- 106 coastal and marine sites identified as conservation reserves: Govt report
- The Centre has identified over 100 coastal and marine sites as conservation reserves under its National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031, a biennial report released by the government.
- As per the second biennial update report (BUR) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), submitted to the UN body on climate change in December 2018, India is encouraging participation of local communities in governance by recognising the conservation reserves.
Highlights of the Report
- Around 106 coastal and marine sites have been identified as conservation or community reserves to increase participation of local communities in governance.
- Under the National Wildlife Action Plan for the period 2017 to 2031, the government is working towards the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems from the impacts of climate change.
- “Towards fulfilment of India’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), several initiatives have been taken to meet the targets set under SDG 14- Life Below Water.
- India has rich coastal and marine wealth along the eastern and western coasts as well as the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands.
- The coastal and marine sector is also a source of valuable fish protein not only for the growing population but also contributes to the global food basket and in turn provides valuable foreign exchange to the country.
- Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation scheme (DDRS)
- Recently for the overall empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangajan), a “Regional Conference on Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS”) is being organizedby the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India at Kolkata.
About Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation scheme
Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme
- It is a Central Sector Scheme of Government of India which is being implemented since 1999 for providing financial assistance to NGOs working for education and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
The objectives of the scheme are:
- To create an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities, equity, social justice and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
- To encourage voluntary action for ensuring effective implementation of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.
- Under the scheme, every year more than 600 NGOs are provided with financial assistance for running their projects for the rehabilitation of persons with disability such as Special school, pre-school and early intervention, Halfway Homes and Community Based Rehabilitation etc.
- The “Scheme to Promote Voluntary Action for Persons with Disabilities” was revised and was renamed as the “Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) from April 2003.
- Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India to seek consular access
- Recently India will ask the UN’s top court to give consular access to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in Baluchistan in 2016 on charges of espionage and sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.
- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) urgently ordered Pakistan in 2017 to stay the execution of Jadhav, pending hearings on the broader Indian case that take place this week in The Hague.
- Kulbhushan Jadhav was apprehended on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed into Pakistan from Iran, according to Pakistani officials.
- Jadhav was accused of working for Indian intelligence services in the province bordering Afghanistan, where Islamabad has long accused India of backing separatist rebels.
- After a closed trial, he was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 10, 2017, on charges of “espionage, sabotage and terrorism”.
- India insists Jadhav was not a spy, and that he was kidnapped in Pakistan. New Delhi in court documents is asking that the ICJ order Islamabad to annul the sentence.
About International Court of Justice
- International Court of Justice (ICJ) is principal judicial body of UN.
- It was established in 1945 via UN Charter and its jurisdiction is worldwide.
- It is located in “The Hague” in Netherlands and has 193 state parties.
- The major functions of ICJ are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to provide advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and UN General Assembly.
- It is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by UNGA and UN Security Council.
- These organs vote simultaneously but separately. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive absolute majority of votes in both bodies.
- In order to ensure measure of continuity, one third of ICJ is elected every three years. Judges are eligible for re-election. President and Vice-President are also elected by the court, but for three-year periods
Note: Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected as the fifth judge to the International Court of Justice.
- First District Cooling System Of India To Come Up In Amaravati
- India’s First District cooling system will come up in Amravati.
- A UAE-based international cooling provider has entered into a 30-year concession with Andhra Pradesh government to build, own, operate and transfer India’s first district cooling system in the state’s new capital Amaravati.
Highlight of the Agreement
- The agreement between the National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) and Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA).
- The cooling capacity of 20,000 refrigeration tonnes and this will be the company’s first plant outside its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market.
- Compared to other cooling systems, district cooling uses only 50 percent of primary energy consumption for cooling urban buildings thereby reducing carbon emissions.
- In addition and in line with the ambitious plans for this Greenfield capital city of Andhra Pradesh to be among the most sustainable cities in the world.
- Tabreed’s system will meet cooling requirements for the State’s Assembly, High Court, Secretariat and other government buildings that are currently under construction, for which cooling services will commence from early 2021.
- Punjab’s blackbuck fight for existence
- The blackbuck, Punjab’s State animal fight for existence and it is found that most of the blackbuck in Punjab is dying due to injuries caused by stray dog attacks.
About the Black buck (Indian antelope)
- They are found in India, Nepal and Pakistan (extinct in Bangladesh).
- Black buck is the state animal of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana & Punjab.
- The IUCN status of Black Buck is least concern.
- In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972
- It is under Appendix III (Nepal) in CITES.
Note: Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is known worldwide for their conservation efforts to blackbuck and Chinkara
- Bullock cart racing
- The Punjab government paved the way for the revival of bullock cart races at the annual Kila Raipur rural sports meet in Ludhiana.
- The bullock cart races were prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2014.
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (Central Act 59 of 1960) was enacted to prevent infliction of unnecessary cruelty and suffering on animals.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1960 to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and to amend the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals.
- As per the provisions of the law the government of India formed the Animal Welfare Board of India.
What are the activities that would amount to cruelty to animals under the Act?
According to Section 11 of the PCA, the following instances would amount to animal treatment:
- Willful and unreasonable administration of injurious drugs or substances to any animal.
- Confining of any animal in a cage that measure insufficiently in height, length and breadth such that the confined animal is not able to move reasonably.
- The owner of an animal not providing it with enough food, drink or shelter.
- Inciting an animal to fight just for the purpose of entertainment.
Animal Welfare Board of India
- The Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes the welfare of animals in the country.
- The board ensures that animal welfare laws are followed in the country; it also offers grants to other animal welfare organizations; and advices the GOI on issues of animal welfare.
- The Board consists of 28 Members. The term of office of Members is for a period of 3 years.
- Scientists discover massive mountains under Earth’s crust
- Scientists have discovered massive mountains in the Earth’s mantle, an advance that may change our understanding of how the planet was formed.
- In a study published in the journal Science, scientists used data from an enormous earthquake in Bolivia to find mountains and other topography on a layer located 660 km straight down, which separates the upper and lower mantle.
Sources of Information about the Earth’s Interior
There are two sources for information about interior of the earth –
- Direct Sources
- Indirect Sources:
Direct Sources: Mining, drilling and volcanic eruption are examples of direct sources.
- During the process of mining and drilling rocks and minerals are extracted which gives information that there are layer system in the crust.
- Crust is made of many kinds of rocks and minerals.
- Volcanic eruption suggests that there is some zone inside the earth which is very hot and in liquid condition.
Note: Direct sources are not very reliable because mining and drilling can be done only up to some depth only.
Indirect Sources: Seismic waves, gravitational field, magnetic field, falling meteors etc are example of indirect sources.
- They are very important for know about earth‘s interior.
- Movement of seismic wave suggests that there are three layers in the earth and each layer has different density.
- Density increases toward the center of the earth.
- Movement of seismic wave suggests two things:
- There are three layers in the earth
- Each layer has different density which increases toward the center of the earth.