Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - December 25, 2017

Environment & Ecology

Odorrana arunachalensis
New frog species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

  • Scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered new frog species in the fast flowing streams in Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) in Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The new species has been named Odorrana arunachalensis after the state Arunachal Pradesh were it was found.
  • It is one of the five frog species discovered in India in recent times and the 59th in the world.

Odorrana Arunachalensis

  • Odorrana Arunachalensis belong to genus Odorrana (commonly known as the odorous frog).
  • Odorrana is a genus of true frogs (Ranidae) from East Asia and surrounding regions including India.
  • There are over 50 species of frogs belonging to the genus Odorrana.
  • Odorrana Arunachalensis is medium-sized green frog adapted for life in torrential waters of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It dwells in moss and fern covered rocky section along hill streams in mixed wet tropical forest type
  • It has black band-like mark between the eyes which is its distinguishing character that separates it from all the other frog species of this genus.
  • This new species is majorly sighted during the wet season from April to September. They are not seen in the dry seasons.

Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

  • It is a wildlife sanctuary as well as a bio-diversity hotspot located in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It is situated at the altitude of 2400 metres with rivers like Pange, Sipu, Karing and Subansiri flowing through the Reserved Forest and Sanctuary.
  • It mainly comprises sub-tropical and alpine forests and has variety of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered. Talley is plateau with dense forest of silver fir trees, pine clad plateau of beautiful grandeur, and vast wasteland.
  • It is home to highly endangered species like clouded leopard. Pleioblastus simone is a bamboo variety only found in Talley Valley.

Ganga Rejuvenation

Ganga Gram Project launched to make 4,470 Ganga Villages Swachh and fully developed.

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) launched ‘Ganga Gram’ – a project for sanitation based integrated development of all 4470 villages along the River Ganga
  • The Ganga Gram Swachhta Sammelan was attended by more than 1400 delegates including 500 village sarpanches from all five Ganga States (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal), State and District government officials, NMCG Members and Ganga Swachhta Manch volunteers.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River Development appealed to the village sarpanches to pledge unconditional support to making River Ganga and Ganga Grams ‘swachh’.
  • Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is the nodal agency for implementation of the Ganga Gram Project.
  • Since the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission in October 2014, the Ministry has constructed 5.72 crore toilets and has made 2.96 lakh villages, 262 districts, 6 States and 2 Union Territories, open defecation free.
  • For the Ganga Gram Project the Ministry works in close coordination with NMCG, various Ministries, State Government and Distrcts.

Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet approves auction of FM channels Phase III of FM radio privatization

  • Union cabinet has approved auction of 683 private FM radio frequencies in 236 cities across country under Phase III of FM radio privatization.
  • This decision will usher in new/enhanced experience of FM radio in more cities.
  • The sale of these channels in Phase III is likely to generate direct and indirect employment to more than 10,000 persons on a pan-India basis.
  • It will also yield estimated revenue of more than Rs 1,100 crore.

Enlighten about the auction

  • The third batch of FM auctions will cover cities with no private FM radio presence, including cities in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and north-east states where the population is less than 100,000.
  • With completion of FM Phase III auctions, the government is planning to cover all the 29 states and 6 out of the 7 union territories (Dadra & Nagar Haveli is the exception) by private FM radio broadcasting.
  • Earlier, two batches of electronic auctions under Phase III had taken place in 2015 and 2016.
  • 97 channels in 56 cities were sold in the first batch, 66 channels in 48 cities were sold in the second.
  • The total value of sold channels was Rs.1,187 crore. However, government also made more than Rs. 3,000 crore from these auctions with migration fee from 245 stations that moved from Phase 2 to Phase 3.

Government Schemes

SAMEEP
Launched by MEA
To take Indian Foreign Policy to students across the country

  • The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched SAMEEP (Students and MEA Engagement Program).
  • It is an outreach mission that aims to take Indian foreign policy and its global engagements to students across country and also to look at diplomacy as a career option.
  • Its name was crowd-sourced through the My Gov portal and out of 550 suggested entries.

SAMEEP (Students and MEA Engagement Program)

  • The objective of outreach program is to familiarise school and college students in India about functioning of the MEA.
  • It also seeks to introduce them to key elements of India’s foreign policy and its success stories.
  • It is a voluntary programme for MEA officials, undersecretary and above with option of going back to any school or college in their hometown or to their alma mater.
  • Under it, MEA officials will go to their hometowns and particularly their alma mater while on leave to engage and interact with students in schools and colleges.
  • The officers will convey how MEA works, India’s foreign policy, how they do diplomacy so that student consider about this as a career option.
  • The MEA will provide its officials standardized presentation for this outreach programme and officials will be free to make changes for betterment of it can add their personal experiences.

Defence

ICGS Sujay
Offshore Patrol Vessel commissioned by Indian Coast Guard

  • An Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) named ICGS Sujay was recently commissioned into Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
  • It is sixth and last in the series of six 105m OPV built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Limited for ICG.
  • Presently, ICG has fleet of 134 ships and boats and 66 ships and boats are at various stages of construction at different shipyards in India.

Enlighten about ICGS Sujay

  • ICGS Sujay (meaning Great Victory) will based at Paradip, Odisha under operational and administrative control of Commander Coast Guard Region (North-East).
  • It will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance and other duties as enshrined in Coast Guard Charter, to safeguard maritime interests of India.
  • It is 105 meter OPV fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. Its features include Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), 30mm CRN 91 Naval Gun, Power Management System (PMS) and High Power External Fire Fighting System.
  • The ship draws 2350 tons(GRT) propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 23 Knots and has endurance of 6000 NM at economical speed.
  • The ship is designed to carry one twin engine Light Helicopter and 5 high speed boats including 2 Quick Reaction Inflatable Boats for swift boarding operations, law enforcement, search and rescue and maritime patrol.
  • It can also carry pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea.
  • It has latest and modern equipment and systems that provides ship capability to perform role of Command platform to accomplish all ICG charter of duties.