Daily Current Affairs – 29-07-2023

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    National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023 

    Syllabus :GS 2/Government Policies and Interventions 

    In News

    • The Lok Sabha passed the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023 .

    About National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023 

    •  It repeals the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.  
    • It provides for the regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services for nursing and midwifery professionals.  

    Key features of the Bill

    • National Nursing and Midwifery Commission: The Bill provides for the constitution of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission.  
      • It will consist of 29 members.  The chairperson should have a postgraduate degree in nursing and midwifery and have at least 20 years of field experience. 
      • Functions of Commission: Functions of the Commission include: 
        • Framing policies and regulating standards for nursing and midwifery education, 
        • Providing a uniform process for admission into nursing and midwifery institutions, 
        • Regulating nursing and midwifery institutions, and 
        • Providing standards for faculty in teaching institutions.
    • Autonomous boards: The Bill provides for the constitution of three autonomous boards under the supervision of the National Commission.   These are:
      • the Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education Board, to regulate education and examination at undergraduate and postgraduate levels; 
    • State Nursing and Midwifery Commissions: Every state government must constitute a State Nursing and Midwifery Commission where no such Commission exists under state law.  It will consist of 10 members.
    • Establishment of nursing or midwifery institutions: Permission of the Assessment and Rating Board would be needed to establish a new nursing and midwifery institution, increase the number of seats, or start any new postgraduate course.  
      • The Board must decide on the proposals within six months.  In case of disapproval, an appeal can be made to the National Commission and a second appeal can be filed with the Central Government.
    • Practicing as a professional: The Ethics and Registration Board will maintain an online Indian Nurses and Midwives’ Register, containing the details and qualifications of professionals and associates.  
    • Advisory Council: The central government will also establish the Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council.  
      • The chairperson of the National Commission shall be the chairperson of the Council. 

    Objectives: 

    • According to the Indian Nursing Council records, till 2022, there were around 33.41 lakh nursing personnel registered in the country therefore the bill aims to streamline nursing education in India.

    Source:LM

    National Dental Commission Bill, 2023

    Syllabus: GS2/ Bills, Health

    In News

    • The Lok Sabha passed the National Dental Commission Bill, 2023.

    About

    • The ultimate goal of the bill is to regulate the dental profession, provide quality dental education, and make high-quality oral healthcare more accessible to the public.
    • The Bill repeals the Dentists Act, 1948 and constitutes: 
      • the National Dental Commission, 
      • the Dental Advisory Council and 
      • three autonomous Boards for regulating dental education and standards of dentistry.

    Key features of the Bill are:

    • National Dental Commission: The proposed bill aims to replace the existing Dental Council of India with a new body called the National Dental Commission. The primary objectives of the commission include formulating policies and maintaining high-quality standards for dental education and the dental profession in the country.
      • The Chairperson will be appointed by the central government, upon the recommendation of a search-cum-selection committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.  
      • Ex-officio members of the Commission include: (i) Presidents of the three autonomous Boards, (ii) the Director General of Health Services, (iii) Chief of the Centre for Dental and Educational Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences. 
    • Autonomous boards: The bill outlines the creation of three autonomous boards under the National Dental Commission’s purview:
      • Undergraduate and Postgraduate Dental Education Board: This board will be responsible for setting standards and guidelines for dental education institutions.
      • Dental Assessment and Rating Board: The board’s role will be to assess and rate dental institutions, publish assessment reports and ratings, and have the authority to recognize or de-recognize degrees.
      • Ethics and Dental Registration Board: This board will maintain an online and live national register for dentists, regulate ethics in dental practices, and ensure professional conduct.
    • Regulation of fees: The bill regulates 50 percent of seats in private dental colleges to ensure more accessible and affordable dental education. 
    • Establishment of a Dental Advisory Council: It would be established by the central government.  The council’s primary function will be to advise the National Dental Commission and serve as a platform for states and Union territories to express their views on dental education and examination.
    • State Dental Council: The state governments are required to institute State Dental Councils.  The Councils are required to receive grievances related to professional/ethical misconduct against registered dentists.
    • Entrance examinations: Admission to the Bachelor of Dental Surgery course will be done through NEET.  The Commission will specify the manner of conducting common counselling for undergraduate and postgraduate admissions.  
      • A National Exit Test (Dental) will be held in the final undergraduate year for: (i) granting licence to practice dentistry, (ii) enrolment in state/national registers, and (iii) for admission to postgraduate dental education.  Until the passage of the Bill, postgraduate admissions in Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) will be conducted through NEET.

