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Monthly DNA

09 Aug, 2022

50 Min Read

Significance OF Tribes

GS-I : Indian Society Social Inclusion

Significance OF Tribes

Every year on August 9th, there is a celebration known as World Tribal Day or International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

Its objectives are to advance and defend the rights of all indigenous peoples worldwide and to recognize their contributions to global issues like environmental preservation.


  • The day commemorates the 1982 Geneva gathering of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
  • Since 1994, it has been observed annually in accordance with a United Nations declaration.
  • Numerous indigenous peoples are still marginalized, live in terrible poverty, and have their human rights violated.
  • Theme: The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge
  • Tribal women are the foundation of indigenous societies and are essential to the transmission and maintenance of traditional ancestral knowledge.
  • As guardians of scientific knowledge and caregivers of natural resources, they play an essential collective and communal role.
  • Numerous indigenous women are also taking the initiative to defend lands and territories and promote the collective rights of indigenous peoples around the world.

Indigenous Peoples:

  • Indigenous peoples have inherited and continue to practice distinctive traditions and methods of interacting with others and the environment.
  • They still exhibit social, cultural, economic, and political traits that set them apart from the societies that are the norm where they live.
  • More than 476 million indigenous people, or 6.2 percent of the world's population, live in 90 different nations.


Protecting Critical Ecosystem:

  • Indigenous peoples live in and take care of about 80% of the world's biodiversity.
  • The protection of the vital ecosystem and natural resources depends heavily on their innate, broad knowledge of the land, nature, and its development.

Language preservation:

  • Of the 370–500 million indigenous peoples that make up the majority of the global cultural variety, they speak the majority of the world's almost 7000 languages.

Helping to Achieve the Zero Hunger Goal

  • Indigenous people develop extremely adaptive crops. They can endure any form of climate extremes, including drought, altitude, flooding, and extreme cold. As a result, these crops aid in building robust farms.
  • Additionally, native crops like quinoa, moringa, and oca have the potential to increase and diversify our current food supply. These would contribute to the goal to attain Zero Hunger.
  • Other global initiatives include the Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032), which aims to conserve Indigenous languages to maintain their cultures, worldviews, and self-determination expressions.
  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) creates an international framework of minimal requirements for the survival, dignity, and well-being of all indigenous peoples worldwide.

Indigenous Issues Permanent UN Forum:

Its mission is to address issues relating to indigenous people's economic and social development, culture, the environment, and concerns about human rights, education, and health. It serves as the UN Economic and Social Council's advisory committee.

Tribes in India

  • Approximately 104 million people live in India, tribes make up nearly 8.6% of the total population.
  • Although there are 705 officially recognized ethnic groups, about 75 of them are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • The largest tribal group in India is called the Gond.
  • Odisha has the most tribal communities(62)in the entire country.
  • The largest concentration of native people may be found in the central tribal belt, which includes the Northeastern states of India (covering the area stretching from Rajasthan to West Bengal).

Constitution and legal provision

  • Article 342 (1) - The President may designate any tribes or tribal communities, or portions of or groups within tribes or tribal communities, as Scheduled Tribe in reference to any State or Union Territory, including when it is a State, after consulting with the Governor.
  • Article 15: It is unlawful to discriminate solely based on race, caste, gender, or place of birth.
  • Article 16: equality of opportunity for all applicants for public employment.
  • Article 46: Advancement of the economic and educational rights of Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes, and other Weaker Groups.
  • Article 335:Claim to Services and Posts by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
  • Article 338-A: established the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  • Administration and control of Scheduled and Tribal Areas under the Fifth and Sixth Schedules
  • Protection against Untouchability under the Civil Rights Act of 1955.
  • The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 was passed to stop crimes against humanity against SC and ST people.
  • The Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, contains provisions that enable the Scheduled Areas to benefit from the Panchayats-related provisions of Part IX of the Constitution.
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006 recognizes and vests in traditional forest dwellers and other scheduled tribes the ownership and occupation of forest land.

Government initiative

  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has administrative supervision over TRIFED, a national-level apex body. It participates in programs like TRIFOOD and Minimum Forest Produce.
  • Pradhan Mantra Van Dhan Yojana: A market-linked initiative for developing tribal entrepreneurship that aims to cluster tribal Self Help Groups (SHGs) and strengthen them so they can become Tribal Producer Companies.

Initiative for Building Capacity:

  • Strengthening Tribal Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI).
  • Utilizing Springs, which are natural sources of groundwater discharge, through the 1000 Springs Initiative and the online portal on the GIS-based Spring Atlas.
  • Digital transformation of tribal schools: In the first phase, Microsoft has accepted 250 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS), of which 50 EMRS schools will receive intense training and 500 master trainers will receive training.

