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11-March-2024-Daily-Current-Affairs

March 11 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

JUNGLE SAFARI STARTS IN NEW ZONE NEAR CORBETT TIGER RESERVE

TOPIC: (GS3) ENVIRONMENT – SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA

The recent approval of the Tiger Safari at Pakhrau in the buffer area of Corbett Tiger Reserve by the Supreme Court has ignited discussions on the concept and consequences of tiger safaris in wildlife conservation.

Meaning and Legal Context of Tiger Safaris:

  • Tiger safaris, not explicitly defined in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, are envisioned in guidelines by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
  • These guidelines permit safari parks in buffer areas of tiger reserves to alleviate tourism stress on wildlife.

Evolution of Tiger Safari Guidelines:

  • Initially proposed for injured, conflicted, or orphaned tigers, excluding those from zoos.
  • Amendments later allowed zoo animals, raising concerns about disease transmission and wildlife welfare.

Rationale for Tiger Safaris:

  • Proponents argue safari parks ease tourism pressure on reserves, offer natural habitats for distressed animals, and boost local livelihoods through tourism revenue.

Critique and Counterarguments:

  • Critics highlight adverse effects on wildlife habitats, increased tourism congestion, and departure from traditional conservation practices.
  • Captive animals in natural environments may disrupt habitats and compromise species’ welfare.

Ground Reality and Local Context:

  • Pakhrau Safari Park in Corbett Tiger Reserve raises concerns about habitat disturbance and conflicts with local wildlife.
  • Economic benefits for local communities are emphasized, but past experiences advise thorough assessment.

Challenges and Lessons Learned:

  • Previous initiatives, like in Ranthambhore, faced logistical challenges and failed objectives.
  • Lessons underscore the need for careful planning and site-specific solutions in wildlife conservation.

Future Prospects and Policy Recommendations:

  • Supreme Court’s directive to form guidelines for tiger safaris is an opportunity for comprehensive and context-sensitive policies.
  • Local authorities must prioritize wildlife conservation over commercial interests and adopt sustainable tourism practices.

Conclusion:

The debate on tiger safaris mirrors the intricate interplay between conservation goals, economic interests, and stakeholder perspectives in wildlife management.

As India strives to balance biodiversity conservation with tourism promotion, a cautious and scientifically informed approach is crucial for the long-term sustainability of tiger reserves and the protection of endangered species.

About Jim Corbett National Park:

  • Located in Nainital district, Uttarakhand.
  • Established in 1936 as Hailey National Park for Bengal tiger protection.
  • Part of Corbett Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger launched in 1973.
  • Named after Jim Corbett, key figure in its establishment.
  • Core area forms Corbett National Park, buffer contains reserve forests and Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Area is mountainous, falling in Shivalik and Outer Himalaya geological provinces.
  • Home to 230 tigers with the world’s highest tiger density at 14 tigers per hundred square kilometers.

National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA):

  • Statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.
  • Established in 2005 following Tiger Task Force recommendations.
  • Constituted under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, for strengthening tiger conservation.

IN GUJARAT, HARNESSING THE VALUE OF DUNG TO BOOST FARMERS’ INCOME

TOPIC: (GS3) ENVIRONMENT – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS

The BioCNG outlet on the Deesa-Tharad highway in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district stands as India’s first and sole gas-filling station, revolutionizing fuel sources by utilizing dung from cattle and buffaloes. This pioneering initiative marks a significant stride towards sustainable energy production.

Operational Details and Output:

  • Operated by the Banaskantha District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union.
  • Located in Dama village, it caters to 90-100 vehicles daily, selling around 550-600 kg of gas from 40 tonnes of processed dung.
  • Demonstrates the potential for innovative energy solutions using organic waste.

Understanding the Significance of Dung:

  • Dung is explored for its potential as a source of biogas.
  • Fresh dung contains methane produced during fermentation in the rumen.
  • Local farmers play a crucial role in collecting and delivering dung to biogas plants.

Biogas Production Process:

  • Anaerobic digestion involves stages like hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis.
  • Complex organic matter in dung breaks down to produce biogas.
  • Purification removes impurities, resulting in compressed biogas (CBG) suitable for use as fuel.

