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Environment

Tiger Census

Why in news?

India has 2,967 tigers, a third more than in 2014, according to results of the tiger census.

About the news

  • This is by far the biggest increase in terms of both numbers and percentage since the four-yearly census using camera traps and the capture-mark-recapture method began in 2006.
  • Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
  • Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population and all other States saw a “positive” increase.
  • Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.

About Tiger Census

  • The survey is a gargantuan exercise to count the number of tigers..
  • The All India tiger estimation is carried out once in every four years.
 
  • The census does not include cubs and only adult tigers are counted.
  • Wildlife Institute of India, an Environment Ministry-funded body is mandated to carry out the survey under the guidance of National Tiger Conservation Authority.
  • 2018 survey will be the fourth All India tiger estimation so far since 2006.
  • That year, it emerged that India had only 1,411 tigers.
  • This rose to 1,706 in 2010 and 2,226 in 2014 on the back of improved conservation measures and new estimation methods.
  • The latest survey is the culmination of 15 months of forest officials surveying 381,400 square kilometres of forested habitat, installing 26,760 camera traps and wildlife biologists ferreting through 35 million images of wildlife.

More about tiger counting

  • In a first, wildlife officials used mobile application M-STrIPES (Monitoring System For Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) to estimate the big cat population
  • It was developed by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
  • This mobile app records the track a forest official walks and geotags the sightings of tigers and even other animals or signs which helps in the estimation.
  • It is GPS-enabled and helps to capture data relating to tiger sightings, deaths, wildlife crime and ecological observations while patrolling.
  • The other software used for tiger estimation was Spatially Explicit Capture Recapture (SECR) and Extract Compare, which helps differentiate between the stripes of tigers as each has a different pattern.
  • The report covers 18 tiger reign States with 50 tiger reserves along with areas beyond them where tigers can be found.

India’s five tiger landscapes

  1. Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains
  2. Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats
  3. Western Ghats
  4. North-East Hills and Brahmaputra Plains
  5. The Sundarbans.

Why is a tiger census needed?

  • As the tiger sits at the peak of the food chain, its conservation is important to ensure the well-being of the forest ecosystem.
  • The tiger estimation exercise includes habitat assessment and prey estimation.
  • The numbers reflect the success or failure of conservation efforts.
  • This is an especially important indicator in a fast-growing economy like India where the pressures of development often run counter to the demands of conservation.
  • The Global Tiger Forum, an international collaboration of tiger-bearing countries, has set a goal of doubling the count of wild tigers by 2022.
  • More than 80% of the world’s wild tigers are in India, and it’s crucial to keep track of their numbers.
 
Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)

Why in news?

The tiger population is growing in Kerala with 190 big cats roaming its forests and the State scoring maximum points in mean Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE), according to the Status of Tigers in India-2018 report.

About the news

  • Kerala scored the highest mean MEE score of 90.23 among the 18 tiger States of the country.

About MEE

  • The Management Effectives Evaluation (MEE) process is a global framework to evaluate the performance of protected areas.
  • India is among the select countries in the world that has institutionalized the MEE process for its network of protected areas.
  • It is the assessment of how well protected areas such as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves, community reserves and tiger reserves are being managed and their effectiveness in conserving target flora and fauna.
  • From January, 2014 to December, 2014 the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in partnership with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under took an independent Management Effectiveness Evaluation of 43 tiger reserves in the country.
  • The Framework consists of six elements viz.
  1. Context
  2. Planning
  3. Inputs
  4. Process
  5. Output
  6. Outcome
  • Each of them has a precise focus of evaluation.
  • This Framework assesses the importance of each tiger reserve for conservation in the face of current threats to the species.

Salient Features

  • Evaluation was done by adapting a globally used framework that is used in over 140 countries in the world.
  • Five independent teams conducted the evaluation.
  • 31 headline indicators, developed especially for the Indian situation.

Science and Technology

Poultry integration

Why in news?

The State of Kerala is gearing up to implement the Union Health Ministry’s recent ban on the manufacture, sale and distribution of the antibiotic colistin and its formulations, a step which should curb the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Kerala.

About the news

  • Poultry Integration being followed in the State deteriorate the situation.
 

About Poultry Integration

  • Poultry integration is a kind of contract farming.
  • Here the integrators supply chicks, feed, veterinary aid, medication as well as all inputs to farmers and then buy back the birds after five weeks.
  • Farmers would not have any idea if colistin is being mixed in the feed.
  • Antibiotics are used to make up for poor production factors in farms, including hygiene.

About Collisitn

  • Colistin, also known as polymyxin E, is an antibiotic produced by certain strains of the bacteria Paenibacillus polymyxa.
  • Colistin is the last line of antibiotic available to treat critically ill patients with Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae in our intensive care units.
  • Yet colistin-resistant isolates of several bacteria are reported from all medical colleges.
  • The indiscriminate use of antibiotics in the animal husbandry sector, especially the use of colistin for non-therapeutic purposes in poultry farming attributed to this.

Effects

  • Nephrotoxicity (damage to the kidneys)
  • Neurotoxicity (damage to the nerves)

About Collistin ban

https://www.neoias.com/index.php/daily-newsletter-tps-20-daily-current-affair-22-july-2019.html

Agent Smith & Janus Vulnerability

Why in news?

