DAILY PRELIMS NEWSLETTER (UPSC) |24 Feb 2021| RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

24 FEB 2021

Table Of Contents

Environment…………………………………………………………………1

  • Crocodilian Species in India ………………………………..1

Polity and Governance………………………………………………….2

  • Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019…..2

Art and Culture………………………………………………………………3

  • Sher Shah Gate……………………………………………………….3

Places in News……………………………………………………………….3

  • Mahadayi river…………………………………………………………3

News in Short………………………………………………………………..4

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) ……………………..4
  • Kala Namak Rice……………………………………………………..4

Environment

Crocodilian Species in India

Why in News?

Recently a crocodile was rescued from a pond in Navi Mumbai.

Related Information:

Three crocodilian species are found in India:

  1. Mugger or Marsh Crocodile:
  • The mugger is an egg-laying and hole-nesting species of crocodile.
  • Habitat:
    • Mostly restricted to the Indian subcontinent.
    • Mainly found in freshwater habitats like rivers, lakes, and marshes.
    • It is already extinct in neighbouring countries of Bhutan and Myanmar.
  1. Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodile:
  • It is the largest of all living reptilesincluding that of crocodiles.
  • The saltwater crocodile is infamous globally as a known maneater.
  • Habitat:
    • Found on eastern coast on India including- Bhitarkanika National Park (Odisha), the Sundarbans (West Bengal) and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands.
    • Also found across Southeast Asia and northern Australia.
  1. Gharial
  • Gharials have a long, thin snouts which resembles a pot (ghara in Hindi).
  • Role as Indicator Species: The presence of Gharials are a good indicator of clean river water.
  • Gharials are fish eating species and is known to be a relatively harmless to humans.
  • Habitat:
    • Mainly found in fresh waters of the Himalayan rivers like Ghagra, gandak, Girwa, Ramganga and the Sone river.
    • Also found in Chambal river (Madhya Pradesh).

 

Protection Status of these species are indicated below:

 

Mugger

Saltwater Crocodile

Gharial

IUCN List

Vulnerable

Least Concern

Critically Endangered

CITES

Appendix I

Appendix I

Appendix I

WPA

Schedule I

Schedule I

Schedule I

Polity and Governance

Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019

Why in News?

The Supreme Court has criticised the Union government for having not filed a reply to a petition challenging the amendments made to the RTI Act for over a year.

About RTI Act, 2005

  • The act sets out the rules and procedures regarding citizens’ right to information.
  • This act was enacted to consolidate the fundamental right in the Indian constitution guaranteed under‘ freedom of speech and expression’.
  • RTI is implicit FR in the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Key Provisions:

  • Suo motu disclosure of information by each public authority.
  • Some exemptions against furnishing information are also mentioned.
  • The act also provides for disclosure of information exempted under Official Secrets Act, 1923 if larger public interest is served.
  • The Act provides for appointment of Information Commissioners at Central and State level.
  • Public authorities must designate some of its officers as Public Information Officer (PIO). They are responsible to give information to the person seeking information under the RTI Act.
  • Time period of furnishing information:
    • Normally, within 30 days from the receipt of application by the public authority.
    • If information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, it shall be furnished within 48 hours.

Applicabilty of RTI Act:

  • Private bodies: not within the Act’s ambit directly. However, CIC has held that privatised public utility companies fall within the purview of RTI e.g. Electricity DISCOMS.
  • Political parties:
    • CIC had held that the political parties are public authorities and are answerable to citizens under the RTI Act.
    • However in 2013 the government by an Amendment removed political parties from the scope of the law.
  • Chief Justice of India:
    • Supreme Court upheld that the office of Chief Justice of India is under the purview of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Key Provisions of RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019:

  • The GoIis given the power to set the salaries and service conditions of Information Commissioners at central as well as state levels.
  • Term of the central CIC and ICs: Appointment will be “for such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”.

Art and Culture

Sher Shah Gate

Why in News?

Recently, the officials of ASI said that restoration of Sher Shah Gate would be completed by the year end.

About Sher Shah Gate

  • The gate served as the southern entrance to city of Shergarh, in Delhi.
  • The gate was mostly built with red sandstone and used grey quartzite in its upper storey, is thus called the Lal Darwaza.
  • The gate was built by Sher Shah Suri of the Sur dynasty during his reign as emperor of North India from 1540 to1545.
  • Shergarh city was built when Sher Shah Suri took control of the Mughal Empire after defeating emperor Humayun in 1540.

Places in News

Mahadayi river

  • The river has 2/3rd of its basin in Goa and remaining in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  • It is a rain-fed river also called Mandovi in Goa.
  • It originates at Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, Belagavi (Karnataka).
  • It is a west-flowing river,joining theArabian Sea at Panaji.
  • Karnataka and Goa have inter-state river water dispute over this river.

News in Short

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

  • The Defence Acquisition Council is the highest decision-making body in the Defence Ministry for deciding on new policies and capital acquisitions for:
    • The three services (Army, Navy and Air Force), and
    • The Indian Coast Guard.
  • Chairman of the Council: Union Minister of Defence
  • It was formed after recommendation of theGroup of Ministerson ‘Reforming the National Security System‘, in 2001, post Kargil War (1999).
  • Objective of DAC:
    • To ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the armed forces
    • Optimal utilization of the allocated budgetary resources.

Kala Namak Rice

  • To boost farm exports, UP will export this variety of rice to Singapore.
  • It is a non-basmati scented rice grown primarily in Tarai region of UP.
  • It is so named because its husk isblack.
  • It is highly resistant to many rice diseases like panicle blast, stem rot and brown spot.
  • Water requirement is alsolow compared to Basmati rice.
  • Kalanamak Rice is also known as ‘Buddha ka Mahaprasad‘ (an offering to Lord Buddha).
  • It has been rebranded as Buddha Riceto promote it in Buddhist countries.
  • Fa Hein, the famous Chinese monk and traveller wrote that Gautama Buddha (Buddha) once stated that the rice “will have typical aroma which will always remind people of me,”
  • Kalanamak Rice was granted the Geographical Indication(GI) Tag in 2012 by the GoI.

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