21st Aug Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” –Truman Capote
Owl conservation efforts
Forest dept finds irregularities in non-profit’s owl conservation efforts
WHY IN NEWS:
The owl conservation efforts of a non-profit at a core area inside Maharashtra’s Melghat Tiger Reserve came into question after a forest department enquiry found violations in the work they conducted.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Biodiversity
- The forest department admitted violations of norms by the Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS).
- The non-profit had sought permissions from the state forest department to tag owls in Maharashtra’s Melghat.
- Distribution and Population of Critically endangered Forest Owlet (Athene blewitti) in non-protected areas of East and West Melghat Forest Division, Maharashtra
- The forest owlet is endemic to the forests of central India.
- The population estimated to be less than 1,000 mature individuals.
- The species was thought to be extinct for over 100 years until it was rediscovered in 1997 .
- Thus, then categorised as a Schedule-1 species under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, for protection.
- The non-profit, however, carried out the banding and re-banding of these species without permissions.
- A July 10, 2019 permit issued by the chief wildlife warden was for radio tagging 42 numbers of Schedule-4 species, while a permit for non-scheduled birds was issued for until June 30.
- The radio-tagging permit, thus, did not include the forest owlet for research.
COLOUR BANDING OWLS
- Evidence showed more number of owls — than the permitted ones — were colour-banded.
- More than 10 spotted owlets were banded against the approvals of seven granted by the department.
- Non-profit used an endoscope and methods — including using mice, chicks, gum and kerosene — to band and clean adhesive from owls.
- These methods are stressful and harmful to the endangered species.
- No technical expert was present while banding the owls.
- Locals were roped in for the task.
- Colour banding is a standard technique used all over the world for identifying individual birds.
- The entire banding process should last only for 5-10 minutes, after which the owl should be released back to its habitat unharmed, according to protocol.
- “The duration of the banding, however, exceeded the protocol time limit between 30 and 45 minutes, exposing the bird to stress for a longer period.
- The forest owlet is strongly diurnal, which means it is active during the day and hunts in daylight.
- WRCS, however, banded it during the night at many locations, further disturbing its behaviour and exposing it to stress and exhaustion.
SOURCES:DownToEarth | 21st Aug Current Affairs News Analysis
Shri Santosh Gangwar launches Logo of Labour Bureau, says Data Base is very important in Policy making
WHY IN NEWS:
Hot from PIB!
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Governance
- Labour Bureau was established as a Directorate of Cost of Living at Shimla in the year 1941.
- The Labour Bureau is a Apex National Level organization in the field of labour statistics.
The mandate of Labour Bureau is to act as a storehouse of important economic indicators.
- Consumer Price Index for Industrial worker
- Agriculture & Rural Labour Numbers for Industrial
- Agricultural and Rural Labourers
- Wage rate indices and data on employment/ unemployment
- Industrial relations
- Socio-economic conditions in the organized and unorganized sector of industry etc.
- It conducts Family Budget Enquiries and compiling Cost of Living Index Numbers for important centers in the country on a uniform basis.
- Government is working in providing employment, the accurate data becomes very crucial for this purpose.
- The newly launched logo represents that Labour Bureau is a data based organization dealing in data related to workers and work.
- The logo also represents the three goals that Labour Bureau .
- Blue wheel is a cog wheel representing work.
- Choice of blue colour Signifies that we deal with blue collar workers.
- The graph has ups & downs because it captures ground reality.
SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 21st Aug Current Affairs News Analysis
Microbes across the globe
Microbes across the globe can survive on air alone: Study
WHY IN NEWS:
Scientists discovered that microbes in Antarctica could live on air — by feeding off the hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to survive extreme conditions.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases
- The university researchers have now discovered that the phenomenon is global, and occurs in soils across the world’s three poles.
- In areas of low photosynthetic capacity, atmospheric chemosynthesis helps microorganisms grow.
- The process is also called carbon fixation.
- Through this method which inorganic carbon is converted to organic compounds by living organisms and stored as form of energy.
- Atmospheric chemosynthesis are “abundantly and widely distributed in the polar soils of the Antarctic, Arctic and Tibetan Plateau in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas”.
- These bacteria have adapted to survive and have the ability to use trace gases to live, their environment has selected them to become significant contributors to their ecosystems.