Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: – Important Geophysical phenomena.

Centre, states discuss monsoon preparedness

Insights of meeting:

  • The central and state governments on Wednesday discussed issues related to monsoon preparedness, including disaster managements plans, and emphasised on greater co-ordination among various agencies.
  • Early warning systems, flood relief measures, checking the readiness of equipment and communication systems, advance procurement of necessary relief material, community based disaster management and coordinated approach for disaster response at the district level were highlighted at the meeting.
  • The need for coordination among all the central and state government agencies was re-emphasised.
  • Why this conference held?
  • The conference was convened primarily to review the status of preparedness for dealing with any natural disaster that may occur due to the south-west monsoon this year.
  • Who attended meeting?
  • Representatives of 28 states, two Union territories, national disaster response force (NDRF), central ministries, central armed police forces (CAPFs), India meteorological department (IMD) and central water commission (CWC) were present.
  • Officials of DRDO, GSI, ISRO and other scientific organisations, representatives of armed forces participated in the conference.
  • The IMD, the national disaster management authority (NDMA), CWC, NDRF, snow & avalanches study establishment (SASE), ministry of defence, and ISRO, department of space made presentations on their respective field.
  • What presentations were about?
  • These were related to forecasting, warning and dissemination mechanism and future plans for enhancing capability in the field of disaster management.
  • The conference also discussed measures and good practices being adopted by the state governments and government of India to address disaster management related issues in the country.

Source: Indian Express

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

Hurdles on the Silk Route

What is important to know:

  • Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal did not sign any agreements during his week-long visit to China in March.
  • President Xi Jinping gave two advice to Dahal, first, to enhance trust between the two sides and second, to make enforcement (of past agreements) a priority.
  • China gave Nepal’s PM a tag.Global Times wrote on the eve of Dahal’s visit that he would try to dispel the impression that he is “pro-India”.
  • The pro-India tag sticks on Dahal as he was in India for eight years during the decade-long insurgency that began in 1996. India mediated the peace process in Nepal and the Maoists came to the centrestage of Nepali politics.
  • In recent times, K.P. Oli, as Prime Minister, signed many deals with China and brought the two countries very close to each other on diplomatic and trade relations. He was soon replaced. China became suspicious of Dahal since he replaced Oli as PM.
  • No progress on OBOR.The deals Oli signed, including Nepal’s commitment to join China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, have not moved an inch forward ever since he left office. Global Times’ view clearly implied that New Delhi was behind it.
  • President Xi had cancelled his visit to Nepal at the last hour in October and instead visited Bangladesh. Dahal played host to President Pranab Mukherjee.
  • Before Dahal was to leave for Beijing, Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan met him, with the offer to supply heavy equipment for Nepal’s army.
  • The visit of Minister Chang comes nearly a month prior to Nepal-China joint military training, a first in 60 years of bilateral relations.
  • Nepal-India relation.Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat visited Nepal to receive the title of the “Honorary General” of the Nepal army, a reciprocal arrangement between the two countries since 1965 and assured extensive cooperation to further the “age-old ties” between the two armies.
  • Both sides are aware of the political mess-up in Nepal and the emergence of the Maoists at the centrestage of mainstream politics, thanks to the mediation by India, has strained relations between the two armies.
  • That the Nepal army today looks for help from China is a direct fallout of the Indian government’s support to the Maoists.

Source: Hindustan Times

Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

Massive hatching of Olive Ridley turtles begins

What data says:

  • Thousands of hatchlings are coming out of the nests buried under sand on this coast to venture into the sea.
  • The Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district of Odisha is a major nesting site for Olive Ridley turtles in India. This year, over 3,85,000 turtles reached the coast to lay eggs.
  • Each nest contains around 100 eggs. This means over three crore hatchlings are expected to come out of the nests. On an average, 80 hatchlings come out of each nest.
  • As the rate of mortality among the hatchlings is high, the Olive Ridley remains an endangered species.

The Hatching Process:

  • The eggs in a small number of nests had started hatching on April 2. The process picked up on the night of April 7 and is expected to last for the next five days.
  • This year, hatching was delayed by a few days because of the rains on the night of April 2. Rains reduce sand temperature and slow down incubation.
  • The young ones come out of the sand 48 hours after they hatch. During this period, they remain under the sand, getting oxygen through the porous sand cover, their outer shells turning hard for them to cope with the condition outside.
  • The hatchlings come out of the nests at the dead of night or in early morning and move towards the sea. As they are sensitive to light, they stray to the land sometimes, attracted by the glare of electric lights.
  • Forest Department has asked the local body of the nearby Ganjam town and the plant of Jayashree Chemicals Limited (JCL) to switch off major lights after 9 p.m. until the hatching is over.
  • Some of the hatchlings straying to the land get caught in the nets on the coast, from Gokharkuda to Podampeta. They are collected by volunteers and Forest Department officials and released in the sea. Visitors also volunteer to do this work.

Source: The Hindu