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June 1 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary in Jorhat district, Assam, is home to the Hoolock gibbon, India’s only ape. A railway track divides the sanctuary, disrupting the gibbons’ natural movement and habitat. 

Canopy Bridges 

  • Purpose: Facilitate gibbons’ safe movement across the railway track 
  • Design: Developed by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in collaboration with NFR 


  • Ends and knots secured with high-grade materials 
  • Safety nets installed below the bridges 
  • Incorporation of lianas and creepers for a natural appearance 

Past Efforts 

  • Artificial Bridge: Previously built by NFR but not used by gibbons 
  • Natural Bridge: Built by State Forest Department and Aaranyak; successfully used by gibbons 

Collaborative Decision 

  • Stakeholders: NFR, Assam State Forest Department, WII 
  • Goal: Ensure safe and natural-like pathways for gibbons across the railway track 

Gibbons: Small, Agile Apes of Southeast Asia 

  • Gibbons are the smallest and fastest apes, known for their intelligence, distinct personalities, and strong family bonds. 
  • They inhabit tropical and subtropical forests in Southeast Asia, with 20 recognized species worldwide. 

Population and Habitat 

  • The estimated population of hoolock gibbons is around 12,000 individuals. 
  • They are found in forested areas of Northeast India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Southern China. 

One Species, Not Two: A Recent Discovery 

  • Previously, two distinct hoolock gibbon species were believed to exist in India: the eastern and western hoolock gibbon. 
  • A recent genetic study by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad revealed that there is actually only one species of hoolock gibbon in India. 
  • The study suggests that the populations diverged roughly 1.48 million years ago and all gibbons diverged from a common ancestor about 8.38 million years ago. 

Facing Extinction: Threats to Hoolock Gibbons 

  • All 20 gibbon species, including hoolock gibbons, are at high risk of extinction due to several challenges. 
  • Gibbon populations and their habitats have significantly declined due to deforestation for infrastructure projects, leaving small populations isolated in fragmented rainforests. 
  • In India, the primary threat is habitat loss caused by deforestation. 

Conservation Status 

  • The Western Hoolock Gibbon is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, while the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon is classified as Vulnerable. 
  • Both species are also protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian (Wildlife) Protection Act 1972. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Which of the following organisms perform a waggle dance for others of their kin to indicate the direction and the distance to a source of their food?
  1. Honeybees 
  1. Fireflies 
  1. Ants 
  1. Termites 

Answer: A 


Honeybees are the only option that performs a waggle dance to communicate the location of food sources to other bees. Here’s why: 

Waggle Dance: This dance is a complex figure-eight pattern performed by a bee returning to the hive after finding a good source of nectar and pollen. 

Direction: The direction of the bee’s body during the waggle part of the dance relative to the hive entrance indicates the direction of the food source in relation to the sun. 

Distance: The duration of the waggle run within the figure-eight pattern signifies the distance to the food source. Longer waggle runs indicate a farther distance. 

Other Communication: The bee may also share the scent of the flowers and offer a taste of the nectar to other bees, further aiding in locating the food source. 



In 2023, global temperatures reached 1.45°C above pre-industrial levels, making it the hottest year ever recorded according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Scientists predict that 2024 could be similarly warm, with increasing heatwaves, particularly affecting the Indian sub-continent. 

Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) 

  • An urban heat island (UHI) is a phenomenon where urban areas experience significantly higher temperatures compared to surrounding rural or natural areas. 


  • Heat retention by concrete and tarmac 
  • Air pollution trapping heat 
  • Lack of green spaces 
  • Waste heat from air conditioners 

UHI in Chennai 

  • Additional Heat: Adds 2°C to 4°C to surrounding rural temperatures 
  • Humidity Impact: Reduces cooling from perspiration, increasing heat stress 
  • Heatwave Conditions: Often breached due to UHI 

Heat Action Plans (HAP) 

A comprehensive and coordinated strategy developed by communities, cities, or regions to prepare for, respond to, and recover from extreme heat events. 


