13.03.22 TSPSC Daily Current Affairs


First in country, Telangana moves to index its crops


After the paddy procurement row with the Centre and the state government urging farmers to opt for alternate crops, Telangana has, for the first time in the country, began recording crop diversification patterns in the form of an index. The state grows 77 varieties, according to the crop diversification index, with about 10 crops, mostly grains, preferred for diversification. Nirmal, Vikarabad and Sangareddy are more diverse in the state.

It has also been discovered that the three least diverse areas were PeddapalliKarimnagar, and Suryapet. Interestingly, in these districts, where paddy cultivation is prevalent, maize cropping area has decreased significantly, while cotton increased. The index, according to state officials, would serve as a baseline for future crop diversification in the state.


The index has a base value of one. It denotes the percentage of total cropped area devoted to a single crop. Many districts in the state have index values ranging between 0 and 5, and the higher the value, the greater the crop diversification.
For the current index calculations, the area under 77 different crops, including all food, non-food, and cash crops, as well as the area under floriculture, was used.


Crop diversification efforts have resulted in a 77.9% decrease in maize acreage from 9.7 lakh acres in 2019-20 (in vaanakalam) to 2.1 lakh acres in 2020-21 (vanakaalam).
Cotton acreage increased by 10.9% during the same period, from 52.6 lakh acres to 58.3 lakh acres, while red gram increased by 45.1% from 7.3 lakh to 10.6 lakh acres.






Katalin Novak: Hungary’s First-Ever Female President


The Hungarian parliament has elected Katalin Novak, a detailed ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as the EU member’s first-ever female president.


The Hungarian parliament has elected Katalin Novak, a detailed ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as the EU member’s first-ever female president.

Novak, who last served as a minister for family policy, portrayed her election as a victory for women.


The Power of the Dog’ wins best picture at BAFTAs


Sci-fi epic “Dune” won five prizes and brooding Western “The Power of the Dog” was named best film as the British Academy Film Awards returned Sunday with a live, black-tie ceremony after a pandemic-curtailed event in 2021.



New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion was named best director for “The Power of the Dog,” becoming only the third woman to win the prize in the awards’ 75-year history.





Agri scientist advocates inclusion of millet in PDS


Making a strong pitch for inclusion of millets in the daily diet of the population for their nutritional value and other health benefits, All India Pearl Millet Research Project has opined that the Central and State governments should make millets a component in the Public Distribution System (PDS), while incentivising farmers to grow nutri-cereals at the same time.


The millet acreage of 13 million hectares in the country, pearl millet is grown in 7.41 million hectares. The productivity of the crop has gone up from 1200 kg per hectare to 1,370 kg per hectare since 2016. “The Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the crop has gone up from ₹1,300 per quintal to ₹2,250 per quintal. However, the farmers are being offered much less than this by private buyers.



JanaushadhiKendras to offer big discounts and nutraceuticals products to customers


Aimed at providing accessible, standardised and affordable generic medicines, the Pradhan MantriBhartiyaJanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras, which currently offer a product basket of 1,451 drugs and 240 surgical instruments, have added nutraceuticals products, including  protein powder and bar, malt-based food supplements and immunity bar for its customers.


Currently there are about 8,675 PMBJP Kendras that have been opened in districts across the country with three IT enabled warehouses functional at Gurugram, Chennai and Guwahati and fourth one is ready to start operations at Surat.


The government has also set a target to increase the number of PMBJKs to 10,500 by the end of March 2025 along with a total of six warehouses.


Under the PMBJP being implemented by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, a medicine is priced on the principle of maximum of 50% of average price of the top three brands of the said medicine. Thus, the prices of Jan Aushadhi Medicines are cheaper at least by 50% and in some cases, by 80% to 90% of the market price of the branded medicines.



Indian coast guard launches auxiliary barge UrjaPrabha


The Indian coast guard’s auxiliary barge UrjaPrabha was launched by Viraj Sharma, wife of deputy director general of the coast guard DR Sharma.

UrjaPrabha is 36.96 metre long with a draft of 1.85 metre. It will enhance the Indian Coast Guard operations by extending logistics support to Indian Coast Guard ships deployed in the sea at far-flung areas.

The barge was launched at Shoft Shipyard, Bharuch in Gujarat.



Most lives lost to lightning in 2021: IMD chief


There has been a marked increase in lightning and thunderstorms in the year 2021 and they have become deadlier too.

Sharing the details of casualties arising out of extreme weather events in 2021, director general of India Meteorological Department (IMD), MrutyunjayMohapatra, said out of 1,750 deaths occurring due to different extreme weather events, lightning accounted for 45% casualties corresponding to 787, far above than the casualties caused by cyclonic storms (172), which is otherwise considered more dreadful.

Deaths due to flood, heavy rain and landslide accounted for 43% (759) casualties. Lightning events causing deaths have mostly been reported from the eastern part of the country — Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

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