New Liberation War Gallery
Why in news?
- A new 1971 Liberation War Gallery was inaugurated at the Indian Cultural Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Liberation War Gallery
- The gallery showcases rare photographs and documents from the 1971 Liberation War, which led to the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation.
- The event was attended by distinguished guests, liberation war fighters, and representatives from various fields in Bangladesh.
Historical Significance of the 1971 Liberation War
- High Commissioner Pranay Verma highlighted the historical significance of the 1971 Liberation War for both Bangladesh and India.
- He emphasized the enduring spirit of friendship and solidarity that guided India’s support for Bangladesh’s freedom.
- The gallery serves as a tribute to the brave freedom fighters and pays homage to the millions who sacrificed their lives during the war.
Shared Commitment and Bond of Friendship
- The gallery signifies the shared commitment of India and Bangladesh to preserve and celebrate the spirit of 1971.
- It serves as a symbol of the strong and enduring bond between the two countries.
- The Home Minister of Bangladesh, Asaduzzaman Khan, expressed gratitude for the support provided by India during the war and acknowledged the sacrifice of Indian soldiers and the assistance given to the refugees.
Honoring the Valiant Freedom Fighters
- The Liberation War Gallery honors the memory of the unnamed millions who fought against oppression and tyranny.
- It showcases heroic photographs and documents that depict the courage, resilience, and indomitable spirit of the people of Bangladesh.
- The gallery takes visitors on an inspiring journey through the history of the war, symbolizing the bravery and determination of the freedom fighters.
Monument of Friendship and Inspiration
- High Commissioner Verma expressed hope that the gallery would serve as a monument of India-Bangladesh friendship for future generations.
- The gallery aims to inspire visitors, preserving the spirit of 1971 and strengthening the relations between the two countries.
- It is envisioned as a place where people can seek inspiration and learn about the historical significance of the Liberation War.
- The inauguration of the 1971 Liberation War Gallery at the Indian Cultural Centre in Dhaka serves as a remarkable testament to the profound relationship between Bangladesh and India. By commemorating the freedom fighters and those who gave their lives, the gallery symbolizes the unwavering commitment and shared history that unites Bangladesh and India. It stands as a poignant reminder of the enduring friendship and collective journey towards freedom, inspiring both present-day visitors and future generations to cherish and nurture this invaluable relationship.
Union Cabinet Approves Flagship “Namami Gange” Program
Why in news?
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the flagship “Namami Gange” program.
- It aims to clean and protect the Ganga River in a comprehensive manner.
- The program integrates efforts to address pollution and rejuvenate the river, recognizing its cultural and ecological significance.
Significance of the River Ganga
- The River Ganga holds immense cultural and spiritual importance and is home to over 40% of India’s population.
- Spanning more than 2,500 kilometers across the country, the Ganga has been a lifeline for millions of people.
- Recognizing its critical role, the government launched the Namami Gange program in 2015 to combat pollution and revive the river.
Comprehensive Approach for River Conservation
- Namami Gange adopts a river basin approach, promoting inter-sectoral coordination for comprehensive planning and management.
- The program aims to ensure the effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the Ganga River.
- It emphasizes maintaining minimum ecological flows and sustainable water quality to support environmentally responsible development.
Progress and Achievements
- Under the Namami Gange mission, over 431 projects worth more than 33,000 crore rupees were launched. Out of these, 248 projects have been completed, while 133 are currently underway.
- The program has gained international recognition and was awarded the UN World Restoration Flagship Program, showcasing its success as one of the world’s top examples of large-scale ecosystem restoration.
Global Recognition and Collaborations
- The National Clean Ganga Mission, part of the Namami Gange program, received the “Public Water Agency of the Year” award at the Global Water Awards 2019, presented by Global Water Intelligence.
- Several countries, including Australia, Israel, and Germany, have expressed interest in collaborating with the Indian government on the river rejuvenation program, highlighting its global significance.
- The approval of the Namami Gange program by the Union Cabinet reflects the government’s commitment to the comprehensive conservation and rejuvenation of the River Ganga. The program’s achievements in completing numerous projects and receiving international recognition underscore its effectiveness in addressing pollution and restoring the river’s ecosystem.
Organic Certification for Araku Coffee and Black Pepper
Why in news?
- The Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, has achieved a significant milestone by obtaining organic certification for its renowned Araku coffee and black pepper crops.
Organic Certification for Araku Coffee and Black Pepper
- The GCC has been granted organic certification for its Araku coffee and black pepper crops. This certification recognizes the use of sustainable and organic farming practices, ensuring the purity and quality of these products.
