Maharashtra Cabinet approved the ‘Maharashtra Gene Bank’, a first-of-its-kind project in India. To conserve genetic resources in Maharashtra including marine diversity, seeds of local crops, and animal diversity. In the next five years, an amount of Rs 172.39 crores will be spent on these seven focus areas.
What are the seven focus areas?
The ‘Maharashtra Gene Bank Project’ will work on seven themes:
- Marine biodiversity
- Local crop/seed varieties
- Indigenous cattle breeds
- Freshwater biodiversity
- Grassland, scrubland, and animal grazing land biodiversity
- Conservation and management plans for areas under forest right
- Rejuvenation of forest areas.
The project will be implemented by the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB) and will be overseen by committees under the chief secretary and the principal secretary (forests). The MSBB will coordinate with institutions like the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Goa to document and conserve rare and endangered marine species.
What are the major activities under the project?
- Indigenous knowledge resources will be tapped.
- The species and the knowledge of local communities will be well documented.
- Genetic and molecular samples will be preserved and their breeders will be supported.
- To preserve crop biodiversity, the government will encourage genome carriers who conserve seeds of local crop varieties and create seed banks.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Maharashtra Capital: Mumbai;
- Maharashtra Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari;
- Maharashtra Chief minister: Uddhav Thackeray.