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16th November Current Affairs


  1. Lonar lake, Sur Sarovar declared as Ramsar sites
  2. Technical Recession and Indian Economy
  3. New genus of tree frog discovered in A&N


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

  • The Lonar lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake, in Agra, have been added to the list of recognised Ramsar sites.
  • India now has 41 wetlands recognized as Ramsar sites (the highest in South Asia), with two more added to the list of recognised sites of international importance under the treaty of Ramsar Convention.

Recently in news: Kabartal Wetland, Asan Conservation Reserve were added to the list of Ramsar Sites

  • Asan Conservation Reserve has become the first wetland from Uttarakhand to be included in the prestigious Ramsar sites list.
  • Besides Asan, Kabartal Wetland from Bihar was the second new site to get included in this list.

Click Here to read more about the Kabartal Wetland and Asan Conservation Reserve

Recently in news regarding Lonar Lake: Halobacteria

  • The 56,000-year-old Lonar crater sanctuary lake in Buldhana district has turned dark pink.
  • Similar phenomenon of the water in the lake turning dark pink takes place in Umria lake in Iran.
  • during dry seasons, water level goes down, thus increasing the salinity of water and making it warm too.
  • This becomes the breeding ground for Dunaliella algae- which under such circumstance, turns red in colour.
  • The halobacteria also uses a red pigment to absorb sunlight and convert it to energy.

Lonar Lake

  • Lonar Lake, also known as Lonar crater is a saline, soda lake, located at Lonar in Buldhana district, Maharashtra.
  • Lonar Lake is famous as the world’s Largest Basaltic Impact Crater.
  • It is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument.
  • Lonar Lake was created by an asteroid collision with earth impact during the Pleistocene Epoch.
  • It is one of the four known, hyper-velocity, impact craters in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth.
  • The other three basaltic impact structures are in southern Brazil.

Soor Sarovar Lake

  • Soor Sarovar Lake is also known as Keetham lake situated within the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, which was declared as a bird sanctuary in the year 1991.
  • This lake is situated alongside river Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

Ramsar Site

  • A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Ramsar sites are recorded on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance.
  • The Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type is a wetland classification developed within the Ramsar Convention intended as a means for fast identification of the main types of wetlands for the purposes of the Convention.
  • The countries with most sites are the United Kingdom with 175 and Mexico with 142.
  • The country with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia.

A wetland can be considered internationally important if any of the following nine criteria apply:

  1. Criterion 1: “it contains a representative, rare, or unique example of a natural or near-natural wetland type found within the appropriate biogeographic region.”
  2. Criterion 2: “it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities.”
  3. Criterion 3: “it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographic region.”
  4. Criterion 4: “it supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions.”
  5. Criterion 5: “it regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds.”
  6. Criterion 6: “it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird.”
  7. Criterion 7: “it supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish subspecies, species or families, life-history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative of wetland benefits and/or values and thereby contributes to global biological diversity.”
  8. Criterion 8: “it is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.”
  9. Criterion 9: “it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of wetland-dependent non-avian animal species.”

Ramsar Convention

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
  • It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.
  • The 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands.
  • The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
  • Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives.

India and Ramsar sites

  • At present, two wetlands of India are in Montreux Record: Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur).
  • Chilika Lake (Odisha) was placed in the record but later removed from it.
Ashtamudi WetlandKerala
Beas Conservation ReservePunjab
Bhitarkanika MangrovesOdisha
Bhoj WetlandsMadhya Pradesh
Chandra TaalHimachal Pradesh
Chilika LakeOdisha
Deepor BeelAssam
East Kolkata WetlandsWest Bengal
Harike WetlandsPunjab
Hokera WetlandJammu & Kashmir
Kanjli WetlandPunjab
Keoladeo National ParkRajasthan
Keshopur-Miani Community ReservePunjab
Kolleru lakeAndhra Pradesh
Loktak lakeManipur
Nalsarovar Bird sanctuaryGujarat
Nandur MadhameshwarMaharashtra
Nangal Wildlife SanctuaryPunjab
Nawabganj Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Parvati Agra Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu
Pong Dam lakeHimachal Pradesh
Renuka lakeHimachal Pradesh
Ropar WetlandPunjab
Rudrasagar LakeTripura
Saman Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Samaspur Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Sambhar lake Rajasthan
Sandi Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh
Sarsai Nawar JheelUttar Pradesh
Sasthamkotta lakeKerala
Surinsar- Mansar lakesJammu & Kashmir
TsomoririJammu & Kashmir
Upper Ganga riverUttar Pradesh
Vembanad Kol WetlandKerala
Wular lakeJammu & Kashmir
Sunderban WetlandWest Bengal
Asan Conservation ReserveUttarakhand
Kabartal WetlandBihar

