Current Affairs Current Affairs - 17 April 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 17 April 2017

General Affairs 

SC Collegium, Headed By Chief Justice JS Khehar, Clears 51 Names For Appointment As HC Judges
  • The Supreme Court collegium has recommended 51 names for appointment as judges in 10 high courts in the country.

    The collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar cleared the names after finalising the memorandum of procedure (MoP) for the appointment of judges, official sources said.

    The 51 names were cleared by the collegium by trimming a list of 90 names received from the various high court collegiums, they said.

    Of the 51, 20 are judicial officers and 31 are advocates, the sources said. 

    The collegium has recommended the names for the high courts of Bombay, Punjab and Haryana, Patna, Hyderabad (for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh), Delhi and Chhattisgarh. 

    The high courts of Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Gauhati and Sikkim are also expected to get judges if the Centre agrees with the apex court collegium's recommendations.

PM Narendra Modi Leads BJP Show Of Strength In Gujarat's Surat With 10,000 Bikers, Disco Lights
  • Huge television screens, flags, flashy lights and 10,000-bike cavalcade on roads lined with spectators. As the dusk deepened over the skyline of Surat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's homecoming turned out to be roadshow more colourful than the recent ones in Delhi and Odisha. The Prime Minister rode a SUV, standing and waving through its sun-roof, as the frenzied crowds through the 11-km route from airport to the circuit house chanted his name.
    PM Modi has come to Surat for a two-day tour after wrapping up the BJP National Executive in Odisha. This is his eighth visit in nine months to his home state, which is going to polls in November. "He is visiting Surat for the first time after the BJP's landslide victory in the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. We are very excited to receive him," state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani said.

    But ahead of the elections, the roadshow turned out to be a show of strength for the BJP in the backdrop of the Patidar agitation. Thousands of people lined the sidewalks of the route that the Prime Minister took. The entire stretch from the Surat airport to the circuit house was decked up and all government and commercial buildings along the route were illuminated.

    Over the next two days, besides several functions inaugurating hospitals and irrigation projects, the Prime Minister will also address a rally in Katargam area, which has a significant percentage of Patidar population. The BJP, which is seeking a fifth straight term in the state, is facing a challenge from the state's politically powerful Patidar community led by Hardik Patel. Traditional BJP supporters, the Patidar community has been on a collision course with the party after their demand for quota in jobs and education was turned down by the state government.

    Hardik Patel had led the 40-day agitation that shook Gujarat and was suspected to have been the key to the resignation of former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. In December, he had met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to pan for a farmers' rally with a theme of "Modi harao, desh bachao (Vote out Modi, save the nation)". Currently he is Halvad, more than 400 km away, where he attended public meetings with the Patel community.

Lucknow Likely To Host Main Yoga Day Event This Year
  • Lucknow - the City of Nawabs - is likely to host the main event of the International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi may also participate.

    "Lucknow is likely to hold the main event of the International Day of Yoga, which falls on June 21. However, a final decision in this regard is yet to be taken," a senior state BJP leader said.

    He said that the Ayush Ministry has proposed Lucknow as the venue for the main function for IDY celebrations this year and is waiting for final nod from the Prime Minister's Office.

    Earlier, the government was considering Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Ranchi and Bengaluru as possible venues for the event.

    The Union Ayush Ministry is also planning to organise a major yoga event in at least one city in each district across the country.

    The ministry zeroed in on Lucknow as the possible venue at a review meeting on the preparations for the IDY which is observed on June 21.

    The official website of the Ayush ministry on its webpage pertaining to International Day of Yoga also requests the people visiting the page to make the following pledge -- "I pledge to make Yoga an integral part of my daily life." So far, 2.6 lakh visitors have pledged to make Yoga an integral part of their daily life.

    The first IDY celebration was organised at Rajpath in New Delhi on June 21, 2015 in which representatives of 191 countries had participated. Last year, the main function took place in Chandigarh.

    The United Nations General Assembly, heeding to a call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had made a declaration in December 2014 to observe June 21 as IDY every year.

    On March 29, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while addressing the three-day UP Yoga Mahotsava in Lucknow, had said that 'Surya Namaskar' was similar to 'Namaz' (prayers) offered by Muslims and those opposing the yogic exercise wanted to divide the society on religious lines.

