Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jun 16, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Tamil Nadu to Denotify Part of the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

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It’s a simple statement. But few important things to learn.

  1. News regarding denotifying
  2. What is buffer and core zones?
  3. National Tiger Conservation Authority.

What is the whole issue? Not very important but if you read, you can remember and can put somewhere in Mains.

In 1962, Vedanthangal was declared a reserved forest under the Madras Forest Act. In 1996, the Government of Tamil Nadu published an order stating its intent to declare the Vedanthangal and an area within 5 km of the it’s boundary as a sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. On July 3, 1998, a government order declared the area thus identified to be a wildlife sanctuary.

From July 1998 and until today, the Vedanthangal tank and the area within 5 km of its boundary have been a part of the wildlife sanctuary, with the full protection of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

On January 23 this year, the Tamil Nadu government tabled a proposal with the State Board for Wildlife to denotify an area contained in a circular band within 3 km (before 5 km) from the Vedanthangal.

Understanding core and Buffer zone is important.

The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 contains no reference to core and buffer areas within protected areas. Only in 2006, by an amendment of the Act and with specific reference to tiger reserves, were the words ‘core’ and ‘buffer’ introduced. It makes buffer zones mandatory for protected areas notified as Critical Tiger Habitats (CTH).

The core zone refers solely to critical tiger habitat within sanctuaries and reserves. The area around the critical habitat is defined as a buffer zone, where a lower degree of habitat protection is required. This area also falls within and is in reference solely to tiger reserves in India. Other sanctuaries and national parks are to be administered according to the provisions of the Act and are not required to be demarcated as core and buffer.

Who notify Tiger Reserve?

Also learn about National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the said Act.

You will the entire function of NTCA given below. Once you read entire functions, it will give you confidence while solving questions related to this.

Current Affair 2:
Modi Government is in the Dock for Contempt of Court in Kashmir 4G Internet Case

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We will understand the issue now. Issues here not very important for exam purpose, but it helps to remember things.

On May 11, the Supreme Court delivered a judgment which upheld the Modi government’s refusal to restore 4G internet services in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on the ground that security situation justifies it. At the same time, the court, as if to assuage the concerns of the petitioners, set up  a “special committee” comprising the Union home secretary, Union communications secretary and the chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir  to “immediately” decide whether the prevalent internet restrictions are necessary and to consider the petitioners’ concerns. This committee has not been set up.  Now a contempt petition has been filed.

The expression ‘contempt of court’ has not been defined by the Constitution. Only three articles are mentioned in the Constitution regarding Contempt of Court. See below:

It has been defined under Contempt of Courts Act 1971. We will see all important provisions of this Act. See, you have to be very careful while choosing your sources. Read less but very important things, believe me you can clear this exam easily.

The Constitution has not given power to High Court to punish contempt of subordinate courts. It has been mentioned in the Act:

Current Affair 3:
Nepal Takes First Parliamentary Step to Ratify New Map

After the lower house of Nepal’s parliament unanimously agreed to change the map of the country to include territory claimed by its southern neighbour, India described the move as “untenable” (not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection) and said it violated the understanding that boundary disputes would be solved through dialogue.

India's new political map (left) includes the territory of Kalapani. Nepal's official map (right) also shows Kalapani inside its border. Photo: India's home ministry and Nepal's survey department

First see once map, so that you remember which states forms borders.

Some description about India-Nepal border dispute:

India surrounds Nepal from the east, west and south. The two share a 1,808 km long border. The history of the demarcation of the modern India-Nepal border began on March 4, 1816, after the signing of the Sagauli Treaty between British India and the state of Nepal. The Treaty declared the Mahakali River of Nepal as the borderline between both countries. The treaty was expected to resolve the border issues, but it did not. Over 200 years later, the dispute regarding the border and the surrounding no-man’s land area flares up now and then in different areas of the Indo-Nepali border.

Why dispute still persists today?

  1. The reason the dispute persists today is that the rivers, which were counted on as a border, have diverged from their courses several times. Around 600 kilometers of the border is defined by rivers: the Mechi in the east, Mahakali in the west, and Naryani in the Susta area (remember this also). The unavailability of old maps and documents to revise demarcations has made the situation even harder to resolve.
  2. The major areas of dispute include Kalapani, Limpiyahura, Susta, Mechi, and Tanakpur.
  3. The current boundary issue has flared up since last November after India issued a political map to reflect the fact that the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had been split into two newly created Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Nepal had then objected to the inclusion of Kalapani in the map of India.

We have to wait for the updates now but till then we will see Kalapani in bit detail.

Kalapani is a 35 square kilometer area, which is claimed by both India and Nepal. River Mahakali, earlier known as River Kali, flows through Kalapani, which is situated on the eastern bank of the river.

Mahakali is a tributary of Ghaghra, which is further a tributary of Ganges.

Also remember that Mahakali Treaty was signed in 1996 by India and Nepal for integrated development of Mahakali River.

Current Affair 4:
Maharashtra's Lonar Lake Changes Colour to Pink

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The 56,000-year-old Lonar Crater Sanctuary Lake in the state of Maharashtra transformed from its usual blue green to a reddish pink.

The lake was formed around 56,000 years ago when a meteor struck the basalt rock of the Deccan Plateau. It is the world's largest basaltic impact crater and the third largest crater of any kind formed less than a million years ago, according to The Weather Channel India.

