Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC -16th February 2024

1. First meeting of Global Biodiversity Framework Fund held in USA 

  • The first Council meeting of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) was recently held in Washington DC (United States of America). It is designed for the implementation of the KunmingMontreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the 7th Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Vancouver, Canada in 2022. 
  • The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) 2022. 
  • It aims to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 to prevent ecosystem degradation. Its framework consists of 4 goals and 23 targets that the world has to achieve by 2030. It will replace the Aichi Biodiversity Target. 
  • At the meeting they approved $918 million for 45 projects and programs (including four blended finance initiatives involving the private sector) and $203 million for 21 climate change adaptation projects. 
  • Delegates approved the Resource Allocation Policy and Project Cycle Policy, which will help the Council allocate donor funds as they become available. 
  • Empowers the Chief Executive of the GEF to approve projects up to $5 million. It also mandates midterm review for all projects above $2 million. 
  • The Global Environment Facility was adopted during the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The GEF, as the implementing agency for the GBFF, serves as the "financial mechanism" for five conventions: the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

2. PM Narendra Modi launches UPI RuPay card in Abu Dhabi 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan together launched the UPI RuPay card service on 13 February 2024. President Nahyan swiped a card embossed with his name to mark the start of the service in Abu Dhabi. 
  • This includes an agreement on interlinking instant payment platforms – UPI (India) and ANI (UAE). It follows the MoU on interlinking payment and messaging systems signed during Modi's visit to Abu Dhabi in July last year. 
  • Another agreement on interconnecting domestic debit/credit cards was signed with RuPay (India) and JAYWAN (UAE). 
  • Just a day earlier, India had announced that its UPI payments would be available in Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Earlier on February 2, India formally launched UPI at the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, furthering Prime Minister Modi's "vision of taking UPI global." 
  • Unified Payments Interface is an Indian instant payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2016. 

Other Agreement 

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE's Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held talks in Abu Dhabi and signed six agreements, including one on the India-Middle East-Europe corridor and another on protecting bilateral investments. 
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Energy Cooperation will pave the way for new areas of cooperation in the energy sector, including energy security and energy trade. Ahead of the visit, RITES Limited and Gujarat Maritime Board signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports Company. 

3. 'India-Middle East-Europe' Economic Corridor 

  • This includes many countries including India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, EU, France, Italy, Germany and America. The corridor will include a rail link, a power cable, a hydrogen pipeline and a high-speed data cable. 
  • The proposed IMEC will include railways, ship-to-rail networks and road transport routes spanning two corridors, i.e., the Eastern Corridor – connecting India to the Arabian Gulf and the Northern Corridor – connecting the Gulf to Europe. 

Ports to be added: 

  • India: Mundra (Gujarat), Kandla (Gujarat), and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Navi Mumbai). Middle East: Fujairah, Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi in the UAE as well as Dammam and Ras Al Khair ports in Saudi Arabia. 
  • The railway line will connect Fujairah Port (UAE) to Haifa Port (Israel) via Saudi Arabia (Ghuwaifat and Harad) and Jordan. 


  • Haifa port Europe: Port of Piraeus in Greece, Messina in southern Italy and Marseille in France. 

4. MeitY to hold first-ever Future Skills Summit in Guwahati 

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in collaboration with the National Institute of Electronics and IT (NIELIT) will host the Future Skills Summit in Guwahati. 
  • The event will be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. 
  • The Summit aims to bring together young Indians, thought leaders, industry experts, policymakers, educators, and technology enthusiasts to discuss strategies for catalyzing future-ready talent for India and the world. 
  • The Summit will focus on the impact of rapid digitization globally, emphasizing new opportunities for young Indians in cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Semiconductors, Robotics, and Cybersecurity. These advancements offer significant prospects for the country’s youth. 

