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UPSC Prelims News 21 December 2022


UPSC Prelims News of 21 December 2022

Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

Context: The Rajasthan High Court ordered a “complete prohibition” on a proposed move of the State government to reduce the size of the Tal Chhapar Sanctuary.

About the Tal Chhapar Sanctuary:

  • Location: The sanctuary is located in the Churu district of Northwestern Rajasthan, in the Shekhawati region of India.
  • Geography: It is a flat saline depression locally known as a “tal” that has a unique ecosystem in the heart of the Thar Desert.
  • Flora: The forest of sanctuary area falls under the group “Topical Thorn Forest”. It has open grassland with scattered Acacia and Prosopis trees give it an appearance of a typical savanna.
  • Fauna: The sanctuary is host to about 4,000 blackbucks and other wild animals, over 40 species of raptors and more than 300 species of resident and migratory birds.
    • Migratory birds in the sanctuary are harriers, eastern imperial eagle, tawny eagle, short-toed eagle, sparrow, and little green bee-eaters, black ibis and demoiselle cranes.
  • Threats to the sanctuary: Hyper-aridity, grazing pressure, the invasive weed Prosopis juliflora, and salt mines in the vicinity. The sanctuary’s area is insufficient for its large blackbuck population.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • The sanctuary has a special type of grass called “Mothiya” or pearl grass, which has a very sweet taste.
    • It was included in the itinerary of the “Heritage on Wheel” train of Rajasthan.
    • Chhapar – Sujangarh state highway divides the sanctuary area into two parts.

UPSC Prelims News 20 December 2022


Context: Ministry of AYUSH is running a Central Sector Scheme namely, AYURSWASTHYA Yojana from the Financial Year 2021-22.

Components of the Scheme:

  • AYUSH and Public Health (PHI).
  • Centre of Excellence (CoE).

Centre of Excellence (CoE):

  • Under it, financial assistance is provided to eligible individual organizations/institutes for establishing and upgrading their functions & facilities and/or for research & development activities in AYUSH.
  • Objectives:
    • To support establishment of advanced/ specialized AYUSH medical health unit in reputed AYUSH and Allopathic institutions both in Government and Non-Government sector.
    • To support creative and innovative proposals for establishment and upgradation of both functions and facilities in education technology, research & innovation and such other fields necessary for promotion of AYUSH at national as well as international level.
    • To support creative and innovative proposals for prestigious organizations which have well-established buildings and infrastructure, and wish to work for AYUSH systems to the level of Centre of Excellence.
    • The maximum admissible financial assistance to an organization/institute is Rs.10.00 crores for maximum period of three years.


Black Carbon

Context: ISRO is analyzing black carbon concentration in the Himalayas to understand complex geographical and cyclical nature of the glacial dynamics.

About Black Carbon:

  • Black carbon is a pure carbon sooty material, formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass.
  • Source: Primary sources of black carbon include emissions from diesel engines, cook stoves, wood burning and forest fires.
  • Lifetime: Black carbon is a short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only days to weeks after release in the atmosphere.
  • Impact: Black carbon can have significant direct and indirect impacts on the climate, the cryosphere (snow and ice), agriculture and human health.
    • It absorbs solar radiation and increases global temperatures.
  • Tackling black carbon: Using clean cooking fuel, electric mobility, reducing stubble burning, avoiding municipal waste burning etc can help in tackling black carbon.

Measures to Reduce Black Carbon Emissions in India:

  • PM Ujjwala Yojana
  • Implementing BS-VI norms
  • Promoting alternate fuels such as biodiesels
  • Promoting renewable energy sources such as solar and wind
  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) phase-2 scheme Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme to promote Compressed Bio Gas.


Frontier Highway

Context: The Union government is planning to build a 1,748 km long “frontier highway” close to the India-Tibet-China-Myanmar border in Arunachal Pradesh.

More on the News:

  • The two-lane highway, known as NH-913, will aim to stop infiltration in the border area. It will be as close as 20 km from the international border.
  • About 800 km of the corridor will be Greenfield as there is no existing road on these stretches.
  • Construction: The Highway will be built by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The entire project is expected for completion by 2026-27.
  • Location: The highway will start from Bomdila and pass through Nafra, Huri and Monigong. It will end at Vijaynagar, near the India-Myanmar border.
  • Significance: The highway is expected to give a big boost to the easy movement of defence forces as well as equipment to the border areas.


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