UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 25-April-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Centre gives clearance for neighbourhood shops to open.

  2. New low cost Probe-free Covid 19 detection assay

  3. White tiger

  4. National Board for Wildlife 

  5. Massive fire destroys 6,000 hectares of Poland’s largest nature reserve 


CENTRE GIVES CLEARANCE FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD SHOPS TO OPEN

Why in news?

  • The home ministry on Friday permitted all shops in residential and market complexes outside municipal limits and all neighbourhood, standalone shops as well as shops in residential complexes within municipal limits of non-containment zones to open during the lockdown. 


Highlights:

  • This concession has not been extended to single and multi-brand malls outside municipal limits and single-brand and multi-brand malls as well as market complexes within municipal limits. 

  • It would be subject to the conditions that these shops will operate with 50% staff strength of workers and wearing of face masks and adherence to social distancing norms will be mandatory. 

  • This is done by amending the MHA order under Disaster Management Act, 2005.


Source : Times of India ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/all-shops-in-residential-and-market-complexes-outside-municipal-limits-exempted-from-lockdown-restrictions/articleshow/75362584.cms )


NEW LOW COST PROBE-FREE COVID 19 DETECTION ASSAY

Why in news?

  • In a groundbreaking achievement, IIT delhi develops low cost probe-free covid 19 detection assay.


Highlights:

  • Testing kit is the first ever probe-free assay for COVID-19 approved by ICMR.

  • COVID 19 Testing kit made by IIT Delhi is in line with Make in India initiative

  • This is the first probe-free assay for COVID-19 approved by ICMR and it will be useful for specific and affordable high throughput testing.

  • The assay has been validated at ICMR with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. 


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1617895 )


WHITE TIGER

Why in news?

  • A 13-year-old white tigress died at the Delhi zoo on Wednesday evening, said zoo officials on Friday.


Highlights:

  • The white tiger or bleached tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha in the Sunderbans region and especially in the former State of Rewa.

  • They are mostly inbred.

  • This inbreeding has caused many genetic problems with tigers such as cleft palates, scoliosis of the spine, mental impairments and crossed eyes.

  • As per current protocol across zoos in the country, the animal’s sample was sent for coronavirus testing.

  • According to a source, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute has confirmed that the tigress was found negative for COVID-19.


Source : The Indian Express ( https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-zoos-oldest-tiger-dies-negative-for-corona-6378193/ )


NATIONAL BOARD OF WILD LIFE

Why in news?

  • Amid the countrywide lockdown, the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has recommended coal mining in a part of an elephant reserve in Assam.


Highlights:

The case in question –

  • The NBWL had in July 2019 formed a committee comprising its member R. Sukumar, Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden, and a representative of the local wildlife division for assessing the mining area.

  • The NBWL’s Standing Committee had on April 7 discussed a proposal for use of 98.59 hectares of land from the Saleki proposed reserve forest land for a coal mining project by North-Easter Coal Field (NECF), a unit of Coal India Limited.

  • In the April 7 meeting, Mr. Sukumar stated that 57.20 ha of hilly forestland had already been broken up by the user agency (NECF) and the remaining 41.39 ha was unbroken. 

  • He recommended a “cautious approach” for preserving the “basic integrity of this forested hill slope” that is a part of the elephant reserve in Assam adjoining Arunachal Pradesh’s Deomali Elephant Reserve with “a sizeable population of elephants”.

  • The Standing Committee “recommended for approval” the proposal for mining in the broken-up area after the user agency submits a rectified site-specific mine reclamation plan in consultation with the Assam Forest Department.

  •  the Standing Committee “recommended for approval” the proposal for mining in the broken-up area after the user agency submits a rectified site-specific mine reclamation plan in consultation with the Assam Forest Department.

  • About Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary 

  • Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam and covers an area of 111.19 km2 (42.93 sq mi) rainforest. 

  • It is part of the Assam valley tropical wet evergreen forest and consists of three parts: Jeypore, upper Dihing River and Dirokrainforest.

  • The Dehing Patkai forms the largest stretch of tropical lowland rainforests in India.

  • The forest is often referred to as "The Amazon of the east" owing to its large area and thick forests.


Source : Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nbwl-nod-for-coal-mining-in-assam-elephant-reserve/article31427115.ece )


MASSIVE FIRE DESTROYS 6,000 HECTARES OF POLAND’S LARGEST NATURE RESERVE

Why in news?

  • Massive wildfires have ravaged Poland’s largest nature reserve, the Biebrza National Park, as the country faces its worst drought in years.


Highlights:

  • The environment ministry said it believes illegal grass burning was to blame for the fire, with the situation aggravated by strong wind and drought.

  • Skrzypkowska said climate change, a snowless winter and local water management also played a role in the fire, which she says has fortunately not spread to the forests and has abated somewhat.

  • In Warsaw, the water level of the Vistula river has sunk to 60 centimetres (24 inches), uncovering many sandbanks.

  • Biebrza National Park is known as a bird watcher’s paradise: some 270 species have been observed there, according to its website.


Source : The statesman ( https://www.thestatesman.com/world/massive-fire-destroys-6000-hectares-polands-largest-nature-reserve-1502880374.html)




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