1. North East Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020

Why in News?
  • NITI Aayog is organising “Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Conclave 2020: Partnerships, Cooperation and Development of North Eastern States” in Guwahati.

Highlights:
  • The Conclave is being organised in association with the North Eastern Council, Government of Assam, Tata Trusts, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS).
  • The 3-day event will see representations from the highest offices of all the State Governments of the North East, Central Ministries, academia, civil society and international development organizations.
  • The technical sessions would include sessions pertaining to SDG localisation in the northeast, economic prosperity and sustainable livelihoods, climate adaptive agriculture, health and nutrition, education, skill development and entrepreneurship, connectivity and infrastructure development & inequality and exclusion.
  • NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national level.
  • Progress in the northeast region is crucial in this decade of action for the country to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

2. Pesticide Free Kinnow Crop

Why in News?
  • The Punjab Agri Export Corporation recently launched the ‘Punjab Kinnow’ brand at the kinnow festival in Abohar. This brand of kinnow, which is considered the ‘king fruit’ of Punjab, is also said to be “pesticide-free”.

Highlights:
  • However, the kinnow is a year-long crop, often attacked by pests including mites at various stages, requiring several sprays of insecticide.
  • Branding the crop has been done along the lines of the region-specific branding of several other fruits like the ‘Nagpur orange’ (which even has a GI tag) and ‘Australian kiwi’. Punjab being the largest producer of kinnow in the country, such branding will attract more consumers.
  • Punjab’s kinnow has several nutritive values including limonin, which helps control cholesterol level and has anti-cancer properties, which the consumer should be informed.
Pest Attacks and Diseases:
  • Over a dozen types of insects and pests attack the kinnow plant’s leaves, stem and fruit through the year.
  • The Citrus Psylla attacks the crop almost throughout the year till a month before harvesting in March-April, July-August and September-October.
  • The Citrus Leaf Minor attacks the crop from April to mid-June and in the first week of November, a month before harvesting.
  • The Citrus Whitefly and blackfly attack in April-May and September-October, while Black Citrus and Black Citrus Aphids are active August to October.
  • The Citrus Thrips has been known to prey on the plant from March to April, and the Citrus mite in May-June, August- September.
  • The kinnow plant is also vulnerable to the Fruit Sucking bug, Mealybugs, Fruit Flies, Lemon butterfly etc.
  • There are around 10 diseases like foot rot of plant, Fruit Drop, Citrus Canker, Citrus Scab, Sooty Mould Ring Spot, Greening, Citrus Tristeza, Die Back, etc. which attack both plant and fruit.
  • Fewer pests attack the kinnow plant so there is hardly any use of pesticide on it and it can be called ‘pesticide free’, but the attack of insects including thrips and whitefly are quite frequent, which need to be controlled through controlled use of insecticides. Because of these natural climatic conditions farmers are not required to spray any insecticides from November to mid-February and this makes kinnow safe for consumption.

3. CHILDLINE India Foundation

Why in News?
  • According to the data of CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF), 35% of the total cases of sexual abuse were committed by neighbours.
About CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF)
  • It is the largest network of agencies involved in protection of children.
  • It is the nodal agency appointed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • It is to manage CHILDLINE helpline 1098 – a free, emergency phone service for children in need aid and assistance.
  • It is also the sole body responsible for establishing the CHILDLINE service across the country, monitoring (service delivery and finance), training, research and documentation, creating awareness, advocacy as well as resource generation for the service.
Highlights:
  • The largest number of phone calls were made to seek intervention for abuse cases (17%), followed by those pertaining to child labour (13%), education (12%), runaways (11%) and missing children (11%).
  • The nature of abuse children suffered shows that 37% of the complaints were about child marriage, 27% about physical abuse and 13% regarding sexual abuse. The remaining 23% constituted emotional, corporal, domestic and cyber abuse.
  • The analyses show that 35% of the total 8,000 cases of sexual abuse were committed by neighbours, 25% by strangers and 11% by family members. The remaining 29% of perpetrators were friends, relatives, teachers, institutional staff, hospital staff, police and step parents.

4. Empowered ‘Technology Group’

Why in News?
  • The Union Cabinet has recently approved the constitution of an empowered “Technology Group” to advise the Government on priorities and strategies for research on emerging technologies across sectors.
About Empowered ‘Technology Group’
  • It will be a 12-member group with the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India as its Chair.
  • The three pillars of the Technology Group include Policy Support, Procurement Support and Support on Research and Development proposals.
  • The mandate for the empowered ‘Technology Group’
    • To render timely policy advice on latest technologies;
    • Mapping of technology and technology products;
    • Commercialisation of dual use technologies developed in national laboratories and government Research and Development (R&D) organisations;
    • Developing an indigenisation road map for selected key technologies; and
    • Selection of appropriate R&D programs leading to technology development.

5. Historical Gastronomica

Why in News?
  • The National Museum, New Delhi is hosting a unique exhibition on India’s ancient food history “Historical Gastronomica – The Indus Dining Experience”.
About Historical Gastronomica – The Indus Dining Experience:
  • It is jointly organized by the National Museum and One Station Million Stories (OSMS) – is based on archaeological research, museum artefacts and their characteristics.
  • The One Station Million Storiesis an organization that specializes in the craft of storytelling through extensive technical research.
  • The National Museumis under the administrative control of the Ministry of Culture.
Features of the Exhibition:
  • An illustrative story of man’s food history since his evolution and continues to conclude at the Indus-Saraswati Civilization,
  • Gallery Walk: Use of Harappan pottery and artefacts,
  • Food Tasting: finger-food samplers and dinners.
  • A model of a Late Harappan Kitchen and other specially designed exhibits — recreated by OSMS.
  • The UNESCO’s network of creative cities has included Hyderabad as a creative city of gastronomy.

6. Tirur Vettila

Context:
  • Tirur Vettila has recently obtained a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
About Tirur Vettila
  • It is a type of betel leaf which is grown in Tirur and nearby areas of Malappuram district of Kerala.
  • It is unique for its significantly high content of total chlorophyll and protein in fresh leaves.
  • It possesses some special biochemical characters like unique flavour and aroma.
  • Its leaves are nutritive and contain anticarcinogens, showing future opportunities in Anticancer Drugs.
  • It is reported to have immunosuppressive activity and Antimicrobial Property.
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