• The minister said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi popularised Yoga globally, it’s now time to do so for millets

NEW DELHI : Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday that traditional millets diet is beneficial in diabetes, obesity and host of other disorders. 
Millets are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre, and the lesser known fact is that all the dishes made from rice and wheat can also be made from millets.
Delivering the keynote address at an exclusive event titled “CSIR innovations on Millets” commemorating the International Year of Millet, the minister said, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi popularised Yoga globally, it’s now time to do so for Millets. 
Jitendra Singh said, 10 of the 12 known types of millets are grown in India, which consist of complex carbohydrates, slow to digest and hence low glycemic index beneficial for blood sugar levels.
He recalled that the first International Day of Yoga was celebrated on 21 June, 2015, after the IDY resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2014 came at the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was passed by unanimous consent. Now, The International Day of Yoga (IDY) is celebrated on 21 June every year worldwide. 
Similarly, spearheaded by PM Narendra Modi, the United Nations declared 2023 as the “International Year of Millets” at the initiative of the Indian Government last year and was backed by 72 other countries, Singh informed.
He also inaugurated the Exhibition and released the Desktop Calendar 2023 on Millets at CSIR-NPL as part of the Celebrations of “International Year of Millets-2023″ by CSIR Labs. 
Jitendra Singh informed that the Exhibition had a display of products and technologies developed in CSIR-CFTRI and also other CSIR labs and will showcase the capabilities of CSIR-CFTRI in Millet’s R&D and reach out to various stakeholders on the institute’s Millet-based Technologies at national Level. 
He detailed how the government’s initiatives are going to revive consumption of millets, not just in India, but globally and increase the farmers’ income. 
The minister also appreciated the efforts of CSIR, especially CSIR-CFTRI, Mysuru in developing technologies and machineries for processing, value added products from millets and also in the area of skill development.
Jitendra Singh, who is himself a known Diabetologist and medical professional told the august gathering that Millet is a whole grain that is high in nutritional value and the cereal crop is nutritionally superior to wheat and rice due to its higher protein levels and a more balanced amino acid profile.
The Minister informed that millets are drought-resistant, with lower water requirements, and can be cultivated on poor soils and in hilly terrain and therefore could be produced and promoted in almost all Geographical Terrains & Regions of the World. 
They are also rich in carbohydrates, protein and minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc, he added.
It may also be noted that India produces over 170 lakh tonnes of millet, thus accounting for 80 per cent of Asia’s and 20 percent of global production.
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