India gets the highest annual FDI inflow of USD 83.57 billion in FY21-22
• India rapidly emerges as a preferred investment destination; FDI inflows have increased 20-fold in last 20 years.
• FDI equity inflows in Manufacturing rise by 76% in FY 2021-22
• FDI inflows rise by 23% post-Covid
• Karnataka emerges as the top FDI equity inflow recipient state in India
• Top FDI equity inflows from Singapore (27%) followed by U.S.A (18%) and Mauritius.
• Computer Software and Hardware becomes the top recipient sector of FDI Equity inflow with a share of around 25% followed by Services sector and Automobile sector.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued to maintain desired quality standards for implementation of ‘Rice Fortification’
• In an ambitious attempt to combat the serious problem of anaemia due to malnutrition, the Prime Minister made an announcement on 75th Independence Day (15th August, 2021) to mandate rice fortification in all social safety net schemes by 2024.
• The Department of Food and Public Distribution is working to ensure implementation of ‘Rice Fortification’ to address malnutrition, anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies.
o Fortification is the process of increasing the content of essential micronutrients i.e. Vitamins and Minerals (including trace elements) to food so as to improve its nutritional quality and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.
o Food fortification is regarded as one of the top-three priorities for developing countries as per the Copenhagen Consensus Statement, 2008.
o Rice fortification, a process of adding micronutrients like Iron, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12, is an effective, preventive and cost-efficient complementary strategy to address the challenge of anaemia.
• In order to maintain the desired quality standards of Fortified Rice Kernels and Fortified Rice, the SOP clearly narrates the level-wise role & responsibilities of various stakeholders engaged under the ambitious scheme from FRK manufacturing to its distribution to the eligible beneficiaries.
• Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is also playing a vital role in the entire programme.
o FSSAI, notified the standards for fortified food including rice also via Food Safety Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018, Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 etc.
o FSSAI, empanelled the FRK (Fortified Rice Kernels) manufacturers/licensed them, developed various quality certification standards/guidelines for packaging and stencilling of finished product, guidelines on sampling, technical hand out on Fortification of Rice
o FSSAI is also mapping the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited labs under the states which may test the various quality parameters of FRK/FR.
o Promotional and regularity roles are also undertaken by the FSSAI’s Food Safety Officer (FSO).
• With regard to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulation on packaging material, procuring agencies like Food Corporation of India (FCI)/State Agencies strictly follows the guidelines of FSSAI and bags are imprinted with the +F logo and message “People with Thalassemia may take fortified rice under medical supervision.”
Why in News: The Army Training Command on May 13 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gandhinagar-based Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) to develop a ‘Wargame Research and Development Centre’ in New Delhi.
What is the wargame centre about?
The Wargame Research and Development Centre will be used by the Army to train its soldiers and test their strategies through “metaverse enabled gameplay”. The wargame models will be designed to prepare for wars as well as counter-terror and counter-insurgency operations.
How will these simulation exercises play out?
• Soldiers will test their skills in the metaverse where their surroundings will be simulated using a combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
• “In metaverse, the players will get a realistic experience of the actual situation.
• If a weapon weighing 5 kg drops or the air pressure falls, they will feel it like anyone would in a live situation, real-time.
How will the centre help the Army?
• The Army intends to use the wargame centre to train its officers in military strategies.
• “In Army, it is often said that the enemy can ambush you from 361 directions, where 360 sides are around the soldier, and one is above in case there is an airdrop. So, wargame simulation helps the Army think of all possible scenarios.
• Aspects such as slope of terrain, weather, time, air pressure, enemy surveillance reach, reach of artillery, the position of troops, soldier’s health and enemy’s reaction capabilities are all taken into account by the use of AI.”
How many countries use such wargaming drills?
Since the 9/11 attacks, use of information technology-enabled wargaming is preferred by several countries like the US, Israel, the UK to prepare for possibilities in case of terror attacks or war.
The use of AI can provide a totally immersive training experience as it can simulate a battlefield close to reality and map several eventualities in the probable event of a war. Apart from the armed forces, the BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP and SSB can also use the metaverse-enabled simulation exercises for better training.
Norms eased for GM crop research
Why in News: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has issued guidelines easing norms for research into genetically modified (GM) crops and circumventing challenges of using foreign genes to change crops profile.
Key points in the ‘Guidelines for Safety Assessment of Genome Edited Plants, 2022’
• It exempt researchers who use gene-editing technology to modify the genome of the plant from seeking approvals from the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee
o (GEAC) is an expert body of the Environment Ministry.
• The GEAC evaluates research into GM plants and recommends, or disapproves their release into farmer fields.
• The final call however is taken by the environment minister as well as States where such plants could be cultivated.
• Just as foreign genes can be used to add properties to plants, gene editing too can be used to make plants express properties not native to them.
The CRISPR technology
• The CRISPR is an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, developed in the year 2012
• CRISPR has made gene editing very easy and simple, and at the same time extremely efficient.
• The technology works in a simple way — it locates the specific area in the genetic sequence which has been diagnosed to be the cause of the problem, cuts it out, and replaces it with a new and correct sequence that no longer causes the problem.
• The technology replicates a natural defence mechanism in some bacteria that use a similar method to protect itself from virus attacks.