Comprehensive News Analysis – 05 March 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:

1. In major infrastructure push, Centre builds a civilian airport and two major bridges across Lohit river in Arunachal

2. Kaziranga in storm over policing of poaching

3. Now, drones to be used for monitoring tigers

4. Is TB bacterium not on deadly superbug list?

D. GS4 Related:
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

PIB

1. NDMA conducts training conference on capacity building for Disaster Management

2. MSTC supports the Promotion of Agri-Forest Produce of the North Eastern Region

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
I. Archives

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A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!


B. GS2 Related

Nothing here for today!!!


C. GS3 Related
1. In major infrastructure push, Centre builds a civilian airport and two major bridges across Lohit river in Arunachal

Category: Indian Economy
Topic: Infrastructure

Key Points:

  • In an effort to firm up India’s strategic space, the mountainous regions of Arunachal Pradesh are set to acquire all-weather connectivity.
  • In a major infrastructure push, the Centre builds a civilian airport and two major bridges across Lohit river in Arunachal

Significance of these measures

  • The improvements in connectivity is significant in view of the statements by Beijing’s officials asserting China’s territorial claims over Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Former Special Representative of China to the border talks with India, Dai Bingguo said, “The disputed territory in the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, including Tawang, is inalienable from China’s Tibet in terms of cultural background and administrative jurisdiction.”

Strategic preparedness

  • The new bridges will also provide the necessary support for the strategic preparedness for the forces in the mountains, which will be critical for India where the new Mountain Strike Corps is likely to focus.
  • The planned high altitude airfields in the Himalayan range would also be helped by the enhanced connectivity of Tezu.
2. Kaziranga in storm over policing of poaching

Category: Environment and Ecology
Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

KA brief note on Kaziranga National Park:

  • Kaziranga National Park is located about 200 km to the north-east of Guwahati and in the heart of Assam.
  • It is a world heritage site.
  • It is spread over 430 sq. km.
  • It is home to two-thirds of the entire Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) population.

A note on the Indian Rhino

  • The Indian rhinoceros, or greater one-horned rhino, is categorised as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its 2008 red list.
  • This is an improvement from its status in 1986, when it was considered ‘endangered.’

Why recently in the news?

  • The reserve has been caught in a controversy over a documentary made by the BBC.
  • Titled Killing for Conservation , the documentary by its South Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt talks about the “dark secrets” of conservation at the park and points out that the forest guards have been given powers “to shoot and kill” poachers. The authorities of the park have denied this allegation.

Government’s Position

  • The Government has taken strong exception to the documentary and even describing it as “grossly erroneous reporting,”
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change has urged the Ministry of External Affairs to revoke the visas of Mr. Rowlatt and his crew and prevent “their further entry into India for a period not less than five years.”
  • An official memorandum from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), on February 27, advised the wildlife wing of the Ministry to “disallow filming permission to the BBC in any protected areas of the country for a period of five years.”
  • According to the NTCA, the violations by the journalist involve “filming after sunset,” dishonouring the undertaking provided, besides “deviating from the original synopsis submitted to the MEA and its authority.”

Concluding Remarks

  • The park has been one of the biggest success stories of conservation in India. From barely 75 in 1905, the population of the Indian rhino now stands at 2,400.
  • Conservation efforts are more than a century old, since the park was declared a ‘reserve forest’ in 1905.
  • Even before the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, was notified with its provisions for setting up national parks, the Kaziranga National Park was conceived by the Assam National Park Act of 1968.
  • It was set up on February 11, 1974, and UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 1985. It became a Tiger Reserve in 2007.
  • Importantly, Forest officials, say conservation of the rhino poses a major challenge, with poachers looking for every opportunity to kill the animal for its horn, which commands a high price in China and West Asia.
3. Now, drones to be used for monitoring tigers

Category: Environment and Ecology
Topic: Conservation

Key Points:

  • Conservation drones will soon hover over select tiger reserves of the country, marking the beginning of significant technological intervention in wildlife conservation.

How will the drones help?

  • Though intended primarily for the monitoring of tiger population in the reserves, the unmanned aircraft would collect and transmit visual data on animal movements, poaching activities and instances of forest fire from inaccessible forest terrains on a real-time basis.
  • The drones could be used for the management of habitats and species.
  • Drones will also collect information about poaching activities and forest fires

Recent Usage of Drones

  • Drones were recently used for conservation programmes in the forests of Assam and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Drones were used in Panna Tiger Reserve.
4. Is TB bacterium not on deadly superbug list?

Category: Science and Technology
Topic: Developments

Key Points:

Some important statistics

  • Of the estimated 10.4 million new tuberculosis cases globally in 2015, nearly 0.5 million were multi-drug-resistant (MDR).
  • India accounted for 2.84 million new cases in 2015, of which 79,000 had MDR TB. There were 1.4 million TB deaths worldwide in 2015.
  • For the first time in nearly 50 years, two new drugs, bedaquiline and delamanid, were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for MDR-TB cases.

