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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-June 2021
- The Global Status of Soil Pollution Report is the result of an inclusive process by scientists from all regions of the world, bringing together the science behind soil pollution. The report, a joint effort coordinated by FAO’s Global Soil Partnership and supported by UNEP, contributes to raising awareness of the threats posed by soil pollution and to the interlinkage with other global environmental pressures particularly land degradation.
- The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity. The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change. The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the UN Decade following a proposal for action by over 70 countries from all latitudes. Led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
- EverGreening’s global campaign Green Up to Cool Down is a massive-scale collaborative movement which mobilises worldwide efforts to draw down 20 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year by 2050! We must act now for us to reverse the crisis that is climate change before it is a catastrophe.
- The International Gaucher Alliance is an international umbrella group representing the interests of Gaucher patients and those of not-for-profit Gaucher patient groups and rare disease groups throughout the world. Gaucher disease is a rare, inherited disorder where fatty cells build up in areas including the liver, spleen and bone tissue and marrow. While the IGA has an office in England, the IGA has almost 60 member associations around the globe. The GARDIAN registry will be under the control of International Gardian Limited (IGL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the IGA. India is a member country of the alliance.
- Soon, eight big cats are to be relocated from South Africa to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. If all goes as per plan, the region could become the country’s first-ever cheetah sanctuary.
- 1t.org is part of the World Economic Forum’s efforts to accelerate nature-based solutions and was set up to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. As part of the official programme to launch The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030, this high-level panel hosted by the World Economic Forum’s 1t.org Initiative will focus on the role and impact of business to drive forest landscape restoration.
- UK as host of UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, China as host of CBD COP15 in Kunming in October 2021, and UNCCD Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw.
- YOUNGO is the Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC. It consists of many youth-led organizations, groups, delegations, and individuals working in climate change-related fields. The UNFCCC recognized youth as an official constituency called “YOUNGO” (Youth + NGO). After two years operating under provisional status, “YOUNGO” became fully recognized at COP17 in Durban, South Africa. YOUNGO has since served as both the official conduit for youth participation in the UN climate talks and as a global network of youth and youth-focused organizations working on climate change. YOUNGO, as an official constituency to the UNFCCC, has the right to be represented at negotiations organised by the UNFCCC. It is also invited to represent youth at other UN events related to climate change.
- On 9 December 2019, at the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP 25) in Madrid, Spain, governments and youth activists united for a historic moment to sign an Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action. This declaration – based on priorities identified by YOUNGO and inputs from children and youth across the world received through CERI’s online and in-person consultations – is the first of its kind commitment to accelerate inclusive, child and youth-centered climate policies and action at national and global levels. It is one of the many important steps towards developing global principles on child rights and the environment. CERI, UNICEF and YOUNGO are the custodians of the declaration, working with governments to support the implementation of its commitments
- Koklass pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha meyeri) recently seen for the first time in India near the Helmet top in Walong, Arunachal Pradesh. Koklass pheasant as a resident bird of the Western Himalayas. Of the nine subspecies identified across the world, four are found in the states of Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in India. The male subspecies — meyeri — had not been not recorded outside China and Tibet. Koklass pheasants are not known for migration and are essentially residential birds of mid-altitude dense forests in the Himalayas. The easternmost town in India, Walong is roughly 20 km south of the China border, so there is a possibility that the birds may have flown as part of general shift in their geographical location.
- Cyrtodactylus bengkhuaiai, named in honour of chieftain Bengkhuaia, is one of four new species of bent-toed geckos recorded by two groups of scientists in October-November 2020. Two geckos each were found in Mizoram and Meghalaya. The Bengkhuaia bent-toed gecko was recorded from the outskirts of Sailam village in Mizoram’s Aizawl district. The second new lizard in Mizoram, Cyrtodactylus aaronbaueri was recorded in and around Aizawl town. It was named after Aaron Bauer, the world’s leading expert on taxonomy of geckos. The two new species recorded in Meghalaya are the karst-dwelling bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus karsticola) and Agarwal’s bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus agarwali). The second one is named after Ishan Agarwal, one of India’s leading herpetologists. All four new species are a part of the Cyrtodactylus khasiensis group and crucial to natural pest control in the region. Both species are from limestone caves near Siju village in South Garo Hills district, highlighting the unique biogeography and steep terrain often associated with limestone areas impacting the evolution of specialised karst-endemic biodiversity. These caves have been vulnerable to limestone mining. Limestone is the second most extracted resource after coal in Meghalaya accounting for about 9% of the total Indian reserves.
