Gist of The Hindu: JULY 2023

Gist of The Hindu: JULY 2023

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Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

  • Recently, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has issued a ‘red alert’ directing the authorities to visit all tiger reserves.

About Wildlife Crime Control Bureau:

  • It is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
  • It was constituted by amending the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Nodal Ministry: The Ministry of Environment and Forests.
  • Headquarter: New Delhi
  • Mandate: Under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972it is mandated to
  • To collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals.
  • To establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank.
  • To assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control.
  • In capacity building of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist State Governments to ensure success in prosecutions related to wildlife crimes;
  • It advises the Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy and laws.
  • It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.

National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission

  • Recently, the Prime Minister launched the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission and distributed sickle cell genetic status cards to the beneficiaries in Madhya Pradesh.

About the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission:

  • The Mission aims to address the pressing health challenges posed by sickle cell disease, particularly among the tribal population, will mark a crucial milestone in the Government’s ongoing efforts to eliminate sickle cell disease as a public health problem by 2047. 
  • Objectives of the Mission:
  • Provision of affordable and accessible care to all SCD patients
  • To ensure quality of care for SCD patients
  • To reduce the prevalence of SCD
  • Health promotion- Awareness generation & pre-marital genetic counselling
  • Prevention: Universal screening and early detection
  • Holistic Management & continuum of care: Management of persons with sickle cell disease at primary, secondary and tertiary health care levels; treatment facilities at tertiary health care facilities Patient support system Community adoption.

About Sickle Cell disease:

  • Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders that affect haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through the body.
  • The red blood cells are disc-shaped and flexible enough to move easily through the blood vessels. If people have sickle cell disease, their red blood cells are crescent or “sickle” shaped. 
  • These cells do not bend or move easily and can block blood flow to the rest of their body leading to serious problems, including stroke, eye problems, infections, and episodes of pain called pain crises.
  • As per the Census 2011, India has an 8.6% tribal population, which is 67.8 million across the Indian states. 
  • The MoHFW tribal health expert committee report has listed sickle cell disease as one of the 10 special problems in tribal heath that affect the tribal people disproportionately, thus making this an important intervention.

Water Mission

  • Recently, the government’s ambitious ‘Har Ghar Jal’ initiative to provide all rural households in India with potable water connections by 2024 under its flagship Jal Jeevan Mission will likely to fall short of its target, as per the survey reports.

About the Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) was launched in 2019 and is planned to have Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) installed in every rural household, supplying each household with 55 litres of water per person per day.
  • It comes under the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jal Shakti Ministry.
  • The fund ratio shared between the Centre and the State:
  • for Himalayan (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh) and the North-Eastern States is 90:10; 
  • for Union-Territories, it is 100:0; and 
  • For the rest of the states, it is 50:50.
  • It is mainly concentrated on areas such as substantial information, education, and communication, focused on a community-based approach.
  • This mission will also concentrate on source sustainability measures, such as recharge and reuse through greywater management, water conservation, and rainwater harvesting.
  • As per the survey reports, Only 5% of the total, about one crore households out of nearly 19.5 crore households where work hasn’t even begun, are targeted under the scheme. 
  • There is a system of ‘certification’ wherein the gram panchayats in a village which district and block level authorities report as fully connected call a quorum, and upload a video attesting to the veracity of the claim.

There are two mechanisms for independent verification:

  • Independent audit agency that conducts a survey by preparing a representative sample and interviewing respondents on whether the installed water connections are actually delivering water to their satisfaction. 
  • National WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) experts who appraise a section of villages on the quality of services provided.

Ordinance making power of the President

  • The Delhi government recently urged the Supreme Court to quash the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023.

