European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- India is to become the 69th member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
- The London-headquartered EBRD is a multilateral development bank set up in 1991.
- It was set up after the fall of the Berlin wall to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in emerging Europe.
- In 2017, the EBRD signed an accord to strengthen ties with the International Solar Alliance.
- The EBRD works closely with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica)
- India’s endangered Asiatic lion population rose to 600, following the conservation efforts.
- The species, which was found in the South West Asian region, is now restricted to the Gir Sanctuary in India.
- Five protected areas currently exist to protect the Asian lion:
- Gir Sanctuary,
- Gir National Park
- Pania Sanctuary
- The lions face the usual threats of poaching and habitat fragmentation.
- Conservationists have suggested selective relocation of big cats to another sanctuary, to reduce human-animal conflict and avoid the risk of getting wiped out by disease or natural disaster.
- It is an endangered species according to the IUCN Red list.
- It is listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and also in Appendix I of CITES.
Conference on Marine Debris
- Marine Biological Association of India (MBAI) is to organize a national conference to draw an action plan to control marine debris (CoMaD – Conference on Marine Debris) at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.
- There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, of which 269,000 tones float on the surface.
- Further, four billion plastic microfibers per sq km litter the deep sea.
- In India, micro and macro plastics have been observed at all tropic levels from sardines to tunas and sea birds.
- The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute was established by Government of India on 1947 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- Later it joined the ICAR family in 1967.
- Chindu Bhagavatham is an art form dating back to second century BC.
- It is popular in the Nizamabad district,Telegana.
- Chindu is derived from the artistes’ caste – Chindu Madiga – a sub-caste of Madiga among the Scheduled Caste community.
- The Chindu Bhagavatam is also called Chindu Yakshaganam, as it is similar to Yakshaganam of Karnataka.
- e-jagrata is a novel initiative to ensure safe, secured and effective Internet usage by schoolchildren.
- It was launched by the district administration of Ernakulum.
- The project is being implemented with the support of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and State Bank of India (SBI).
- Students of standards eight and nine from government schools and aided schools will be trained under the program.
- The current training phase will cover cloud computing, android development, ethical hacking, robotics, and Internet payment among other topics.
- The previous phases focused on basic IT and safe and responsible usage of Internet.
Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary
- The Forest Department and Mysore Bird Watchers’ group will soon conduct the first bird census at Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary.
- Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is situated in Srirangapatna of Mandya district, Karnataka.
- Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary located on the islands of river Cauvery.
- It is an example of riverine ecosystem.
- The flying fox, bonnet macaque, common otter, common mongoose, palm civet, marsh crocodile are found here.
- Rich avifauna includes the large cormorand, darter, spoonbill, open-billed stork, painted stork, egret, heron, and the lesser whistling teal.
- It is an Important Bird Area (IBA) that is identified by Birdlife International and Bombay Natural History Society.
- Government is set to launch ‘SUVIDHA’, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).
- SUVIDHA is a 100% Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin at a cost of Rs.2.50.
- Oxo-biodegradable product is made by blending a pro-degrading additive into it that causes breakdown by oxidation when exposed to heat or sunlight.
- The material will eventually be in a state where it can be digested by microorganisms.
- A similar special additive is added in the Suvidha napkin, which makes it biodegradable when it reacts with oxygen after it is used and discarded.
- It will be available at the Janaushadhi Kendaras.
- It would ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged women of India.
- This affordable sanitary pad will promote hygiene, ease of disposal as well as keep the environment clean.