Daily Current Affairs 16-10-2023

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    Global Estimation of the Impact of Disasters on Agriculture

    Syllabus: GS 3/Food Security 

    In News

    • Recently, The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

    About the report 

    • It brings the first-ever global estimation of the impact of disasters on agricultural production focused on crops and livestock. 
    • It also notes that the figure may be higher if systematic data on losses in the fisheries and aquaculture and forestry sub sectors were available. 
    • It  shows that about $3.8 trillion worth of crops and livestock production has been lost over the last 30 years
    • The loss corresponded to an average of $123 billion per year, or 5 percent of annual global agricultural gross domestic product (GDP).

    Key Highlights 

    • Losses by product groups: Agriculture is one of the most highly exposed and vulnerable sectors in the context of disaster risk, given its profound dependence on natural resources and climate conditions.
      • Recurrent disasters have the potential to erode gains in food security and undermine the sustainability of agrifood systems.
        • losses in cereals amounted to an average of 69 million tonnes per year in the last three decades – corresponding to the entire cereal production of France in 2021 
        • Meats, dairy products and eggs showed an average estimated loss of 16 million tonnes per year, corresponding to the whole production of meats, dairy products and eggs in Mexico and India in 2021.
    • Regional differences: Global losses mask significant variability across regions, subregions and country groups.
      • Asia experienced by far the largest share of the total economic losses.
      • Africa, Europe and the Americas also displayed a similar order of magnitude. 
      • In absolute terms, losses were higher in high-income countries, lower-middle-income countries and upper-middle-income countries
    • Cascading impacts of disasters: Disaster events have increased from 100 per year in the 1970s to around 400 events per year worldwide in the past 20 years.
      • Disaster events impact is also expected to worsen, as climate-induced disasters amplify existing social and ecological vulnerabilities.
        • Underlying disaster risk drivers include climate change, poverty and inequality, population growth, health emergencies caused by pandemics, practices such as unsustainable land use and management, armed conflicts and environmental degradation.
        • In extreme cases, disasters result in the displacement and outward migration of rural populations.
        • Farmers, particularly smallholders farming under rain-fed conditions, are the most vulnerable actors in the agrifood systems and bear the brunt of disaster impacts. 

    Suggestions and recommendations

    • Supporting the adoption of farm-level disaster risk reduction good practices can help small-scale farmers to avoid losses and enhance their resilience.
    • Investment in farm-level disaster risk reduction good practices can perform on average 2.2 times better than previously applied practices.
    • Proactive and timely interventions in response to forecasted hazards are crucial to build resilience by preventing and reducing risks in agriculture. 
    • Improving data and information on the impacts of disasters on all subsectors of agriculture — crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture and forestry;
    • Developing and mainstreaming multisectoral and multi-hazard disaster risk reduction approaches into policy and programming at all levels; and 
    • Enhancing investments in resilience that provide benefits in reducing disaster risk in agriculture and improve agricultural production and livelihoods.

    Source: DTE

    Kenya-led security mission 

    Syllabus: GS2/International Relation

    News

    • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has approved the foreign security mission, led by Kenya, to restore security, protect critical infrastructure and control spiraling violence in Haiti.

    Background

    • The Haitian government sought international support to assist the national police in 2022, after the country plunged into a crisis when a group of gangs called “G9 and Family” seized control of the entry of the main fuel port Varreux in the capital protesting the government’s decision to cut fuel subsidies.
    • This has resulted in widespread killings of people. Mass looting and burning of houses have led to the displacement of thousands of people, with around 200,000 fleeing their homes. As per estimates, almost half the population is in need of humanitarian assistance.

    Haiti’s historical and political background

    • Haiti is a country in the Caribbean Sea that includes the western third of the island of Hispaniola and such smaller islands as Gonâve, Tortue (Tortuga), Grande Caye, and Vache. The capital is Port-au-Prince.
    • Haiti is bordered to the east by the Dominican Republic, which covers the rest of Hispaniola, to the south and west by the Caribbean, and to the north by the Atlantic Ocean.
    • After being under French rule for two centuries, Haiti became the first postcolonial black republic in 1804. It was also under United States occupation from 1915 to 1934.
    • Once the richest of the French colonies, Haiti is now the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, prone to national disasters and political instability. 

