National conference on biodiversity, plant genetic resource conservation
- A two-day national conference on ‘Biodiversity and plant genetic resource (PGR) conservation for future’ will be held at the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shivamogga, on March 15 and 16.
- 150 agriculture scientists and research scholars from agriculture universities across the nation will take part in the event.
- The sessions on agro-biodiversity and poverty alleviation; ethno-botany and biodiversity; bio-prospecting for sustainable and equitable use will be held to mark the event.
- here will be oral presentations of 35 research papers at the event. In addition, arrangements have been made for poster presentations of 100 research papers
Extant plant varieties
- Farmers can get the extant plant varieties that are part of their traditional food and agricultural practices registered with PPVFRA.
- New plant breeds developed by farmers will also be registered with PPVFRA after subjecting the breeds to tests for distinctiveness, uniformity and stability (DUS).
- After the registration, the breeders will get authority over plant varieties developed by them. It is mandatory to take the permission of the breeders and pay proper remuneration for them for commercial utilisation of the registered plant varieties.
30 more breeds
- The Shivamogga centre of PPVFRA commenced functioning in May 2017 and so far, four plant breeds developed by farmers have been registered with it.
- 30 more breeds developed by farmers are likely to get registered at the Shivamogga centre shortly.
DAM REHABILITATION AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (DRIP)
Why in news?
The World Bank, Government of India and representatives from the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand signed Loan Agreement for additional financing of $137 Million for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) that will help rehabilitate and modernize over 220 selected large dams.
Why is it important?
- India is home to more than 5200 large dams and another 400 that are under construction having a total storage capacity of more than 300 billion cubic meters. Rainfall, which occurs mainly in intense and unpredictable downpours within short monsoon seasons, is of high temporal and spatial variability and does not meet year-round irrigation and other water demands. Considering this, storage of water is essential for India.The dams play a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural and rural growth and development – a key priority for the Government of India since independence.
- These dams benefit millions of people who rely on their waters for livelihood, and therefore need to be strengthened with more investment in their operations and maintenance. Flood protection measures in many dams need to be supported as well, as their failure could pose serious risks to downstream communities.
About the agreement
- The Loan Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; and Mr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank, and the representatives from the State Governments of Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
- The additional funding of $137 million signed today will be used for construction of an additional spillway for Hirakud Dam in Odisha State as well as continue to help in rehabilitation and improvement of other dams including strengthening the institutional, legal and technical framework for dam safety assurance within the Government of India and in the participating States.
- The World Bank has so far invested $280 million in the Project that acts as a “lighthouse”, showcasing how best to make dams fully operational and safe in a technically sound and sustainable manner.
- The $137 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 3-year grace period, and a final maturity of 16 years.