May 24, 2022

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS (JANUARY 23 & 24, 2022)

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THE ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. PLASTIC PARK PROJECT GETS FINAL APPROVAL

THE CONTEXT: Union ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, department of chemicals and petrochemicals, has given final approval for the setting up of a Plastic Park at Ganjimutt in Dakshin Kannada.

THE EXPLANATION:

According to the Ministry the park will be set up on 104 acres of Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) land at an estimated cost of ₹62.77 crore. In that, 50% of the project cost, that is ₹31.38 crore, will be borne by the Union Government and the remaining 50% by the KIADB.

About the Plastic Park:

  • Plastic Park has state-of-the- art infrastructure with common facilities including plastic waste management system. Plastic Parks plays key role in growth of the plastic processing community material and machinery suppliers, plastic processing companies, plastic recycling companies.
  • The park is to generate hundreds of employments for the local youths. A poly propylene unit is to be set up in the park. This unit will provide raw materials to the polymer and plastic units inside the park. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer. It is mainly used in plastic packaging. The park will include admin building, export building, warehouse facility, etc.
  • The plastic parks have so far been created in Tamont village in Madhya Pradesh, Billaua village in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, Pradeep village near Jagatsinghpur in Odisha, Gellapukhuri in Assam, Devipur in Jharkhand, Voyallur in Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu.

Significance of the Plastic Park Scheme?

  • The plastic parks aim to boost the value addition and competitiveness in the plastics processing industry. The scheme strives to achieve it though measures led by research and development.
  • The plastic industry is classified into two broad categories in India.
  • The first is polymer manufacturing that is called upstream category.
  • The second category is industries involved in the conversion of processable polymers into useful end products. These industries are called downstream.
  • India’s share in global plastic exports just 1%. The Indian plastic industry is big. However, it is highly fragmented. The plastic parks will help to consolidate the industry.

2. KERALA GETS ITS FIRST-EVER SCIENTIFIC BIRD ATLAS

THE CONTEXT: The Kerala Bird Atlas (KBA), the first-of-its-kind state-level bird atlas in India, has created solid baseline data about the distribution and abundance of various bird species across all major habitats giving an impetus for futuristic studies.

THE EXPLANATION:

  • KBA is said to be Asia’s largest bird atlas in terms of geographical extent.
  • KBA has been conducted as a citizen science-driven exercise with the participation of over 1,000 volunteers of the birdwatching community.
  • KBA has created strong benchmark information about the distribution and abundance of bird species across all major habitats, giving momentum to futuristic studies.

The KBA accounts for nearly three lakh records of 361 species, that includes,

  • 94 very rare species
  • 103 rare species
  • 110 common species
  • 44 very common species
  • 10 most abundant species

The KBA is considered to be a valuable resource for testing various ecological hypotheses and suggesting science-backed conservation measures.

Bird Atlas surveys shall be done twice a year.

  1. July mid – September mid [60 days, 9 weekends]
  2. January mid – March mid [60 days, 9 weekends]

 

3. PERU DECLARES ‘ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY’

THE CONTEXT: The Peruvian government declared a 90-day “environmental emergency” in damaged coastal territories, after an oil spill that saw 6,000 barrels of crude oil pour into the sea.

THE EXPLANATION:

  • The oil spill came out of a tanker belonging to the Spanish energy firm Repsol. The incident occurred at the La Pampilla refinery, some 30 kilometers (around 19 miles) north of the Peruvian capital of Lima in the Ventanilla district of the port city of Callao.
  • According to the refinery, the spill was caused by freak waves, which resulted from the eruption of a volcano in Tonga. Currents spread the oil to distances more than 40 kilometers from the refinery, tarring some 21 beaches.

What damage has the spill caused?

The spill has caused the death of marine wildlife and raised concerns around the livelihood of local fishermen and the economic consequences from the loss of tourism.

International Efforts for curtailing Oil Pollution: 

  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL): Rolled out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1973. It recognized the need for international coherent efforts for curbing oil spill.
  • International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation 1990: Nearly 90 countries came up after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, 1989 to prepare an emergency plan under IMO. Creates a special fund out of the contribution of shipping companies
  • Double Hull Ruling, 1993 by IMO: As per these guidelines, By July 1993, all tankers must have double hulls for additional safety. All single-hulled ships must be phased out by 1995.

