DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB -2nd MARCH 2020

Spread the love

IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.-Oprah Winfrey

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Eurasian otter

      HEADLINES:

Eurasian otter found in Chilika Lake

      WHY IN NEWS:

Researchers also find fishing cat, another otter species

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:IUCN:Biodiversity:Fauna

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand the specification and conservation status of this animal.

For MAINS look out for events and methods of conservation of such species.

      ISSUE: 

Researchers conducting a study in Odisha’s Chilika Lake have found the presence of a viable, breeding population of a fishing cat in the brackish water lagoon. It is a globally endangered species that is elusive and found in very few places in south and south-east Asia.

 

Eurasian otterde02otter

EURASIAN OTTER

Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) are semiaquatic, which means they split their time between land and water. Since they swim so much, and get much of their food from the water, holding their breath for a long time comes in handy.

Wild cat species usually hunt on ground.

But the fishing cat hunts in water.

It has specialised features like partially webbed feet and water-resistant fur that helps it to thrive in wetlands.

The flat-headed cat of south-east Asia is the only other feline that shares similar features. This makes them unique among all 39 extant cat species.

Another globally endangered species, smooth-coated otter, has also been recorded from the study’s data.

Eurasian otter

 

HABITAT

The Eurasian otter is one of the most widespread mammal species. It lives on the European, Asian, and African continents, and is native to around 81 different countries.

Both the species are supposed to enjoy conservation measures of the highest accord in India according to the country’s laws, much like the tiger and elephant.

DIET

  • As you might expect, given their semiaquatic lifestyle, much of the diet of a Eurasian otter comes from the water.
  • They eat a lot of fish and crabs, and sometimes other shellfish.
  • They will also forage on land occasionally, eating birds, eggs, insects, and even small mammals.
  • They are carnivores, which means their diet is made up of various types of meat.

PROTECTION STATUS

  •  Eurasian Otter is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, which means that it faces a high threat of extinction in the wild.
  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) lists the fishing cat on Appendix II of CITES, which governs international trade in this species.
  • In India, the fishing cat is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and thereby protected from hunting.
Eurasian otters often sleep in their nests during the day, and are active at night

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Despite being a widely-spread and common species globally, very little is known of the species distribution and abundance in India and especially along the eastern coast

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

India is host to 457 migratory fauna

      HEADLINES:

India is host to 457 migratory fauna, shows latest CMS list

      WHY IN NEWS:

While birds make up the bulk of such species, there are 24 species of migratory fish in India, according to scientists

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Biodiversity Convention

      ISSUE: 

With new additions to the wildlife list put out by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), scientists say that the total number of migratory fauna from India comes to 457 species. Birds comprise 83% (380 species) of this figure.

 

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) had for the first time compiled the list of migratory species of India under the CMS before the Conference of Parties (COP 13) held in Gujarat recently.

It had put the number at 451. Six species were added later.

They are the Asian elephant, great Indian bustard, Bengal florican, oceanic white-tip shark, urial and smooth hammerhead shark.

INDIA’S ROLE

Globally, more than 650 species are listed under the CMS appendices and India, with over 450 species, plays a very important role in their conservation.

Before COP 13, the number of migratory bird species stood at 378 and now it has reached 380.

The bird family Muscicapidae has the highest number of migratory species.

“The next highest group of migratory birds is raptors or birds of prey, such as eagles, owls, vultures and kites which are from the family Accipitridae

Another group of birds that migrate in large numbers are waders or shore birds. In India, their migratory species number 41, followed by ducks (38) belonging to the family Anatidae.

“The largest group of mammals is definitely bats belonging to the family Vespertilionidae.

Dolphins are the second highest group of mammals with nine migratory species of dolphins listed.

Fish make up another important group of migratory species.

The country has three flyways (flight paths used by birds):

  • the Central Asian flyway,
  • East Asian flyway and
  • East Asian–Australasian flyway.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Seven reptiles, which include five species of turtles and the Indian gharial and salt water crocodile, are among the CMS species found in India. There was no addition to the reptiles list.

COP 13 has focussed on transboundary species and corridor conservation.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Centre to review list of monuments under ASI

      HEADLINES:

Centre to review list of monuments under ASI

      WHY IN NEWS:

Sites under State govts. likely to be added to list

MINISTRY?Ministry of Culture
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:HISTORY:ASI

      ISSUE: 

The number of monuments under the Centre’s protection could increase as the government is planning to conduct a review of those under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the ones protected by the State governments, Union Minister for Culture Prahlad Singh Patel has said.

Currently, 3,691 monuments across India are protected by the ASI.

ASI

The Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture that is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country. It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director-General.

ORGANISATION

Under the provisions of the AMASR Act of 1958, the ASI administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance.

These can include everything from temples, mosques, churches, tombs, and cemeteries to palaces, forts, step-wells, and rock-cut caves.

The Survey also maintains ancient mounds and other similar sites which represent the remains of ancient habitation.

PROTECTION OF MONUMENTS

At present, 3,691 monuments nationwide are protected by the ASI, with the highest number, 745, in Uttar Pradesh.