  • Early warning systems 
  • Staggered work hours 
  • Shaded areas and temporary shelters 
  • Provision of drinking water and oral rehydration salts 

Recommendations to Reduce UHI 

  • Increase Green Cover:Urban forests, parks, tree-lined walkways 
  • Benefits: Cooler micro-climate, reduced pollution, improved well-being 
  • Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning:Reduce UHI and electricity consumption 
  • Promote five-star rated air conditioners and incentives for upgrades 
  • Better Building Practices:Insulation, ventilation, and green building codes 
  • Alternative Urban Design:Permeable pavements, increased shrubbery, reflective paint 
  • Public Transport:Reduce personal vehicles, promote electric buses 

Recommendations from International Organizations 

  • UN Habitat: Recommends green spaces within 400 meters of all residences for sustainable urban development. 
  • WHO: Wet-bulb temperature guidelines for human survivability. 
  • EU Norms: Many European cities exceed the EU norm of 30% green cover. 


Chennai’s Climate Action Plan: Opportunity for long-term urban cooling measures, setting an example for other Indian cities 



India’s fiscal deficit for 2023-24 was better than anticipated, reflecting positive trends in revenue collection and controlled spending. 

India’s fiscal deficit for 2023-24 came in at 5.63% of GDP, better than the earlier estimate of 5.8%. 

  • Revenue Boost: Higher-than-expected revenue collection and controlled spending contributed to the improved deficit figure. 
  • Actual Deficit: The actual fiscal deficit amounted to ₹16.53 lakh crore, representing 5.63% of the GDP, which grew by 8.2% in the year. 
  • Revised Estimates: In the revised estimate presented in February 2024, the government had projected a higher deficit of 5.8% or ₹17.34 lakh crore. 


  • Strong Revenue Collection: Government revenue reached 101.2% of the revised estimates, exceeding expectations. 
  • Net Tax Collection: Net tax collection stood at ₹23.26 lakh crore in 2023-24. 
  • Controlled Expenditure: Government expenditure for the year was ₹44.42 lakh crore, which was 98.9% of the revised estimates. 

Meaning of Fiscal Deficit 

Fiscal Deficit refers to the gap between the government’s total income (from revenue receipts and non-debt capital receipts) and its total expenditure.  

  • This deficit occurs when the government’s spending exceeds its income. Fiscal Deficit is measured both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 
  • A consistently high fiscal deficit indicates that the government is spending more than it earns. 

Gross Fiscal Deficit (GFD) 

  • Defined as the total expenditure (including loans net of recovery) minus the total revenue receipts (including external grants) and non-debt capital receipts. 

Net Fiscal Deficit 

  • Calculated by subtracting the net lending of the central government from the Gross Fiscal Deficit. 

Reasons for High Fiscal Deficit in India 

  • Revenue Side: India’s tax-to-GDP ratio is around 10-11%, remaining at this level for the past two decades.Comparatively, Sweden has a ratio of ~26%, the UK and France 25%, and South Africa 23%. 
  • Narrow Tax Base: A majority of Indians do not pay taxes. Tax revenues are largely dependent on indirect taxes like GST.  Only 5.83 crore income tax returns were filed in Assessment Year 2022-23, about 4% of India’s population. 
  • High Subsidies: Significant expenditure on food, fertilizers, and petroleum subsidies, along with interest payments. In FY2020-21, subsidy spending on these items was around 3% of GDP. 
  • Off-Budget Financing:Expenditures funded through “off-budget” items do not appear in official fiscal deficit figures. 
  • Debt-to-GDP Ratio: Projected to be 84% by the end of 2022, higher than many emerging economies. 

Reasons for Non-Adherence to the FRBM Act 

Escape Clause: 

  • National security, acts of war, major calamities, and severe agricultural collapse. 
  • Structural economic reforms with unanticipated fiscal impacts. 
  • A sharp decline in real output growth by at least 3 percentage points below the average of the previous four quarters. 

Amendments to FRBM Act: 

  • Can be modified through money bills, including Finance Bills. 
  • Target dates for eliminating revenue deficits have been extended through amendments in 2004, 2012, 2015, and 2018. 

Harmful Impacts of High Fiscal Deficit 

  • Crowding-Out: Government borrowing from financial institutions reduces funds available for the private sector. This decreases private investments, slowing economic growth. 
  • Higher Interest Rates:Increased government borrowing reduces available market financing.Demand exceeding supply leads to higher interest rates. 
  • Inflation:Government borrowing from the Central Bank increases money supply.Printing money to finance the deficit causes inflationary pressures. 
  • Debt Trap:Persistent fiscal deficits and borrowing lead to debt accumulation. 
  • External Dependence:Borrowing from abroad to finance the fiscal deficit increases dependence on foreign institutions and governments.There is a risk of debt escalation if the domestic currency depreciates. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Fiscal deficit in the Union Budget means the gap between the revenue receipts and the revenue expenditure. 
  1. Fiscal deficit is the difference between the government’s total expenditure and its total receipts (excluding borrowing). 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 only 
  1. Both 1 and 2 
  1. Neither 1 nor 2 



Fiscal deficit is not just the gap between revenue receipts and revenue expenditure; it also includes capital expenditure and receipts. 

