Table of Contents
- India-UAE Cooperation to sow regional food security
Facts for Prelims
- India’s population
- National Quantum Mission
- Sea cucumber
India-UAE Cooperation to sow regional food security
UAE relies on food imports and wants to improve its food security by ensuring access to food and being prepared for supply chain problems. India is the world’s second-largest food producer and a crucial partner for UAE to achieve its food security goals. The partnership between India and UAE in food security has many advantages.
India’s capabilities in the food sector
- India is a global agri-export powerhouse with vast tracts of arable land, favourable climate, and a large food production and processing sector.
- India is also a humanitarian provider of food to developing countries, demonstrating awareness of its role in advancing regional and global food security.
- India has made major budgetary outlays towards setting up massive food parks, with due emphasis on modern supply chain management.
- These investments, complemented by how India has placed its food sector to benefit from bilateral trade agreements, reflect the country’s strong and sustained intent to make the most of its agri-capabilities in the global food marketplace.
India’s food security programs
- India runs the Public Distribution System, the world’s largest food subsidy program, providing nearly 800 million citizens with subsidised grains.
- India’s ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) Abhiyaan’ is the world’s largest nutrition program for children and women.
- As part of its G-20 presidency, India is promoting the consumption and farming of millets that demonstrate resilience to global food security issues.
- India’s G-20 presidency seeks to address the three Cs of “Covid, Conflict, and Climate,” issues pernicious to food security in India and across the globe.
UAE’s benefits from India’s capabilities
- India brings an incredible wealth of food sector experience and the ability to operationalise the world’s largest food supply chains.
- The UAE committed $2 billion in investment towards constructing food parks in India and signing a food security corridor on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement’s sidelines.
- The corridor could potentially commence a route for foods made and processed in India, beginning their outbound journey on the Indian coast of the Arabian Sea, passing through the UAE, and towards major international markets.
- Several UAE-based companies have expressed interest in constructing a supporting logistics and infrastructure pipeline to accelerate trade and reinforce the food corridor.
UAE’s benefits beyond maintaining and diversifying its food reserves
- Trade linkages could enable the Emirates to leverage its strategically placed location between Asia and Europe to serve as India’s food export gateway to West Asia and the Africa region, and further beyond.
- Several UAE-based entities are investing up to $7 billion in mega food parks, contract farming and the sourcing of agro-commodities in India.
- The initiative will include mega food parks, logistics and warehouse hubs, and fruits and vegetable hubs.
- The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the UAE’s largest free trade zone, launched Agriota, an agri-trading and commodity platform to link Indian farmers to food companies in the UAE.
Benefits to India
- Private sector projects in the UAE’s agricultural and food processing sector will generate lakhs of non-farm agri-jobs.
- Farmers will discover better prices for their products, and India’s agricultural products will have more resilient and diversified pathways to the global marketplace.
- The UAE’s infrastructural capabilities will further bolster India’s food sector.
- India can leverage and strengthen trade pathways with the UAE to forge a sustainable, inclusive, efficient, and resilient future of food.
Showcasing viable strategies for food security in the Global South
- India’s G-20 presidency offers an opportune moment for both India and the UAE to showcase viable strategies and frameworks that can forge the basis of food security in the Global South.
- The partnership between India and the UAE can serve as a model for other countries to strengthen food security and trade.
- The UAE can leverage its location and infrastructural capabilities to serve as a hub
India can leverage its experience in agriculture and food security to contribute to the global food security discourse.
India is expected to have a larger population than China in the coming years, according to the State of World Population Report, 2023 by the UN Population Fund.
Key Highlights of Report
- Population trends around the world indicate slower growth and ageing societies.
- Eight countries will account for half of the projected growth in global population by 2050.
- India has an opportunity to benefit from the demographic dividend, as almost 50% of its population is below 25 years of age.
What Government can do?
- Governments should introduce policies that prioritize gender equality and rights, such as parental leave programs, child tax credits, policies that promote gender equality in the workplace, and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
- The UN agency warned against using family planning as a tool for achieving fertility targets as it can lead to gender-based discrimination and harmful practices, such as prenatal sex determination leading to sex-selective abortion.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- UNFPA is a part of the United Nations General Assembly that works as a sexual and reproductive health agency.
- It is established by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
- It started its operations in 1969, after being established as a trust fund in 1967.
- UNFPA’s primary objective is to work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to health (SDG3), education (SDG4) and gender equality (SDG5).
- It aims to empower women, improve maternal health, and help young people access quality sexual and reproductive health services.
- UNFPA also works towards promoting population and development strategies that are sustainable and people-centered.
- UNFPA is not funded by the UN budget.
- Instead, it relies on voluntary contributions from donor governments, intergovernmental organizations, private sector organizations, foundations, and individuals.
- These contributions enable UNFPA to provide support to countries and communities to improve sexual and reproductive health, and promote gender equality and the well-being of all people.
National Quantum Mission
National Quantum Mission received cabinet approval at a total cost of Rs. 6003.65 crore, to scale up scientific and industrial R&D, for accelerating Quantum Technology led economic growth and leverage India into a leading nation in the area
National Quantum Mission: Boosting Quantum Technology in India
The Indian Government has approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM), which will promote Quantum Technology (QT) in India. Here are some of the key objectives and expected outcomes of the mission:
- Seed, nurture, and scale up scientific and industrial R&D in QT
- Create a vibrant and innovative ecosystem in QT
- Accelerate QT-led economic growth in India
- Make India a leading nation in the development of Quantum Technologies & Applications (QTA)
- Development of intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in various platforms
- Satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations within India
- Long-distance secure quantum communications with other countries
- Inter-city quantum key distribution over 2000 km
- Multi-node Quantum network with quantum memories
- Magnetometers with high sensitivity in atomic systems and Atomic Clocks for precision timing, communications, and navigation
- Design and synthesis of quantum materials such as superconductors, novel semiconductor structures, and topological materials for fabrication of quantum devices
- Development of single photon sources/detectors, entangled photon sources for quantum communications, sensing, and metrological applications
- Four Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs) will be set up in top academic and National R&D institutes in the domains of Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing & Metrology, and Quantum Materials & Devices.
- The hubs will focus on generating new knowledge through basic and applied research and promote R&D in areas that are mandated to them.
- NQM can take the technology development ecosystem in the country to a globally competitive level
- The mission would greatly benefit communication, health, financial and energy sectors as well as drug design, and space applications
- It will provide a huge boost to National priorities like Digital India, Make in India, Skill India, Stand-up India, Start-up India, Self-reliant India, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
About Sea Cucumber
- Sea cucumbers are invertebrates that live on the seafloor and belong to the taxonomic class Holothuroid
- They have a cucumber-like body shape and small tube feet for feeding and मूवमेंट।
- Sea cucumbers are found in all marine environments across the world, living on the ocean floor, and help enhance the productivity of benthic biota by excreting inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus.
Reproduction of Sea Cucumber
- Sea cucumbers reproduce through sexual and asexual methods.
- Unlike most land animals, their eggs undergo external fertilization when females release eggs into the water that are fertilized upon contact with male sperm.
Conservation Status of Sea Cucumber
- Sea cucumbers are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
- They are also listed under Appendix II of CITES, an international agreement that regulates the trade of endangered species to ensure their survival.