The list of the Centrally protected monuments had not seen a substantial increase in many years, and important sites under the State governments could be added to the list.

Some monuments that could be removed from the Central list and placed under the State governments.

“The list of Centrally protected monuments can go up to 10,000.

There were some sites that could be moved from the Central list allowing development works in their vicinity.

There was referring to the ban on construction within 100 metres of a Centrally protected monument and regulated construction within 100-200 metres under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Act protects monuments and sites that are over 100 years old.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Water crisis :Himalayan regions

      HEADLINES:

Water crisis looms large in Himalayan regions, study finds

      WHY IN NEWS:

Report flags rising dependence on springs

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Water Conservation

      ISSUE: 

Eight towns in the Himalayan region of Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan were nearly 20%-70% deficient in their water supply, says a survey that appears in the latest edition of the journal Water Policy.

 

Disappearing fast: Degradation of natural waterbodies is evident across the region, the report states.

The researchers surveyed 13 towns across these countries to understand the challenges of the urban denizens of these regions. Unplanned urbanisation and climate change are the key factors responsible for the state of affairs, the study underlines.

SHORT-TERM STRATEGIES

The places surveyed are extremely dependent on springs (ranging between 50% and 100%) for their water, and three-fourths were in urban areas.

Under current trends, the demand-supply gap may double by 2050, the researchers warn.

“Communities were coping through short-term strategies such as groundwater extraction, which is proving to be unsustainable.

“Across the region, the encroachment and degradation of natural waterbodies (springs, ponds, lakes, canals, and rivers) and the growing disappearance of traditional water systems (stone spouts, wells, and local water tanks) are evident,” an accompanying press note underlines.

Although only 3% of the total Hindu Kush Himalayan population lives in larger cities and 8% in smaller towns, projections show that over 50% of the population will be living in cities by 2050, placing “tremendous stress” on water availability.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Rural areas have typically garnered much of the attention in terms of development and issues surrounding urban environments have been “sidelined”.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

U.S.-Taliban agreement

      HEADLINES:

Experts raise concerns for India over U.S.-Taliban agreement

      WHY IN NEWS:

They say the proposed Afghanistan-Pakistan dialogue, facilitated by Washington, must not cut India out of the region’s security architecture

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:IR

      ISSUE: 

New Delhi has signalled its acceptance of the U.S.-Taliban and U.S.-Afghanistan peace agreements in Doha and Kabul that aim to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, by sending envoys to witness them.

 

The two agreements set out a course for the next 14 months, including the pullout of U.S. troops, the denial of space to foreign terrorist groups and any violence against the U.S. and allies, and intra-Afghan dialogue.

TERMS STILL NEBULOUS

All Taliban demands have been front-loaded, while the actual terms of the ‘peace deal’ are yet to be negotiated between the Taliban and the Afghan side, facilitated by the U.S. So, much of the heavy lifting remains.”

THE SALIENT POINTS OF CONCERN ARE:

DOES THE TERM “U.S. AND ALLIES” INCLUDE INDIA?

In the Doha agreement, the Taliban has guaranteed “enforcement mechanisms that will prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies”.

However, it is unclear whether India, which is not a U.S. ally, is included in this definition, and whether Pakistan-backed groups that threaten India would still operate in Afghanistan.

The Kabul declaration with the Ghani government, more specifically, commits to stopping “any international terrorist groups or individuals, including al-Qa’ida and ISIS-K, from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States, its allies and other countries.”

IMPACT OF PRISONER RELEASE AND LIFTING SANCTIONS

Officials worry most about the “mainstreaming of the Haqqani network”, which Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists reportedly fight alongside and were responsible for the 2008 bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul.

According to the agreements, 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released by March 10, 2020, the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations, and the remainder in another three months.

Officials also point out that the U.S. has committed to taking Taliban leaders off the UN Security Council’s sanctions list by May 29, 2020, which could considerably bring down the number of terrorists Pakistan is accused of harbouring, according to the FATF greylist conditions.

HANDING POWERS TO TALIBAN

In the Doha agreement, the U.S. has committed to clearing five bases and bringing troop levels down to 8,600 in four-and-a-half months, and even appears to submit to the possibility of a Taliban-led government, by extracting promises that the Taliban will not provide “visas, passports, travel documents or asylum” to those threatening the U.S. and its allies.

This appears to sideline the “Intra-Afghan” dialogue, and India’s support for the election process for leadership in Afghanistan.

This indicates that the Ghani government, which India has recognised as winner of the 2019 election, will only serve for an interim period.

This also raises a big question mark on the future of Afghanistan’s government, and whether it will remain a democracy.

The bottom line is that India cannot look at the agreements or the route to Kabul via Washington’s view,”

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Afghanistan-Pakistan dialogue facilitated by the U.S. on cross-border terrorism and mechanisms must not cut India out of the region’s security architecture.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Let us ‘Discuss’

 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Subcribe now for DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS updates !


Spread the love

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

IASbhai will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.