If you remember in 2018, Lonar Lake in Maharashtra and St. Mary’s Island and Malpe beach in coastal Karnataka are the Geological Survey of India (GSI)’s candidates for UNESCO Global Geopark Network status.

Now, wait for the updates for actual reason of this change in colour of lake.

Current Affair 5:
IIT Madras study reveals metabolism of key gut microbiota

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Bacteria in the Gut

  1. A study by IIT Madras researchers of 36 strains of gut bacteria commonly found in the gut reveals their metabolism and could bring added rigour into the development of probiotics.
  2. Probiotics are cocktails of helpful bacteria which, among other uses, are prescribed to alleviate digestive imbalances.
  3. The human gut microbiome has a huge number of beneficial bacteria, collectively called commensals, living in it. Key among these are the bacteria of the Bifidobacterium genus. Bifidobacterium adolescentis and B. longum are found in adult human gut whereas B. bifidum are found in infant gut.
  4. More than 80 species of Bifidobacterium are found in the human gut of which 36 strains comprising 20 species have been studied by the researchers through metabolic network modelling.
  5. Bifidobacterium is one of the largest genera among gut bacteria and its species are known to be early colonizers of the breastfed infant gut.

Current Affair 6:
Discovery of oldest bow and arrow technology in Eurasia

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The origins of human innovation have traditionally been sought in the grasslands and coasts of Africa or the temperate environments of Europe. More extreme environments, such as the tropical rainforests of Asia, have been largely overlooked, despite their deep history of human occupation. A new study provides the earliest evidence for bow-and-arrow use, and perhaps the making of clothes, outside of Africa ~48-45,000 years ago -in the tropics of Sri Lanka.

Nothing more than this is required.

Current Affair 7:
Tamil Nadu must sustainably manage its rattans

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We will cover here few but important things:

  1. See its image first (very important)
  2. Its importance
  3. Where it is found?

Rattans are an integral part of the tropical forest ecosystem. The numerous pinnate leaves (leaves growing on both sides of a common axis), with a length of about two metres, intercept the splash effect of rains and improve the water-holding capacity of the soil. They play a key role in enriching the soil through their leaf litter.

Importance to humans

  1. Besides their ecological role, rattans have a wide variety of use in human societies. In certain parts of the world, the fruits and rootstalks are eaten by people. Some of the Rattan species have medicinal properties.
  2. Their most important use is in the handicraft industry. They have been believed to have been used by humanity since the fifth century BC to make household articles, furniture, tool handles and bridge construction as well as sports goods like javelins, cricket bats and hockey sticks in modern times.
  3. Rattans are important in handicraft and furniture-making because of their unique characteristics such as strength, durability, looks and bending ability. As they possess high value and social and economic importance, they are regarded as ‘Green Gold’.

Where it is most commonly found?

Using location records from field studies and literature, scientists at Bengaluru’s Asoka Trust for Ecology and Environment (ATREE) and Pune's Indian Institute for Science Education and Research (IISER) first mapped the distribution of all 21 endemic rattan species across the Western Ghats. At 19, the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the highest number of species.

Rattans in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is home to a number of rattan species of which Calamus rotang is found in all districts of the state. Other species grow only in the Western Ghats spread over the districts of Coimbatore, Dindigul, Kanyakumari, Nilgiri and Tirunelveli.    

Due to the availability of superior quality rattans that grow along the Kollidam river, rattan furniture-making industries have been functioning successfully in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu since antiquity.

But the Problem is:

But in Tamil Nadu, no sincere and serious effort has been made so far to conserve rattans sustainably.  It is high time that the Tamil Nadu forest department rise up to the occasion to manage the economically, ecologically and commercially important rattan species sustainably for the betterment of the globe as a whole.

Nothing more from Rattans.


Current Affair 8:
Environment performance index

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We will learn point to point for such topics, nothing extra and wastage of time.

India secured 168 rank in the 12th edition of the biennial Environment Performance Index (EPI Index 2020) — that measured the environmental performance of 180 countries — and was released by the Yale University on June 4, 2020. India’s rank was 177 (with a score of 30.57 out of 100) in 2018.

The global index considered 32 indicators of environmental performance, giving a snapshot of the 10-year trends in environmental performance at the national and global levels. Here since indicators are more than 10, they will never ask name all 32. So, relax.

India needs to re-double national sustainability efforts on all fronts, according to the index. The country needs to focus on a wide spectrum of sustainability issues, with a high priority to critical issues such as air and water quality, biodiversity and climate change. The 11 countries lagging behind India were — Burundi, Haiti, Chad, Solomon Islands, Madagascar, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoir, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Liberia.

They won’t aske here in detail anything, but still want to see India’s rank and position, click here.

Ok, you still remember of Sustainable Development Index?? No. Please see below. Just for revision we are adding.

SDG India Index Report 2019: Just a quick revision.

NITI Aayog released the second edition (remember this also, not first) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which comprehensively documents the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards achieving the 2030 SDG targets.

The SDG India Index—which has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, United Nations in India, and Global Green Growth Institute.

The SDG India Index 2019 is more robust than the first edition on account of wider coverage of goals, targets, and indicators with greater alignment with the NIF. The Index spans 16 out of 17 SDGs, marks an improvement over the 2018 Index, which covered only 13 goals.

Kerala achieved the first rank in the composite SDG Index with a score of 70, followed by Himachal Pradesh at 69.

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