Daily Current affairs and Questions from The Hindu & PIB - September 22

Navy’s first women airborne tacticians



  • The Indian Navy announced that for the first time, two women officers will operate flying missions from warships. 
  • The Navy deploys women staffers in logistics and medical wings on-board fleet tankers, but it will be for the first time they will be onboard destroyers and frigates.
  • The two officers, Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh, are “part of a group of 17 officers of the Indian Navy, including four women officers and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard (13 officers of Regular batch and 4 women officers of Short Service Commission batch)” who were awarded “wings” as observers on Monday at a ceremony in Kochi.


Bacteria behind deaths of 330 Botswana elephants


Toxins made by microscopic algae in water caused the previously unexplained deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana, wildlife officials say.


Key Findings 


  • Botswana is home to a third of Africa's declining elephant population.
  • The alarm was raised when elephant carcasses were spotted in the country's Okavango Delta between May and June.
  • Officials say a total of 330 elephants are now known to have died from ingesting cyanobacteria. Poaching has been ruled out as a cause of death.
  • Cyanobacteria are toxic bacteria which can occur naturally in standing water and sometimes grow into large blooms known as blue-green algae.
  • Scientists warn that climate change may be making these incidents - known as toxic blooms - more likely, because they favour warm water.
  • The findings follow months of tests in specialist laboratories in South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe and the US.
  • Many of the dead elephants were found near watering holes, but until now the wildlife authorities had doubted that the bacteria were to blame because the blooms appear on the edges of ponds and elephants tend to drink from the middle.
  • Anthrax poisoning has also been ruled out, according to senior wildlife department official Cyril Taolo.

What is cyanobacteria?


  • Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, is found worldwide especially in calm, nutrient-rich waters
  • Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that affect animals and humans
  • People may be exposed to cyanobacterial toxins by drinking or bathing in contaminated water
  • Symptoms include skin irritation, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat, headache
  • Animals, birds, and fish can also be poisoned by high levels of toxin-producing cyanobacteria.

Okavango Delta


  • The Okavango Delta (or Okavango Grassland) in Botswana is a swampy inland delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari.
  • The Okavango Delta is a unique pulsing wetland. More correctly an alluvial fan, the delta covers between 6 and 15 000 square kilometres of Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana and owes its existence to the Okavango (Kavango) River which flows from the Angolan highlands, across Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and into the harsh Kalahari Desert.
  • Each year the Okavango River discharges approximately 11 cubic kilometres of water into the Okavango Delta. 
  • Most of this water is lost to transpiration by plants (60%) and by evaporation (36%) with only 2% percolating into the aquifer system with the remainder finally flowing into Lake Ngami.
  • The Okavango Delta is affected by seasonal flooding with flood water from Angola reaching the Delta between March and June, peaking in July. This peak coincides with Botswana’s dry season resulting in great migrations of plains game from the dry hinterland.
  • The Moremi Game Reserve, a National Park, is on the eastern side of the Delta. The Delta was named as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, which were officially declared on 11 February 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania.
  • The 1000th site to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014, the Okavango Delta is an important wildlife area protected by both the Moremi Game Reserve, on its eastern edge, and the numerous wildlife concessions within Ngamiland.



Govt announces increase in MSPs for six Rabi crops



  • Union Government has announced increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi crops. 
  • The decision was taken in the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs held  under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The MSP of six Rabi crops including Wheat, Chana, Masoor, Mustard, Jowar and Safflower has been hiked in the range of 50 to 300 rupees.

Minimum Support Price

  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. 
  • The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). 
  • MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer - farmers - against excessive fall in price during bumper production years. 
  • The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government. 
  • The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution. 
  • In case the market price for the commodity falls below the announced minimum price due to bumper production and glut in the market, government agencies purchase the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.


Who Decides MSP ?

  • The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs announces MSP for various crops at the beginning of each sowing season based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). 
  • The CACP takes into account demand and supply, the cost of production and price trends in the market among other things when fixing MSPs. 
  • The FCI, Food Corporation of India and Nafed, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India help the Centre procure select food crops with the help of the States. 
  • Procured farm products are kept in government warehouses and distributed through the PDS and various food security programmes.


Difference between MSP and procurement price :

  • Procurement price are the prices which are higher than the MSP but lower than the market price. 
  • The procurement price are generally announced soon after the harvest. 
  • Another price, issue price, is the price at which the procured and buffer stock food grains are provided through the PDS.



Hundreds of whales stranded in Australia




  • At least twenty five whales have died and scientists are trying to rescue 250 more that are stranded in a remote bay on the Australian island of Tasmania.
  • Tasmania’s environment department said the whales had become stuck on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbour, on the island’s rugged and sparsely populated west coast.

Whales

  • Whales are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully aquatic placental marine mammals. 
  • They are an informal grouping within the infraorder Cetacea, usually excluding dolphins and porpoises. Whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order Cetartiodactyla, which consists of even-toed ungulates. 
  • Scientists estimate that there are over 80 species of cetacean.
  • This distinctive and charismatic group includes the largest animal that ever lived and the longest-lived mammal.
  • Some cetacean species demonstrate highly developed methods of communication including long and complex ‘songs’.
  • Others navigate and locate their prey via echo-location, generating their own sound waves.

INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION


  • The International Whaling Commission is an Inter-governmental Organisation whose purpose is the conservation of whales and the management of whaling.
  • The legal framework of the IWC is the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
  • This Convention was established in 1946, making it one of the first pieces of international environmental legislation.
  • All member countries of the IWC are signatories to this Convention.
  • The IWC has a current membership of 88 Governments from countries all over the world.
  • The IWC is the global body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling.
  • The IWC currently has 88 member governments from countries all over the world.
  • The IWC has a full-time Secretariat with headquarters located near the City of Cambridge, United Kingdom.







Multiple-choice question (MCQ)



1) The International Whaling Commission is an Inter-governmental Organisation whose purpose is the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. The IWC has a full-time Secretariat with headquarters located at

a) Tasmania 
b) Norway
c) United Kingdom
d) India


2) Union Government has announced increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi crops. The decision was taken in the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs held  under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India 


a) At the beginning of the sowing season
b) At the end of harvesting season
c) Both a and b
d) None of the above



3) "Okavango Delta" sometime seen in the news is closely associated with which of the following countries.


a) Brazil
b) South Africa
c) Japan
d) Botswana



Answers

1-c
2-a
3-d

Post a Comment

0 Comments