Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - December 28, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Prakash Javadekar releases ‘Status of Leopards in India 2018’ report

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • The Union environment minister, Prakash Javadekar has released a report titled the ‘Status of Leopard in India 2018’. 
  • As per the report, the population of leopard in India has increased by 60 per cent in four years since 2014.

Background

  • India now has 12,852 leopards as per 2018 estimate, compared to the previous estimate of 7910 conducted in 2014.
  • The States of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra recorded the highest leopard estimates at 3,421, 1,783, and 1,690 respectively.

About Leopard

  • It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, a small part of European Russia, and on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia.
  • It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range. 
  • Contemporary records suggest that the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range.
  • Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. Its fur is marked with rosettes.
  • It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but has a smaller, lighter physique, and its rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed and without central spots.

Source: The Times of India.

UN Population Award for 2020

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Context

  • HelpAge India has been presented the UN Population Award for 2020 (institutional category), according to a release issued by UNFPA.
  • Each year, the Committee for the UNPA honours an individual and/or institution in recognition of outstanding contributions to population and reproductive health questions and to their solutions.

About the award

  • The Award was established by the General Assembly in 1981, in resolution 36/201, and was first presented in 1983.
  • It consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a monetary prize.
  • The Committee for the Award is comprised of 10 UN Member States, with UN Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director serving as ex-officio members.
  • Nominations for the award are accepted through 31 December of each year.

Highlights

  • For the first time in the history of the UNPA, the honour is being conferred on an Indian institution.
  • HelpAge India, which has been working for ‘the cause and care of disadvantaged older persons to improve their quality of life’ for over four decades, is the first Indian institution to receive this award.
  • The last time the Award came to an Indian was 28 years ago, back in 1992, when it was awarded to Mr J.R.D. Tata as an individual laureate.

Source: The Hindu.

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Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary referred to as ‘Mini Kaziranga’ for similar features

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • Too many cattle are robbing the one-horned rhinos of Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, referred to as ‘Mini Kaziranga’ for similar features, of their nutritious food.
  • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the flood plains of River Brahmaputra in the district of Morigaon and about 45 kms from Guwahati, the capital of Assam.

Highlights

  • In 1987, Pobitora was declared a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Pobitora wildlife sanctuary harbors the highest density of Rhinoceros in the world and second highest concentration of Rhinoceros in Assam after Kaziranga National Park.
  • It is an Important Bird Area and home for more than 2000 migratory birds and various reptiles.

Source: The Hindu.

In India, over 75% districts hotspots of extreme weather events, finds study

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


Context

  • The CEEW study found that in the last 50 years, the frequency of flood events increased almost eight times.
  • Events associated with floods such as landslides, heavy rainfall, hailstorms, thunderstorms, and cloudbursts increased by over 20 times.

Background

  • Over 75 per cent districts in India, home to more than 63.8 crore people, are hotspots of extreme climate events such as cyclones, floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, according to a study released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
  • This is the first time that extreme weather event hotspots in the country have been.

Highlights

  • The frequency, intensity, and unpredictability of these extreme events have risen in recent decades – while India witnessed 250 extreme climate events in 35 years between 1970 and 2005, it recorded 310 such weather events in only 15 years since then, the study has pointed out.
  • The CEEW study found that in the last 50 years, the frequency of flood events increased almost eight times.
  • Events associated with floods such as landslides, heavy rainfall, hailstorms, thunderstorms, and cloudbursts increased by over 20 times.
  • The frequency of floods surged significantly in the last two decades, it was found.
  • Between 1970 and 2004, three extreme flood events occurred per year on an average, but after 2005, the yearly average rose to 11.
  • The annual average for districts affected until 2005 was 19, but after 2005, on average 55 districts were affected by floods each year.
  • In 2019, India witnessed 16 extreme flood events, which affected 151 districts. The study found that over 9.7 crore people are currently exposed to extreme floods in India.
  • Six of India’s eight most flood-prone districts in the last decade—Barpeta, Darrang, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Golaghat, Sivasagar—are in Assam.
  • The current trend of catastrophic climate events results from a mere 0.6 degrees Celsius temperature rise in the last 100 years.
  • India is already the fifth most vulnerable country globally in terms of extreme climate events, and it is all set to become the world’s flood capital, as the number of rainy days during monsoon have decreased, single-day extreme rainfall events are increasing, leading to flooding.

