GS Paper: 1- Culture
Prelims exam: Baliyatra
Why in News?
This year’s Baliyatra found a place in the Guinness World Records for achieving an impressive feat of origami, the creation of beautiful paper sculptures.
- Baliyatra, which means ‘voyage to Bali’, is one of the country’s largest open-air fairs, which is organised every year to commemorate the 2,000-year-old maritime and cultural links between ancient Kalinga (today’s Odisha) and Bali and other South and Southeast Asian regions like Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Burma (Myanmar) and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
- The origins of the festival, which begins on Kartik Purnima (full moon night in the month of Kartik) can be traced back more than 1,000 years.
- The Bay of Bengal region had several ports, and sadhavas (traders) traditionally began their voyage across the sea on this auspicious day, when the winds were favourable for the boats, known as boita, to sail.
- According to historians, popular items of trade between Kalinga and Southeast Asia included pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, silk, camphor, gold, and jewellery.
Along with its cultural and historical components, Baliyatra also has a significant commercial dimension.
- People can buy everything at comparatively low prices during this time, from autos and electronics to locally produced goods.
- The fair is expected to generate revenue worth more than Rs 100 crore throughout its run from more than 1,500 stalls that the district administration assigns to vendors through an auction.
GS PAPER 1: Volcanic activity
Prelims Exam: Location of Barren Island
Mains Exam: India’s Early Warning System
Why in News?
The volcano on the Barren Island of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is being closely watched to check for signs of an eruption which could lead to a tsunami or a monstrous undersea landslide akin to what had happened in Indonesia in 2018.
- The monitoring of Barren Island is being carried out by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), which houses the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) there.
- Lack of awareness and preparedness by local communities and officials leading to slow responsiveness, needs to be addressed.
- Tsunamis can travel from 800 kmph in the Deep Ocean and about 30 kmph near the shore, with wave heights ranging from less than a metre to nine metres when they reach the shoreline.
- Barren Island is situated in the Andaman Sea and lies about 138 km (86 mi) northeast of the territory’s capital, Port Blair. It is the only active Volcano along the chain from Sumatra to Myanmar and also the only active volcano in India. Barren Island is a part of the Indian Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is well known as a Submarine emergent Volcano, which lies above the subduction zone of India and Burmese plate.
- Well, Barren Island in Andaman has again started erupting in 2018.
- Its name is justified as it is a barren area uninhabited by humans, though it has a small population of goats. Also, birds, bats like flying foxes and a few rodent species such as rats are known to survive the severe conditions.
- Barren Island comes under the restricted zone and special permits have to be taken to visit Barren Island. Besides, no one is allowed to land on Barren Island. The Island can be visited by chartered boats only with the approval of the forest department and after getting necessary permits.
What is Volcano?
Types of Volcanoes
About ESSO-INCOIS (Earth System Science Organization – Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services)
ESSO-INCOIS was established as an autonomous body in 1999 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO). ESSO- INCOIS is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focussed research.
- ESSO-INCOIS has a prominent international presence, being a permanent member of the Indian delegation to IOC of UNESCO and a founding member of the Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS) and the Partnership for Observing the Oceans (POGO) which is actively engaged in capacity building and international exchange of students and researchers.
- Through the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), ESSO-INCOIS provides ocean information and forecasts to member countries.
- ESSO-INCOIS is also a member of the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) OceanView Science Team (GOVST) and Patrons Group.
Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC)
- The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) established at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Sciences, (INCOIS), Hyderabad, under Ministry of Earth Sciences is the national authority to issue tsunami advisories for India.
- The ITEWC functions as an approved Tsunami Service Provider of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning & Mitigation System (IOTWMS) that is an integral part of the Global Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, established and coordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
Nicobari hodi craft
GS Paper: 3- Intellectual property rights
Prelims exam: Nicobari hodi craft
Mains exam: Importance of craft
Why in News?
- The Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Nicobari hodi craft is something that the Tribal Development Council, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, is seeking. This is the first application the Union Territory has submitted in order to obtain a tag for one of its goods.
About Nicobari hodi
- The hodi is a traditional craft of the Nicobari tribe.
- It is an outrigger canoe that is frequently used in the Nicobar island group.
- The technical knowledge required to construct a hodi is based on indigenous knowledge that the Nicobarese people gained from their ancestors.
- The hodi’s design varies slightly from island to island and is made from either locally available trees or trees from surrounding islands.
- The length of the finished canoe has to be 12 times its width, but the length of the tree trunk in its undressed state has to be 15 times this width. These are only a few of the factors that must be taken into account.
- Hodis are boats that are used for fishing, racing, sending coconuts, moving people and cargo between islands.
- The hodi is considered as an asset by the tuhet, a group of families led by a headman.
- Islands and villages compete in hodi races.
About Geographical Indication (GI) Tag
- A geographic indication (GI) is an indication used to identify products with unique qualities that come from a certain geographic region.
- The Geographical Indications of Commodities (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 aims to better safeguard geographical indications used in connection with goods in India by allowing for their registration.
- The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights governs and directs it.
- The decision and declaration that industrial property and geographic indication protection are components of intellectual property are stated in Articles 1(2) and 10 of the Paris Convention.
- This tag is valid for ten years, after which it can be renewed.
COP-27 forms loss and damage fund
GS Paper: 3- Environment
Prelims exam: COP-27
Mains exam: Loss and damage fund
Why in News?