- The world’s biggest and best-known seed vault is buried deep inside a former coal mine on Svalbard, a remote Arctic Norwegian archipelago around 1,300 kilometres from the North Pole. Dubbed the “Noah’s Ark” of food crops, the Global Seed Vault focuses on agricultural and related plants, storing more than one million seed samples from nearly every country on the planet.
- The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) also uses colour-flags, colour-bands and neck-collars on certain species. These colour combinations are in accordance with the international flyway protocols. The BNHS, a veteran in ringing study, had initiated the study in 1927 and since 1959 it has carried out systematic and large-scale studies.
- Every year, the Statistics Day is celebrated on 29th June, the birth anniversary of Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, to recognise his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.
- Every year, Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day is celebrated on 27th June to recognise the contribution of these industries in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- India is the current President of the Convention on Migratory Species.
- A rare bamboo from Nagaland in northeast India has found a second home in picturesque Wagamon in Idukki district of Kerala. The bamboo species, Chimonobambusa callosa, appeared to have adapted well to its new environment at the Wagamon orchidarium of the Kerala. An eastern Himalayan hill bamboo from the Indo-China region, Chimonobambusa callosa can grow to a height of five to 10 metres. A long-rhizomed spreading bamboo, Chimonobambusa callosa is ideal for soil protection. Characterised by straight, green culms, with rings of thorns adorning the nodes, the bamboo also has ornamental value, according to the botanic garden.
- ‘Kovil Kaadugal’ or sacred groves in the northern region are now fast deteriorating due to rapid urbanisation and land scarcity. The groves also support a wide variety of birds and small mammals including the Palm Civet, Slender Loris and the Rusty Spotted Cat, the world’s smallest cat. The groves act as an effective carbon sink and are also self-sustainable ecosystem, which reinforce scientific reasons for conservation.
- The world’s tallest and rarest grasslands are found in the Terrai-duar Savannah region, which form a narrow stretch at the base of the Himalayas — a continuation of the Indo-Gangetic plain in India, Nepal and Bhutan. These grasslands are fed by the rich silt deposited by the monsoon floods every year. The elephant grass is home to the one-horned rhinoceros that appears to be like a grey boulder in the tall grass, Asian elephants and sloth bears, among other animals.
- In September 2019, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Decade of Action (2021-2030) to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to accelerate efforts to deliver on the ambitious, universal and inclusive 2030 Agenda.
- Black carbon (BC) is a short-lived pollutant that is the second-largest contributor to warming the planet behind carbon dioxide (CO2). Unlike other greenhouse gas emissions, BC is quickly washed out and can be eliminated from the atmosphere if emissions stop. Unlike historical carbon emissions it is also a localised source with greater local impact. Some of the ongoing policy measures to cut BC emissions are enhancing fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, phasing out diesel vehicles and promoting electric vehicles, accelerating the use of liquefied petroleum gas for cooking and through clean cookstove programmes, as well as upgrading brick kiln technologies.
- The Eastern Himalaya, along with Hengduan Mountains, matches the Andes that include the lowlands of South America, as among the world’s richest centres of plant diversity. There are thousands of economically important species, many such as rhododendrons, orchids, poppies, primroses and, of course, Hooker’s balsams (Impatiens) of immense horticultural significance. Many species remain to be discovered: despite the lack of systematic exploration, from 1998 to 2014, according to the World Wildlife Fund, India, 375 species of new plants were discovered in the Indian part of the Eastern Himalaya.