    Source: LM

    Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill 

    Syllabus: GS 2/Government Policies and Interventions 

    In News

    • The Union Education Minister introduced the Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill

    About Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill 

    • It proposes to amend the 2017 Act so that the Visitor can nominate the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of IIMs .
      • Section 16 of the Act will be amended to provide more powers to the Visitor in the appointment of IIM Directors. 
    • It proposes to make the President as the Visitor of all IIMs.
      • A new Section, 10A, would be added so that the President shall be the Visitor of every Institute.
    • It will  empower the Central government to constitute an interim Board in case of suspension or dissolution of the said Board of Governors.

    Key Highlights 

    • The Director will be appointed out of the panel of names recommended by a search-cum-selection committee to be constituted by the Board consisting of the Chairperson of the Board, who shall be the Chairperson of the search-cum-selection committee, one member to be nominated by the Visitor and two Members chosen from amongst eminent administrators, industrialists, educationists, scientists, technocrats and management specialists.
    • The Bill is also to change the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai as the Indian Institute of Management, Mumbai.
    • Section 17 of the Act, that gives powers to the Board for initiation of inquiry against the Director, has been deleted in the Bill. 
    • Section 29 of the present Act on “Coordination Forum of the Institute” will also be amended so that an eminent person to be nominated by the Visitor shall be the Chairperson of the Forum.

    Concerns 

    • IIMs were opposed to the idea because they feared that this would encroach upon their autonomy. 
    • They yielded when the Bill provided them complete autonomy in all matters, including the appointment of the Directors. Their boards were empowered. Now they have lost all of those things and will now be governed the way the IITs, NITs and the Central Universities are.

    Conclusion 

    • The amendments will have an impact on the autonomy of IIMs and they will be governed the way Central Universities are governed. 

    Source:TH

    Biosimilars

    Syllabus: GS3/ Science & Technology

    Context

    • The health ministry plans to revamp guidelines for approving biosimilar drugs to make the regulatory pathway more robust and sync it with the rapidly evolving global landscape.

    What are Biologics?

    • Medicines known as biologics or biological products are created using living organisms through extremely intricate production procedures. 
    • The term “biologics” refers to a broad range of goods, including vaccines, therapeutic proteins, monoclonal antibodies, and gene and cell therapies.

    What are Biosimilars?

    • A biosimilar is a biologic that is “similar” to another biologic medication. 
    • Biosimilars and reference products are very similar in terms of safety, purity, and potency, but may differ somewhat in clinically inactive components.
    • They are duplicates of biologic medications that have been utilized to treat a variety of diseases and disorders rather than brand-new pharmaceuticals. 
    • Every biosimilar is produced utilizing the same amino acid starting materials and exact, step-by-step procedures as its reference medicine, a well-researched, widely-used biologic drug that has been available for years. Biosimilars are all prescribed medications.
    • The same raw materials and production techniques as the original biologic are used to create biosimilars. They are created and developed to be  close to the original medication on which they are based.
    • Examples include Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn), Amjevita (adalimumab-atto), and Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb).
    • Biosimilars are usually lower-cost alternatives to their original biologic.

     

    Prospects of Biosimilars

    • The growth of the market for biologics used to treat cancer (monoclonal antibodies), diabetes (insulin), and numerous other autoimmune diseases has opened up new opportunities for biosimilars worldwide.
    • A large number of pharmaceutical companies in India are investing significantly in the creation of biosimilars.
    • The first biosimilar version of trastuzumab emtansine,  not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells (trastuzumab), but also delivers a cytotoxic agent to the cancer cell and aids in its destruction.
    • The market for biosimilars is expanding because they are less expensive than biologics, whose high price puts them out of reach for many patients.
    • The complex generics and biosimilars are intended to treat non-communicable diseases like cancer, asthma, and arthritis, encouraging their manufacturing can  have a beneficial development impact.

    Challenges of Biosimilars

    • The pricey and drawn-out development process might take up to six or seven years.
    • The temperature has a significant impact on the maintenance of biosimilars because of their great sensitivity. They must therefore be distributed via a cold chain network.
    • Biosimilars and generic products differ significantly in terms of manufacturing costs and the required capital expenditures for machinery, buildings, and other assets.