5. 16th conference of World Social Forum 2024 commences in Kathmandu 

  • The 16th conference of the World Social Forum (WSF) 2024 commenced .
  • The five-day WSF 2024 under the “Another World is Possible” banner aims to open horizontal exchange among civil society organizations, social movements, trade unions and individuals opposing neoliberal globalization. 
  • The participants of the march carried banners and placards with slogans in support of justice, peace, equality and an end to discrimination. 
  • Various national and international organizations related to different sectors and rights expressed their solidarity in the march. 
  • Some forty thousand people from 92 countries are expected to participate in the WSF. 

6. Axis Bank appoints Pranam Wahi as Additional Director 

  • The Board of Directors of Axis Bank has appointed Pranam Wahi as an additional independent director of the bank for four years. 
  • This appointment is subject to approval of shareholders. 
  • A Chartered Accountant by qualification, Wahi has over 40 years of banking experience across various countries, including India, the United Arab Emirates / GCC, Indonesia, and Singapore, per the Bank’s regulatory filing. 
  • Wahi began his career with HSBC in 1982 where he was part of various functions and corporate banking within the HSBC Group in India. 
  • Wahi subsequently joined DBS as CEO India in April 2004. His last position was Managing Director, Senior Risk Executive, DBS Indonesia, before retiring in 2023. 

About Axis Bank 

  • Founded – 1993 
  • Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra 
  • Chairman – Rakesh Makhija 
  • MD & CEO – Amitabh Chaudhary 
  • Tagline – Badhti Ka naam Zindagi 

7. Nikhil Joshi appointed as MD of Boeing Defence India 

  • US aerospace major Boeing has appointed Nikhil Joshi as managing director of Boeing Defence India (BDI). 
  • Based in New Delhi, Joshi will lead current and future programmes for BDI to enhance the mission readiness and modernisation of India’s defence forces. 
  • Joshi has more than 25 years of aerospace and defence industry experience, including over two decades of service with the Indian armed forces in the aviation branch of the Indian Navy. 

Recent Appointment 

  • President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) – Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal (72nd) 
  • Vice President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) – Charanjot Singh Nanda 
  • First Transwoman TTE of Southern Railway – Sindhu Ganapathy’s 
  • Department of Health & Family Welfare Secretary – Apurva Chandra 

8. City Union Bank wins IBA’s banking technology awards 

  • Old private sector lender City Union Bank (CUB) has won seven awards in various categories in the ‘19th Banking Technology Conference, Expo & Citations 2023’ by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) in Mumbai. 
  • The awards aim at recognising the best technology providers in the banking industry and instill competition to demonstrate their state-of-the-art innovative products, and sense of purpose and bring huge value addition in Best Practices for serving the bank’s clientele. 
  • Along with his technology team, N Kamakodi, MD & CEO of City Union Bank received the awards from RBI’s Deputy Governor T Rabi Sankar. 

About City Union Bank 

  • Founded- 1904 
  • Founders- Santhanam Iyer; S. Krishna Iyer; V. Krishnaswami Iyengar 
  • Headquarters- Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu 
  • CEO- Dr. N. Kamakodi 

9. MoD signs contract with AWEIL for 463 Stabilised Remote-Control Guns for Indian Navy & Indian Coast Guard 

  • The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Advanced Weapon Equipment India Ltd (AWEIL), Kanpur for the manufacturing & supply of a total of 463 indigenously manufactured 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote-Control Guns (SRCG) for the Indian Navy & Indian Coast Guard at a total cost of Rs. 1752.13 crores. 
  • The SRCG will enhance the capability of Navy and Coast Guard to accurately engage small targets that post a threat to ships in an asymmetric environment, both by day and night. 
  • This acquisition will provide further boost to the vision of “Aatmanirbharta in Defence”. 
  • This contract will also open up a large avenue in defence manufacturing for over 125 Indian Vendors. 

10. 15 February 2024 – World Anthropology Day

  • World Anthropology Day is observed every year on the third Thursday in February and this year it is being marked on February 15. 
  • To promote the field of anthropology and raise awareness about its significance in understanding human diversity, cultures and societies worldwide. 
  • Anthropology Day was established by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in 2015 and initially called National Anthropology Day. 
  • It was changed in 2016 to World Anthropology Day as it seemed more appropriate since anthropology is essential to the whole world and not just one nation and the day was a part of AAA’s larger efforts to promote the discipline and its contributions to society. 