Additional Benefits and Revenue Streams:

  • Residue from anaerobic digestion becomes a source of bio-fertilizer.
  • Decomposed and processed to create phosphate-rich organic manure (PROM).
  • Bio-fertilizer sales often surpass revenue from BioCNG sales.

Scalability and Replicability:

  • The BioCNG model is scalable and replicable.
  • Potential adoption by other district-level milk unions across India.
  • Offers income sources for farmers and promotes sustainable energy production.

Alternative Decentralized Model:

  • Decentralized biogas plants offer an alternative for dairy farmers.
  • Flexi Biogas plants in villages like Mujkuva enable household biogas production and income from slurry sales.

What is BioCNG?

  • Also known as biomethane, it is a renewable and clean-burning transportation fuel.
  • Produced by upgrading biogas to natural gas quality.
  • Made from organic waste materials: agricultural waste, food waste, and sewage sludge.

Benefits of BioCNG:

  • High Calorific Value: Produces more energy per unit volume, making it efficient and economical.
  • Clean Fuel: Controls air pollution, emitting fewer harmful pollutants than gasoline or diesel.
  • No Residue or Smoke: Leaves no ash, tar, or carbon deposits, ensuring engine safety and performance.
  • Economical: Locally produced, saving transportation and storage costs, creating jobs, and reducing the energy import bill.
  • Bio-Fertilizers: Generates organic fertilizers enhancing soil quality and crop yield, addressing agricultural sustainability.

‘DIFFERENCES’ WITH CEC MAY HAVE LED TO GOEL QUITTING

TOPIC: (GS3) POLITY AND GOVERNANCE – SOURCE: THE HINDU

The sudden resignation of Election Commissioner Arun Goel, attributed to reported differences with Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar during their visit to West Bengal, has raised concerns and questions among opposition parties. This development occurred a week before the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, surprising many.

Additional Information:

  • Goel’s unexpected resignation came a week before the Lok Sabha election announcement.
  • Alleged differences between Goel and CEC Rajiv Kumar surfaced during their West Bengal visit.
  • Goel reportedly refused to attend a Kolkata press conference, leading to his departure.
  • CEC cited Goel’s “health concerns,” but insiders suggest serious differences as the cause.
  • Opposition questions if the resignation stems from conflicts, electoral ambitions, or personal reasons.
  • Goel attended meetings on March 7, skipped a crucial one on March 8, and resigned on March 9.
  • Despite reconciliation attempts, Goel’s resignation was accepted.
  • Concerns over Tussle Between Election Commissioners and CEC:

Issues:

  • Lack of Unanimity: Instances of disagreement between Election Commissioners and CEC hinder decision-making unanimity.
  • Power Imbalance: CEC holds a more potent position, leading to conflicts over decision authority.
  • Need for Collegial Decision-Making: Disputes impede the Election Commission’s effective functioning.

Way Forward:

  • Clear Guidelines: Establishing clear decision-making guidelines within the Election Commission can prevent conflicts and offer a structured approach.
  • Enhanced Communication: Regular and transparent communication among Election Commissioners is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.
  • Strengthening Institutional Framework: Defining roles and responsibilities can contribute to a smoother functioning of the Election Commission.
  • Legal Reforms: Considering legal reforms to address ambiguities in current provisions, ensuring a robust resolution of internal disputes.

REPORT TURNS SPOTLIGHT ON INDIA’S ‘ZERO-FOOD CHILDREN’

TOPIC: (GS3) SOCIETY – SOURCE: DECCAN HERALD

A recent study sheds light on a critical issue in Uttar Pradesh, India, where a staggering 28.4% of children aged 6-23 months are identified as “zero-food children,” facing severe malnutrition. This alarming situation is further exacerbated by economic challenges, limited awareness, time constraints, shifting social dynamics, and personal struggles.

Child Nutrition Crisis in Uttar Pradesh:

Prevalence:

  • Recent studies reveal that 19.3% of Indian children aged 6 to 23 months are “zero-food children.”
  • India ranks third globally, with over six million zero-food children, surpassed only by Guinea (21.8%) and Mali (20.5%).
  • Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for a concerning 28.4% of zero-food children in India.

