Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 15 June, 2021

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“Operation Olivia” to Protect Olive Ridley Turtles

What is the News? 

Indian Coast Guards (ICG) are using an aircraft for ‘Operation Olivia’ to protect Olive Ridley turtles.

About Operation Olivia:

  • Operation Olivia was launched by the Indian Coast Guard in the early 1980s.
  • Purpose: The operation aims to protect Olive Ridley turtles when they arrive at the Odisha coast for breeding and nesting from November to December.
  • Indian Coast Guards(ICGs) execute this operation. As part of the operation, ICGs conducts round-the-clock surveillance. Assets of Indian Coast Guards such as fast patrol vessels, air cushion vessels, interceptor craft, and Dornier aircraft are used in this operation to enforce laws near the rookeries (colony of breeding animals).

About Olive Ridley Turtles:

  • The Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
  • They are found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.
  • Conservation status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
    • CITES: Appendix I (It prohibits trade in turtle products by signatory countries)
    • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I

Click Here to Read more About Olive Ridley Turtles

Nesting Habitat of Olive Ridley Turtle:

  • Olive ridley turtles have a unique habit of mass nesting called Arribada. Under this, thousands of female turtles come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • The Odisha coast has three arribada beaches at Gahirmatha, the mouth of the Devi river, and in Rushikulya, where about 1 lakh nests are found annually.
    • Recently, a new mass nesting site has been discovered in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. As per reports, it has more than 5,000 nests in a season.

Need of Operation Olivia:

  • Firstly, damage to Olive Ridley Turtles Eggs: There are three main factors that damage Olive Ridley turtles and their eggs:
    • heavy predation of eggs by dogs and wild animals,
    • indiscriminate fishing with trawlers and gill nets and
    • beach soil erosion
  • Secondly, dense fishing activity along the coasts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal.
  • Thirdly, development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports, and tourist centers.
  • And lastly, poaching for their meat, shell, and leather.

Source: The Hindu


Key Outcomes of the G7 Summit

What is the News?

The 47th Group of Seven(G7) summit has concluded in Cornwall, UK. India also virtually participated in the summit as a guest country.

What are the key outcomes of the summit?

On Covid-19 Pandemic:

  • The G7 countries have pledged to donate 1 billion vaccine doses to poorer countries by the end of 2021.
  • Carbis Bay Declaration: The G7 countries have signed the Carbis Bay Declaration. Under it, member countries pledged to end the pandemic and prepare for the future, as well as to “build back better.

On Climate:

  • G7 countries will support a green revolution that creates jobs, cuts emissions, and seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees.
  • The countries have agreed to increase their climate finance contributions and meet an overdue spending pledge of $100 billion a year to help poorer countries.
  • Moreover, the G7 countries have also promised to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. They have also pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Build Back Better World(B3W) Initiative:

  • Build Back Better World(B3W) is an initiative launched by the G7 countries.
  • Purpose: It is a new infrastructure financing mechanism that will provide a transparent infrastructure partnership to help narrow the $40 trillion needed by low and middle-income countries by 2035.
  • Led by: The initiative will be led by the United States.
  • Coverage: The initiative will be global in coverage. It will cover Latin American countries to the Caribbean, Africa, and Indo-Pacific.
  • Significance: The initiative is designed to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative(BRI).

Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate:

  • The Finance Ministers from the G7 countries have reached a landmark accord setting a Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate (GMCTR) of 15%.

On China:

  • The G-7 countries have hit out at China on violation of human rights and freedom in Xinjiang (Uyghur Muslims) and Hong Kong, and the unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the South China Sea.

India at the G7 Summit:

  • Firstly, India has called for a “one earth, one health” approach. It aims for unity and solidarity among the states of the world to deal with the pandemic.
  • Secondly, India has said that the planet’s atmosphere, biodiversity, and oceans cannot be protected by countries acting in isolation. Hence, collective action on climate change is required.
    • India is the only G20 state on track to meet its Paris Accord commitments.
  • Lastly, India has called on G7 states to meet their unfulfilled promise of $100 billion annually in climate finance.

Source: Indian Express


Official Language Status for “Tulu Language” Demanded

What is the News? 

Several organizations have initiated a campaign in Karnataka and Kerala. They are demanding the official language status for Tulu.

About Tulu Language:

  • Tulu is a Dravidian language. It is mainly spoken in two coastal districts, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala.
    • Kasaragod district is called the ‘Sapta bhasha Samgama Bhumi (the confluence of seven languages)’ and Tulu is one among the seven.
  • Thus, the Tulu speakers mainly from Karnataka and Kerala are requesting an official language status for Tulu by its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

Tulu Art and Culture:

  • Tulu has a rich oral literature tradition with folk-song forms like paddana and traditional folk theatre yakshagana.
  • Tulu also has an active tradition of cinema, with around 5 to 7 Tulu language movies produced a year.
  • Moreover, Tulu films are screened every day in Mangalore and Udupi in at least one theater.

