01 Apr 2019: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

April 1st 2019 CNA:-Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
HISTORY
1. Going back to the salt pans of Mumbai
B. GS2 Related
C. GS3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Spider research yet to pick up pace in India, say experts
2. SC suspends eco clearance for international airport in Goa
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Seeking the next frontier – On India’s ASAT test, Space militarisation
2. Kartarpur focus – On Kartarpur Corridor
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. The arrogance of the ignorant – On SC ruling on the Forest Rights Act, 2006
F. Tidbits
1. A bond for life to save a garden in Mumbai
G. Prelims Fact
1. MiG-27
2. H5N1 virus
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

A. GS1 Related

Category: HISTORY

1. Going back to the salt pans of Mumbai

Context:

A group of enthusiasts relives history, from Shivaji Maharaj to Gandhi’s Dandi march, with a walk through Wadala.

Details:

  • To mark the completion of 89 years of Salt Sathyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi, who marched 241 miles to Dandi along with 80 people to break the salt law imposed by the British,a group of enthusiasts in Mumbai relived a part of history by participating in a salt pan walk at Wadala organised by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai.
  • Mumbai was always known for its salt pans. From Shivaji Maharaj to the British, everyone had an interest in this region because of its salt pans.
  • The British had built a narrow-gauge railway between Mahul and Wadala and from Vikhroli towards Thane to collect and transport salt.
  • Remains of these tracks are visible in some places. During Gandhi’s salt satyagraha in 1930, many locations in Mumbai witnessed the civil disobedience movement, but the satyagraha at Wadala salt pan was the most prominent.
  • Thousands of satyagrahis would gather at the Wadala salt pans and often face brutal lathi charge.

Importance of Salt pans:

  • Salt pans play a significant role in the ecology of the city and an entire culture evolves around it.
  • Shivaji Maharaj had fought a battle with the Portuguese to control the salt pans.
  • Salt pans have different species of birds and insects thriving on them.
  • They have an enormous water-holding capacity that helps in flood control.
  • The communities that work on salt pans have their own songs revolving around them.
  • But, there is a lack of awareness about salt pans. With the government’s plan to use the salt pans for affordable housing projects, they now face a threat of extinction.
  • Salt has a very rich history. It was the first commodity that was traded. It plays an important role in our body.

Read more about Dandi March and Salt Satyagraha.

B. GS2 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

C. GS3 Related

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Spider research yet to pick up pace in India, say experts

Context:

  • Less encouragement to study the nitty-gritty and poor awareness are hurdles for spider research. The last major research was conducted between 1990s, 2000s.
  • While the research in other parts of the world such as Thailand, Germany, Canada and the United States has been steady, experts said it is yet to pick up pace in India.

Details:

  • The recent discovery of a new species of jumping spiders in Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai has had arachnologists — specialists in spiders and related animals — and wildlife experts call for a greater focus on studying spiders in India.
  • Experts believe a lot of diversities of spiders are yet to be discovered in India.
  • Research on spiders was catalysed by Dr. B.K. Tikader, considered the father of Indian arachnology.
  • While there are 4,800 species of spiders in the world, India alone accounts for 1,800 spider species.
  • According to Dr. John Caleb, a Chennai-based arachnologist, who has been researching spiders for the last 10 years, species of spiders other than wolf, crab, orb-weaver and ground spiders have not received enough attention in India.

Importance:

  • Spiders are important creatures as they are pest-controllers. They are like the tigers of the microhabitat world. Pulling them out could cause ecological imbalance.
  • They are microhabitat specialists and are sensitive to sudden changes in their habitat, which makes them the ideal environment indicators.
  • They are an integral component of the food web, and they primarily control insect populations

Jumping Spiders:

  • In a study published by Russian peer-reviewed journal Arthropoda Selecta, it was announced that a new species of jumping spiders in Mumbai’s Aarey Milk Colony was discovered.
  • It is named after additional principal chief conservator of forest, Sunil Limaye, Jerzego sunillimaye.
  • This species was found for the first time in 2016 while carrying out a survey in the unique, eco-sensitive, dry-deciduous habitat of Aarey Milk Colony.
  • In the research that spanned over the next three years, researchers were able to understand the natural history of this species and explore interesting aspects that were not documented before.
  • This is the only second species from the genus Jerzego to be found from India and the fourth from the world, makes the discovery of this spider species from Aarey even more special.

2. SC suspends eco clearance for international airport in Goa

Context:

The Supreme Court Friday suspended the environmental clearance granted for an international airport at Mopa in Goa and directed Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) to revisit the decision in light of its impact on ecology.

EIA Report:

The Court delved into the EIA Report in detail. It noted various aspects with respect to the EIA Report. Some of them were:

  • Failure to notice the existence of Ecologically Sensitive Zones within a buffer distance of 1 km of the project site which the Court termed as a “glaring deficiency”;
  • Collection of both primary and secondary data of fauna in the EIA report was perfunctory;
  • Attempt to gloss over the existence of tree at the airport site and felling of over 50,000 trees which the court terms as a “serious omission” and “serious dereliction of duty”.

Details:

  • In this case, the court said how the State of Goa, the Centre and the concessionaire highlighted the need for the new airport to accommodate the increasing volume of passengers. They had urged the court to disregard the “flaws” in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process. They had argued that setting up a new airport was a “matter of policy.”
  • The court said that the role of the decision-makers is to ensure that every important facet of the environment is adequately studied and that the impact of the proposed activity is carefully assessed. “The analysis has indicated that there has been a failure of due process,” the court held.
  • It said that a glaring deficiency which emerges from the EIA report is its failure to notice the existence of Ecologically Sensitive Zones of Western Ghats within a buffer distance of 10 km of the project site.
  • Upholding the need to strengthen the ‘environmental rule of law’ for both intra and inter-generational equity, it was held that every branch of governance and institutions across the country should strive to enforce this rule of law.
  • While the most direct effect of a strong rule of law is protection of the environment, a firm regime against environmental exploitation would “strengthen rule of law more broadly, support sustainable economic and social development, protect public health, contribute to peace and security by avoiding and defusing conflict, and protect human and constitutional rights.”
  • The apex court said transparency is necessary for the robust enforcement of environmental rule of law.

What is an Expert appraisal committee?

Expert appraisal committees (EAC) exist at the Union as well as state levels (state expert appraisal committee or SEAC) to advise the government on environmental clearance of development projects.

    • The SC said that EAC shall carry out the exercise within a month of the receipt of a certified copy of this order.
  • The court also said that if EAC allows the construction to proceed then it will impose such additional conditions which in its expert view will adequately protect the concerns about the terrestrial eco systems.
  • EAC would be at liberty to lay down appropriate conditions concerning air, water, noise, land, biological and socio-economic environment.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Seeking the next frontier – On India’s ASAT test, Space militarisation

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