    United Nations Peacekeeping

    • It is a unique global partnership which brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security.
    • Background: United Nations Peacekeeping began in 1948 when the Security Council authorized the deployment of military observers to the Middle East. The first military observers were sent by the UN Security Council to oversee the Israeli-Arab Armistice Agreement in 1948.
    • Roles: UN peacekeepers provide security and the political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.
      • Peacekeepers help prevent conflict, protect civilians, advance political solutions, promote human rights, and support democratic processes. 
      • They also help build the capacity of state institutions and services and ensure that women and youth can participate in and lead peace processes.
      • There are currently 12 UN peacekeeping operations deployed on three continents.
    • The three basic principles that guide U.N ‘s Peacekeeping missions are: Consent of the parties; Impartiality; Non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate.

    History of India’s contribution

    • India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping began with its participation in the UN operation in Korea in the 1950s.
    • The UN entrusted the Indian armed forces with subsequent peace missions in the Middle East, Cyprus, and the Congo.
    • India also served as Chair of the three international commissions for supervision and control for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos established by the 1954 Geneva Accords on Indo-china.
    • Currently there are around 5,500 troops and police from India who have been deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions, the fifth highest amongst troop-contributing countries.

    Blue Helmets

    • Blue Helmets are the military personnel of the U.N. that work alongside the U.N. Police and civilian colleagues to promote stability, security, and peace processes. 
    • The personnel get the name from the iconic blue helmets or berets they wear. 

    Source: TH

    Quantum Engine

    Syllabus: GS3/Science and Technology

    Context:

    • New ‘Quantum Engine’ does work by flipping the identity of atoms.

    About

    • Physicists have come up with a way to convert the energy difference between two quantum states of a group of atoms into reality.
    • The basic principle is that, at a given temperature, a system of fermions will have more energy than a system of bosons.
      • They adapted the principles of the familiar classical engine to the subatomic realm, allowing physicists to build better quantum computers.
    (Fig: A schematic diagram showing the four-step cycle of the quantum engine)

    ‘Pauli or Quantum Engine’:

    • It converts Fermions to Bosons and further Fermions. It has four stages, like Classical engines that convert heat into work.
    • The atoms collected in the trap are compressed and kept in a bosonic state.
    • The strength of a magnetic field applied on the atoms is increased by a small amount.
      • Interactions between the atoms and the field cause the former to slip into a fermionic state. They are forced to move out of the lowest energy level and progressively occupy higher levels.
    • The compression applied in the first step is eased.
    • The magnetic field strength is reduced to its original value.

    Fermionic Energy:

    • A system of fermions will have more energy at a low temperature than a system of bosons.
    • Physicists needed to convert some particles from being bosons to being fermions, and found that if a collection of fermions were cooled almost to absolute zero and then prodded to interact with each other using a magnetic field, they could be made to behave like bosons.
    • The Exclusion Principle of Pauli states that, in a given system, no two particles can have the same four quantum numbers – that is, they can’t occupy the same energy level.
      • Fermions are particles that are bound by Pauli’s Exclusion rule. So they recursively occupy the lowest one available, until all possible energy levels are filled.
      • However, Bosons are not bound by the Exclusion Principle of Pauli. They can all occupy the same lowest energy level at a given low temperature. This is why superconductivity is possible.

    Efficiency of the Quantum Engine:

    • The energy of the atoms increases during the third step and this can be converted to work.
    • The efficiency of the quantum engine is based on how much more energy is released in the third step relative to the energy added to the system in the first step.
      • However, according to the Physicist, the quantum engine is 25% efficient, and it is expected to be able to increase this to 50% or more in future.
    Do you know?
    – All subatomic particles can be classified as either fermions or bosons.
    1. Fermions are the building blocks of matter;
    2. Bosons are particles that carry the forces acting between them.
    – When a bunch of particles are cooled to very nearly absolute zero, so that their quantum nature comes to the fore, they would all like to have the lowest energy possible – but they can’t.
    – The filling of electrons into the orbitals of different atoms takes place according to the Aufbau principle which is based on the Pauli’s Exclusion Principle, the Hund’s rule of maximum multiplicity and the relative energies of the orbitals.
    Pauli Exclusion Principle:
    – The number of electrons to be filled in various orbitals is restricted by the exclusion principle of Pauli which was given by Wolfgang Pauli in 1926.According to this Principle:
    1. No two electrons in an atom can have the same set of four quantum numbers.
    2. Only two electrons may exist in the same orbital and these electrons must have opposite spin.

