CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR BEGINNERS
- UNESCO world heritage site
- Fall Armyworm
- DNA barcoding
- National Mission for clean Ganga
- Clean Ganga Fund
- NRIs cannot file RTI applications
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Neo natal mortality
- Under five mortality
- 2+2 dialogue
- Lateral entry
- Long period average
- UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE:-
A World Heritage site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties.
- Fall Armyworm (spodoptera frugiperda):-
It is an Agricultural pest (Pest: – A destructive insect or other animal that attacks crops, food, livestock). Basically, it is a Maize Pest i.e., It prefers maize, but can feed on 80 species of plants, including rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, and cotton.
This pest is native to Americas. FAW arrived in Africa in 2016. Since then it has spread to 44 African countries. India’s tropical climate could allow the pest to thrive.
It can be controlled with insecticides, through natural enemies, or by inter-cropping. (Insecticides like lambda-cyhalothrin, natural predators like coccinellid beetles, fungal species like nomuraea rileyi also infects this worm). Intercropping is a multiple cropping practices involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources or ecological processes that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop.
It is an invasive species. An invasive species can be any kind of living organism—an amphibian (like the cane toad), plant, insect, fish, fungus, bacteria, or even an organism’s seeds or eggs—that is not native to an ecosystem and causes harm. They can harm the environment, the economy, or even human health. It can also be called as alien species.
Another remarkable trait of the larva is that they practice cannibalism. Cannibalism is the act of one individual of a species consuming all or part of another individual of the same species as food.
- DNA barcoding:-
DNA barcoding is nothing but a taxonomic method that uses short genetic marker to identify the particular species it belongs to. DNA from a standardized region of the genome and that DNA sequence can be used to identify different species; in the same way a supermarket scanner uses the familiar black stripes of the UPC barcode to identify consumer purchases.
Application of DNA barcoding techniques are as follows:-
- Identify species even from minute amount of tissue which can help tackling problems like illegal trade of endangered species.
- Previous techniques like CO1 Cytochrome C Oxidase with 1 gene is only applicable for determining animal species where DNA barcoding is applicable to both plant and animal species.
- DNA barcode can be used to identify unknown samples by looking at previous classification.
- DNA barcode can be effectively controlling pest attack, identifying disease vector properly.
- Using DNA barcoding, natural resource managers can monitor illegal trade of products made of natural resources like hardwood trees.
- DNA barcoding can be used to identifying the important medicinal plant.
- National Mission for clean Ganga:-
National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986. NGRBA has since been dissolved with effect from the 7th October 2016, consequent to constitution of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council) vide notification no. S.O. 3187(E) dt. 7th October 2016 under EPA 1986.
The Act envisages five tier structures at national, state and district level to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water so as to rejuvenate the river Ganga as below:
- National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
- Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG).
- State Ganga Committees and
- District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.
NMCG has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General, NMCG. Executive Committee has been authorized to accord approval for all projects up to Rs.1000 crore. Similar to structure at national level, State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) acts as implementing arm of State Ganga Committees. Thus the newly created structure attempts to bring all stakeholders on one platform to take a holistic approach towards the task of Ganga cleaning and rejuvenation.
- Clean Ganga Fund:-
The proposal to set up CGF is to attract private contributions globally for increasing people’s participation in this massive task. Considering that the measures taken till now are not adequate and a national effort is required to mobilize resources for improving the condition of the river Ganga, the Government has announced the setting up of an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called “Namami Gange”.
Considering that there is a need to increase people’s participation from across the country and abroad, it is proposed to set up a “Clean Ganga Fund (CGF)” with voluntary contributions. The main features of CGF are:
- CGF will have the objective of contributing to the national effort of improving the cleanliness of the river Ganga with the contributions received from the residents of the country, NRIs/ PIO and others.
- Domestic donors to the fund shall be eligible for tax benefits as in the case of “Swachch Bharat Kosh”. Foreign donors could get suitable tax exemptions in domestic law, wherever permissible.
iii. Broad activities proposed to be financed from CGF include, inter alia, Activities outlined under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme for cleaning of river Ganga; control of non-point pollution from agricultural runoff, human defecation, cattle wallowing etc.; setting up of waste treatment and disposal plants along the river around the cities; conservation of the biotic diversity of the river; community based activities to reduce polluting human interface with the river; Development of public amenities including activities such as Ghat redevelopment; R&D and innovative projects; Research and Development projects and innovative projects for new technology and processes for cleaning Ganga; independent oversight through intensive monitoring and real time reporting; any other activity as approved by Governing Council. This is an indicative list and can be expanded within the overall objective by the Governing Council. The Fund shall not be utilized for activities such as dredging.
