Why in news? The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched ‘REPLACE’ campaign to eliminate industrially-produced artificial Trans-fats from the global food supply by 2023.
‘REPLACE’ campaign by WHO:
WHO estimates that every year, trans fat intake leads to over 5,00,000 deaths worldwide from cardiovascular diseases.
Industrially-produced Trans-fats are contained in hardened vegetable fats such as margarine and and ghee, and are often present in snack, baked, and fried foods.
Manufacturers often use them as they have a longer shelf life than other fats.
But, healthier alternatives can be used, which would not affect taste or cost of food.
WHO has told governments to use ‘REPLACE’ action package to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the food supply by 2023.
REPLACE is abbreviated in six strategic actions as Review, Promote, Legislate, Assess, Create awareness and Enforce….
Six areas of action include:
Review: dietary sources of industrially produced transfats and landscape for required policy change.
Promote replacement of industrially produced transfats with healtier fats and oils.
Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially produced transfat.
Assess and monitor trans-fat content in the food supply and changes in transfat consumption in the population.
Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans-fat among policy makers, producers, suppliers and the public.
Enforce compliance with policies and regulations.
The initiative provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially-produced Trans-fats from food supply.
Action is needed in low and middle-income countries, where controls of use of industrially-produced Trans-fats are often weaker, to ensure that the benefits are felt equally around the world.
FACT # 2
MIRCO IRRIGATION FUND
Why in news? MIF has been set up to provide the amount to states on concessional rate of interest to promote micro-irrigation.
A Rs5,000 crore‘Micro Irrigation Fund’ (MIF), under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been set up to bring more land area under micro-irrigation to boost agriculture production and farmers income.
The fund has been set up under NABARD.
It will provide this amount to states on concessional rate of interest to promote micro-irrigation, which currently has a coverage of only 10 million hectares as against the potential of 70 million hectares.
Borrowings from NABARD shall be paid back in seven years including the grace period of two years.
The lending rate under MIF has been proposed at 3% lower than the cost of raising the fund by NABARD.
This cost would be met from the ongoing scheme of PMKSY-PDMC (per drop more crop component) by amending the existing guidelines.
MIF would supplement the efforts of PMKSY programme and help bring about 10 lakh hectares under micro-irrigation.
The fund will facilitate States to mobilise resources for their initiatives, including additional (top up subsidy) in implementation of PMKSY-PDMC.
The states might access this fund for innovative integrated projects, including projects in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode and also for incentivizing micro irrigation.
Farmers Producers Organization (FPO)/Cooperatives/State Level Agencies can also access the funds with state government guarantee or equivalent collateral.
Farmers Co-operatives may access this fund for innovative cluster based community irrigation projects.
States which are lagging behind in adoption of micro irrigation would also be encouraged to take advantage of the fund for incentivizing farmers as being done by the good performing States.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana:
It is a national mission to improve farm productivity and ensure better utilization of the resources in the country.
Major objectives of PMKSY are to achieve :
Convergence of investment in irrigation at the field level.
Expand cultivable area under irrigation
Improve On-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water
Enhance the adoption of preciso in irrigation and other water saving technologies (more crop per drop)
Enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practice.
FACT # 3
Why in news? The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will add 30 Dopplerradars in the next two-three years across the country.
A Doppler radar is a specialized radarthat uses the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance.
It does this by bouncing a microwavesignal off a desired target and analyzing how the object’s motion has altered the frequency of the returned signal.
This variation gives direct and highly accurate measurements of the radialcomponent of a target’s velocity relative to the radar.
Doppler radars are used in aviation, sounding satellites, Major League Baseball’s StatCast system, meteorology, radar guns, radiologyand healthcare, etc.
Because of its common use by television meteorologists in on-air weather reporting, the specific term “Doppler Radar” has become synonymous with the type of radar used in meteorology.
Most modern weather radarsuse the pulse-Doppler technique to examine the motion of precipitation, but it is only a part of the processing of their data.
So, while these radars use a highly specialized form of Doppler radar, the term is much broader in its meaning and its applications.
Doppler radars in India:
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will add 30 Doppler radars in the next two-three years across the country.
Of these several will be in the northeast.
Doppler radars provide precise information about thunderstorms, dust storms, hailstorms, rainfall and wind patterns.
With a radius of 250km, they help in issuing nowcasts 2-3 hours prior to severe weather events.
By the next year, Jammu and Kashmir will get four Doppler radars, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh three each.
The hilly states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir witness erratic patterns like thunderstorms and heavy rains and snowfall, so do the north eastern states.
In 2013, a cloud burst that led to flash floods killed hundreds in Uttarakhand.
The first Doppler radar was installed in Chennai in 2002.
Its need became more compelling after the 2005 Mumbai floods.
There are currently 27 Doppler radars in the country.