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Monthly DNA

24 Nov, 2022

34 Min Read

Food-Animal Farming and Antimicrobial Resistance

GS-III : Economic Issues Animal Husbandry

Food-Animal Farming and Antimicrobial Resistance

  • Animal health issues in factory farming have a severe impact on food safety, the environment, and the climate, which can result in antibiotic resistance (AMR).
  • Farming of pigs, cows, and birds in close quarters is known as factory farming or intensive food-animal farming.
  • These are industrial settings where numerous animals are raised in enormous numbers, primarily indoors, in circumstances designed to maximize output at the lowest possible cost.

What Problems Exist?

  • Too frequently, the suffering of animals on farms around the world is disregarded or perceived as unrelated to major problems like pandemics and the public health crisis, climate change and the loss of biodiversity, food insecurity and starvation.
  • Actually, this has the potential to worsen world issues and cruelly treat billions of animals.
  • Using breeds of genetically identical animals crowded together to produce more than 50 billion factory-farmed land animals annually to meet the growing demand for affordable meat results in an ideal breeding ground for diseases that can spread to humans.
  • When illnesses spread from one species to another, they frequently grow more contagious, produce more severe illness and mortality, and trigger pandemics that affect the entire world.
  • Two prominent examples of how new strains frequently appear from intensively farmed animals are bird flu and swine flu.
  • Antimicrobial Resistance, which is disregarded among these major challenges, is a new addition to the list.
  • Antibiotic misuse on industrial farms creates superbugs that spread to the environment, the workers, and the food chain.
  • AMR as well as a number of zoonotic infections are linked to the advent of factory farms, which are characterised by inadequate animal welfare standards and subpar husbandry techniques.

How common is AMR in India, and what does it mean?

  • Any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc.) can develop AMR, or antimicrobial drug resistance, to the antimicrobial medications that are used to treat infections.
  • It happens when a microorganism mutates and stops responding to medication over time, making infections more difficult to cure and raising the risk of disease spread, life-threatening sickness, and death.
  • AMR is one of the top 10 health concerns, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Every year, more than 56,000 newborn babies in India pass away from sepsis brought on by bacteria that are resistant to first-line treatments.
  • According to a study conducted by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) at 10 hospitals, the mortality rate for Covid patients who get infections that are resistant to treatment is close to 50–60%.
  • This area gave rise to the multi-drug resistance gene known as New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1).
  • Multi-drug resistant typhoid from South Asia has also spread to other regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

What actions has the government done to prevent AMR?

  • The AMR Surveillance and Research Network (AMRSN) was established in 2013 to collect data on drug-resistant illnesses throughout the nation and to identify trends and patterns.
  • The National Action Plan on AMR, which was introduced in April 2017 with the intention of involving multiple stakeholder ministries/departments, focuses on the One Health concept.
  • In 2017, the ICMR and the Research Council of Norway (RCN) launched a combined call for antimicrobial resistance research.
  • A combined Indo-German collaboration for AMR research exists between ICMR and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany.
  • To prevent the abuse and overuse of antibiotics in hospital wards and intensive care units (ICUs), the ICMR has launched the Antibiotic Stewardship Program (AMSP) as a pilot project across India.

Way Forward

  • Increasing the demand for plant-based meals will help reduce dependency on farmed animals and make higher welfare production systems more practical, such as those with more space, fewer antibiotics, healthier growth, and more natural surroundings. This will help create sustainable food systems.
  • The food system needs to be changed in order to be more environmentally friendly and dramatically enhance both human and animal health.

Source: Down To Earth

Arittapatti Village:Biodiversity Heritage Site

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Biodiversity & Environment

Arittapatti Village: Biodiversity Heritage Site

  • In accordance with Section 37 of the Biodiversity Diversity Act, 2002, the Government of Tamil Nadu published a notification designating Arittapatti Village in Melur in the Madurai district as a biodiversity heritage site.
  • The Biodiversity Heritage site is the first site to be nominated in the Southern State and is located on a 193.21 hectare parcel of land.
  • The local residents' involvement in biodiversity and conservation initiatives would be strengthened with the designation of Arittapatti Village as Tamil Nadu's first biodiversity heritage site.

First Biodiversity Heritage Site in Tamil Nadu: Major Points

  • The Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site would be known as the area that spans 139.63 hectares in Arittapatti Village (Melur Block) and 53.8 hectares in Meenakshipuram Village (Madurai East Taluk).
  • A series of seven arid granite hillocks surrounds the Arittapatti Village, serving as a watershed for close to 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools, and three check dams.
  • The site's historical significance is further enhanced by the presence of several megalithic buildings, Tamil Brahmi Inscriptions, Jain beds, and 2200-year-old rock-cut temples.
  • It is Tamil Nadu’s first and India’s 35th Biodiversity Heritage Site.
  • Arittapatti village is rich in ecological and historical significance, it houses around 250 species of birds including three important raptors, birds of prey namely:
  • Laggar Falcon
  • Shaheen Falcon
  • Bonelli’s Eagle
  • It is also home to wildlife such as the Indian Pangolin, Slender Loris and Pythons.