    Applications:

    • The researchers have demonstrated that their design can be used to force a bunch of atoms to cyclically release energy as they are switched between bosonic and fermionic states.
    • To cool the particles that make up a quantum computer.

    Source: TH

    Mistral, a Large Language Model (LLM)

    Syllabus: GS3/Science and Technology

    Context

    • Mistral AI released a 7.3 billion parameter language model positioned to compete against Meta’s Llama 2.

    About:

    • Mistral, a French tech startup and Artificial Intelligence (AI) company was set up by former Meta (META.O) and Google AI researchers.
    • It raised a record 105 million euros ($113.5 million) in its seed funding round, just after launch, and has claimed first place for the most powerful LLM in the nifty size LLM space.
    • It has released its model on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 licence, free and for everyone, unlike OpenAI’s GPT models, and claimed its LLM is more capable than Llama 2, an open-source language model of Meta.

    Mistral vs. Llama 2:

    • Mistral claimed its AI had beat Llama 2’s 7 billion and 13 billion parameters versions quite easily in multiple benchmarks.
    • Matter of accuracy: Mistral’s model showed an accuracy of 60.1% on the Massive Multitask Language Understanding (MMLU) test which covers maths, history, law and other subjects, while the Llama 2 models showed an accuracy of around 44% (7 billion parameters) and 55% (13 billion parameters).
      • In commonsense reasoning and reading comprehension benchmarks, Mistral outperformed Llama 2’s models again.
      • The French startup AI’s accuracy was at 30.5% and 47.5% on the zero-shot Humaneval and three-shot MBPP benchmarks. Llama 2’s 7 billion model delivered results of 31.1% and 52.5%.
    • Only in coding, Mistral was behind Meta’s AI mode.
    Large Language Model (LLM):
    – It largely represents a class of deep learning architectures called transformer networks.A transformer model is a neural network that learns context and meaning by tracking relationships in sequential data, like the words in this sentence.
    – A transformer is made up of multiple transformer blocks, also known as layers, which can be stacked to make deeper transformers and powerful language models.
    1. Transformers were first introduced by Google in the 2017 paper “Attention Is All You Need.”
    Importance of LLM:
    – Historically, AI models had been focused on perception and understanding. However, LLMs, which are trained on internet-scale datasets with hundreds of billions of parameters, have now unlocked an AI model’s ability to generate human-like content.
    – The applications for these LLMs span across a plethora of use cases. For example, an AI system can learn the language of protein sequences to provide viable compounds that will help scientists develop groundbreaking, life-saving vaccines.
    – As LLMs have grown in size, so have their capabilities. Broadly, LLM use cases for text-based content can be divided up in the following manner:
    1. Generation (e.g., story writing, marketing content creation);
    2. Summarization (e.g., legal paraphrasing, meeting notes summarization);
    3. Translation (e.g., between languages, text-to-code);
    4. Classification (e.g., toxicity classification, sentiment analysis); and
    5. Chatbot (e.g., open-domain Q+A, virtual assistants).
    – Enterprises across the world are starting to leverage LLMs to unlock new possibilities.
    Challenges of LLMs:
    – Compute, Cost, and Time intensive workload: Significant capital investment, technical expertise, and large-scale compute infrastructure are necessary to maintain and develop LLMs.
    Scale of Data Required: As mentioned, training a large model requires a significant amount of data.
    Technical Expertise: Due to their scale, training and deploying large language models are very difficult and require a strong understanding of deep learning workflows, transformers, and distributed software and hardware, as well as the ability to manage thousands of GPUs simultaneously.

    Source: TH

    Facts In News

    Manohar Singh Gill 

    Syllabus: GS-1/Personalities in News

    Context

    • Former Chief Election Commissioner of India Manohar Singh Gill passed away.

