UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 04-02-2021

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February 04, 2021

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

  • Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) will become eligible beneficiaries of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF).
  • With this fund, APMCs could enhance post-harvest infrastructure at regulated markets (Mandis).
  • AIF is a medium - long term debt financing facility.
  • It can be used for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee. Under the scheme,
    1. Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum and
    2. Credit guarantee coverage will be provided under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for loans up to Rs. 2 Crore.
  • The duration of the scheme is from FY2020 to FY2029.
  • Beneficiaries - Farmers, FPOs, PACS, Cooperative Societies, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups, Agri-entrepreneurs, Start-ups, Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects, etc.

One District One Product Scheme

  • One District One Product (ODOP) initiative is operationally merged with ‘Districts as Export Hub’ initiative.
  • [‘Districts as Export Hub’ initiative is being implemented by Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Commerce.
  • It has the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) as a major stakeholder.]
  • The objective is to convert each district of the country into an Export Hub by identifying products with export potential in the district, addressing bottlenecks for exporting these products, etc.
  • DGFT is engaging with State/UT Governments to implement the initiative in a phased manner to make all the districts as an export hub.
  • Under the initial phase of the ODOP programme, 106 Products have been identified from 103 districts across 27 States.
  • District Export Promotion Committee (DEPC) is constituted in all Districts of India, except districts of the state of West Bengal.

Aero India 2021

  • It is a biennial international military and civil air show.
  • It provides an opportunity for the exchange of information, ideas and new developments in the aviation industry.
  • It gives a fillip to the domestic aviation industry furthering the cause of Make in India.
  • Since the air show was started in 1996, the Yelahanka air base, about 30 km from Bengaluru, has been hosting it in February.
  • It is organised by Defence Exhibition Organisation, Ministry of Defence.

Defence Exhibition Organisation

  • It is an autonomous organisation of Indian Government established in 1981, to promote the export potential of the Indian defence industry.
  • It is responsible for organising international exhibitions such as DefExpo and Indian participation at overseas exhibitions.


  • Unified GOBAR-DHAN portal was jointly launched by Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Petroleum; Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying; and Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) scheme converts cattle dung and solid waste to compost, biogas and bio-CNG.
  • It will help in keeping the village clean while increasing the income of farmers and cattle herders.
  • Under this scheme, one village in every district of the country would be selected for its implementation.
  • Villagers will be mobilized to create self-help groups (SHGs) and creative societies that will help in clean energy and green jobs initiative.

Neptune Declaration

  • Liberian Registry has become the very first ship registry to sign onto the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change.
  • Neptune Declaration was unveiled at the Davos summit.
  • Signed by more than 500 organizations, it highlights the main actions that are required to be taken in order to resolve the crew change crisis.
  • This Neptune Declaration outlines four main actions that are needful to address the crew change crisis:
    1. To recognize the seafarers as the key workers and provide them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines;
    2. To establish and implement the gold standard health protocols which are based on the existing best practice;
    3. To increase the collaboration between the ship operators and charterers so as to facilitate the crew changes;
    4. To ensure the air connectivity between the key maritime hubs for seafarers.

Lithium Reserves in India

  • Preliminary surveys by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) have shown presence of Lithium resources in the pegmatites of Marlagalla-Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka.
  • [AMD is a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy]
  • To know more about lithium reserve surveys, click here.


  • Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries.
  • It is used in Lithium ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additive to rocket propellants, and optical modulators for mobile phones.
  • It is also used as a convertor to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion. 
  • The thermonuclear application makes Lithium as “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 that permits AMD for exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country. 


Source: PIB, Liberian Observer

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