- Created in 2012 by more than 100 governments, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) seeks to provide scientific information about biodiversity and ecosystem services to policymakers of the member countries. The IPBES, with its secretariat in Germany, is administered by the UN, including the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The IPBES was established as an intergovernmental body akin to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Reports of the IPCC have become the basis of policies on climate change. It is assumed that the IPBES will have the same impact on policymaking as the IPCC.
- In India, the important pollinators of food crops are various species of honeybee, Apis, such as A. Dorsata, A. Cerana, A. Florae, A. Andreniformes and A. Laboriosa. The European honeybee, A. Mellifera, also pollinates many crops and fruits such as apples.
- Bt cotton is the only transgenic crop that has been approved by the Centre for commercial cultivation in India. It has been genetically modified to produce an insecticide to combat the cotton bollworm, a common pest. The HTBt cotton variant adds another layer of modification, making the plant resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, but has not been approved by regulators. Fears include glyphosate having a carcinogenic effect, as well as the unchecked spread of herbicide resistance to nearby plants through pollination, creating a variety of superweeds.
- Indian Long Term Ecological Observatories (I-LTEO): Launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change at the climate conference CoP21. Would assess the health of eight different biomes (types of habitat). Scientifically monitor flora and fauna to assess how climate change is affecting “natural and closely associated human systems in agriculture and pastoralism. It will cover the Western Himalayas to Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, central India to the Sundarbans, and from Jammu and Kashmir to Rajasthan and Gujarat. Led by the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
- The CEO Water Mandate is a UN Global Compact initiative to demonstrate commitment and efforts of companies to better their water and sanitation agendas as part of long-term Sustainable Development Goals. The CEO Water Mandate is designed to assist companies in the development, implementation, and disclosure of comprehensive water strategies and policies. It also provides a platform for companies to partner with like-minded businesses, UN agencies, public authorities, civil society organizations, and other key stakeholders. NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power utility Under Ministry of Power has become a signatory to the prestigious UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate.
- Panchayats are responsible for delivery of basic services as enshrined under article 243G of the Constitution of India, specifically in the areas of Health & Sanitation, Education, Nutrition, Drinking Water.
- The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”) is mandated to perform a number of essential functions previously carried out by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (“ICTR”) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”). In carrying out these essential functions the Mechanism maintains the legacies of these two pioneering ad hoc international criminal courts and strives to reflect best practices in the field of international criminal justice. The United Nations Security Council created the Mechanism on 22 December 2010 as a “small, temporary and efficient structure”.
- The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is an intergovernmental organization that addresses the issue of persons missing as a result of armed conflicts, violations of human rights, and natural disasters. It is headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands. It assists governments in the exhumation of mass graves and DNA identification of missing persons, provides support to family associations of missing persons, and assists in creating strategies and institutions to search for missing persons. In December 2014, a treaty was signed which established the commission as an International Organisation.
- National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited has become the first energy company in the energy domain in India to declare its Energy Compact Goals as part of UN High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE).
- Interpol-led Operation Pangea XIV targeted sale of fake medicines, products. More than 1.10 lakh web links, including websites and online marketplaces, have been taken down in an operation involving the police, customs and health regulatory authorities of 92 countries against the sale of fake and illicit medicines and medical products.
- On 5 December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, to be held from 2021 to 2030. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO has been tasked by the UN General Assembly to work with all interested stakeholders to design a Decade of ocean science that will help us to deliver the ocean we need for the future we want. The IOC of UNESCO is the United Nations body responsible for supporting global ocean science and services. A primary focus of the IOC is to enable its Member States to build the scientific and institutional capacity needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably manage ocean and marine resources by 2030.
- The Bonn Challenge is a global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. Launched by the Government of Germany and IUCN in 2011, the Challenge surpassed the 150-million-hectare milestone for pledges in 2017.
- El Salvador, a small coastal country in Central America has become the first in the world to adopt Bitcoin, as legal tender. The dynamic underpinning the whole move is that El Salvador has no monetary policy of its own and hence, no local currency to protect. The country was officially ‘dollarized’ in 2001 and runs on the monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve.