Source: The Hindu

Great Barrier Reef’s Recovery and Vulnerability

GS-I : Physical Geography Coral reefs

Great Barrier Reef’s Recovery and Vulnerability

An annual long-term monitoring report on the Great Barrier Reef's recovery and susceptibility to climate threats was just made public by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).

In-water and airborne methods are used to survey the reefs.

Key finding

  • Background: The northern and central portions of Australia's Great Barrier Reef have the highest levels of coral cover recorded during the past 36 years (GBR).
  • Warning: Due to the increase in global temperatures, coral bleaching might happen quickly. There was a significant coral bleaching incident on the reef in March 2022.
  • The increase in the number of hard corals is used to calculate coral cover.
  • The middle part of the GBR had a 33 per cent hard coral cover, compared to 36 per cent in the northern GBR.
  • In the meantime, the southern region's coral cover levels decreased from 38% in 2021 to 34% in 2022.
  • Reef ecosystems are resilient and able to bounce back from disturbances like cyclones, predatory attacks, compounded heat stress, and more, as long as they don't happen frequently.
  • In addition, because of their rapid growth, these corals are more vulnerable to environmental stresses like rising temperatures, cyclones, pollution, and attacks from crown-of-thorn starfish (COTs), which feed on hard corals, and so on.
  • In the coming decade, global temperatures will rise by 1.5°C, the temperature at which bleaching occurs more frequently and recovery has less influence.

Causes of Recover:

  • Increases in the GBR's dominant form of fast-growing Acropora corals, which are the main driver of recovery, were a major contributor.
  • The lack of tropical cyclones in the past 12 months, decreased heat stress in 2020 and 2022 compared to 2016 and 2017, and a decline in COTs outbreaks are all examples of the low levels of acute stressors.

Issues Highlighted by the Report?

Climate change

  • The primary danger to the reef's health is heat stress brought on by climate change, which causes coral bleaching.
  • Despite numerous international measures, it is anticipated that sea temperatures would rise by 1.5°C to 2°C by the end of the century.
  • According to a 2021 UN assessment, the world will warm by 1.5°C during the following ten years, a temperature at which bleaching occurs more frequently and recovery has less of an impact.

Frequent Mass bleaching

  • Mass bleaching incidents have increased in frequency recently.
  • When the sea surfaces heated up in 1998 due to the El Nio weather pattern, it resulted in the first major bleaching event, which led to the death of 8% of the world's coral.
  • The second incident happened in 2002. But from 2014 to 2017, the bleaching episode caused the most harm and lasted the longest.
  • Coral bleaching was noted on 45 of the 47 reefs that were part of AIMS' airborne surveys.
  • Despite not being high enough to kill coral, the levels did have sub-lethal consequences like slowed growth and reproduction.

About coral reef (Click the link to know about Coral Reef In detail)

  • Marine invertebrates or animals without spines include corals.
  • They are the world's biggest living things.
  • Each coral is referred to as a polyp, and hundreds of these polyps cohabit as a colony. The colony expands as the polyps multiply to make more copies of themselves.

They also come in two varieties:

  • Hard corals: They form their hard, white coral exoskeletons by drawing calcium carbonate from the ocean.
  • In a sense, they are the architects of reef ecosystems, and the amount of hard coral is an often used indicator of how well coral reefs are doing.
  • Soft corals: They cling to them as well as earlier skeletons that their predecessors had produced.
  • Over time, soft corals also add their own skeletons to the rigid framework.
  • Coral reefs are eventually formed by these expanding, replicating structure


  • Despite only making just 1% of the seafloor, they contribute nearly 25% of the marine biodiversity.
  • Global fishing enterprises are further fueled by the marine life that coral reefs nourish.
  • Additionally, through commerce in goods and services as well as tourism, coral reef systems create USD 2.7 trillion in economic value each year.

What is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef?

  • It is the largest reef system in the world, spanning 2,300 km, and has about 3,000 distinct reefs.
  • Additionally, it supports 4,000 distinct types of molluscs, 1,500 species of fish, and 400 different forms of coral.


  • Prior to the Covid-19 era, the Reef supported approximately 60,000 people, including divers and tour guides, and brought in USD 4.6 billion annually from tourism


The forecast for the disturbance in the future predicts a rise in maritime heatwaves with longer durations as well as a persistent risk of COTs outbreaks and cyclones.

While the observed recovery is encouraging for the GBR's overall status, there is growing doubt about its ability to sustain this position.

