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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 2-May-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Lockdown extended till 17th

  2. Kashmir saffron gets GI tag

  3. Delhi Minorities Commission chairman booked under sedition charges


Why in news?

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday issued new guidelines allowing considerable relaxations across red, orange and green zones, based on the evidence of COVID-19 infection, even though it extended the countrywide lockdown till May 17. 


  • The lockdown, imposed first on March 24 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, was to end on May 3. 

  • The MHA asked local authorities to ensure 100% coverage of the Aarogya Setu app among the residents in the containment zones.

  • In green zones, buses can operate with up to 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with up to 50% capacity, the MHA said.

  • In orange zones, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted to ply with only one passenger. Inter-district movement of vehicles will be allowed in orange zones for permitted activities and cars could have maximum two passengers besides the driver, and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.

  • In red zones, other than the containment zones, private cars will be allowed only for permitted activities with a maximum of two persons other than the driver but no pillion riders in two-wheelers.

  • Irrespective of zones, however, all forms of other public transport — air, rail, metro and inter-State movement by road — will remain suspended except those allowed in select cases.

Source : Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-mha-extends-lockdown-for-another-two-weeks-effective-may-4/article31482647.ece )


Why in news?

  • Kashmir saffron, which is cultivated and harvested in the Karewa (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir, has been given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry. 


  • The spice is grown in some regions of Kashmir, including Pulwama, Budgam, Kishtwar and Srinagar.

  • Kashmir saffron is a very precious and costly product. Iran is the largest producer of saffron and India is a close competitor. With the GI tag, Kashmir saffron would gain more prominence in the export market

  • Kashmir saffron is renowned globally as a spice. It rejuvenates health and is used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes.

  • It has been associated with traditional Kashmiri cuisine and represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.

  • The unique characteristics of Kashmir saffron are its longer and thicker stigmas, natural deep-red colour, high aroma, bitter flavour, chemical-free processing, and high quantity of crocin (colouring strength), safranal (flavour) and picrocrocin (bitterness).

  • It is the only saffron in the world grown at an altitude of 1,600 m to 1,800 m AMSL (above mean sea level). 

The saffron available in Kashmir is of three types —

  • ‘Lachha Saffron’, with stigmas just separated from the flowers and dried without further processing;

  • ‘Mongra Saffron’, in which stigmas are detached from the flower, dried in the sun and processed traditionally; and

  • ‘Guchhi Saffron’, which is the same as Lachha, except that the latter’s dried stigmas are packed loosely in air-tight containers while the former has stigmas joined together in a bundle tied with a cloth thread.

Source : Times of India ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/kashmir-saffron-gets-gi-tag/articleshow/75491695.cms )


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