Factly articles for November 30, 2020

State of Food and Agriculture Report 2020

News: Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) has released a report titled “State of Food and Agriculture Report 2020”.


  • Aim: The report aims to present new estimates on the pervasiveness of water scarcity in irrigated agriculture and of water shortages in rainfed agriculture, as well as on the number of people affected.

Key Takeaways:

  • Water stress: About 1.2 billion people globally experienced very high levels of water stress.From these, nearly half live in Southern Asia and about 460 million live in Eastern and South-eastern Asia.
  • Drought affected areas: About 11% of the world’s rainfed cropland or 128 million hectares face frequent drought.
  • Freshwater: The annual amount of available freshwater resources per person had declined by more than 20% in the past two decades.


  • Achieving efficient, equitable and sustainable water use in agriculture.
  • Transparent water accounting and auditing
  • Making better use of rainwater in rainfed areas
  • Investing in sustainable irrigation for improved water productivity
  • Investing in non-consumptive uses of water – for instance in aquaculture – and in non-conventional sources of water such as water reuse and desalination.


India International Science Festival(IISF-2020)

News: The 6th India International Science Festival is going to be held in a Virtual format.


  • IISF 2020: It was launched in 2015 to promote Science and Technology and demonstrate how science could lead India towards a developed nation within a short span of time.
  • Aim: To engage the public with science and celebrate the joy of science and show the ways how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) provide us with the solutions to improve our lives.
  • Organized by: Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences in association with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA).
  • Theme: “Science for Self Reliant India and Global Welfare”

Additional Facts:

  • CuRED or CSIR Ushered Repurposed Drugs: It is a website launched by CSIR to provide information about the drugs, diagnostics and devices including the current stage of the trials, partnering institutions and their role in the trials and other details.

Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope(GMRT)

News: The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope(GMRT) has been selected as a ‘Milestone’ facility by the U.S.-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE).


  • GMRT: It is an array of radio telescopes operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics(NCRA), a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research,Mumbai.
  • Objective: To investigate a variety of radio astrophysical problems ranging from our nearby Solar system to the edge of the observable Universe.
  • Location: Pune, Maharashtra.

Government Launches Mission COVID Suraksha

News: Government of India (GOI) has launched the Mission COVID Suraksha- The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission.


  • Aim: To accelerate preclinical & clinical development by establishing clinical trial sites and strengthening existing immunoassay laboratories, central laboratories and suitable facilities for animal studies, production facilities and other test facilities to support Covid-19 vaccine development.
  • Implementation: The mission is led by the Department of Biotechnology and implemented by a dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council(BIRAC).

Additional Facts:

  • BIRAC: It is a not-for-profit state owned enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to strategically empower emerging biotech companies.

Global Innovation and Technology Alliance(GITA)

News: Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) celebrated its 9th Foundation Day with the theme ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’(Self-Reliant India).


  • Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA): It is a Public Private Partnership(PPP) company promoted jointly by the Technology Development Board(TDB), Department of Science & Technology(DST) and the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII).
  • Aim: To strengthen India’s innovation ecosystem through supporting and enabling technology and innovation driven enterprises.

Additional Facts:

  • Technology Development Board(TDB): It is a statutory body established in 1996 by the Ministry of Science and Technology under the Technology Development Board Act,1995.
  • Objective: To provide financial assistance to Indian industrial concerns and other agencies attempting development and commercial application of indigenous technology or adapting imported technology to wider domestic applications.
  • Composition: It consists of 11 members with Secretary, Department of Science & Technology as Ex-officio Chairperson.

India signs pact for building dam in Afghanistan

News: India has signed an agreement with Afghanistan for building the Shahtoot Dam in Afghanistan.


  • Shahtoot Dam: It is a proposed dam in the Kabul river basin, one of the five river basins in Afghanistan.This project will provide drinking, irrigation and Environmental water for Kabul province.


U.S. second biggest FDI source for India during April-September 2020

News: The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT) has released the data on the Foreign direct investment(FDI) into India.


  • The Foreign direct investment(FDI) inflows has increased by 15% to $30 billion during April-September compared to $26 billion the corresponding period last year.
  • Singapore continues to be the top source of FDI for India followed by the United States, Cayman Islands and Mauritius.

Additional Facts:

  • Foreign direct investment(FDI): It is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country.It is thus distinguished from a foreign portfolio investment by a notion of direct contro