What is A Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS)?

  • With a high diversity of wild and domesticated species, the existence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species, biodiversity heritage sites are well-defined, ecologically delicate ecosystems.

Legal Requirement:

  • According to the provisions of Section 37(1) of the "Biological Diversity Act, 2002," the State Government may occasionally, in conjunction with the local bodies, notify areas of biodiversity value as under this Act in the Official Gazette.


  • Other than those voluntarily determined by the local communities, the creation of BHS may not impose any restrictions on the common practises and usages of such communities. The goal is to improve the local residents' quality of life through conservation efforts.

Indian BHS's initial:

  • Nallur Tamarind Grove in Bengaluru, Karnataka was the first Biodiversity Heritage Site of India, declared in 2007.

Last Five Additions to BHS:

  • Debbari or Chabimura in Tripura (September 2022)
  • Betlingshib & its surroundings in Tripura (September 2022)
  • Hajong Tortoise Lake in Assam (August 2022)
  • Borjuli Wild Rice Site in Assam (August 2022)
  • Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh (July 2022)

Source: The Indian Express

India and Norway in the Green Maritime Sector

GS-III : Economic Issues Ports

India and Norway in the Green Maritime Sector

The 8th Norway-India Joint Working Group Maritime meeting was recently held in Mumbai.

Indo-Norway collaboration in the GREEN MARITIME Sector

  • The history of maritime trade with Norway dates back to 1600.
  • Norway has technical expertise in the maritime sector, and India has enormous potential for maritime development and a large pool of trained seafarers, making both countries natural complementary partners.
  • The 7th JWG on Maritime was held in Oslo in 2019, and issues such as shipbuilding cooperation, enhancing seafarer skills, and environmentally friendly ships were discussed.

New Developments:

  • The use of alternative fuels such as green ammonia and hydrogen for futuristic shipping was discussed at the 8th Meeting.
  • The Norwegian Green Shipping Programme was a success, and the meeting participants shared their knowledge and experience.
  • Norway stated that it is committed to working with India to find zero-emission solutions.
  • The Indian side has asked Norway to expand Ship Board training in Polar Water Navigation.
  • INMARCO, the Green Shipping Conclave, and the Maritime ShEO conference will all be attended by the Norwegian delegation.
  • Norway is supporting the Maritime ShEO conference, which is focused on maritime diversity and sustainability, including gender equality in the maritime industry.

Other Initiatives:

  • Project Green Voyage 2050: India Norway is a partner in the Green Voyage 2050 project, and both parties have agreed to work together to achieve common goals.
  • Hong Kong Convention: India has signed the Hong Kong Convention for Ship Recycling.
  • During the eighth meeting, India requested that EU regulations not impede recycling to non-European countries that are in compliance with the International Convention.

India's Maritime Industry

  • India has 12 major ports and 200 minor/intermediate ports (under state government administration).
  • The largest major port in India is Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, while Mudra is the largest private port.
  • India is one of the top five ship recycling countries in the world, accounting for 30% of the global ship recycling market.
  • Maritime transport moves approximately 95% of the country's trade by volume and 68% by value.
  • The overall installed capacity of India's major ports has increased by more than 76% to 1,561 MTPA in March 2021, up from 872 MTPA in March 2014.

Maritime Industry Difficulties:

  • Unsustainable extraction of marine resources, such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
  • Physical changes and destruction to marine and coastal habitats and landscapes, primarily as a result of coastal development, deforestation, and mining.
  • Unplanned and uncontrolled development in the narrow coastal interface and nearshore areas has resulted in the marginalisation of poor communities as well as the loss or degradation of critical habitats.
  • Excess nutrients from untreated sewage, agricultural runoff, and marine debris such as plastics are examples of marine pollution.
  • Climate change impacts include both slow-onset events such as sea-level rise and more intense and frequent weather events.
  • Other Considerations: Ineffective governance institutions, insufficient economic incentives, technological advances, a lack of or insufficient capacities, a failure to fully implement the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other legal instruments, and a failure to apply management tools have all contributed to poorly regulated activities.

India's Initiatives

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) is working hard to develop the maritime sector as part of the Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030.