Source: Indian Express.

India’s 1st LGBT+ workplace equality index launched

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

The ‘India Workplace Equality Index’, touted as the country’s first comprehensive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBT+ inclusion at the workplace, was launched with its first report virtually announcing winners from among 65 companies which shared data on their diversity and inclusion practices.

Background

  • The IWEI comes two years after the Supreme Court’s landmark reading down of Section 377.
  • Hotelier-activist Keshav Suri through his non-profit Keshav Suri Foundation, partnered with Pride Circle, Stonewall UK and FICCI, to bring the IWEI to India Inc.

About the Index

  • The IWEI comes two years after the Supreme Court’s landmark reading down of Section 377.
  • Hotelier-activist Keshav Suri through his non-profit Keshav Suri Foundation, partnered with Pride Circle, Stonewall UK and FICCI, to bring the IWEI to India Inc.
  • Twenty-one firms won under the gold category, while 18 were placed under silver and 13 got bronze.

Source: Indian Express.

WHO:Heart disease now killing more people than ever before

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Heart disease, which has remained the leading cause of death at the global level for the last 20 years, is now killing more people than ever before, according to the World Health Organization.
  • The WHO said diabetes and dementia are also among the world’s top 10 causes of death. 

Background

  • The WHO’s 2019 Global Health Estimates, released on Wednesday, said non-communicable diseases now make up 7 of the world’s top 10 causes of death, an increase from 4 of the 10 leading causes in 2000.
  • The new data cover the period from 2000 to 2019.

Highlights

  • “Heart disease has remained the leading cause of death at the global level for the last 20 years. However, it is now killing more people than ever before,” the organisation said.
  • Heart disease now represents 16 per cent of total deaths from all causes and the number of deaths from heart disease increased by more than two million since 2000 to nearly 9 million in 2019.
  • Diabetes and dementia enter the top 10 causes of death.
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are now among the top 10 causes of death worldwide, ranking 3rd in both the Americas and Europe in 2019.
  • Women are disproportionally affected: globally, 65 per cent of deaths from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are women.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Breakdance becomes an official Olympic sport, to debut at 2024 Paris Games

Focus: GS2.                                

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Breakdancing became an official Olympic sport.
  • The International Olympic Committee's pursuit of urban events to lure a younger audience saw street dance battles officially added to the medal events program at the 2024 Paris Games.

Background

  • Also confirmed for Paris by the IOC executive board were skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.
  • Those three sports will make their Olympic debuts at the Tokyo Games which were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic by one year to open on July 23, 2021.

Highlights

  • Breakdancing will be called breaking at the Olympics, as it was in the 1970s by hip-hop pioneers in the United States.
  • It was proposed by Paris organizers almost two years ago after positive trials at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.
  • Breaking passed further stages of approval in 2019 from separate decisions by the IOC board and full membership.
  • In Paris, breaking has been given a prestige downtown venue, joining sport climbing and 3-on-3 basketball at Place de le Concorde.
  • Surfing will be held far from France -- more than 15,000 kilometers (9,000 miles) away in the Pacific Ocean -- at the beaches of Tahiti, as the IOC already agreed in March.

Source: Business Standard.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana:
  • He was a poet who lived in India during the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar.
  • Abdul Rahim was the son of Bairam Khan, Akbar's trusted guardian and mentor.
  • He was one of the nine important ministers (dewan) in his court, also known as the Navaratnas.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

       A. 1 and 2 only
       B. 2 and 3 only
       C. 1 and 3 only
       D. AOTA

Solution: D

  1. Tomb of Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana is located in:

       A. Hyderabad
       B. Bangalore
       C. New Delhi
       D. Ludhiana

Solution: C

 

 

 

 

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