Center to seek comments on farm export policy draft

Aim: To boost shipments of farm items by identifying niche products and new markets, also has a focus on value addition and reduction of wastage through pre and post-harvest interventions.


  • Increasing Farm exports to $60 billion by 2020 from $31 billion in 2015 to help achieve the objective of doubling farmers’ incomes in line with the government policy.
  • The proposed agricultural export policy will also help develop agricultural clusters.
  • Developing global supply chains.
  • The proposed policy would also cover issues such as logistics, certification and traceability to increase shipments of farm produce including coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables.

Source – The Hindu

Sikkim allows people to forge fraternal ties with trees

The Government of Sikkim has come up with a unique way of preserving trees by encouraging people to forge a relationship of brotherhood or sisterhood with trees through a practice locally known as Mith/Mit or Mitini.

Highlights of Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules 2017:

  • Under the rules, State government shall allow any person to associate with trees standing on his or her private land or on any public land by entering into a Mith/Mit or Mitini relationship.
  • A person can also adopt a tree “as if it was his or her own child in which case the tree shall be called an adopted tree.” Another way to forge a relationship with a tree is by “preserving a tree in remembrance of a departed relative in which case the tree shall be called a smriti tree.”
  • In case an individual wants to forge a relationship with a tree which does not stand on his or her land but another’s, the person concerned shall execute an agreement with the owner and compensate him or her in terms of the market value of the timber or the wood contained in the tree.
  • The Rules also prohibit felling or damage to any tree registered as Mith/Mit or Mitini, adopted or smriti and points out that any such violation shall be treated as a forest offence.
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Source – The Hindu

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

The scheme has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.

  • The program aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9thof every month. PMSMA guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to women in their 2nd/3rd trimesters of pregnancy at designated government health facilities.
  • The programme follows a systematic approach for engagement with private sector which includes motivating private practitioners to volunteer for the campaign; developing strategies for generating awareness and appealing to the private sector to participate in the Abhiyan at government health facilities.

While India has made considerable progress in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, every year approximately 44000 women still die due to pregnancy-related causes and approximately 6.6 lakh infants die within the first 28 days of life. Many of these deaths are preventable and many lives can be saved if quality care is provided to pregnant women during their antenatal period and high risk factors such as severe anemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension etc are detected on time and managed well.

Accessible websites – Accessible India Campaign

In a path breaking initiative to empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 Accessible websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign have been launched.

Accessible Websites are those websites into which Persons with Disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.


The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) initiated a “Website Accessibility Project” for State Government/Union Territories under Accessible India Campaign through ERNET India, an autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), to make total 917 websites accessible and providing funds for the same. Now 100 accessible websites are made accessible under the project.

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Sources: pib.