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Last Updated: October 16, 2020 3 days ago

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  • WMO released 2020 State of Climate Services Report

    3 days ago
    World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the State of Climate Services 2020 Report on October 13, 2020. The State of Climate Services 2020 Report was released on the occasion of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction by the UN- WMO. Highlights: ♦ Over the past 50 years, more than 11,000 disasters have been attributed to weather, climate and water-related hazards, involving 2 million deaths and US$ 3.6 trillion in economic losses. ♦ The report is prepared by 16 international agencies. ♦ This report contains 16 different case studies on various aspects like successful early warning systems for climate hazards including tropical cyclones and hurricanes, floods, droughts, heat waves, forest fires, sand and dust storms, desert locusts, severe winters and glacial lake outbursts. ♦ Around 108 million people needed the help from the international humanitarian system because of natural disasters. ♦ By 2030 the number of people using international humanitarian system could be increased by 50% at a cost of around US$ 20 billion a year. World Meteorological Organization (WMO): WMO is one of the specialised agencies of the United Nations. It focuses on for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology and geophysics. The organisation was established in 1873. It is constituted of 193 countries and territories which has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  

    Uttarakhand to Start Plantation Drive to Clear Compensatory Afforestation Backlog in Other states

    5 days ago
    Uttarakhand Forest Department is to set up a plantation drive in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan to clear the backlog for compensatory afforestation over the following two years. The Compensatory afforestation is done against the transfer of forest land for non-forestry purposes. Highlights: ♦ In compensatory plantation, 1,100 vegetation are planted over an area of one hectare. ♦ Compensatory afforestation is done against the transfer of forest land for non-forestry purposes. Non-forestry purposes done in the transfer of forest includes mining, construction of dams etc., ♦ The report of the Uttarakhand Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) steering committee made the state government have done afforestation on the 24,908 hectare land as of now. ♦ CAMPA has set a target of afforestation on 33,944 hectare. Background: Uttarakhand is facing a shortage of 5,535 hectares of land for the plantation drive. To overcome the shortage, the CAMPA steering committee came up with a proposal for a plantation drive in other states. However, for implementing the proposal of the department, the Uttarakhand government will require to bring about a report on availability or unavailability of the land within the state. So, The District authorities of Uttarakhand have also been asked to create land banks for compensatory afforestation.

    GoI launched National Clean Air Programme

    32 days ago
    Government of India (GoI) launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a long-term, time-bound, national-level strategy. The programme aims to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner. The target is to achieve a 20%-30% reduction in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.  Highlights: ♦ Based on the Air Quality data from 2014-2018, 122 non-attainment cities have been identified across the country under NCAP. ♦ The city-specific action plans include measures to strengthen the monitoring network, reducing vehicular/industrial emissions, increasing public awareness, etc.  ♦ The programme will monitor the implementation of the city-specific action plans that are regularly monitored by Central and State level Committees namely the Steering Committee, Implementation Committee, and Monitoring Committee. ♦ The air quality of cities is monitored by State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) which publishes their results from time to time.  ♦ Also, for effective monitoring, few Smart Cities have established Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) which are connected to Air Quality Monitors (AQMs).

    UN report reported Nitrogen Dioxide levels fell over 70 percent during lockdown in Delhi

    82 days ago
    The UN policy brief stated that Levels of nitrogen dioxide fell by more than 70% during the lockdown in New Delhi. The environmental gains could be temporary if the cities re-open without policies to prevent air pollution and promote de-carbonization.  Highlights: ♦ It also stated that nitrogen dioxide fell 40% in urban areas in China, 20% in Belgium and Germany, and 19-40% in different areas of the US. ♦ The UN's Policy on 'Covid-19 in an Urban World' stated that with an estimated 90% of all reported Covid-19 cases, urban areas have become the epicentre of the pandemic. It also pointed out that several new scientific studies suggest that poor air quality is correlated with higher Covid-19 mortality rates. Nitrogen dioxide Nitrogen dioxide (N2O) is one of a group of gases called nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen dioxide is naturally formed in the atmosphere by lightning and some are produced by plants, soil, and water. Nitrogen dioxide is a major air pollutant as it contributes to the formation of photochemical smog. It has various impacts on human health. Nitrogen dioxide is also formed by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Other forms of nitrogen dioxide in cities are from motor vehicle exhaust. Also, nitrogen dioxide is formed from petrol and metal refining, electricity generation from coal-fired power stations, other manufacturing industries, and food processing. Unflued gas heaters and cookers are the major sources of nitrogen dioxide in Australian homes.

    Giant Sea Cockroaches were discovered in the Eastern Indian Ocean

    91 days ago
    Researchers from Singapore discovered a "Super Giant Isopod" species, a cockroach, when they unexplored waters of the Indian Ocean in Bantan, southern coast of West Java in Indonesia. The new species has been named "Bathynomus raksasa." Bathynomus raksasa: Bathynomus raksasa is a giant isopod in the genus Bathynomus. In general, the giant isopods are distantly related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimps (which belong to the order of decapods). The species is found in the cold depths of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The sea cockroach has 14 legs but uses these only to crawl. It is about 50 centimetres (1.6 feet) in length. The Darth Vader appearance is because of the shape of the cockroach’s head and compound eyes. Isopods that are in 50 cm length are referred to as Supergiants.  About the project: A group of 31 researchers from National Universtiy of Singapore conducted the project. The researchers collected thousands of specimens through dredging, trawling, and various types of seafloor coring devices. During the mission, the researchers collected 12,000 deep-sea creatures comprising 800 species during the large-scale expedition. They also found 12 species that were not recorded in the scientific literature. The newly discovered creatures included crabs, jellyfish, fish, molluscs, prawns, sponges, starfish, urchins, and worms.

