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UPSC Prelims News 21 November 2022


UPSC Prelims News of 21 November 2022

Rat Boom Associated with Bamboo

Context: A study spanning 13 years has managed to find the relation between flowering in Melocanna baccifera and rat boom.

More on the News:

  • This tropical species of bamboo has been associated with the occurrence of ‘bamboo death,’ ‘rat floods’ and famines in northeast India.
  • Researchers detected correlation between the sugar content in the fruit of the bamboo and the population boom in rats during ‘Mautam’, the cyclical, mass bamboo flowering that takes place once in 48 years.
  • Previously, it was believed that ‘high protein in fruits/seeds’ was attracting the rats. However, the study found that predation is mainly due to the high content of sugars.
  • Apart from rats, a variety of animal visitors/predators were attracted by the fruit and flowers of this bamboo.

About the Bamboo Species:

  • Melocanna baccifera is called Muli in the north-east and is the largest fruit-producing bamboo, native to the northeast India-Myanmar region.
  • During the flowering period, the bamboo produces large fruits which draw animal visitors/predators. The black rats greatly relish the fleshy, berry-like fruit.
  • During the period, the rats multiply rapidly, a phenomenon dubbed as ‘rat flood’. Once the fruits are gone, they start feeding on standing crops, causing famines that have claimed thousands of human lives.
  • Significance of study:
    • The flowering phenology and fruit production dynamics found through this study may help foresters and people involved in the conservation of this bamboo.
    • The study on fruit chemistry and its links to predation and ‘rat flood’ can potentially identify bio-molecules useful in medical research.

UPSC Prelims News 19 November 2022


Global Partnership on AI

Context: India is set to take over the Chair of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) from France.

About GPAI:

  • GPAI is an international initiative for using Artificial Intelligence to support responsible and human-centric development.
  • Using experience and diversity of participating countries, the alliance will try to bridge the gap between theory and practice by supporting advanced research and applied activities on AI-related priorities.
  • There are of 25 member countries in GPAI, including the US, UK, European Union, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, and Singapore.
    • India joined GPAI in 2020 as a founding member.
  • India and AI:
    • Artificial Intelligence is expected to contribute 967 billion US dollars to the Indian economy by 2035.
    • It is expected to provide 450 to 500 billion USD to India’s GDP by 2025 accounting for 10 per cent of the nation’s 5 trillion dollar GDP target.


Green Maritime Sector

Context: The 8th Norway-India Joint Working Group Maritime meeting was held on 17th November, 2022 in Mumbai.

More on the News:

  • Discussion was held on use of alternative fuels like green ammonia and hydrogen for futuristic shipping.
  • Norway was requested not to prolong ship recycling to India as lot of investment has been made by Indian recyclers.
  • India is a signatory to the Hong Kong Convention for the recycling of ships.
    • Aim: Ensuring ships when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and the environment.
  • India has pressed upon cooperation in the field of Maritime Training in latest maritime technology e.g., MASS.
  • The Indian side has requested Norway to extend Ship Board training and Ship Board training in the area of Polar Water Navigation.
  • India and Norway are also part of the Green Voyage 2050 project.
    • The Green Voyage 2050 Project is a partnership project between the Government of Norway and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) launched in May 2019 aiming to transform the shipping industry towards a lower carbon future.


Great Knot

Context: A great knot from Russia, belonging to the endangered Calidris tenuirostris has found its way to Kerala’s coast, flying over 9,000 km for a winter sojourn.

About the Great Knot

  • The Great Knot is an international migratory wading bird that travels vast distances between the northern hemisphere breeding grounds and southern hemisphere summer feeding grounds.
  • Features: The Great Knot is a medium-sized shorebird with a straight, slender bill of medium length and a heavily streaked head and neck.
  • Scientific name: Calidris tenuirostris
  • Distribution: Great Knots occur around coastal areas in many parts of Australia during the southern summer.
    • They breed in eastern Siberia, and when on migration they occur throughout coastal regions of eastern and South East Asia.
  • Habitat: In Australia, Great Knots inhabit intertidal mudflats and sandflats in sheltered coasts, including bays, harbours and estuaries.
    • They forage on the moist mud, and they often roost on beaches or in nearby low vegetation, such as mangroves or dune vegetation.
  • IUCN Red List Status: Endangered
Great Knot
Great Knot


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