Facts Corner-Part-153

Seismic Air Gun

  • Seismic Air Gun consists of one or more pneumatic chambers that are pressurized with compressed air.
  • When it is fired air into a fire chamber which in turn causes a piston to move, thereby allowing the air to escape the main chamber and producing a pulse of acoustic energy.
  • This controlled seismic energy used to perform both reflection and refraction seismic surveys i.e they are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor.
  • Sound from these intense blasts can travel over 2,000 miles.
  • Five oil and gas companies have recently been given the green light to use seismic airgun blasts to search for oil and gas deposits in the sea floor from New Jersey to Florida.
  • The blasts could potentially harm commercial fishing by killing Zooplanktons.
  • But conservationists are particularly concerned about critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only about 450 remain.
  • Large marine mammals like whales and dolphin use sound for communicating, feeding, and mating.
  • So the blasts could impact all three of those essential activities.

Mekedatu Dam Project

  • ‘Mekedatu’ is at the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers, near Kanakapura which is at a distance of 110 km from Bengaluru.
  • A multi-purpose balancing reservoir project over Mekedatu, built at a cost of Rs 5,912Cr was aimed at solving the drinking water problems of Bengaluru and Ramnagar district.
  • This project was also touted as one that could generate hydroelectricity to meet the power demand in the state.
  • The proposed project intends to store excess water that would otherwise flow into the Bay of Bengal.


  • In a bid to transform rural Maharashtra, state govt. launched a unique initiative called “SMART”, which stands for State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation.
  • This World Bank assisted project aims to revamp agricultural value chains, with a special focus on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages.
  • This initiative is a step towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
  • It will also support post-harvest value chain and bring efficiency to benefit the economy at large.
  • The project seeks to establish a partnership between the various stakeholders in the agri-business segments including farmer organisations, start-ups, SMEs and large corporates along with women’s self-help groups.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)

  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus called Nairovirus.
  • CCHF virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks.
  • Such outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 40%.
  • The virus is primarily transmitted to people from ticks and livestock animals.
  • Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.
  • CCHF is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia, in countries south of the 50th parallel north.
  • There is no vaccine available for either people or animals

Biodiversity Heritage Sites in Gujarat

  • The Gujarat government is working towards declaring two sites — an indigenous mango forest in Chinchli village of Dangs and an inland mangrove site in Guneri village of Kutch — on the Western Indo-Pakistan border as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS).
  • The sites, proposed by the Gujarat Biodiversity Board (GBB), will be the state’s first biodiversity heritage sites.
  • Guneri, nearly a hundred years old, is a natural inland mangrove site spread over 33 hectares including the buffer zone. Generally, mangroves are grown in coastal areas. However, the site in Guneri has inland mangrove of considerable height. It also has the presence of wildlife like chinkara, ratel, and some migratory birds.
  • The Chinchli region in Dang district has a unique indigenous mango forest spread over 2,357 hectares in Piplaidevi Range. It contains 2,708 huge indigenous mango trees. The region also has 68 species of trees, 25 species of shrubs, 100 species of herbs, 50 species of climbers, 25 species of grass and 20 species of lower groups of plants like moss. As per estimates, Chinchli could date back to over 200 years. The region is hilly and some of the cliffs of the hills are a natural nesting site of endangered vultures.

Rat Kangaroo

  • Northern bettongs, sometimes referred to as rat-kangaroos, are truffle-eating Australian marsupials.
  • The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that they have suffered a dramatic population decline and could become extinct without urgent action.
  • Their numbers are down by 70% in the past 30 years.
  • They are at risk from feral cats, land-clearing and wildfires, which have become more frequent and fierce in Queensland due to climate change.

Tribal Circuit : Peren-Kohima-Wokha

  • The project of development of Tribal Circuit “Peren-Kohima-Wokha” was recently sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism under Swadesh Darshan Project.
  • This is the first project to be implemented in the State of Nagaland under Swadesh Darshan.
  • It is one among the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
  • It is focusing on development of quality infrastructure with objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors and fostering the economic growth.


  • Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a bacterial disease.
  • It affects skin and nerves which can lead to physical deformity and disability if left untreated.
  • It is not hereditary and completely curable, as opposite to general public views on leprosy.
  • It is only mildly infectious (i.e) more than 85% of cases are non-infectious and over 95% of the population has a natural immunity to the disease.
  • Leprosy colonies in the country still faces stigma and government’s attention towards it is also going down.
  • This is mainly because of WHO declaration of the elimination of leprosy as a public-health concern in India in 2005.
  • This has diluted the international funding and reduced attention and made life difficult for the people living in the colonies.

Seabed 2030

  • Seabed 2030 project was launched at the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in June 2017.
  • It is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation of Japan and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO).
  • It aims to bring together all available bathymetric data (depth and shape of the ocean floor) to create a map of the world ocean floor by 2030 and make it available to all.
  • The bathymetric data is fundamental for understanding ocean circulation, tides, tsunami forecasting, fishing resources, underwater geo-hazards, cable and pipeline routing, mineral extraction, oil and gas exploration.
  • The project is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
  • It comprises a global center and 4 regional centers ( Arctic and North Pacific center, Atlantic and Indian Ocean center, South and West Pacific center and Southern Ocean center).


  • It is   an international group of mapping experts developing a range of bathymetric data sets and data products.
  • It operates under the joint auspices of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
  • IHO is an intergovernmental organization, established in 1921 to support safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
  • Its secretariat is in Monaco, which coordinates IHO’s programmes.

Sattriya Dance

  • Nritya Parva – Sattriya Dance festival is being organised every year to mark the day of recognition of sattriya dance as a classical dance in 2000.
  • The dance form was introduced in the 15th century A.D by the great Vaishnava saint – Sankaradeva.
  • The word Sattriya is derived from ‘Sattra’, the place of its birth.
  • It was once a domain of male monks at the sattras, now it is performed by both men and women.
  • It is governed by strictly laid down principles in respect of hastamudras, footworks, aharyas, music etc
  • The costumes are usually made of pat – a silk produced in Assam which is derived from the mulberry plant and woven with intricate local motifs.
  • Sankaradeva – He was a poet, a playwright, a social and religious reformer.
  • His contributions include theatrical performance Ankia Naat, sattriya dance and a form of music called Borgeet, which is sung during the performance of Sattriya.
  • He founded “Ekasarana Dharma” – a neo-vaishnavite movement, resulted in an assembly of followers.

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