11. India Leads The Charge At The 62nd Session Of The Commission For Social Development 

  • India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, recently chaired the 62nd Session of the Commission for Social Development. 
  • Held from February 5-15, the session concentrated on reinforcing global collaboration to tackle pressing social challenges, a priority that aligns with the broader objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 
  • The theme was “Fostering Social Development and Social Justice through Social Policies to Accelerate Progress on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to Achieve the Overarching Goal of Poverty Eradication.” 

12. India’s First Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) To Start From Uttarakhand 

  • India is set to launch its first Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) from Uttarakhand, marking a significant milestone in the country’s healthcare and aviation sectors. 
  • The HEMS will be based at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh, strategically located to cover a radius of 150 kilometers. 
  • This positioning enables the swift airlifting of individuals who have encountered accidents or medical emergencies, ensuring prompt access to critical healthcare facilities. 

13. DoT Launches ‘Sangam: Digital Twin’ Initiative For Transformative Infrastructure Planning 

  • DoT introduces the ‘Sangam: Digital Twin’ initiative, calling upon industry leaders to join hands in reshaping infrastructure planning and design through cutting-edge technologies and collaborative efforts. 
  • (Department of Telecommunications) DoT’s venture invites Expressions of Interest from diverse stakeholders. Digital Twin technology facilitates virtual replication of physical assets for real-time monitoring and analysis. 
  • Its objective is two-stage implementation in a major Indian city for creative exploration and practical demonstration and generating a future blueprint for scalable infrastructure strategies through collaboration. 

14. Germany Overtakes Japan As Third-Largest Economy 

  • Official data reveals that Germany has surpassed Japan as the world’s third-largest economy, primarily due to a significant depreciation in the yen compared to the stability of the euro. 
  • Japan’s economy, despite growing 1.9% last year, contracted in the fourth quarter, leading to its relegation to the fourth position. 
  • The yen depreciated by over 18% against the dollar in 2022 and 2023, facilitating Germany’s ascendancy due to the stability of the euro against the dollar. 

15. Prabowo Subianto Wins Indonesian Presidency: A Decisive Victory 

  • Prabowo Subianto emerges victorious in Indonesia’s Presidential race, securing nearly 60% of the votes in the first round. 
  • His military background and alignment with President Joko Widodo’s policies propel him to a clear-cut victory, sparking positive reactions in Indonesian markets. 
  • Prabowo’s running mate, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of President Joko Widodo, is set to become the youngest vice-president in Indonesian history. 

16. Major Iron Ore Deposits Uncovered In Rajasthan’s Karauli 

  • Rajasthan’s Karauli district has emerged as a new focal point for mineral exploration after the Mines Department announced the discovery of substantial iron ore deposits. 
  • This find, located near Hindon, spans approximately 1,888 hectares and is poised to significantly impact the state’s industrial landscape.
  • Mines Secretary Anandi highlighted this discovery’s potential to spur industrial development and generate employment opportunities within the state. 

17. Nand Kishore Yadav Elected As Bihar Legislative Assembly Speaker 

  • Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nand Kishore Yadav has been elected as the Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly. 
  • Nand Kishore Yadav, a seven-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Patna Sahib constituency, has been a prominent figure in Bihar politics. 
  • First elected as an MLA in 1995, Yadav’s career has been distinguished by his several tenures as a minister in the Nitish Kumar government, showcasing his versatility and leadership within the state’s governance. 

18. National Coal Index Dips 4.75% In Dec, 2023 

  • The National Coal Index (Provisional) has shown a significant decline of 4.75% in December 2023 at 155.44 points compared to December 2022, where it was at 163.19 points. 
  • The NCI is a price index that combines coal prices from all sales channels, viz. Notified Prices, Auction Prices, and Import Prices. 
  • Established with the base year as FY 2017-18, NCI serves as a reliable indicator of market dynamics, providing valuable insights into price fluctuations. 