    National Fish Farmers Day 2020 Obseved on 10th July

    100 days ago
    63rd National Fish Farmers Day India celebrates 10th July every year as the "National Fish Farmers Day" to honor the fish farmers, aquapreneurs& fisher folks in recognition of their accomplishments in the field and their contribution in the growth of the fisheries sector in the country. This year it was 63rd National Fish Farmer's Day. On July 10th, the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in association with the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) hosted a webinar on the occasion of National Fish Farmers Day. Background History: Every year, on 10 July, the National Fish Farmer's Day is celebrated in memory of scientists Dr. K. H. Alikunhi and Dr. H.L. Chaudhury who successfully demonstrated induced breeding (Hypophysation) technology in Indian Major Carps on 10 July 1957 at the former CIFRI Pond Culture Division in Cuttack, Odisha. (presently Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, CIFA, Bhubaneswar). The event aims to draw attention to changing the way the country manages fisheries resources to ensure sustainable stocks and healthy ecosystems. The event is celebrated every year by congratulating outstanding farmers, aquapreneurs, and farmers in appreciation of their accomplishments in the field and their contribution to the development of the country's fisheries sector. Apart from officials, scientists, professionals, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders, fishermen, and fish farmers from across the nation will participate in the event. About NFBD Webinar: On  July 10th the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying in association with the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) hosted a webinar on the occasion of National Fish Farmers Day. Shri Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri P. C. Sarangi, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Dr. Rajeev Ranjan, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Government of India and senior officials from the Department of Fisheries graced the occasion. Interacting with fishermen, officials, scientists, entrepreneurs at various locations across the country, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Giriraj Singh observed that to consolidate the achievements of the Blue Revolution and pave the way from NeeliKranti to ArthKranti, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi The "Pradhan MantriMatsyaSampadaYojana" (PMMSY) has been launched with the highest investment ever of Rs. 20,050 crore over the next five years in order to realize its goal of doubling the farmer 's income. This scheme would tackle critical gaps in fish production and sustainability, efficiency, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, improving and enhancing the value chain, traceability, creating a comprehensive system for fisheries management and welfare for fishermen. Shri Giriraj Singh said that providing ‘Quality Seed’ of fish is very important in enhancing production and productivity in the country.  On the occasion of 'National Fish Farmers Day,' Shri Giriraj Singh announced that the NFDB, in collaboration with the NBFGR, will undertake the work of developing 'Fish Cryobanks' in various parts of the world, which will promote the availability of 'fish sperms' of desired species to fishermen at all times. This will be the first time in the world when "Fish Cryobank" will be created, which can bring a revolutionary change in the country's fisheries sector to boost fish production and productivity, thereby enhancing prosperity among the fishermen.  

    Indian Railways in collaboration with BHEL to be net-zero carbon emission mass transportation network

    104 days ago
    Indian Railways in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned a project of 1.7 MWp at Bina, Madhya Pradesh, which is a first of its kind project in the world. The move by the Indian Railways is to transform itself as ‘Net Zero’ Carbon Emission Mass Transportation Network by 2030. Indian Railways to solarise railway stations by utilizing its vacant lands for renewable energy projects.  Highlights: ♦ The project will be linked directly to the Overhead Traction System.  ♦ The system will involve an innovative technology ti convert DC to single-phase AC, for feeding directly to the overhead traction system.  ♦ The solar power plant has the ability to produce around 25 lakh units of energy yearly. ♦ It will save around Rs.1.37 crore for the national transporter every year. ♦ Indian Railways are planning two other such pilot projects are under implementation.  ♦ One of the two projects is a 2 MWp solar plant at Diwana, Haryana. It will be connected to State Transmission utility. It is expected to be commissioned before 31 August 2020. ♦ The next project is a 50 MWp solar power plant at Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. It will be connected with Central Transmission Utility. The plant is targeted to be commissioned before 31 March 2021. 

    Himalayan butterfly is Indias largest Butterfly

    104 days ago
    The Himalayan butterfly named Golden Birdwing has become India’s largest butterfly and broke the record set by an unknown specimen, which was held for 88 years. The unknown specimen was recorded by a British Army officer Brigadier William Harry Evans in 1932. Highlights: ♦ The wingspan of the female of the Golden Birdwing species is 194 mm which is marginally larger than the Southern Birdwing. The wingspan of the Southern Birdwing is 190 mm. The female Golden Birdwing was recorded from Didihat, Uttarakhand ♦ The length of the largest female Golden Birdwing’s forewing is 90 mm. ♦ Also, the male Golden Birdwing, Troides Aeacus, is much smaller at 106 mm.  ♦ The three species followed by the Golden Birdwing are: Common Windmill (Byasa polyeuctes) at 98 mm Great Windmill (Byasa dasarada) at 96 mm Common Peacock (Papilio bianor) at 78 mm ♦ The smallest butterfly is the Quaker (Neopithecops zalmora) with a wingspan of 18 mm and forewing length of 8 mm

    Urban forest created at polluted ITO in Delhi

    108 days ago
    The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar along with CAG Rajiv Mehri inaugurated the dense urban forest. The forest has been created in a park adjacent to the ITO metro station, Delhi. It has been created by planting at least 12,000 saplings of 59 indigenous tree species. It has been built by the government’s official auditor comptroller and auditor general. Highlights: ♦ The Urban Forest is made up of trees that are native to the area. ♦ There are three dimensional, multi-layered communities having 30 times the surface area of the greenery of single-layered lawns, and have more than 30 times the ability to protect against natural disasters and to conserve the environment. ♦ The move comes as the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi has become an increasing cause of concern in the past years. Also, the ITO crossing of New Delhi has recorded particularly high air pollution levels. ♦ The forest creation will help in reducing the temperature by as much as 14 degrees & increase the moisture by more than 40%. ♦ Urban forest has the capacity to restore habitat for bees, butterflies, birds, and microfauna.

    Delhi government launches Paudhe lagao, Paryavaran Bachao

    109 days ago
    The Delhi government will organize a mega tree plantation drive under the campaign 'Paudhe lagao, Paryavaran Bachao'. The campaign will be held from 10-26 July 2020. The information was passed by Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on 2 July 2020.  Highlights: ♦ The campaign is launched with an aim to reduce air pollution by increasing green cover in the national capital.  ♦ It has been planned that during the campaign, in 17 days, 31 lakh of tree saplings will be planted under the campaign.  ♦ The campaign will be launched near ITO in National Highway 20 (NH 20). ♦ Out of the 31 lakh saplings, 20 lakh saplings will be of big trees and the remaining 11 lakh saplings will be of shrubs that will be planted on both sides of the road.

