Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare ShriRadha
Mohan Singh while addressing the conclave of Chief Ministers of Himalayan
states organized in Shimla said that Himalayan states are diverse in
agricultural species, agricultural production systems and livestock breeds.
This diversity is extremely useful for the future, not
only for humans but also for the protection and development of all animals and
He said that organic farming should be emphasized for the
coming generations. For the promotion of organic farming, there is a plan to
develop clusters of 50 acres for which funds are being provided in the ratio of
In order to promote value chain in organic farming in
North East region, financial assistance for advanced seed plantation materials,
development of basic structure etc is being provided to Arunachal Pradesh,
Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
Under the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for
North Eastern Region (MOVCD-NER), 50,000 farmers have been engaged in organic
farming and 2500 interested farmers group have been developed. Sikkim is the
first state to adopt organic farming and learning from it, other states are also
adopting organic farming.
India and Russia on Friday concluded the contract for
five S-400 ‘Triumf’ missile systems, one of the biggest defence deals in
recent times, after the annual summit between Prime Minister NarendraModi
and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The announcement of the deal, which could attract
sanctions from the United States, was made in a joint statement issued by
both sides. “The sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the
supply of the S-400 long range surface to air missile to India,” said the
However, the two sides failed to conclude two other
major deals, for stealth frigates and assault rifles, that were reportedly
ready, as officials said further negotiations were needed.
It was also the only agreement not included with eight
others exchanged in the presence of Mr.Modi and Mr. Putin, a possible move
to avoid the controversy engendered when the last such deal for Rafale
aircraft in 2015 was announced directly by the Prime Minister.
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil
Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, released a study by the Department of Commerce on
India-China Trade. The report tries to analyse the magnitude, extent and
plausible reasons of India’s rising trade deficit with China.
The Commerce Minister said that India’s trade
relationship with China is unique and no other bilateral trading
relationship evokes as much interest in India as the India-China trade
relationship. From being a small trading partner of India in 2001, within a
span of fifteen years, China has rapidly become India’s biggest trading
Trade between the two countries has been expanding but
India’s trade deficit with China has been growing.
While releasing the study the Minister said that most
industry associations want the Government to pursue a defensive approach to
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and raise tariffs on the doctrine of domestic
markets for domestic producers. Protectionist policies are on the rise
globally. The global use of protectionist measures in 2018 was unprecedented
with the trade wars looming between two of the largest economies of the
The study also underlines the opportunity available
for India in increasing its services exports to China. Indices like Revealed
Comparative Advantage (RCA) and Trade Complementarity Index (TCI) have been
used to analyse the extent of India and China’s competiveness in this arena
and the potential for the future.
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has
confirmed that the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was responsible for lion
deaths in the Gir forest of Gujarat and recommended that the remaining lions
be vaccinated to prevent further outbreaks. This goes against
recommendations by wildlife biologists that wild animals shouldn’t be
“The scientists of ICMR-NIV (ICMR-National Institute
of Virology) have recommended the existing CDV vaccine, which should work as
a protective intervention for Gir lions,” said a press statement on Friday
from the institute.
Though 21 lions reportedly died between September and
October, the Pune-based ICMR-NIV found CDV responsible for the death of five
Asiatic lions in Gir. The genetic sequence of the virus was compared to
available CDV sequences and it was found to be related to the East African
CDV causes a highly contagious and life-threatening
disease in dogs. It also affects different wild carnivores viz., wolves,
foxes, raccoons, red pandas, ferrets, hyenas, tigers, and lions. The
prevalence of this virus and its diversity in wildlife of India has not been