    Yogi Adityanath, who had in the past lashed out at a section of Muslims for terming the practice of 'Surya Namaskar' as "un-Islamic", said the Sun salutation was a beautiful example of religious harmony.

    "The namaz offered by Muslims resembles different postures and asanas of surya namaskar including pranayama. What a beautiful example of harmony (between two religions). But some 'bhogis' who do not believe in yoga, indulged in dividing the society on lines of caste, creed, religion and region among others," he said.

    "All asanas (postures) in surya namaskar, pranayama activities are similar to the way Namaz is offered by our Muslim brothers. But nobody ever tried to bring them together because few people were interested only in 'bhoga' not yoga," he said.

    "Before 2014, even talking about Yoga was considered communal. But things changed after Modi took steps to make Yoga popular across the world," he said. 

    Lauding the Prime Minister for making Yoga a global phenomenon, Yogi Adityanath had said, "PM Modi deserves all the credit for the global recognition which Yoga has got. The number of countries which participated in the International Yoga Day celebrations in 2015 was 175, which went up to 192 in the subsequent year," he said.

    Meanwhile, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all universities to organise training programmes on common yoga protocol.

    It has urged university VCs to personally supervise efforts in their institutions and affiliated colleges to make the plan a success.

    Apart from ensuring mass yoga performances on campuses, the universities have been asked to conduct discourses, lectures and talks by eminent yoga experts.

    Prof Jaspal S Sandhu, UGC secretary in a letter (dated April 5) has asked the universities and colleges to take support of reputed yoga institutions for providing instructions to trainers for Yoga Day.

    The letter has been sent to 52 central universities, 357 state varsities, 123 deemed universities and 273 private universities of the country.

    The main programme would be the mass yoga demonstration from 7.00 am to 8.00 am, which will adhere to Common Yoga Protocol (CYP). Other events would include yoga fests, seminars, workshops, musical and cultural programmes.

Maharashtra By-Elections: Poll Panel Extends Voting By 1 Hour For Parbhani, Latur, Chandrapur
  • In the backdrop of prevailing heatwave, the Election Commission has decided to extend the polling time for the April 19 election to Parbhani, Latur and Chandrapur civic bodies in Maharashtra by one hour. 

    The polling for all the three municipal corporations shall be held between 7.30 AM and 6.30 PM on April 19, a notification issued by the State Election Commission said today.

    Also, the campaigning for the civic elections that was to end at 5.30 PM on April 17 has been extended by an hour and the same would now end at 6.30 PM on that day, it said.

    Earlier, as per the schedule given by the Election Commission voting was to be held between 7.30 AM and 5:30 PM. Many political parties had urged the Election Commission to extend the voting time on the ground that the percentage of polling might be affected due to excessive heat during afternoon hours.
    State Election Commission, PRO, Jagdish More, said the voting hours have been extended for the three municipal corporations.

    "There will be no change in voting hours for other municipal corporations like Mira Bhayandar, Bhiwandi and Panvel," the state election commission confirmed.

    The counting will take place on April 21 for all the local bodies.

NASA Just Snapped The First Photos Of A New Crack In One Of Greenland's Largest Glaciers
  • The first photographs of a new and ominous crack in Greenland's enormous Petermann Glacier were captured by a NASA airborne mission Friday.

    NASA's Operation IceBridge, which has been flying over northwest Greenland for the past several days, took the photos after being provided coordinates by Stef Lhermitte, a professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who had spotted the oddly located chasm by examining satellite images.

    The NASA pictures make clear that a significant new rift has opened near the center of the glacier's floating ice shelf -- an unusual location that raises questions about how it formed. Moreover, this crack is not so distant from another much wider and longer crack that has been slowly extending toward the shelf's center from its eastern side wall.

    If the two cracks were to intersect, then a single break would run across more than half of the ice shelf. That might, in turn, cause the piece to begin to break away.
      But in the image NASA also noted another feature in the ice that it termed a "medial flow line" that, it said, "may exert a stagnating effect on the propagation of the new rift toward the older one." So it remains to be seen just how much, and how rapidly, the new rift - which has only just been discovered - could undermine the floating ice shelf.