    About Manohar Singh Gill:

    • Early Life and Career:
      • He was a former Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer and served as Chief Election Commissioner from 1996-2001. 
      • He joined the Congress in 2004 and represented Punjab in the Rajya Sabha from 2004 to 2016, during which he held positions as Youth Affairs and Sports Minister and Minister of Statistics and Program Implementation.
    • His term as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC):
      • He was the 11th Chief Election Commissioner of India. 
      • He introduced electronic voting machines in India, an idea that largely helped curb polling malpractices in the country. 
    • Books written by Him:
      • He penned books such as “Himalayan Wonder: Travels in Lahaul and Spiti”, and “An Indian Success Story”
      • “Agriculture Cooperatives: A Case Study of Punjab” is among his best-known works on Punjab and farm issues in India.
    • Awards received: 
      • He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his tenure as Election Commissioner.
      • He was also awarded the Nishan-e-Khalsa on the 300th anniversary of the Khalsa.

    Source: TH

    Passenger ferry service between India and Sri Lanka 

    Syllabus: GS 2/International Relations 

    In News

    • An international, high-speed passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam on the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu and Kankesanthurai in the northern province of Sri Lanka, has resumed.

    Background 

    • The initiative is a revival of maritime connections that trace back to the early 1900s. 
    • The Indo-Ceylon Express or Board Mail, which operated between Chennai and Colombo via the Thoothukudi port, was halted in 1982 due to the civil war in Sri Lanka. 
    • The resumption of ferry services follows the signing of an MoU on passenger transportation by sea, signed by the two countries in 2011.
    • The plan was first mooted after the war in 2011, during a period when Sri Lanka was earnestly attempting to shed its image as a “refugee-producing” country. 

    Current Developments 

    • The high-speed ferry is operated by the Shipping Corporation of India and has a capacity of 150 passengers. 
    • The distance of about 60 nautical miles (110 Km) between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai will be covered in approximately 3.5 hours depending on sea conditions.
      • The vessel to be used as the ferry is called Cheriyapani. 
    •  The Government of India’s efforts to start the ferry service are in line with the Government’s priority to enhance connectivity with neighbours and in the wider Indian Ocean Region. 
    Do you know ?
    – The Nagapattinam port  is one of the non-major ports under the maintenance of the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board, and is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at the estuary of the Kaduvaiyar river that flows south of the town between Akkaraipettai and Keechankuppam fishermen villages.  
    – The Union Ministry of External Affairs had sanctioned ₹8 crore to upgrade the infrastructure at the port.

    Importance 

    • A direct passenger ferry between Sri Lanka and India will provide an efficient and cost-effective means of travel for the people of the two countries, boost tourism and trade links and strengthen people-to people ties
    • The ferry will also enhance economic activity around the two ports and invigorate local economies.
    • The ferry service will help strengthen cultural, commercial, and civilisational ties between the two nations
    • The launch affirmed the ‘neighbourhood first’ policy of India. Further, it would help improve cooperation in disaster management, maritime security, and ease of business between the two nations.

    Future Outlook 

    •  The Governments of India and Sri Lanka will continue to work towards commencement of ferry services between other ports, including the traditional route between Rameswaram- Talaimannar.

    Source: TH

    The siege of Leningrad

    Syllabus: GS1/World History; GS2/ International Relations

    In Context

    • Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin cautioned Israel against besieging Gaza in the same way that Nazi Germany besieged Leningrad.

    Siege of Leningrad

    • About: 
    • The siege of Leningrad (St Petersburg) was one of the most deadly sieges in history.
    • The event marks the killing of an estimated 1.5 million, mostly civilians, between 1941 and 1944. 
    • Some 21st century scholars have used the term “genocide” to describe the siege, specifically referring to the systematic starvation and intentional destruction of the city’s civilian population.
    • Background & the course of events:
      • With Operation Barbarossa, Hitler decided to turn against the Soviet Union, previously a German ally, in the summer of 1941. 
      • The former capital of Russia, Leningrad was a symbolic as well as strategically valuable target. 
      • The Soviets were aware of this and before German forces reached the city, the administration mobilised at least a million citizens to fortify and build several lines of defences. 
      • These defences, coupled with the 200,000 Red Army soldiers and Germany’s own manpower crunch, made taking the city a difficult proposition. 
      • The Germans laid siege instead.
    • The German siege:
      • From September 8, 1941 to January 27,1944, a period of 872 days, Leningrad was under siege.
      • The siege was marked by the constant German shelling, famine-like conditions, and the unforgiving weather of the Russian north. 
      • Roughly 650,000 Leningraders perished in 1942 alone.
        • The situation was particularly dire in the peak winter when temperatures plummeted to minus 30 degree Celsius in January and February 1942, around 100,000 Leningraders were dying each month.
    • Red Army’s break to the siege:
      • By the time the Red Army broke the siege, 1.5 million souls had perished in Leningrad, with half a million more dying during attempted evacuations.

