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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Farmer Produce Organisation( FPO)

Producer Organisation is a legal entity formed by primary producers, viz. farmers, milk producers, fishermen, weavers, rural artisans, craftsmen.

  • FPO can be a producer company, a cooperative society or any other legal form which provides for sharing of profits/benefits among the members.
  • Through formation of FPOs, farmers will have better collective strength for better access to quality input, technology, credit and better marketing access through economies of scale for better realization of income.

Initially there will be three implementing Agencies to form and promote FPOs, namely

  1. Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC),
  2. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
  3. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

States may also, if so desire, nominate their Implementing Agency in consultation with DAC & FW.

  • DAC&FW will allocate Cluster/States to Implementing Agencies which in turn will form the Cluster-Based Business Organization in the States.
  • FPOs will be formed and promoted through Cluster-Based Business Organizations (CBBOs) engaged at the State/Cluster level by implementing agencies.
  • The CBBOs will have five categories of specialists from the domain of Crop husbandry, Agri marketing / Value addition and processing, Social mobilisation, Law & Accounts and IT/MIS.
  • Initially the minimum number of members in FPO will be 300 in plain area and 100 in North East & hilly areas.
  • However, DAC&FW may revise the minimum number of membership-based on experience/need with approval of Union Agriculture Minister.
  • Priority will be given for formation of FPOs in aspirational districts in the country with at least one FPO in each block of aspirational districts.
  • Recently Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for 10,000 FPOs to be formed in five years period from 2019-20 to 2023-24 to ensure economies of scale for farmers.
  • Support to each FPO be continued for 5 years from its year of inception

Bio -Medical Waste

Why in News?

As informed by Central Pollution Control Board and as per Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, Bio-medical waste is required to be segregated in 4 color coded waste categories, and the same is treated and disposed as per the specified methods of disposal prescribed under Schedule I of the Rules.

  • Bio-medical waste generated from the hospitals shall be treated and disposed by Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility.
  • In case there is no common facility in the reach of a healthcare facility, then such healthcare facility should install captive treatment and disposal facility.
  • There are 200 authorized Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities (CBWTFs) in 28 States for environmentally safe disposal of biomedical waste.
  • Remaining 7 States namely Goa, Andaman Nicobar, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim do not have CBWTFs.
  • Every healthcare facility, both bedded and non-bedded is required to take authorization from concerned State Pollution Control Board for management of Biomedical waste.
  • As per annual report for the year 2018, there are 2,60,889 number of healthcare facilities generating about 608 MT per day of Bio-medical Waste, out of which 528 MT of Bio-medical Waste is treated and disposed through either CBWTF or Captive disposal facility.

Types of Bio-medical waste:

  • Human anatomical waste like tissues, organs and body parts.
  • Animal wastes generated during research from veterinary hospitals.
  • Microbiology and biotechnology wastes.
  • Waste sharps like hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpels and broken glass.
  • Discarded medicines and cytotoxic drugs.

Assisted Reproductive Technology  Regulation Bill

Why in News?

Cabinet has recently cleared Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill . It aims to regulate IVF clinics.

Overview and key features of the Bill:

  1. It would lead to the creation of a national board to lay down and implement a code of conduct for people working at IVF clinics.
  2. Determines the minimum standardsof physical infrastructure, laboratory, diagnostic equipment and expert manpower to be employed by ART clinics and banks.
  3. The bill intends to make genetic testing of the embryo mandatory before implantation for the benefit of the child born through ART.
  4. It also seeks to streamline the cryo-preservation processes for sperm, oocytes and embryo.
  5. It also proposes to constitute a national registry and registration authority to maintain a central database and assist the national board in its functioning.
  6. The bill proposes stringent punishment for those “practising sex selection, sale of human embryos or gametes and running agencies/rackets/organisations for such unlawful practices.


According to a registry maintained by the Indian Council of Medical Research, there are 1,269 ART clinics in India (as on November, 2019). The number swells up to 1,846 when ART clinics and ART banks are taken together. Maharashtra has the maximum number of ART clinics (266) followed by Tamil Nadu (164), Delhi (113), Karnataka (102), Uttar Pradesh (92) and Gujarat (80). 

Need for a legislation in this regard:

The need to regulate the ART services is to protect the affected women and children from exploitation. Registration with the ICMR is a voluntary exercise at the moment because of which many clinics don’t take the trouble and prefer opacity while offering infertility treatment.


The major benefit of the act would be regulation of the assisted reproductive technology services in the country. Consequently, infertile couples will be more ensured and confident of the ethical practices in ART clinics.

What is ART? Why it is in demand?

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), as commonly understood, comprises procedures such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intra-uterine insemination (IUI), oocyte and sperm donation, cryopreservation and includes surrogacy as well.

Social stigma of being childless and lengthy adoption processes has increased the demand for ART in India. It is thus not surprising that the ART industry is expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 10%.

Facts For Prelims

Interest Subvention Scheme:

  • The interest subvention scheme for farmers aims at providing short term credit to farmers at a subsidised interest rate.
  • The interest subvention will be given to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Sector Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) on use of own funds and to NABARD for refinancing to RRBs and Cooperative Banks.
  • In India Interest Subvention Scheme is being implemented by NABARD and RBI.

Recently union government under Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) announced Interest subvention up to 2.5% to NABARD from 2019-20 to 2030-31.


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