30th November 2019 : Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam : Prelims Sure Shot 

Promotion of technology in the agriculture sector.

Why in News?

Union Minister of Agriculture has taken the following initiatives for the promotion of technology in the agriculture sector.

Initiatives are:

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has established a network of 715 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs)in the country mandated with Technology Assessment and Demonstration for its Application and Capacity Development (TADA–CD).
  • Agro-advisories are given to the farmers through mKisan portal.mKisan portal is a platform which provides web-based mobile advisory to farmers with the technological backstopping from Research Institutes and Agricultural Universities supporting farmers.
  • Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) provides a suitable platform for converging all activitiesfor inclusive growth of agricultural mechanization by providing a ‘single window’ approach for implementation with a special focus on small & marginal farmers.
  • Government is also implementing National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) scheme for transparent price discovery for remunerative pricesfor the farmers for their produce through a competitive online bidding system.
  • Government is alsousing satellite data and GIS Technology for Crop Production Estimation, Horticultural Inventory, Site Suitability Analysis for crop expansion and Drought Assessment.
  • Under Marketing Research & Information Network (MRIN) Scheme, support is provided to the States towards setting up and maintaining connectivity with Agmarknet portal for collection and dissemination of market information on arrivals and prices of agri-commodities. 


Spike LR missile

Why in news?

  • Indian Army successfully test-fires Spike LR missile.

Spike LR missile:

  • Spike LR is a fourth generation missile that can engage a target with precision at ranges up to four km.
  • It is developed and designed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
  • The missile is man-portable and has its own vehicle-launch and helicopter-launched variants.
  • In addition to fire and forget capability, the missile also has the ability to fire, observe and update, providing substantial flexibility to the firer to pinpoint the impact point, as also the ability to switch to a different target mid-flight.
  • The firer also has the option to fire from either low or high trajectory.


Loktak Inland Water ways 

Why in news?

Project of Rs 25.58 crores approved for Development of Loktak Inland Waterways Project in Manipur.

About the project:

  • Location – Manipur.
  • Project by Ministry of Shipping – a central sector scheme.
  • The project will develop the Inland water transport connectivity in North East States and give boost to the tourism sector.

Loktak Lake:

  • It is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast.
  • The lake is located at Moirang in Manipur.
  • It is famous for phumdis floating over it which are formed naturally.
  • Located on this phumdi, Keibul Lamjao National Parkis the only floating national park in the world and is an integral part of Loktak Lake.


Artificial Insemination

Why in news?

Nationwide Artificial Insemination Programme launched by Prime Minister picks space.

Artificial insemination (AI):

  • Artificial insemination (AI) is the technique in which the sperm is introduced into a female’s cervix or uterine cavity for the purpose of achieving a pregnancy through in vivo fertilization by means other than sexual intercourse. 

The procedure:

  • The semen is collected from the male that is chosen as a parent and injected into the reproductive tract of the selected female by the breeder.
  • The semen may be used immediately or can be frozen and used at a later date. It can also be transported in a frozen form to where the female is housed.
  • In this way desirable matings are carried.
  • Artificial insemination helps us overcome several problems of normal matings.

More Information

  • Interspecific hybridisation: In this method, male and female animals of two different species are mated.
  • Cross-breeding: In this method, superior males of one breed are mated with superior females of another breed.
  • Inbreeding and Out-breeding: When breeding is between animals of the same breed it is called inbreeding, while crosses between different breeds are called outbreeding.
  • Out-crossing: This is the practice of mating of animals within the same breed, but having no common ancestors on either side of their pedigree up to 4-6 generations.


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