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Monthly DNA

23 Dec, 2020

40 Min Read


GS-I : Art and Culture Awards & Honours


  • UNESCO is to launch an international prize in the creative economy field in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • 2021 has been declared as ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development by UNESCO.

About UNESCO Prize for Creative Economy

  • The prize will create knowledge-sharing mechanism by communicating the best practice in developing creative entrepreneurship.
  • The prize will be 50,000 USD and is to be given once every two years.
  • The award will recognise exceptional initiatives taken by cultural workers and organizations in the development of the creative economy.

What is a Creative Economy?

  • A creative economy is an economic system in which value is based on the use of creative imagination rather than the traditional factors of land, capital and labour.
  • The concept was given by John Howkins in 2001.
  • This form of the economy occurs only when the creativity of the person becomes a major source of value and the main cause of the transaction.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

  • He is also called the “Father of Bangladesh”.
  • He was the first President of Bangladesh.
  • He also served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from April 17, 1971 till his assassination on August 15, 1975.

Source: TH

Great Indian Bustard or Godawan

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Animals

Great India Bustard (GIB) or Godawan

Context: Great Indian Bustard is an important topic for UPSC Prelims Examination 2021. It is one of the most repeated questions in the UPSC Prelims Examination.

  • It is one of the heaviest Flight birds. They have weak eyesight. Habitat is grassland (not covered under Forest Conservation Act, 1980).
  • It is endemic to the Indian subcontinent found in Central India, west India and eastern Pakistan.
  • Bustard species found in India: Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican and Bengal Florican; Houbara Bustard in Pakistan.
  • It is considered as the flagship/ indicator grassland species, representing the health of the grassland ecology. No species can replace it.
  • It has an L-shaped habitat = Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • Largest population is in Rajasthan. It is also Rajasthan’s State Bird. There are 150 Great Indian Bustards (GIB) in Rajasthan’s Desert National Park (DNP).
  • Other important Sites: Great Indian Bustard WS (Maharashtra), Naliya (Gujarat), Warora (Maharashtra) and Bellary (Karnataka); Rollapadu WS (Andhra Pradesh) and Karera Wildlife Sanctuary (MP); Lala Sanctuary in Kutch.

Conservation Efforts

  • Protection under Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; Appendix I of CITES; CMS/ Bonn Convention & Critically Endangered under IUCN.
  • Rajasthan State has started Project Godawan for its conservation at Desert National Park in Jaisalmer.
  • It is 1 of the species under Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat's Species Recovery Programme. The important objective of this programme is to build up captive population of GIB and to release the chicks in the wild for increasing the population.
  • Decline in the Population of Great Indian Bustard
  • MoEF initiated a project of 34 crore for conservation and protection of GIB. Only 130 individuals are left.

Reason for decline:

  • Hunting, poaching, habitat erosion, 'greening' projects that transform arid grasslands to wooded areas, change of land use from grassland to farmland, fast moving vehicles and free-ranging dogs in villages.
  • In recent times, death due to collision with wind turbines and power transmission lines has emerged as major factor.
  • Grassland is not covered under Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

For more information about Great Indian Bustard: Click here

Source: TH

Leopard and Snow Leopard

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Animals

The Status of Leopards in India 2018 Report

Context: Leopard is an important topic for UPSC Prelims Examination 2021. It is one of the most repeated questions in the UPSC Prelims Examination.

  • It revealed that the Western Ghats was home to close to 3,387 leopards.
  • The population of leopards in India has gone up by 60 %, as per the ‘Status of Leopard in India 2018’ report.
  • India now has 12,852 leopards, witnessing a substantial increase in comparison to the 2014 data.
  • Camera traps were used to obtain leopards’ photographs in the Western Ghats.

About Leopards:

  • The leopard population was counted during the tiger population assessment undertaken in 2018. The leopard population was estimated to be within the forested habitats in tiger-occupied states.
  • Habitat: The maximum population of wild Indian leopards is found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Assam.
  • National Parks: The most popular national parks in India to spot wild leopards are Nagarhole National Park, Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Mouling National Park, Gir Forest National Park, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park and Kanha National Park.
  • The leopard population of the Western Ghats landscape was reported from four distinct blocks: Radhanagari (Maharashtra) and Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and northern Kerala.

Snow Leopard

  • Listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN; Appendix I of CITES
  • Inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m.
  • Habitat extends through 12 countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, BIN (not Bangla), Russia, Mongolia, China, and SCO C Asian countries. China contains the largest as much as 60% of all snow leopard habitat areas followed by Mongolia and India.
  • It is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh and the National Heritage Animal of Pakistan.

Conservation of Snow Leopard

  • Global Snow Leopard Forum, 2013: 12 countries encompassing the snow leopard‘s range.
  • Bishkek Declaration: To protect the species and it‘s the environment.
  • Global Snow Leopard and Eco-system Protection Program (GSLEP):
    1. It is an inter-governmental alliance of all the 12 Snow Leopard range countries. It is a joint initiative of range society, and the private sector.
    2. Goal — secure the long-term survival of the snow leopard in its natural ecosystem.

