Prelim Snippets- 02.03.2020

1.Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Why in News?
  • The Central government is planning to conduct a review on the monuments under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
  • At present there are 3,691 monuments nationwide which protected by the ASI, with the highest number of 745, in Uttar Pradesh.
About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):
  • It is the premier organization for the archaeological research, scientific analysis, excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and preservation of protected monuments.
  • It is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture. Its Headquarters located at New Delhi.
  • It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who became its first Director-General.
  • It regulates all archaeological activities as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
  • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

About Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958

  • It provides for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.
  • It prohibits construction in ‘prohibited area’, an area of 100 meters around protected monument. The central government can extend the prohibited area beyond 100 meters.
  • It does not permit construction in such prohibited areas even if it is for public purposes, except under certain conditions.
  • The monuments in India, Taj Mahal, Ajanta Caves, The Great Stupa at Sanchi and the Sun Temple of Konark, among others are designated as “ancient monuments of national importance” and protected under the AMASR Act.

2.Gir National Park:

  • Gir National park is recently seen in news.
About Gir National Park:
  • It also known as Sasan Gir, is a forest-cum-sanctuary in the Indian state of Gujarat famous for being the only abode of the Asiatic Lion.
  • The wildlife of the park is nurtured by no less than seven major perennial rivers that crisscross the park, viz., Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval.
  • Four dams which act as reservoirs have been built in the park to ensure that the animals have easy access to water; these dams are also deemed necessary for the flora of the park which in turn sustains the wildlife.
  • The biggest of the four dams is the Kamleshwar Dam, which many regard to be the lifeline of the park.
  • The forested hilly terrains of the park have also helped many other species like jackals, leopards, antelope, and deer to thrive, making it the perfect destination to sight these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

3.Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (Lacones)

  • The Supreme Court had recently lifted its stay on a proposal to introduce African cheetahs into the Indian habitat.
  • It has given the nod to the National Tiger Conservation Authority to re-introduce African cheetahs.
About Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (Lacones):
  • It was set up in 1998. Since, then its inception has had the goal of breeding cheetahs.
  • Scientists have been trying to get germplasm of the Iranian cheetahs, considered closest related to the extinct Indian cheetah to carry on with the research, but without success.
  • It is building up a national genetic wildlife bank, which has the germplasm of 23 species, including red panda, pygmy hog, Asiatic lion and gharials.
  • It is one of the few frozen zoos in the world where a repository of germplasm is stored for possible future use.
  • It’s One of the successful efforts are the reintroduction of mouse deer in the wild with its captive breeding program in collaboration with the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad.
About Cheetahs:
  • They became extinct mainly due to sport hunting and recreation hunting and habitat destruction.
  • They are mainly dependent on antelopes for their food. Antelopes are adapted mainly to dry conditions of the grasslands which are predominantly, extensive flat areas.
  • The neglect of the grasslands and alteration of the grassland ecosystem by extensive plantation of tress has severely affected the fauna adapted to the unique habitat of grasslands.

4.National Sports Development Fund

Why in News?
  • Under CSR initiative, Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) contributes Rs 1 crore towards the National Sports Development Fund.
National Sports Development Fund (NSDF):
  • The Fund was established in 1988 to impart momentum and flexibility to assisting the cause of sports in India.
  • The Fund helps sportspersons excel by providing them opportunities to train under coaches of international repute with technical, scientific and psychological support and giving them exposure to international competitions.
  • It also provides financial assistance for the development of infrastructure and other activities for the promotion of sports.
NSDF Council:
  • The Fund is managed by a Council constituted by the Central Government.
  • The Union Minister in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports is the Chairperson of the Council.
  • Members of the Council include senior Officers of the Department of Sports, Chairman & Managing Directors of Private and Public Sector Companies/Corporations, representatives of Sports Promotion Boards, etc.
NSDF Objectives:
  • To administer the Fund for prescribed purposes.
  • To impart special training and coaching in relevant sports disciplines to sportspersons, coaches and sports specialists.
  • To construct and maintain infrastructure for promotion of sports and games.
  • To supply sports equipment to organizations and individuals for promotion of sports and games.
  • To identify problems and take up research and development studies for providing support to excellence in sports.
  • To promote international cooperation, in particular, exchanges which may promote the development of sports.
  • To provide low-interest or interest-free loans for projects and activities related to any of the aforesaid objects.