    World Bank approved USD 400 mn to enhance support for rejuvenating Ganga

    109 days ago
    The World Bank approved $400 million, about Rs.3,000 crore, to enhance its support for the Government of India’s program to rejuvenate the Ganga river. It is expected that this assistance will help stem pollution in the river. Highlights: ♦ The assistance provided by the World Bank will help strengthen the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people. ♦ The Second National Ganga River Basin Project (SNGRBP) will support the government’s Namami Gange program and its long-term vision for controlling pollution in the river and restoring its water quality. ♦ The first World Bank project was aimed to help build critical sewage infrastructure in 20 pollution hotspots along the river. The first project will help the current project to scale this up to the tributaries. ♦ It should be noted that over 40% of India’s GDP is generated in the densely populated basin.

    NCPOR warns about the decline in the Arctic sea ice

    115 days ago
    The National Centre of Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) has warned about the decline in the Arctic sea ice. The dramatic decline in the Arctic sea ice is due to global warming. The loss of sea ice led to a localized increase in evaporation, air humidity, cloud cover, and rainfall.  Highlights: ♦ It is well known that Arctic sea ice is a sensitive indicator of climate change and has strong retaliatory effects on other components of the climate system. ♦ NCPOR observed that the largest decline in Arctic sea ice in the past 41 years happened in July 2019.  ♦ It stated that, in the last 40 years (1979-2018), the sea ice has been declining at a rate of -4.7% per decade, while its rate was found to be -13% in July 2019.  ♦ It warned that, if this trend continues, there would be no ice left in the Arctic sea by 2050, which would be dangerous for humanity and the entire environment. ♦ The study also stated that the decline of the Arctic sea ice area and the increase in the duration of summer and autumn seasons have affected the local climate & weather over the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas. ♦ The report also highlighted that the loss of sea-ice at this rate will have a catastrophic impact due to rising global air temperature and slowing down of global ocean water circulation.

    Solstice ring of fire solar eclipse on 21 June

    121 days ago
    The first solar eclipse of 2020 is to take place on the summer solstice, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. It will be a rare celestial event, annular solar eclipse, popularly called the ring of fire eclipse will be visible on 21 June 2020.  In India, people living along the path annular eclipse passing through Anupgarh, Suratgarh, Sirsa, Jakhal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Dehradun, Tapowan and Joshimath will be able to see the annular phase, while the people in rest of India will witness a partial eclipse. Solar Eclipse: When Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, the shadow falls on the surface of the Earth. The Sun is entirely covered by the Moon for a brief period. Those places that are engulfed by the dark, dense umbral shadow of the Moon experience the total solar eclipse. In the regions that plunge into the soft diffused penumbral shadow of the Moon experience the partial eclipse. In all solar eclipse the Sun, Moon, and Earth may not be perfectly aligned, and then we only have a partial eclipse. When the three celestial bodies happen to be in a straight line, Total solar eclipse happens.

    Researchers discovered new fish species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

    124 days ago
    A new species of fish has been discovered in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It was discovered by Dr. Keshav Kumar Jha, Associate Professor & Head, Department of Zoology, Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat. Schizothorax sikusirumensis: The new species of the fish is named as Schizothorax sikusirumensis. It is from the genus Schizothorax. The name of the new fish species "Schizothorax sikusirumensis" was derived from the name of the rivers where it was found. The fish species were collected from the junction of River Siku and Sirum. The new fish species inhabit the waterlogged area of torrential river drainage.

    Urban Forest scheme to develop 200 Nagar Van across the country in next 5 years

    136 days ago
    Government announced the implementation of the Nagar van scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in the next 5 years. The announcement was made on the occasion of World Environment Day (WED). The move is in line with WED 2020's focus on 'Biodiversity'. Nagar van scheme: ♦ Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released a brochure on the best practices on Urban Forests and announcing the Nagar Van scheme. ♦ It is expected that Urban Forest will revive the age-old tradition of village forests in cities. ♦ Warje Urban Forest has been set as a role model for the Urban Forest in the country. ♦ It has been studied that the forest is rich in biodiversity with 23 plant species, 29 bird species, 15 butterfly species, 10 reptiles, and 3 mammal species. The Urban Forest project will help to maintain ecological balance, serving both environmental and social needs. ♦ India has 8% of the world's biodiversity. India occupies 2.5% of the world's landmass with 4% of freshwater sources.

    Cyclone AMPHAN has developed into a super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal

    153 days ago
    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) alerted Cyclone "AMPHAN" which has developed into a super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal on 19 May. The intensification of the storm from category I cyclone to category V in less than 18 hours. Highlights: ♦ Cyclone AMPHAN is linked with climate change.  ♦ The reasons including high Sea Surface Temperature, low Vertical Shear Winds, and enough Moisture in the middle layers of the atmosphere led to the intensification of the cyclone. ♦ Amphan is the first super cyclone to hit the North-eastern region of Bangladesh and the Khulna-Chattogram region in the past 20 years since a super cyclone-hit Odisha in 1999 causing widespread damage and loss of life. What are cyclones? Cyclones are a large scale air mass that rotates about a center of low atmospheric pressure. It rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere around a low-pressure center. 

    Study of flowering plant endemism of Northern Western Ghats highlights the importance of conserving plateaus

    165 days ago
    Scientists at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune have come up with plant data of the Northern Western Ghats which indicates that plateaus should be prioritized for the conservation of the Northern Western Ghats. Highlights: ♦ The data said that the plateaus and the cliffs that harbour most of the endemic species and increase their importance in conservation plans. ♦ Northern Western Ghats produce 181 local endemic plant species, including four monospecific genera. ♦ It was also found that a majority of the endemic species are therophytes, which complete their life cycle in a short period during monsoon. ♦ The northern part of the Western Ghats of India, which is a biodiversity hotspot, along with the Konkan region, is considerably different from its southern and central counterparts on account of lesser precipitation and extended dry season. ♦ The study also said that the Northern Western Ghats is the region of rapid diversification of specific herbaceous endemic genera like Ceropegia, Glyphochloa, Dipcadi, and Eriocaulon. ♦ The scientists have many other estimates about the species that are endemic to the region, and the understanding of habitats, seasons, and plant distribution is limited. ♦ The scientists also suggested that it is necessary to complete the IUCN threat status assessment on priority, which is underrepresented for the region.