Source: The Hindu

NITI Aayog’s Governing Council Meeting

GS-II : Governance NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog’s Governing Council Meeting

The seventh Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog, which was presided over by the Honorable Prime Minister, just ended in New Delhi.


The major issues were discussed by the Governing Council:

  • Achieving self-sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds, and other agricultural commodities through crop diversification;
  • National Education Policy (NEP) implementation in school education, NEP implementation in higher education, and NEP implementation in urban governance;

Crop diversification:

  • At the meeting, this topic, in particular, received a lot of attention.
  • At the discussion, it was also discussed how India may reduce its current 50 percent reliance on imported edible oils to 25 percent or less in the future years.
  • It was also considered how to produce some pulses more abundantly.
  • There is a shortage of masoor and arhar in India despite its much-reduced import dependence on pulses (approximately 7-8%).
  • Given the acute water stress in several of the states, the subject of agricultural diversification is important.


  • In order to become self-sufficient and a leader in the agriculture industry on a global scale, India must concentrate on modernized agriculture, animal husbandry, and food processing.

Reducing imports:

  • In order to lessen their reliance on imports, states were encouraged to concentrate on boosting their trade, tourism, and technology.


  • According to the Hon. PM, India's rapid urbanization may be turned into a strength rather than a vulnerability by using technology to make life easier, assure transparent service delivery, and raise the quality of life for all urban Indians


  • For the first time in the organization's history, India will host G20 summits throughout the year, not just in Delhi but also in each of its other states and union territories.
  • States are instructed to form specialized G-20 teams in order to get the most out of the effort.
  • Concerns were voiced by several states regarding the minimum support price (MSP) for farmers, the shortage of IAS officials, the review of the GST, increased funding for the states, and other issues.

National Conference of Chief Secretaries:

  • The National Conference of Chief Secretaries, which served as the culmination of a six-month-long, strenuous effort by the Centre and States, was conducted in Dharamshala in June 2022 as part of preparations for this gathering.


  • It was created in 2015 to take the position of the Planning Commission.
  • It is an executive organization that serves as a think tank and advisory body. Its goal is to continuously promote cooperative and competitive federalism through structured support activities.

Members of NITI Aayog:

  • India's Prime Minister serves as the chair.
  • Chief Ministers of all Indian States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories make up the governing council.
  • The top body responsible for developing a common understanding of national goals and strategies with the assistance of the States and Union Territories is the NITI Aayog's governing council.
  • It offers a forum for talking about cross-sectoral, cross-departmental, and national topics.

Regional Councils:

  • It is established to handle specific problems and opportunities that could touch many states.
  • The PM will convene these and form them for a predetermined period.
  • The NITI Aayog Chairman or a representative of him shall preside over these.
  • Special invitees: Eminent experts and specialists with appropriate domain knowledge will be invited as special guests; the prime minister will make the nominations.

Permanent organizational structure

  • Chaired by the Prime Minister:
  • Vice-Chairperson (appointed by the Prime Minister)


  • Full-time
  • Rotating members who work part-time: Maximum of two ex-officio members from prestigious universities, top research institutions, and other cutting-edge organizations

Ex Officio members:

  • Maximum of 4 members of the Council of Ministers which is to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

Chief Executive Officer:

  • The CEO will be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure. He will be in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.

Key Initiatives

  • Aspirational Districts Scheme.
  • 3 Documents: 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper, and 15-year vision document.
  • Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) program in India
  • Promoted Zero Budget Natural Farming.
  • Promoting ‘Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati’ programme under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
  • Village Storage Scheme

Source: PIB

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research


Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

Nallathamby Kalaiselvi, a senior electrochemical scientist, has been named the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's first female Director General.

  • Her appointment is for a period of two years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier
  • For more than 25 years, Kalaiselvi has been conducting research on electrochemical power systems, with a particular emphasis on the development of electrode materials and the electrochemical assessment of internally prepared electrode materials for their suitability in the assembly of energy storage devices.
  • Her research interests include lithium and beyond lithium batteries, supercapacitors and waste-to-wealth driven electrodes and electrolytes for energy storage and electrocatalytic applications.
  • Kalaiselvi also contributed to the National Mission for Electric Mobility and Six patents and more than 125 research articles are to her credit.

About CSIR

  • The largest organization in India engaged in research and development (R&D) is the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • A dynamic network of 37 national laboratories, 39 outreach centers, 3 innovation complexes, and 5 units make up the CSIR's pan-India presence.
  • The Societies Registration Act, 1860 allows the CSIR to function as an independent organization while receiving funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology.


  • Radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, genomics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology are just a few of the many fields covered by the CSIR.
  • Other fields include mining, aviation, instrumentation, environmental engineering, and information technology.
  • In many societal endeavours, such as the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm, and non-farm sectors, it offers substantial technical involvement.

Established: It was established in September 1942.

Headquarters: Its headquarter is in New Delhi.

Structure of the organization

  • President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)
  • Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)
  • Governing Body: The Director-General is the head of the governing body.
  • The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures).
  • Other members' terms are of three years.


The objectives of the Council are scientific, industrial, and applied research of national importance.

Various initiatives was taken by CSIR


  • The CSIR has established five technology verticals to meet pandemic-related issue as it arises:
  • Molecular and digital surveillance.
  • Quick and affordable diagnostics.
  • Drug, vaccine, and convalescent plasma therapy repurposing
  • PPEs and Hospital Assistive Devices (Personal Protective Equipment).
  • Support systems for the supply chain and logistics.

Energy & Environment:

  • Solar Tree: It produces clean energy while taking up the least amount of area.
  • The first lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in India has been created. It uses locally produced new materials to produce standard cells with a voltage of 4.0 V/14 h.


  • Samba Mahsuri Rice Variety: It created rice that was resistant to bacterial blight.
  • Rice Cultivar (Muktashree): A rice cultivar that prevents assimilation of arsenic within acceptable limits have been produced.
  • Resistant to white flies Variety of cotton: Whitefly-resistant transgenic cotton has been created.


  • GOMED, developed by the CSIR, is a platform of disease genomics that addresses clinical issues. It uses genomics and other omics technologies to enable medical decision-making


  • Head-Up-Display (HUD): It developed an indigenous Head-Up- display (HUD) for Indian Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas. HUD aids the pilot in flying the aircraft and in critical flight manoeuvres including the weapon aiming.

Source: The Indian Express

Indian Virtual Herbarium

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Flora

Indian Virtual Herbarium

Indian Virtual Herbarium is attracting a lot of attention and is proving to be an intriguing project.

About Indian virtual herbarium

  • It is a database of dried plants.
  • Indian Virtual Herbarium is an interesting collection of plants and preserved parts of plants.
  • The virtual herbarium also presents a rich botanical diversity of the country.
  • In addition to digital images of the herbarium specimens, the label data for each species includes all relevant information, including the family, genus, species, author citation, sub-species, variety (if any), collector, collection number, collection date, herbarium region, localities, plant description, habitat, and comments (if any).
  • It is the nation's largest virtual database of flora.
  • Developed by researchers at the Botanical Survey of India (BSI)

Oldest botanical specimens

The Indian Virtual Herbarium is also deeply linked with the botanical history of the country.

  • The portal provides the most valuable historical collections of botanists like William Roxburgh, Nathaniel Wallich, and Joseph Dalton Hooker among others who are considered founding fathers of botany in India.
  • Some of the oldest botanical specimens, dating back to 1696, can be found in the digital herbarium.
  • Between June 15 and June 20, 1696, Cyperus procerus was harvested in the vicinity of Chennai.
  • Robert Wight gathered Lepidagathis scariosa, the earliest type specimen, in 1817.
  • Type specimens are collections that aid in new discoveries and are highly valued by taxonomists and botanists. To verify the names' identities, researchers must look at the names' kinds.

About herbarium specimen

  • It consists of dried plant parts that are labelled with the scientific name and the date of collection.
  • It is very useful for identifying plants and for doing ecological and systematic research.
  • More than 30,000 herbarium specimens from the Botanical Survey of India are preserved in several herbaria spread across the nation.

Source: The Hindu

Rock Agama

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Wildlife & Fauna

Rock Agama

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) conducted a survey to determine the precise locations of the rock agama in and around Bengaluru.

About rock agama

  • It is a particular kind of garden lizard that is widely distributed in southern India.
  • It is a big animal with eye-catching orange and black colouring.
  • They need to find external sources of heat, such as a heated rock or a sunny area on the wall, as they cannot produce their own body heat.
  • They are crucial to ecology in a variety of ways, including the ability to identify which urban areas are warming and the ability to quantify changes in the food chain.


  • The presence of animals, insects, etc in urban areas has been impacted by habitat loss and other aspects of urbanization.
  • The rocky scrub habitats that the rock agama depends on are being turned into structures and plantations.


  • The majority of their habitats are rocky terrain and warm regions specifically in Bangaluru.
  • Therefore, conservation efforts must be adopted by including the local people as rock agama is also an important indicator for the ecosystem.

Source: The Hindu

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