- Landslide near Eravikulam National Park
Why in News
Recently, landslides have been reported at the Nayamakkad tea estate at Pettimudy which is located about 30 km from Munnar, adjacent to the Eravikulam National Park (ENP), Kerala.
Features of ENP:
- It is located in the High Ranges (Kannan Devan Hills) of the Southern Western Ghats in the Devikulam Taluk of Idukki District, Kerala.
- It spreads over an area of 97 square km and hosts South India’s highest peak, Anamudi (2695 m), in its southern area.
- The Rajamalai region of the park stays open to the public for tourism.
- The Government of Kerala acquired the area from the Kannan Devan Hills Produce Company under the Kannan Devan Hill Produce (Resumption of lands) Act 1971.
- It was declared as Eravikulam-Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975 and was elevated to the status of a National Park in 1978.
- The main body of the park comprises a high rolling plateau (plateau at different elevation or with varying heights) with a base elevation of about 2000 m from mean sea level.
- Three major types of plant communities found in the park are: Grasslands, Shrub Land and Shola Forests (mosaic of montane evergreen forests and grasslands).
- The park represents the largest and least disturbed stretch of unique Montane Shola-Grassland vegetation in the Western
- It houses the special Neelakurinji flowers (Strobilanthes kunthianam) that bloom once every 12 years and the next sighting is expected to be in 2030.
- Apart from that, it has rare terrestrial and epiphytic orchids, wild balsams, etc. An epiphyte is an organism that grows on the surface of a plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water or from debris accumulating around it.
- The park holds the largest viable population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius).
- It has other little known fauna such as Nilgiri Marten, Ruddy Mongoose, Small Clawed Otter, Dusky Striped Squirrel, etc.
- It is regionally important as a catchment area for both east (tributaries of River Pambar) and west (tributaries of River Periyar and Chalakkudy) flowing rivers.
- Locally, it is important for maintaining the climate and providing drinking water to the surrounding estates and for
- The park is in continuity with the neighboring Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Anamudi Shola National Park, Pampadum Shola National Park, Kurinjimala Sanctuary and Anamalai Tiger Reserve.
- A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris or earth down a slope. Landslides are a type of mass wasting (a geomorphic process) which denotes any down-slope movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity.
- Slow weathering of rocks as well as soil erosion, earthquakes and volcanic activity.
- Continent-wise, Asia suffers the maximum damages/losses due to landslides and within that, South-Asian nations are the worst sufferers including India which is one of the worst affected by landslides
- Anganwadi Services
Why in News
Right to Food Campaign has given a memorandum to the Minister for Women and Child Development to resume provision of hot-cooked meals and ensure implementation of anganwadi services.
- The memorandum suggested that anganwadi services (like communitymanaged growth monitoring, supplementary nutrition, immunisation, ) should be delivered either within the day care centres or at the houses of the beneficiaries.
- It also recommended a comprehensive package of cooked food and dry rations.
- It also sought protective gear for frontline health workers such as Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and anganwadi workers.
- Following the nationwide lockdown on March 25, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) implemented at anganwadis was discontinued.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development asked State governments and Union Territories to extend food security allowance to each beneficiary.
- According to the POSHAN COVID-19 Monitoring report for India compiled in June 2020, by UNICEF, World Food Programme and the World Bank, 10 of the 14 most populous States did not conduct community management of acutely malnourished children and eight States were unable to measure growth parameters of children under six years.
Right to Food
- The Right to Food is recognized as a part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty (Article 21) by the National Human Rights Commission.
- The Directive Principles of the State Policy in Article 39a, requires the State to direct its policies towards securing that all its citizens have the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
- The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, gives the right to food but it is not universal.
- It legally entitles up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
- In People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India & Others case (2001), the Supreme Court explicitly established a constitutional human right to food and determined a basic nutritional floor for India’s impoverished millions.
- Anganwadi is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the States / UTs which serves as a rural child and maternal care centre in India.
- It was started by the Government of India In 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
- Anganwadi centres provide a package of six services: supplementary nutrition, pre-school non-formal education, immunisation, health check-up, nutrition and health education, and referral services.
