geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 18th June 2021

    1.     OFFICE OF GOVERNOR

    • News: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that she had written thrice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar from the State.
    • About Governor (India):
      • The Governors of the states of India have similar powers and functions at the state level as those of the President of India at Union level. Governors exist in the states while lieutenant governors or administrator exist in union territories including National Capital Territory of Delhi.
      • The governor acts as the nominal head whereas the real power lies with the Chief ministers of the states and his/her councils of ministers. Although, in union territories, the real power lies with the lieutenant governor or administrator, except in NCT of Delhi and Puducherry where he/she shares power with a council of ministers headed by a chief minister. Most, if not all governors are not local to the state that they are appointed to govern.
      • In India, a lieutenant governor is in charge of a union territory.
      • However, the rank is present only in the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Puducherry (the other territories have an administrator appointed, who is usually an IAS officer or IPS officer or a retired judge of a court ).
      • However, the governor of Punjab acts as the administrator of Chandigarh. Lieutenant governors do not hold the same rank as a governor of a state in the list of precedence.
      • The governors and lieutenant governors are appointed by the president for a term of five years.
      • Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor. They are as follows:
      • A governor must:
        • be at least 35 years of age.
        • not be a member of the either house of the parliament or house of the state legislature.
        • not hold any office of profit.
        • not be a resident of the same state. (It is a tradition, not mentioned in the constitution)
      • The Governor of a State is appointed by the President of India. The factors based on which the President evaluates the candidates is not mentioned in the Constitution.
      • The primary function of the governor is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law as incorporated in their oath of office under Article 159 of the Indian constitution in the administration of the State affairs.
      • All the governor’s actions, recommendations and supervisory powers (Article 167c, Article 200, Article 213, Article 355, etc.) over the executive and legislative entities of a State shall be used to implement the provisions of the Constitution. In this respect, the governor has many different types of powers:
        • Executive powers related to administration, appointments and removals,
        • Legislative powers related to lawmaking and the state legislature, that is State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) or State Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad),
        • Discretionary powers to be carried out according to the discretion of the governor

    2.     WETLANDS

    • News: The Assam government has proposed the realignment of a broad gauge railway line through the Deepor Beel, an ‘Important Bird Area’ designated under the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands.
    • About Wetlands:
      • A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail.
      • The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.
      • Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and support of plants and animals.
      • Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Whether any individual wetland performs these functions, and the degree to which it performs them, depends on characteristics of that wetland and the lands and waters near it.
      • Methods for rapidly assessing these functions, wetland ecological health, and general wetland condition have been developed in many regions and have contributed to wetland conservation partly by raising public awareness of the functions and the ecosystem services some wetlands provide.
      • The main wetland types are swamp, marsh, bog, and fen; sub-types include mangrove forest, carr, pocosin, floodplains, mire, vernal pool, sink, and many others.
      • Salinity has a strong influence on wetland water chemistry, particularly in wetlands along the coast and in regions with large precipitation deficits.
    • About Ramsar Sites:
      • Any wetland site which is listed under the Ramsar Convention that intends to preserve it and advance sustainable utilization of its natural resources is known as a Ramsar Site.
      • On 2 February 1971, the International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands was signed at a city of Iran called Ramsar, hence the name Ramsar Sites.
    RAMSAR SITES OF INDIA LOCATION
    Asan Conservation Reserve Uttarakhand
    Ashtamudi Wetland Kerala
    Beas Conservation Reserve Punjab
    Bhitarkanika Mangroves Odisha
    Bhoj Wetlands Madhya Pradesh
    Chandra Taal Himachal Pradesh
    Chilika Lake Odisha
    Deepor Beel Assam
    East Kolkata Wetlands West Bengal
    Harike Wetlands Punjab
    Hokera Wetland Jammu and Kashmir
    Kabartal Wetland Bihar
    Kanjli Wetland Punjab
    Keoladeo Ghana National Park Rajasthan
    Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve Punjab
    Kolleru Lake Andhra Pradesh
    Loktak Lake Manipur
    Lonar Lake Maharashtra
    Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat
    Nandur Madhameshwar Maharashtra
    Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary Punjab
    Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
    Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
    Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
    Pong Dam Lake Himachal Pradesh
    Renuka Lake Himachal Pradesh
    Ropar Wetland Punjab
    Rudrasagar Lake Tripura
    Saman Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
    Samaspur Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
    Sambhar Lake Rajasthan
    Sandi Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
    Sarsai Nawar Jheel Uttar Pradesh
    Sasthamkotta Lake Kerala
    Sunderbans Wetland West Bengal
    Surinsar- Mansar Lakes Jammu and Kashmir
    Sur Sarovar Uttar Pradesh
    Tsomoriri Jammu and Kashmir
    Tso Kar Ladakh
    Upper Ganga River Uttar Pradesh
    Vembanad Kol Wetland Kerala
    Wular Lake Jammu and Kashmir

     

    3.     FOREST PRODUCE

    • News: The Rajasthan government has waived mandi duty and farmers’ welfare cess for the forest produce sold outside the Krishi Upaj Mandi premises to extend relief to tribal population and the traders dealing with tendu leaves and timber and non-wood products. The decision has led to abolition of the duty regime which was in force for the last 40 years.
    • About Forest Produce:
      • Forest produce is defined under section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act, 1927
      • Its legal definition includes timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, catechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish, bark, lac, myrobalans, mahua flowers (whether found inside or brought from a forest or not), trees and leaves, flowers and fruit, plants (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), wild animals, skins, tusks, horns, bones, cocoons, silk, honey, wax, other parts or produce of animals, and also includes peat, surface soil, rocks and minerals etc. when found inside or brought from a forest, among other things.
      • The NTFP can be further categorized into medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP), oil seeds, fiber and floss, resins, edible plants, bamboo, reeds and grasses.

    4.     BIRTH RATE AND DEATH RATE

    • News: The level of registration of births and deaths in the country improved in 2019, according to the “Vital Statistics of India Based on The Civil Registration System” report.
    • About Birth Rate and Death Rate:
      • Birth Rate: The birth rate (CBR) in a period is the total number of live births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years.
      • Death Rate: Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a particular population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time. Mortality rate is typically expressed in units of deaths per 1,000 individuals per year

    5.     CHINESE SPACE STATION

    • News: The first group of Chinese astronauts on Thursday entered the country’s under-construction space station, a major step in China’s plans to have a fully functioning station by next year.
    • About Tiangong Space Station:
      • Tiangong is a space station placed in low Earth orbit between 340–450 km (210–280 mi) above the surface. The Tiangong Space Station, once completed, will be roughly one-fifth the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station.
      • The Tiangong is expected to have a mass between 80 and 100 t (180,000 and 220,000 lb). Operations will be controlled from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center in China.
      • The core module, the Tianhe (“Harmony of the Heavens”), launched on 29 April 2021.
      • The space station will be a third generation modular space station. First generation space stations, such as early Salyut, Almaz, and Skylab, were single piece stations and not designed for resupply.
      • Second generation Salyut 6 and 7, and Tiangong 1 and 2 stations, are designed for mid-mission resupply.
      • Third generation stations, such as Mir and the International Space Station, are modular space stations, assembled on-orbit from pieces launched separately. Modularised design methods can greatly improve reliability, reduce costs, shorten development cycle, and meet diversified task requirements.