- IUCN and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) coined the term forest landscape restoration in 2000 as a framework for managing landscapes, complementing both forest conservation and sustainable management. Since then, FLR has evolved into a powerful nature-based solution, transforming landscapes and the lives of people worldwide.
- The gharial is listed in schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and also described as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Satkosia gorge of Mahanadi at Tikarpada, Angul district.
- UN Environment launched the Faith for Earth Initiative in November 2017. The goal of Faith for Earth is to strategically engage with faith-based organizations and partner with them to collectively achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and fulfil the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.
- As Pakistan prepares for World Environment Day, on June 5, the country has shown it is prepared to lead the way in ecosystem restoration with its Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project. The ambitious project- which is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – sets out to plant ten billion trees by 2023. Launched in 2019, the project has just reached a new milestone – planting of the billionth tree.
- The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative is a global initiative established in 2011 by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the European Commission. It is supported by a broad network of partners across diverse fields of knowledge.
- The State of Finance for Nature report was produced by UNEP, the World Economic Forum and the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative in collaboration with Vivid Economics.
- The maiden Indian Navy – European Union Naval Force (IN-EUNAVFOR) Exercise is being conducted in Gulf of Aden. EUNAVFOR and the Indian Navy converge on multiple issues including counter piracy operations and protection of vessels deployed under the charter of World Food Programme (UN WFP). The two navies also have regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction) meetings held annually at Bahrain. SHADE is an international operational counter piracy platform, convened in Bahrain.
- International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.
- Recently, Shyam Sundar Jyani, a Rajasthan-based climate activist, has won the prestigious United Nations’ Land for Life Award for his environment conservation concept, Familial Forestry. Every two years, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) organizes the Land for Life Award. The Land for Life Award was launched in 2011 at the UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP)10 in the Republic of Korea as part of the Changwon Initiative. The Changwon Initiative intends to complement activities being undertaken in line with The Strategy (for 2008-18) and in accordance with COP 10 decisions.
- The Nairobi Convention, part of UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme, serves as a platform for governments, civil society and the private sector to work together for the sustainable management and use of the Western Indian Ocean’s marine and coastal environment.
- The Global Peatlands Initiative is an effort by leading experts and institutions formed by 13 founding members at the UNFCCC COP in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016 to save peatlands as the world’s largest terrestrial organic carbon stock and to prevent it being emitted into the atmosphere. The current greenhouse gas emissions from drained or burned peatlands are estimated to amount up to five percent of the global carbon budget — in the range of two billion tonnes CO2 per year.
- The Measuring Progress: Environment and the SDGs report issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to coincide with the International Day for Biological Diversity.
- With two herds of antelopes called Nilgai being spotted in Bidar, the Karnataka district has become home for the first time to all the four major types of antelopes found in the country. Karnataka has been hosting to the other three types of antelopes, the Chinkara, the Four-horned Antelope and the Blackbuck.
- Casuarina has been found to be an effective bio-shield, which can minimise the impact of rough seas. “It may not be a permanent solution to sea attack, but planting Casuarina can help protect the coastline. Casuarina trees were planted in Punnapra some time ago and it has been found to be effective in checking the intensity of sea attack. Apart from protecting the coast, planting of trees will increase green cover.
- Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) has been included by the IUCN in the Red List of Threatened Species in 1998.
- Recently, European Space Agency (ESA) has announced a new mission- EnVision mission to Venus.
- The United Nations General Assembly appointed Antonio Guterres as the ninth UN Secretary General (UNSG) for a second term beginning 1st January, 2022 and ending on 31st 2026.
- United Nations University (UNU) is an autonomous component of the UN General Assembly focusing on global issues of human security development and welfare. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a training arm of the United Nations with a mission of developing the individual, institutional, and organisational capacity of countries and other United Nations stakeholders.
- Researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) and the University of Kerala have discovered a new plant subspecies in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), Kollam. The flowering plant, Rungia longifolia subsp. keralensis, has been discovered from the Western Ghats.
- PRABANDH (PRoject Appraisal, Budgeting, Achievements and Data Handling System) is a step towards leveraging technology to increase efficiency and manage the implementation of a centrally sponsored integrated scheme for schooling- Samagra Shiksha.
- The blue rice coral is called rice coral as it looks like grains of rice growing on the reef. The coral gets its color from a type of algae it grows in the coral polyp tissue and also from certain minerals it absorbs from the sea water. The hard calcium carbonate part of the rice coral is pure white and sometimes when the blue rice coral loses its algae the coral bleaches and turns pure white. Mostly found in very shallow water here in Hawai‘i and also occur on other Pacific Islands from Palau to Tahiti. Hawaiian blue rice corals have a deep blue pigment derived from algae called zooxanthellae that live inside the coral tissue.
- Rengma is a Naga tribe found in Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The harvest festival of the Rengmas is called Ngada.
- The Rengma Hills was partitioned in 1963 between Assam and Nagaland at the time of creation of Nagaland State and the Karbis, who were known as Mikirs till 1976, were the indigeneous tribal people of Mikir Hills. The Rengma Hills and Mikir Hills were two separate entities till 1951. Karbis have no history in the Rengma Hills. People who are presently living in Rengma Hills are from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. They speak different dialects and do not know Karbi language of Karbi Anglong. The Sixth schedule of the Constitution protects tribal populations and provides autonomy to the communities through creation of autonomous development councils that can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture and others. As of now, 10 autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The specified tribal areas are the North Cachar Hills, Karbi Anglong and the Bodoland Territorial Area in Assam.
- A gene-editing tool that has led to new cancer therapies and a rapid test for COVID-19 is now helping scientists find endangered species of salmon in the San Francisco Bay. The CRISPR-based Sherlock tool can identify four types of Chinook salmon, including Sacramento winter-run and Central Valley spring-run, which are both protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Sherlock, which stands for Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter Unlocking, identifies the fish using their genomic sequence. Researchers begin by taking swabs of mucus from the fish and combining with reagents that will glow if certain snippets of DNA are present.
- A gigantic dinosaur discovered in Australia’s outback has been identified as a new species and recognised as one of the largest to ever roam the Earth. Australotitan cooperensis, part of the titanosaur family that lived about 100 million years ago, has finally been described 15 years after its bones were first uncovered.
- Recently, a resolution was adopted by the European Parliament, urging the European Union (EU) Commission to consider the temporary withdrawal of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status given to Sri Lanka. The Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) is a set of EU rules allowing exporters from developing countries to pay less or no duties on their exports to the European Union.
- The Convention on International Civil Aviation, better known as the Chicago Convention of 1944, to which Belarus is a signatory state, prohibits any unlawful intervention against a civilian aircraft. At the same time, it has various provisions under Article 9 which permit a sovereign state the right to impose restrictions, including enforced landings at a designated airport in its territory, in “exceptional circumstances or during a period of emergency, or in the interest of public safety”. Once a flight has landed, Article 16 provides the host country the right to board/search the aircraft. This is probably the clause that provided cover for the local authorities to board Mr. Morales’s aircraft in Austria in 2013. But the Chicago Convention applies only to civilian aircraft of the contracting parties.
- International Air Services Transit Agreement (IASTA), also concluded in Chicago in 1944. According to this agreement, contracting states grant to one another the freedom of air transit in respect of scheduled international air services, that is, the privilege to fly across territories without landing.
- Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Assam in India. It is located along the foothills of the Great Himalayan Range.
- The government has extended the tenure of Attorney General K.K. Venugopal by a year. The Attorney General (AG) of India is a part of the Union Executive. AG is the highest law officer in the country. Article 76 of the Constitution provides for the office of AG of India. AG is appointed by the President on the advice of the government.
- Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary is a 26.22-square-kilometre (10.12 sq mi) wildlife sanctuary situated on the foothills of Himalayas bordering Bhutan in the north and in Udalguri district & Baksa District of Assam. This sanctuary is named after the river Bornadi which flows on its western border. The sanctuary was established in 1980 to protect the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) and pigmy hog (Porcula salvania).
- The Saiga Antelope has been a critically endangered species since 2018. Kazakhstan is home to a majority of the world’s Saiga. The population of the Saiga antelope has more than doubled in Kazakhstan since 2019. It rose from 3,34,000 to 8,42,000 since the last aerial survey. This gives conservationists fresh hope for the animal’s long-term survival as it suggests a continuing rebound after a massive die-off in 2015. The International Union for Conservation of Nature deems the Saiga to be among five critically endangered antelope species. The Saiga is known for its distinctive bulbous nose.
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines often simply referred to as Saint Vincent, is an island country in the Caribbean. It is located in the southeast Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, which lie in the West Indies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean.
- Kamargaon meteorite contains minerals such as olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase and chromite. Olivine is also found in Earth’s upper mantle. It is known to break down into bridgmanite and magnesiowustite in Earth’s lower mantle conditions. This breaking down is an important reaction that controls the physical and chemical properties of the Earth’s interior.
- Recently, the Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises inaugurated NATRAX– the High-Speed Track in Pithampur, Indore (Madhya Pradesh). It is one of the state-of-the-art automotive testing and certification centre under National Automotive Testing and Research and development (R&D) Infrastructure Project (NATRIP). NATRIP is the largest and most significant initiative in the automotive sector which comprises representatives from the Government of India, a number of State Governments and Indian Automotive Industry. It is a flagship project of the Ministry of Heavy Industries. It aims to create a state-of-the-art testing, validation and R&D infrastructure in the country.
- ‘Zen Garden – Kaizen Academy’ is a joint endeavour of the Japan Information & Study Centre at the AMA and the Indo-Japan Friendship Association (IJFA), Gujarat, supported by the Hyogo International Association (HIA) Japan. Zen is a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of scriptures. Zen in Japan is meditation in India. Kaizen translates to ‘change for the better’ or ‘continuous improvement’. Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy that focuses on gradually improving productivity by involving all employees and by making the work environment more efficient.
- Green Hydrogen Compact Catalogue: A coalition to mobilize Energy Compacts on green hydrogen technologies as viable solutions for a net-zero future has come together, led by the Governments of Denmark, Chile and Germany as Global Champions for energy transition, in collaboration with IRENA and the World Economic Forum among others.
- Ukraine and the United States launched joint naval Exercise ‘Sea Breeze’ in the Black Sea in a show of Western cooperation with Ukraine as it faces off with Russia.
- Bogibeel bridge, which is India’s longest road-rail bridge connecting Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh was inaugurated in 2018.
- Sisseri River Bridge, located at lower Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, connects Dibang Valley and Siang.
- Peter Pan Syndrome hasn’t officially been diagnosed as a health disorder, there aren’t clearly-defined symptoms or characteristics or even reasons which cause it. However, according to HealthLine, it could affect one’s daily routine, relationships, work ethic, and result in attitudinal changes. The ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ affects people who do not want or feel unable to grow up, people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child. They don’t know how to or don’t want to stop being children and start being mothers or fathers. The syndrome is not currently considered a psychopathology. However, an increasingly larger number of adults are presenting emotionally immature behaviors in Western society. Peter Pan Syndrome can affect anyone, irrespective of gender, race or culture. However, it appears to be more common among men.
- Chapter II of Part XII of the Constitution of India deals with borrowing by the Central Government and State Governments. It comprises two provisions – Article 292 which covers borrowing by the Central Government and Article 293, which covers borrowing by State Governments. Article 293 (3) requires State Governments that are indebted to the Central Government to seek the consent of the Central Government before raising further borrowings.
- Article 20 of the Constitution guarantees protection against double jeopardy. Article 20(1) says that no person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.
- Australia’s reliance on coal-fired power makes it one of the world’s largest carbon emitters per capita, but its conservative government has steadfastly backed the country’s fossil fuel industries, arguing tougher action on emissions would cost jobs.