5.Ajodhya Hills hydel project

Why in News?
  • Tribals opposed to a proposed hydel power project in the remote Ajodhya Hills in West Bengal have threatened to heighten their protests.
  • According to the Forest Rights Act, 2006 if a forest land has to be acquired, then at least 50% of the affected population dependent on the land has to give consent in gram sabha, and a third of the villagers have to be women.
  • The villagers protesting against the project refer to the 900 MW Purulia Pumped Storage Project (PPSP) that came up at Ajodhya Hills in the Baghmundi block of Purulia district around a decade ago.
  • The villagers allege that it lead to massive loss of vegetation and hundreds of tribals lost their livelihoods.
Ajodhya Hills:
  • Ajodhya Hills is a small plateau with hilly surroundings located in the Purulia district of the state West Bengal.
  • It is the easternmost part of the Chhotanagpur Plateau and extended part of Eastern Ghats range. Highest peak of Ajodhya Hills is Chamtaburu.
  • The hills are largely inhabited by Santals, an ethnic tribe with a population of over 25,00,000 (25 lakh) across West Bengal.
  • The tribe speaks Santali, an Austroasiatic language that is the most widely-spoken of the Munda languages.
  • The Turga Pumped Storage Project (TPSP) aims to utilise the waters of the Turga, a tributary of the Subarnarekha river, for peak power generation on a pumped storage type development.

6.Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)

Why in News?
  • Hon’ble PM is set to launch 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) all over the country today.
  • To support farmers in various aspects ranging from input procurement to market linkages, Government of India through Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), a registered society is promoting Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) by mobilizing the farmers and helping them in registering as companies.
  • PO is a generic name for an organization of producers of any produce, e.g., agricultural, non-farm products, artisan products, etc.
The concept of Producers Organisation (PO):
  • A Producer Organisation (PO) is a legal entity formed by primary producers, viz. farmers, milk producers, fishermen, weavers, rural artisans, craftsmen.
  • A PO can be a producer company, a cooperative society or any other legal form which provides for sharing of profits/benefits among the members.
  • In some forms like producer companies, institutions of primary producers can also become member of PO.
What is the need for PO?
  • The main aim of PO is to ensure better income for the producers through an organization of their own.
  • Small producers do not have the volume individually (both inputs and produce) to get the benefit of economies of scale.
  • Besides, in agricultural marketing, there is a long chain of intermediaries who very often work non-transparently leading to the situation where the producer receives only a small part of the value that the ultimate consumer pays.
  • Through aggregation, the primary producers can avail the benefit of economies of scale. They will also have better bargaining power vis-à-vis the bulk buyers of produce and bulk suppliers of inputs.
Why need FPO?
  • Nearly 86% of farmers are small and marginal with average land holdings in the country being less than 1.1 hectares.
  • These small, marginal and landless farmers face tremendous challenges during agriculture production phase such as for access to technology, quality seed, fertilizers and pesticides including requisite finances.
  • They also face tremendous challenges in marketing their produce due to lack of economic strength.
  • FPOs help in the collectivization of such small, marginal and landless farmers in order to give them the collective strength to deal with such issues.
  • Members of the FPO will manage their activities together in the organization to get better access to technology, input, finance and market for faster enhancement of their Income.

7.Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Conference 2020

Why in News?
  • The 11thNational Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Conference was held in New Delhi recently.
About Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK):
  • KVK is an integral part of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS). The first KVK was established in 1974 at Puducherry.
  • The KVK scheme is 100% financed by the Government of India and the KVKs are sanctioned to Agricultural Universities, ICAR institutes, related Government Departments and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) working in Agriculture.
  • The mandate of KVK is technology assessment and demonstration for its application and capacity development.
  • It aims at assessment of location specific technology modules in agriculture and allied enterprises, through technology assessment, refinement and demonstrations.
  • KVKs also produce quality technological products (seed, planting material, bio-agents, livestock) and make it available to farmers.
  • KVKs act as a bridge between the laboratories and farmland. According to the Government, these are crucial to fulfilling the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
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