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UPSC Prelims News 9 November 2022


UPSC Prelims News of 9 November 2022

Beaver Blood Moon

Context: People across the world were able to witness the “Beaver Blood Moon”.


  • Beaver Moon: Beaver moon is a moniker for November’s full moon, which was adopted by the Old Farmer’s Almanac from Algonquian languages spoken by Native Americans in the New England territory of USA.
    • Combined with the phenomena of a total lunar eclipse, the event is widely referred to as a “Beaver blood moon”.
  • Total lunar eclipse: The event occurs when the Earth casts its shadow completely over a full moon, blocking reflection of all direct sunlight.
    • It takes place when the orbits of the Earth, moon and sun align so that the moon is directly behind Earth relative to the sun.
  • Blood Moon: A total lunar eclipse is referred to as a Blood Moon, because of the reddish tinge the Full Moon takes when fully eclipsed.
    • The reddish appearance of the lunar surface is a result of rays of sunlight around the outer edge of the eclipse shadow (umbra) being filtered and refracted as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere, giving the moon a dim copper glow.
  • The degree of redness depends on atmospheric conditions that differ with levels of air pollution, dust storms, wildfire smoke and even volcanic ash.
Blood moon
Blood moon


Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary

Context: The Tamil Nadu government has declared reserve forest areas of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri as the Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary.

More on the News

  • The declaration of Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary has been made under Section 26A (1) (b) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • The proposed protected area will connect Cauvery North Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu with the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka.
  • The protected area will provide continuity to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve through the Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Billigiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve of Karnataka and the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve and Erode Forest Division of Tamil Nadu.
  • Significance:
    • Elephant corridor: The declared area is an important elephant habitat comprising of two elephant corridors: The Nandimangalam-Ulibanda Corridor and the Kovaipallam-Anebiddahalla Corridor.
    • Riverine ecosystem conservation: The Cauvery basin ecosystem is also critical to a large number of riverine species dependent on River Cauvery, such as Leith’s soft shelled turtles, smooth coated otters, marsh crocodile etc.
    • Biodiversity protection: The sanctuary’s rich biodiversity supports more than 35 species of mammals and 238 species of birds. Grizzled giant squirrel, four-horned antelope, and Lesser Fish Eagle are red-listed species living in the area.
    • Tiger conservation: Effective conservation in contiguous areas will help in recovering prey base and support tigers in future.
    • Soil conservation: Enhanced protection and restoration of habitat will reduce soil erosion and siltation of downstream Stanley reservoir.


Verditer Flycatcher

Context: Verditer flycatcher (Eumyias thalassinus), a migratory bush bird, spotted for first time at Nanjarayan tank bird sanctuary in Tiruppur.

  • About Verditer flycatchers: They breed at the upper hills of the Himalayas and travel to the peninsular region, particularly to the Western Ghats, during the winter.
  • About Nanjarayan tank (Sarkar Periyapalayam reservoir)
    • The tank lies at the junction of Tiruppur North and Uthukuli taluks in Tiruppur district, covering 125.86 hectares.
    • The Tamil Nadu government has notified the Nanjarayan tank in Tiruppur district as the 17th bird sanctuary of the State.
    • Verditer flycatcher is the 186th bird to be recorded in the tank.
Verditer flycatcher
Verditer flycatcher



Context: Union Agriculture Ministry has restricted the use of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide.

  • Reason: Use of glyphosate involves health hazards and risk to human beings and animals.
  • Spraying of glyphosate and its derivatives will only be permitted through “pest control operators”.

About Glyphosate

  • Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants.
    • It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth.
    • Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that can control a wide range of weeds, whether broadleaf or grassy.
  • When applied to their leaves, it inhibits the production of a protein ‘5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS)’.
    • This enzyme, produced only by plants and microorganisms, synthesises aromatic amino acids that are necessary for their growth.
  • Glyphosate and its formulations are widely registered and used in more than 160 countries, including the EU and the US. Farmers across the globe have been using the herbicide for safe and effective weed control for over 40 years.
    • However, around 35 countries have banned or restricted the use of glyphosate. These include Sri Lanka, Netherlands, France, Colombia, Canada, Israel and Argentina.
  • Health Risk of Glyphosate: World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in March 2015, classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
    • However, US Environmental Protection Agency has held that there are “no risks of concern to human health from current uses of glyphosate” and “no evidence” of it causing cancer.

Usage in India

  • There are nine glyphosate-based formulations containing different concentrations of the chemical registered for use under the Insecticides Act, 1968.
  • In India, glyphosate has been approved for use only in tea plantations and non-plantation areas accompanying the tea crop.
  • Use of the substance anywhere else is illegal.
  • However, Farmers also apply glyphosate on irrigation channels and bunds to clear these of weeds, making it easier for water to flow and to walk through them.



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