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Daily Current Affairs : 2-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :



  3. RaIDer-X





Why in news?

  • US-Taliban signed a deal to pave way for the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan.

Highlights :

  • The U.S. signed a deal with the Taliban on Saturday that could pave the way for a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan over the next 14 months and represents a step towards ending the 18-year-war in the nation.

  • The deal was signed in the Qatari capital Doha by U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

  • The U.S. said it is committed to reducing the number of its troops to 8,600 from the current 13,000 within 135 days of signing the deal.

  • The deal also provides for a prisoner swap. Some 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 Afghan security force prisoners would be exchanged by 10 March, when talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are due to start.

  • The US will also lift sanctions against the Taliban and work with the UN to lift its separate sanctions against the group.




Why in news?

  • “Chintan Baithak” is being held by the Ministry of Shipping in Mamallapuram where Vice President of India interacted with the chairpersons of major Port Trusts.

Highlights :

  • The Vice President of India called upon all the Chairpersons and administrators of Ports across the country to make ports more energy-efficient and environment-friendly. He stressed that such efforts were needed to counter climate change, one of the biggest challenges faced by the world.

  • He praised India’s 7516 km long coast, its 12 major ports and 200 non-major ports to the nation’s growth story, and opined that India has an excellent opportunity for port-led development as ports were inevitable for exports and imports.

  • He also appreciated the Sagarmala port-led development initiated by the Government of India and said that it was the best step towards creating greenfield ports, modernizing the existing ports, and also for empowering the coastal community by generating employment opportunities.

  • The Vice President advised the ports to adopt best practices to effectively utilize their financial resources to derive maximum benefits. For this to happen he suggested them to reduce logistics cost, dredging expenditure and also improve turnaround time.

  • The Vice President asked ports to take an active part in programs such as Swachh Bharat and extend support to local authorities in maintaining the cleanliness of the city or town.

Source : PIB



Why in news?

  • Days after the Supreme Court green-lighted the introduction of cheetahs in India, the top scientist at the laboratory for saving extinct species says it will be a challenge.

Highlights :

  • India has been planning to reintroduce Cheetah in wild since a decade. However, as per a report of centrally empowered committee, India doesn’t have the required habitat and prey density.

  • The court recently gave the nod to the National Tiger Conservation Authority to re-introduce African cheetahs, nearly 10 years after the plea was made.

  • Sites where they were planned to be reintroduced: Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Cheetahs are good antelope hunters. Antelopes are adapted to dry conditions. Historically, we have not cared for grasslands as we planted trees for our requirements. We had extensive flat areas, but these are gone.

  • IUCN Status: Critically endangered.



Why in news?

  • RaIDer-X, a new explosive detection device, was unveiled at the National Workshop on Explosive Detection (NWED-2020) in Pune

Highlights :

  • RaIDer-X has the capability to detect explosives from a stand-off distance.

  • The data library can be built in the system to expand its capability to detect a number of explosives in pure form as well as with the contaminants.

  • Bulk explosive in concealed condition can also be detected by the device.

  • RaIDer-X has been co-developed by High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) Puneand Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Source : PIB


Why in news?

  • India’s finance minister praised the PFMS for empowering India to be accountable, responsive and transparent.

Highlights :

  • It is an end-to- end solution for processing payments, tracking, monitoring, accounting, reconciliation and reporting.

  • Administered by the Department of Expenditure.

  • It is implemented by the Controller General of Accounts.

  • It provides scheme managers a unified platform for tracking releases and monitoring their last mile utilisation.

  • PFMS is also used for DBT payments under MGNREGA and other notified schemes of the Government of India.

  • PFMS is also used for DBT payments under MGNREGA and other notified schemes of the Government of India.

  • The line ministries/departments utilise this platform to monitor the utilisation of funds provided to the implementing agencies and state governments.

Source : Indian Express and PIB


Why in news:

  • Its cost has increased from ₹94 crores (2000) to ₹1,677.30 crores (2020) due to the ongoing river water dispute of Mahadayi/Mandovi river among Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.

Highlights :

About Mahadayi/ Mandovi river:

  • Mahadayi river rises in the Western Ghats, from the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Khanapur taluk of Karnataka’s Belagavi district.

  • Flowing westward, it enters Goa from Sattari taluk of North Goa districts.

  • A number of streams join the flow of the river to form the Mandovi which is one of two major rivers that flow through Goa. It joins the Arabian Sea at Panaji.

  • The Mahadayi river, also spelt Mhadei or Mahadeyi, stretches 111-km. Over two-thirds of the river’s stretch lies in Goa (76km). The Mandovi is important for Goa also because it is one of the few sweet-water sources at the state’s disposal. Most of Goa’s 11 rivers contain salt water and Mandovi ensures water security as well as being an important place to source fish for the state.

  • The Mandovi and the Zuari are the two primary rivers in the state of Goa. Mandovi joins with the Zuari at a common creek at Cabo Aguada, forming the Mormugao harbour.

About the project:

  • It was originally planned in 1989, but Goa raised objection to it. It is undertaken by the government of Karnataka to improve drinking water suppy in Belagavi, Dharwad, and Gadag. It involves building across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of the Mahadayi river to divert water to the Malaprabha river (a tributary of Krishna river).

Source : Hindu



Why in news?

  • Eurasian otter has been found in Chilika Lake. Researchers also found fishing cat and smooth coated otter.

Highlights :


  • IUCN Status –Endangered

  • The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. It is the state animal of West Bengal.

  • They live foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps and mangroves.


  • IUCN Status – Near Threatened

  • Habitat - Terrestrial, Freshwater, Marine


  • Smooth-coated otter was sighted for the first time in the mangrove forest near the Krishna wildlife sanctuary (KWS) in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.

  • In all, seven otters were sighted in the mangrove forests and brackish water channels of Eelachetladibba and Lankevennedibba and other areas outside the KWS.

  • The presence of the otter is a key indicator for rise of the mangrove cover in the KWS. About smooth-coated Otter

  • The smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) is a species of otter, the only extant representative of the genus Lutrogale.

  • Otter is a carnivorous mammals. The fur of this species is smoother and shorter than that of other otters. It is distributed throughout South Asia and South East Asia.

  • The otter lives in rivers, lakes, peat swamp forests, mangroves and estuaries. It uses swamps as natal den sites and nursery during the breeding season in early winter.

  • Otters are social and hunt in groups. The male otter is polygamous and mates with up to the four females.

  • It has been categorised ‘vulnerable’ in the red data book of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Source : Hindu and IUCN

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