Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (Ecology & Environment)

    • It is located in the flood-plains of Brahmaputra in Morigaon district of Assam.
    • It is often called ‘Mini Kaziranga’ due to its similar landscape and vegetation.
    • It has exceeded its rhino-bearing capacity and is overpopulated and harbors the world’s highest density of rhinoceros.
      • Other Mammals Found: Leopard, Leopard cat, Fishing cat, Jungle cat, Feral Buffalo, Wild pigs, Chinese pangolins etc.
      • In winter, it becomes a birder’s heaven, with thousands of waterfowl thronging the wetlands.
    • It can be divided into three distinct categories: forest, grassland and water bodies or beels.
      • About 72 per cent of the area consists of the wet savannah of Arundo donax and Saccharum and the remaining is covered by water bodies.
      • Water hyacinth (an invasive aquatic plant) is a major problem as it forms thick mats on the water surface.

    Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve (STMR) (Ecology & Environment)

    • It is the fifth tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu, approved by the state government in February 2021.
      • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) gave in-principle approval under Section 38 V(1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in January 2021.
    • It encompasses the Meghamalai and Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuaries.
    • It will lead to wildlife protection of various species and result in the rejuvenation of the Vaigai river by protecting the river’s origins.
      • Vaigai is a lifeline for five districts and provides drinking water to nearly one crore people.
    • It will give a boost to tiger conservation in the State.
    • Tigers from the neighbouring Periyar Tiger Reserve and Anamalai Tiger Reserve can find significant habitats and breed in the terrains of Megamalai and Srivilliputhur which are largely uninhabited and could offer excellent genetic exchange grounds.

    AmbiTAG (S&T)

    Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar, Punjab has developed a first-of-its-kind Internet of things (IoT) device, AmbiTag.

    • It records real-time ambient temperature during the transportation of perishable products, vaccines, even body organs, blood, animal semen, etc.
    • The recorded temperature helps in knowing if the item transported is still usable or perished, which is critical information.
    • Shaped as a USB device, AmbiTag continuously records the temperature of its immediate surroundings from -40 to +80 degrees in any time zone for a full 90 days on a single charge.
    • It generates an alert when the temperature goes beyond a pre-set limit.
    • It has been developed under Technology Innovation Hub-AWaDH (Agriculture and Water Technology Development Hub) and it’s startup ScratchNest.
    • It will be made available to all companies involved in Covid-19 vaccine transportation at the production cost of Rs. 400.

    Department of Energy Science and Engineering (S&T)

    Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has  announced the establishment of a new department named, Department of Energy Science and Engineering.

    • Aims
      • To expand the scope and depth of activities being undertaken by the Centre for Energy Studies (CES).
        • The Government of India established CES at the IIT-D in 1976, realizing the need for education and research in the field of energy.
      • To provide the much-needed focus and visibility to the teaching and research activities in the energy field to meet increasing energy requirements at affordable price in an environmentally sustainable manner.

    Eighth Global Nitrogen Conference (Ecology & Environment)

    • It is being virtually held by the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) from 31st May-3rdJune 2021.
      • INI is an international programme, set up in 2003 under sponsorship of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) and from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP).
      • The key aims of the INI are to
        • optimize nitrogen’s beneficial role in sustainable food production, and
        • minimize nitrogen’s negative effects on human health and the environment resulting from food and energy production.
    • It is addressed by speakers from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and UN Economic Commission on Europe, etc.
    • Focus: Assessing and managing reactive nitrogen compounds sustainably will be crucial to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targeted for 2030.
      • Reactive nitrogen compounds (NOx, ammonia and the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide) impact air, water and soil quality, health, biodiversity and climate change, etc.
        • Nitrous oxide has upto 300 times higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide.
      • These compounds are lost from fertilisers, manures and sewage as well as from fuel burning in transport and industry.
      • South Asia is one of the global hotspots for nitrogen pollution.
        • The Indian nitrogen assessment of 2017 has provided a huge impetus to the UN resolution, as well as to the ongoing South Asian nitrogen assessment.
    • The Berlin Declaration will be finalised and adopted during the concluding session of the conference on 3rd June.

    Banrawats (Social)

    • They are a native endangered tribe originating and living in Uttarakhand and also called Banrajis, Vanrawats, Vanrajis.
    • They are basically nomadic hunter-gatherers, but also work as agriculture and forest labourers.
    • They practise shifting cultivation.
      • Shifting cultivation is an agricultural system in which a person uses a piece of land, only to abandon or alter the initial use a short time later. T
      • This system often involves the clearing of a piece of land followed by several years of wood harvesting or farming until the soil loses fertility.
    • Language: Tibeto-Burman language generally called “Rawat“.