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Current Affairs Date: 05 August 2022

National

Biotech Startup Expo - 2022

⇒ Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Biotech Startup Expo – 2022 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 9th June 2022. It was held to mark completion of ten years of setting up of BIRAC. He also launched the Biotech products e portal of 750 Biotech products, Products developed during the 75th year of independence.

Organized by:

The Biotech Startup Expo – 2022 was a two-day event held on 9th and 10th June 2022. It was organized by the Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

Theme:

The theme of the Expo was ‘Biotech Startup Innovations: Towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat’.

Participation:
    • The Expo was a platform to connect entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, scientists, researchers, bio-incubators, manufacturers, regulators, government officials, etc.
    • The Biotech Startup Expo showcased 75 Successful Startups supported by BIRAC, 75 Specialized Biotech Incubation Centres supported by BIRAC, 21 IITs/ universities, 50 Successful Startups supported by DPIIT, Infrastructure created by BIRAC, helpdesks and various national and international programs of BIRAC.
    • About 300 stalls were set up at the Expo, showcasing the applications of biotechnology in various fields such as healthcare, genomics, biopharma, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, waste-to-value, clean energy, among others.
About BIRAC:
    • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) set up by DBT on 20th March, 2012, is an Industry-Academia Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise, to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.

Animal Vaccine and other Diagnostic Kits

⇒ Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched Animal Vaccine and other Diagnostic Kits developed by the ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar, Haryana on 09 June 2022.

Appreciating the Equine Research Center, Shri Tomar said that this institute has developed six vaccines and 19 diagnostic technologies for the prevention of infectious diseases in equines and other animals, out of which four were launched during the function.

Vaccine and other Diagnostic Kits:

» The Ancovax Vaccine on Equines is an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Delta (COVID-19) Vaccine for Animals.

    • The immunity induced by Ancovax neutralizes both Delta and Omicron Variants of SARS-CoV-2.
    • The Vaccine contains inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (Delta) antigen with Alhydrogel as an adjuvant. It is safe for dogs, lions, leopards, mice and rabbits.

» The diagnostic kits launched includes CAN-CoV-2 ELISA Kit.

    • It is a sensitive and specific nucleocapsid protein based indirect ELISA Kit for antibody detection against SARS-CoV-2 in Canines.
    • There are no laboratory animals required for the preparation of the antigens.
    • The Kit is made in India and a patent has been filed for the same. No other comparable kits for detection of antibodies in Canines are available in the market.

» The Surra ELISA Kit is a suitable Diagnostic Assay for Trypanosoma evansi infection in multiple animal species.

    • The Surra is one of the most important haemoprotozoan diseases of the different livestock species caused by Trypanosoma evansi.
    • The disease is prevalent in all the agro-climatic parts of India. In India, losses to livestock productivity are estimated to be Rs.44.740 billion annually due to Surra.

» The Equine DNA Parentage Testing Kit is a powerful genomic technology for parentage analysis.

    • The Parentage among the Horses can be definitely established using Multiplex PCR Technology to compare allele sizes.
    • At ICAR-NRC on Equines, an optimized 21 DNA Market Panel is being used for Parentage testing.

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) MIS Dashboard

⇒ The Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Parshottam Rupala launched the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) MIS dashboard on 7th June 2022.

PMMSY MIS dashboard aims at:

(i) effective monitoring of the PMMSY scheme activities and their progress in all participating States/UTs

(ii) strategically utilising the information for informed decision making.

PMMSY MIS application aggregates the data from all participating states/UTs, analyses the data and projects the data in form of a dashboard for sectoral insights. Key performance parameters are used for projecting overall performance at national and State/UT levels, thus highlighting specific achievements and gaps.

About PMMSY scheme:
    • PMMSY scheme was launched in May 2020 with the highest ever investment of Rs.20,050 crores for focussed and holistic development of the fisheries sector while ensuring socio-economic wellbeing of fishermen, fish farmers and other stakeholders.
    • Till date a total project investment of Rs 7242.90 Crores (FY 2020-22) has been done under PMMSY.

International

12th BRICS Agriculture Ministers Meeting

⇒ The Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Ms Shobha Karandlaje, participated in the 12th BRICS Agriculture Ministers Meeting held virtually on 08 June 2022.

    • The meeting was attended by the Ministers for Agriculture of China, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and India.

The Minister highlighted various steps and initiatives undertaken by the Government of India in the field of agriculture and for welfare of the farmers viz PM KISAN, PM FASAL BIMA YOJANA, Soil Health Cards, Natural Farming, formation and promotion of FPOs etc.

The Minister highlighted the National Mission on Food & Nutrition with focus on development of nutri-cereals and bio-fortified varieties of crops and also highlighted importance of millets in food and nutrition security and climate resilience. She called for support and celebration of International Year of Millets, 2023 by the BRICS nations.

» The BRICS Agriculture Ministers adopted a Joint Declaration of the Twelfth Meeting with the theme “Strengthening BRICS Cooperation for Coordinated Agricultural and Rural Development” and also the BRICS Strategy on Food Security Cooperation amongst BRICS member countries.

110th International Labour Conference (ILC) of ILO

⇒ Union Minister for Labour & Employment Shri Bhupender Yadav addressed the Plenary Session of 110th International Labour Conference (ILC) of ILO at Geneva, on 09 June 2022.

    • India is a founder member of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which came into existence in 1919.

Addressing the Plenary Session of 110th International Labour Conference, Mr Yadav said, Government is providing a unique Universal Account Number to each worker to act as a portable identity for continued enjoyment of rights at work.

    • About 3.2 million street vendors were provided collateral free loans to help them resume their businesses under Swanidhi Scheme.
    • India has made significant reforms to improve female labour force participation rate. Duration of maternity leave increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
    • To facilitate safe and orderly migration and for totalization benefit, India supports signing of labour mobility agreements (LMA) and the social security agreements (SSA).
Key Points:
    • From 27 May to 11 June, Governments’, Workers’ and Employers’ representatives from 187 ILO Member States discussed world of work issues at the International Labour Conference (ILC).
    • This year, occupational safety and health, apprenticeships, as well as the social and solidarity economy were among the items on the agenda of the Conference.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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