Gir national park and wildlife sanctuary, often seen in news , is famous for which species ?
Why in News:
Recently, eight Asiatic lions at Hyderabad’s Nehru Zoological Park have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
- The Asiatic Lion (Indian Lion) is a member of the Panthera Leo Leo subspecies that is restricted to India.
- At present Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary(GUJARAT)is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.
- IUCN Red List: Endangered
- CITES: Appendix I
- Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule I
- The“Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” has been launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
- It has been approved for three financial years from 2018 to 2021.
Who releases Purchasing Manager Index ?
Why in News:
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 55.5 in April 2021, little changed from March’s reading of 55.4.
- It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception about key business variables as compared with the previous month.
- The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors.
- It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is also constructed.
- The PMI is a number from 0 to 100.
- A print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction.
- A reading at 50 indicates no change.
- It is usually released at the start of every month. It is, therefore, considered a good leading indicator of economic activity.
- PMI is compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide.
UNESCO observed which day as World Press Freedom Index Day ?
Why in News:
The World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is an annual celebration of press freedom, observed on 3rd May every year.
- The main celebration is organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
- The theme for WPFD 2021 is “Information as a Public Good”.
Three Key Highlights of WPFD 2021:
- Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media.
- Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies.
- Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.
- India has been ranked 142ndout of 180 nations in the World Press Freedom Index, 2021, published by Reporters without Borders.
In India, in the overall index of industrial production, the indices of eight core industries have a combined share of 40.27%.which of the following has the highest share among eight core industries?
Why in News:
The eight core sectors grew by 6.8% in March 2021 (the highest in 32 months).
About Eight Core Sectors:
- These comprise 27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
- The eight core sector industries in decreasing order of their weightage: Refinery Products> Electricity> Steel> Coal> Crude Oil> Natural Gas> Cement> Fertilizers.
Index of Industrial Production:
- IIP is an indicator that measures the changes in the volume of production of industrial products during a given period.
- It is compiled and published monthly by theNational Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- It is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under:
- Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.
- Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods, and Intermediate Goods.
- Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012.
Xylophis Deepaki, a snake has been named after which famous herpetologist ?
A tiny snake “Xylophis deepaki” has been named in honour of Indian herpetologist Deepak Veerappan for his contribution in erecting a new subfamily Xylophiinae to accommodate wood snakes.
- The common name suggested for the species is ‘Deepak’s wood snake’.
About Xylophis deepaki:
- It is a tiny snake of just 20 cm length with iridescent scales.
- It was first found on a coconut plantation in Kanyakumari.
- It is now reported to be an endemic species of Tamil Nadu and also been sighted in some parts of the southern Western Ghats.
- It is found in the drier regions and in lower altitudes around Agasthyamalai hills.
- It is a small genus of snakes in the family Pareidae.
- It has five species, all of which are endemic to the Western Ghats in southern India.
- Five Species: Xylophis Captaini, Xylophis deepaki, Xylophis Mosaicus, Xylophis Perroteri and Xylophis Stenorhynchus.
- These five species constitute the monotypic subfamily Xylophiinae.
- They are the only pareidae snakes found in India and the only snakes in the family found outside Southeast Asia.
Mayflower 400, seen recently in news, is -
Why in News ?
Mayflower 400 is the world’s first Artificial Intelligence ship.
About Mayflower 400
- It is 15m long and weighs 9 tonnes. It is basically a trimaran that navigates with complete autonomy. The ship is covered with solar panels.
- The ship is to study marine pollution and analyze plastics in water. The voyage is important because more than 80% of the underwater world remains unexplored.
- It has been taught on how to avoid collisions. Thus, the ship can correct itself. It has been trained with hundred hours of audio data. The training will help the ship to detect the presence of marine animals and thereby provide information about the population distribution of these animals in the ocean.
- Sophisticated cameras and radars will act as the eyes and ears of the ship. There are six cameras in the ship.
- The research team is to monitor the ship twenty-four hours from England.
- It is capable of self-activating a hydrophone that can listen to whales.
- After the launch, Mayflower will become the first unmanned vehicle to cross the Atlantic Ocean
Brood X, seen recently in news, is a -
Why in News ?
Cicadas are the world longest living insects. They are winged, red eyed insects that live underground feeding on the roots. They emerge from the underground once in 12-17 years.
Recently, it has been predicted that a group of Cicadas called the “Brood X Cicadas” are to emerge across the mid-Atlantic for the first time since 2004
- Brood X is one of the 15 known broods of periodical cicadas.
- They are now to emerge in Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, Washington DC, Indiana.
