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Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 2nd March 2020

 

 

Main Topics

Red Pandas

Why in news?

Genetic study reveals the endangered red panda is actually two separate species.

Red pandas:

  • The red pandais a small arboreal mammal found in the forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan and the northern mountains of Myanmar and southern China.
  • The Red Pandas are called “Living Fossils” as they are the only living member of the Ailuridae mammalian family.
  • In India, it is found in Sikkim, western Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling district of West Bengal and parts of Meghalaya.
  • It is also the state animal of Sikkim. 

Conservation status:

  • IUCN- Endangered
  • Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Himalayan red panda and Chinese red panda:

  • Chinese red pandas are found in northern Myanmar as well as south-eastern Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in China.
  • Himalayan red pandas are native to Nepal, India, Bhutan and southern Tibet in China.
  • The Himalayan red panda has more white on the face, while the face
 
  • coat colour of the Chinese red panda is redder with less white on it.

Note-The Yalu Zangbu River most likely marks the geographical boundary separating the two species.

Threats:

  • Habitat fragmentation and degradation.
  • Predation by feral dogs.
  • Occasional hunting and poaching.

Note- Giant pandas are one of the world’s eight bear species.

  • Status IUCN- Vulnerable
Red Snow or Watermelon Snow

Why in news?

Over the past few weeks, snow around Ukraine’s Vernadsky Research Base, located off the coast of Antarctica’s northernmost peninsula, has started to take on a red color.

More about the news

  • The phenomenon is due to the courtesy of algaecalled Chlamydomonas nivalis that thrives in freezing weather.
  • This red-pigmented algae has the potential to jumpstart a feedback loop of warming and melting,
  • Chlamydomonas nivalis is the most common type of snow algae found in snowfields and mountains across the world.
  • The Greek philosopher Aristotle is believed to be one of the first to give a written account of watermelon snow over 2,000 years ago.

Why is the snow turning red?

  • This type of algae is actually a member of the green algae family. It won’t turn red until the weather warms up, the cell’s carotenoids—the same pigment that gives pumpkins and carrots their orange hue—absorb heat and protect the algae from ultraviolet light, almost like sunscreen. In the winter months, they lie dormant.
  • The more sunlight the algae receive, the more it produces the “watermelon red” pigment, which causes the snow to melt faster.
  • The algae produce this tinted sunscreen to keep themselves warm. The report mentions that because the snow becomes darker from the tinge, it absorbs more heat, as a result of which it melts faster.
  • Further, these algae change the snow’s albedo, which refers to the amount of light or radiation the snow surface is able to reflect back.
Renewable Energy Management Centres (REMC)

Why in news?

Power Minister dedicates 11 renewable energy management centres to nation.

Background

  • The governmenthas a target of 175 GW renewable energy (RE) capacity by 2022.
  • But challenges to grid management due to intermittent and variable nature of renewable energy (RE) generation pose impediments to the target.

Renewable Energy Management Centres (REMC)

  • REMCs are state-of-the-art management centers for renewable energy integration.
  • The REMCs are equipped with artificial intelligence-based RE forecasting and scheduling tools and provide greater visualization and enhanced situational awareness to the grid operators.
  • The government had approved the implementation of the REMCs as
 
  • a central scheme and had mandated POWERGRID, a Maharatna CPSE under the Ministry of Power, as the implementing agency.
  • These REMCs are being managed by the Power System Operation Corporation of India Ltd (POSOCO) at the regional and national level, and at the state level by State Load Dispatch Centres (SLDC).
National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC)

Why in news?
Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot will inaugurate the week long Exhibition-cum-Fair “EKAM Fest” organised by National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC) under M/o Social Justice & Empowerment

EKAM Fest

  • EKAM Fest is an effort for promoting entrepreneurship and knowledge among Divyangjan community, generating awareness among society about potentialities of PwDs.
  • NHFDC Foundation is making efforts for development of a brand and platform for marketing of products of these determined entrepreneurs.
  • Accordingly, name of the brand has been arrived at Ekam (Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, and Marketing). 
  • The new initiatives of NHFDC will be showcased in the Fest. A few are highlighted below:

NHFDC Swavalamban Kendra (NSK):

  • NHFDC has taken an initiative to establish PWD owned micro skill training Centers throughout the country for skill training of PwDs.
  • These NSKs will have a capacity to provide quality skill training to around 120 PwDs per year NSK.

Safe Cabs in Delhi and Indore:

  • NHFDC has made arrangement with Sakha Cabs where the PwD owned commercial vehicles will be driven by the Women drivers to provide safe taxi option for the women, children and senior citizen commuters.

Safe Drinking Water E Carts:

  • NHFDC has recently agreed to finance E-carts fitted with RO water dispensing vending machines.
  • These carts will sell water in paper glasses maintaining the hygiene. The carts will be supported in operation by Bharat Jal.  

National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC)

  • NHFDC is an Apex corporation under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and is working since 1997.
  • To empower the Divyang and marginalized groups of the society more closely, NHFDC has taken a step forward and established NHFDC Foundation, this year.
RaIDer-X

Why in news?

RaIDer-X, a new explosive detection device, was unveiled at the National Workshop on Explosive Detection (NWED-2020) in Pune.

More about

  • RaIDer-X has the capability to detect explosives from a stand-off distance.
  • The data library can be built in the system to expand its capability to
 
  • detect a number of explosives in pure form as well as with the contaminants.
  • Bulk explosive in concealed condition can also be detected by the device.
  • RaIDer-X has been co-developed by High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) Pune and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • HEMRL Pune is a premier laboratory of DRDO.
  • DRDO Chairman emphasised that detection of explosives is a compelling need of the hour.
List of migratory species

Why in news?

India is host to 457 migratory fauna, shows latest CMS list.

More about

  • The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) had for the first time compiled the list of migratory species of India under the CMS before the Conference of Parties (COP 13) held in Gujarat recently.
  • It had put the number at 451. Six species were added later the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species.
  • They are the Asian elephant, great Indian bustard, Bengal florican, oceanic whitetip shark, urial and smooth hammerhead shark.
  • Birds comprise 83% (380 species) of this 457 species.
  • There are 24 species of migratory fish in India.
  • It consists of 46 migratory mammal species in India.
  • The largest group of mammals is definitely bats belonging to the family Vespertilionidae.
  • Dolphins are the second highest group of mammals with nine migratory species of dolphins listed.
  • Seven reptiles, which include five species of turtles and the Indian gharial and salt water crocodile, are among the CMS species found in India.

India’s role

  • Globally, more than 650 species are listed under the CMS appendices and India, with over 450 species, plays a very important role in their conservation.

Current Affairs Capsules

Launch of multilingual Incredible India website
  • Incredible India website, the flagship project launched by Ministry of Tourism, is a promotional website with an aim to project India as a ‘must-visit’ destination across the globe.
  • The website which is currently hosted in English and Hindi is now being launched in Chinese, Arabic and Spanish with primary objective to effectively engage the tourists across the world.