- Rock pigeon is a medium-size compact pigeon with long wings and a short tail.
- This highly variable city pigeon is familiar to all urban dwellers.
- Multicoloured birds were developed over centuries of near domestication.
- The rock pigeon was introduced from Europe by an early settler.
- It is now widespread and common throughout the United States and southern Canada, particularly in urban settings.
- it feeds on handouts and grains during the day in city parks and open fields.
- They form large flocks and roosts on buildings at night.
- It is an Old World monkey found in a small region of western Assam, India and in the neighbouring foothills of the Black Mountains of Bhutan.
- It is one of the most endangered primate species in India.
- Its IUCN status is endangered.
National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP)
- ICAR has launched an ambitious National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).
- This project will be funded by the World Bank and the Indian Government on a 50:50 basis.
- The aim of the project to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country.
- Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) scheme is being run in order to promote the participation of students in agricultural business.
- Under the scheme, practical experience of agriculture and entrepreneurship is provided to undergraduate students.
- Recently, the second Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) of the country was -also established in Barahi, Jharkhand.
- Recently the Scientists have found a superbug gene ‘blaNDM-1’ in the Arctic region.
- blaNDM-1 stands for ‘New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1’.
- It was first detected in New Delhi over a decade back.
- Soil samples taken in Svalbard region have confirmed the spread of blaNDM-1 into the High Arctic.
- Svalbard region is located in a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
- This Antibiotic-Resistant Gene (ARG) is originally found in Indian clinical settings.
- The superbug provides multi-drug resistance (MDR) in microorganisms.
India world’s second-largest steel producing country
- India has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest steel producing country, while China is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 Percent of production.
- It was stated by the World Steel Association (worldsteel) in its latest report.
- The global steel body in its latest report noted that China’s crude steel output jumped 6.6 Percent to 928.3 million tonnes (MT) in 2018 from 870.9 MT in 2017.
- India’s crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 MT, up by 4.9 Percent from 101.5 MT in 2017.
- Japan produced 104.3 MT in 2018, down 0.3 per cent compared to 2017.
- The United States is at the 4th position as the country produced 86.7 MT of crude steel in 2018.
Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI)
- Morocco has been named the second best performing country in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).
- The North African country significantly increased the share of renewable over the past five years and increased new renewable energy capacity.
- In CCPI 2019 no country performed well enough to reach the ranking very good, meaning that no country has yet made it to one of the top three places in the rankings.
- Sweden leads the ranking, followed by Morocco and Lithuania in the CCPI 2019.
- The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is an annual publication by German watch and Climate Action Network Europe.
- It evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 56 countries and the EU, which are together responsible for more than 90 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- 80 % of the evaluation is based on objective indicators of emissions trend and emissions level.
- 20 % of the index results are built upon national and international climate policy assessments by more than 200 experts from the respective countries.
- The CCPI ranking is qualified in relative terms (better–worse) rather than absolute terms.
- Agasthyarkoodam or Agathyamala is the second highest peak in Kerala.
- It is a 1868m tall mountain within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thiruvananthapuram district.
- It lies on the border between Kerala and Tamilnadu.
- It has long been known as a bird watcher’s paradise.
- It is also known for its remarkable flora and fauna, especially certain rare medicinal herbs which have been discovered here.
- The various vegetations found in this area are moist deciduous forests, semi evergreen forests, grasslands and evergreen forests.
- The original inhabitants of these hills are a tribe known as “Kanis”
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
- The Neyyar Wildlife sanctuary is situated in the southeast corner of the Western Ghats.
- The Neyyar sanctuary is the drainage basin of the Neyyar river and its tributaries – Mullayar and Kallar
- Neyyar wildlife sanctuary forms a part of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (ABR).
- ABR is a part of the World network of Biosphere reserves.
- The common mammals found are, Tiger , Leopard, sloth bear, Elephant, sambar, barking deer, bonnet macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri tahr etc.
- The Neyyar Dam nearby is also situated in its vicinity.
- Lakhon khol is a dance drama mask theatre from Cambodia in Southeast Asia.
- The Cambodian lakhon khol (also lakhon khaol or lakhon bhani) is a sister form of Thailand’s khon mask-theatre
- It was recently listed by UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, as an intangible cultural heritage, along with Thailand’s Khon.
- Lakhon Khol began in the early Angkor era.
- In accordance with reliefs on Angkor temple walls, it is believed that the genre was first performed in the ninth century.
- The only story specifically performed by Lakhon Khol is the Reamke, the Khmer version of the Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic poem.
- There are different variations in Southeast Asia, all featuring dancers wearing elaborate painted masks depicting the Ramayana.
Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN)
- Recently Odisha Government had launched a malaria control programme – “Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN)” initiative.
- This programme involves mass screening for malaria with the treatment of positive cases along with intensified surveillance, mosquito control measures and regular health education activities throughout the year.
- District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2), open-source web-based surveillance for malaria is used for mass screening and treatment of patients in inaccessible areas.
- Odisha, which accounts for over 40% per cent malaria burden of the entire country, has reported about a 85% decline in average monthly malaria cases in the State.
- Recently Odisha has launched Jiban Sampark project for the welfare of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG).
- The Project is being undertaken in association with UNICEF.
- It aims to generate awareness among PVTGs in Odisha on various development and welfare initiatives of State Government, especially on women and child welfare.
- The focus areas of the Project are skill development, empowering communities, cooperation and innovation among the tribal groups.