    Still, there's good precedent for worrying about what could happen at Petermann. When two prior ice islands broke off the glacier in 2010 and 2012 - the 2010 island in particular was extremely large - the events drew major media attention and were even discussed in a hearing before Congress.

    "Last week, an ice sheet covering 100 square miles broke off Greenland," then-Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., the chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said at the opening of the hearing in summer 2010. "This giant ice island is more than four times the size of Manhattan. It is the largest piece of Arctic ice to break free in nearly half a century."

    Those past breaks also caused the glacier's floating ice shelf to become much smaller than it had been before.

    Petermann Glacier has grown back somewhat since the 2010 and 2012 breaks because of its steady flow outward (at a rate that appears to be accelerating somewhat). But if the next piece breaks off, the size of the glacier would plunge once again, according to Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. Box estimates the resulting ice island would be some 50 to 70 square miles in size, or more than twice the size of Manhattan. NASA's Operation IceBridge is a research mission in which instrumented aircraft are flown over ice at both poles - both Greenland and Antarctica - to collect data about the state of polar ice and how it is changing. IceBridge operates over Greenland at this time of year and snapped the photos on what appeared to be a crystal-clear day at the glacier.

    It has also taken recent photos of other nearby glaciers, such as Heilprin and Upernavik, and the state of floating sea ice in the channel between northwestern Greenland and northeastern Canada, in addition to its extensive data-gathering work.

    After seeing the new NASA images, Lhermitte responded that it was "amazing to see the rift from nearby after studying it from space for several days." But, he added, "From these images alone, it is difficult to already say anything about what exactly caused the crack on this unusual spot."

    The crack appeared in the middle of the floating shelf, rather than on one of its sides, as is typical of this glacier -- leading Lhermitte to wonder whether it could have been caused by the ocean waters below the shelf.

    You can bet that scientists will be conducting a great deal more research on this crack, what caused it and whether it might precipitate bigger changes to Petermann Glacier.

Business Affairs 

Cash, ATM management firms may get 100% FDI approval from govt
  • Cash and ATM management companies will soon be allowed to attract 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) as they are not required to comply with the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act (PSARA).
    A clarification to this effect is likely to be issued by the home ministry shortly.

    The clarification will be against the backdrop of the confusion among firms in cash and ATM management relating to compliance with the Act, under which they can receive FDI only up to 49 per cent.
    The issue was discussed at a meeting convened by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) last month.
    "In that meeting, it was decided that the home ministry would be asked to issue a clarification that these companies will not have to comply with PSARA and would be eligible to attract 100 per cent FDI," an official said.
    There are about a dozen cash management players in the country, including Writer Safeguard, SIS Securitas, CMS, Secure Value, Logicash, Brinks Arya, Securitrans and Scientific Security Management Services.
    According to experts, companies managing cash for banks have so far been caught in a policy tangle, with the home ministry insisting that 100 per cent FDI could not be allowed for them if they provide private security guards or armoured vehicles.
    Companies that make devices such as currency authenticators and sorting and currency counting machines will also benefit from this clarification, they added. Several players, including TVS Electronics and ITI, are in such businesses.
    Cash Management companies handle over Rs 40,000 crore of cash per day.
    The government in 2015 permitted 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route for white label ATM operations with an aim to promote financial inclusion.
    FDI into the country grew 22 per cent to $35.85 billion during April-December of 2016-17.
    Foreign investment is considered crucial for India, which needs around $1 trillion for overhauling its infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth.
    A strong inflow of foreign investments also helps improve balance of payments and strengthen the rupee against other global currencies, especially the dollar.

