Arctic Region and Arctic Council

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

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 24th January 2022


    • News: Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) said in its latest bulletin on Sunday.
    • Detail:
      • INSACOG, jointly initiated by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, the Department of Biotechnology and others, is a consortium of 38 laboratories monitoring the genomic variations in SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19.
      • The two-page bulletin, dated January 10 and released on Sunday, says while most Omicron cases so far had been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalisations and ICU cases had been increasing in the current wave. The threat level remained unchanged.
      • The recently reported new SARS-CoV-2 variant — B.1.640.2 — lineage was being monitored, it added and said there was no evidence of rapid spread and while it had features of immune escape, it was currently not a variant of concern. “So far, no case detected in India,” the bulletin said.
      • 2 lineage, it added, was a substantial fraction in India and S-gene dropout-based screening was thus likely to give high false negatives. Tests suitable for PCR-based screening applicable to all Omicron lineages had been approved. S-gene drop-out was a genetic variation like that of Omicron.


    • News: Responding to criticism over the dropping of the hymn Abide with me from the Beating Retreat event this year, government sources said this year being the 75th year of Independence, playing of Indian tunes is considered more appropriate.
    • About Beating Retreat:
      • Beating Retreat is a military ceremony dating to 17th-century England and was first used to recall nearby patrolling units to their castle.
      • Originally it was known as watch setting and was initiated at sunset by the firing of a single round from the evening gun.
      • An order from the army of James II (England), otherwise James VII of Scotland dated to 18 June 1690 had his drums beating an order for his troops to retreat and a later order, from William III in 1694 read “The Drum Major and Drummers of the Regiment which gives a Captain of the Main Guard are to beat the Retreat through the large street, or as may be ordered.
      • They are to be answered by all the Drummers of the guards, and by four Drummers of each Regiment in their respective Quarters”. However, either or both orders may refer to the ceremonial tattoo.
      • For the first time ever in England, a foreign band was allowed to play at the Beating Retreat on 5 June 2008.
      • This band was that of the first Battalion Royal Malay Regiment, who had been helping to guard London, by mounting guards at the palaces.
      • Amongst their performance pieces were arrangements of a number of well known pieces from Film.


    • News: The fragmented and patchy forests of south Bengal have emerged as one of the hotspots of human-elephant conflict in the country, resulting in loss of lives of both humans and pachyderms.
    • Detail:
      • At times, the conflict results in law and order problems. In November 2021, a herd of 50 elephants came within 5 km of east Burdwan town, prompting the district administration to impose prohibitory orders in several gram panchayats in the region.
      • Between 2014 and 2019, as many as 2,381 human deaths were recorded in elephant attacks across the country, of which 403 (over 16%) were reported from West Bengal. The State, however, is home to less than 3% of the elephant population and records a high death count of pachyderms in conflicts.
      • Minimising elephant-human conflict is the pressing need of the region and wildlife organisations and experts have now taken up the task of undertaking ecological restoration of elephant corridors in south Bengal.
    • About Elephant corridors
      • Elephant corridors are narrow strips of land that allow elephants to move from one habitat patch to another.
      • There are 88 identified elephant corridors in India. In Africa, Botswana houses the largest number of free-roaming elephant herds.
      • Corridors may also help facilitate the re-establishment of populations that have been reduced or eliminated due to random events (such as fires or disease).
      • This may potentially moderate some of the worst effects of habitat fragmentation, wherein urbanization can split up habitat areas, causing animals to lose both their natural habitat and the ability to move between regions to use all of the resources they need to survive.
      • Habitat fragmentation due to human development is an ever-increasing threat to biodiversity, and habitat corridors are a possible mitigation.