    State of Biosimilar in India

    • The Regulation and Development of Biosimilars come under:
      • Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
      • Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)
      • Indian council of Medical Research (ICMR)
      • Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
      • National Control Laboratory Biosafety Committee
    • The various Acts and Guidelines that Biosimilar comes under:
      • Drugs and Committee Act (1940)
      • Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (1945)
      • Environment Protection Act (1986)
      • Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines (1990)
      • Guidelines for preclinical and clinical data for rDNA vaccines, diagnostics and other biologicals (1999)
      • CDSCO guidance for Industry (2008)

    Way Forward

    • To ensure unfair and unethical practices, a regulatory structure must be put in place, and proper monitoring must be carried out.
    • India needs to invest in fundamental research and education to grow its ecosystem for biological research.

    Source: ET

    Project Tiger and Project Elephant

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment, Conservation

    In News

    • The Central government recently merged Project Tiger and Project Elephant. 

    More on the News

    • A common allocation will fund both the projects beginning this year.The administrative setup for the two schemes will continue to exist separately, only funding is to be merged. 
    • A new division, ‘Project Tiger and Elephant Division,’ has been notified under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
    • The amalgamation will bolster the conservation of both the animals, as they often share the same landscapes in the country. 

    Concerns raised

    • The decision, apparently driven by an effort to squeeze funds, is likely to impact conservation of both signature animals — particularly tigers.
    • The merger will impact the funding pattern for tiger reserves, as Project Elephant will become a parasite on Project Tiger and both will suffer.
    • There is a lack of details regarding the merger which  is causing confusion.

    Project Tiger

    • The Project Tiger was launched by the government in 1973 from the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand with an ambitious aim of increasing the population of the tiger  in the country.
    • The initial reserves covered under Project Tiger were the Jim Corbett, Manas, Ranthambore, Simlipal, Bandipur, Palamau, Sundarbans, Melghta and Kanha national parks.
    • From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 54  at present, spread out in 18 of our tiger range states.

    About Tiger

    • The tiger (Panthera tigris) is a striped animal. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India
    • Out of eight races of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

    Tiger Reserves in India

    Project Elephant

    • It was launched in 1992 to provide financial and technical support to major elephant bearing States in the country for the protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors.
    • It is a centrally sponsored scheme and seeks to address the issues of human-elephant conflict and the welfare of domesticated elephants.

    About Indian elephant

    • The Indian elephant (Elephas maximus) occurs in the central and southern Western Ghats, North-east India, Eastern India and Northern India and in some parts of southern peninsular India. 
    • It is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). 
    • It occurs in 16 of the 28 states in the country and is showing an increasing trend across its distributional range.
    • It is regarded as a National Heritage Animal of India.
    • There are 33 elephant reserves spread over 80,778 sq kms across India, Terai Elephant Reserve being the latest one.

    Elephant Reserves in India

    Source: DTE

    Anatomy of the Yamuna Floodplains

    Syllabus: GS1/ Geographical Features & their Location, Changes in Geographical Features, Floods

    In News

    • Recently, the water levels of Yamuna floodplains hit a 60-year-high, advancing towards the Taj Mahal for the first time in half a century.
    • Causes, experts argue, can be traced to haphazard construction activities, urbanisation, lack of proper housing and lax regulations — all of which have besieged the floodplains.

    About the river ‘Yamuna’

    • The river system:
      • It is a major tributary of the river Ganges.
      • It originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Bandarpoonch peaks in the Mussoorie range of the lower Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
      • It meets the Ganges at the Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh after flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
      • The river system includes both water and land. Yamuna is a lifeline to five States, and its floodplains are a charging point.
    • There are three stretches to the river: 
      • Northern (a 26-km run from Palla to Wazirabad barrage), 
      • Central (22 km from the Wazirabad to Okhla barrage) and 
      • Southern (4 km from the Okhla barrage till Jaitpur village, where it exits to Haryana).
    • Important Dams on the Yamuna:
      • Lakhwar-Vyasi Dam (Uttarakhand), 
      • Tajewala Barrage Dam (Haryana) etc.
    • Its tributaries:
      • Chambal, Sindh, Betwa, Ken, Tons, Hindon.
    • The life built on Yamuna floodplains:
      • A 2022 report found there are 56 bastis (one basti has 15 or more houses), with 9,350 households and 46,750 people. 
      • Almost half of the households (4,835) practice farming as a livelihood; others rely on daily wage work, fishing, nurseries, and animal herding.

