National Current Affairs April 2016

Prime Minister Inaugarated ‘Krishi Unnati Mela’

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Krishi Unnati Mela’ the National Level Agriculture Fair-cum-Exhibitlon in New Delhi on March 19, 2016 and conferred Krishi Karman Awards. He also visited the Theme Pavilion and addressed the farmers.
  • The pavilion has 8 zones agro-climatic variety in India; water as an input to agriculture; Soil Health; Technology theme showcasing important Government schemes; Animal Husbandry and Fisheries; Agri-rejuvenation, Agri- Technology; and Horticulture.
  • ‘Krishi Unnati Mela’ is organised jointly by the Department oi Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, government of India and Indian Agriculture Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi at Indian Agriculture Research Institute from March 19 to 21,2016.

Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana Approved

  • Anew scheme Prime MiniSter.Fasal Bima Yojana has been approved for implementation across the country on March 19, 2016; An allocation of Rs 5500 crore has been made in the Budget 2016-17 under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana which was Rs 3185 crore in previous budget.
  • There is an increase of about 73% in this scheme, In the, new scheme, short-comings in Crop Insurance Scheme have been removed. Under this scheme, provisions have been made for creation of mass awareness and publicity through media so that the number of insured farmers can be increased from present 20% to 50% in the next 2-3 years.
  • For the first time, mobile and satellite technology will be used for correct estimation and quick payment of claims to farmers. For foodgrains, pulses and oilseeds, there will be one season—one rate for the farmer. For Kharif : maximum 2% and for Rabi : maximum 1.5% premium is to be paid by farmers.

Government Banned Repeat Animal Testing of Drugs

  • The Health Ministry banned repeat animal testing of new drugs already tested abroad on March 18, 2016. The ban falls under the amendment Schedule Y, where the data on animal toxicity as per the specifications once submitted can be considered by the regulatory authority of the country which had earlier approved the drug.
  • After the amendment, animal toxicity studies shall not be required to be conducted in India except in cases where there ate specific concerns recorded in writing. Leading animal protection organizations, Human Society International and People for Animal (PFA) lauded the move.
  • This move comes after Women Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi wrote to the Health Ministry on the practice. With this move thousands of animals will be spared.

‘Model Building By-laws’ Released

  • The Urban development Minister Venkaiah Naidu released a set of ‘Model Building By-laws’ on March 1$, 2016 in as an attempt to streamline new constructions with solar energy and environment-friendly modules.
  • The law intends to create an online administrative process to ensure ‘single-window’ clearances of construction projects. It mandates new buildings to have solar roof-top power generation. The by-laws also provide for mandatory provisions for rain water harvesting for various types of buildings. This will be monitored by a special cell in each civic body.
  • The highlight will be a complete elimination of human interaction of the applicant with the urban local body, including online approvals of various kinds of no-objection certificates. The time limit for all kind of building approvals is proposed in the model regulations to be 30 days maximum.
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