Finance Ministry okays 8.65 percent interest on Employees Provident Fund
  • The Finance Ministry is believed to have permitted the Labour Ministry to go ahead with 8.65 per cent rate of interest on employees' provident fund for 2016-17, which will benefit over four crore EPFO members. The Finance Ministry in its communication to the Labour Ministry has, however, put a rider that the interest rate should not result in a deficit for the retirement fund. This will enable the Labour Ministry to provide 8.65 per cent rate as decided by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) trustees.
    According to EPFO estimates, the fund will see a surplus after providing 8.65 per cent interest rate for the last fiscal.
    A reluctant Finance Ministry had been nudging the Labour Ministry to lower the EPF rate to below 8.65 per cent as approved by the EPFO trustees in December last year.
    "The Finance Ministry in its recommendation to the Labour Ministry said it is up to the latter to decide on what interest rate should be given. However, it should be ensured that there should not be any deficit to the fund," according to a source.
    "The Finance Ministry had earlier suggested an EPF rate slightly lower than approved by the trustees as it wanted the interest to be aligned with the rates of small savings," added the source.
    Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has been maintaining that the EPFO subscribers would be provided 8.65 per cent rate of interest for 2016-17.
    "The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) had decided to give 8.65 percent. Our ministry keeps on discussing with the Finance Ministry. We would have surplus of Rs 158 crore on providing 8.65 per cent," Dattatreya had said earlier last week when asked whether the Finance Ministry is making a case for lowering the interest rate.
    "If need be, I will talk to them (the Finance Ministry). I have requested them to approve 8.65 percent. In any case, this amount (interest income) will be given to workers," the minister had said.
    As per the practice, the board's decision is concurred by the Finance Ministry after evaluating whether the EPFO would be able to provide the rate approved by trustees through its own income or not.
    Once the Finance Ministry ratifies the rate of interest approved by the CBT, it is credited to the account of EPFO members for that particular financial year.
    The Finance Ministry had last year also decided to lower the EPF interest rate of 8.8 percent for 2015-16, decided by the CBT, to 8.7 per cent. The decision had drawn flak from all quarters forcing the government to uphold 8.8 per cent.
    The Finance Ministry has been asking the Labour Ministry to rationalise the EPF interest rate in view of lowering of returns on various administered saving schemes like PPF.
    The government generally ratifies the rate of return approved by the CBT because the EPFO is an autonomous body and provides interest on EPF deposits from its own income.

Centre, states taxmen to decide services rate in GST this week
  • Tax officials of the central and state governments will this week hold their maiden meeting on devising a formula for tax rate to be levied on services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime from July 1. While the GST Council had previously decided on a four- tier rate structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent, its fitment committee will hold its first meeting this week on slotting different services in one of the slabs, a senior official told PTI.
    The task before the panel is to keep the impact of GST on inflation and prices near neutral or zero.
    The fitment committee is likely to hold more meetings before GST Council's meeting on May 18-19 where tax rates for different products and services are to be finalised so as to enable roll out of the biggest tax reform from July 1.
    "The fitment committee will start with deciding on tax rates on services. Since the Centre alone has the power to levy service tax under the current regime, fixing of the tax rate on services would be an easier task," the official said.
    The official said that most of the services where both VAT and service tax were levied would be fit around the standard rate of 18 per cent, while those on which only 12.5 per cent VAT was levied would be brought to 12 per cent.
    Also services provided by transportation and logistics players would be fitted in 12 per cent bracket, while services in 9 per cent bracket could be fitted in 12 per cent, the official said.
    Tax rate which is closest to the present incidence of tax on a good or service will be chosen with a view to keeping the shift from the present regime of excise duty plus VAT or service tax to a new uniform GST neutral for consumers.
    The official said tax rates will be decided in a fashion to keep their impact on inflation as well as revenues to the government near neutral.
    Once tax rates on services are decided, the fitment committee will meet again after a fortnight or so to decide on tax rates on goods before a full report of the panel is put up for consideration before the GST Council in its May 18-19 meeting in Srinagar.
    The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister and comprising state representatives as members, would kick start the discussion on rates in the May meeting and the final fitment would be done by June.
    Under the current regime, the Centre has the power to levy tax on production of goods (except liquor for human consumption, opium, narcotics) while the states have the power to levy tax on sale of goods.
    In the case of inter-state sales, the Centre has the power to levy a tax (the Central Sales Tax) but, the tax is collected and retained entirely by the originating states.
    Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had earlier said that the Centre will make a strong case to the GST Council for not touching services that are out of tax net currently, it will also pitch for keeping concessional rate for services like transport at the current level.
    Currently, there are 17 items in negative list of services on which tax is not levied.
    On top of that there are over 60 services, like religious pilgrimage, healthcare, education, skill development, journalistic activities which are exempt from service tax.
    The official further said that once goods and services are fitted in tax brackets, the fitment committee will work out the inflation impact. While fitting an item, effort will be made to keep it at the closest possible bracket in which it is at present to keep impact on inflation at minimal.
    "While it is given that there will be some impact on inflation to begin with but in 6-8 months as companies analyse the GST impact on sales and start passing on the benefits of tax rate reduction to consumers, inflation would come down," the official added.
    Nangia & Co Director (Indirect Taxation) Rajat Mohan said currently taxes on services are levied by the central government at a general rate of 15 per cent.
    "We expect going forward this rate of tax would increase to 18 per cent. This will give rise to a marginal increase in budgets vis-a-vis your phone bills, internet bills, professional services, consultant services, rent on commercial buildings, the supply of manpower, cosmetic surgery, interior decorator services, security agency services, etc," he said.
    Also there are some service sectors which are taxed at a rate lower than 15 per cent like transportation of goods or passenger by Indian railway at 4.5 per cent, service by way of supply of food in restaurants, hotel (10.5 per cent), transportation of goods by transportation agency or radio taxi at (4.5-6 per cent), tour operator services (9 per cent), construction of complex (4.5 per cent), economic class air- fare (6 per cent), business class air-fare (9 per cent).
    Such services should be put in tax brackets of 5 per cent or 12 per cent and not in the bracket of 18 per cent.
    "The government would like to restrict the inflationary impact of GST which could be done only by ring-fencing all such services in the tax bracket close to the current rate of taxes," Mohan added.
    He said countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand and Malaysia, witnessed a one-time increase in inflation for a very short period after GST implementation, that was normalised eventually.