  • The Sagarmala Project's vision is to reduce logistics costs for export-import and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment.
  • Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ): In the National Perspective Plan for the Sagarmala Programme, the government identifies 14 CEZs.
  • CEZs aim to promote exports by providing entrepreneurs with infrastructure and facilities to establish businesses and industries near ports.
  • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA): India has taken an active role in the IORA to promote the blue economy in Indian Ocean littoral states.
  • Matsya Sampada Yojana: This is the country's flagship scheme for the focused and sustainable development of the fisheries sector.
  • It will usher in the Blue Revolution by harnessing the potential of fisheries in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive, and equitable manner.
  • Polymetallic Nodules (PMN): The International Seabed Authority has granted India permission to conduct deep-sea mining in the Central Indian Ocean.

Ahead of the game

  • India must expand maritime trade among BIMSTEC nations as well as tie-ups/MOUs with other maritime countries.
  • A more comprehensive integration of technology has the potential to improve the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in the shipping ecosystem.
  • PPP model for modernising major port infrastructure.

Source: The Hindu

An Assessment of Extreme Weather Events in India

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Climate Change

An Assessment of Extreme Weather Events in India by CSE

  • According to a recent report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India will experience some form of natural disaster almost every day in the first nine months of 2022.
  • Between January 1 and September 30, 2022, India recorded 241 extreme weather events.

About the evaluation

  • The report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of extreme weather in India over the course of the year.
  • The report analyses extreme weather events and their associated loss and damage seasonally, monthly, and regionally.
  • CSE obtained its data from two key Indian government agencies: the IMD and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs' Disaster Management Division (DMD).

The report's major highlights

  • A disaster almost every day: India has experienced a disaster almost every day this year, ranging from heat and cold waves, cyclones, and lightning to heavy rains, floods, and landslides.

Underestimation of loss and damage:

  • These disasters have claimed the lives of 2,755 people, impacted 1.8 million hectares of cropland, destroyed over 416,667 houses, and killed nearly 70,000 livestock.
  • This loss and damage estimate is likely an underestimate because data for each event, including public property losses and crop losses, has not been compiled or estimated.
  • Madhya Pradesh had the most days with extreme weather events, according to the state assessment.
  • Himachal Pradesh recorded the highest number of fatalities (359 deaths).
  • Assam had the highest number of destroyed homes and animal deaths.
  • More than half of the crop area affected in the country was in Karnataka.

Evaluation by region:

  • The central and northwestern regions had the most days with extreme weather events, with 198 and 195, respectively.
  • Central India topped the list of human deaths with 887, followed by the east and northeast (783 deaths).
  • India experienced its seventh wettest January since 1901 in 2022.
  • This March was also the warmest in 121 years and the third driest.
  • July was the warmest and driest in eastern and north-eastern India in 121 years. In 2022, the region also experienced its second-warmest August and fourth-warmest September on record.
  • In the last nine months, all types of extreme weather have been seen; lightning and storms have struck 30 states and claimed 773 lives.

Significant gaps in the report

  • The following losses and damages are not properly assessed: While the IMD releases provide a reasonable estimate of the number of days the country experienced extreme weather events, there are significant gaps in loss and damage assessment.
  • According to CSE researchers, the data is insufficient: During the monsoon season (June-September), for example, media reports suggest widespread crop loss in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, but the Centre's cumulative loss and damage report for the season claims no losses in these states.
  • The lack of a robust public database on extreme weather events in the country makes assessing disaster situations and their consequences difficult.

Way forward

  • The report emphasises the importance of managing these extreme events.
  • The need of the hour is to move beyond disaster management and into risk reduction and resilience.
  • We must improve flood management systems by purposefully constructing drainage and water recharge systems on the one hand, and investing in green spaces and forests on the other, so that these sponges of water can be revitalised for the upcoming storms.

About Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

  • It is a New Delhi-based public-interest research and advocacy organisation.
  • CSE investigates, advocates for, and communicates the importance of sustainable and equitable development.
  • CSE's efforts are specifically intended to raise awareness of problems and propose long-term solutions.
  • The CSE Pollution Monitoring Laboratory is an independent, analytical laboratory that monitors toxic contamination of the environment and uses the results of this monitoring to advocate for improved toxicity regulation in the country.

What are severe weather events?

  • The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines extreme weather events as "rare at a specific location and time of year."
  • While there is no official definition in India, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) classifies extreme weather events as lightning and thunderstorms, heavy to very and extremely heavy rainfall, landslides and floods, cold and heat waves, cyclones, snowfall, dust and sandstorms, squalls, hail storms, and gales.

Source: The Hindu

Red Crowned Roofed Turtle

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Conservation

Red Crowned Roofed Turtle

  • At the 19th Conference of the Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), which will be held in Panama, India has recommended protecting the Red-Crowned Roofed turtle.