    Challenges faced by the river system

    • Pollution load:
      • According to a 2020 report by the now-dissolved Yamuna Monitoring Committee (YMC), the 22-kilometre stretch of the Yamuna – only 2% of the length of the river – accounts for over 75% of the total pollution load, an accretion of industrial waste and domestic sewage.
      • The low volume of water flow in the river causes the pollutants to accumulate and raise the pollution level.
    • Overboarded infrastructure:
      • The South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) in 2020 found large parts of the Yamuna floodplains and riverbed were “grossly abused” due to lax implementation: 23 bridges including rail, road, metro and barrages have been built; there was a bridge at every 800m

    Initiatives by the Government

    • Cleaning Yamuna: Government has come up with three action plans to clean the river — Yamuna Action Plan 1, 2, 3. ₹1,514.7 crore was spent in the first two phases.
    • Delhi’s Master Plan: The Yamuna floodplain was designated as a protected area free from construction in the Delhi Master Plan of 1962. 
      • The Central Ground Water Authority in 2000 also notified the floodplains as ‘protected’ for groundwater management.
    • Draft Master Plan For Delhi 2041: The draft Master Plan For Delhi 2041 divides Delhi into 18 zonal areas, designating Yamuna’s floodplains as ‘Zone O’, delineated in two parts: river zone (active floodplain) and riverfront (regulated construction is allowed)
      • The latter is where structures such as Akshardham Temple and Commonwealth Village have been built.
    • NGT’s Blanket ban: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2016 imposed a blanket ban on agriculture-related activities till “Yamuna is restored and made pollution free”.

    Way ahead

    • The concept of floodplain zoning is not mainstreamed in the Master Plan, and authorities haven’t yet “taken cognizance of the river’s right to expand.
      • This gap, along with poorly implemented policies, frees up river land for private and public real estate.
    • Action can be focused on creating climate-resilient infrastructures, de-silting drains, creating green areas and improving drainage systems.

    What do encroachments do?

    • Groundwater discharge: If you build on areas reserved for recharge, you lose groundwater
      • The layers of sediments of floodplains create aquifers contributing to the river channel, which in turn rejuvenates the groundwater
        • But encroachments stop this two-way exchange.
    • Hindrance in water transportation: In addition, the river is unable to transport flood waters downstream during monsoons, wet the lands or deposit soil along its banks to preserve the riverine ecosystem.
    • No protection from Flash Floods: Floodplains also protect against devastating flash floods by allowing excess water to spread out and storing that surplus. 
      • However, encroachments restrict the river to a small channel
      • Any intense rainfall activity (India received 26% more rainfall in July than expected) swells the river, expanding in height not in width, eventually spilling over with devastating intensity. 
      • Climate change has intensified rains in frequency and severity, and seen in the Yamuna floods, runoff water comes as a huge gushing flow in a small span of time.

    Source: TH

    Stapled Visa 

    Syllabus:GS2/ IR

    News

    • Recently China issued stapled visas to three athletes from the team who belong to Arunachal Pradesh for the Summer World University Games.

    What is a stapled visa?

    • Passports, visas, and other kinds of immigration controls reiterate the idea of a nation-state and its sovereignty which is inalienable and inviolable. A passport is the certificate of its holder’s identity and citizenship.
    • A stapled visa is an unstamped piece of paper that is attached by a pin or staples to a page of the passport and can be torn off or detached at will. 
    • This is different from a regular visa that is affixed to the passport by the issuing authority and stamped.

    Why does China do this?

    • China disputes India’s internationally accepted sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh.It calls the area “Zangnan” in the Chinese language and makes repeated references to “South Tibet”.
    • China has made it a practice to issue stapled visas to Indian nationals from Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. It says the visas are valid documents, but the Government of India has consistently refused to accept this position.

    China’s claim over Indian territory

    • Issues with McMahon Line:China challenges the legal status of the McMahon Line, the boundary between Tibet and British India that was agreed at the Convention Between Great Britain, China, and Tibet at the Simla Convention of 1914. 
    • It is this disagreement that lies at the heart of Chinese claims over the position of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and its repeated transgressions into Indian territory.

    Since when has this practice gone on?