    Source: IE

    Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

    Syllabus: GS-2/International Groupings

    Context

    • Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are now considering their chances of membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
      • Both countries are also in talks with India for an updated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and are part of the 2006 South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).

    Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

    • It is a free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand. Vietnam) and its five FTA partners (Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea).
    • At present, the RCEP members represent 30% of the global GDP.
    • India walked out of the RCEP agreement.
    • Functioning of RCEP:
      • Eliminate a range of tariffs: The RCEP is expected to eliminate a range of tariffs on imports within 20 years.
      • Provisions included: It also includes provisions on intellectual property, telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce and professional services.
        • RCEP will also set common rules around trade, intellectual property, e-commerce, and competition in a move the United Nations said would raise the Asia Pacific region’s position as a “center of gravity” for global commerce.

    Why did India opt out of the RCEP?

    • Owing to concerns over mobility in services and fears of Chinese goods flooding the market, as well as objections raised by the domestic agriculture sector and smaller businesses. 
    • While India has been invited to return to RCEP meetings on several occasions, the government has not yet indicated that it would consider a review. 

    Impacts on India dropping out of RCEP

    • Losing flexibility: Signing the RCEP would have meant India losing the flexibility to raise tariffs.
    • Trade deficit with China: The increases in India’s trade deficit with China and the dominance of China in many sectors at a global level have made India wary.
    • Cheap imports: India’s concern was that participation in RCEP would expose domestic manufacturers to a flood of cheap imports from China.
    • Agriculture, dairy, and textile sectors: Indian agriculture, dairy and textile sectors which employ millions of workers were projected to be adversely impacted by the signing of the RCEP.
    • Economic self-harm: Pulling out of RCEP is an act of economic self-harm, as India will stand isolated and continue to underperform in terms of exports and growth.

    Source: TH

    Egypt’s “gold tier” status towards eliminating hepatitis C

    Syllabus: GS2/ Health, Management of Social Sector, Government Policies & Interventions.

    In News

    • Recently, Egypt became the first country to achieve “gold tier” status on the path to elimination of hepatitis C as per the WHO’s criteria.

    About the “gold tier” status

    • The “gold tier” status to reach the stated goal of eliminating hepatitis C includes meeting specific criteria such as:
      • Ensuring 100% blood and injection safety, 
      • Maintaining a minimum of 150 needles/syringes per year for people who inject drugs (PWID), 
      • Diagnosis of over 80% of people living with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), 
      • Treating of over 70% of individuals diagnosed with HCV, and 
      • The establishing of a sentinel surveillance programme for hepatitis sequelae, including liver cancer.

    Egypt’s  “100 Million Healthy Lives” initiative

    • Egypt had undertaken the “100 Million Healthy Lives” initiative. 
    • Through this initiative, Egypt significantly reduced the prevalence of hepatitis C from 10% in 2016 to 5% in 2018 and an estimated less than 1% in 2019.
    • Egypt has diagnosed 87% of people living with hepatitis C and has provided 93% of those diagnosed with curative treatment, exceeding the WHO gold tier targets of diagnosing at least 80% of people living with hepatitis C and providing treatment to at least 70% of diagnosed people.

    Hepatitis 

    • About: Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. 
    • Triggering agents: Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis.
      • However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus. 
    • Main Strains: There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.
      • While they all cause liver disease, they differ in important ways including modes of transmission, severity of the illness, geographical distribution and prevention methods.
      • In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and together are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and viral hepatitis-related deaths.
    • Treatment: 
      • Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a short-term illness and may not require treatment. 
      • Hepatitis B: There is no specific treatment program for acute hepatitis B. 
      • Hepatitis C: Antiviral medications can treat both acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C.
      • Hepatitis D: The WHO trusted Source lists pegylated interferon alpha as a treatment for hepatitis D. However, this medication can have severe side effects. 
      • Hepatitis E: Currently, no specific medical therapies are available to treat hepatitis E. However, pregnant women who develop this infection require close monitoring and care.
      • Autoimmune hepatitis: Corticosteroids, like prednisone or budesonide, are extremely important in the early treatment of autoimmune hepatitis. They’re effective in about 80 per cent of people with this condition.

