Prelims Sure Shot

  1. Tiger Census 2018: Guinness Book of World Records

Why in News

India’s 2018 Tiger Census has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest camera trapping wildlife survey. India has also fulfilled its resolution to double the Tiger numbers made at St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, before the target year of 2022. The tiger numbers in India have increased from around 1500 in 2010 to 2976 in 2020.


Key Points

  • The fourth cycle of the Tiger Census 2018, conducted in 2018-19 is the most comprehensive in terms of both resource and data recorded. It counted 2976 tigers which is 75% of the global tiger population.
  • The census is done quadrennially (every four years) by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) with technical help from the Wildlife Institute of India. It is done with cooperation from the state Forest Departments and partners.



  • Camera traps were placed at multiple locations across different sites and surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres. Camera Traps are outdoor photographic devices fitted with motion sensors that start recording when an animal passes by. It also conducted extensive foot surveys that sampled habitat plots for vegetation and prey dung.
  • Identification: From these photographs 83% of the total tiger population were identified using stripe-pattern-recognition software.


Project Tiger

  • It was launched in 1973 with 9 tiger reserves for conserving our national animal, the tiger. It is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy. The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.


  • M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) is an app based monitoring system, launched across Indian tiger reserves by the NTCA in 2010. The system would enable field managers to assist intensity and spatial coverage of patrols in a geographic information system (GIS) domain.
  • Protection Status:
  • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List:
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I.
  • Tiger Reserves in India: Total Number: 50
  • Largest: Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, Andhra Pradesh
  • Smallest: Orang National park, Assam


  1. Language of the Tangams

Why in News

Recently, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh has released a book titled “Tangams: An Ethnolinguistic Study Of The Critically Endangered Group of Arunachal Pradesh”. The book has valuable data on endangered oral narratives like ritual songs, lamentation songs, lullabies and festival songs in Tangam language spoken by the Tangam community, which has reportedly 253 speakers left now.


Key Points

Tangam People:

  • It is a little-known community within the larger Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh which resides in the hamlet of Kugging in Upper Siang district’s Paindem circle. For long, the only account of the Tangams could be found in a book, “Tangams” (1975) where the community’s population was pegged at 2,000 spread across 25 villages.
  • Tangam is an oral language that belongs to the Tani group, under the greater Tibeto-Burman language family. It has been marked ‘critically endangered’ by the UNESCO World Atlas of Endangered Languages (2009).
  • Another critically endangered language is Meyor but it is better off than Tangam because the community has a population of around 1,000 people.


Languages of Arunachal Pradesh

  • There has been no systematic, scientific or official survey on the number of languages in Arunachal Pradesh till recently. An official linguistic survey by the state government began only in 2018, which is currently underway.
  • The languages of Arunachal Pradesh have been classified under the Sino-Tibetan language family and more specifically under the Tibeto-Burman and Tai group of languages, such as Lolo-Burmish, Bodhic, Sal, Tani, Mishmi, Hruissh and Tai.
  • The education system introduced Devanagari, Assamese and Roman scripts for most tribal languages but new scripts such as Tani Lipi and Wancho Script have been developed by native scholars as well.


  1. App to Monitor Rice Fields: Paddy Watch

Why in News

Researchers from University of Sydney in collaboration with other partners have been developing an app i.e. Paddy watch, which will act as the first real-time monitoring platform for rice fields. The project has been undertaken in collaboration with Google Earth and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).


Key Points

  • Development of the App: The Paddy watch is being developed in partnership with Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India along with the research institutes from different countries i.e. China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
  • Among these, India, China and Indonesia are the world’s three largest producers of rice and together account for about 60% of the total world production.
  • Functioning: The real-time land-use data will be generated using Google Earth and cloud computing technology, and will be verified by field operators in partner countries to ensure accuracy of rice production worldwide.


Group on Earth Observations

  • GEO is a unique global network connecting government institutions, academic and research institutions, data providers and scientists to benefit the world by comprehensive and sustained Earth observations. It coordinates international efforts to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
  • It aims to produce a global public infrastructure that generates, near-real-time environmental data, information and analyses for a wide range of users and mitigation of global issues like climate change.

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