Why Should Tulu be included in the Eight Schedule?

  • Firstly, According to the 2011 Census, there are around 18 lakh native speakers of Tulu in India. This is more than the speakers of Manipuri and Sanskrit, which have the Eighth Schedule status.
  • Secondly, Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), in his book, “A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages” has called Tulu as one of the most highly developed languages of the Dravidian family.
  • Thirdly, Article 29 of the Indian Constitution provides that a section of citizens with a distinct language, script or culture have the right to conserve the same.
  • Lastly, the Yuelu Proclamation made by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at Changsha, China in 2018 provides for the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity.

Advantages of including Tulu in Eight Schedule: If it is included in the Eighth Schedule, it would get the following benefits:

  • Recognition from the Sahitya Akademi.
  • Translation of Tulu literary works into other languages.
  • Members of Parliament (MP) and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) could speak Tulu in Parliament and State Assemblies, respectively.
  • Option to take competitive exams in Tulu including all-India competitive examinations like the Civil Services exam.

Source: Indian Express


Govt. report flags lapses in “filovirus study” among Nagaland bats

What is the News?

The government of India has concluded that there have been lapses in the conduct and protocols followed for the filovirus study of bats in Nagaland.

What was the filovirus study about?

  • Researchers from India, China and the US had conducted a study in Nagaland on bats and humans carrying antibodies to deadly viruses like Ebola.
    • From India, the National Centre for Biological Sciences(NCBS) and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research(TIFR) participated in the study.
  • Findings: The study found the presence of filovirus reactive antibodies in human and bat populations in northeast India. Hence, the study suggested that Bats in South Asia act as reservoir hosts of a diverse range of filoviruses.

Note:

  • Filoviruses belong to a virus family called Filoviridae and can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates.
  • So far, three varieties of this virus family have been identified: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus.

Significance of this filovirus study:

  • The findings of the study became significant given the debate over the origins of COVID-19 worldwide and the handling of bat samples at the Wuhan Institute laboratory.
  • However, scientific experts and officials have made it clear that the Nagaland bat study on filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg) was in no way related to the coronavirus(SARS) studies at Wuhan.

Government of India’s inquiry into filovirus study:

  • The Government of India had ordered an inquiry in 2020 into this study. The inquiry investigated how the scientists were allowed to access live samples of bats and bat hunters (humans) without due permission.
  • The inquiry concluded that there have been lapses in the conduct and the protocols followed by the study. The lapses include:
    • Firstly, the study did not have the approval of the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR)
    • Secondly, the Bangalore based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) is not equipped in terms of Biosafety and Biosecurity for testing samples.

Source: The Hindu


UN High- Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought

What is the News? 

The Prime Minister of India has delivered a keynote address at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought.

About UN High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought:

  • The dialogue has been organized by the President of the United Nations(UN) General Assembly.
  • Aim: It aims to focus the international community’s attention on land issues. So that it can generate political will for implementing land solutions within COVID-19 adaptation and recovery strategies.
    • The dialogue encourages all Member States to adopt and implement Land Degradation Neutrality targets and National Drought Plans.
  • Indian Prime Minister(PM) presided over the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Thus, he spoke at the opening segment of the dialogue, which is part of UNCCD.

What are the key takeaways from Indian PM address?

  • Firstly, India is working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030. India is also assisting fellow developing countries to develop land-restoration strategies.
  • Secondly, India is working towards restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
    • This would contribute to India’s commitment to achieving an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
  • Thirdly, over the last 10 years, India has added around 3 million hectares of forest cover. This has enhanced the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country’s total area.
  • Lastly, India has also taken up some novel approaches in many parts of India.
    • Example: Banni region in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat suffers from highly degraded land and receives very little rain.
    • In the Banni region, land restoration was done by developing grasslands. It helped the region in achieving land degradation neutrality.
    • The region also supports pastoral activities and livelihood by promoting animal husbandry.

About UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification)

  • UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. It was established in 1994. It has 197 parties.
  • Purpose: It seeks to work towards maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects of drought.

14th Session of COP-14 of UNCCD:

  • India had for the first time hosted the 14th session of the Conference of Parties(COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD) at Greater Noida in 2019.
  • The theme of the Conference was ‘Restore land, Sustain future’.
  • During the conference, the Delhi Declaration was issued. The declaration called for better access over land and emphasised gender-sensitive transformative projects.