    WIHG scientists reveal 35,000-year history of river erosion in Ladakh Himalayas

    171 days ago
    Scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) studied rivers in Ladakh Himalaya. Their study found out the 35,000-year history of river erosion and identified hotspots of erosion and wide valleys that act as buffer zones. Highlights: ♦ The study showed the operation of rivers in drier Ladakh Himalaya in longer time scales and the response of Ladakh Himalaya to varying climates. ♦ As per the study, Ladakh Himalaya forms a high altitude desert between Greater Himalayan ranges and Karakoram Ranges.  ♦ The scientists also got the idea of water and sediment routing, which is crucial as the country gears up its infrastructure and develops smart cities. ♦ The scientists traced the rivers draining Himalaya and its foreland erode the most and identify the zones that receive these eroded sediments and fill up. ♦ It was found that most sediments were derived from Higher Himalayan crystalline that lies in the headwater region of Zanskar. The dominant factors responsible for sediment erosion were deglaciation and Indian Summer Monsoon derived precipitation in the headwaters despite the presence of a geomorphic barrier between the upper and lower catchments of the river, and it remained connected throughout its aggradation history. ♦ This study will help to understand river-borne erosion and sedimentation, which are the main drivers that make large riverine plains, terraces, and deltas that eventually become the cradle to evolving civilizations. Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG): WIHG is a research institute for the study of Geology of the Himalaya under the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, GoI. It was established in 1968. It is located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. It provides consultancy and advisory services to various organizations for geotechnical feasibility of major and minor hydel projects, site selection for bridges and their foundation, slope stability, and control of landslides, site selection for deep tube wells, among others.

    Largest hole in ozone layer is closed now

    174 days ago
    Scientists from Copernicus European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reported that the largest hole in the Ozone layer spreading over 1 million square kilometers above the Arctic has closed due to unusual atmospheric conditions. Ozone hole: ♦ The hole in Ozone was first identified by scientists in March 2020. The development of the hole was confirmed by Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Services (CAMS) by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). ♦ Such holes in the ozone layer are quite common above the Antarctic at the South Pole especially during July to September but the ozone layer hole above the Arctic at this time was unusual. ♦ The scientist stated that the closing of the hole has nothing to do too with the reduction in levels of pollution amid lockdown. But it is because of the polar vortex, high-altitude currents that are responsible for bringing cold air to polar regions. Copernicus Climate Change Service: C3S (Copernicus Climate Change Service) is the European Union's climate monitoring service. C3S are vital to study and monitor climate change adaptation. It provides climate and climate change information and knowledge by means of accessible, timely, reliable, and user-oriented products.  Note: Copernicus is the EU's Earth Observation Programme. It consists of a complex set of systems that collect data from multiple sources. The collected information will be processed and provides users with information through a set of services that address the atmosphere, climate change, land, marine, emergency management, and security.  Note: The ozone layer works as a protective shield as it prevents Sun's ultraviolet rays from entering Earth. UV from the sun can cause skin cancer.

    NASA reported significant 20-years-low air pollution in Indo-Gangetic Plain amid lockdown

    179 days ago
    According to the satellite data published by US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stated that the air pollution over northern India has dropped to a 20-year-low for this time of the year. he data were retrieved by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite. Report Highlights: ♦ The report highlighted that the sensors observed aerosol levels low after the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in India.  ♦ As per the analysis, an optical depth or thickness of less than 0.1 over the entire atmospheric vertical column shows a "clean" condition. If aerosols are concentrated near the surface, an optical depth of 1 or above indicates very "hazy" conditions. ♦ The report tracked the aerosol optical depth (AOD). AOD shows how light is absorbed or reflected by airborne particles as it travels through the atmosphere.  Note: Aerosols are very tiny solid and liquid particles suspended in the air. It reduces visibility and can damage the human lungs and heart.

    NIF developed ten varieties of Anthurium

    179 days ago
    National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF) developed ten varieties of Anthurium, a flower with high market value, by cross-pollination. It was developed by D Vasini Bai, a women innovator from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She had developed large and medium-size flowers with uncommon color combinations of spathe and spadix. The institution has developed a new method for raising the seedlings in limited space using corrugated asbestos sheets. Salient features of the Anthurium varieties are: they are large beautiful flowers with different colors of spathe and spadix and long stalks. The plant has a better shelf life and good market value.   Anthurium: Anthurium (Anthurium spp.) is a vast group of blooming plants that is available in a wide range of colors. The plants of the varieties have high demands due to its use as an indoor decorative plant. The plant removes harmful airborne chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, xylene, and allergens. NASA has placed it in the list of air purifier plants because of its nature.  In 2019, over 8500 plants and the flowers were sold to the market of mainly Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. The innovator has been propagating it through cuttings & seeds and supplying some plants and flowers throughout the country, but she was unable to meet the demand due to the time-consuming technique of propagation method. National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF): NIF was established in 2000. It functions under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. NIF is located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It provides institutional support for spawning, sustaining, scouting, and scaling up the grassroots innovations across the country.

    Thailand beaches lure leatherback sea turtles to build most nests in 20 years

    182 days ago
    The largest number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles in Thailand beaches. The environmentalists said that this has occurred due to the bereft of tourists because of the coronavirus pandemic. Highlights: ♦ The highest recorded turtle nests the authorities have found since last November was 11 in the past two decades.  ♦ Phuket Marine Biological Center reported that more number of turtle nests were found this year. ♦ The turtles had a high risk of getting killed by fishing gear and humans disturbing the beach. Leatherback Sea Turtles: Leatherbacks are the world's most giant sea turtles. The turtles lay their eggs in dark and quiet areas, scarce when tourists thronged the beaches. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has considered the species endangered in Thailand and listed as a vulnerable species globally.

    Indonesian Anak Krakatau volcano witnessed longest eruption

    191 days ago
    Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano erupted on 11 April. It spewed a column of ash 500 meters into the sky. It last erupted in 2018. No casualties were reported Anak Krakatau: Anak Krakatau means the child of Kratakau, is the offspring of the famous Krakatau volcano. The volcano first erupted in 1883 triggered a period of global cooling. The island is located in a caldera in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in the Indonesian province of Lampung. The island is one of several in the area which is of considerable interest to volcanologists and the subject of extensive study.