19. PayU Partners With NPCI To Introduce Credit Lines On UPI For Merchants 

  • Fintech giant PayU has collaborated with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce a groundbreaking feature called ‘Credit Lines on UPI’ for merchants. 
  • This integration, available within the PayU application, facilitates digital payments through pre-sanctioned credit lines, enhancing financial flexibility for both merchants and consumers. 
  • The feature empowers merchants with valuable insights into consumers’ credit types, such as pay-later and personal loans, aiding in the creation of tailored products for improved customer experience. 

20. Shri Pashupati Kumar Paras Launches “SUFALAM” For Food Entrepreneurs 

  • Union Minister of Food Processing Shri Pashupati Kumar Paras inaugurated “SUFALAM: Start-Up Forum for Aspiring Leaders and Mentors Startup Conclave 2024.” 
  • The Startup Conclave for Food Processing Entrepreneurs holds the promise of being a transformative event, propelling the sector towards a future characterized by innovation, sustainability, and inclusive growth. 
  • The event witnessed participation from over 250 industry stakeholders, startups, MSMEs, financial institutions, venture capitalists, and academia. Spanning two days, the event comprised four knowledge sessions, two pitching sessions, and an exhibition. 

21. Tata Group And Uber Forge Strategic Alliance For Digital Business Growth 

  • Tata Group and Uber are in talks to form a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing traffic volumes and engagement on Tata’s digital platform, Tata Neu. Tata Neu has encountered challenges such as stagnant user growth and low engagement. To address this, Tata Digital aims to cater to 50% of an average customer’s daily needs, spanning various sectors. A potential collaboration with Uber, known for its mobility solutions and diversification into areas like grocery delivery, could bolster daily user engagement on Tata Neu. 

22. UP Government Boosts Kanya Sumangala Yojana Grant 

  • Sandeep Kaur, Director of the Women’s Welfare Department, has declared substantial increments in grants under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana. 
  • This follows Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s directive to raise the grant from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per beneficiary annually starting this April. 
  • The initiative aims to tackle the diverse challenges encountered by girls in Uttar Pradesh, fostering their well-being from birth throughout their educational endeavors. 

23. Haryana Launches ‘Van Mitra’ Scheme To Boost Green Cover 

  • In a significant move towards environmental conservation, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated the ‘Van Mitra’ scheme and its accompanying portal. 
  • This innovative initiative is designed to foster community engagement in afforestation efforts, specifically targeting non-forest areas across the state. 
  • The scheme aims to empower local communities to play an active role in expanding the state’s green cover, thereby enhancing the survival rate of newly planted trees and promoting the planting of trees outside traditional forest zones. 

24. RBI And Nepal Rastra Bank Sign Pact For UPI-NPI Linkage 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a significant collaboration with Nepal Rastra Bank, aiming to integrate the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and the National Payments Interface (NPI) of Nepal. 
  • The RBI and Nepal Rastra Bank have formalized an agreement to integrate their fast payment systems, UPI and NPI respectively, to enable seamless cross-border transactions.
  • The collaboration is designed to establish the necessary infrastructure for interlinking UPI and NPI, paving the way for efficient cross-border remittances. 

25. IIT Jammu Develops Sound-Based Anti-Drone System 

  • Professor Karan Nathwani from IIT-Jammu has created a groundbreaking anti-drone system that relies on sound technology. 
  • Priced at approximately Rs 4 lakh, the system offers a cost-effective alternative to conventional anti-drone technologies. 
  • Capable of detecting drones, aircraft, and birds within a 300-meter range, the system offers versatility and effectiveness across various scenarios. With production costs ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000, it remains accessible to a wide range of users. 

