Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Skill Development ink MoU on skill development at KVKs

  1. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship have signed MoU to conduct skill development training programmes for agriculture and allied sector. These skill development training programmes will be conducted at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs).
  2. The MoU will help to increase cooperation between both ministries and help in fulfilling Government’s dream of “Kaushal Bharat-Kushal Bharat”.
  3. It will help to increase agricultural productivity, post-harvest management and fair-prices to the farmers for their produce, lower risk in agriculture and strengthen and develop other aspects of farmers’ income such as horticulture, animal husbandry, beekeeping, dairying, fisheries etc.

►Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)

  1. KVK is a project of ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) for testing and transfer of Agricultural technologies at grassroot level. These centres are located in every state.
  2. The first KVK, on a pilot basis was established in 1974 at Puducherry under the administrative control of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.
  3. At present there are 668 KVKs, out of which 458 are under Central Agricultural University (CAU) and State Agricultural Universities (SAU), 55 under ICAR Institutes, 35 under State Governments, 100 under NGOs, and remaining 17 under other educational institutions.

►Mandate of KVK

  1. Its mandate is of technology assessment and demonstration for its application and capacity development. Each KVK is envisaged with following activities
  2. On-farm testing to assess location specificity of agricultural technologies under various farming systems.
  3. Capacity development of farmers and extension personnel to update their knowledge and skills on modern agricultural technologies
  4. Frontline demonstrations of technologies to establish production potential on fields.
  5. Work as knowledge and resource centre of agricultural technologies to support initiatives of public, private and voluntary sectors to improve agricultural economy of district.
  6. Provide farm advisories using ICT and other media means on varied subjects of interest to farmers.
  7. Increase self-employment opportunities among farming communities.

ICFRE and TIFAC ink MoU for supporting Forest Based Communities

The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) have signed MoU to provide livelihood opportunities and augment income of forest based communities. The MoU will be valid for period of 10 years.

►Features of MoU

  1. Prioritization of technologies developed by ICFRE in consultation with stakeholders.
  2. Patent searching and filing in field of forestry and allied subjects.
  3. Identify technology gaps and commercialization of technologies.
  4. Forest based technologies extension and transfer through stakeholder consultations.
  5. Create IPR awareness in field of forestry and environment including wood science and allied subjects for ICFRE and its institutes.


  1. The MoU will help to open up gate of synergy and collaboration between two organisations in areas of forest technology, extension and commercialization to various stakeholder including farmers, industries and others.
  2. It will assist industries to optimize utilization of forest based resources with access of technology to different users. Through this collaboration, TIFAC will help ICFRE to refine and up-scale the technologies developed, take technologies to end users including farmers, state forest departments, forest based industries and forest dependent communities in more effective manner.
Do You know..??


It is autonomous council under Department of Science and Technology. It was established as a registered Society in February 1988. It is mandated to assess state-of-art of technology and set directions for future technological development in India in important socio-economic sectors. It is headquartered in New Delhi.


ICFRE is autonomous organisation under Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It is headquartered in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Its mandate is to conduct forestry research, transfer technologies developed to states and other user agencies and to impart forestry education.


National Cultural Audiovisual Archives becomes world’s first Trusted Digital Repository

The National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA) project of Ministry of Culture was certified as world’s first Trusted Digital Repository as per ISO 16363:2012 standard. The certification was granted by Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorisation Body Ltd. (PTAB), United Kingdom.

National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA)
  1. NCAA is implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). Its primary objective is to identify and preserve cultural heritage of India available in audiovisual form through process of digitization and make it accessible to the people.
  2. The digitization and metadata standards followed for NCAA are in parity with international standards within overall framework of OAIS (Open Archival Information System) model. They digitization standards are as per prescribed by International Association of Sound & Audiovisual Archives (IASA) and metadata schema is extended Dublin Core, followed by galleries, archives, libraries, and museums worldwide.
  3. At present, NCAA has total of 21 Partnering Institutions from across the country, covering 11 governmental and 10 non-governmental cultural organisations It has digitized over 23,000 hours of unpublished audiovisual recordings.
  4. NCAA pilot digital repository was developed in collaboration with Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation by C-DAC, Pune. It was established with and powered by DIGITĀLAYA (डिजिटालय), developed by C-DAC Pune in compliance with OAIS Reference Model ISO 14721:2012.


Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)
  1. IGNCA has been set up by Government as premier research institute dedicated to holistic understanding and expression of Indian arts in their inter and multi-disciplinary nature. Its principal aim is to serve as major national resource centre for the arts.
  2. It is nodal agency for data bank on art, humanities and cultural heritage. It also has been identified by UNESCO as nodal agency for development of regional databases for South and South East Asian countries on art, cultural heritage and life-styles using state-of-the-art technologies for standardization, dissemination and exchange of data.


Government to set up Plastic Park in Jharkhand‘s Deoghar District

  1. The Union Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers has approved proposal of setting up of Plastic Park in Deoghar District, Jharkhand. The project will be set up at cost of Rs.120 crores in an area of 150 acres. Moreover, it will also set up Central Institute for Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET) and Plastic Recycling unit at Deoghar.
  2. The plastic park will manufacture range of polymer products including woven sacks, moulded furniture, water tanks, bottles, pipes mosquito nets, etc. It will have great potential for attracting investment for setting up ecosystem for plastic industry and generate employment opportunities for the local populace.
  3. The project is likely to provide direct employment generation to about 6000 people and indirect employment to over 30000 people. Jharkhand Government will facilitate land and building infrastructure for this project and also to set up Central Institute for Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET) alongside the park.
  4. The plastic industry is growing at rapid pace and polymer consumption in India will double from current 10 million metric tonnes to 20 million metric tonnes by 2022. The Plastic Park, CIPET and Plastic Recycling unit at Deoghar will build an ecosystem that will encourage setting up of Plastic Industry, thereby making it ‘Plastic Hub’ in the future.

BIRAC celebrates its 6th Foundation Day

  1. The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) celebrated its sixth Foundation Day. The observance of the day was themed around ‘Sustaining Innovation – A Market Driven Pathway’. The event was attended by large number of dignitaries from scientific and industry sectors both from within country and overseas
  2. Since its inception, BIRAC has supported over 650 projects, more than 500 start-ups and entrepreneurs and 30 incubators across the country. It has resulted in development of over 100 products and technologies and 150 Intellectual property (IP) rights being generated.
  3. It has launched over 10 flagship schemes that are supported by funding from Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and manages 7 collaboratively funded programs with international partners. It tries to galvanize social impact by piloting research and extension services within series of thematic calls and other global definite initiatives to improve public health and beyond.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)
  1. BIRAC is not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) set up by DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology to empower emerging biotech industry to undertake strategic research and innovation. It is basically industry academia interface.
  2. It implements its mandate through wide range of impact initiatives like providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to Indian biotech firms and make them globally competitive.
  3. BIRAC has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms to bridge existing gap between industry-academia research and facilitate novel, high quality and cost-effective affordable technologies. It has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver its mandate.


  1. Foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
  2. Enable commercialization of discovery.
  3. Promote affordable innovation in key social sectors.
  4. Ensure global competitiveness of Indian enterprises.
  5. Empowerment of start-ups & small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  6. Contribute through partners for capability enhancement and diffusion of innovation.


Government scraps export duty on sugar

  1. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) under Ministry of Finance has scrapped export duty of 20% on raw and refined sugar to boost shipments. he removal of export duty will help to export excess sugar output in India for sugar season 2017-18. This will also prevent further price erosion of the domestic sugar prices.
  2. Sugar output is estimated to rise sharply to 29.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2017-18 marketing year (October-September) from 20.3 MT in the previous year.
  3. The domestic demand is 24-25 million tonnes annually. With domestic prices falling below cost of production, there was demand scrapping of export duty to liquidate surplus domestic stock.
  4. In February 2018, Government had doubled import duty on sugar to 100% and restricted sale by mills to keep a checking on falling prices.