- The NDPS Act, 1985 is the principal legislation through which the state regulates the operations of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. It provides a stringent framework for punishing offences related illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances through imprisonments and forfeiture of property. Section 27A of the NDPS Act, 1985, prescribes the punishment for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders.
- Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that causes disease on insect pests. It is accepted in organic farming and is considered ideal for pest management due to its low cost, ease of application, high virulence and narrow host specificity.
- Biofortification is the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology.
- The rare freshwater black softshell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) listed the turtle as ‘critically endangered’ by IUCN. But it does not enjoy legal protection under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
- World Sickle Cell Disease Day celebrated on 19th June 2021. SCD is affecting more women and children and nearly 20 per cent of tribal children with SCD die before reaching the age of two, and 30% children die before reaching adulthood.
- Driven by its mission to deliver results for children, UNICEF has come together with its public and private sector partners to establish the YuWaah, Generation Unlimited (in short GenU) as a partnership in India. GenU is a global multi-stakeholder platform that aims to prepare young people to transition to productive work and active citizenship. In India, by 2030 YuWaah aims to ensure, the following, namely: – (a) Build pathways for 100 million young people to aspirational economic opportunities; (b) Facilitate 200 million young people to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work; and (c) Partner with 300 million young people as changemakers and create spaces for developing their leadership.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) in its recent report “Children and Digital Dumpsites” has underlined the risk that children working in informal processing are facing due to discarded electronic devices or e-waste.
- Recently, Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos’s space company called Blue Origin concluded the online auction for the first seat on New Shephard, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space. New Shephard has been named after astronaut Alan Shephard – the first American to go to space – and offers flights to space over 100 km above the Earth and accommodation for payloads.
- The Delhi Declaration of 2019 called for better access and stewardship over land, and emphasised gender-sensitive transformative projects.
- India has the world’s fifth-largest reserves of rare earth elements, nearly twice as much as Australia, but it imports most of its rare earth needs in finished form from China.
- Rare earth minerals, with names like neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium, are crucial to the manufacture of magnets used in industries of the future, such as wind turbines and electric cars. And they are already being used in consumer goods such as smartphones, computer screens and telescopic lenses.
- The Union Health Minister spoke on Resolution 75/260 which concerns the Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the political declarations on HIV/AIDS.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Union government takes a final decision on the level of MSPs and other recommendations made by Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices. The CACP recommends MSPs for 22 mandated crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane. CACP is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- The Maharashtra Government has recently passed an action plan to protect and preserve trees older than 50 years in urban areas by terming them heritage trees.
- Recently, the Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid was elected the President of the 76th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (GA) for 2021-22.
- Addu Atoll, also known as Seenu Atoll, is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives. Apart from its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, Addu is the second largest city in the Indian Ocean archipelago, home to over 30,000 people.
- The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development is an intergovernmental knowledge and learning centre working for the people of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). It is based in Kathmandu, Nepal and works in and for eight regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.
- Supersonic aircraft are planes that can fly faster than the speed of sound. The technology for supersonic flights is actually over 70 years old, but only recently has been used for commercial flying.
- The Blue-Finned Mahseer, which was on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list of endangered species, has now moved to the ‘least concern’ status.
- The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflictaims to protect children from recruitment and use in hostilities. The Protocol was adopted by the General Assembly on 25 May 2000 and entered into force on 12 February 2002. At present, 171 countries have ratified the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict. There are 17 countries that have neither signed nor ratified the protocol and 9 countries that have signed but are yet to ratify. India have signed and ratified the treaty.
- Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery(also transliterated from Ladakhi as Tiksey, Thiksey or Thiksay) is a gompa (Tibetan-style monastery) affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of a hill in Thiksey approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Leh in Ladakh, India. The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) in the Indus Valley.
- Resolute Support Mission or Operation Resolute Support is a NATO-led train, advise and assist mission in Afghanistan.
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