What were the Conference's High Points?

  • To move riverine species from the current Appendix II to Appendix I, India has submitted a proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  • According to the level of protection required, the CITES-covered species are listed in three Appendices:
  • Species in danger of extinction are listed in Appendix I.
  • Species listed in Appendix II are not necessarily in danger of going extinct, although (where trade must be controlled).
  • Species included in Appendix III are protected in at least one nation, and that nation has requested help from other CITES parties in enforcing trade restrictions.
  • Nearly 600 species of animals and plants are thought to be more at risk of extinction through international commerce, and the 19th Conference of the Parties to CITES is being requested to take this into consideration.

A Red Crowned Roofed Turtle: What Is It?

  • Batagur kachuga is its scientific name.
  • Common Names: Red-crowned roofed turtle, Bengal roof turtle.
  • About: The males of the Red Crowned Roofed Turtle, one of the 24 indigenous species to India, have vibrant colours on their cheeks and necks, including red, yellow, white, and blue.


  • This species of freshwater turtle is found in rivers with deep currents and terrestrial nesting areas.
  • India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are the native countries of the Red-crowned roofed turtle.
  • Historically, both in India and Bangladesh, the species was common in the Ganga River. Also, the Brahmaputra basin experiences it.
  • The only place where the species is currently found in significant numbers in India is the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary, but even this Protected Area and its environment are under danger.


  • The species is extremely vulnerable to water pollution, significant hydrological projects that alter river flow dynamics, and those that affect breeding beaches.
  • Subpopulations have been significantly impacted by the entanglement in fishing nets because human activities on and near the river are unsettling.
  • The greatest risks to these species include habitat degradation brought on by pollution, extensive development projects including water extraction for irrigation and human consumption, and unpredictable flow from upstream dams and reservoirs.
  • The Ganga River's sandbars, which are used by the species for nesting, are significantly impacted by sand mining and the seasonal crop-growing.
  • Other causes of the animal extinction threat include overharvesting for illicit domestic consumption and illegal international trafficking.
  • According to a report by TRAFFIC, a global NGO focused on the trafficking in wild animals and plants and their conservation, over 11,000 tortoises and freshwater turtles were impounded in India between 2009 and 2019.

Conservation Status:

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Critically Endangered
  • Wildlife Protection Act (WPA): Schedule I
  • CITES : Appendix II

Source: The Hindu

Muli Bamboo

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Flora

Muli Bamboo

  • A recent research study observed and recorded a wide range of animal visitors/predators drawn to the fruit and flowers of Muli Bamboo (Melocanna baccifera).
  • The study discovered that predation is primarily caused by the high sugar content.
  • It was also reported that a bamboo clump of this species produced the most fruit ever.

What is Muli Bamboo?

  • Muli is a tropical evergreen bamboo species.
  • It is the largest fruit-producing bamboo and is indigenous to northeast India and Myanmar.
  • It accounts for 90% of the bamboo forests in the state's northeast.
  • It is easily identified by its diffused clump habit.
  • The plant is also grown for ornamental purposes.
  • 'Mautam' is an unusual ecological phenomenon associated with Muli Bamboo that occurs every 48 years.
  • Mautam: In Mizo, 'Mautam' means 'Bamboo death' (mau means bamboo and tam means death).
  • The cyclical, mass bamboo flowering and large fruit production occurs during 'Mautam.'
  • Pollen predators (honey bees), fruit predators (millipedes, slugs and snails, fruit borers, monkeys, rats, porcupines, wild boars, and palm civets), seedling predators (rabbits, deer), and insect/pest predators are attracted (ants, mantis).
  • Black rats love the fleshy, berry-like fruit of the Muli Bamboo, and during this time, black rats multiply rapidly, a phenomenon known as the 'Rat Flood.'
  • Once the fruits have been consumed, they begin rapidly devouring standing crops.
  • As a result, famines kill thousands of people.
  • Muli bamboo is known locally as 'Mautak' due to the presence of 'Mautam.'

What are the Initiatives Concerning Bamboo?

Global Projects:

  • Every year on September 18th, the world celebrates World Bamboo Day.

INBAR (International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation):

  • It is a multilateral development organisation dedicated to promoting environmentally sustainable development through the use of bamboo and rattan.
  • INBAR has regional offices in India, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Ecuador, in addition to its Secretariat headquarters in China.

Initiatives for Indians:

  • National Bamboo Mission Bamboo Clusters (NBM)
  • Bamboo removal from the 'Tree' Category:
  • In 2017, the Indian Forest Act of 1927 was amended to remove bamboo from the category of trees.
  • As a result, anyone can cultivate and sell bamboo and its products without the need for a felling and transit permit.

Source: The Hindu

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