Daily Prelims Notes 11 June 2020
- June 11, 2020
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Poonam Avlokan and Asiatic lion
- Strategic importance of Darbuk-Shyokh-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO)
- Genetically modified Seeds (GM Seeds)
- Anti –Microbial face mask
- Naku-La controversy
Recent estimation of Asiatic lions in Gujarat showed increase in species population to 674.
- Lion census is conducted once every five years
- Due to lockdown the census due on this year is not possible.
- Unlike in previous years, this count was estimated not from a Census, but from a population “observation” exercise called Poonam Avlokan.
- Poonam Avlokan is a monthly in-house exercise carried out every full moon. Field staff and officers spend 24 hours assessing the number of lions and their locations in their respective jurisdictions. It was a mechanism developed by the Forest Department in 2014 as part of preparations for the 2015 Lion Census.
Asiatic lion and Gir National Park
Habitat and distribution
- Asiatic lions were once distributed upto the state of West Bengal in east and Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, in central India.
- At present Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.
- The last surviving population of the Asiatic lions is a compact tract of dry deciduous forest and open grassy scrublands in southwestern part of Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
- Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, in Appendix I of CITES and as Endangered on IUCN Red List
- From a population of approximately 20 lions in 1913, they have risen to a comfortable 523 according to 2015 census
- It is notified as wildlife sanctuary in the year of 1965 in order to protect Asiatic Lion and made national park in 1975
- The entire forest area of the Gir National Park is dry and deciduous which provides best habitat for Asiatic Lions.
- As per the new statics of 2015, the entire Saurashtra Region is inhabited by 523 Lions and more than 300 Leopards.
- Apart from these two animals the park is a home to two different species of Deer. The Sambar is counted largest Indian Deer.
- The Gir forest is also known for the Chowsingha – the world’s only four horned antelope.
- Gir is also habitat of raptors like critically endangered white-backed and long-billed vultures.
- The Maldharis have lived in the Gir National Park, in the Banni Grasslands Reserve area, for the past thousand years. They have co-existed with the lions, which the Gir National Park was created to preserve, for these thousand years.
- The lions have been periodically hunting the Maldhari cattle for food, but the Maldharis understand the cycle of life. They consider the taken cows an offering to the lions, whose territory they share.
- In 2018, Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was responsible for the death of more than 25 Lions in the Gir forest of Gujarat.
- Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is a viral disease that infects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems.
During India-china confrontation along LAC, Darbuk-Shyokh-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) all-weather road often seen in news
- The road’s strategic importance is that it connects Leh toDaulat Beg Oldie (DBO), virtually at the base of the Karakoram Pass that separates China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region from Ladakh.
- DBO is the northernmost corner of Indian territory in Ladakh
- DBO has the world’s highest airstrip, originally built during the 1962 war but abandoned until 2008.
- The DSDBO highway provides the Indian military access to the section of theTibet-Xinjaing highway that passes through Aksai Chin. DBO itself is less than 10 km west of the LAC at Aksai Chin.
- To the west of DBO is the region where China abuts Pakistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan area, once a part of the erstwhile Kashmir principality. This is also the critical region where China is currently constructing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), to which India has objected.
Subject: Science and tech
There is allegation that farmers might undertake mass sowing of GM seeds for maize, soyabean, mustard, brinjal and herbicide tolerant (Ht) cotton in upcoming kharif season
- In conventional plant breeding, species of same genus are crossed to provide the offspring with the desired traits of both parents.
- Genetic engineering aims to transcend the genus barrier by introducing an alien gene in the seeds to get the desired effects.
- The alien gene could be from a plant, an animal or even a soil bacterium
- Bt cotton is the only GM crop allowed in India. It has two alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm.
- HtBt, on the other, cotton is derived with the insertion of an additional gene, from another soil bacterium, which allows the plant to resist the common herbicide glyphosate.
- BT Brinjal and GM mustard are waiting for approval
- Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex body that allows for commercial release of GM crops.
- It had allowed the commercial release of Bt cotton in 2002. At present, more than 95 per cent of the country’s cotton areas come under Bt cotton.
- Use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and fine of Rs 1 lakh under the Environmental Protection Act ,1989.
- The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
- It is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.
- The committee is also responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the enviornment including experimental field trials.
- GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). Presently, it has 24 members and meets every month to review the applications in the areas indicated above.
Subject: Science and tech
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-BHU) has developed an anti-microbial five-layered face mask.
- This face mask can annihilate pathogenic microorganisms that are stuck to its outer surface and thereby limit the spread of secondary infections.
- At present the mask that is available in the market currently acts as a filter to stop the entry of microbes to oral and nasal airways but does not have any effect on the microbe stuck to the mask surface
- The first layer of the mask can degrade any type of RNA, the next layer is anti-microbial, the third one is for air filtration, and the fourth and fifth layers are ‘comfortable layers’, which will remain close to the nose and mouth.
- Copper and silver are de-transition elements are used to degrade this virus and all the other members of SARS virus.
Several soldiers injured during faceoff between India and China along Sikkim border last month
- Line of Actual Control (LAC), is 4,057-km porous border running through glaciers, snow deserts, mountains and rivers separate India and China.
- The LAC traverses three areas — Western (Ladakh, Kashmir), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal).
- Transgressions along the LAC into India from the Chinese side are more frequent in the Western sector.
- China illegally occupies 38,000sqkm of land in Jammu & Kashmir. It also holds 5,180km of Indian territory in PoK under the Sino-Pak agreement of 1963.
- In 1993, India and China signed an accord to reduce tensions along their border and respect the LAC. Three years later in 1996 the two countries agreed to delimit the LAC and institute confidence building measures.
- In January 2012, the two sides signed a Joint Boundary mechanism to remove misunderstanding on a real time basis in case of any transgression along the LAC.
- In October 2013, the two sides signed the Boundary Defence Cooperation Agreement to prevent any flare up along the un-demarcated border. This encompasses both military level and diplomat level dialogue mechanism.
Naku La sector
- It is a pass at a height of more than 5,000 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSL) in the state of Sikkim
- It is located ahead of Muguthang or Cho Lhamu (source of River Teesta).
- The other passe located in the state of Sikkim is Jelep La Pass.