    FAO reports peatlands can help attain climate goals

    207 days ago
    Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported that Peatlands can play a crucial role in regulating the global climate by acting as carbon sinks. The report was authored by 35 experts. Report Highlights: ♦ The report recommended countries to restore and manage the Peatland ecosystems as these land are facing degradation. ♦ Peatlands cover only 3% of Earth's surface. The degradation of the land occurs due to drainage, fire, agricultural use, and forestry. It can trigger the release of stored carbon in a few decades. ♦ It highlighted important case studies from Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru in their attempts to map and monitor peatlands. Peatlands: Peatlands contain 30% of the world's soil carbon. These lands are formed due to the accumulation of partially decomposed plant remains over thousands of years under conditions of water-logging. When drained, the lands emit greenhouse gases (GHGs). It contributes up to one gigaton of emissions per year through oxidation. Peatlands are currently facing degradation. This can be controlled by monitoring and mapping. The groundwater level of peatlands should be continuously monitored as it can turn into carbon emission sources. The mapping of Peatlands will tell the location of the peat and its condition. Mapping, along with conservation and restoration measures, will help to maintain water regulation services. The report provided methodologies to map the peatlands. 

    NBRI develops pest-resistant variety of cotton against whiteflies

    214 days ago
    National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow has developed a pest-resistant variety of cotton against whiteflies. The field test trials will begin from April to October at the Faridkot Center of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. Highlights: ♦ Whiteflies are one of the top devastating pests in the world that can damage more than 2000 plant species. It also functions as vectors for some 200-plant viruses.  ♦ Cotton is one of the worst-hit crops by the Whiteflies. In the year 2015, two-third of the cotton crop was destroyed by the pest in Punjab. ♦ Researchers explored 250 plants to develop the pest-resistant variety from lower plant biodiversity to identify novel protein molecules that are toxic to whitefly.  ♦ During the trial, the leaves were extracted from all the plants. They were prepared separately. Then, the whiteflies were led to feed on a total of 250 plants. It was observed that the leaf extract of the edible fern Tectaria macrodonta caused toxicity to the whitefly. ♦ This fern is known as a salad in Nepal. The plant worked against whiteflies but being safe for application on the crop plants and provides protection from the plant. ♦ As the whiteflies fed on sub-lethal doses of insecticidal protein, it resulted in very poor egg-laying, abnormal egg, nymph, and larval development and extraordinary poor emergence of the fly.  ♦ The test also showed that the protein is specifically toxic only to whitefly and does not cause any harmful effects on other beneficial insects like butterfly and honeybee.

    Newly discovered treehopper species named after Lady Gaga

    220 days ago
    A newly discovered species of treehopper was named after the performer Lady Gaga. The insect species has been named as Kaikaia Gaga. It was named by Brendan Morris, a University of Illinois, a Ph.D. entomology student. Kaikaia Gaga: Kaikaia Gaga is a part of the family Membracidae. The species is around 40 million years old. K. gaga was found nearly 30 years ago in a tropical forest near the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The bugs are known for their bright coloring and individuality in appearance. It sings to each other by vibrating plant stems.

    Worlds only female white Giraffe and calf killed by Poachers

    222 days ago
    Conservationist stated that Kenya's only female white Giraffe and her calf had been killed by poachers. White giraffes are rare animals that aren't found anywhere else in the world. Now, only one white Giraffe, a lone male borne by the same slaughtered female, is alive.  White Giraffe: White Giraffe is leucistic and not albino. The white Giraffe has a genetic condition that inhibits pigmentation in skin cells. Due to leucism, they continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, giving them dark eyes.

    Scientists say Black carbon might influence melting of Gangotri Glacier

    229 days ago
    Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) said that black carbon concentration in the Gangotri glacier was increased by 400 times during summer.  Report Highlights: ♦ The study suggested the reason behind this seasonal increase is agricultural burning and forest fire.  ♦ Along with agricultural burning and forest fire, the long-range transport of pollutants in winter, also influence the melting of  Glacier. ♦ The light-absorbing nature of black carbon can trigger glacial melt. ♦ A study on Chirbasa station near Gangotri Glacier found that black carbon (BC) concentration changed from 0.01μgm−3 in winter to 4.62μgm−3 during summer, for the year 2016. Equivalent Black Carbon (EBC): EBC aerosols contribute significantly to global warming because of its light-absorbing nature. The presence of EBC in the eco-sensitive zone, like the Himalayan glacier valleys, should be monitored meticulously. However, baseline data on BC is rarely available from most of the glaciated Himalayan region. 

    World Wildlife Day celebrated on March 3

    230 days ago
    World Wildlife Day is being celebrated on the 3rd of March every year to create awareness about the importance of protecting wildlife. The year is significant on two counts. The bio-diversity super year because of the large number of eco-friendly initiatives being taken the world over. The year 2020 is especially significant to India because it has taken over as the President of CoP13 for Action Against Climate Change. Theme The theme for this year is Sustaining all life on earth. Importance of the Day World Wildlife Day 2020 will celebrate the special place of wild plants and animals in their many varied and beautiful forms as a component of the world’s biological diversity. The main aim is to create awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people around civil society, private sector actors and individuals to add their voices and take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure its continued use is sustainable. The year 2020 known as biodiversity super year will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront. It provides a unique opportunity to deliver transformative progress for the conservation and sustainable use of the species of wild animals and plants.

    Thirty Three crores allocated for Kaziranga under Project Tiger scheme

    230 days ago
    Financial assistance to the tune of Rs 1.51 crore sanctioned to Kaziranga National Park during the fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-2020 under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).  Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo said that Rs and Rs 51,24,670 sanctioned to Kaziranga National Park during the financial years 2018-1 g and 2019 2020 respectively under CAMPA.  Project Tiger scheme Project Tiger scheme financial assistance of Rs 10.30 crore and Rs 22.81 crore were allocated by the government. It is a conservation program launched in April 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's tenure.The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the distribution of tigers in the country. Government of Assam The Assam government informed the Centre that it has taken a number of steps to protect wildlife in national parks, including the deployment of frontline forest staff. In addition, the Assam Forest Protection Force, Special Rhino Protection Force, and Home Guards are supplementing the regular frontline forest staff to protect wildlife. Highlands and platforms have also been constructed in national parks to give shelter to animals during the high flood. Anti-poaching camps in strategic locations have also been built with sufficient armed guards, besides deployment of boats during flood and use of modern technologies like 'electronic eye' for smart patrolling.  