It accurately describes fiscal deficit as the difference between the government’s total expenditure and its total receipts (excluding borrowing). 



Allegations of encroachment, tree clearing, and construction of a farmhouse on reserved forest land in Akhupadar village, Ranapur tehsil, Nayagarh district, Odisha, prompted the National Green Tribunal to order the formation of a three-member committee to investigate the matter.  

Committee Composition 

  • Members: District magistrate of Nayagarh, divisional forest officer of Khordha, senior scientist from Odisha State Pollution Control Board. 
  • Purpose: Visit the site, examine allegations, and submit an affidavit within four weeks. 


  • Encroachment Activities: Illegal construction of farmhouse, road building, pond digging, and receipt of government financial assistance. 
  • Financial Assistance: Provided for poultry farm, fish farming, fruit farming, and other schemes. 
  • Involvement of Officials: Allegations against Nayagarh district officers for their involvement in illegal activities. 


  • Photographs: Attached with the application showing illegal encroachment and environmental damage. 
  • Record of Rights: Shows illegal blocking and encroachment of forest land. 

Legal Consideration 

  • Violations: Alleged violations of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, and other environmental laws. 
  • Forest Protection: Court emphasizes the need for investigation and action due to the seriousness of the matter. 


  • Established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. 
  • Principal Place of Sitting: New Delhi. 
  • Other Sitting Places: Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai. 

Mandate and Disposal Timeline 

  • Mandated to dispose of applications or appeals within six months of filing. 
  • Ensures effective and expeditious disposal of cases related to environmental protection, conservation of forests, and natural resources. 


  • Chairperson, Judicial Members, and Expert Members. 
  • Term: Five years, non-renewable. 
  • Appointment: 
  • Chairperson appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. 

Selection Committee formed for appointing Judicial and Expert Members. 

Number of Members: 

  • Minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 full-time members. 

Powers and Jurisdiction 

  • Appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals as a Court. 
  • Not bound by the procedural rules of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. 
  • Guided by principles of natural justice. 

Forest Conservation Act 1980:  

  • To regulate the diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes. 
  • Requires prior central government approval for any diversion of forest land exceeding 1 hectare. 
  • Each state has a Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) to assess proposals and make recommendations to the central government. 


  • Prohibits the use of forest land for mining, hydroelectric projects, and other non-forestry activities without permission. 
  • Requires compensatory afforestation in case of forest land diversion. 


  • Amended in 1988 to strengthen its provisions. 
  • Further amended in 1996 to include provisions for the conservation of non-forest trees. 


  • Played a crucial role in protecting India’s forest cover. 
  • Helped to regulate deforestation and promote sustainable forest management. 


  • Implementation issues and delays in approval processes. 
  • Encroachment on forest land. 
  • Need for stricter enforcement. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Which provision of the Indian Constitution aligns with the establishment of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010?
  1. Article 48A: Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife. 
  1. Article 21: Right to life and personal liberty, including the right to a healthy environment. 
  1. Article 51A(g): Fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment. 
  1. Article 243A: Constitution of a District Planning Committee in every district. 



The establishment of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, aligns with Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and personal liberty. This includes the right to a healthy environment, which has been interpreted by courts to encompass various aspects of environmental protection. 

Subhash Kumar v. State of Bihar (1991) 

In this landmark case, the Supreme Court of India emphasized that the right to life under Article 21 includes the right to a pollution-free environment. The court held that it is the duty of the state to ensure environmental protection for the well-being of its citizens. The case highlighted the importance of environmental conservation and set a precedent for future environmental jurisprudence in India. 

The establishment of the NGT and its mandate to adjudicate on matters related to environmental protection, conservation of forests, and natural resources resonates with the constitutional guarantee of the right to a healthy environment under Article 21. The NGT Act provides a specialized forum for addressing environmental disputes, thereby promoting the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens to a clean and sustainable environment. 



Recently, a cryonics company in Australia froze its first client, hoping for future revival. 


