Himalai Celebrating 20th-year celebration, on this eve Himalai extending helping hands to the UPSC-IAS
Most important exam oriented Current Affairs Concepts:

1. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red Listor Red Data List), founded in 1964, has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. It uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. With its strong scientific base, the IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit.

India, a mega diverse country with only 2.4% of the world’s land area, accounts for 7-8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals. The country’s diverse physical features and climatic conditions have resulted in a variety of ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, desert, coastal and marine ecosystems which harbour and sustain high biodiversity and contribute to human well-being. Four of 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots: The Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the North-East, and the Nicobar Islands, can be found in India.

India became a State Member of IUCN in 1969, through the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The IUCN India Country Office was established in 2007 in New Delhi. IUCN India works with Members and Commissions to reduce ecosystem and species loss by providing the necessary tools and knowledge to value, conserve and use biodiversity sustainability; enhance governance and policy for better management of ecosystems and habitats, including protected areas; and address challenges related to poverty alleviation, food security and climate change.

2. Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)

ATAGS is configured with all electric drive to ensure maintenance free and reliable operation over a longer period of time. It will have a firing range of 40 Kms with advanced features in terms of high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in direct fire mode.

The development trajectory of ATAGS aims at establishing indigenous critical defence manufacturing technologies with the active participation of Ordnance Factories, DPSUs and Private industries including Bharat Forge Limited, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System to meet the aspiration of Make in India initiative in defence sector.

DRDO is committed to develop and field ATAGS in the shortest timeframe with active participation by leading industries to meet the requirement of Indian Army

3. Ozone layer

The ozone layer is a belt of the naturally occurring gas “ozone.” It sits 9.3 to 18.6 miles (15 to 30 kilometers) above Earth, and serves as a shield from the harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation emitted by the sun.

Ozone is a highly reactive molecule that contains three oxygen atoms. It is constantly being formed and broken down in the high atmosphere, 6.2 to 31 miles (10 to 50 kilometers) above Earth, in the region called the stratosphere.

There is widespread concern that the ozone layer is deteriorating due to the release of pollution containing the chemicals chlorine and bromine. Such deterioration allows large amounts of ultraviolet B rays to reach Earth, which can cause skin cancer and cataracts in humans and harm animals as well

Extra ultraviolet B radiation reaching Earth also inhibits the reproductive cycle of phytoplankton, single-celled organisms such as algae that make up the bottom rung of the food chain. Biologists fear that reductions in phytoplankton populations will in turn lower the populations of other animals. Researchers also have documented changes in the reproductive rates of young fish, shrimp, and crabs as well as frogs and salamanders exposed to excess ultraviolet B.

4. Swachhta Hi Seva

“Swachhta Hi Seva” is nationwide sanitation campaign.

The Swachh Bharat Mission represents a national movement with diverse stakeholders comprising of Central Ministries, State Governments, local institutions, non-government and semi-government agencies, corporate, NGO’s, faith organizations and media.

The Swachh Bharat Mission maintained a significant social media engagement for enhancing awareness levels and a newsletter Swachhta Samachar Patrika was published on a regular basis.

A host of special initiatives and projects have come out in quick time. The Inter-Ministerial Projects included Swachhta Pakhwadas, Namami Gange, Swachhta Action Plan, Swachh Swasth Sarvatra campaign, School Sanitation drives, Anganwadi Sanitation drives, Railway Sanitation etc. The inter-sectoral collaborations included Swachh Iconic Places, Corporate Partnership, Inter Faith Cooperation, Media engagement and Parliament engagement.

Swachhta Action Plans were developed by 76 union ministries and departments and web based portal was developed to monitor progress and highlight implementation status. Women Swachhagra his were appointed and Swachh Shakti Awards were instituted to further enhance women involvement with the program. The Swachh Bharat success stories said that accessible and secure toilets had made a big difference to the lives of village communities, as they did not have to travel distances in the dark to relieve themselves. Further the health risks of open defacation were greatly reduced by having a toilet in the house

5. Alang, Gujarat: The World’s Biggest Ship Breaking Yard

Alang in Gujarat is the world’s biggest ship breaking yard with hundreds of ships getting scrapped each year. With increase in the yard’s popularity around the world, there has also been a steep increase in the number of threats posed by the ship breaking yard to the marine environment and laborers working there.

Unlike other countries, India possesses very loose marine environmental protection policies, which have lead to irreversible harm to the surrounding flora and fauna. Several beautiful coral reefs near to the Indian coasts have been completely destroyed and the marine life the affected area has gone haywire.

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