    Genetic study shows that there are to separates species of red panda

    230 days ago
    Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that there are two distinct species of Red pandas namely Chinese red pandas and Himalayan red pandas. Substantial divergences have been found among the species. The scientists found three genetic markers in an analysis of DNA from 65 of the animals. The recognition of the existence of two separate species is expected to guide conservation efforts for the mammal. Red Pandas: Red Pandas are bushy-tailed and russet-furred bamboo munchers. They dwell in Asian high forests. The two species differ in coloration and skull shape. The Yalu Zangbu River marks the geographical boundary that separates the two species. Earlier, it was believed that Nujiang River was the geographical boundary.  A total population of roughly 10,000 red pandas in the wild has been estimated so far. The species is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List because of the wild population. Chinese red pandas: Chinese red pandas are found in northern Myanmar, southeastern Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in China.  Himalayan red pandas: Himalayan red pandas are native to India, Nepal, Bhutan and southern Tibet in China. This panda is the scarcer of the two. Also, it needs urgent protection because of low genetic diversity and small population size. Scientists also said that interbreeding between species may harm the genetic adaptations already established for their local habitat environment. Red pandas have a short snout, pointed ears, thick fur. The animal spends much of their life in trees. Deforestation and degradation of their habitat due to human development remains a major threat to the red panda.

    Maharashtra to become single-use plastic-free by 1 May

    233 days ago
    Maharashtra State government is set to become single-use plastic-free by 1 May 2020. The announcement was made by the State environment minister Aaditya Thackeray. Highlights: ♦ The ban on plastic bottles can not be implemented in the state as clean drinking water is still not universally available in the state.  ♦ The drive against single-use plastic has been taken against 53 manufacturers so far. All their units have been shut down.  ♦ As an alternative measure, the used plastic bags will be used in road repairs. Around 7% of plastic is being used for building roads, and for buyback in the state which has decided to pay Rs.15 per kg.  ♦ The state government has announced that the self-help groups will be given Rs.5 crore to procure cloth bags.

    NTPC, CPCB to set up 25 CAAQMS in States and UTs

    235 days ago
    NTPC Limited has agreed to help the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to set up 25 Continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) across six States and three Union Territories (UTs) in India.  Agreement: ♦ As per the agreement, NTPC will provide financial support of Rs.80 crore for the installation of CAAQMS in the States and Union Territories. ♦ The six states are Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Patna in Bihar, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, and Allahabad all in Uttar Pradesh, Pimpri-Chinchwad in Maharashtra and Madurai in Tamil Nadu. ♦ The 3 UTs where the CAAQMS will be installed are Port Blair in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Silvassa in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman in Daman & Diu. ♦ The data collected from the respective stations will be used for the evaluation of the air quality index for these cities. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): Established on: September 1974 Chairperson: S.P.Singh Parihar Member-Secretary: Dr. Prashant Gargava CPCB functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It holds power under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1989.

    Scientist discover first-ever animal that does not need oxygen to breathe

    235 days ago
    Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered a unique organism that doesn't need to breathe. Henneguya salminicola, the tiny parasite, is the first known multicellular animal that can survive without oxygen. It lives in an anaerobic environment. The parasite lives in salmon tissue and evolved so that it doesn't need oxygen to produce energy. The researchers made the discovery accidentally while sequencing the Henneguya genome. Henneguya salminicola: H. salminicola is a relative of jellyfish and corals. It lives within the muscle tissue of salmon. It is relatively harmless. It causes diseases like milky flesh or tapioca, which is named for the white fluid-filled cysts it causes in the fish. The parasite lacks mitochondrial genes. Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. It captures oxygen to make energy through aerobic respiration. Researchers are still trying to find how exactly the parasite produces energy. It is suspected that the parasite may be drawing energy from the surrounding fish cells, or it may have a different type of respiration such as oxygen-free breathing, which typically characterizes anaerobic non-animal organisms.

    Annual census reported reduced number of dolphins at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary

    236 days ago
    The January 2020 census reported that the number of dolphins at Odisha's Gahirmatha marine sanctuary has nearly reduced to half over a year. This has pushed down the state's overall count. The census was released on 24 February 2020. Census Highlights: ♦ The January 2020 census spotted only 62 of the marine mammals at Gahirmatha, which is located within Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha's Kendrapara district. ♦ Odisha's state's total dolphin count reduced to 233, down from 259 in 2019. ♦ Dolphin, the sea mammal, was included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. It is included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and in Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species. ♦ It has been listed as endangered on the International Union in the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List. Note: The census was first conducted in Gahirmatha in 2015. The census in 2016 and 2017 was cancelled due to bad weather. The census in 2020 was the fourth such dolphin census undertaken in the marine sanctuary. The 2015 census reported 270 dolphins.

    Animal culture is linked to conservation action at COP13 CMS

    242 days ago
    Animal culture is being linked to conservation action for the first time at the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP13).  Animal culture and Conservation: ♦ In addition to individual learning, some animals including whales, dolphins, elephants, and primates have the ability to learn socially from adults or peers about various behaviours, including optimal migration routes. These animals acquire some of their knowledge and skills through social learning. For the conservation of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Sperm Whale and the nut-cracking Chimpanzee, two such proposals were presented at the CMS COP13. ♦ The measure is to protect animals from severe impacts. The human activities that disrupt the social fabric of culturally developed species can have severe impacts.  ♦ If a species vanishes from an area, critical knowledge about the species will also be lost. But genetic mixing might recover the impacts. ♦ Animal culture has been proved to be significant by scientific researchers.