Source: PIB


G7 accommodates Indian stand on the need for “Internet shutdown”

What is the News?

The G7 countries statement on the Internet Shutdown was amended after India objected to the original language criticising “Internet shutdowns”.

Internet Shutdowns all over the world:

  • According to a report by digital rights and privacy organisation Access Now, of the total 155 internet shutdowns globally in 2020, India alone accounted for 109.
  • The next highest Internet Shutdowns was in Yemen, with six. It was followed by Ethiopia with four.

Examples of Internet Shutdowns in India:

  • Jammu and Kashmir had Internet and mobile telephony shutdown since Article 370 was amended in 2019.
  • Internet shutdowns were also witnessed in Delhi during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act during 2019-2020 and the farmer’s protest in 2020.

What was the original G7 statement on Internet Shutdown?

  • The G7 Countries had issued a statement expressing concerns over actions by states to intentionally disrupt their own populations’ access to data online.
  • The statement noted that internet shutdowns had undermined civic space both online and offline. They also noted that the shutdowns unjustifiably limited access to information and the rights of peaceful assembly, association and freedom of expression online.
  • Moreover, the statement also referred to “Politically Motivated Internet Shutdowns” which indirectly addresses Internet blackouts in various parts of the world including India.

What were India’s objections to the G7 statement?

  • India has asked for a change in the original language criticising “Internet shutdowns”.
  • Further, India has objected to the Politically Motivated Internet Shutdowns. India has also said that national security and public order concerns as an exception should be added to the statement.

Was the G7 statement on Internet shutdown changed then?

  • Yes, it was changed. The statement clarified that Internet shutdowns to protect the national security and public order concerns as an exception to the need for Internet freedoms.

Source: The Hindu


GI certified “Jardalu mangoes” from Bihar exported to the UK

What is the News?

The first commercial consignment of Geographical Indications(GI) certified Jardalu mangoes from Bhagalpur, Bihar was exported to the United Kingdom.

About Jardalu Mangoes:

  • Jardalu Mangoes is grown in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar. It received the Geographical Indications(GI) certification in 2018.
  • The mango is famous for its exclusive aroma, sweetness and other nutritional properties.
  • It is rich in fibre and enzymes that are highly beneficial to the abdominal muscles and digestive system.
  • Moreover, Jardalu mango is also considered a safe fruit for even those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or have a poor digestive system.
Read more: First consignment of GI certified “Shahi Litchi” exported to the U.K

About Mangoes in India:

  • Mangoes in India are referred to as ‘king of fruits. They are mentioned in ancient scriptures as Kalpavriksha (wish-granting tree).
  • States: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka have a major share in the total production of the mango.
  • GI certified mangoes in News:
    • Khirsapati & Lakshmanbhog (West Bengal),
    • Jardalu (Bihar),
    • Banganapalli and Suvarnarekha mango varieties (Andhra Pradesh).

Source: PIB


“SIPRI Yearbook 2021”: China, India, Pakistan expanding “nuclear arsenal”

What is the News?

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI) has released the SIPRI Yearbook 2021. The report assesses the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security.

What are the key findings of the SIPRI Yearbook 2021?

  • Nine Nuclear-Armed States- the US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021.
  • Russia and the U.S. together possessed over 90% of global nuclear weapons. Further, both of them have an extensive and expensive modernisation programme underway.
  • China is in the middle of significant modernisation and expansion of its nuclear weapon inventory. India and Pakistan also appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals.
  • India possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021 compared to 150 at the start of 2020.
    • On the other hand, Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020. China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads, up from 320 at the start of 2020.
  • Concerns: The overall number of nuclear warheads in global military stockpiles appears to be increasing. This is a worrying sign as the declining trend that started since the end of the Cold War has stalled.

Other reports on nuclear arsenal:

International Institute for Strategic Studies(IISS), London has released a report titled ‘Nuclear Deterrence and Stability in South Asia: Perceptions and Realities’.

  • The report examines nuclear deterrence and stability in South Asia by assessing the extent to which India and Pakistan may be at risk from mistaken the use of nuclear weapons.
  • According to the report, India and Pakistan were at risk of using nuclear weapons during the crisis of February 2019.
  • Moreover, India and Pakistan are also in the process of seeking new technologies and capabilities. But these dangerously undermine each other’s defence under the nuclear threshold.
  • The report concludes by saying that robust, trusted, reliable backchannel talks between India and Pakistan leadership are the most promising way. By that, both India and Pakistan could achieve greater strategic and nuclear-deterrence stability.

Source: The Hindu


 

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