Prelims Sure Shot
Zoram Mega Food Park: Mizoram
Why in News
Recently, the government has operationalized the first Mega Food Park (MFP) of Mizoram i.e. Zoram Mega Food Park. It has been set up under the ‘Mega Food Park Scheme’.
- Zoram MFP: It is located in Khamrang village in Kolasib District, Mizoram. It is spread over 55 acres of land and is set up at a cost of Rs. 75. 20 crores. It is not only expected to benefit the people of Mizoram but also that of adjoining districts in Assam.
- Assam already has a MFP in its Nalbari district- North East Mega Food Park.
- It will boost the North-East Region’s potential to become the organic destination of the world due to its rich agricultural and horticultural
- Sikkim has already been declared as an organic state.
Mega Food Park Scheme: Launched in: 2008-09 under the purview of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
- To provide a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers so as to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastage, increasing farmers income and creating employment opportunities particularly in the rural sector.
- The Scheme is based on the “Cluster” approach and envisages creation of state of art support infrastructure in a well-defined agri/horticultural zone for setting up of modern food processing units in the industrial plots provided in the park with a well-established supply chain.
- A Mega food Park typically consists of supply chain infrastructure including collection centers (cc), primary processing centers (ppc) central processing centers (cpc), cold chain and around 25-30 fully developed plots for entrepreneurs to set up food processing
- The central government provides financial assistance upto Rs. 50 Crore per Mega Food Park (MFP) project. The MFP project is implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is a Body Corporate registered under the Companies Act,
- Presently, 18 MFP Projects are under implementation in various states and 19 Mega Food Parks have already become functional in the States. It is in line with the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar’ vision of the Government of India
No Postal Ballots for Above 65 in Bihar
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Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided against extending postal ballots to electors above 65 years of age in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections due to logistical challenges.
- Earlier in June 2020, the Law Ministry, on the recommendation of ECI, had extended the postal ballot facility to electors over 65 years (being most vulnerable to Covid-19), Covid-19 patients and those suspected to have it by notifying a change to the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.
- Earlier, postal ballots were extended to Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and electors over 80 years in November 2019 ahead of the Jharkhand and Delhi elections.
- The postal ballot facility for electors above 65 years is different from the conventional postal service. Usually, ballot papers are distributed electronically to electors and are returned to the election officers via post.
- For above 65 and Covid-19 patients, it works as a polling station on the move, with the polling staff visiting the homes of such electors, having them fill out their ballots, sealing them in envelopes and taking it back.
- It was done to minimize vulnerability and exposure at the polling stations for above 65 and to not deprive the Covid-19 patients and people under quarantine of their voting rights.
- After reviewing the preparations for the Bihar polls, the ECI has made this decision keeping in mind the logistical, staff and safety protocol related constraints.
- Ballot papers are distributed electronically to electors and are returned to the election officers via post.
- Currently, only the following voters are allowed to cast their votes through postal ballot: Service voters (armed forces, the armed police force of a state and government servants posted abroad). Voters on election duty. Voters above 80 years of age or Persons with Disabilities (PwD). Voters under preventive detention.
Ravana’s Aviation Route: Sri Lanka
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Recently, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka has sought relevant documents and literature from the public to study Ravana’s “aviation routes”.
- The Civil Aviation Authority will lead a research project titled “King Ravana and the ancient domination of aerial routes now lost”. The project aims to bring out an authoritative narrative about King Ravana as there are many stories about Ravana flying aircrafts and covering these aerial routes.
- According to the civil aviation authority, it was Ravana who used a flying machine called “Dandu monara” to fly not only within the country, but also in the South East Asia region.
- Sri Lanka’s tourism sector promotes the ‘Ramayana trail’ for visitors from India — one of Sri Lanka’s largest tourism markets.
- Sinhala-Buddhists Community: The majority Sinhala-Buddhists community hail the King Ravana. The group calls itself Ravana Balaya.
- Linkages with India: Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu acknowledge Ravana as “the brave king” similar to the Buddhists community of Sri Lanka.
- Satellite: Sri Lanka named its first satellite Ravana-1 launched in June 2019.
- The community focuses upon Theravada Buddhism, which is the majority belief system of most of the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese are the largest ethnic group on the island.
- The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is rooted in the discrimination against the Tamil minority by the Sinhalese majority after the end of British colonial domination in 1948.
- It is the most ancient branch of extant Buddhism It remains closest to the original teachings of the Buddha. Theravada Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia.
- It is the dominant form of religion in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. In India, this strain of Buddhism is represented by the followers of Dr B.R. Ambedkarknown as the Ambedkar Buddhists, who are exclusive to India.
Mine Ploughs on T-90 Tanks
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Recently, the Ministry of Defence has signed Rs. 557 crore contract with the BEML Limited (formerly known as the Bharat Earth Movers Limited) for the procurement of 1,512 mine ploughs for T-90 Tanks. The induction is expected to be completed by 2027.
- These Russian-origin tanks are the Indian Army’s main battle tanks. Indian Army recently deployed them in the Galwan Valley sector of Ladakh amid the face-off with Chinese troops.
- Mine ploughs help tanks to clear minefields and minimize risks to men and machines. After being fitted on T-90 Tanks, they will facilitate individual mobility to the tanks while negotiating a minefield.
- The mobility of the tank fleet will enhance manifolds which in turn would extend the reach of the armoured formations deep into enemy territory without becoming a mine casualty. As per the procedure, the contract has Buy and Make (Indian) categorisation with a minimum of 50% indigenous content in the Make portion.
- It was established in 1964 as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). It has partially disinvested and presently the Government of India owns 54% of total equity and the rest 46% is held by public and financial institutions, foreign institutional investors, banks and employees.
- The company operates under three major business verticals Mining and Construction, Defence and Rail and Metro.
National Financial Reporting Authority
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Recently, the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) has constituted a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to aid and advise the executive body of the NFRA on issues relating to drafts of accounting standards and auditing standards. The TAC comprises seven members including the chairman – R. Narayanaswamy.
- Constitution: NFRA was constituted in by the Government of India under section 132 (1) of the Companies Act, 2013. It is an audit regulator.
- The decision to constitute the NFRA was taken after the role of auditors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India came under the scanner for alleged lapses in various corporate scams including that at the Punjab National Bank.
- It consists of a chairperson, who shall be a person of eminence and having expertise in accountancy, auditing, finance or law, appointed by the Central Government and such other members not exceeding 15.
- It can undertake investigation related to the following class of companies and bodies corporate, namely:-
- Companies whose securities are listed on any stock exchange in India or outside India.
- Unlisted public companies having paid-up capital of not less than 500 crores or having annual turnover of not less than Rs. 1,000 crores or having, in aggregate, outstanding loans, debentures and deposits of not less than Rs. 500 crores as on the 31 March of immediately preceding financial year.
- Insurance companies, banking companies, companies engaged in the generation or supply of electricity.
- Where professional or other misconduct is proved, it has the power to make order for imposing penalty of— not less than one lakh rupees, but which may extend to five times of the fees received, in case of individuals; and not less than ten lakh rupees, but which may extend to ten times of the fees received, in case of
- Its account is monitored by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.