Recent Developments

  • A WHO list, released on February 27, of drug-resistant bacteria that pose the “greatest threat to human health” and for which new drugs are desperately needed, has no mention of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB.
  • This is the first time that the WHO has released such a list and the prime objective of listing the “priority pathogens,” in its own words, is to “guide and promote research and development of new antibiotics… and to address the growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.”
  • The list is divided into three categories — critical, high and medium — based on the urgency of need for new drugs.

Why wasn’t TB included?

  • According to the WHO, TB bacterium was not included in the list as it is already targeted by other “dedicated programmes.”
 
D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
 
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

PIB

1. NDMA conducts training conference on capacity building for Disaster Management

Category: Disaster Management
Topic: NDMA

Key Points:

  • In its efforts to enhance disaster preparedness, mitigation and response measures by building capacity at the local level through engagement with the paramilitary and armed forces, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a training conference here today on capacity building of the various organisations of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and other stakeholders.
  • Lt. Gen. N. C. Marwah (Retd.), Member, NDMA, who chaired the meeting, said it is very important for NDMA and CAPFs to work together for disaster preparedness and mitigation. Underlining the fact that the capabilities of our forces are not being optimally utilised, he urged them to proactively engage with the local administration and help in strengthening the overall capacity of the first responders.
  • Sharing their experiences on Training of Trainers (ToT) programmes conducted by their respective organisations, participants highlighted the need for standardization of courses across CAPFs. They also underlined the need to upgrade training equipment and modernise training centres. Besides the need for maintaining a database of such trainers, a detailed deployment plan to fully utilise their capabilities for further trainings was also emphasised upon.
2. MSTC supports the Promotion of Agri-Forest Produce of the North Eastern Region

Category: Polity and Governance
Topic: : Government Initiatives

Key Points:

  • The Minister of State (Steel) Shri Vishnu Deo Sai inaugurated the Workshop on MSTC’s vision for North East Region for Promotion of Agri-Forest Produce in Guwahati.
  • Speaking at the workshop, the Minister said that the North-East Region is endowed with a climate for rich agri and forest produce but the growers do not have any market access for their produce and are compelled to be exploited by middle men leading to a very pitiable situation for them.
  • The situation is also aggravated due to the lack of proper logistic supports in the region.
  • The Minister appreciated MSTC’s vision towards developing an eco system bringing all the enabling partners such as North-Eastern Regional Agriculture and Marketing Corporation Ltd. (NERAMAC), Central Railside Warehousing Corporation (CRWC), Packaging Company and Inland Waterways Authority (IWA).
  • The above ecosystem will not only improve the financial status of the growers but also prevent the crops from colossal wastage and make niche products available to the rest of the country.
  • This collaborative effort may play an important role as envisaged in the Government Policy for the development of the north-east region.
  • In order to provide direct market access to the growers of the North-East region and also effective co-ordination and required services amongst the above agencies, MSTC has recently opened an office at Guwahati, which will be a nodal point to cater to the needs of all the sister states of the North-East.
  • MSTC, a PSU under Ministry of Steel has also been rendering services to the oil marketing companies and paramilitary forces including defence in this region since long.
  • In addition, MSTC is eying on all the State Government Departments of North-East states to provide e-Commerce services.
  • To increase its presence and services in the North East Region, the Minister of State for Steel has advised MSTC to waive off the registration fees charged to the new buyers in the North East Region to increase its buyer base and help the region in reaping the benefits of the e-commerce services.
 
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Kaziranga National Park
 
G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding ‘Kaziranga 
National Park’:

1] Kaziranga National Park is located about 200 km to the north-east of Guwahati and in the heart of Assam.
2] It is a world heritage site.
3] It is home to two-thirds of the entire Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) population.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 Only
  2. 2 and 3 Only
  3. 1 and 2 Only
  4. All, 1, 2 and 3
Question 2: ‘Panna Tiger Reserve’ was recently in the news. Where is it 
located?
  1. Madhya Pradesh
  2. Tamil Nadu
  3. Karnataka
  4. Kerala 
Question 3: Consider the following statements:

1] The Indian rhinoceros, or greater one-horned rhino, is categorised as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its 2008 red list.
2] This is an improvement from its status in 1986, when it was considered ‘endangered.’

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
Question 4: Consider the following statements:

1] Lohit River is a tributary to the Brahmaputra River.
2] Lohit River before merging into Brahmaputra River in Assam travels for about two hundred kilometers through the red laterite soils of the Lohit Basin, therefore, it is given the name “the river of blood”.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
Question 5: Which of the following organizations bring out the report 
known as ‘Southeast Asia Energy Outlook’? 
  1. International Energy Agency
  2. The United Nations Development Programme
  3. The World Economic Forum
  4. The World Bank

 

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