- LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.
- These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
- Two types of LIDAR are topographic and bathymetric.
- Topographic LIDAR typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric lidar uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.
- LIDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.
- Scientists are using LIDAR also to produce more accurate shoreline maps, make digital elevation models for use in geographic information systems, to assist in emergency response operations, and in many other applications.
Blue Flag Pilot Project
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched pilot project ‘Blue Flag’ to develop and enhance standards of cleanliness on beaches.
- This information was given by Minister of State (MoS) in MoEFCC, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, in reply to a written question in Lok Sabha.
- The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, Marina or sustainable boating tourism operator, meets its stringent standards.
- Its purpose is to enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches.
- Under the pilot project, each of coastal state/UT was requested to identify and nominate a beach, which is to be funded through ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme (ICMP).
- Till date, all the coastal states have nominated pilot beaches in their receptive territories including Goa. However, formal nominations are awaited from coastal UTs viz., Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar.
- The FEE is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development through environmental education.
- It was established in 1981. It is Headquartered at Copenhagen, Denmark.
- It is active through five programmes; Eco-Schools, Blue Flag, Young Reporters for Environment (YRE), Green Key and Learning about Forests (LEAF).
Pacific Garbage Patch
- The vast dump of plastic waste swirling in the Pacific ocean is now bigger than France, Germany and Spain combined —is growing rapidly.
- The immense accumulation of bottles, containers, fishing nets and microparticles in the ocen is known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (GPGP).
- The dump now contains around 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, posing a dual threat to marine life.
- Microplastics, tiny fragments of plastic smaller than 50mm in size that make up the vast majority of items in the GPGP, is a major contributer to bioaccumulation in the food web.
- The other environmental impact comes from the larger debris, especially the fishing nets. The net fragments kill marine life by trapping fish and animals such as turtles in a process known as ‘ghost fishing’.
Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had given its approval for Central Sector Scheme “Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry”.
- The core objective of the scheme is to improve the productivity and quality of silk through R&D intervention.
- It is expected to increase the silk production from the level of 30348 MTs during 2016-17 to 38500 MTs by end of 2019-20
- It will promote Women Empowerment and livelihood opportunities to SC/ST and other weaker sections of the society.
- It will be implemented by the Ministry through Central Silk Board (CSB).
- The Scheme has four components,
- Research & Development (R&D), Training, Transfer of Technology and IT Initiatives
- Seed Organizations and farmers extension centers
- Coordination and Market Development for seed, yarn and silk products and
- Quality Certification System (QCS) by creating amongst others a chain of Silk Testing facilities, Farm based & post-cocoon Technology Up-gradation, and Export Brand Promotion
- Brand Promotion of Indian silk will be encouraged through quality certification by Silk Mark.
- Efforts will be strengthened for collaborating with National Institute of Fashion Technology and National Institute of Design for support on design and product development.
Kawal Tiger Reserve
- Kawal tiger reserve is situated in Northern Telegana state.
- Govt of India declared Kawal wildlife sanctuary as Tiger Reserve in 2012.
- The wildlife sanctuary in Kawal is the catchment area of river Godavari and Kadam.
- The indiactor species of the sanctuary are Tiger and Nilgai.
- Mammal species that have been sighted include tiger, leopard, gaur, cheetal, sambar, nilgai, barking deer, chowsingha, and sloth bear. Several species of birds and reptiles are also found in the sanctuary.
- The reserve forms the southern end of the central Indian Tiger Reserve Landscpe.
- It is also linked to the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharastra to it north and Indrvathi Tiger reerve to its east
- The forest area found here is the southern tropical mixed dry deciduous forest and dry teak forest.
National Sports Development Fund
- The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was established in 1998, under Charitable Endowments Act 1890, vide Government of India Notification dated 12th November 1998.
- The NSDF supports sportspersons to excel in the field by providing opportunities to train under coaches of international repute with technical, scientific and psychological support and also in getting exposure to international competitions.
- Financial assistance is also provided to specific projects for promotion of sports and games sponsored by reputed Organizations/Institutes, provided the facilities so created are made available to a sizeable population of the area/region.
- The Fund is managed by a Council constituted by the Central Government. Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports is the Chairperson of the council.
- The Members of the Council include senior officers in the Department of Sports/Sports Authority of India.
- The representatives of the Apex industry organizations namely, FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM have been included in the Council as members.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
- Krsihi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) are agricultural extension centres created by ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) and its affiliated institutions at district level to provide various types of farm support to the agricultural sector.
- The first KVK was established during 1974 (Pondichery) and has grown as a largest network in the country. KVKs provide several farm support activities like providing technology dissemination to farmers, training, awareness etc.
- To achieve the set objectives KVKs undertake following types of activities in the adopted villages: (1) Farm Advisory Service (2) Training programme for different categories of people. (3) Training programme for the extension functionaries. (4) Front Line Demonstration (Fill) (5) On Farm Testing (OFT).
- Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date. It will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.
- Copernicus is the new name for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme, previously known as GMES.
- This initiative is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).
- ESA coordinates the delivery of data from upwards of 30 satellites. The EC, acting on behalf of the European Union, is responsible for the overall initiative, setting requirements and managing the services.
- Government of India has approved the setting up of a Plastic Park in Deoghar District, Jharkhand.
- The project would be set up at a cost of Rs. 120 crores in an area of 150 acres and a range of polymer products including woven sacks, moulded furniture, water tanks, bottles, pipes mosquito nets, etc would be manufactured.
- It has great potential for attracting investment for setting up an ecosystem for plastic industry and generate employment opportunities for the local populace.
- The project is likely to provide direct employment generation to about 6000 people and indirect employment to over 30000 people.