1. Wayanad Tiger Reserve
  2. New species of urban lizard found in Guwahati
  3. Doctors remove large thyroid growths from Melghat tribal
  4. ISRO making preparations to launch GISAT-1 in March first week
  5. Madhya Pradesh grapples with spiraling neonatal deaths
  6. Radio aids revival of dying tribal language


  • The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS), though home to more than half the number of tigers present in Kerala, may not be notified as a tiger reserve as the proposal lacks public support.
  • The ‘Status of Tigers in India’ report released last year had estimated the tiger population of Wayanad as between 75 and 80 individuals. 
  • Periyar Tiger Reserve, the first one in Kerala, has an estimated population of 30 to 35 big cats, whereas Parambikulam, the second reserve, has a population of 20 to 25 tigers

Advantages of notifying as tiger reserve 

The arguments of the officials that the notification would ensure financial aid from the Centre and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), better conservation and management of the tiger population and help generate more employment opportunities


Why in news?

  • The new species of lizard, zoologically named Cyrto dactylus urbanus, is markedly different in molecular structure, blotch and colour from the Cyrto dactylus guwahatiensis, or the Guwahati Bent-­toed gecko, that was discovered two years ago
  • It was also the 12th recorded gecko from the Northeast.


  • For long, the massive enlarged thyroid glands among the Korkus tribal living in Amravati’s Melghat region have puzzled doctors.
  • Doctors would see Korkus, mainly women, with these abnormal growths, known as goiter, weighing over one to two kilograms.
  • An annual surgery camp held at a remote hospital in Chikhaldara has however changed that.
  • While goiter remains prevalent, doctors now see smaller growths in the tribe. 
  • Iodine deficiency is known as the common cause of goiter. 
  • But the staple diet of Korkus is fish, a rich source of iodine, and there is availability of iodized salt too.
  • There are genetic factors at play- as per doctors

More about korku tribes 

  • The Korku are an Adivasi ethnic group predominantly found in the Khandwa, Burhanpur, Betul and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh and adjoining areas near the Melghat Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra.
  • They speak the Korku language, which is a member of the Munda languages and is written using Devanagari. They are classified as a Scheduled Tribe by the Indian government.
  • The Korku tribe lives in small groups of huts made of grass and wood. Every household has elevated stage like structure in the front side of the house.
  • This elevated stage is used as a storage space of farm produce such as cattle feed. They socially consume liquor made from the flowers of the Mahua tree which is prepared in almost all the houses. Predominantly, a rural-based community with 97% living in rural areas, Korkus are primarily cultivators
  • Traditional representative body of the society known as ‘Korku Panchayat’ is found in many villages.
  • Headed by a chief known as Patel, other members in the Panchayat include Padihar (priest), Kotwar (Chowkidar) and ten to twelve older male members of the community known as Panch.
  • It plays a decisive role during traditional occasions mainly in festivals, marriages and intra- and inter-village conflict resolutions.


  • GISAT-1 — Geo Imaging Satellite — will be the first of two planned Indian EO spacecraft to be placed in a geostationary orbit of around 36,000 km.
  • It will apparently be in a fixed spot looking over the Indian continent at all times.
  • With this satellite, which has high-resolution cameras, we can keep a constant watch on our borders, monitor any changes in the geographical condition of the country, etc.


 Why in news?

  • Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest percentage of newborn deaths of 11.5% against the total admissions to government ­run sick newborn care units (SNCUs) in the past three years across the country, a rate ominously spiralling since 2017
  • According to the National Health Mission (NHM). The country’s average is 7%.

Several factors responsible for deaths

Staff crunch, low community referrals, absence of a special neonatal transport service to health centres, and the non­-availability of enough units to cater to increasing institutional deliveries had contributed to the spike in the percentage of deaths

In the last three years, more than 7% of the babies admitted to sick newborn care units (SNCUs), across 13 States, died Legacy IAS Acdemy Best IAS Academy in Bangalore


Why in news?

  • Using mobile radio, the Asur community has been spreading the popularity of the language within their geographical limits.
  • The Asur language figures in the list of UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.
  • As per the 2011 census, the tribe has a population of around 23,000 in Latehar and Gumla districts.
  • In the community, 50% of population could barely speak in Asur language … They are not fluent in the language.
  • Only 7,000 to 8,000 Asur tribals are left in the community who are well conversant in the language
  • Youth from the community are also being encouraged to write poems in their language and older ones narrate their experience in their own language
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