- NRIs cannot file RTI applications:-
Any citizen can ask for information under RTI act. The Act extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. OCI’s (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO’s (Persons of Indian Origin) card holders can also ask for information under the RTI Act.
- Telangana likely to keep neonatal mortality in check by 2030
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) follow and expand on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which are due to expire at the end of 2015.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):-
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are officially known as transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, associated 169 targets and 304 indicators. This included the following goals:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduce inequality within and among countries
- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
- Neo natal mortality:-
The number of neonatal deaths per 1000 live births. A neonatal death is defined as a death during the first 28 days of life (0-27 days).
The neonatal mortality rate at 25.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in India makes it 12th worst among the 52 lower-middle-income countries. The report also said that India is the only major country in the world to have a higher mortality for girls than boys. Neonatal mortality rates to 12 for every 1000.
- Under five mortality:-
The under-five mortality rate refers to the probability of dying before age 5 years per 1,000 newborns.
Globally, the under-five mortality rate dropped from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 41 in 2016. Progress in reducing child mortality has been accelerated in the 2000–2016 period compared with the 1990s – globally, the annual rate of reduction in the under-five mortality rate has increased from 1.9 per cent in 1990–2000 to 4.0 per cent in 2000–2016.
Under-five child mortality (U5MR) of India showed an impressive decline by 9%, a 4 points decline from 43 per 1000 in 2015 to 39 in 2016. The gender gap in India for child survival is reducing steadily; the gender difference between female and male under-five mortality rates has now reduced to 11% which was as high as 17% in 2014. The current under-five mortality for male child is 37 per 1000, while for female child is 41 per 1000 live births. Goals target for under-five mortality of 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030.
- 2+2 dialogue:-
The India-U.S. “2 by 2”dialogue will be on the lines of India-Japan 2+2 dialogue format. By defence and external ministers. The India-U.S. “2 by 2”dialogue would replace the existing India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue for trade and commercial issues. India and the U.S. will now have a separate dialogue on commercial issues, which will not include the foreign ministers. The objective of this dialogue mechanism is to raise defence and security issues to the forefront and centre of the relationship between India and the U.S.
It is aimed at enhancing peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region by elevating strategic consultations in the dialogue. The shared priorities include job creation, improving the business and investment climate and sustaining a rules-based global order. The U.S. has strategic consultations in this format with key partners and allies including Australia, Japan and the Philippines.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a part of China’s ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative to link China with Europe. Started in 2013, the CPEC is a developmental project between Pakistan and its all-weather friend China.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a whopping 46 billion dollar project which will connect Kashgar in Xinjiang province of China, with Gwadar port in Baluchistan which is the largest province in Pakistan. It is connected through a vast and complex network of roads as well as other infrastructure projects such as dams, hydropower projects, railways, and pipelines.
- Lateral entry:-
Traditionally to get into Civil Services like IAS, IPS etc. a candidate has to clear the three stages of UPSC Civil Services Exam – Preliminary, Main Exam, and Interview. One-third of the vacancies in Indian Civil Services is also filled by promotion of eligible candidates working in different State Services. Lateral entry into civil services – means bypassing these two options. Now the proposal is for selecting private individual’s for filling the 10 posts of joint secretary.
- Long period average:-
Averages of rainfall received between 1951 and 2001 (50 years) are termed as the Long Period Average or LPA and are considered as normal. This is computed to be 89cm.
- Rainfall between 96% and 104% of the LPA is classified as ‘normal’.
- Rainfall between 104% and 110% of the LPA is classified as ‘above normal’.
- Rainfall above 110% of the LPA is classified as ‘excess’.
- Rainfall between 90% and 96% of the LPA is classified as ‘below normal’.
- Rainfall below 90% of the LPA is categorized as ‘deficient’.
Questions of the day:-
- Why is spodoptera frugiperda, mentioned in news?
- A native species of Africa, but for the first time seen in Asia.
- Predominantly, a maize pest and alien, non- invasive species.
- A pest variety that can be controlled by inter-cropping.
- Keystone species in the central African region.
Correct Answer: C
- Consider the following statements about OBOR:
- OBOR aims to boost domestic growth of china.
- This policy enhances land as well as maritime routes.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Correct Answer: C
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