Note: TERI has developed Oil Zapper Bacteria which can degrade the oil quickly.

 

4. SPECIES OF FUNGI ASSOCIATED WITH BASAL STEM ROT FOUND

THE CONTEXT: Researchers from Kerala have identified two new species of fungi from the genus Ganoderma that are associated with coconut stem rot. They have also genotyped the two fungi species, named Ganoderma keralense and G. pseudoapplanatum and identified genetic biomarkers.

THE EXPLANATION:

Basal stem rot

  • The butt rot or basal stem rot of coconut is known by several names in different parts of India: Ganoderma wilt (Andhra Pradesh), Anaberoga (Karnataka) and Thanjavur wilt (Tamil Nadu).
  • The infection begins at the roots, but symptoms include discolouration and rotting of stem and leaves. In the later stages, flowering and nut set decreases and finally the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) dies.
  • A reddish brown oozing is seen. This oozing has been reported only in India. Once infected, recovery of the plants is not likely. Not surprising then, that this causes a huge loss: By some estimates made in 2017, in India, around 12 million people are said to depend on coconut farming.
  • Another sign of infection is presence of shelf-like “basidiomata,” which are the fruiting or reproductive structures of the fungus, on the tree trunks. “Although microscopic, many fungi, produce macroscopic fruiting structures on the substrates where they grow [for example, Ganoderma]”.
  • Since the fungus is microscopic, it is only detected after the symptoms start manifesting or when the reproductive structures are borne, which can be too late.

THE MISCELLANEOUS

5. AMAR JAWAN JYOTI MERGED WITH NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL FLAME

THE CONTEXT: The iconic Amar Jawan Jyoti (AJJ), which was inaugurated after the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, even as Prime Minister announced the construction of a statue of Subhas Chandra Bose, restructuring the symbolism around the India Gate.

Symbol of colonial past’

  • India Gate was a “symbol of our colonial past” as it has only some of those who fought for the British in First World War 1 and the Anglo-Afghan War. It is designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was unveiled by Lord Irwin on February 12, 1931. It was built to honour the over 83,000 soldiers of British India who died from 1914 to 1921. It has 13,516 names inscribed all over the monument.
  • The AJJ was set up to pay homage for the soldiers who laid down their lives in the 1971 war. The memorial of the unknown soldier, an inverted bayonet with a helmet structure, along with the AJJ was inaugurated under the arch of India Gate by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on January 26, 1972 to commemorate India’s victory in the 1971 war, in which 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war surrendered and saw the birth of Bangladesh.

About the National War Memorial:

The National War Memorial was inaugurated by Prime Minister on February 25, 2019 and ever since it was set up, political and military leaders of the country lay wreaths in remembrance at the new site rather than at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. It was built to commemorate all the soldiers who have laid down their lives in the various battles, wars, operations and conflicts of Independent India.

THE PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS

QUESTION OF THE DAY 24TH JANUARY 2022

Q1. Hogenakkal Falls are located across which of the following river of India?

              a) River Krishna

b) River Godavari

c) River Sharavati

d) River Kaveri

ANSWER FOR 22ND JAN 2022

Answer: B

Explanation:

Highlights of Tiger Census 2018:

  • India is home to almost 70% of the world tiger population.
  • India has 2,967 tigers, a rise of 33% over the figure found in the previous census of 2014 (2,226).
  • Madhya Pradesh (526) has the highest tiger population. Karnataka (524) has the second- highest tiger population. Uttarakhand (442) has the third-highest tiger population.
  • Among the NE states, Assam (190) has the highest tiger population.
  • Tiger population fell in Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.
  • There is no change in the tiger population in Odisha.
  • In Buxa, Dampa and Palamau tiger reserves, tiger was not found.

Note: India has already fulfilled its resolve of doubling tiger numbers, made at the St. Petersburg Declaration in 2010, much before the target year of 2022.

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