UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 1-May-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. GI Tag to Manipur Black Rice, Gorakhpur Terracotta and Kovilpatti Kadalai

  2. Virus was not manmade: U.S. agencies 

  3. India must open its economy in a quick, measured way, says Raghuram Rajan



GI TAG TO MANIPUR BLACK RICE, GORAKHPUR TERRACOTTA AND KOVILPATTI KADALAI

Why in news?

  • Chak-Hao, which is a black rice variety of Manipur, Gorakhpur terracotta and Kovilpatti Kadalai of Tamil Nadu have bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. 


Highlights:

Chak-Hao:

  • Chak-Hao, a scented glutinous rice which has been in cultivation in Manipur over centuries, is characterised by its special aroma. It is normally eaten during community feasts and is served as Chak-Hao kheer.

  • Chak-Hao has also been used by traditional medical practitioners as part of traditional medicine.

  • According to the GI application filed, this rice takes the longest cooking time of 40-45 minutes due to the presence of a fibrous bran layer and higher crude fibre content.

  • At present, the traditional system of Chak-Hao cultivation is practised in some pockets of Manipur. Direct sowing of pre-soaked seeds and also transplantation of rice seedlings raised in nurseries in puddled fields are widely practised in the State’s wetlands.


Terracotta, Gorakhpur :

  • The terracotta work of Gorakhpur is a centuries-old traditional art form, where the potters make various animal figures like, horses, elephants, camel, goat and ox with hand-applied ornamentation. 

  • Some of the major products of craftsmanship include the Hauda elephants, Mahawatdar horse, deer, camel, five-faced Ganesha, singled-faced Ganesha, elephant table, chandeliers and hanging bells. 

  • Kovilpatti Kadalai :

  • Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is a candy made of peanuts held together with glistening syrup, and topped with wisps of grated coconut dyed pink, green and yellow. 

  • It is made using all natural ingredients such as the traditional and special ‘vellam’ (jaggery) and groundnuts and water from the river Thamirabarani is used in the production, which enhances the taste naturally.

  • There are more than 300 GI tag products in India. Darjeeling Tea was the first product to get this recognition.

  • GI tag is provided by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce.


Source : Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/gi-tag-to-manipur-black-rice-gorakhpur-terracotta/article31475958.ece )


VIRUS WAS NOT MANMADE: U.S. AGENCIES

Why in news?

  • U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the new coronavirus was “not manmade or genetically modified” but say they are still examining whether the origins of the pandemic trace to contact with infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab.


Highlights:

  • "The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified,” said the statement.

  • “The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

  • Scientists say the virus arose naturally in bats. Even so, Mr. Pompeo and others have pointed fingers at an institute that is run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  • The Chinese government said on Thursday that any claims that the coronavirus was released from a laboratory are “unfounded and purely fabricated out of nothing.” 


Source : AL Jazeera ( https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/spy-agencies-evidence-coronavirus-man-200430142921360.html )



INDIA MUST OPEN ITS ECONOMY IN A QUICK, MEASURED WAY, SAYS RAGHURAM RAJAN

Why in news?

  • Rajan’s comments come amid the covid-19 crisis, which led to mass reverse migration of daily-wage earners who lost their jobs soon after India announced a nationwide lockdown, and experts and industry leaders urging the government to provide a big stimulus package in view of the concerns over the economy contracting in FY21.


Highlights:

  • The Centre must announce a  ₹65,000 crore package to support the poor, and open up the economy quickly, but in a measured way, to save jobs, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday.

  • We need to open up in a measured way, but as fast as possible, so that people will have jobs. We do not have the capacity to support people across the spectrum for too long

  • Earlier this week, former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian warned that policy makers should brace for a significant contraction in economy this financial year. 

  • The economic cost of a prolonged lockdown aimed at saving lives poses a major challenge for the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which promised to double farmers’ income and bring one-fifth of India’s 1.3 billion people out of poverty.


Source : Livemint ( https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-must-reopen-its-economy-quickly-but-in-a-measured-way-raghuram-rajan-11588222396396.html )


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