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  • Published
    13th Jan, 2023


FSSAI sets standards for basmati rice












In a bid to promote the business around basmati rice, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) notified standards for basmati rice.

About the initiative:

  • It is going to be enforced from August 1, 2023
  • Aim: FSSAI hopes that the standards would protect consumer interest and ensure the basmati rice sold in the market has the characteristic fragrance identified with this variety and is free from artificial fragrances and colouring.
  • It also set standards on parameters such as average size of grains and their elongation ratio after cooking.
  • It has set the maximum limits for moisture, amylose content, uric acid, damaged grains and presence of non-basmati rice.
  • The standards are applicable to brown basmati rice, milled basmati rice, parboiled brown basmati rice and milled parboiled basmati rice.
  • Significance:   
  • Basmati rice is exported out of India and had an annual forex earning of Rs.25, 053 crore during 2021-22.
  • India accounts for two-thirds of the global supply of basmati rice, according to FSSAI.

The Basmati Rice variety:

  • Basmati rice is cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The specific agro-climatic conditions, processing techniques such as harvesting and ageing are said to make this rice unique.
  • In India, rice grown in specific parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir can be labelled as basmati.
  • Do you know?
  • Basmati rice is just one of the thousands of rice varieties available in India. However, this fragrant rice has invited the most controversy.
  • In 2020, India’s application for a geographical indication tag recognised in the European Union market was put on hold after Pakistan opposed the move.


Why Hockey is played on blue turf?




The distinctive blue turf was introduced in Hockey in 2012 Olympics held at London.

What is the significance of blue turf?

  • The blue turf has since become the standard playing surface at the highest levels of hockey after introduced in London Olympics.
  • Notably, the sport has a long history of experimenting with playing surfaces, with the surfaces having an enduring impact on the game itself.
  • The purpose was to stir up fan interest by providing field hockey with one of the most unique playing surfaces in sports.
  • It was inspired by the iconic Boise State Football field in Idaho, USA.
  • As hockey is played with a small ball, the blue surface provides outstanding contrast against the yellow ball.
  • This not only helps players spot and control the ball better, but is also a boon for broadcasters.
  • Along with its blue colour, another defining feature of modern hockey turfs is their soaking-wet nature.
  • There can be different kinds of astroturf pitches, with sand-topped and water-topped being two popular options. 

Polity and Governance

Ganga Vilas sails as Varanasi-Dibrugarh cruise 













The Prime Minister is set to flag off the Ganga river cruise from Varanasi.


  • Named as: The Ganga Vilas.
  • The cruise will cover 3,200 km, crossing 27 river systems from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Assam.
  • The 51-day cruise, being pitched as the world’s longest river cruise, is expected to reach its final destination — Dibrugarh in Assam, on March 1.
  • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is the coordinator of this ship tourism project.

Key Features:

  • The voyage is packed with visits to 50 tourist spots, including World Heritage spots, national parks, river ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam.
  • The famous sites will include; the famous Ganga Arti in Varanasi, the Buddhist site of Sarnath; and even Majuli, the largest river island in Assam.
  • The travellers will also visit the Bihar School of Yoga and Vikramshila University.
  • The cruise will traverse through the Sunderbans in the Bay of Bengal delta, as well as the Kaziranga National Park.
  • The vessel has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the luxury amenities.
  • It will cost approximately Rs.25, 000 per person per day.


  • It will develop river cruise tourism in the country, generate employment opportunities and river tourism circuits will be developed and integrated with the existing tourism circuits for maximum exposure and rapid development of this sector in the country.
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