Book ‘Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021’
⇒ The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar released the book ‘Spices Statistics at a Glance 2021’ on 21st December 2021.
The book is published by the Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development (DASD), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the nodal agency for collection and compilation of area and production estimates of spices at National level.
» The book is a compendium of all the spices statistics like, area, production, productivity, export, import, price and value of output of various spices produced in the country.
- The book highlights the growth achieved in spices sector during the last seven years from 2014-15 to 2020-21 in the country.
- Spices production in the Country grew from 67.64 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 to 106.79 lakh tonnes in 2020-21 with an annual growth rate 7.9%.
- At the same time, the spice area increased from 32.24 lakh hectare to 45.28 lakh hectare during this period.
- Among the major spices, Cumin (14.8%), Garlic (14.7%), Ginger (7.5%), Fennel (6.8%), Coriander (6.2%), fenugreek (5.8%), Red chilli (4.2%) and Turmeric (1.3 %), show significant growth rate in production.
- The export of spices during this period increased from 8.94 lakh tonnes worth Rs 14900 crores to 16 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 29535 crore (US$ 3.98 billion).
- The export of spices contributes 41% of the total export earnings from all horticulture crops in the country.
- At the same time, it ranks fourth among agricultural commodities, falling behind only the marine products, non-basmati rice and basmati rice.
New Generation Surface-to-Surface Missile ‘Pralay’
⇒ Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted maiden flight test of indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile ‘Pralay’, from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on December 22, 2021.
- ‘Pralay’ is a new generation surface-to-surface missile equipped with modern technologies.
- The Missile is powered with solid propellant rocket motor and many new technologies.
- The missile has a range of 150-500 kilometre and can be launched from a mobile launcher.
- The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics.
'Mukhyamantri Vayu Swasthya Seva' (Air Health Services) of Odisha
⇒ Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on 20 December 2021 launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Vayu Swasthya Seva’ (Air Health Services) under which specialist doctors will be flown to remote areas of the state to treat people suffering from serious diseases.
- Patnaik flagged off a flight carrying specialist doctors to the tribal-dominated and Maoist-hit Malkangiri district.
» At present, this service will be provided free of cost to patients in four remote districts of Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada. Other districts will be covered under the programme in a phased manner.
Airline Akasa Air unveils its brand logo
⇒ Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed low-cost airline Akasa Air unveiled its brand logo ‘inspired by elements of the sky’ in December 2021.
The airline is wearing a ‘The Rising A’ symbol to represent ‘the spirit of flying, the aim of height and the pursuit of dreams.’
- The logo of the new budget carrier is A, and the brand slogan of the company is ‘it’s your sky’.
» Akasa Air got the no-objection certificate from the civil aviation ministry in October to start commercial flights.
» Akasa Air is expected to start its commercial flight operations in the first half of 2022.
NITI Aayog signed a Statement of Intent with WFP
NITI Aayog signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on 20th December 2021.
- The partnership focuses on mainstreaming of millets and supporting India in taking lead globally in knowledge exchange using the opportunity of 2023 as an International Year of Millets.
- Further, the partnership will aim at building resilient livelihoods for small-holder farmers and adaptation capacities to climate change and transforming food systems.
- The Sol focuses on strategic and technical collaboration between NITI Aayog and WFP, to strengthen the climate resilient agriculture for enhanced food and nutrition security in India.
India's next Ambassador to China
⇒ Senior diplomat Pradeep Kumar Rawat has been appointed as India’s next Ambassador to China, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on 20 December 2021.
- Rawat, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1990 batch and regarded as a China expert. Rawat will succeed Vikram Misri. He is currently serving as Indian envoy to the Netherlands.
- Rawat served as ambassador of India to Indonesia and Timor-Leste from September 2017 to December 2020.
National Mathematics Day 2021
⇒ In India, National Mathematics Day is celebrated each year on December 22, marking the birth anniversary of the legendary Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan.
To mark Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared 22 December as National Mathematics Day in 2012. The year 2012 was also celebrated as the National Mathematics Year.
About Srinivasa Ramanujan:
- Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu.
- Ramanujan’s biography ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan’ is written by Robert Knaigel.