- This certification, granted by the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), is expected to enhance the market value of these products.
- The certification covers a vast cultivation area and highlights the dedication of farmers in preserving the organic integrity of their crops.
- The certification covers a substantial cultivation area and involves the efforts of numerous farmers across different clusters in Andhra Pradesh.
Araku Coffee: A Specialty with Exquisite Taste
- Araku coffee, named after the lush green Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh, is cultivated in an ecosystem that offers ideal growing conditions.
- The valley’s unique weather, characterized by hot days and cold nights, combined with iron-rich soil, allows the coffee to ripen slowly, resulting in its aromatic richness and distinctive taste.
- Araku coffee is set to make a mark in the global coffee market and establish itself as a premium and sought-after product.
Arabica Coffee and its Significance
- Arabica coffee is the major type grown in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, including the Araku Valley. This variety originated from the forests of Ethiopia and is known for its high quality.
- Araku Valley Arabica is cultivated at an elevation of 900-1100 meters above sea level, which contributes to its unique flavor profile.
- The coffee produced in this region exhibits pleasant acidity, citrus notes, and a mild jaggery sweetness, offering a delightful sensory experience.
Geographical Factors Favoring Coffee Cultivation in Araku
- The Vishakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh and the Koraput district in Odisha possess the necessary physical and climatic conditions for coffee cultivation.
- The hilly region, with elevations ranging from 3000 to 5300 feet, receives adequate rainfall from both the South-West and North-East monsoons.
- The soils in the Araku Valley are typically red lateritic soils, rich in organic matter, and acidic to neutral in reaction. These favorable geographical factors contribute to the exceptional quality of Araku coffee.
- The GCC’s attainment of organic certification for Araku coffee and black pepper is a significant achievement that highlights the commitment to sustainable and organic farming practices. Araku coffee, with its unique flavor profile and organic cultivation methods, is positioned to captivate coffee enthusiasts worldwide. This milestone showcases the potential of the Araku Valley and the dedication of farmers in preserving the organic integrity of their crops.
World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector
Why in news?
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the constitution and empowerment of an Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) to facilitate the implementation of the “World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector.”
- This ambitious plan aims to address the shortage of agricultural storage infrastructure in India by creating storage facilities at the level of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) in selected districts across the country.
- The plan involves the convergence of various schemes from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
- To ensure a professional and timely implementation of the plan, the Ministry of Cooperation will initiate a pilot project in at least 10 districts across different states and union territories.
- This pilot project will provide valuable insights into regional requirements and help refine the implementation process.
- An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), led by the Minister of Cooperation, along with other concerned ministers and secretaries, will be responsible for modifying guidelines and implementation methodologies as needed.
- The plan will utilize the existing outlays provided under identified schemes of the respective ministries, including the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Scheme, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization, Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, allocation of food grains under the National Food Security Act, and procurement operations at Minimum Support Price.
Benefits of the Plan
- The “World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector” has several key benefits:
- Addressing Infrastructure Shortage: The plan will establish godowns and other necessary infrastructure at the PACS level, effectively addressing the shortage of agricultural storage infrastructure in the country.
- Diversification of PACS Activities: PACS will have the opportunity to undertake various activities, including functioning as procurement centers, fair price shops, custom hiring centers, and common processing units. This diversification will enhance the incomes of farmer members.
- Reduced Food Grain Wastage: Decentralized storage capacity at the local level will help minimize food grain wastage and strengthen food security in the country.
- Preventing Distress Sales: The plan aims to provide farmers with multiple options, preventing distress sales and enabling them to secure better prices for their produce.
- Cost Reduction: The establishment of decentralized storage capacity will significantly reduce transportation costs involved in moving food grains to procurement centers and warehouses.
- Time-frame and Implementation: The implementation of the plan will follow a specific timeline:
- Formation of National Level Coordination Committee: Within one week of the Cabinet approval.
- Issuance of Implementation Guidelines: Within 15 days of the Cabinet approval.
- Rollout of the PACS Linkage Portal: Within 45 days of the Cabinet approval.
- Implementation of the Proposal: Within 45 days of the Cabinet approval.
- The Ministry of Cooperation has developed the “World’s Largest Grain Storage Plan in Cooperative Sector” to leverage the strength of cooperatives and transform them into successful and vibrant business enterprises. This initiative acknowledges the significant role played by PACS in the agricultural and rural sectors, with over 1,00,000 PACS and a member base of more than 13 crore farmers. The plan seeks to strengthen food security, reduce wastage, and enhance the economic viability of PACS.