Facts in News

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    Facts In News

    Western Disturbance (Geography)

    Recently, the northern parts of the country have faced light rain due to Western Disturbance.

    Western Disturbance (WD)

    • It is an extra-tropical storm that originates in the Mediterranean region.
      • The disturbance travels from the “western” to the eastern direction. 
        • Disturbance means an area of “disturbed” or reduced air pressure. 
        • Equilibrium exists in nature due to which the air in a region tries to normalize its pressure.
        • The WD is not always the harbinger of good weather.
      • In the term “extra-tropical storm”, storm refers to low pressure. 
        • “Extra-tropical” means outside the tropics (as WD originates outside the tropical region). 
    • It brings rainfall, snowfall, and fog in northern India.
    • If winds (jet stream) flow from the west to east direction at an altitude of 30,000 feet then the weather will be stable in that region. 
      • A jet stream is a river-like current of air circulating across the globe at upper levels of the troposphere.
    • WD is important for the agriculture of the Rabi crop in the Northern subcontinent.
    • Sometimes WDs can cause extreme weather events like floods, flash floods, landslides, dust storms, hail storms, and cold waves killing people, destroying infrastructure, and impacting livelihoods.

    Image Courtesy: Lotus Arise

    Tripura Jackfruits Exported to London (Agriculture)

    Recently, around 1.2 tonnes of jackfruit from Tripura was exported to London (United Kingdom) by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

    • This would boost exports of agricultural and processed food products from the northeast.

    Key Points

    • Jackfruit is the state fruit of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and also the national fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
      • It is well-suited to tropical lowlands and is widely cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world.
      • Native Areas: Originally Western Ghats of Southern India thereafter spread to other parts of the world e.g; the rainforests of Malaysia, Sri Lanka, etc.
      • Soil: Laterite Soil.
      • It can be harvested in less rainfall, also can survive drought, frost, pests, and high temperatures.
      • Characteristics: 
        • Tall tree, 
        • Belongs to the mulberry family,
        • Largest edible fruit, 
        • Also called poor man’s fruit
        • Jackfruit is a dicot plant and a unisexual plant.
        • It is rich in potassium, calcium, and iron.

    Image Courtesy: Npr.org

    International Tea Day (Geography)

    Every year, International Tea Day is celebrated on May 21.

    Key Points

    • Theme- 2021: Harnessing Benefits for All, from field to cup.
    • Aim: To draw global attention to the impact of the global tea trade and promote sustainable production & consumption of tea, and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.
    • Background: 
      • In 2019, the United Nations body Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) moved a resolution to celebrate International Tea Day every year throughout the world.
      • Since 2005, the day has been celebrated only in tea-producing countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, and Tanzania.
    • Climatic Conditions: 
      • It is a plantation crop in which black tea leaves are fermented whereas green tea leaves are unfermented. 
      • Tea leaves have a rich content of caffeine and tannin. 
      • It originated from the hills of Northern China. 
      • It is grown in hilly areas and well-drained soils in humid and sub-humid tropics and sub-tropics. 
        • Frost-free climate.
        • Rainfall: 1200 mm
      • Major countries: Sri Lanka (leading producer), China, India, and Indonesia.
    • Tea Cultivation in India
      • Major areas: Assam, West Bengal (hills of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts), Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, and Tripura.
        • Assam accounts for about 53.2 percent of the total cropped area and contributes more than half of the total production of tea in the country. 
        • West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are the other leading producers of tea.

    Sick-Building Syndrome (Health)

    Recently, in a scientific study, it was found that “sick-building syndrome” is spreading novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

    Sick-Building Syndrome (SBS)

    • SBS is the situation in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building (particular room or zone), but no specific illness or cause can be identified.
      • In contrast, the term “building-related illness” (BRI) is used when symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and can be attributed directly to airborne building contaminants.
    • Reasons: Closed, un-ventilated indoor spaces, droplets, and aerosols become quickly concentrated and greatly increase the risk of transmission to people in the area.
    • Measures to be taken: Proper ventilation through mechanical or natural methods. 
      • Recently, the government has made an advisory on stopping the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces.

    Image Courtesy: The Hindu

    International Day of Biodiversity (Environment)

    Every year, the International Day of Biodiversity is celebrated on May 22.

    Key Points

    • Theme-2021: We’re part of the solution #ForNature. 
    • Objective: To draw people’s attention towards the fact that biodiversity continues to be the answer for a significant number of sustainable development challenges.
    • Aim: To convey to people that conservation and rebuilding of biodiversity can help mankind find solutions to things as serious as climate change, health issues.
    • The United Nations General Assembly in December 2000, adopted May 22 as International Day for Biodiversity.
    • Global Initiatives

    Biodiversity in India

    • India has just 2.4% of the land area and supports nearly 7% of the recorded species and 18% of the human population.
    • India has 23.39% of its geographical area under forest and tree cover.
    • India’s position in terms of species:
      • 7th in mammals, 
      • 9th in birds
      • 5th in reptiles.
    • Biomes in India:
      • Tropical Humid Forests
      • Tropical Dry or Deciduous Forests (including Monsoon Forests)
      • Warm deserts and semi-deserts
      • Coniferous forests and
      • Alpine meadows.
    • Biodiversity hotspots in India:
      • Himalayan region: Indian Himalayan region (and that falling in Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar).
      • Indo-Burma: Entire North-eastern India, except Assam and Andaman group of Islands (and Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and southern China)
      • Western Ghats and Sri Lanka: Entire Western Ghats (and Sri Lanka).
      • Sundaland: Nicobar group of Islands (and Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines).
    • Indian initiatives for Biodiversity conservation:
      • National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems
      • Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017
      • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002
      • Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972

    Shangri-La Dialogue (IR)

    Recently, Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Key Points

    • It is a “Track One” inter-governmental security forum.
    • Organized at: Shangri-La Hotel (Singapore) since 2002.
    • Organized by: International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) which is attended by defense ministers and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific countries.
    • Objective: Building confidence and fostering practical security cooperation in the Asia-pacific region.

    INS Rajput decommissioned (Defence)

    Recently, the Indian Navy has decommissioned Destroyer INS Rajput.

    Key Points

    • It was built by the erstwhile USSR, which remained in service for around 41 years.
    • Motto: Raj Karega Rajput 
    • Achievements: 
      • Operation Aman
      • Operation Pawan
      • Operation Cactus
      • Operation Crowsnest
    • The ship was also the first Indian Naval Ship to be affiliated with an Indian Army regiment, the Rajput Regiment
      • INS Rajput was also the first ship in the Navy to get the first version of the BrahMos anti-ship supersonic cruise missile in 2005.
      • Project 15: Under this project, the Indian Navy is developing a class of stealth-guided missile destroyers e.g; Rajput class, Delhi class, and Kolkata class.
    • The Indian Navy inducted its first destroyer (INS Ranjit) in 1949 from the UK.

    Image Courtesy: Indian Navy