About Ordinance making power of the President:

  • Article 123 of the Indian Constitution grants the President of India certain Lawmaking powers, i.e., to Promulgate Ordinances when either of the two Houses of the Parliament is not in session, which makes it impossible for a single House to pass and enact a law.
  • These Ordinances have the same effect as an Act of Parliament.
  • Ordinances may relate to any subject that the Parliament has the power to make law, and would be having the same limitations.
  • The Ordinances may have a retrospective effect and may modify or repeal any act of Parliament or other ordinances. It may be used to amend a tax law, but it can never amend the Constitution.
  • The President may withdraw an ordinance at any time. However, he exercises his power with the consent of the Council of Ministers headed by the President.
  • Following limitations exist on the Ordinance making power,
  • Legislature is not in session: The President can only promulgate an Ordinance when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.
  • Immediate action is required: The President cannot promulgate an Ordinance unless he is satisfied that there are circumstances that require taking ‘immediate action’.
  • Parliament should approve: Ordinances must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate. The same will cease to operate if disapproved by either House.
  • In various judicial pronouncements, the Supreme Court has held that the President’s Ordinance making power is not beyond the scope of judicial review.

Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR)

  • An adult tiger was recently killed in Satpura Tiger Reserve, allegedly by poachers who carried away its head.

About Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR):

  • It is located in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is located in the Satpura ranges of the Central Indian Landscape.
  • It lies south of the river Narmada.
  • Satpura, basically meaning "Seven Folds", forms a watershed between Narmada and Tapti Rivers.
  • Corridor: It has corridor connectivity with Pench National Park.
  • The habitat is also an important testimony to human evolution as it houses more than 50 rock shelters which are almost 1500 to 10,000 years old.
  • Geological formations include the Deccan trap series, Gondwanas and Metamorphic rocks.
  • Vegetation: Southern tropical moist deciduous forest, Southern tropical dry deciduous forest, Tropical riparian fringing forest, southern tropical thorn forest, central Indian sun tropical hill forest, Dry and moist grassland.

Octopus nursery

  • Recently, marine scientists have discovered a new Octopus nursery off the coast of Costa Rica.

About Octopus nursery:

  • The newly found nursery is almost two miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
  • This nursery belongs to the genus of Muusoctopus, and don’t have ink sacs - an organ found in most cephalopods.

Key facts about Octopus

  • It is a marine mollusc and a member of the class Cephalopoda, more commonly called cephalopods. 
  • Cephalopoda means “head foot” in Greek, and in this class of organisms the head and feet are merged.
  • A ring of eight equally-long arms surrounds the head. They use their arms to "walk" on seafloor.
  • The undersides of the arms are covered with suction cups that are very sensitive to touch and taste.
  • The sack-like body is perched atop the head, which has two complex and sensitive eyes, while the mouth is on the underside.
  • They have three functioning hearts.
  • Two of the hearts work exclusively to move blood to the gills, while the third pumps blood through the rest of the body.
  • Their blood is copper-based which is more efficient at transporting oxygen at low temperatures and makes their blood blue in colour.
  • They are solitary creatures excellent at camouflaging and concealing themselves.
  • They are about 90 percent muscle, and because they lack bones, they can fit through very small spaces.
  • Their skin contains cells called chromatophores that allow the octopus to change colour and pattern.
  • They are found in every ocean of the world.

India-France Maritime Partnership Exercise

  • Indian Naval ships INS Rana and INS Sumedha undertook a Maritime Partnership Exercise with French Navy ship FS Surcouf in the Bay of Bengal on 30th June 2023.

About India-France Maritime Partnership Exercise:

  • INS Rana, a guided missile destroyer and INS Sumedha, an indigenously built offshore patrol vessel were from the Indian Navy side.
  • The French Navy’s La Fayette class frigate Surcouf participated in a variety of activities with Indian Navy ships.
  • The Exercise included tactical manoeuvres, replenishment at sea approaches, air defence against fighter aircraft and cross deck helicopter operations.
  • Location: Bay of Bengal.
  • The Partnership Exercise signifies the strong navy-to-navy links, interoperability and strong bonds between Indian Navy and French Navy. 

Other Exercises with France:



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Courtesy: The Hindu