    • The state-run Chinese media began to refer to Arunachal Pradesh as “South Tibet” from 2005 onward.
    • They signaled their intention by refusing to give a visa to an Indian government official who was serving in Arunachal Pradesh in late 2006. 
    • Subsequently, they started the practice of issuing ‘stapled’ visas to all Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh as well as Jammu and Kashmir.

    Source:IE

    Lynchings and Mob Violence

    Syllabus: GS3/Extremism, Challenges to Internal Security, Various Security Agencies; GS2/ Government Policies & Interventions. 

    In News

    • The Supreme Court recently asked the Centre and States to respond to a plea about lynchings and mob violence.

    More about the Plea

    • The plea said gruesome incidents of mob fury and vigilantism continue to happen despite a five-year-old apex court judgment, which had made the government machinery squarely accountable for protecting the lives of victims, including minority community members.

    Mob Lynching

    • About: It is a form of violence in which a mob, under the pretext of administering justice without trial, punishes and inflicts torture on a presumed offender, sometimes even resulting in murders.
    • Origin: The word lynching in fact originated in the United States in the mid-18th century. 
      • Historians believe that the term was first used by planter Charles Lynch to describe extra-judicial authority assumed by private individuals like him.
      • It came to be applied over time to extra-judicial killings by crowds, most commonly of African-Americans in the late 19th century.
    • Impacts: The spate of incidents of lynching over the past few years has led to a heightened sense of insecurity among the marginalised communities.

    Reasons

    • Combined effect of various factors: 
      • A combined effect of political, socio-economic, and psychological factors have led to a situation of hyper-reactivity among large populations even in rural areas and small towns. 
      • These factors which instigated the people include deep discontent and anger in rural youth populations due to the worsened crisis of agriculture and bleak employment opportunities.
    • Poor Law and order: 
      • Most lynchings have occurred in remote areas, on highways, or in the countryside. 
      • The network of law and order is generally lax in these areas and even a set of enthusiastic police personnel might not reach the location on time to prevent violence.
    • Role of social media:
      • Smartphones and cheap internet have become a common phenomenon only after 2010. 
      • Lynchings are often fuelled by rumors spread on social media platforms.
    • Religion-based: 
      • There have been dozens of killings on the name of religion in the last few years.
    • Witch-hunting:
      • Witch-hunting was one of the reasons for mob violence, where 2000 mentally challenged women were lynched for rumours that put an allegation upon them of stealing and murdering children.

    Government initiatives to deal such mob actions

    • Creation of Nodal Officers: 
      • Central government has asked states to appoint a nodal officer in each district to prevent the incidents of mob violence and lynching.
      • As per advisory from the Home Ministry, the nodal officer should be a superintendent of police-level officers.
      • It has also asked to set up a special task force to procure intelligence reports about the people who are likely to commit such crimes or who are involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news.
    • Creation of Two High Level Committees: 
      • Two high-level committees were constituted by the Central government to suggest ways and legal framework to effectively deal with incidents of mob violence and lynching.
    • Awareness generation:
      • The government through audio-visual media has also generated public awareness to curb the menace of mob lynching. 
      • The government has also sensitized the service providers to take steps to check the propagation of false news and rumours having the potential to incite mob violence and lynching.
    • Jharkhand’s Law: 
      • The Jharkhand Assembly passed the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, which aims at providing “effective protection” of constitutional rights and the prevention of mob violence in the state.
      • The Bill defines lynching as “any act or series of acts of violence or death or aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence or death, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other ground”.

    Way ahead

    • There are mainly two ways by which one can be stopped from doing an offence. 
      • One is to inculcate fear in the mind of the offender about the consequences of his offences. Offences can be reduced by way of such punishments which have a deterrent effect.
      • The other way to curb the number of offences is to know why someone is committing an offence and then counter that mentality of the offender. 
    • In a country like India, people taking law into their own hands is unacceptable since citizens of the country have been granted various fundamental rights.

    Source: TH

    Facts In News

    World Nature Conservation Day

     

    News: 

    • National Zoological Park, New Delhi (Delhi Zoo) celebrated World Nature Conservation Day recently. 

    More on the News:

    • The goal of arranging this activity at National Zoological Park was to create awareness among the students to promote the concept of Lifestyle for Environment (Mission-LiFE).

