Daily PIB News (June 15-16, 2020): Webinar on Agroforestry Organised; India joins Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI)

Webinar on Agroforestry Organised

A webinar was organized on 13th June 2020 to discuss ways and means to connect agroforestry farmers to industry and sensitise implementing States to assist farmers in making the correct choice of species.

  • Prime Minister’s call for Vocal for our Local is of great relevance to agroforestry too.
  • Agroforestry could contribute to stepping up supply of raw material to industry to reduce import dependency in some crucial commodities.
  • The earlier notion of agroforestry meaning only timber species needs to have a relook from farmers and industry point of view.
  • Timber trees have long maturity period and hence delays returns to the farmers. Whereas there are number of rising sectors which would ensure quick returns to farmers as well as fulfill industry requirements, including medicinal and aromatic plants, silk, lac, paper and pulp, tree borne oil seeds for production of bio-fuels, etc.
  • India became the first country in the world to formulate a National Agroforestry Policy in 2014.
  • As a follow up, the Sub Mission for Agroforestry was launched in 2015 to assist the States in encouraging farmers to adopt tree planting along with crops. 
  • Agro climatic zone wise agroforestry models have been developed by research institutions, including ICAR and ICFRE. The scheme is currently being implemented in 21 States of the country.

“Pavitrapati”: DIAT Develops Virus Neutraliser Face Mask

  • Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DU) has developed biodegradable face mask based on Nanofibres of Ayurvedic products which acts a virus neutraliser and resist the bacteria and has named it “Pavitrapati”. 
  • The mask made from herbal extracts like Neem Oil, Turmeric, Krishna Tulsi, Ajwain, Black Pepper, Gum Arabic, Clove, Sandalwood, Saffron in the fibre that provides antibacterial and anti-viral properties. 

India Joins Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI)

India on June 15 joined the league of leading economies including USA, UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore to launch the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay). 

  • GPAI is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.
  • This is also a first initiative of its type for evolving better understanding of the challenges and opportunities around AI using the experience and diversity of participating countries.
  • In order to achieve this goal, the initiative will look to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities.
  • In collaboration with partners and international organizations, GPAI will bring together leading experts from industry, civil society, governments, and academia to collaborate to promote responsible evolution of AI and will also evolve methodologies to show how AI can be leveraged to better respond to the present global crisis around COVID-19.
  • GPAI will be supported by a Secretariat, to be hosted by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, as well as by two Centers of Expertise- one each in Montreal and Paris.
  • By joining GPAI as a founding member, India will actively participate in the global development of Artificial Intelligence, leveraging upon its experience around use of digital technologies for inclusive growth.

Indian Gas Exchange Launched

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX), first nationwide online delivery-based gas trading platform, in an e-ceremony on June 15.

  • IGX will be a delivery-based trading platform for delivery of natural Gas.
  • Incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the IEX – India’s energy market platform, IGX will enable market participants to trade in standardised gas contracts.
  • The platform is fully automated with web-based interface to provide seamless trading experience to the customers.