    State of Indias Birds 2020 states 79 percent of the bird species are on a decline

    243 days ago
    State of India's Birds 2020 reported that 79% of the bird species are on a decline in the last five years. The report was released at the 13th Conference of Parties (COP-13) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) which is hosted in India.  Report Highlights: ♦ The report stated a dramatic rise in Peafowl/Peacock population calls for an assessment of crop damage caused by the bird.  ♦ The report was based on data provided by citizen scientists and enthusiasts. ♦ The Indian bird species was compiled from the 10 million observations provided by birdwatchers on an online database known as eBird. ♦ It determined the population trends for only 261 species. Out of the total species, 52% of species showed a decline and 43% of bird species had a stable population.  ♦ Vultures and bustards showed the biggest decline. ♦ 101 species were classified as high conservation concerns out of which 34 species are not considered to be threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

    IGIA became the first airport to be free of single-use plastic usage

    243 days ago
    Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has become free of single-use plastic usage. With this feat, GMR-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) became the first single-use plastic-free airport in India. The implementation of single-use plastic-free airport measures within IGI Airport's operations was certified by the Confederation of Indian Industry-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CII-ITC CESD).  IGIA: ♦ The move by IGIA is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to abolish all single-use plastic from India by 2022.  ♦ DIAL has committed to preserving the environment. ♦ It has significantly reduced the plastic waste generation with the use of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives. ♦ Some plastic items that are exempted from the list of banned items include sealed PET (poly(ethylene terephthalate)) bottles, security tamper-evident bags, pre-packaged materials from manufacturers meant for sale and compostable plastic bags.

    Uttarakhand Cabinet approves 377 sq km for ESZ in Corbett Tiger Reserve

    249 days ago
    The Uttarakhand State cabinet approved a 377 sq km area for the proposed eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) for the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) on 12 February. The proposal will be forwarded to the Central government. ESZ allotment: ♦ The creation of the ESZ has been an issue as the villagers protested villages in the ESZ fearing loss of livelihood due to the restrictions imposed by the creation of such a zone.  ♦ The proposed ESZ does not include any village, for which the maximum area has been defined as 7.96 km.  ♦ Earlier, the Uttarakhand high court had directed that a 10km area around CTR and other sanctuaries in Uttarakhand to be declared as ESZ. Corbett Tiger Reserve: Established on: 1936 Location: Nainital, Uttarakhand The park was named after a known hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett. It was established to protect the endangered Bengal tiger.

    Scientists registered the hottest temperature ever in Antarctica

    254 days ago
    Scientists from Argentina meteorological agency said that Antarctica recorded the hottest temperature ever on 6 February at a remote station on the continent's northern tip. The temperature was recorded at nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 Celsius) at Argentina's Esperanza research station. The temperature surpassed the previous record of 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 Celsius) set on 24 March 2015 at the same location. The current temperature records from Esperanza date back to 1961.  Reason for Climate change in Antarctica: The rapid heating up of the Antarctic region is due to heat-trapping gas pollution from humans. The observed warming rate has serious global consequences, especially for the millions of people living on the world's coasts who are vulnerable to sea-level rise. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the temperatures rising in the Antarctic peninsula is nearly 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) in just the last 50 years. Many other studies have shown that Antarctica's massive glaciers are melting rapidly due to global warming. Also, warm ocean waters are melting the gigantic Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. It should be noted only these glaciers have the potential to raise global sea levels more than 10 feet.

    SASE reported that Himalayas get 20 percent above normal snowfall in 30 years

    256 days ago
    Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) report on mid-winter assessment stated that the snowfall received from November 2019 to January 2020 has been the highest in the past 30 years. Report Highlights: ♦ Snowfall in the western Himalayas during the first half of the ongoing winter season has been about 20% above the long period average. ♦ It also forecasted that snowfall in the Himalayas during February to April would be good. ♦ The winter season over the Himalayas officially lasts from November to April. ♦ It stated that Strong El Nino in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during the year 2019 has favoured a significant increase in snowfall during the current winter season over western and central Himalayas. Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE): SASE is the Defence Research & Development Organization's (DRDO) laboratory. It is located in Manali. The main objective of SASE is to conduct research in the field of snow and avalanches. It provides avalanche control measures and forecasting support to Armed forces.

    Scientists Discover Warm Water in Antarctica below Doomsday Glacier

    257 days ago
    Environmental change is quick, affecting the living creatures on land and sea the same. Because of the extraordinary increment in an unnatural weather change levels, the icy masses are softening at a higher rate than at any other time. No big surprise, the ocean levels are rising, and progressively seaside regions are getting inclined to the overwhelming impacts of this incredible wonder.  Thwaites Glacier As indicated by the news reports, the researchers have just found warm water underneath the Thwaites Glacier, which earned the epithet Doomsday Glacier for being Antarctica's quickest softening ice sheets. Estimating 74000 sq mi, this ice sheet evaluated to be the size of Florida in the United States of America. This disclosure has raised an alert about the icy mass breakdown, which can prompt almost 3 ft to ascend in the ocean level. Where the ice sheet is in contact with the ocean has been recorded as 2-degree Celsius over the frosty temperature. The essentialness of Thwaites lies in the way that it eases back the ice behind it from effectively going into the sea.  Ice Break Down It isn't clear, be that as it may, to discover the pace of decay of the icy mass. As indicated by contemplates, it may entirely fall in 100 years or a couple of decades. The warm water present in the establishing line alludes to the plausibility of a quick breakdown. Purportedly, a submerged robot called Icefin advanced underneath the outside of the dissolving icy mass and found the uncommonly warm temperature. It was a beautiful yellow remotely worked robot submarine that dropped through a 2300 ft profound gap, which was bored through the ice sheet.  The revelation is a piece of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, a US-UK-based research firm that dives into the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, analyzing how quickly it may dissolve. Analyst David Holland is now frightened to observe warm waters in a cool area like Antarctica that signs at the expanding a dangerous atmospheric deviation and environmental change all through the planet.

    Current Affairs: APGCL to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Assam

    266 days ago
    The Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd (APGCL) has announced that it is to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Assam. The facility will be established near the proposed integrated solid waste management facility (ISWMF) of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) on the campus of the old Chandrapur Thermal Power Plant.  Background: The move by APGCL comes after the memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed by GMC with the APGCL on taking over the old Chandrapur Thermal Power Plant campus for the purpose of setting up of a unit of the ISWMF of the Guwahati Capital Region. According to the MoA, the GMC will store the waste in a scientific manner to prevent contamination. After the segregation of the waste, it shall be made available to the APGCL. It will be used by APGCL for its proposed waste-to-energy plant. As per the MoA, a project facilitation committee (PFC) will be constituted. The committee will comprise of the representatives of the GMC, APGCL and the Government of Assam.