- The beneficiaries under the Anganwadi Services Scheme are identified on the basis of
- At a time when India is battling with Covid-19 it must take into consideration the impact of the pandemic on children and higher food prices in pandemic, and ensure accessibility to nutrition, growth monitoring and health services to every beneficiary.
- Food System Vision 2050 Prize: Rockefeller Foundation
Why in News
The Rockefeller Foundation has selected Naandi Foundation (a Hyderabad based non-profit organisation), as one of the top 10 ‘Visionaries’ in the world for the Food System Vision 2050 Prize. Naandi was recognised for its Arakunomics model.
The Food System Vision Prize:
- It was launched by the USA-based ‘The Rockefeller Foundation’, in partnership with the other two organisations – SecondMuse and OpenIDEO- in 2019.
- It is an invitation for organizations across the globe to develop a Vision of the regenerative and nourishing food system that they aspire to create by the year 2050.
- Food System Vision is a story about the future that addresses the following six interconnected themes: Environment, Diets, Economics, Culture, Technology and Policy.
- The notion is that by transforming food systems, following challenges can be addressed:
- A global population approaching 10 billion, Greenhouse gasses changing the climate, Pollution poisoning soil, air, and water.
- USD 2 million will be distributed to the Top Visionaries, who will be eligible to receive a prize of USD 2,00,000 each. Naandi Foundation (Arakunomics):
- The organisation was recognised for the application of Arakunomics model in regions of Araku (Andhra Pradesh), Wardha (Maharashtra) and New Delhi, leading to the Food Vision 2050 that follows an “ABCDEFGH” frameworkcentring on:
- Agriculture, Biology, Compost, Decentralised decision-making, Entrepreneurs, Families, Global Markets, and ‘Headstands (implying innovation)’.
- Arakunomics is a new integrated economic model that ensures profits for farmers, quality for consumers through regenerative agriculture.
- It is based on work with tribal farmers in Araku for nearly 20 years.
- Arakunomics success in Araku led to Naandi replicating the model to support the livelihoods of farming communities in the villages of Wardha – infamous for agrarian distress, as well as later in New Delhi, as part of an Urban Farms Co programme.
- Naandi hopes to expand its “food-print” by creating thousands of farm livelihoods by transforming their agriculture over one million acres spread across India.
- Rockefeller Foundation will release USD 1,50,000 at present and the balance USD 50,000 after a three-month accelerator programme that is intended to help Naandi realise its vision.
- “Regenerative Agriculture” describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.
- The key to regenerative agriculture is that it not only “does no harm” to the land but actually improves it, using technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and the environment.
- It is dynamic and holistic, incorporating permaculture (sustainable and selfsufficient agricultural ecosystems) and organic farming practices, including conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, composting, mobile animal shelters and pasture cropping, to increase food production, farmers’ income and especially, Top soil.
- It has been promoted to counter loss of the world’s fertile soil and biodiversity, along with the loss of indigenous seeds and knowledge.
- TRIFED’s Digitisation Drive
Why in News
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) celebrated its 33 Foundation Day on 6 August 2020 and launched its own virtual office on the same day.
- It has 81 online workstations and 100 additional converging State and agency workstations that will help the team members of TRIFED in working with their partners across the country on mission-mode towards bringing the tribal people closer to mainstream development.
- To gauge the level of employee engagement and streamline their efforts, an Employee Engagement and Work Distribution Matrix with Dashboard Links has also been launched.
- After the Covid-19 pandemic, every aspect like shopping, banking, working, etc. has gone online and it has been observed that the trend has increased even after relaxations of lockdowns.
- All these organisational initiatives are a part of TRIFED’s ambitious allencompassing digitisation drive to promote tribal commerce and map and link its village-based tribal producers and artisans to national and international markets by setting up state of art eplatforms benchmarked to international standards.
Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India
- TRIFED came into existence in 1987 as the national nodal agency under the aegis of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
- It was registered under the then Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984.
- It started its operations in 1988 with its head office in New Delhi.