- Cicadas molt as they emerge from underground. Molt is to shed skin or hair or feathers paving way for the new growth. The molts add up nutrients to the soil. The total biomass of cicadas is greater than the biomass of cattle the area can support if it were to turned into pastures.
As they emerge from the underground, they live in trees feeding on leaves. The Desert Cicadas regulate their body temperatures by evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling is similar to sweating.
QUESTION: Brood X, seen recently in news, is a –
Parker solar probe, launched by NASA in 2018, aims to reach _______ kilometres from centre of sun to study the outer corona of sun.
Why in News ?
The NASA Spacecraft Parker Solar Probe has discovered a natural radio signal from Venus. These signals were detected when the space probe flew over the upper atmosphere of Venus.
Parker Solar Probe
It was launched in 2018 to study about the outer corona of the sun. It is to reach to 9.86 solar radii, that is, 6.9 million kilometers from the centre of the sun by 2025. The three main objectives of Parker Solar Probe are as follows:
- To trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar wind and solar corona.
- To determine the structure of magnetic field and plasma at the sources of solar winds.
- To explore about the mechanisms that accelerate energetic particles
- What did Parker Solar Probe find?
The Parker Solar probe has measured the Venus’ atmosphere.
- This is the first direct measurement of the planet’s atmosphere in thirty years.
- According to the findings of Parker Solar Probe, just like the earth, planet Venus also has an electrically charged layer of gas in its upper atmosphere called the ionosphere.
- The radio signal was picked up by the probe from a sea of charged particles in this layer.
Also, the space probe has confirmed that the upper Venus atmosphere undergoes changes over a solar cycle.
Venus and Earth
Both the Earth and Venus are of similar size and structure and are called twin planets. However, unlike the Earth, Venus lacks magnetic field and its surface is hot enough to melt lead.
In which north eastern Indian state, a fragmented fossil bone of Sauropod dinosaur has been found for the first time ?
Why in News ?
The researchers in the Geological Survey of India recently found fossil bone fragments of Sauropod dinosaurs. They were 100 million years old. These dinosaur bones were found in West Khasi hills in the district of Meghalaya. This is the first record of the Sauropods discovered in the region.
- They had very long necks, small heads, long tails and four pillar like legs.
- The findings of Sauropods in Meghalaya make it the fifth state after Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Also, Meghalaya is the only state in the North-East to report Sauropod bones.
- The first dinosaur bone was discovered at the Bara Simla Hill in Jabalpur Cantonment.
Dinosaurs in India
- Dinosaurs in India existed from the late Triassic period till the Cretaceous period.
- The Rajasaurus dinosaur originated in India.
- Of all the dinosaurs found in India, Barapasaurus was the biggest in India. It was four metres tall and 24 metres in length. The fiercest was the Tyrannosaurus rex.
The MeerKAT telescope which was used recently in the discovery of milli second pulsars is located in -
Why in News ?
A group of astronomers has discovered 8 millisecond pulsars located within dense clusters of stars, known as “globular clusters,” using South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope.
What are Milli second Pulsars ?
- Millisecond pulsars are neutron stars, the most compact star known, that spin up to 700 times per second.
- Millisecond pulsars are extremely compact stars mainly made up of neutrons, and are amongst the most extreme objects in the universe
- They pack hundreds of thousands of times the mass of the Earth in a sphere with a diameter of about 24 km
- They emit a beam of radio waves that are detected by the observer at every rotation, like a lighthouse. The formation of these objects is highly enhanced in the star-rich environments at the centres of globular clusters.
How were the milli second pulsars discovered?
- This Pulsar discovery is the first using MeerKAT telescope.
- The Pulsar discovery comes from two international collaborations TRAPUM and MeerTIME.
- The discovery will help the Globular Cluster Pulsar Survey of TRAPUM.
It is a Karoo Array telescope with sixty-four antennas. Also, it is a radio telescope. It is located in the Northern Cape of South Africa. It is soon to be expanded to MeerKAT+ by installing twenty more antennas.
Under which ministry SVAMITVA SCHEME has been launched:
Why in News:
Recently, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has released the new framework for implementation of the SVAMITVA Scheme.
- SVAMITVAstands for Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas.
- Launch:It is a centre sector scheme which was launched nationally on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2021.
- Aim:To provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India.
- The demarcation of rural inhabited areaswould be done using Drone survey and CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Stations) Networks which provides mapping accuracy of 5 cms.
- This would provide the‘record of rights’ to village household owners possessing houses in inhabited rural areas in villages.
- It will cover around 6.62 Lakh villagesof the entire country during 2021-2025.
- To bringfinancial stability to the citizens in rural India by enabling them to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits.
- Nodal Ministry:Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR)
- Survey of Indiais a Technology Implementation Agency.