Daily Prelims Current Affairs for UPSC/IAS Exam
1.Turning Shivalik forest into tiger reserve
Why in news :
- The Saharanpur Divisional Commissioner has sent a proposal to the Uttar Pradesh Government to declare the Shivalik forest in the Saharanpur circle a tiger reserve.
- The forest constitutes the northern tip of the State, located at the foothills of the Shivalik range, connects four States — Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. o It is believed that it will facilitate safe movement of tigers and also reduce the man-animal conflict.
- As the Uttarakhand Government is proposing to relocate tigers from Corbett to Motichur range of the Rajaji National Park, it is believed that the Shivalik forests in Saharanpur would be suitable for their movement.
- The three tiger reserves in Uttar Pradesh are Amangarh in Bijnor, Pilibhit and Dudhwa in Lakhimpur- Kheri.
Section : History
Dharma Chakra Day
Why in News
- The Ministry of Culture, Government of India in partnership with International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) will celebrate the upcoming Asadha Poornima on 4 July, 2020 as Dharma Chakra Day.
- The festivities would start off with at Sarnath, Varanasi (U.P.), and will be livestreamed ,following which the opening event will be shifted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- It is also known as Esala Poya in Sri Lanka and Asanha Bucha inThailand. It is the second most sacred day for Buddhists after the Buddha Poornima or Vesak.
- For Buddhists, the festival marks the first sermon of Lord Buddha, which is said to have been delivered at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, on this very day.
- The day marks Buddha’s first teaching after attaining Enlightenment to the first five ascetic disciples (pancavargika) on the full-moon day of Asadha at ‘Deer Park’,
- The Rainy Season retreat (Varsha Vassa) for the Monks and Nuns also starts with this day lasting for three lunar months from July to October, The day is also observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their Gurus.
Buddhism and Diplomacy
- The celebration of Dharma Chakra Day is being pushed as an event to show India’s strong Buddhist heritage amid tensions with China. It will see the virtual participation of leaders from major Buddhist countries, except China. The Central Tibetan Administration has asked Tibetan Buddhists to participate in the online event in large numbers to “support and appreciate” the effort.
Elephant Deaths in Botswana
Why in News
- In the past two months, hundreds of elephants have died mysteriously in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
- The cause of the deaths is yet to be established. However, poaching has been ruled out since the dead elephants were found with tusks.
- Okavango Delta: It is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean.
- This delta comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. The delta covers part of Kalahari Desert and owes its existence to the Okavango (Kavango) River. It is home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammal, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion.
- Botswana: It is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Its 70% territory is covered by Kalahari Desert.
- Botswana has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated to be around 130,000. It is Africa’s oldest continuous democracy
Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020
Why in News
- Recently, the government has launched Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020), a first of its kind national initiative for supporting the drug discovery process.
- The objective is to identify drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid- 19)by in-silico drug discovery.
- In-Silico is an expression used to mean “performed on computer or via computer simulation.”
- In-Silico drug discovery process is thus the identification of the drug target molecule by employing bioinformatics tools.
- Joint Initiative: DDH2020 is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and supported by partners like Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), MyGov and private players.
- Participants: Researchers/Faculty across the world, students studying in India and abroad.
Track-1 will deal with computational modelling for drug design or identifying ‘lead’ compounds from existing databases that may have the potential to inhibit SARS-CoV-2.
Track-2 will encourage participants to develop new tools and algorithms using data analytics and AI/ML approach for predicting drug-like compounds with minimal toxicity and maximal specificity and selectivity.
Track 3 will only deal with novel and out-of-the-box ideas in this field. Participants will submit their ideas online after which the CSIR and other labs will work towards executing them.
5.jal jeevan mission
Why in news
- From april 2020 to june 2020, despite lockdown 19 lakh households in rural areas were provided with tap water connection. for the continuous progress and implementation of Jal Jeevan Scheme for FY 2020-21 Rs 8050 crore were allocated by center under this scheme
- Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
- Creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse, would be undertaken in convergence with other government programmes/schemes.
- The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.
For the implementation of JJM, following institutional arrangement has been proposed:
- National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) at the Central level
- State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) at the State level
- District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) at the District level
- Village Water Sanitation Committee (VWSC) at Village level
- Every village will prepare a Village Action Plan (VAP) which will have three components:
- Water source & its maintenance
- Water supply and
- Greywater (domestic wastewater) management.