Insights Daily Current Events, 12 July 2016
Paper 3 Topic: conservation.
Kendrapada sheep gets rare status
‘kuji mendha‘, a threatened breed of sheep found only in coastal Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts of Odisha has been conferred ‘rare and singular species‘ tag by the central government. The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) has accorded the genetic recognition. With NBAGR conferring it genetically rare status, conserving these domesticated species would receive a boost.
- Kuji Mendha sheep are fast breeders giving multiple birth. Sheep in other parts of Odisha are not known for giving multiple birth. This characteristic makes them distinctive from other species.
- The rare genetic traits lead to the multiple birth syndrome in them. These animals are dwarf in built with the body covered with coarse hair. The average adult sheep weighs 18-20 kg.
- Kendrapada sheep are primarily used for production of mutton. The other product of economic importance is their skin. They are well adapted to high ambient temperature, high humidity and heavy rains.
Researchers of Fisheries and Animal Resources Development (FARD) Department, Odisha Livestock Resources Development Society and College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry had earlier conducted scientific study on this rare breed and had found the sheep to be carrying a rare gene mutation. Researchers from state units had laid claim for accordance of rare genetic status on the breed.
Paper 2 Topic: bilateral agreements.
India, Kenya to deepen security ties
India and Kenya have signed seven pacts. These pacts were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing visit to the country.
MoUs signed between the two nations include:
- MoU on Defence Cooperation.
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of National Housing Policy Development and Management.
- MoU between Bureau of Indian Standards and Kenya Bureau of Standards.
- Agreement on Exemption of Visa for holders of Diplomatic Passports.
- Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.
- Line of Credit Agreement for US$ 15 million to IDB Capital Limited, for development of small and medium enterprises [SMEs].
- Line of Credit Agreement for US$ 29.95 million to the Government of Kenya for upgrade of Rift Valley Textiles Factory (RIVATEX).
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
300 Indians stranded in Juba as civil war reignites
Reignited civil war in Juba has left at least 300 Indians stranded. Juba is the capital of South Sudan. Fleeing the fight between the heavily armed rival factions divided on ethnic lines, Indians have taken refuge at various locations, including the Embassy of India.
- Law and order has broken down in the country. Even the U.N. peacekeeping contingent was busy defending its bases.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, but the hard-won celebration was short-lived. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the ruling political party that originally led the way for independence, is now divided and fighting for power.
In December 2013, political infighting erupted into violence in the streets of the capital, Juba, after South Sudan’s president accused his vice president of an attempted coup. Violence spread across the young nation like wildfire, displacing 413,000 civilians in just the first month of conflict. Tens of thousands of civilians rushed to seek refuge in U.N. bases that were subsequently turned into makeshift displacement camps. The fighting has continued, becoming increasingly brutal and affecting nearly the entire country.
What’s going on now?
A handful of peace agreements have been signed over the course of the war — the most recent in August 2015 — but they have been repeatedly violated. The situation remains highly unstable. While some regions have recently become slightly less volatile, allowing people to move around fairly freely and return to their homes, violent outbreaks are still occurring throughout the country.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 1 Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
Roots of Khasis
Pre-historic megaliths and tools discovered in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district indicate that the Khasi tribe had made the State their home since around 1200 BCE.
- Excavations carried out near Lummawbuh village in the northern slopes of Sohpetbneng (Heaven’s Naval) peak near the NH-40 revelaed these facts.
- Archealogists have found megalithic structures, and iron implements that date back to the prehistoric period in the ridge spreading over 1.5 k.m.
- The Khasi people are an indigenous tribe, the majority of whom live in the State of Meghalaya, with a significant population in the border areas of the neighbouring state of Assam, and in certain parts of Bangladesh.
- They call themselves Ki Khun U Hynñiewtrep, which means “The Children of The Seven Huts” in their language.
- Their language, also called Khasi, is categorized as the northernmost language under the Austroasiatic family stock. The Khasi language was essentially oral until the arrival of Christian missionaries.
- The Khasi people form the majority of the population of the eastern part of Meghalaya, and is the state’s largest community.
- Though the majority of the 85% Khasi populace have embraced Christianity, a substantial minority of the Khasi people still follow and practice their age old indigenous religion, which is known as “Ka Niam Khasi”.
- The Khasi people designed and built the famous living root bridges of the Cherrapunjee region.
- Under the Constitution of India, the Khasis have been granted the status of Scheduled Tribe.
- A unique feature of the Khasi people is that they follow the matrilineal system of descent and inheritance.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- To address the issue of trolls and abusive online behaviour, the Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry has set up a cyber cell and appointed an officer of the rank of joint secretary to monitor it. As part of the initiative, a separate e-mail id will be created for women to file their complaints. The cyber cell will go through the complaints. If the trolling pertains to threat or violent behaviour, the cell will refer it to the cyber crime department of Delhi Police for necessary action. Complaints will also be sent to social media platforms — Twitter or Facebook — where the alleged online abusive behaviour took place.
- The Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is now critically endangered, with populations in sharp decline due to habitat destruction and illegal hunting. This was announced by the IUCN recently. Bornean orangutans live only on the island of Borneo, where their populations have declined by 60% since 1950. New projections anticipate their numbers will fall another 22% by the year 2025 to an estimated 47,000 apes. The species, along with the Sumatran orangutan (critically endangered), belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia. The new IUCN findings suggest that hunting, habitat destruction, habitat degradation and fragmentation are the biggest drivers behind the population loss.
- Gujarati litterateur Dr Raghuveer Chaudhari was recently honoured with the 51st Bharatiya Jnanpith award for the year 2015 by President Pranab Mukherjee. The Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary honours in the country. The award was instituted in 1961. Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honour.
- The government has decided to set up a committee headed by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian to consider increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the bonus for pulses, a move that could promote pulses farming. The committee would consider a reasonable increase in the MSP for pulses and bonus for farmers for growing the crops. The committee will submit a report within two weeks.
- Sushila Karki recently took charge as the first woman chief justice of Nepal’s Supreme Court.