As told to Parliament (December 21, 2021): Drought, salt-stress tolerant rice varieties to be introduced soon

All that was discussed in the House through the day
As told to Parliament (December 21, 2021): Drought, salt-stress tolerant rice varieties to be introduced soon

Rice varieties MTU1010, Swarna, Naveen and HKR127 have been edited for specific genes for drought and salt stress tolerance and high yield, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare told the Lok Sabha December 21, 2021.

These new lines are at the stage of laboratory evaluation, the minister shared. Three years of field evaluation trial at multiple locations is required for their release as new varieties, he added.  

No decline in fish biodiversity

There is no such report regarding 30 per cent reduction in fish biodiversity in the main channel of Ganga river, Parshottam Rupala, Union minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying told the Lok Sabha. He received this information from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Further, the studies of ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Kolkata have reported 175 fish species from the main channel during 2017 and 190 fish species during 2020, according to the minister.

ICAR-CIFRI has also undertaken a detailed study on the fish and fisheries of river Ganga and socio-economic status of the fisherfolks of 75 villages adjacent to river Ganga, Rupala said.

During 2017-2021, ICAR-CIFRI undertook 66 river-ranching programmes in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. They released 4.2 million major Indian carps (catla, rohu and mrigal) and calbasu fingerlings as well as 50,000 fingerlings of mahaseer, prawn, singhi and bata for conservation of fish species in Ganga river, the minister added. The project is supported by the National Mission for Clean Ganga, he said.

Use of e-vehicles on the rise

There are about 877,000 active electric vehicles on Indian roads as on December 8, 2021, according to the e-vahan portal (Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways), said Krishan Pal Gurjar, Union minister of state for heavy industries told the Lok Sabha.

The use of electric vehicles is increasing in the country, he added. 

'Antibiotics dosage for animals cannot be uniform'

There is no fixed dosage of medicines like antibiotics given to animals with illness,  Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union minister of state for health and family welfare told the Rajya Sabha December 21, 2021. The minister received the information from the department of animal husbandry and dairying.

It depends on the type of disease, the severity of disease, species of animals, route of administration, among other factors, he added.

To control antibiotics and veterinary drugs in food, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has prescribed maximum residue limits for antibiotics and veterinary drugs in animal food products such as meat, milk, egg, chicken under Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011, Pawar noted. 

Further, certain antibiotics and veterinary drugs have been banned and cannot be used at any processing stage of animal origin food, he added.

Punjab recorded 4 deaths due to oxygen shortage

The Punjab government shared that four suspected deaths occurred in the state due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, all of them in one private hospital in Amritsar district, Pawar told the Rajya Sabha. 

The Union government had sought data from states / Union territories regarding deaths of COVID-19 patients due to oxygen shortage across the country during the second surge of the pandemic, he shared. Emails were sent to the governments requesting data on the subject, the latest one on December 17, 2021. 

In response, only two states (Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh) have responded, the minister added.

Over 1,400 oxygen generation plants comissioned 

The Government has sanctioned 1,563 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants, of which 1,463 have been commissioned, Pawar told the Rajya Sabha. These include 1,225 PSA plants which have been installed and commissioned under The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund in every district of the country. 

Till date, 338 additional PSA plants have been set up by the public sector units of the Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Union Ministry of Power, Union Ministry of Coal, Union Ministry of Railways, among others, he added. 

An amount of Rs 24.46 crore has been released in 2020-21 and an amount of Rs 368.04 crore in 2021-22 to vendors for setting up of PSA plants under PM-CARES fund, the minister said.

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