Indian cybercrime officials, tracking the recently detected Agent Smith malware, believe it is targeted at Indians, who constitute the highest number of victims so far.

About the news

  • It is believed to have infected over 25 million devices so far.
  • Around 59% of those affected by Agent Smith are Indians.

About Agent Smith

  • Agent Smith is a recently detected malware, any program or file that is harmful to a computer user.
  • It is embedded in apps available on Google Play store, mostly connected to gaming, image editing or adult entertainment.
  • Once a user downloads the app, the malware gets active, looking for other apps that it can take over.
  • Its ability to impersonate apps, as well as the fact that its icon is not visible on the user’s screen, makes it next to impossible to detect.
  • Agent Smith have made the effort to identify all the latest vulnerabilities in the Android operating system and designed it specifically to exploit them.
  • It relies heavily on the Janus vulnerability in replacing apps with their contaminated versions while leaving the hash value, which is like a unique signature for any app, intact.
 
  • With 25 million devices being reportedly infected, the makers of Agent Smith already have a huge botnet at their disposal.

What is Janus Vulnerability?

  • Janus was discovered in 2017 by cyber security researchers.
  • It allows hackers to modify an app without affecting its own signature, which makes the hack impossible to detect.

Related Information (PLUS)

About CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team)

  • CERT-In is the national agency to secure India’s cyber space.
  • It was established in the year 2004.
  • The Information Technology (amendment) act 2008, designated CERT-In as the principal agency to handle all cyber threats.
  • It works under ministry of electronics and information technology.
  • It collaborates with overseas Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) for incident response and resolution.

Functions

  • Information technology (amendment) act 2008 list various other functions of CERT-In. such as
    • Collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber-attacks.
    • Forecast and alerts cyber security incidents.
    • Emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents.
    • Issue guidelines, advisories, vulnerability notes and white papers relating to information security purposes.
    • Such other functions needed for the purpose.

Economy

Geographical Indication

Why in news?

Odisha's Rasagola receives Geographical Indication tag.

About the news

  • The name of the geographical indication will be read as "Odisha Rasagola".
  • The Registrar of Geographical Indications, Chennai, has issued a certificate registering the sweetmeat as ‘Odisha Rasagola’ under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • The GI tag of "Odisha Rasagola" will be valid until February 22, 2028.
  • Odisha moved the registry after West Bengal was awarded the geographical indication tag for its 'Banglar Rasagulla' in 2017.
  • The Geographical Indications Registry has also granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Kodaikanal Malai Poondu (Kodaikanal Hill Garlic).

About Odisha Rasagola

  • ‘Odisha Rasagola’ is a sweet from the state of Odisha made of chhena (cottage cheese) cooked in sugar syrup.
  • It is very soft to feel, is juicy and non- chewy in consistency and can be swallowed without teeth pressure.
  • Colour development of the ‘Odisha Rasagola’ is very specific, where without addition of external colour.
 
  • Various intensely-coloured rasagolas are prepared using the principle of caramelisation of sugar with specific methods of preparation.
  • Odisha Rasagolas are white in colour with round shape (non‐ spherical).

About Geographical Indication Tag

What is GI?

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • It is given primarily for an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
  • A GI tag indicates that the product originates from a definite territory in India and has unique characteristics or quality.
  • Having a GI tag prevents unauthorised use of a registered Geographical Indication by others, boosts exports of Indian Geographical indications by providing legal protection and also enables seeking legal protection in other WTO member countries
  • Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among the registered GIs in India.
  • Unlike a Trade Mark, Geographical Indication cannot be licensed.
  • Also when Trade Mark is assigned to the manufactured goods, the Geographical Indication is assigned to the agricultural goods/products and handicrafts only.

Who can use GI?

  • A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards.
  • A GI may be used by any persons in the area of origin, who produces the good according to specified standards.
  • But a GI cannot be assigned or licensed to someone outside that place or not belonging to the group of authorized producers.

Who gives GI Tag?

  • Governments of all WTO member countries had agreed to set certain basic standards for the protection of GIs in all member countries as per the WTO TRIPS Agreement.
  • Under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, geographical indications are covered as an element of IPRs.
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999.
  • The GI tag is given by the Registrar of Geographical indications in India.
  • The Cell for IPR Promotions & Management (CIPAM) under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is the nodal agency for GIs and IPRs in India.

Map Aided Programme     

Mountain passes of Sikkim
  1. Cho La :- It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region
  2. Dongkha La :-high mountain pass in the Himalaya connecting Sikkim in India with Tibet
  3. Goecha La:- The southeast face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain
  4. Jelep La:- between East Sikkim District, Sikkim, India and Tibet Autonomous Region, China
  5. Nathu La :- It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road.

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)

  1. In the context of food and nutritional security of India, enhancing the ‘Seed Replacement Rates’ of various crops helps in achieving the food production targets of the future. But what is / are the constraint / constraints in its wider/ greater implementation?
  1. There is no National Seeds Policy in place.
  2. There is no participation of private sector seed companies in the supply of quality seeds of vegetables and planting materials of horticultural crops.
  3. There is a demand-supply gap regarding quality seeds in case of low value and high volume crops.

Select the correct answer using the code give below.

  • 1 and 2 (b) 3 only                    (c) 2 and 3                   (d) None

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