26. India has rejected demand for data exclusivity in drug development in FTA talks’ 

  • India has rejected the demand for 'data exclusivity', as part of ongoing discussions with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) towards a free trade agreement, Sunil Barthwal, Secretary, Department of Commerce, said on the sidelines of a press briefing on Thursday. 
  • Data exclusivity pertains to a clause in the draft agreement that puts a minimum six-year embargo on clinical trial data generated during the testing and development of a drug. Thus, manufacturers interested in making a copycat product would have to generate such data on their own, which is an expensive proposition, or wait out that period before applying to register and sell their version in India. This could also apply to drugs that are not patented in India. India's generic drug industry has over the years made affordable versions of expensive drugs and become a global supplier itself, and such a clause could hamper the industry. 
  • Demands for data exclusivity have cropped up since 2008 from the European Union and the EFTA- Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein as part of trade negotiations with India, but these have been consistently rejected. 
  • However, as The Hindu reported on Tuesday, a leaked draft of the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), available on the website, an organization that tracks international free trade agreements, suggested that this clause was present in the negotiating text even as India and the EFTA indicated that negotiations were at an "advanced stage". "We rejected their demand. We are with our generic industry... There is no fear for any generics industry in India...," Mr. Barthwal said. 
  • "We welcome the Ministry's strong stand against the inclusion of data exclusivity in its trade talks with EFTA," Dr. Farhat Mantoo, Executive Director, Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) South Asia, said in a statement. The MSF had earlier this week written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the potential harm from India accepting data exclusivity provisions. 

27. Strongman at the helm Indonesia must avoid the trap of populist nativism of authoritarian rulers 

  • In Indonesia's presidential election, Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto, a former general linked to violent actions by the military in East Timor, Aceh, and West Papua, appears likely to emerge victorious after early trends indicated more than 57% of votes in his favor. His probable win indicates a vote for continuity, as he had the torch passed to him by his predecessor, the popular Joko Widodo, suggesting that the latter's policies on non-alignment in the strategic tussles between the U.S. and China and plans to build a new capital city, Nusantara, will be pursued as before. While full results are not expected for the next few weeks, the "quick counts", or government-approved polling samples, suggest that Mr. Subianto succeeded in winning the support especially of younger voters, who might have been impressed by his image makeover on social media, including Tik Tok appearances hinting that he was more a friendly grandfather figure than a 72- year-old strongman leader with a shadowy past and questionable human rights record. In a sense, his political career has come full circle too, because his likely win will wipe his slate clean of memories of bitter rivalry with Mr. Widodo, to whom he lost the presidential race in 2014 and 2019. Their conciliatory moves that followed the 2019 election paved the path to political redemption and renewal for Mr. Subianto, as he was transformed from Mr. Widodo's rival to his trusted aide and Defence Minister. 
  • While Indonesia held out hope at the turn of the century as one of Asia's great tiger economies with immense potential for developmental uplift impacting the lives of the poor, the persistence of populist political leadership, with echoes of the dictatorship era under Suharto, has vexed those who hoped for democracy to take deeper roots. For example, Mr. Subianto already has a reputation for pushing populist policies such as support for Islamist extremists and denigrating ethnic and religious minorities such as the Chinese and Christians. There is also an unsavory thread of nepotism favoring the elites within political circles, such as his bringing in Mr. Widodo's 36-year-old son, Gibran Raka, as his running mate despite the latter falling short of the age threshold to run for high public office. Indonesia is a critical nation on the global stage, not only because it's strategic calculus matters to the great power game between the U.SChina, India and others but also because it is a potential ray of hope for Asian resurgence in a post-COVID world. Yet, if it falls into the trap of populist nativism heralded by iron-fisted authoritarians, its prospects for steady economic progress could be hobbled by the baser collective instincts of its polity, 

28. New drug to treat chronic kidney disease gets approval 

  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), has approved Jardiance (empagliflozin) 10mg tablets to reduce the risk of sustained decline in patients with end-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular death, and hospitalization in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at risk of progression. 
  • According to a release issued by the organization, this indication approval allows nephrologists and cardiologists to use Jardiance 10mg tablets for the treatment of CKD in eligible patients. "Jardiance is not recommended for the treatment of CKD in patients with polycystic kidney disease," the release noted. 
  • "We are very excited about the approval and the potential for empagliflozin," Gagandeep Singh Bedi, managing director, Boehringer Ingelheim (India), a biopharmaceutical company which manufactures the drug, said. 