-Source: The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) latest monthly bulletin features an article by an official at its Monetary Policy Department where the author has said that “India has entered a technical recession in the first half of 2020-21 for the first time in its history with Q2:2020-21 likely to record the second successive quarter of GDP contraction.”
  • The Author in a ‘nowcast’ (a forecast that estimates the outcome of a near-term event), projected that India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) contracted by 8.6% in the July-September quarter of the financial year ending in March 2021.
  • GDP had shrunk by 23.9% in the first quarter, according to the National Statistical Office’s estimate in August.


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on economic activity worldwide.
  • Indonesia, for instance, slid to a recession for the first time in two decades; The U.K. entered a recession when its economic output contracted; Brazil’s economy also experienced a 11.4% contraction.

What is a recessionary phase and a business cycle?

  • At its simplest, in any economy, a recessionary phase is the counterpart of an expansionary phase.
  • In other words, when the overall output of goods and services — typically measured by the GDP — increases from one quarter (or month) to another, the economy is said to be in an expansionary phase.
  • And when the GDP contracts from one quarter to another, the economy is said to be in a recessionary phase.
  • Together, these two phases create what is called a “business cycle” in any economy.

How is a recession different?

  • When a recessionary phase sustains for long enough, it is called a recession.
  • In other words, when the GDP contracts for a long enough period, the economy is said to be in a recession.
  • Most economists agree with the definition that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in the United States uses for Recession – “During a recession, a significant decline in economic activity spreads across the economy and can last from a few months to more than a year”.

What is a technical recession?

  • A technical recession is a term used to describe two consecutive quarters of decline in output.
  • In the case of a nation’s economy, the term usually refers to back-to-back contractions in real GDP.
  • The most significant difference between a ‘technical recession’ and a ‘recession’ is that while the former term is mainly used to capture the trend in GDP, the latter expression encompasses an appreciably more broad-based decline in economic activity that covers several economic variables including employment, household and corporate incomes and sales at businesses.
  • Another key feature of a technical recession is that it is most often caused by a one-off event (in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to combat it) and is generally shorter in duration.

What are the signs that an economy is headed for a deeper recession?

  • In the U.S., the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales”.
  • To that extent, besides real GDP, policymakers and economists need to closely track data on unemployment, output in key sectors including industry and services (which has the largest share in India’s gross value added or GVA) and real income at the household and corporate level to ascertain how widespread and deep the contraction in economic activity is.
  • It is important to note that recessions, when they prolong, can even lead to a depression, as happened in the U.S. — from the latter part of 1929 through to the mid-1930s — and even impacted the global economy as a whole.

-Source: Indian Express, The Hindu


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

Scientists and researchers from the University of Delhi and the Zoological Survey of India have discovered a genus of tree frog found in the Andaman Islands and the northeast.


  • Named after Sri Lankan taxonomist Rohan Pethiyagoda, the frogs of the new genus Rohanixalus are characterised by a rather small and slender body (size about 2 to 3 cm long), a pair of contrastingly coloured lateral lines on either side of the body, minute brown speckles scattered throughout the upper body surfaces, and light green coloured eggs laid in arboreal bubble-nests.
  • Based on DNA studies, the new genus is also revealed to be a distinct evolutionary lineage from all previously known tree frog genera.
  • While the general background coloration of most glass frogs is primarily lime green, the abdominal skin of some members of this family is translucent (allowing light to pass through).
  • The internal viscera, including the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract, are visible through this translucent skin, hence the common name.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023