Factors Contributing to the Crisis:

  • Economic Challenges: Poverty and marginalization worsened by rapid urbanization and nuclearized families.
  • Limited Awareness: Lack of awareness about children’s nutritional needs and prevalent misconceptions.
  • Time Constraints: Working mothers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds struggle to find time for complementary feeding.
  • Social Dynamics: Nuclear families, coupled with industrialization, leave limited resources for child feeding beyond the mother.
  • Personal Struggles: Cases like Sunita Gautam’s highlight challenges faced by mothers, including a husband’s alcoholism hindering childcare efforts.

Call for Intervention:

  • Public health specialists emphasize the urgent need for awareness, support, and interventions to address this critical issue in Uttar Pradesh.

What are Zero-Food Children?

“Zero-food children” refer to infants aged 6 to 23 months who haven’t consumed any substantial calorie-containing food within a 24-hour period.

Impact:

  • Health Consequences: Stunted growth, weakened immune systems, and higher susceptibility to diseases.
  • Cognitive Development: Impaired brain development affecting learning abilities.
  • Inter-generational Cycle: Malnourished children are likely to become malnourished parents, perpetuating the cycle.

Way Forward:

  • Nutrition Programs: Strengthen and expand existing government programs like ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services).
  • Education and Awareness: Promote nutritional awareness among parents and communities.
  • Agricultural Interventions: Enhance agricultural practices to improve food diversity and availability.
  • Healthcare Infrastructure: Strengthen healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Collaborate with the private sector for innovative solutions and resource mobilization.

PRITZKER ARCHITECTURE PRIZE

TOPIC: (GS3) SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – SOURCE: MINT

Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto has been honored with the prestigious 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize

About Pritzker Architecture Prize:

  • Highest international award in architecture, dubbed the “Architecture Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor.”
  • Established in 1979 by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation.
  • Awarded annually to living architects for significant achievement in the field.
  • Aims to honor architects whose work demonstrates talent, vision, and commitment to humanity and the built environment.

Works of Riken Yamamoto:

  • He is the Ninth laureate from Japan.
  • Notable works include the Hiroshima Nishi Fire Station (2000), featuring a transparent façade and glass walls allowing passersby to observe.
  • The Koyasu Elementary School (2018) showcases spacious, open terraces promoting interaction and facilitating arts education.

Prize Details:

  • The laureate receives $100,000 and a bronze medallion in recognition of their contributions to architecture and humanity.

PARROT FEVER

TOPIC: (GS3) ENVIRONMENT – SOURCE: THE HINDU

Parrot fever, also known as psittacosis, has resulted in the deaths of five individuals across Europe in a recent outbreak.

  • It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci (C. psittaci), which can infect various mammals but is most commonly found in birds.
  • The disease primarily affects birds but can be transmitted to humans through inhalation of contaminated particles from feathers or droppings.
  • Those who work closely with birds, like poultry workers, veterinarians, and pet-bird owners, are at higher risk of contracting psittacosis.
  • Human-to-human transmission of the disease is very rare.
  • Symptoms of psittacosis include fever, headache, muscle pains, coughing, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia-like symptoms.
  • Severe cases can lead to complications such as myocarditis or neurological symptoms.
  • Treatment involves oral antibiotics like doxycycline or tetracycline for two to three weeks.
  • Supportive care, including over-the-counter medications for symptom relief and proper hygiene practices, is crucial for recovery.

‘MEASLES AND RUBELLA CHAMPION AWARD’

TOPIC: (GS3) SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – SOURCE: DOWN TO EARTH

India has received the ‘Measles and Rubella Champion Award’ from the MR Partnership.

  • The partnership includes agencies like the American Red Cross and the World Health Organization.
  • Measles and Rubella are highly contagious viruses transmitted through coughing and sneezing.
  • Rubella, also known as German Measles, spreads through airborne droplets. Humans are the only known host for these diseases.
  • Both Measles and Rubella are vaccine-preventable, and India has included the MR Vaccine in its Universal Immunization Programme since 2017.

Details

Date:
March 11
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: