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Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam – 13 January 2020


  1. Crocodile population on the rise in Odisha’s Ghodahada reservoir
  2. Maradu towers brought down with precision
  3. Villagers give up stone-throwing ritual at Buddhist site
  4. India’s under­ 5 girls face high mortality
  5. Kaziranga has one of the highest number of wetland birds


Why in news?

Example of peaceful coexistence of humans and crocodiles in the Digapahandi forest range under Berhampur forest division was revealed during annual crocodile census conducted.

More about the report

As per the census, the number of mature crocodiles in Ghodahada reservoir and its adjoining area has increased from 58 in January 2019 to 65 in 2020.


There are three species of crocodilians— Saltwater, Mugger and Gharial.

IUCN Facts Alligator Crocodile Gharial Legacy IAS Academy Best IAS Academy in Bangalore
IUCN Facts about Crocodile, Alligator and Gharial


  • The mugger crocodile, also called the Indian crocodile, or marsh crocodile, is found throughout the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is listed as vulnerable by IUCN.
  • The mugger is mainly a freshwater species, and found in lakes, rivers and marshes.


  • The Gharial or fish eating crocodile is native to the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is listed as a Critically Endangered by IUCN.
  • Small released populations are present and increasing in the rivers of the National Chambal Sanctuary, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Son River Sanctuary and the rainforest biome of Mahanadi in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Orissa.

Saltwater Crocodile:

  • It is the largest of all living reptiles.
  • It listed as least concern by IUCN.
  • It is found throughout the east coast of India.Crocodile conservation programmes in India: The Gharial and Saltwater crocodile conservation programme was first implemented in Odisha in early 1975 and subsequently the Mugger conservation programme was initiated, since Odisha is having distinction for existence of all the three species of Indian crocodilians. The funds and technical support for the project came from UNDP/ FAO through the Government of India.


Why in news?

It took around nine months and some tough talking by the Supreme Court for the State government to act against the violations and illegal encroachments.

How was buildings brought down?

The use of emulsion explosives and its reduced usage at the blast sites helped in the effective demolition of the concrete buildings while containing its impact

Why was this operation done?

  • In 2006 Maradu Panchayat granted permission for the construction for five waterfront apartments overlooking the scenic canals of  Kochi backwaters.
  • But, just nine months after granting permission, the panchayat issued a notice to the builders following a directive by the  Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA).
  • The government body said the site fell under the CRZ-III vulnerable category where no construction is allowed within 200 metres from the coast. Any such act will be identified and acted upon as a  violation of the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules.
  • It was also revealed that a directive issued by the KCZMA makes it mandatory for self-government bodies to obtain its clearance before approving constructions in coastal areas.
  • But Maradu panchayat didn’t forward any application to gain a CRZ permit for the five complexes.

What is CRZ?

  • The CRZ norms are framed under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles.
  • No construction is allowed within 200 metres from the coast in areas falling under CRZ-III  zone while it is 50 metres from for CRZ-II.


Why in news?

After a sustained campaign, heritage lovers and officials have been successful in almost stopping the stone pelting ritual at Bojjannakonda, a famous Buddhist site

More about the site

  • “Bojjannakonda and Lingalametta are twin Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 3rd century BC.
  • These sites have seen three forms of Buddhism —
    • Theravada period when Lord Buddha was considered a teacher
    • Mahayana, where Buddhism was more devotional
    • Vajrayana, where Buddhist tradition was more practiced as Tantra and in esoteric form
Bojjannakonda Buddhist Monastery Visakhapatanam Stone-pelting legacy ias academy best ias academy in bangalore
Bojjannakonda Buddhist monastery


Why in news?

India is among the few countries in the world where, in 2018, the mortality for girls under 5 years of age exceeded that of boys, according to the ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’ report by the United Nations (UN)

Findings of the report

The report states that in 2018, fewer countries showed gender disparities in child mortality, and across the world, boys are expected to have a higher probability of dying before reaching age 5 than girls. But this trend was not reflected in India.

Under 5 mortality in India

  • According to India’s 2017 Sample Registration System, the States with the highest burden of neonatal mortality are Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, with 32, 33 and 30 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively.
  • India’s neonatal mortality rate is 23 per 1,000 live births.
Girls Under 5 Mortality rate five years states gender gap legacy ias academy best ias academy in Bangalore
Gender Gap in Mortality rate of Girls and Boys under Five years of age


Why in news?

Kaziranga recorded 96 species of wetland birds — one of the highest for wildlife reserves in India, according to the second wetland bird count conducted on January 2020.


With 6,181 individuals, the bar­headed goose led the species count, followed by the common teal at 1,557 and northern pintail at 1,359.

All three belong to the family anatidae .

More about Bar headed goose

  • Bar-headed Goose has been spotted in the wetlands of Karingali Puncha in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala. 
  • In general, large flocks visit the Koonthankulam bird sanctuary at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. It is very rare that the bird is spotted in Kerala.
  • The wetlands of Karingali Puncha is a major birding spot in the district. It reported the highest bird count in the Asian Waterbird Census of 2015.
Waterbird Bar-headed Goose Kaziranga legacy ias academy best ias academy in bangalore
Bar-headed Goose in Kaziranga
  • Scientific Name: Anser indicus
  • Habitat
    • Bar-headed geese are found in central China and Mongolia and they breed there.
    • They start migration to the Indian sub-continent during the winter and stay till the end of the season.
April 2024