1.Invasive Alien Species

Context:
  • Recently, the Kerala Forest and Wildlife department has adopting steps to arrest rampant growth of invasive alien plants especially tree species like Senna Spectabilis in the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve.
About Invasive Alien Species (IAS):
  • It is defined as the plants that has escaped from its original ecosystem and is reproducing on its own in the regional flora is considered a naturalized species.
  • Those naturalized aliens that become so successful as to spread in the flora and displace native biota or threatens valued environmental, agricultural or personal resources by the damage it causes are considered invasive.
Characteristics of Invasive Alien Species include
  • Ability to survive on various food types and in a wide range of environmental conditions.
  • Rapid Reproduction and Growth,
  • Phenotypic Plasticity (ability to adapt physiologically to new conditions), and
  • High dispersal ability,

2.Indian Science Congress

Why in News?
  • PM set to inaugurate the 107th Indian Science Congress (ISC) at University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore.
Highlights:
  • Prime Minister Modi will deliver the inaugural address on the occasion and also launch I-STEM Portal on the occasion.
  • The theme of the ISC for 2020 is “Science and Technology: Rural Development”.
  • More than 15,000 participants, including Nobel Laureates, scientists, intellectuals, academicians, policy makers, researchers, students and delegates from different institutions are expected to participate in the event.
  • The ISC is organised by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).
Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA):
  • The ISCA was formed in 1914 and is a premier scientific organisation in India.
  • It organises the ISC every year in the first week of January.
  • Its first meeting was held in the Asiatic Society, Kolkata.
  • It is headquartered in Kolkata.
  • The ISCA was started by two British chemists, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P.S. MacMahon.
  • Starting with just over a hundred members, the ISCA today boasts of a membership of over 60,000.
Objectives:
  • To advance and promote the cause of science in India.
  • To hold an annual congress at a suitable place in India.
  • To publish such proceedings, journals, transactions and other publications as may be considered desirable.
  • To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science including the rights of disposing of or selling all or any portion of the properties of the Association.

3.Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS)

Why in News?
  • In order to enable applicants to track the status of the application, the Election Commission of India has launched a “Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS)”.
PPRTMS:
  • The salient feature in the PPRTMS is that the applicant, who is applying for party registration from 1stJanuary, 2020 will be able to track the progress of his/her application and will get status update through SMS and e-mail.
  • The status can be tracked through the Commission’s portal.
Registration of political parties:
  • Registration of political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • An association seeking registration under the said Section has to submit an application to the ECI within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation.
  • These guidelines are in exercise by ECI of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

4.Senna Spectabilis

Why in News?
  • The Kerala Forest Department is planning to adopt steps to arrest the rampant growth of invasive plants, especially Senna spectabilis, in the forest areas of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR).
Senna Spectabilis:
  • The Senna spectabilis species was planted as avenue trees in Wayanad. The vayal ecosystem (marshy land) of the forest area now has this plant in large numbers.
  • The spread is posing a major threat to the forest areas of the reserve, owing to its quick growth and coppicing character.
  • The tree species was found in nearly 10 sq km area of the 344.44 sq km sanctuary around five years ago.
  • The plant has started to invade the adjacent Bandipur and Nagarhole tiger reserves in Karnataka and the Mudumalai tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu.
  • Now, it had invaded to more than 50 sq km of the sanctuary Wayanad WLS.
  • A recent study of the Ferns Nature Conservation Society recorded the presence of the plant in 78.91 sq km area of the sanctuary.
Impact:
  • An adult tree grows up to 15 to 20 metres in a short period of time and every year distributes thousands of seeds after gregarious flowering.
  • The thick foliage arrests the growth of other indigenous tree and grass species and causes food shortage for the wildlife population, especially herbivores.
  • Moreover, wildlife will not feed on the leaf of the treeas it is not palatable for them.
  • The allelochemicals produced by this plant adversely affect the germination and growth of the native species.
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