Delegates at the U.N.’s climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt have decided to establish a ‘Loss and Damages’ fund to compensate the most vulnerable countries for damages from climate-linked disasters.
About loss and damage fund and its significance
- “Loss and damage” has no official definition. It is a general term used in UN climate negotiations to describe the effects of climate change that people cannot adapt to or to which they can adapt but cannot do so because they lack the resources to do so. The UNFCCC-commissioned literature study contains a detailed definition.
- The island nation of Vanuatu, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, first proposed the term as a demand in 1991.
- It will compensate the countries that are the most vulnerable to climate disasters, yet who have contributed little to the climate crisis.
- The phrase refers to costs already being incurred from climate fuelled weather extremes or impacts, like rising sea levels.
- Climate funding so far has focused on cutting CO2 emissions, while a third of it went towards helping communities adapt to future impacts.
- A report by 55 vulnerable countries estimated that their combined climate-linked losses in the last two decades totalled $525 billion, or 20% of their collective GDP. This could go up to $580 billion per year by 2030.
- The agreement and pledges made on loss and damage aim to unlock greater ambitions for mitigation and adaptation. During COP27, financial pledges for loss and damage funding came from multiple countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, and New Zealand, joining Denmark and Scotland, which had made pledges previously.
About Conference of Parties (CoP)
- The CoP is governed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was formed in 1994.
- The goal of the UNFCCC is to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”
- It outlined a set of obligations for the member states, which included:
- creating strategies to reduce climate change
- working together to prepare for climate change adaption
- fostering climate change-related education, training, and public awareness
- There are 198 parties to the UNFCCC, including the USA, China, and India. Members of the COP have been meeting annually since 1995.
Importance of COP
- In order to improve the global response to the threat of climate change, the event will bring together leaders from more than 190 nations with thousands of negotiators, researchers, and citizens.
- After many discussions, it is a crucial movement for the entire world to unite and advance the climate action plan.
Royal Bengal Tiger
GS PAPER 3: Species in India
Prelims Exam: About Royal Bengal Tiger
Mains Exam: Measures to Protect Tigers
Why in News?
The population of Royal Bengal Tigers in Andhra Pradesh has increased in the last few years, and the latest count is 73 in the NagarjunaSagarSrisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR), and two in Papikonda National Park.
About Royal Bengal Tiger
- The Bengal tiger is a population of the Pantheratigris Tigris subspecies.
- The tiger is estimated to have been present in the Indian subcontinent since the Late Pleistocene, for about 12,000 to 16,500 years.
- Today, it is threatened by poaching, loss and fragmentation of habitat.
- The Bengal tiger’s historical range covered the Indus River valley until the early 19th century, almost all of India, Pakistan, southern Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and southwestern China.
- Today, it inhabits India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and southwestern China.
- Royal Bengal Tigers are easily found in the jungles of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They are also spotted in some of the major National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of India such as Corbett, Manas, Bandipur, Sariska, Kanha, Ranthamboreand Sundarbans National Park.
- Royal Bengal Tigers prefers dense forests and lush grasslands.
- Bengal Tigers are carnivorous. They feed on large variety of mammals such as deer, antelope, pigs, buffaloes, humans, wild boars, gaurs, hares, monkeys, wild ox, langur, peacocks, wolves, crocodiles, dholes and many more.
- Bengal Tiger reach the level of sexual maturity in 3- 4 years of age. They usually mate during the spring season. Gestation period rests for 95 -112days after which the tigress give birth to two to four cubs.
- IUCN status – Endangered
- Lifespan of the Royal Bengal Tigers exceeds up to the 15 years of age.
Tiger Census 2018
How to Count Tigers in the forest?
- So far the tiger census was conducted using the doubling sample technique in which the first phase includes sending the forest official, guards and forest rangers to collect raw data based on pugmarks, scat, and leftover pray.
- While the 2nd phase includes the data and images from camera traps. Once both the data is in place, the data is then used to identify tigers individually
- 2018 tiger census in India is also more important because we will be having a most accurate count of tigers in the wild as this will be the first time Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal are the part of India’s Tiger census to jointly estimate the number of big cats In the region of shared borders areas.
- An Android application was introduced to make the tier count more accurate.
Tiger reserves in India
NagarjunasagarSrisailam Tiger Reserve
- The National Tiger Reserve of India (NSTR) is the country’s largest.
- In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the reserve spans five districts: Kurnool, Prakasam, Guntur, Nalgonda, and Mahbubnagar.
- It was notified in the year of 1978 and came under the protection of Project Tiger in 1983.
- In 1992, it was retitled as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Many other animals, including leopards, rusty-spotted cats, pangolins, Mugger Crocodiles, Indian Rock Pythons, and innumerable bird species, can be found here, in addition to the Bengal Tiger, which is the apex predator.
Papikonda National Park (PNP)
- The PNP spreads over 1012.86 square kilometres in East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh.
- It has historically experienced varying levels of protection, beginning as a reserved forest in 1882, a wildlife sanctuary in 1978, and as a national park from 2008.
- The park lies on the left and right banks of the river Godavari and cuts through the Papikonda hill range of Eastern Ghats.
- The majority of the area of the park is covered with moist deciduous forest and include animal species such as tigers, mouse deer, gaur etc.
|National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has been constituted under section 38 L (1) of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Further, as per the section 38 L, sub section 2 of the said Act, the authority consists of the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (as Chairperson), the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests (as Vice-Chairperson), three members of Parliament, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and other members.