UPSC Daily Current Affairs-1st July 2018

www.iasinsights.in; www.iasgyaan.com posts UPSC Daily current Affairs -1st July 2018. This info is taken from News papers, PIB, AIR News and Summarized for your easy understanding.

Daily Current Affairs -1st July 2018

GS-I (Geography)

Astronomers puzzled by ‘cow’ in the sky

  • Astronomers across the world are puzzled by a new phenomenon — a very bright celestial object seen close to the very small galaxy CGCG 137-068
  • The Fast-brightening spot, initially thought to be a bright transient astronomical event lying close to the galaxy CGCG 137-068, was spotted by the ATLAS telescope. Named AT2018cow, the transient was soon given the nickname ‘cow’.
  • It was initially thought to be a nova, later analysis showed that it was more like a broad line supernova of the type Ic.
  • AT2018cow’s fast rise time and high luminosity are unprecedented for a supernova. Hence it seems like nothing that was known before.

Image result for Astronomers puzzled by ‘cow’ in the sky

India’s observations:

  • India is keeping an eye on the mysterious transient AT2018cow using the 2-metre Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at Hanle, Ladakh.
  • The HCT observations indicate that the transient is steadily fading in all optical bands.
  • Although spectroscopic features indicate a tentative similarity with broad line Ic supernovae, its true nature remains a puzzle

What is Type Ic Supernova?

  • Type Ic supernova is caused by the explosion of an extremely massive star which has lost its outer layers of hydrogen and helium.

GS-III (Environment)

Record number of crocodile nesting sites found in Bhitarkanika.

  • The Bhitarkanika national park has become the largest habitat of the endangered estuarine crocodiles in the country with a record number of their nesting sites spotted in it.
  • Altogether 101 nesting sites of estuarine crocodiles were found
  • The nesting spots had registered 25 per cent rise this year.
  • At least 1698 crocodiles, including albino species, were counted this year along the water-bodies of Mahanadi delta region, while the figure recorded last year stood at 1682. 

Estuarine crocodiles: 

  • The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), also known as the estuarine crocodile, Indo-Pacific crocodile, marine crocodile, sea crocodile or informally as saltie, is the largest of all living reptiles, as well as the largest riparian predator in the world.
  • As its name implies, this species of crocodile can live in marine environments, but usually resides in saline and brackish mangrove swamps, estuaries, deltas, lagoons, and lower stretches of rivers.
  • They have the broadest distribution of any modern crocodile, ranging from the eastern coast of India throughout most of Southeast Asia and northern Australia.
  • Due to their size, aggression and distribution, saltwater crocodiles are regarded as the most dangerous extant crocodilian to humans, alongside the Nile crocodile.

Estuarine crocodiles in India

  • Estuarine crocodiles are also found in West Bengals Sundarbans areas having the country’s largest mangrove cover.
  • The mangrove wetlands in Andaman Islands are home to these species, but those cannot match the density and population of crocodile available in the wild habitats of Bhitarkanika.

Bhitarkanika National Park

  • Bhitarkanika National Park is a national park located Odisha in eastern India.
  • It is surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It was designated as national park on 16 September 1998 and as a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002.
  • Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary lies to the east, and separates swamp region cover with canopy of mangroves from the Bay of Bengal.

GS-II (Governance)

PM reviews progress towards holistic development of islands

  • The Prime Minister today reviewed the progress towards holistic development of islands.
  • The Union Government had constituted the Islands Development Agency on June 1st, 2017. 26 islands have been listed for holistic development.

How development?

  • NITI Aayog made a presentation on the elements of holistic development, including key infrastructure projects, digital connectivity, green energy, desalination plants, waste management, promotion of fisheries, and tourism-based projects.

Andaman Islands:

  • Emphasized on the need for developing an integrated tourism-centric ecosystem, in the areas identified for tourism development.
  • Also on energy self-sufficiency in the islands, which could be based on solar energy.
  • Ministry of Home Affairs, to dispense with the requirement of Restricted Area Permit for foreigners visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Greater connectivity of these islands with South East Asia was also discussed.

