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29th June Current Affairs

Contents

  1. Gynandromorphism in dragonflies
  2. Indian reservoirs brimming as monsoon advances
  3. New rules to regulate exotic animal trade unveiled
  4. Russia to speed up defence deals

GYNANDROMORPHISM IN DRAGONFLIES

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

Gyanandromorphism — a very rare biological phenomenon, was observed in Dragonflies at Kole wetlands.

Details

  • The Scarlet Skimmer (Crocothemis servilia) male dragonflies typically have prominent blood red colouraton in almost all their body parts, including the head, thorax, abdomen and legs, and the female is a pale yellow in colour with a dark brown thorax and legs.
  • However, a photographed dragonfly showed bilateral gynandromorphism of only the thorax, half of which showed blood red colouraton as in males, and the other half had the pale yellow characteristc of females.

Gynandromorphism

  • A gynandromorph is an organism that contains both male and female characteristics.
  • The distribution of male and female tissue can be more haphazard.
  • The cause of this phenomenon is typically an event in mitosis during early development.

Chromosomes and Gynandromorphism

  • For example, an XY cell undergoing mitosis duplicates its chromosomes, becoming XXYY.
  • Usually this cell would divide into two XY cells, but in rare occasions the cell may divide into an X cell and an XYY cell.
  • If this happens early in development, then a large portion of the cells are X and a large portion are XYY.
  • Since X and XYY dictate different sexes, the organism has tissue that is female and tissue that is male.

-Source: The Hindu


INDIAN RESERVOIRS BRIMMING AS MONSOON ADVANCES

Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

Major reservoirs in India are already brimming and their storage level is much more than during the monsoon of 2019, even while the Southwest Monsoon advances.

Details

  • The live storage available in 123 reservoirs monitored by Central Water Commission (CWC) was almost 200% of the live storage of corresponding period of last year.
  • Most river basins monitored by CWC also have better-than-normal storage. For instance, live storage of the Ganga, Narmada, Sabarmati, Tapi, Mahanadi and Godavari is over 100 per cent more than the average of the last 10 years.
  • Live storage available in these reservoirs is now 33 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.
  • Reservoirs in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have already recorded 100 per cent or more departure from normal storage.

Concerns

  • The Increased water levels also raises fears of floods caused by these reservoirs if the water levels are not managed efficiently.
  • Rivers in Bihar, where flood alerts have been issued, are flowing in ‘severe situation’, according to the CWC flood forecast and many show a ‘rising’ trend.
  • The position of some important dams have been responsible for inducing floods in the recent past due to mismanagement of water levels.
  • Hidkal and Malaprabha dams in Karnataka’s Belagavi district — one of the worst-hit in the 2019 floods — also had more stored water than last year.
  • Koyna, Warna, and Radhanagari — three big dams in Maharashtra’s upper Krishna basin, responsible for floods in 2019 — also stored more water than last year.

Central Water Commission (CWC)

  • Central Water Commission is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  • CWC has the responsibility of initiation and coordination of schemes introduced by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development. It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.
  • The CWC is headed by a Chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.
  • With the financial assistance from the World Bank, the Central Water Commission is managing Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) to rehabilitate about 225 dams in India.
  • The work of the Commission is divided among 3 wings namely, Designs and Research (D&R) Wing, River Management (RM) Wing and Water Planning and Projects (WP&P) Wing.

Click Here to read more about Floods and Areas in India Prone to Floods (2nd Article)

-Source: Down to Earth


NEW RULES TO REGULATE EXOTIC ANIMAL TRADE UNVEILED

Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims

Why in news?

The Environment Ministry’s wildlife division has introduced new rules to regulate the import and export of ‘exotic wildlife species’.

Highlights

  • Currently, it is the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce, that oversees such trade.
  • Under the new rules, owners and possessors of such animals and birds must also register their stock with the Chief Wildlife Warden of their States.
  • Officials of the Wildlife Department will also prepare an inventory of such species and have the right to inspect the facilities of such traders to check if these plants and animals are being housed in salubrious conditions.
  • Additionally, stockists will have six months to declare their stock.
  • The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is an organisation that is tasked with monitoring illegal trade.

Why was this needed?

  • In its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade, released last week, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) described wildlife trafficking as a “global threat”.
  • According to World Wildlife Crime Report 2016 of the UN, criminals are illegally trading products derived from over 7,000 species of wild animals and plants across the world.

What are the included animals in the Advisory

  • The advisory says ‘exotic live species’ will mean animals named under Appendices I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  • It will NOT include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

Click Here to read more about Wildlife Protection Act, CITES, TRAFFIC (4th Article)

-Source: The Hindu


RUSSIA TO SPEED UP DEFENCE DEALS

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

Russia has said that it will accelerate deliveries of some defence contracts with India, Defence Minister said after meeting Russian Deputy Prime Minister during the Victory Day Parade visit.

Details

  • India has been assured that ongoing contracts will be maintained and in a number of cases will be taken forward in a shorter time.
  • All of India’s proposals have received positive response from the Russian side.
  • India has been asking Russia to speed up deliveries of the S-400 long range air defence system in addition to spares and support for military hardware.

Click Here to read more about India-Russia Defence relationship (2nd Article)

-Source: The Hindu

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