    About World Nature Conservation Day 

    • World Nature Conservation Day is celebrated annually on 28 July.
    • The main purpose of celebrating this day is to create awareness among people about the importance of the natural environment and its resources. 
    • The theme for World Nature Conservation Day 2022 was “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.

    About Mission Life(Lifestyle For the Environment) 

    • It’s an India-led global mass movement to nudge individual and community action to protect and preserve the environment.
    • It is  a public movement to mobilize individuals to become ‘Pro-Planet People’.
    • It strives for Mindful and Deliberate Utilisation, instead of Mindless and Destructive Consumption.
    • Three Phases of Mission LiFE: Each phase requires a fundamental shift in our approach towards sustainability.
    • Change in Demand (Phase I): Nudging individuals across the world to practice simple yet effective environment-friendly actions in their daily lives.
    • Change in Supply (Phase II): Changes in large-scale individual demand are expected to gradually nudge industries and markets to respond and tailor supply and procurement as per the revised demands.
    • Change in Policy (Phase III):To trigger shifts in large-scale industrial and government policies that can support both sustainable consumption and production.
    • Mission Lifestyle for Environment recognises that Indian culture and living traditions are inherently sustainable. 
    • The importance of conserving our precious natural resources and living in harmony with nature are emphasised in our ancient scriptures. Hence, the need of the hour is to tap into that ancient wisdom and spread the message to as many people as possible. 

    Source: PIB

    Western Ghats

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment

    In News

    • The rapid shift from traditional local grain cultivation to monoculture plantations of mango and cashew in the Sahyadri plateaus of Maharashtra is impacting amphibians, insects, and reptiles that live under a crop of loose rocks.

    About

    • The loose rocks shelter these animals – some endemic and threatened – from scorching heat during summer and heavy monsoon rains. 
    • They have evolved to survive on the rocky plateaus, but their adaptability to changing conditions may not be enough for the pace of shift in the land-use pattern.

    Western Ghats

    • It is a chain of mountains running parallel to India’s western coast, approximately 30-50 km inland, the Ghats traverse the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat from the river Tapti in the north to the southern tip of India.
    • These mountains cover an area of around 140,000 km² in a 1,600 km long stretch that is interrupted only by the 30 km Palghat Gap at around 11°N.
    • A significant characteristic of the Western Ghats is the exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism. This mountain chain is recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity along with Sri Lanka.
    • The part of western Ghats falling in the state of Maharashtra is known as Sahyadri and is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India.

    Sahyadri Range

    • Sahyadri mountains are volcanic in nature, with an estimated age of 100 million years, and are made up of mostly basaltic rock. 
    • Geologic evidence indicates that they were formed during the break-up of the supercontinent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago.
    • Sahyadri contains a very large proportion of the region’s flora and fauna, many of which are only found in Maharashtra and nowhere else in the world. 

    Source: TH

    Bharat Mandalam

    Syllabus: GS3/Economy

    In News

    • The Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) complex in New Delhi  named ‘Bharat Mandalam’.

    About

    • The IECC project revamps the old and outdated facilities at Pragati Maidan and has been developed as a National project. 
    • The IECC complex has been developed as India’s largest MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) destination. 
    • The newly developed IECC complex at Pragati Maidan comprises multiple state-of-the-art facilities including Convention Centre, Exhibition halls and amphitheatre etc.

    Architecture of IECC Complex

    • The shape of the building is derived from the Shankha (conch shell), and different walls and facades of the Convention Centre depict several elements of India’s traditional art and culture including ‘Surya Shakti’ highlighting India’s efforts in harnessing solar energy,  ‘Zero to ISRO’, celebrating achievements in space,  Pancha Mahabhuta signifying the building blocks of universal foundation – Aakash (Sky), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jal (Water), Prithvi (Earth). 
    • Also, various paintings and Tribal art forms from different regions of the country adorn the Convention Centre.

    MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions)

    • The main purpose of MICE events is to create a networking platform for business, industry, government, and academic communities and engage in meaningful conversations. Generally, they bring large groups together for a specific purpose. 
    • MICE is also known as the ‘Meetings industry’ or ‘Events industry’. MICE tourism offers many other benefits to the economies such as business opportunities, dissemination of knowledge and providing of training, skill upgradation etc.
    • The MICE sector also helps increase local government and private sector investments that result in the up-gradation of the general hospitality environment of the destination country.

    Source: PIB