHRD come up with National Start-up policy frameworkfor students and faculty members who are keen to become entrepreneurs. The Start-up policy is implemented in all major educational institutions and a regular feedback mechanism should be established to understand emerging challenges and steps should be taken to ensure that a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem is developed in educational institutions.


  • Mary Kom, Sai Praneeth, Yashaswini Deswal added to TOPS


  • The celebrated MC Mary Kom, young shooter Yashaswini Singh Deswal and shuttler Sai Praneeth were among 12 top sportspersons who were included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) of the government.


  • The athletes were chosen on the basis of these parameters: global performance trends from most recent Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian Games and Asian Championships, performance of competing international counterparts in the last three years, high performance age of a typical Olympic medallist specific to each event, performance of Indian athletes in 2016, 2017 and 2018.


Gk bit: TOP Scheme


  • It is Launched by Ministry of Sports within the ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).


  • It aims at identifying and supporting potential medal prospectsfor upcoming Olympic Games.


  • It will provide selected sportspersons customized training at institutes having world class facilities and also other necessary supportis being provided to the elite athletes. It will also provide a benchmark for selection of athletes on par with international standards.


  • Under it, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and federations, which are members of Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), will be nodal agenciesfor disbursal for fund. They will make payments directly to beneficiary person and institution concerned on behalf of athletes.




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