About Cryonics 

  • Cryonics is the practice of freezing a deceased person with the aim of future revival. 
  • The term comes from the Greek word “krýos,” meaning “icy cold.” 
  • The goal is to use extremely cold temperatures to preserve individuals until medical technology can restore them to full health. 
  • Individuals in this state are called “cryopreserved patients,” as they are not considered truly dead by cryonicists. 
  • Cryonic preservation can only occur after a person is legally declared dead. 
  • The process starts shortly after death, with the body being packed in ice and transported to a cryonics facility. 
  • At the facility, blood is replaced with antifreeze and cryoprotective agents to prevent ice crystal formation. 
  • The body is vitrified, turning it into a glass-like state. 
  • The vitrified body is stored in a liquid nitrogen chamber at -196 °C. 
  • Currently, a few hundred bodies have been cryonically preserved. 



A 32-year-old woman was recently killed by a tiger in the buffer zone of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) 


About Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve 

  • Location: Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve is in Chandrapur district, Maharashtra. 
  • Composition: It includes Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary. 
  • Significance: It is the largest and oldest tiger reserve in Maharashtra. 
  • Size: The reserve covers 625.4 sq. km. 
  • Name Origin: “Tadoba” is named after the god “Tadoba” or “Taru,” worshipped by local tribes; “Andhari” refers to the Andhari River. 
  • Corridors: The reserve connects with Nagzira-Navegaon and Pench Tiger Reserves within Maharashtra. 
  • Geography: It is in the Central Plateau province of the Deccan Peninsula. 
  • Vegetation: Features Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous forests. 
  • Water Bodies: Includes Tadoba Lake, Kolsa Lake, and the Tadoba River. 
  • Flora: Dominated by Bamboo and Teak; includes Ain, Bija, Dhauda, Haldu, Salai, Semal, and Tendu. 
  • Fauna: 
  • Mammals: Tigers, leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs, gaurs, chitals, and sambars. 
  • Birds: Home to 280 species of birds. 
  • Reptiles and Amphibians: 54 species of reptiles and 11 species of amphibians. 
  • Fishes: 84 species. 



Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, have developed a novel method for producing recombinant proteins. 

Recombinant Proteins 

  • Recombinant Proteins are proteins encoded by recombinant DNA that has been cloned into an expression vector, enabling gene expression and mRNA translation.  
  • Gene modification through recombinant DNA technology can result in the expression of mutant proteins.  
  • These manipulated proteins are created to enhance protein production, alter gene sequences, and manufacture useful commercial products.  
  • Recombinant proteins often combine sequences not normally found in an organism. 


  • Recombinant proteins, such as vaccine antigens, insulin, and monoclonal antibodies, are mass-produced by growing genetically modified bacterial, viral, or mammalian cells in large bioreactors. 
  • The yeast Pichia pastoris (now Komagataella phaffii) is a commonly used organism for this purpose. 


  • Biomedical Research: Used to understand health and disease. 
  • Biotherapeutics: Used in the production of drugs and treatment agents. 
  • Drug Delivery: Protein-based polymers. 
  • Disease Treatment: Antibodies and enzymes. 
  • Tissue Engineering: Protein scaffolds for tissue growth. 


  • Functions: They are essential in biological systems, facilitating processes like gene expression, cell growth, proliferation, nutrient uptake, intercellular communication, and apoptosis. 
  • Synthesis: The blueprint for protein synthesis is stored in DNA, which is transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA) through highly regulated processes. 



The British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology published a study showing that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) do not align with the core habitats of diadromous fish species. 


Diadromous Fish: 

  • Migrate between saltwater and freshwater environments. 
  • Examples: Allis shad (Alosa alosa), twaite shad (Alosa fallax), Mediterranean twaite shad (Alosa agone), European eel (Anguilla anguilla). 

Migration Categories: 

  • Anadromous Fish: Born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean as juveniles, grow into adults, and return to freshwater to spawn. 
  • Catadromous Fish: Born in saltwater, migrate to freshwater as juveniles, grow into adults, and return to the ocean to spawn. 
  • Amphidromous Fish: Born in freshwater/estuaries, drift into the ocean as larvae, then return to freshwater to grow into adults and spawn. 
  • Potamodromous Fish: Born in upstream freshwater habitats, migrate downstream (still in freshwater) as juveniles, grow into adults, and return upstream to spawn. 


  • Sensitive to anthropogenic pressures. 
  • Affected by agricultural and pollutant runoffs. 
  • Face habitat destruction and barriers to migration. 
  • Impacted by fishing, bycatch, and climate change. 

Diadromous fish require protection across their entire migratory routes to ensure their survival, highlighting the need for more accurately designated MPAs. 


June 1
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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