Lakshadweep islands

  • Apprised of the steps taken to boost Tuna fishing, and the promotion of “Lakshadweep Tuna” as a brand.
  • The Prime Minister appreciated Lakshadweep’s initiatives on cleanliness.
  • Development of vital infrastructure in both Andaman and Nicobar islands, as well as in Lakshadweep was discussed.
  • To explore the possibility of seaweed cultivation, and other initiatives which could be of help for the agriculture sector. 

GS-III (International Relations)

Railways steps in after UNESCO warns Darjeeling toy train off track

  • UNESCO warned to conserve the toy train and Darjeeling track.
  • Based on this North East Railway stepped in to take measures.

History:

  • After Darjeeling, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Ooty in 2005 and Kalka Shimla Railway in 2008 entered the UNESCO list to make “Mountain Railways of India” a part of the World Heritage Site.

GS-III (Indian economy)

1st July 2018 to be celebrated as ‘GST day’

Government of India is celebrating the 1st Anniversary of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) coming into force.  GST was launched on the 1st July, 2017.

  • The first year has been remarkable both for the sheer variety of challenges that its implementation has thrown up and for the willingness and ability of policy makers and tax administrators to rise up to these challenges and respond befittingly.
  • But more importantly, the first year of GST has been an example to the world of the readiness of the Indian taxpayer to be a partner in this unprecedented reform of Indian taxation.
  • Accordingly, it has been decided that Sunday, the 1st of July, 2018 shall be commemorated as ‘GST Day’.
  • Before implementation of GST, Indian taxation system was a farrago of central, state and local area levies.

Bank Boards Bureau recommends 15 names for the post of MD in PSU banks

  • The Bank Boards Bureau has recommended the names of 15 officials for the posts of managing director and chief executive officers in several public sector banks.
  • The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take the final decision in this regard.

What is Banks Boards Bureau?

  • The Banks Board Bureau has its genesis in the recommendations of The Committee to Review Governance of Boards of Banks in India, May 2014. Thereafter, on February 28, 2016, the Government of India, announced the constitution and composition of the Bureau.
  • The Bureau started functioning from April 01, 2016 as an autonomous recommendatory body.
  • The objective of such engagement being to help prepare the banks in the public sector universe to take on the competition, have the ability to appropriately manage and price risk across business cycles, develop resilience to generate internal capital and have the capacity to generate external capital warding of the moral hazard in counting on the scarce budgetary resources of tax payers.
  • The Bureau is also engaging with the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) to help build capacity to attract, retain and nurture both talent and technology – the two key differentiators of business competencies in the days to come.

GS-III (Biotechnology)

University of Hyderabad increases bio availability of harpin bio pesticide

  • Harpin biopesticide brought about 80-90% reduction in severity of fungal infection in tomato plants when it is encapsulated in chitosan nano particles.
  • The fungal infection was caused by Rhizoctonia solani.
  • The reduction in disease severity is only about 50-55% when the biopesticide is used without loading it in nanoparticles.

Harpin Biopesticide

  • It is used against several bacterial, fungal and viral infections, poor bioavailability is a major hurdle when harpin protein, taken from the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae, is just sprayed on the leaves like any other pesticide.

What is Bio pesticide?

  • Bio pesticides are certain types of pesticides that are derived from natural materials like plants (Botanical origin), bacteria, fungi and virus (Microbial origin) and certain minerals.
  • When used as a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs these bio pesticides can greatly decrease the use of conventional pesticides, while crop yields remain high.
  • The Bio Pesticides control pests / diseases either selectively or with broad spectrum approach.
  • Bio pesticides are usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides.
  • Bio pesticides are generally target specific and affect only the target pest and closely related organisms vis-à-vis broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may also affect organisms such as birds, insects and mammals.

 

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