13 SEPTEMBER, 2023

by | Sep 13, 2023

Mother of Democracy Portal Launch

Ahead of the G20 leadership summit, the Ministry of Culture has unveiled the “Bharat: The Mother of Democracy” online portal, a comprehensive digital exhibition tracing India’s 7,000-year democratic history, from the Sindhu-Saraswati civilization to 2019.

Key Features of the “Bharat: The Mother of Democracy” Portal:

  1. Historical Exploration: Dive deep into India’s democratic history.
  2. Multilingual Accessibility: Available in 16 languages for a global audience.
  3. Structured Sections: Five main sections with 22 sub-sections each.
  4. Ancient Democracy (6000-2000 BCE): Explore early democratic ethos.
  5. Emergence of Republics (7-8 BCE): Discover the birth of republics.
  6. Vijaynagar Empire (14-16 century): Illuminate democratic practices.
  7. Akbar’s Reign (1556-1605): Highlight democratic elements during his rule.
  8. Constitution of India (1947): Covers the making of India’s constitution.
  9. Modern India Elections (1952 Onwards): Explore post-independence electoral processes.
  10. Curatorial Excellence: Meticulously curated by IGNCA for accuracy.
  11. Website Access: Visit www.motherofdemocracyg20.com for more.

African Swine Fever Outbreak in the Far North


– On September 11, 2023, the Swedish Board of Agriculture made the decision to euthanize all domestic pigs in the infected zone.

– Approximately 50 pigs are distributed across five farms.

– Sweden is now the 24th European country to report African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks.

African Swine Fever (ASF):

First Detection: Originated in Africa during the 1920s.

– ASF is a highly contagious and deadly animal disease affecting domestic and wild pigs, leading to severe hemorrhagic fever.

– Mortality rate approaches 100%, and culling is the sole method to prevent its spread.

– It poses no threat to humans as it only transfers among animals.

– Historically, outbreaks occurred in Africa, parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean.

– Since 2007, ASF has emerged in multiple countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe, affecting both domestic and wild pigs.

– ASF is a World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) listed disease, mandating reporting to the OIE.

– No effective vaccine is currently available.

– The virus exhibits high environmental resistance, surviving on items like clothing, footwear, and vehicles.

– It can also persist in various pork products, including ham, sausages, and bacon.

Status of India’s Food Processing Sector:

– Definition: The food processing sector plays a pivotal role in the food supply chain, converting raw agricultural and livestock products into processed, value-added consumables, enhancing safety, convenience, and shelf life, as well as improving taste and nutrition.

– Economic Contribution: This sector contributes significantly to India’s economy, accounting for 13% of exports and 6% of industrial investment. It has attracted substantial foreign direct investments (FDI) of USD 4.18 billion from 2014 to 2020, demonstrating confidence in its future growth.

– Employment Opportunities: Expected to generate 9 million jobs by 2024, it’s set to be a major employment driver. By 2030, India aims to be the world’s fifth-largest consumer of food and food technology as household consumption quadruples, highlighting its enormous growth potential.

Government Initiatives for Food Processing:

– Priority Sector Lending: In April 2015, food & agro-based processing units and cold chain were included as agricultural activities under Priority Sector Lending (PSL) norms.

– Regulatory Ease: In 2016, a shift from product-specific approval to ingredient and additive-based approval by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) aimed at improving ease of doing business.

– FDI Approval: 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) approval under the automatic route was permitted for the food processing sector.

– Special Fund: The establishment of a Rs. 2000 crore Special Food Processing Fund with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Other Government Initiatives:

– Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana

– Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme

– Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the food processing industry

Challenges Faced by the Food Processing Sector:

– Cold Chain Insufficiency: Inadequate cold storage and transportation lead to substantial post-harvest losses of perishable goods, impacting both quality and farmer income.

– Fragmented Supply Chain: A highly fragmented supply chain leads to inefficiencies and increased costs, with inadequate road and rail infrastructure causing delays and losses during transportation.

– Complex Regulations: The sector faces a complex web of regulations, licences, and permits, challenging for businesses to navigate. Inconsistent enforcement can lead to unfair competition and quality issues.

– Food Safety Concerns: Ensuring food safety and quality standards across the supply chain remains a significant challenge. Contaminated or adulterated food products can harm public health and tarnish the sector’s reputation.

– Research and Development Gap: Limited investment in research and development inhibits innovation and the development of new, value-added products. India’s low R&D expenditure-GDP ratio of 0.7% lags behind major economies and the world average of 1.8%.

What further can be done for betterment of this sector

– Smart Food Processing Hubs: Establish smart food processing hubs utilizing advanced technologies like IoT, AI, and blockchain for end-to-end supply chain monitoring, ensuring quality, traceability, and efficiency.

– Nutraceutical Innovation: Develop functional and nutraceutical foods tailored to specific health needs, fortified with essential nutrients, probiotics, and bioactive compounds to address prevalent health concerns.

– Zero-Waste Processing: Implement zero-waste processing techniques, utilising every part of raw materials, such as converting food waste into biofuels or creating bioplastics and animal feed from byproducts.

– Community-Based Processing Centers: Establish community-based food processing centres in rural areas to process local produce, reducing post-harvest losses and generating rural employment opportunities.

Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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