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Current Affairs 26th December 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Context: Reduced human activity, especially curbing illegal mining, fueled a surge in tiger numbers at Bihar’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve.

About Valmiki Tiger Reserve

  • Location: West Champaran District, Bihar.
  • Significance: It is the only tiger reserve in Bihar and represents the easternmost limit of the Himalayan Terai forests in India.
  • Geographical Zone: The reserve is part of the Gangetic Plains bio-geographic zone.
  • Terrain: The forest is a mix of bhabar and terai tracts.
  • Establishment: Established in 1994
  • International Border: Shares a border with Nepal’s Chitwan National Park.
  • Rivers: The reserve is bisected by the Gandak and Masan Rivers.
    • Gandak River borders the sanctuary on the west.

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Black Tigers

Context: As per the 2022 All India Tiger Estimation cycle, 16 tigers were recorded at Similipal Tiger Reserve, out of which 10 were melanistic tigers.

About Black Tigers

  • Black Tigers are a rare colour variant of the Bengal tiger, also known as Melanistic Royal Bengal Tigers.
  • The black tiger, an extremely rare variant with excess melanin, appears darker than typical tigers due to its golden colour interspersed with more black stripes, a condition known as pseudo-melanism caused by a recessive (Transmembrane Aminopeptidase Q (Taqpep)) gene.
  • IUCN Conservation Status: Endangered

Palna Scheme

Context: The Ministry of Women and Child Development of the Union Government is planning to set up 17,000 creches at Anganwadi Centres nationwide under the Palna Scheme.

About Palna Scheme

  • Ministry: Ministry of Women and Child Development,
  • Type: Centrally Sponsored Scheme
  • Earlier Name: National Creche Scheme.
  • Goal: To provide high-quality daycare facilities or creches for children of working women, thereby enhancing the nutrition and health status of these children.
  • Part Of: Samarthya, under the larger umbrella of Mission Shakti.
  • The scheme offers two types of creches:
    • Anganwadi-cum-Crèches, which integrate crèche facilities with existing Anganwadi services, aiming to comprehensively cater to the needs of both mothers and children in a single location.
    • Stand-alone Creches, which are continuations of the crèches that operated under the former National Creche Scheme.
  • Targets: Children aged 6 months to 6 years, belonging to working women in both rural and urban settings, who are employed for at least 15 days per month or six months per year.

Pompeii’s ancient art

Context: A new project inside the Pompeii archaeological site is reviving ancient textile dyeing techniques to show another side of daily life before the city was destroyed by a volcano in A.D. 79.

Pompeii Archaeological Site Overview

  • Pompeii, an ancient Roman city near Naples, Italy, was engulfed in volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius’s eruption in A.D. 79.
  • Archaeological digs have uncovered buildings, artefacts, and human remains, all remarkably preserved by the eruption.
  • Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Project on the Pompeii’s ancient art of textile dyeing
  • Revival of Pompeii’s historical textile dyeing techniques using plant-based dyes.
  • Production of scarves with colours and designs inspired by Pompeiian palette and House of Vettii frescoes.
  • Proceeds from scarf sales were allocated to further restoration of Pompeii.
  • The project incorporates elements from frescoes and vibrant and long-lasting artworks on plaster.

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