‘’Paper 4-GS-V, Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

Elephant corridor plan hits speed breaker

   Insights:

  • In 2010, the Odisha govt had identified 14 corridors to help the animals move without disturbance.
  • Seven years after identifying 14 corridors, the Odisha government has not yet started executing the management plan for protection of fragmented forest patches.
  • The government has also shown reluctance to give legal sanctity to these corridors by formally issuing notifications.

   Activists says:

  • Wildlife activists alleged the government was under pressure from the mining lobby.
  • Notification of the 14 corridors will not entirely address the larger objective of conservation of elephants.
  • Therefore, it is not necessary to notify corridors under any Act, but corridors are to be identified afresh based on the report of Asian Nature Conservation Fund.
  • These corridors would not only have helped the elephants move without any disturbance, but also increase the chance of genetic diversity.
  • The 14 corridors covered a total 870.6 sq km over nine different districts. During the survey, presence of elephants had been noticed in places where elephants had never been found before.
  • Subsequently, another 9 corridors were identified with the help of an expert.

   Public Money invested:

  • Management plans for the corridors were to then be executed from 2012-13 to 2017-18.
  • The State government has wasted Rs. 20.06 crore of public money for corridor management and improvement since five years.
  • It is inconceivable why money should be spent on corridor management if the forest department is not sure of its viability or function.
  • Many corridors face threats from quarrying, railway lines, overhead electric lines and highways.
  • For obvious reasons, there is a delay in notifying the corridors. Once notified, the government might be compelled to not allow mining.

   Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

‘Photosynthesis can save hearts’

   Insights:

  • Stanford University scientists have found that using blue-green algae and light to trigger photosynthesis inside the heart could help treat cardiac disease, the top cause of death globally.
  • Researchers injected a type of bacteria into the hearts of anaesthetised rats with cardiac disease.
  • Using light to trigger photosynthesis, they were able to increase the flow of oxygen and improve heart function.
  • The beauty of it is that it’s a recycling system. The bacteria is delivered, they take up carbon dioxide, and with energy from the light, they form oxygen.
  • The genesis of this concept sprang from scientists searching for new ways to deliver oxygen to the heart when blood flow is restricted. This condition, known as cardiac ischemia, is most often caused by coronary artery disease.

   Medical Details:

  • In nature, humans exhale carbon dioxide and plants convert it back to oxygen. During a heart attack, the muscle is still trying to pump. There’s carbon dioxide but no oxygen.
  • Researchers first tried grinding up spinach and kale and combining each with heart cells in a dish, but the chloroplasts — the photosynthetic organs — of those plants were not stable enough to survive outside of the plant cell.
  • Researchers tried photosynthetic bacteria, referred to as cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, since it has a more rugged structure necessary for living in water.
  • They repeated the same tests to see whether these photosynthetic bacteria had the ability to survive with heart cells in a dish.
  • The next round of experiments involved injecting the cyanobacteria into the beating hearts of anaesthetised rats with cardiac ischemia.
  • They then compared the heart function of rats with their hearts exposed to light (for less than 20 minutes) to those who were kept in the dark.
  • The bacteria dissipated within 24 hours, but the improved cardiac function continued for at least four weeks.

    Source: Times of India

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

‘BRICS must lead globalisation’

   Effect of globalization:

  • Conference urges nations to stand for open world economy.
  • A major brainstorming exercise involving political parties, think tanks and civil society organisations of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping have counselled emerging economies to lead a new wave of globalisation, and step up the fight against international terrorism.
  • The two-day conference organised by the Communist Party of China (CPC) proposed recommendations for the September summit of BRICS in Xiamen, a coastal city in southeastern China.
  • It advised that a coalition of emerging economies and developing countries should lead the combat against climate change — a proposal that is aimed to fill the leadership vacuum following the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
  • The Fuzhou conference focused on rewriting the rules of global economic governance led by a coalition of BRICS and developing countries. It also urged the emerging economies to promote sustainable globalisation, and build coalitions to counter climate change.

   Initiative details:

  • The Fuzhou Initiative, released at the end of the conference, pointed out that on account of the “setbacks and global challenges” experienced by globalisation, the BRICS and developing countries must stand firm to preserve and foster an open world economy, champion multilateral trade regime and facilitate healthy development of economic globalisation.
  • The BRICS should also work towards “a more equitable and reasonable international order, whose rules are no longer defined by the great powers that emerged after the World War II.
  • The initiative also recommended that Intelligence sharing and a cyber-security focus among BRICS should be integrated as part of a collective counter-terrorism strategy.

    Source: The Hindu