29. Modi invites Qatar's ruler to visit India 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited the ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, to visit India. The invitation was extended during their interaction in Qatar earlier on Thursday. 
  • His visit came days after Qatar's legal authorities freed eight Indian Navy veterans, who were accused in an alleged espionage case and given death sentence by a lower court in October 2023. 
  • "My visit to Qatar has added new vigor to the India-Qatar friendship. India looks forward to scaling up cooperation in key sectors relating to trade, investment, technology and culture. I thank the govern- ment and people of Qatar for their hospitality," said Mr. Modi at the end of the visit, which came after a phase of tense relations marked by the arrest of the former Navy personnel. 
  • Briefing the media, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra expressed India's gratitude for the release of the eight individuals, seven of whom were flown back home earlier this week. 
  • "The Prime Minister thanked His Highness, the Amir, for his support for the welfare of the Indian community and, in this regard, expressed his deep appreciation to His Highness, the Amir, for the release of eight Indian nationals of Al-Dahra company," said Mr. Kwatra in a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). 

30. Bill on use of Kannada on signboards passed 

  • A fine will be imposed and trade license canceled if business establishments in Karnataka fail to display name boards with 60% of text in Kannada in the upper half of the boards, Minister for Kannada and Culture Shivaraj Tangadagi informed the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Thursday. 
  • Explaining the purpose of the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development (Amendment) Bill, in 2024, the Minister said an enforcement wing, involving police and Kannada and Culture Department officials, would be formed to monitor name boards, particularly in Bengaluru. All eight zonal Commissioners would also be held responsible in Bengaluru for effective enforcement of the law and rules, Mr. Tangadagi said. The Assembly passed the Bill by voice vote. 
  • App to be launched Mr. Tangadagi said an app would be launched soon to enable the public to upload complaints against business establishments that fail to display their boards as per the rule. 
  • Earlier, Leader of the Opposition R. Ashok, senior BJP members S. Suresh Kumar, Araga Jnanendra, C.C. Patil, K. Gopalaiah and others demanded the imposition of heavy penalties on MNCs, malls, and other big establishments who violate the law and decline to display name boards in Kannada. 
  • Mr. Ashok suggested imposing an on-the-spot fine on business establishments if they are found violating the rule. Mr. Suresh Kumar said people as well as department officials have to change their mindset to ensure display of name boards in Kannada 

31. Global meet urges India to augment pulses production 1 to meet nutritional needs 

  • The Global Pulses Conference, an annual meeting of pulse producers, processors and traders, has suggested India to augment production of pulses to meet the nutritional requirements. Ministers Arjun Munda and Piyush Goyal said the Centre has taken adequate measures to improve pulses cultivation in the country by increasing the minimum support price regularly. The two-day conference is jointly organized by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) and the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC). 
  • Mr. Goyal said, over the last decade pulses production has grown by 60% from 171 lakh tonnes in 2014 to 270 lakh tonnes in 2024. 
  • "The partnership between NAFED and GPC will continue to grow to make pulses not only India's wonder-diet but to make India benefit from the global conference with sharing of technological advancements in the field from other countries. 
  • On MSP, he said the Centre has assured a price of 50% over the actual cost of production to our farmers, thereby providing an attractive return on investment. "The MSP is the highest today with increases as high as 117% in masoor, 90% in moong, 75% more in chana dal, 60% more in tur and urad over the amount provided a decade back," he said. Mr. Munda said India has become self-reliant in chickpeas (chana) and many other pulses crops, with only a slight deficiency remaining in pigeon peas (tur) and black gram. "Consistent efforts are being made to attain self-sufficiency in pulses by 2027. The government has increased the supply of new varieties of seeds, while also focusing on expanding cultivation of tur and black gram," he said. 
  • GPC president Vijay Iyengar told The Hindu that India will benefit from the global conference with sharing of the best practices and technological advancements in the field from other countries.

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