A delegation of Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA)
presented a ‘Report from Ground Zero’ on Jammu, Kashmir &Ladakh after
setting aside of Article 370 & 35A. Founded in 2015, GIA is a group of
professional women and entrepreneurs, media persons and academicians
committed to social-justice and nation-building.
The delegation briefed the MoS (PMO) about the findings of their
observations after field study of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in three
teams. They also gave their inputs and recommendations.
They briefed that common man across religions, sections and
various professional backgrounds in J&K has expressed happiness about the
decision of the Government to scrap Article 370. The group also interacted with
people living in border areas of J&K and took their views into consideration.
The MoS (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh said that Jammu & Kashmir was
most exploited by the champions of Article 370. Speaking about the threat to
‘Identity’ of Kashmiriyat after scrapping of Article 370, he said that opposite
to the common perception, the state was most exploited under the pretext of
He questioned whether Article 370 is required to save the
identity of people in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Bengal. He said that the decision
is a revolutionary step and it is difficult to even imagine such initiative
being taken. The fruits of this decision will be realised slowly in future, the
The Minister added that the development model of North East can
be replicated in J&K. He added that food processing parks can be opened for
apples, strawberry and other fruits on the lines of citrus fruit park in North
He said that other products of J&K such as Pashmina, saffron
also have huge commercial potential which needs to be tapped for the economic
well being of people of J&K.
“Counterfeit food items, being totally illegal, bypass all
mandatory quality checks and pose a grave danger to the health of our
citizens. It is absolutely imperative that the problem is dealt with
Secretary, HFW highlighted the issue of counterfeit food
products and requested the Principal Secretaries to hold periodic drives with
the help of police authorities so that the menace is kept in check. The need for
stepping up surveillance during the festival time was also emphasized.
Principal Secretaries were requested to pass on directions to
the Food Commissioners;as the implementation of the Food Safety and Standard
Act, 2006 primarily rests with the States and UTs, there has to be effective
implementation of the same.
The Secretary(HFW) further added that strong action against
counterfeit food products must be taken and brought to the notice of the public
to generate awareness; the Health Secretaries of States/UTs must review the
action taken every month and inform FSSAI.
Most States also felt that food manufacturers must introduce,
track and trace mechanisms for their products. States were requested to cross
learn from each other and adopt as many of these best practices as they find
Indians travelling abroad may soon be able to use the
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to pay for goods and services there,
according to two bankers in the know of the matter.
UPI is an inter-bank fund transfer mechanism run by the National
Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and enables instant fund settlement through
NPCI is working to enable this feature within the next six
months, starting with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore, sources told
This is NPCI’s attempt to create a global payment product that
can expand the use case of UPI, the banker said. UPI has emerged as a major
challenger to card payments, as more and more merchants accept UPI payments. UPI
recorded close to 955 million transactions in September, according to the latest
data shared by NPCI.
“Many global companies like Facebook, Google and Xiaomi have
started entering the UPI payments space, which can boost the use case of UPI
payments in other geographies,” said one of the two bankers mentioned earlier.
The biggest challenge, however, is to onboard merchants in those
countries. NPCI will have to rely on banks and merchant aggregators in those
geographies to onboard merchants.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by
Prime Minister NarendraModi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support
Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi Crops of 2019-20 to be marketed in Rabi
Marketing Season (RMS) 2020-21.
The increase in MSP for Rabi Crops for RMS 2020-21 is in line
with the principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the
all India weighted average cost of production (CoP), which was announced in the
Union Budget 2018-19.
This MSP policy whereby the farmers are assured of a minimum of
50 percent as margin of profit is one of the important and progressive steps
towards doubling farmers' income by 2022 and improving their welfare
In the case of cereals, FCI and other designated State agencies
would continue to provide price support to the farmers. State Governments will
undertake procurement of coarse grains with the prior approval of Government and
would distribute the entire procured quantity under NFSA.
With the intention of giving enough policy thrust to income
security of the farmers, Government's focus has shifted from production-centric
approach to income-centric one. Enhancing the coverage of
PradhanMantriKisanSammanNidhi (PM-KISAN) to all farmers in its first Union
Cabinet meeting on 31st May 2019, is another major step in boosting the income
of the farmers.
Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu will lead the Indian
delegation at the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to be held at Baku, Azerbaijan on 25th to 26th of
The theme for the Summit is -Upholding the Bandung Principles to
ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary
world. The Ten Principles of Bandung, a political statement encapsulating the
need to promote world peace and cooperation were formulated at the Asian-African
Conference in 1955.
The theme is significant as it relates to the forthcoming 65th
anniversary of Bandung Principles in 2020 and the 60th anniversary of the
establishment of the Movement in 2021.
The Summit will focus on a whole gamut of contemporary issues
such as Terrorism, threats to peace and security, UN reform, climate change,
sustainable development, economic governance and south-south cooperation.
The participation of the Vice President would further strengthen
India’s engagement with NAM and its member countries. Mr Naidu will deliver the
national statement at the NAM Summit and hold bilateral meetings with other
Heads of States and Governments including the President of the host country, on
India is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement
which was established in 1961 with 29 members. It has since grown to 120 members
to become one of the largest groupings of nation-states.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change today
launched the first national protocol to enumerate the snow leopard
population in the country on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day.
The Day is celebrated on October 23 every year to protect and
conserve the snow leopards and preserve the beautiful wildlife of the Himalayas.
He said snow leopard range countries must strive to double the
snow leopard population in the coming decade. He said it is time to think about
the green economy and cross country cooperation for the conservation of
wildlife. He also expressed happiness that 2,967 tigers reside in India, which
is 77 per cent of the world tiger population.
India is believed to have 400 to 700 snow leopards spread across
Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and
Ladakh. Poaching is a major threat for the snow leopards.
Project Snow Leopard is an initiative of the Environment
Ministry which aims to safeguard and conserve India's unique natural heritage of
high altitude wildlife populations and their habitats by promoting conservation
through participatory policies and actions. Snow leopards play a critical role
in their ecosystem as top predators.