Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

    Recently, the 7th edition of the biennial  Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) was hosted by the French Navy at Réunion Island.

    • 6th IONS was conducted by Iran Navy in April 2018 in Tehran.

    Ocean Naval Symposium (ONS)

    • Conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008.

    Aim: 

    • Seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among Navies of the littoral states of the IOR by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to a common understanding on the way ahead.

    Chairmanship: 

    • The chairmanship of IONS has been held by India (2008-10), UAE (2010-12), South Africa (2012-14), Australia (2014-16), Bangladesh (2016-18) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (2018-21).
    • France has assumed the Chairmanship on 29 Jun 21 for a two-year tenure.

    Members:

    • IONS includes 24 nations that permanently hold territory that abuts or lies within the Indian Ocean and 8 observer nations:
    • South Asian Littorals: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom (British Indian Ocean Territory)
    • West Asian Littorals: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
    • East African Littorals: France (Reunion), Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania.
    • South-East Asian and Australian Littorals: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

    Agenda: 

    • The Symposium also held panel discussions themed on the three IONS Working for Groups viz HADR, Maritime Security and Information Sharing & Interoperability.
    • The Naval Maritime Foundation (NMF) also participated in the Panel Discussion on HADR.

    Importance of Indian Oceanic Region

    • Abundant natural resources: The Indian Ocean holds 16.8% of the world’s proven oil reserves and 27.9% of proven natural gas reserves.
    • Maritime Trade: Major sea routes connecting the Middle East, Africa and East Asia with Europe and the Americas.
    • Security: It will help India to consolidate its sphere of influence from the Straits of Malacca to Hormuz.
      • Region to counter-balance the increasing presence of China in the region.

    Major groups associated with the IOR

    • Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC): Regional cooperation initiative of the Indian Ocean Rim countries, was established in Mauritius in March 1997. 
      • The aim of IOR-ARC is to open the region based on four major components: trade liberalisation, trade and investment facilitation, economic and technical cooperation, and trade and investment dialogue. It does not address defence and security cooperation directly as the aim of ‘open and free trade’ implies maritime security
    • Indian Ocean Commission (COI): An intergovernmental organisation that brings together five member states, namely the Union of Comoros, France (Reunion), Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles.
    • League of Arabian States: The league was formed in Cairo in March 1945 and is the regional organisation of Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa.
    • SAGAR
    • ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF): Established in 1994, it is an important platform for security dialogue in the Indo-Pacific.
    • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Established in 1981 in response to the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War. 
    • SAARC

    Spinner Dolphin

    • The carcass of Spinner dolphin found in Odisha.
    • It is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical deep waters around the world. 
    • It is famous for its acrobatic displays in which it spins along its longitudinal axis as it leaps through the air.
    • They are the most abundant dolphin species in the Indian Ocean. 
    • IUCN Status: Endangered

    Red Sanders

    Red sanders worth Rs 10 crore seized in Andhra Pradesh.

    Key Points

    • Red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus), known for their rich hue and therapeutic properties.
    • It is high in demand across Asia, particularly in China and Japan, for use in cosmetics and medicinal products as well as for making furniture, woodcraft and musical instruments.
    • Red Sanders usually grow in the rocky, degraded and fallow lands with Red Soil and a hot and dry climate.
    • It is declared Near Threatened in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) red list
    • It is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
    • It is among the endangered species of wood found in Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh.

    Image Courtesy: Hans India

    Kalbelia Dance

    • It is an expression of the Kalbelia community’s traditional way of life. 

    About

    • Performed by:
      • Women in flowing black skirts dance and swirl, replicating the movements of a serpent.
      • Men play the dholak & khanjari, percussion instruments and the pungi, a woodwind instrument.
    • Attire: The dancers wear traditional tattoo designs, jewellery, heavy make-up and garments richly embroidered with small mirrors and silver thread. 
    • Recognition: UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity in 2010.
    • Significance:
      • Disseminates mythological knowledge through stories.
      • Spontaneous composition of lyrics and improvised songs.
      • Special traditional dances are performed during Holi.
    • About Tribe:
      • Kalbelia is a tribe from Rajasthan.
      • Known as the snake-charmers of the state. 
      • Demonstrate great poetic acumen.

    Image Courtesy: Utsavpedia

    Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

    IHS Markit has released the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

    Key Points

    • The Index slipped to 48.1 in June from 50.8 in May, moving below the 50-level separating growth from contraction.
    • The strict containment measures to cope with the second wave of COVID-19 negatively impacted demand and led to renewed contractions in factory orders, production, exports and quantities of purchases.

    Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

    • It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception of key business variables as compared with the previous month.
    • Compiled by: IHS Markit
    • Purpose: To provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision-makers, analysts, and investors.
    • It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is also constructed.
    • The headline PMI is a number from 0 to 100. A PMI above 50 represents an expansion when compared with the previous month. A PMI reading under 50 represents a contraction, and a reading at 50 indicates no change.

    OxyJani

    • Indian researchers have designed an oxygen concentrator named OxyJani.

    About

    • Developed by: JNCASR, Bengaluru.
    • Technology:
      • Based on the principles of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology. 
      • This new class of technology is called “group concentrators”.
      • Replaced lithium zeolites (LiX), usually used in oxygen concentrators, with sodium zeolites that do not generate toxic solid waste.
    • Financial assistance for the prototype: JNCASR and the Nidhi Prayaas scheme of IIT Kanpur.
    • Features:
      • Robustness of large PSA plants;
      • Portability similar to the personal concentrators;
      • Addressing the several novel design challenges;
      • Caters to acute & chronic oxygen needs at the grassroots level;
      • Potentially useful for ICU uses too;
      • Can be used in rural settings;
      • Can be rapidly deployed in emergencies in any location.
    • Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR):
      • Established in 1989.
      • An autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.