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9-December -2023

1. Ecological Impact of Biofortified Seeds

Topic: GS3 – agriculture sector

Biofortified Varieties Developed by ICAR (2014-2023):

  • 142 biofortified varieties, including 124 field crops and 18 horticultural crops.
  • Field crops include Rice, Wheat, Maize, Pearl millet, Small millets, Linseed, Lentil, Chickpea, Mungbean, Fieldpea, Mustard, Soybean, Sesame, Groundnut.
  • Horticultural crops include Sweet potato, Amaranthus, Greater Yam, Potato, Cauliflower, Okra, Grapes, Banana, Guava, Pomegranate.

Ecological Impact:

  • No significant impact on soil and water due to normal breeding practices.
  • Water and nutrient requirements are similar to traditional varieties.

Yield and Cost Considerations:

  • Biofortified varieties are equal or better in yield compared to conventional varieties.
  • Production cost is not higher, as there is no yield penalty or additional cultivation cost.

Seed Production and Supply (2019-20 onwards):

  • 37,425.7 q breeder seed of biofortified varieties produced and supplied.
  • Supplied to public and private seed production agencies for downstream multiplication.
  • Certified seed distributed to farmers for cultivation, benefiting economically backward sections.

Acreage Coverage (Past Six Years):

  • Over 10 million hectares covered under biofortified varieties, including wheat, rice, pearl millet, mustard, and lentil.

National Food Security Mission (NFSM) Support:

  • Assistance provided through State/Union Territory to farmers for various interventions.
  • Cluster demonstrations, improved package of practices, cropping system demonstrations, seed production, and distribution of High Yielding Varieties (HYVs)/ hybrids supported.
  • Support to ICAR, State Agricultural Universities, and Krishi Vigyan Kendras for technology transfer.
  • Encouragement for organizing demonstrations on biofortified varieties.
  • States encouraged to produce and distribute biofortified seeds.




Topic: GS3 – Science and technology.

Technology Development Fund (TDF) Scheme:

  • Flagship program by Ministry of Defence, executed by DRDO.
  • Aligned with ‘Make in India’ initiative.


  • Provide Grant in Aid to Indian industries, MSMEs, Start-ups, academic, and scientific institutions.
  • Develop Defence and dual-use technologies currently unavailable in the Indian defence industry.
  • Cultivate a culture of Design & Development of Military Technology, particularly in private industries, MSMEs, and Start-ups.
  • Focus on Research, Design & Development of Niche technologies.
  • Bridge collaboration among Armed Forces, research organizations, academia, and private sector entities.
  • Support futuristic technologies with Proof of Concept, converting them into prototypes.

Benefits Sought:

  • Capacity and capability building of Indian industries for defense technology design and development.
  • Creation of an R&D ecosystem with industry-academia collaboration.
  • Building a defense manufacturing ecosystem in the country.
  • Achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) in defense technology.


  • 70 projects sanctioned with a total cost of Rs 291.25 crore.
  • Successful development/realization of 16 defense technologies under the scheme.




Topic: GS2. 

Legal Services Initiatives:

  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) under The Legal Services Authorities (LSA) Act, 1987.
  • Provides free legal services to weaker sections, ensuring justice accessibility.

Lok Adalats:

  • Organized under Legal Services Act for equal justice opportunities.
  • Organized at various levels, including National Lok Adalats and Permanent Lok Adalats.
  • E-Lok Adalats introduced, enhancing access to justice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access to Justice Scheme:

  • “Designing Innovative Solutions for Holistic Access to Justice in India.”
  • Aims to strengthen pre-litigation advice, deliver pro bono legal services, and promote legal literacy.
  • Incorporates technology for easy accessibility.

Tele-Law Service:

  • Connects beneficiaries with lawyers via tele/video conferencing.
  • Available in 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats, offering legal advice to over 60 lakh beneficiaries.

Nyaya Bandhu Platform:

  • Connects Pro Bono Advocates with registered beneficiaries.
  • Facilitates free legal aid, involving 10,629 Pro Bono advocates and 89 law schools.

National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms:

  • Addresses arrears and pendency in judicial administration.
  • Focuses on infrastructure, human resource development, and policy measures.

Fast Track Courts:

  • Established for heinous crimes, crimes against women, and children.
  • 848 functional Fast Track Courts, including 412 exclusive POCSO Courts.

eCourts Mission Mode Project:

  • Central Sector Scheme for ICT development of District & Subordinate courts.
  • Digital initiatives enhance accessibility, including e-filing and virtual hearings.

eCourts Phase-III (Approved in September 2023):

  • Budgetary outlay of Rs. 7,210 crore.
  • Aims for digitization of entire court record, making courts end-to-end digital and paperless.
  • e-Sewa Kendras to provide free services, bridging the digital divide and enhancing affordability and accessibility of justice delivery.



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