    Researchers discovered a new species of Allosaurus in Utah

    268 days ago
    Paleontologists have unveiled a remarkable new species of the meat-eating dinosaur at the Natural History Museum of Utah. It is suspected that the species must have evolved at least 5 million years earlier than fragilis. Allosaurus jimmadseni: ♦ The new meat-eating species has been named dinosaur Allosaurus jimmadseni.  ♦ 5 million years ago, it was the most common and the top predator in its ecosystem. ♦ The researchers stated that the species inhabited the flood plains of western North America during the Late Jurassic Period, between 157-152 million years ago. ♦ Allosauroids are a group of small to large-bodied, two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous periods. ♦ These dinosaurs have a short narrow skull with low facial crests extending from the horns in front of the eyes forward to the nose. It has a relatively narrow back of the skull with a flat surface to the bottom of the skull under the eyes. ♦ The paleontologists earlier thought that only one species of Allosaurus existed in Jurassic North America. But the latest study showed there were two species namely the newly described Allosaurus jimmadseni and Allosaurus fragilis.

    First e-waste clinic to be opened in Bhopal

    269 days ago
    India's first e-waste clinic is to be inaugurated in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on 24 January. It was jointly set up by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The e-waste clinic will be started on the basis of a three-month pilot project.  e-waste clinic: ♦ The clinic is set up in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. ♦ The e-waste clinic will segregate, process and dispose of the waste from both household and commercial units.  ♦ Electronic waste will be collected either from door-to-door or can be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee.  ♦ The CPCB will provide technical support at the unit ♦ The e-waste clinic has been prepared on a junk low floor bus. The bus will be decorated with e-waste material from outside and inside. A TV has been installed in it, in which documentary films on the subject of environmental damage caused by e-waste will be shown.

    India achieved complete phase out of ozone depleting chemicals

    270 days ago
    India has successfully achieved the complete phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b. HCFC-141b is not produced in India and all the domestic requirements are met through imports. The government announced the prohibition of the import of HCFC-141 b and has completely phased out the important ozone-depleting chemical. HCFC-141 b: ♦ It is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).  ♦ HCFC-141 b is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams. ♦ India has decided to make provide environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies and phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). ♦ India is one of the few countries globally and a pioneer in some cases in the use of technologies, which are non-Ozone Depleting and have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

    Platypus under threat from Climate Change

    270 days ago
    A study led by UNSW Sydney's Centre for Ecosystem Science said that the prolonged drought and other climatic changes in Australia have caused a threat to the extinction of Platypus. It is a unique and enigmatic mammal endemic to Australia. The researchers studied the potentially devastating combination of threats to platypus populations, including land clearing, climate change, water resource development, and increasingly severe periods of drought. Platypus: ♦ Platypus is referred to as the duck-billed platypus.  ♦ The semi aquatic egg-laying mammal was earlier widespread across the eastern Australian mainland and Tasmania. ♦ It has been hunted for its fur. ♦ Platypus is vulnerable to pollution and climate change. ♦ The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently downgraded the platypus' conservation status to the Near Threatened category in the Red List.

    Wildlife census began in Kalakkadu-Mundanthurai tiger reserve

    270 days ago
    The annual wildlife census has begun in the Kalakkadu - Mundanthurai tiger sanctuary in Tamil Nadu on 22 January 2020. It will be held until 27 January. The census results will be included in the annual State of Wild Life Population report of the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment. Survey: ♦ The survey will be conducted in the entire 60,000 hectare area of the sanctuary. ♦ In the first phase of the survey, carnivores like jackals, tiger, crocodile, etc, will be counted. ♦ In the second phase, herbivores like elephants, deer, gaur, etc will be considered.  ♦ Census is a very important tool as it aims to protect the precious wildlife wealth in the country. It should be conducted effectively without any distractions. ♦ More than 3,000 personnel, including forest officials, wildlife experts, and college students are involved in the exercise. ♦ The survey will take note of the condition of the forest environment and its effect on the pattern of distribution of wild animals.  ♦ During the survey, possibilities for man-animal conflicts will be identified and necessary eco-friendly steps to avoid them will also be suggested. Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR): Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is located in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. It was established in 1988. As per the 1977 Census, there are at least 150 endemic plants, 33 fish, 37 amphibians, 81 reptiles, 273 birds and 77 mammal species in the reserve. 

    APEDA sets up 186 Agri products testing laboratories

    273 days ago
    Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has added 135 laboratories to existing 51 recognized laboratories. With this addition of laboratories, APEDA recognition of laboratories has reached 186 laboratories in India.  Added labs: The move is significant as the Laboratory testing requirements are crucial in the Agri export supply chain. The number of laboratories added includes 35 in Maharashtra, 23 in Gujarat, 10 in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, 23 in Tamil Nadu 17 in and Karnataka.  New Policy: ♦ APEDA introduced a policy decision for the simplification of APEDA recognition of laboratories to increase the laboratory network further. It has been decided that the laboratories which are National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited will be recognized by APEDA. These laboratories will be added in the network of APEDA recognition laboratories. ♦ It is expected that this will enable APEDA to continuously expand its recognition network of laboratories in India ♦ The policy will enable the exporters to have easy access to the laboratories for testing of APEDA scheduled products for exports.

    Amazon India to induct 10,000 EVs into its delivery fleet

    273 days ago
    Amazon India has announced that it is to induct 10,000 electric vehicles (EV) into its delivery fleet by 2025. It is a part of the company's measures to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of its operations in the country. Amazon's EV delivery fleet: ♦ Amazon India's commitment to electric mobility comes after running successful pilots in several cities in 2019.  ♦ The company is to have its electric fleet operating in 20 cities across India including Delhi NCR, Bangalore, and Hyderabad within 2020. ♦ The company aims to build a supply chain that will minimize the environmental impact of our operations ♦ It will continue to invest in the electrification of the delivery fleet in order to reduce the company's dependence on non-renewable resources. ♦ The move is the company's 5-year plan that includes creating 1 million new direct and indirect jobs, export goods worth $10 billion from small and medium businesses and manufacturers in India.

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