Prelim Snippets- 05.03.2020

1.Apex body on River Linking

Why in News?
  • The Central government is working on the establishment of an exclusive body to implement projects for linking rivers.
    • To be called the National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA), the proposed body is expected to take up both inter-State and intra-State projects. It will also make arrangements for generating up funds, internally and externally.
    • The subject of establishment of the Authority was discussed at the last meeting of the Special Committee on Inter-Linking of Rivers (ILR) in New Delhi.
    • The panel includes Irrigation or Water Resources Ministers and Secretaries of States. Since its formation, the Committee has held 17 meetings.
    • Once approved, the projects will be pursued as national projects, wherein the Centre will absorb 90% of the cost and the States concerned the rest.
    • As of now, six ILR projects — the Ken-Betwa, Damanganga- Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, Mahanadi-Godavari and Godavari-Cauvery (Grand Anicut), have been under examination of the authorities.
    • With regard to the peninsular rivers, the Centre has chosen to focus on the Godavari-Cauvery link than the earlier proposal to link the Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery rivers.

National River Linking Project (NRLP):
  • The NRLP formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
  • It is designed to ease water shortages in western and southern India while mitigating the impacts of recurrent floods in the eastern parts of the Ganga basin.
  • Interlinking of rivers was conceived more than 125 years ago by Sir Arthur Cotton, mainly to facilitate trade but it was not implemented then.
  • The proposed NRLP, now comprises 29 canals totalling 9,600 km, will involve the movement of 245 trillion litres of water.
  • If and when implemented, it will be one of the biggest inter-basin water transfer projects in the world.

2.Crop Diversification Programme (CDP)

Why in News?
  • The Department of Agriculture is implementing a Crop Diversification Programme for replacing paddy crop with less water consuming alternative crops to save water and protect the soil in the state of Punjab.
  • It is a sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
  • It is being implemented in the Original Green Revolution States to divert the area of paddy crop to alternate crops and in tobacco-growing states to encourage tobacco farmers to shift to alternate crops/cropping system.
  • Under CDP for replacing paddy crop, assistance is provided for four major interventions:
    • Alternate crop demonstrations
    • Farm mechanization & value addition
    • Site-specific activities
    • Contingency for awareness, training, monitoring, etc.
    • However, for replacing tobacco crop, tobacco-growing states have been given the flexibility to take suitable activities/interventions for growing alternative agricultural/horticultural crops.

3.Longetivity in Women linked to Sex Chromosomes

Why in News?
  • In general, men live shorter lives than women worldwide, and scientists have proposed various theories as to why that is so. A new research has tested one of many hypothesis, that the real reason is related to the sex chromosomes.
  • Men outnumbered women by 37 million in the 2011 Census of India, but among those over the age of 60, there were more than 1 million more women than men.
  • The human body is made up of cells, and in the centre of each cell is the nucleus. Chromosomes, which are located inside the nucleus, are structures that hold the genes. It is the genes that determine the various traits of an individual, including eye colour, blood type and sex.
  • The human cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes. One pair is of the sex chromosomes, named X and Y, which determine whether an individual is male or female. A female has two X chromosomes (XX) while a male has one X and one Y (XY).
  • This hypothesis suggests that the Y chromosome in XY is less able to protect an individual from harmful genes expressed on the X chromosome.
  • In a male, as the Y chromosome is smaller than the X chromosome, it is unable to “hide” an X chromosome that carries harmful mutations, which may later expose the individual to health threats. On the other hand, the hypothesis goes, there is no such problem in a pair of X chromosomes (XX) in a female.
  • If one of the X chromosomes has genes that have suffered mutations, then the other X chromosome, which is healthy, can stand in for the first, so that the harmful genes are not expressed. This maximises the length of life.
  • Research found that across that broad range of species, the heterogametic sex (XY in humans) does tend to die earlier than the homogametic sex (XX in humans), and it is 17.6 per cent earlier on average.
  • In species where males are heterogametic (XY), females live almost 21% longer than males. But in the species of birds, butterflies and moths, where females are heterogametic (ZW), males only outlive females by 7%.

4.Red Crowned Roofed Turtle

  • Red Crowned Roofed Turtle is recently seen in news.
About Red Crowned Roofed Turtle:
  • It is one of the 24 species endemic to India, is characterised by the bright colours such as red, yellow, white and blue on the faces and necks of the males.
  • Its common Names are Bengal roof turtle, Red-crowned roofed turtle.
  • It is a freshwater turtle species found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.
  • It is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal, which is widespread in the Ganga River. It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin.
  • Currently, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species, but even this Protected Area and habitat are under threat.
  • Sand mining and Seasonal crops along Ganga River are affecting the sandbars that are used by the species for nesting.  Illegal fishing nets, Poaching and illegal trade are the other threats.

Its conservation status is

  1. 1.IUCN red list -Critically Endangered,
  2. 2.Wildlife Protection Act -Schedule I
  3. 3.CITES – Appendix II

5.MILAN 2020

Why in News?
  • The Indian Navy has postponed its naval exercise ‘MILAN’ due to continuing spread of the coronavirus.
About Exercise MILAN:
  • It is a biennial, multilateral naval exercise which started in 1995.
  • It was conducted at the Andaman and Nicobar Command until 2018.
  • It is held under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command. Over 40 countries were expected to participate in the exercise in 2020.
  • Its 11th edition is scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam from 18th – 28th March 2020.

6.World Wildlife Day

  • Recently, World Wildlife Day was celebrated every year on the 3rd of March. The date chosen coincides with the day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which was signed in 1973.
  • Its theme is ‘Sustaining all Life on Earth’, highlights the unique place of wild fauna and flora as essential components of the world’s biodiversity.
  • This year 2020, known as “biodiversity super year,” will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront.
  • It aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 14(Life Below Water) and 15 (Life On Land), and their wide-ranging commitments on alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life both on land and below water to halt biodiversity loss.
  • The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar.
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