Current Affairs - June, 2022

Standards for fortified rice kernels (FRKs)

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently decided to operationalise standards for fortified rice kernels (FRKs).

Key Points

  • Standards for fortified rice kernels will be operationalised with immediate effect, in order to strengthen national-level fortification programme in India.
  • The draft regulation on “standards for FRKs” has been framed and notified on May 25, 2022. However, the amended regulation will be finalised after consultation with the stakeholder.
  • Till then, to strengthen National level fortification programme and its implementation, FSSAI has decided to operationalise the provisions related to FRKs immediately.

What are FRKs?

FRKs are rice-shaped kernels, comprising of vitamins and minerals produced through extrusion technique. In terms of aroma, texture and taste, they are required to resemble normal rice kernels as closely as possible.

About the new regulations

  • Regulations that have been operationalised by FSSAI, provide standards for rice flour which is used in preparing FRKs.
  • It also provides standards for vitamin and mineral premix (VMP). VMP is a combination of micronutrients in desired proportion, which are ready for use as a fortificant in manufacturing FRKs.
  • Vitamins and minerals are added to pulverised milled rice, which is then used for developing FRKs. Later, they are blended with traditional rice.
  • FRKs will only be sold for industrial purposes, in order to manufacture fortified rice. It will neither be sold in loose form nor directly to the consumer.

What are the permissible levels of Vitamins and Minerals?

The standards provide for permissible levels of folic acid, iron, and Vitamin B12 for blending ratios of 1:50 and 1:100. New regulation also provide for permissible levels of other fortificants like Vitamin A, zinc and Vitamins B1, B2, B3 & B6.

Labelling standards and other disclaimers

The regulations further provide labelling standards for FRK packages. Each package of FRK should carry a statement on ratio in which FRK will be blended with rice kernels. Packages will also require to carry disclaimers like “not to be construed as a substitute for rice & rice flour’ and “not to be consumed as an independent product”.

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Pay Roll Automation for Disbursement of Monthly Allowances (PADMA)

On June 28, 2022, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) Rajnish Kumar, Ministry of Defence, inaugurated the “Pay Roll Automation for Disbursement of Monthly Allowances (PADMA)”.

About PADMA

  • PADMA is an automated Pay & Allowances module, launched for the Indian Coast Guard.
  • It is an automated platform leveraging latest technology.
  • It will provide timely and seamless disbursal of Pay & Allowances to 15,000 Indian Coast Guard personnel.

Who has developed this module?

This module has been developed under the Defense Accounts Department. It will be operated by Pay Accounts Office Coast Guard of Noida.

Centralized Pay System

The launch of PADMA is marked the start of Centralized Pay System (CPS). Foundation stone of CPS is being laid down by Defence Accounts Department Headquarters, in a bid to provide one stop pay accounting solutions to all the organisations under Defence Ministry.

Significance of the system

The Pay Roll Automation for Disbursement of Monthly Allowances system will strengthen the Digital India concept. It is an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative because whole module has been designed and developed by Indian entrepreneurs.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

It is a maritime law enforcement, search and rescue agency of India. It is having jurisdiction over its territorial waters, including the exclusive economic zone and contiguous zone. It is formally established on February 1, 1977, under the Coast Guard Act, 1978. It operates under Ministry of Defence. The ICG works in close cooperation with Indian Navy, Department of Revenue (Customs), Central & State Police Forces and Department of Fisheries.

Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA)

CGDA is the head of Defence Accounts Department. This department is one of the oldest government organisations in India. CGDA works under the Ministry of Defence of India. It functions as a cadre controlling authority of Indian Defence Accounts Services.

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