India plans 1st ever Snow Leopard Survey

  • Study the population and geographical range of the Snow Leopard which is an elusive and endangered species.
  • It is found along the upper reaches of the Himalayas in Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. But issues of estimation are the reclusive nature of animals and inhospitable terrain.
  • This is the 1st time we will use technologies like camera traps and scientific surveys to estimate the numbers. NTCA is conducting it (Head – Anup Kumar Nayak).

Source: TH

What is Christmas Star?

GS-I : Physical Geography World Geography

What is a Christmas Star?

  • After nearly 400 years, Saturn and Jupiter will be brought closest in the night sky by an astronomical event called the “great conjunction” popularly referred to as the “Christmas Star”.
  • A conjunction is a name given to any event where planets or asteroids appear to be very close together in the sky when viewed from the Earth.
  • Astronomers use the term great conjunction to describe meetings of the two biggest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • The Great Conjunction happens once in about 20 years because of the time each of the planets takes to orbit around the Sun. This year, however, the event is rare because the planets will come the closest to each other in nearly four centuries
  • Jupiter takes roughly 12 years to complete one lap around the Sun and Saturn takes 30 years (Saturn has a larger orbit and moves more slowly because it is not as strongly influenced by the Sun’s gravitational force as planets that are closer to the Sun).
  • Jupiter: It is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm bigger than Earth that has raged for hundreds of years.
  • Saturn: It is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. Adorned with thousands of beautiful ringlets, Saturn is unique among the planets.

Source: TH

Shaheen IX Exercise

GS-III : Internal security Internal security

Shaheen IX Exercise

  • The air forces of Pakistan and China on Wednesday commenced a joint exercise designed to deepen practical cooperation and improve the actual-combat training level of the two sides.

  • The joint air force exercise "Shaheen (Eagle)-IX" started on Wednesday at an operational air base of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Sindh province.
  • Shaheen-IX is the ninth in the series of Joint Air Exercises which is conducted each year in both countries on an alternate basis. The first such drill was held in Pakistan in March 2011.
  • China and Pakistan share close military ties. China helps Pakistan to jointly produce JF-17 fighter jets and other armaments.

Source: NDTV

Census 2021

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Laws

Census 2021

What is the Census of India?

  • The decennial Census of India has been conducted 15 times, as of 2011.
  • While it has been undertaken every 10 years, beginning in 1872 under British Viceroy Lord Mayo, the first complete census was taken in 1881.
  • Post-1949, it has been conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
  • All the censuses since 1951 were conducted under the 1948 Census of India Act.
  • The last census was held in 2011, whilst the next will be held in 2021.

About Census 2021

  • Census exercise will be conducted in February 2021. It will have the facility of self enumeration.
  • 2 Phases
  1. Phase 1: House listing and Housing census.
  2. Phase 2: Population enumeration.
  • 2021 Census = 1st time data would be stored in electronically and 1st time OBC will be collected.
  • The Census 2021 will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages (under 8th schedule) and English, while Census 2011 was in 16 of the 22 scheduled languages declared at that time.
  • It also will introduce a code directory to streamline the process
  • The option of “Other” under the gender category will be changed to “Third Gender”.
  • There were roughly 5 lakh people under “other” category in 2011.
  • For the first time in the 140 year history of the census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app by enumerators and they will receive an additional payment as an incentive.
  • The Census data would be available by the year 2024-25 as the entire process would be conducted digitally and data crunching would be quicker.

What is the news?

  • States are told to update Census register.
  • This will help enumerators collect details during first phase of the exercise.

Source: TH

National Infrastructure Pipeline

GS-III : Economic Issues Infrastructure

National Infrastructure Pipeline

What is in the news?

  • Center to set up a Development Finance Institution (DFI) with a view to mobilise the Rs. 111 lakh crore required for funding of the ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline.

About National Infrastructure Pipeline

  • India to invest > 102 lakh crore in infrastructure projects by 2024-25. It will be spent the most on Energy > Roads > Urban Infrastructure > Railways.
  • Center, States and the Private sector will share the cost of 39:39:22 formula.

Analysis of National Infrastructure Pipeline

  • This will enable Ease of Doing Business like metro in cities and towns.
  • It will also create jobs and increase demand for primary commodities like cement and steel.
  • Identifying the projects for the NIP is easy but commissioning and implementing them is difficult.
  • The finances of State and Center are facing a crunch and it will be a difficult task.
  • Private sector is not keen to make fresh investments. Hence their finances is also a difficult task.
  • The position of Banks and cooperation from the States are other challenges.
  • In addition to National Infrastructure Pipeline, there is a provision under the Department of Economic Affairs which will create a fund of ~ 20000 crore to catalyse private investment in infrastructure. The infrastructure projects will be viable with market borrowing and a little bit of government equity or a viability gap fund.

Source: TH

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