    Source: TH

    Retailer Skill Development Program

    Syllabus: GS2/Issues relating to Development and Management

    Context:

    • ‘Skill India Mission’ partners with Coca-Cola India to launch the Super Power Retailer Skill Development Program.

    About:

    • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), working under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, announced a partnership with Coca-Cola India to launch the Super Power Retailer Program under the Skill India Mission.
      • Skill India Mission aimed at enhancing the employability of the youth by providing them with skill training, by offering various programs to improve vocational skills and make individuals more job-ready.
    • The program is aimed to empower the retailer community in the states of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, and is being piloted in the state of Odisha.
    • The program aims to upskill retailers across key states over three years.

    Significance:

    • It aims to empower retailers and provide them with training to expand their businesses and enhance consumer experiences.
    • It can play a pivotal role in strengthening India’s economy by skilling, reskilling, and upskilling the retailers.
    • It aims to provide 14 hours of quality retail training through the Skill India Digital Portal to 1.40 crore retailers of the country.
    • It aims to enable a retail ecosystem that will exceed customer expectations, embrace the Future of Work, and provide exponential growth to the industry.
    • It aims to provide training to small and micro retailers, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to better understand consumer behaviours and their preferences.

    Other schemes launched by government for skilling:

    • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
    • Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP)
    • UDAAN
    • Standard Training Assessment and Reward Scheme (STAR)
    • Polytechnic Schemes
    • Vocationalisation of Education

    Source: PIB

    Kaziranga National Park

    Syllabus: GS-3/National Parks of India, Environment

    Context

    • The Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve reopened with a literary tribute to a British-era forest officer, Patrick D. Stracey.

    About Patrick D. Stracey

    • He played a key role in renaming the Kaziranga Game Sanctuary as a wildlife sanctuary in 1950.
    • He introduced a course on Wildlife Preservation and wrote books such as Elephant Gold, Nagaland Nightmare, and The Authoritative Tigers. 
    • He also established the Assam Forest School, a training institute catering to the northeastern region. It completed 75 years in 2023. 

    Kaziranga National Park

    • Location: Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam.
    • It is one of the oldest wildlife conservancy reserves of India, first notified in 1905 and constituted as a Reserved Forest in 1908.
    • It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International (Global partnership of NGOs).
    • It was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950 and notified as Kaziranga National Park in 1974 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, of 1972.
    • The Park is the abode of more than 70% of One Horned Rhinoceros in the world.
      • The Greater one-horned Rhino is listed under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and  vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.
    • Kaziranga also has the highest density of tigers in India.

    Source: TH

    Tradable Green Credit 

    Syllabus:GS3/Environment

    News

    • The Government has introduced a program where an individual or entity can earn green credit and trade it on a dedicated exchange.

    Green Credit programme

    • Green Credit: It refers to a unit of an incentive provided for a specified activity; delivering a positive impact on the environment. 
    • A Green Credit programme is being launched at the national level to leverage a competitive market-based approach for green credit for incentivizing environmental actions of various stakeholders.This programme is a follow-up action of the ‘LiFE’-(Lifestyle for Environment) campaign. 

    How to avail green credit?

    • Registration of  the activity: The applicant needs to register the activity with the Administrator electronically through a website to avail green credit.The activity will then be verified by a designated agency and based on its report the Administrator shall grant the applicant a certificate of green credit.
    • Calculation of green credit:Calculation in respect of any activity undertaken shall be based on equivalence of resource requirement, parity of scale, scope, size, and other relevant parameters required to achieve the desired environmental outcome.
    • A Green Credit Registry will also be included. The Administrator will establish and maintain a trading platform. 

    Objectives of the initiative

    • The initiative encourages industries, companies, and other entities to meet their existing or other obligations, under any law that is in force for the time being, and encourages other persons and entities to undertake voluntary environmental measures by generating or buying green credit.
    • The programme will incentivise environmentally-positive actions through a market-based mechanism and generate green credit, which shall be tradable and made available for trading on a domestic market platform.
    • However, the green credit generated or procured to fulfill any obligation, in compliance with any law, that is in force for the time being shall not be tradeable. 

    Source: TH