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PIB Summary for UPSC

23 February -2024

1. With a focus on promotion of organic exports, APEDA forms dedicated organic promotion division

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce
Enhancing organic exports vital for agricultural growth in India. UPSC may focus on policies, sustainability, and global alignment in questions.
Context
  • APEDA initiates a dedicated division to boost India’s organic exports, focusing on Uttarakhand and Sikkim with strategies for farming improvement and certification streamlining.
 Additional information on this news:
  • The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has established a dedicated organic promotion division to boost India’s organic export sector.
  • APEDA is strategically focusing on Uttarakhand to enhance its organic sector by improving farming practices, streamlining certification procedures, and identifying key export products.
  • In Sikkim, where it is already India’s first fully organic state, APEDA is formulating a roadmap to diversify exports and strengthen sustainable practices.
  • APEDA envisions replicating successful strategies in more states to create a network of thriving organic export hubs across India.
  • The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) is undergoing significant updates to enhance the accessibility of organic products in international markets, aligning with global regulations and standards.
  • The NPOP overhaul includes modernizing its IT infrastructure to provide resilient oversight, focusing on geo-tagging of farms and geo-location of inspection visits.
Organic Exports from India
Potential:
  • ●     Growing global demand: Rising awareness of health and sustainability fuels increased demand for organic products worldwide.
  • ●     Diverse range of products: India offers a vast variety of organic crops, spices, and processed food, catering to diverse consumer preferences.
  • ●     Competitive advantage: Favourable climate and fertile land offer cost-effective organic production compared to other regions.
Challenges:
  • ●     Limited certified area: A small portion of agricultural land is certified organic, restricting production capacity.
  • ●     Fragmented supply chain: Smallholding farmers face challenges in aggregation, processing, and logistics.
  • ●     Lack of infrastructure: Inadequate cold storage and transportation facilities lead to product spoilage and value loss.
Way Forward:
  • Expand certified area: Government initiatives and farmer training programs can encourage organic farming practices.
  • Strengthen supply chain: Invest in infrastructure for aggregation, processing, and cold chain management.
  • Promote brand building: Create a strong “Made in India Organic” brand identity to build trust and premium pricing.
  • Focus on research and development: Develop high-yielding organic varieties and improve pest management techniques.
By addressing these challenges and leveraging its potential, India can become a leading player in the global organic export market.
PYQ:  Sikkim is the first ‘Organic State’ in India. What are the ecological and economic benefits of Organic State? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2018)
Practice Question:  Critically examine the potential of India’s organic exports, highlighting the key challenges and suggesting measures to overcome them. (250 words/15 m)

2. Government meets academia and industry to steer R&D projects under National Green Hydrogen Mission

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors GS3 – Indian Economy – Infrastructure – Energy Critical for UPSC: National Green Hydrogen Mission focuses on research, collaboration, and efficiency improvement in renewable energy, aligning with national goals.
Context
  • Union Minister chairs a meeting on Green Hydrogen R&D Scheme, emphasizing identifying research areas, collaboration, and efficiency improvement for production cost reduction.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister chair a meeting on Green Hydrogen R&D Scheme in New Delhi.
  • Emphasis on identifying primary areas for research, supporting research institutions, and bringing technologies to fruition.
  • Collaboration among institutions with diverse expertise is stressed for effective research efforts.
  • Increasing efficiency of electrolyzers is highlighted to reduce the cost of Green Hydrogen.
  • Exploration of cost-effective alternatives for production and transportation of Green Hydrogen is encouraged.
  • Sea-water electrolysis is recognized as a promising area to lower production costs and enhance scalability.
  • Formation of consortiums suggested for research across the Green Hydrogen value chain.
  • R&D projects under National Green Hydrogen Mission include Mission Mode, Grand Challenge, Blue Sky projects, and support for Centres of Excellence.
Green Hydrogen Mission
  • Launched in 2023: Aims to make India a global leader in green hydrogen production, usage, and export.
  • Mission outlay: ₹19,744 crore for FY 2023-24 to FY 2029-30.
  • Key objectives:

○     Achieve 5 million metric tonnes (MMT) per annum green hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

○     Reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels.

○     Create export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives.

○     Develop indigenous manufacturing capabilities.

○     Decarbonize industrial, mobility, and energy sectors.

  • Mission components:

○     Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) programme: Provides financial and other incentives for electrolyser manufacturing, green hydrogen production, and R&D.

○     Pilot projects: Supports demonstration projects for green hydrogen production, storage, and utilization.

○     R&D activities: Focuses on developing new technologies and improving efficiency in green hydrogen production and utilization.

○     Other mission components: Include skill development, capacity building, and awareness creation.

Benefits:
  • Reduced carbon emissions: Contributes to India’s climate change goals.
  • Energy security: Reduces reliance on imported fossil fuels.
  • Economic growth: Creates new job opportunities and attracts investments.
  • Technological advancement: Fosters innovation in green hydrogen technologies.
Overall, the Green Hydrogen Mission is a significant initiative with the potential to transform India’s energy landscape and contribute to a sustainable future.
PYQ: Clean energy is the order of the day. Describe briefly India’s changing policy towards climate change in various international fora in the context of geopolitics. (250 words/15 m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2022)
Practice Question:  Critically evaluate the Green Hydrogen Mission, assessing its potential to achieve its stated objectives and suggesting measures to address any potential challenges. (150 words/10 m)

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