News: The Government of India has decided to launch a massive rural public works scheme named ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan’.
- Aim: To empower and provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens.
- Coverage: It will be implemented across 116 districts in the six States namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.
- Features: The campaign will run for 125 days.It will involve 25 different types of works to provide employment to the migrant workers on one hand and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country on the other hand.
- Implementation: It will be operationalised through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
- Ministerial Involved: It will be a coordinated effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture.
News: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) has released the Global Trends Report.
- Five countries account for two-thirds of people displaced across borders: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.
- Around 80 million people were displaced at the end of 2019. Conflict, Persecution, Violence, Human rights violations were the main reasons behind the displacements.
- Forced displacement has almost doubled since 2010 (41 million then vs 79.5 million now).
- More than eight of every 10 refugees (85 per cent) are in developing countries generally a country neighbouring the one they fled.
- UNHCR: It was created in 1950.It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.
- Purpose: To protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
News: Union Health Minister has launched the country’s first mobile I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic lab) for last mile coronavirus(COVID-19) testing access.
- I-Lab: It is a mobile testing laboratory that will be used for collecting samples and testing for Covid-19 across inaccessible areas in the country.
- The lab is supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology under the COVID Command strategy.
News: World Crocodile Day is being celebrated on the 17th June.
Crocodile species found in India:
Mugger or Marsh Crocodile:
- Habitat: It is a freshwater crocodile native to southern Iran to the Indian subcontinent.It is extinct in Bhutan and Myanmar.
- IUCN Status: Vulnerable
- CITES: Appendix I
- Threats: a) Habitat destruction b) Entanglement and drowning in fishing equipment and c) Increasing incidents of conflict with humans.
Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodile:
- It is considered as the Earth’s largest living crocodile species native to saltwater habitats and brackish wetlands.
- Habitat: It is found throughout the east coast of India, Southeast Asia and northern Australia.
- IUCN Status: Least Concern
- Threats: a) Illegal hunting b) habitat loss and c) antipathy toward the species because of its reputation as a man-eater.
- Distribution: It was once found across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.However,currently it survives in several severely fragmented populations in India and Nepal.
- Protected areas: National Chambal Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
- IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
- Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972: Schedule I
- CITES: Appendix I
- Threats: Construction of Dam, barrages, and water abstraction, entanglement in fishing nets, River bed cultivation and sand mining.
News: The excavations at Kodumanal village have thrown light on burial rituals and the concept of afterlife in megalithic culture.
- Kodumanal: It is a village located in the Erode district in Tamil Nadu.It is located on the northern banks of Noyyal River, a tributary of the Cauvery.
- Significance: It was once a flourishing ancient trade city known as Kodumanam as inscribed in Pathitrupathu of Sangam Literature.
- Megalithic Culture: It is a large prehistoric stone culture that lasted from the Neolithic Stone Age to the early Historical Period (2500 BC to AD 200) across the world.
- In India, archaeologists trace the majority of the megaliths to the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC) though some sites precede the Iron Age extending up to 2000 BC.
- India: Megaliths are spread across the peninsular India concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- Purpose: They were constructed as burial sites or as commemorative (non-sepulchral) memorials.
- Burial Sites: These are actual burial remains such as dolmenoid cists (box-shaped stone burial chambers), cairn circles (stone circles with defined peripheries) and capstones (distinctive mushroom-shaped burial chambers found mainly in Kerala).
- Non-sepulchral megaliths: These include memorial sites such as menhirs.
- Menhir is the name used in Western Europe for a single upright stone erected in prehistoric times sometimes called a standing stone.