      Merger with BSNL desirable for strong pan-India play: MTNL CMD P K Purwar
      • The merger of BSNL and MTNL is "desirable" for operational synergy and even the fiercely- competitive telecom market necessitates such a combination for a stronger pan-India play, a top MTNL official has said. The comment comes amid what seems to be a renewed push for BSNL-MTNL merger with a Parliamentary panel report recently noting that the Telecom Department plans to place the merger proposal before the Cabinet by June. "The industry is consolidating. It is not an issue of BSNL and MTNL…for any operator to succeed in India a pan India operation is a must," MTNL CMD P K Purwar told PTI.
        BSNL-MTNL merger is a "desirable situation", he said.
        Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, however, said in a written reply in Parliament that there was no such proposal at present for the merger of BSNL and MTNL.
        Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) offers services in Delhi and Mumbai. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), on the other hand, operates across rest of India.
        "The days of marginal operators are over…you have to have pan-India operations," Purwar emphasised citing the spate of mergers in the industry including Airtel-Telenor, RCom- Aircel and Vodafone-Idea Cellular.
        "I think it is the necessity of the market not just requirement of one entity versus another entity," he said.
        Purwar felt that there are operational synergies between the two telecom PSUs and that merger is a natural outcome for realising their full potential.
        "Also to provide a better customer interface, merger is desirable," said the MTNL CMD said.
        His counterpart in BSNL had recently said BSNL-MTNL combination will be "advantageous" for both firms, given the synergies in areas like enterprise and mobile businesses.
        However in the same breath, BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava had pointed out that issues pertaining to debt and salary structure will have to be sorted out first.
        Purwar said such issues can be resolved. The debt issue can be sorted out if MTNL's surplus land and buildings along with debt are hived off into a separate company.
        "…So the merged entity should not carry any debt…the health of the merged entity needs to be such that it can compete with the market on an equal footing," Purwar said, adding that discussions can be held both in BSNL and MTNL to lay down a roadmap where the payscale can be brought on a similar footing.
        In 2015-16, MTNL reported a total annual revenue of Rs 3,197.41 crore and net loss of Rs 2,005.72 crore.
        The total debt of MTNL reached Rs 19,418.23 crore at the end of December 31, 2016, according to official data.
        The losses of BSNL have narrowed to Rs 4,890 crore for the first nine-month period of the current fiscal, from Rs 6,121 crore in the year-ago period.
        It posted a 5.8 per cent increase in income from services at Rs 19,379.6 crore during the period under review.
        BSNL and MTNL had a market share of about 9 per cent of the total wireless subscriber base of 1.12 billion, as of December 31, as per telecom regulator Trai.

