UPSC Prelims News of 21 October 2022
New Grasshopper Discovered
Context: A new member of the grasshopper species has been identified from Tamil Nadu.
More on the Discovery:
- Nomenclature: The pygmy unicorn grasshopper has been named Dravidacris annamalaica and is restricted to the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu.
- The genus was named Dravidacris in honour of Dravidians (linguistic group living in the southern States of India). The ending – acris – represents the Greek word for grasshopper, locust and is of feminine gender.
- Morphology: The genus represents the rare horned grasshoppers within the grasshopper subfamily. It has a unique morphology with long and dorsally extended head portions.
- Special features: Their body colour allows them to get camouflaged to their surroundings. Pygmy grasshoppers are smaller and unique to specific micro-habitats.
Context: A social activist, named Daya Bai, ended her hunger strike after the Kerala government assured to extend healthcare facilities for endosulfan victims.
What is Endosulfan?
- About: Endosulfan is a pesticide. It is a cream- to brown-coloured solid that may appear in the form of crystals or flakes.
- It does not occur naturally in the environment.
- It is listed under both the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
- Uses: It is used to control insects on food and non-food crops and as a wood preservative. Endosulfan can be released into the air, water, and soil in areas where it is applied as a pesticide.
- Health effects: The health effects of the chemical include neurotoxicity, late sexual maturity, physical deformities, poisoning, among others.
- People, especially newborns, have suffered deformities, health complications and loss of family members due to exposure to agrochemicals.
- Ban in India: Endosulfan pesticide was used widely on crops like cashew, cotton, tea, paddy, fruits and others until 2011 when the Supreme Court banned its production and distribution.
What is the Rotterdam Convention 1998?
- The convention aims to promote cooperation and responsibility sharing measures amongst different countries dealing with trade in hazardous chemicals and pesticides.
What is Stockholm Convention 2001?
- The convention aims to reduce the concentration of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are chemical substances that not only remain in the atmosphere for longer periods but also possess the ability to bio-accumulate.
Context: The Government of India has announced a month-long programme named the ‘Kashi-Tamil Sangamam’, to strengthen and rekindle the cultural and civilizational bond between Tamil Nadu and Varanasi.
About the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam
- The programme would be a part of the Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat initiative.
- The objective is to bring the two knowledge and cultural traditions closer, create an understanding of our shared heritage and deepen the people-to-people bond between the regions
- The month-long Sangamam will be organised in Varanasi from November 16 to December 19.
- During the programme, academic exchanges will be held between experts, scholars on various facets of the two ancient manifestations of Indian culture, with a focus on bringing out the links and shared values between the two.
About the Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat initiative.
- It was announced on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- Objectives of the initiative:
- To celebrate the Unity in Diversity of our Nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of our Country.
- Promote the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories.
- To promote the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity that is India, thus fostering a sense of common identity.
- To create an environment which promotes learning between States by sharing best practices and experiences.