By: D.K Choudhary
2017 National Women’s Parliament held in Andhra Pradesh
i. In a first of its kind initiative, National Women’s Parliament was organized by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly in association with MAEER’s MIT School of Governance at Pavithra Sangamam in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh with an aim to empower women.
ii. The three day conclave that began on February 10, 2017 was based on the theme: ‘Empowering Women — Strengthening Democracy’.
iii. The conclave was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conference in the presence of AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.
iv. The vision of the conclave is to provide a platform to enable and encourage social, political and economic empowerment of women in all strata of the society.
v. The NWP is set to come out with the Amaravati Declaration on women empowerment at the end of the three-day deliberations on February 12, 2017
Second edition of International Spice Conference Begins at Thiruvanantapuram
i. The second edition of the International Spice Conference began at Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala from February 12, 2017.
ii .The three days conference has been hosted by All India Spices Exporters Forum (AISEF) in association with the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The conference was inaugurated by the Nestle India Limited Chairman and Managing director Suresh Narayanan.
iii .The theme of the conference is “21st Century Spic Industry-Disrupt or be Disrupted”
iv .The main aim of the event is to deliberate on effective strategies and innovative technologies to improve the livelihood of spice farmers, address spice industry challenges, food safety concern, demand supply disparity and foster sustainable growth.
v. Over 800 delegates, including 250 delegates from foreign countries will take part in the conference.
vi .AISEF has set a target to achieve the spice export to about five billion by 2021, from the current export of Rs 2.5-billion.
IIT Kharagpur to launch India’s first School on Quality and Reliability
i. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur is starting India’s first inter-disciplinary School on Quality and Reliability (Q&R) in India.
ii. The main of the establishing the school is to improve the quality of life for the people of India as well as develop quality conscious global citizens.
iii. The Q&R school, in collaboration with other academic units in the Institute will offer academic courses, research and mission-mode programmes in the area of Quality and Reliability for social transformation.
iv .Besides quality, the school will also help to improve the trinity of 3Ps namely Process, Planet and People with target on Engineering, Human and Natural systems.
v. The School will be interdisciplinary with faculty members and students from various disciplines.
vi. The school is being named after an IIT Kharagpur alumnus Quality guru Subir Chowdhury as the Subir Chowdhury School of Quality and Reliability. He is the patron of the school who has offered $1 million fund for school.
India Decides to Host Counter-Radicalisation Conference with ASEAN
i. India has decided to conduct Conference with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to share experiences and ideas from the member countries on IIT Kharagpurpreventing radicalization and promoting deradicalisation.
ii. The Conference may be held in October 2017.
iii. The event will deal with the growing IS threat and make effort to counter radicalization and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred and terrorism
iv .With the conference, India plan’s to share experience and benefit from that of ASEAN countries, especially Malaysia and Indonesia which are working on this aspect and India wants to gain from their expertise.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
♦ ASEAN is a regional organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members.
♦ Its members include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar(Burma) and Vietnam.
FSSAI sets up 11 member panel to finalize Food Fortification Laws
i. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has set up a 11 member scientific panel to frame final regulations on fortification of foods and prepare strategies to address malnutrition problem.
ii. Fortification means deliberately adding or increasing the content of essential micro nutrients in food items to improve quality.
iii .The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has already issued the draft guidelines on fortification for five food items including salt, milk, wheat flour, rice and edible oil to boost production and consumption of fortified foods.
iv. Based on the comments received on the draft Regulations by various stakeholders, the Panel will finalise the Regulations
v. The Panel will be responsible to identify critical nutritional gaps in the Indian diet in general and in specific target groups based on diet surveys and credible scientific evidence.
vi .It will define strategies to address nutritional needs of the general population and vulnerable groups, besides reviewing the standards for all suitable food fortifying vehicles.
vii .The panel will also address regulatory and related technological issues, review proposals from industry using modern risk assessment methods, and prescribe standard sampling and test methods for effective monitoring, surveillance and enforcement of the relevant regulations.
viii. The member of the panels include Ambrish Mithal from Medanta; CS Pandav and R K Marwaha (Retd) from AIIMS; Anura Kurpad from St John’s Medical College; Yogeshwar Shukla from CSIR – Indian Institute of Toxicilogy Research, HPS Sachdev from Sita Ram Bharatia Institute of Science and Research; KM Nair from NIN; P Ramachandran from Nutrition Foundation of India; Sumit Arora from NDRI; Sirimavo Nair from the MS University, Baroda, and Harsulkar from Bharati Vidyapeeth.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
♦ FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
♦ Formed: August 2011
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Chairperson: Ashish Bahuguna
♦ Chief Executive Officer: Pawan Kumar Agarwal