      Credit growth plunges to over 60 year low at 5% in FY17
      • Saddled with high bad debt and weak corporate demand, credit growth plunged to a whopping six-decade low of 5.08 per cent in the financial year 2016-17, as against 10.7 per cent a year ago, according to the Reserve Bank data. For the year to March, banks' outstanding credit stood at Rs 78.81 trillion compared to Rs 75.01 trillion as of April 1 2016, show the central bank data. The numbers are surprising as the economy has been clipping at close to 7 per cent during the year under review and interest rates have been heading south. One main reason for the massive plunge is the rising corporate bond market from where companies are tapping funds even for working capital as most of them could have been turned away by banks due to their over-leveraged balance sheets.
        It can be noted that the credit growth in financial year 2016-17 is the lowest since 1953-54 when it had inched up by a paltry 1.7 per cent, according to the apex bank data. In the year to March 2016, banks reported a credit growth of 10.69 per cent at Rs 75.30 trillion. According to domestic rating agency Icra, the outlook on the asset quality of the banking sector seems to be weak even as the fresh non-performing asset (NPA) generation rate continues to show signs of moderation.
        The annualised fresh NPA generation declined to 4.1 per cent during the third quarter of 2016-17 compared to 10.7 per cent during the fourth quarter of the financial year 2015 -16, 6.1 per cent during the first quarter of 2016-17 and 5.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2016-17, Icra had said in a report. Fresh NPA additions to gross NPAs during Q3 of fiscal 2017 inched down to Rs 26,400 crore compared to Rs 1.36 trillion during the first nine months of the fiscal 2017, partly aided by higher write-offs during the last quarter.
        Icra has projected gross NPAs to increase to Rs 7.5-7.7 trillion or 9.7-10 per cent for March 2017 and Rs 8.2-8.5 trillion or 9.9-10.3 per cent for fiscal 2018 with upside risks in case of slower resolution of SDR accounts, leading to higher slippages. Warning of more pains on the restructured accounts, especially those under the 2/25 scheme, Icra said, of the 40 large borrowers with a total debt of Rs 3.16 trillion, 29 per cent of the debt turned NPA till December 2016.
        Bank deposits, however, grew by 11.75 per cent during fiscal 2017, helped by the large flow of funds into the banking system after demonetisation of high-value notes last November. Outstanding bank deposits stood at Rs 108.05 trillion as of March 31, 2017, as against Rs 96.68 trillion on April 1, 2016. Last financial year deposits grew 9.72 percent. It can be noted that the banking system is saddled with close to Rs 14 trillion of bad loans, including that turned dud after restructuring. This is almost 15 per cent of the system.

        General Awareness

        Hanchinal receives 6th M.S. Swaminathan Award

        • The 6th edition of M.S. Swaminathan Award for honouring outstanding contribution in the field of agriculture has been given to Rayappa Ramappa Hanchinal – Chairperson of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority.
          • This award has been given to Dr. Hanchinal for his contributions and continuous efforts in areas of seed production technology, crop improvement for hot and very hot dry environments and intellectual protection rights in plant varieties.
          • The Award was presented by C. Parthasarathy – Secretary, Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of Telangana, and M. Prabhakar Rao – CMD of Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL), on April 14, 2017 at a function in Hyderabad.
          • For this edition of M.S. Swaminathan Award, 21 nominations were received, which were assessed by a 6-member selection committee.
          Accomplishments of Dr. R.R. Hanchinal:
          Hanchinal has been an advisor to Govt. of Indonesia for development of field crop research.
          • He has served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agricultural Sciences at Dharwad in Karnataka.
          • While serving as seed production specialist for USAID and ICRISAT, Dr. Hanchinal played an instrumental role in organising commercial seed industry in West Africa
          About M.S. Swaminathan Award:
          This award has been named after S. Swaminathan, the ‘Father of Green Revolution’ in India.
          • It is considered to be the most prestigious award that honors remarkable contribution in the field of agriculture, animal sciences and fisheries
          • The award was instituted by Retired ICAR Employees Association (RICAREA) in association with the Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL) and is presented biennially.
          • The award comprises a medal, citation and cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh.

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