- Socio-economic development of tribal people, promotion of economic welfare, empowerment of tribal people with knowledge, tools and information and their capacity building.
- It mainly undertakes two functions which are Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Development and Retail Marketing and Development.
Initiatives and Involvement:
- It started the procurement and marketing of tribal art and craft items through its first retail outlet called TRIBES INDIA in New Delhi in
- It has organised the Van Dhan Internship Programme, to enhance the output of the Van Dhan Yojana.
- It has also launched a transformational Tech For Tribals program in partnership with Institutes of National Importance (INIs) to develop Tribal entrepreneurship.
- TRIFOOD Scheme is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Food Processing Industry, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED and it promotes value addition to
- Mechanism for Marketing of MFP through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP was implemented in 2013 to ensure fair returns to forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other traditional forest dwellers.
- It has organized a Webinar on Covid-19 Response in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
- The webinar was organised for virtual training of TRIFED Trainers and Self Help Groups (SHGs) on basic orientation on Covid-19 response and key preventive measures to ensure that tribal gatherers carry on their work safely.
- Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra
Why in News
The Prime Minister will inaugurate Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) on 8 August, 2020.
- RSK is an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission. It will introduce future generations to its successful journey as the world’s largest behaviour change campaign.
- It will showcase the core elements of the mission and anecdotes on the journey of the country from Satyagraha to Swachchagrah.
- It will impart information, awareness and education on Swachhata (sanitation) and related aspects.
- The installations at RSK will include audio visual immersive shows, interactive LED panels, hologram boxes, interactive games etc.
- Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) was first announced on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi‘s Champaran Satyagraha.
Swachh Bharat Mission
- Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission is a country-wide sanitation campaign launched on 2 October, 2014.
- Objectives: Elimination of open defecation, eradication of Manual Scavenging, modern and scientific municipal solid waste management and bring behavioral change regarding healthy sanitation practices.
It encompasses two missions:
- Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban): Implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (M/o HUA) for urban areas.
- Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) recently achieved its target of creating Urban India Open Defecation Free (ODF)
- Swachh Bharat Mission (Grammen): Implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (M/o DWS) for rural areas.
- Recently, SMB(G) completed its Phase-I and its Phase-II was launched.
- Swachh Bharat Mission (G) Phase-I: The rural sanitation coverage in the country has increased from 38.7% to 100%.
- More than 10 crore individual toilets have been constructed since the launch of the mission. All rural areas in all the States have declared themselves ODF as on 2 October, 2019.
- Although the goal of making India Open Defecation Free and enhancing Solid and Liquid Waste Management mechanisms has been achieved, the work on sanitation and behavioural changes requires continued efforts to sustain the gains made during the first phase of the campaign.
- It is imperative that the phase-II of SBM focusses on convergence between different verticals of financing and different schemes of Central and State governments.
- First Kisan Rail
Why in News
The Indian Railways has introduced the first “Kisan Rail” from Devlali (Maharashtra) to Danapur (Bihar).
- The Centre had announced plans of starting special parcel trains called ‘Kisan Rail’ in the Budget 2020-21.
- Kisan Rails are the first ever multi commodity trains. Earlier, Indian Railways had run single commodity special trains like Banana Specials etc.
- These trains with refrigerated coaches will help in bringing perishable agricultural products like vegetables, fruits to the market in a short period of time.
- These will ensure that agro products reach from one corner to another corner of the country.
- These trains are a step towards realising the goal of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022.
- These are expected to be a great help to the farmers, as freight of these trains will be charged as per parcel tariff of normal trains.
- The Devlai-Danapur train (a weekly service) is expected to reduce transportation costs by Rs. 1000 per tonne compared with roadways and reduce travel time by around 15 hours.
- Aggressive marketing is being done with local farmers, loaders, Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) and individuals.
- Any farmer or any other interested party can directly book their consignments in trains, without any lower limit on the size of
- The consignment can be as small as 50-100 kgs, and can be booked from any stopping station to any other stopping station – giving full flexibility.
- Regarding loss/damage of products for any reason, Railways already have a well-established claim/compensation system – through which the party can get compensation for its losses.