Factly articles for 29th July 2020

13 min read

1.Union Environment Minister releases Tiger Census report on Global Tiger Day

News: Union Environment Minister has released a detailed report of All India Tiger Census 2018 ahead of Global Tiger Day.

Facts:

  • The All India tiger estimation has been carried out once in every four years since 2006.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tigers: The total count of tigers has risen to 2,967 in 2018 from 2,226 in 2014 — an increase of 741 individuals or 33% in four years.
  • Tiger population within reserves is 1,923 (65% of the total tiger population of India) which means 35% of the tiger population still lives outside the reserves.
  • State wise: Madhya Pradesh has maximum tigers at 526 followed by Karnataka at 524 and 442 in Uttarakhand.
  • Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in the tiger population and all other States saw a positive increase.
  • Highest Tiger Reserves: Corbett Tiger Reserve(Uttarakhand) has the highest tigers followed by Nagarhole tiger reserve(Karnataka) and Bandipur Tiger Reserve(Karnataka).
  • Dampa Tiger Reserve(Mizoram), Buxa Tiger Reserve(West Bengal) and Palamau Reserve(Jharkhand) have no tigers left.

Additional Facts:

  • Global Tiger Day: It was observed for the first time in 2010 on July 29th at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia when all 13 tiger range countries came together for the first time with the commitment of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.
  • 13 tiger range countries: India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Project Tiger: It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Government of India launched in 1973 for in-situ conservation of wild tigers in designated tiger reserves.

2.BelYo, India’s first Covid-19 blockchain platform goes live

Facts:

  • BelYo: It is the country’s first COVID-19 blockchain platform that converts COVID-19 related clinical and vaccination data of citizens from physical form into digital assets which can be retrieved by contact tracing apps like Aarogya Setu.
  • Developed by: BelfricsBT, a global blockchain start-up along with IlIT Bangalore.

Additional Facts:

  • Blockchain Technology: It is a digital, immutable, distributed ledger that chronologically records transactions in near real time.It is managed by a cluster of computers and not owned by any single entity; therefore, it is decentralized.

3.High levels of ammonia in Yamuna water: the cause and effect

News: Delhi Jal Board(DJB) had to reduce water production capacity by 25% after high levels of ammonia were detected in the Yamuna river.

Facts:

  • Ammonia: It is a colourless gas and is used as an industrial chemical in the production of fertilisers, plastics, synthetic fibres, dyes and other products.
  • How does it occur? It occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of organic waste matter and may also find its way to ground and surface water sources through industrial effluents or through contamination by sewage.
  • Acceptable level of Ammonia: If the concentration of ammonia in water is above 1 ppm it is toxic to fishes.In humans, long term ingestion of water having ammonia levels of 1 ppm or above may cause damage to internal organs.

Additional Facts:

  • Yamuna River: It is the second-largest tributary river of the Ganga and the longest tributary in India.It originates from the Yamunotri Glacier in Uttarakhand and merges with Ganga at Prayagraj.It flows through the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.

4.Operation Breathing Space

Facts: Operation Breathing Space is a collaboration between India and Israel to jointly conduct trials to determine the effectiveness of advanced technologies developed for the rapid diagnosis of coronavirus infection.The cooperation also includes sharing the most effective treatment protocols for COVID-19 patients.

5.Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis(CAWACH)

News: A Bangalore-based startup has developed a mobile app named ‘Lyfas’ for detection and risk assessment of Covid-19-infected individuals.This application was developed with support from the CAWACH Initiative.

Facts:

  • Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH): It is an initiative by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board(NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology(DST).
  • Aim: To support innovations in the areas of diagnostics, devices, bioinformatics or any startup ideas that addresses various challenges faced by the country due to the severe impact of COVID-19.
  • Implementation: Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay has been selected for Implementation.

Additional Facts:

  • NSTEDB: It was established in 1982 under the Department of Science and Technology with an objective of promoting gainful self-employment amongst the Science and Technology(S&T) manpower in the country and to set up knowledge based and innovation driven enterprises.

6.Explained: What is spyware and stalkerware?

News: According to a report,there was a 51% increase in the use of spyware and stalkerware during the lockdown period from March to June.

Facts:

  • Spyware and Stalkerware: These are apps like viruses and malware that infect devices that are connected to the internet.
  • However, unlike viruses and malware that can be detected by anti-virus software, spyware and stalkerware disguise themselves as useful and send out stolen data to central servers without the knowledge of the users.
  • How are they installed? A spyware app can be installed remotely.On the other hand, stalkerware apps can be installed only when someone has physical access to the digitally connected device.
  • What do they do? A spyware app accesses the data usage pattern of the device, gains access to photos and videos as well as other personal information of the user and then passes it off to a central server.
    • A stalkerware app also works in a manner similar to spyware apps.It also gives out the location of the device to a master device which controls the stalkerware app.

7.India’s easternmost part generating moderate quakes at two different depths: Study

News: Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology(WIHG) has conducted a study pertaining to the Arunachal Himalaya which has revealed that the area is generating moderate earthquakes at two different crustal depths.

Facts:

Important Terms Related to the Study:

  • Tuting-Tidding Suture Zone(TTSZ): It is a major part of the Eastern Himalaya where the Himalaya takes a sharp southward bend and connects with the Indo-Burma Range.
    • This part has gained importance due to growing need of constructing roads and hydropower projects emphasising the need for understanding the pattern of seismicity in this region.
  • Mohorovicic or Moho Discontinuity: It is the boundary between the crust and the mantle.In geology, the word discontinuity is used for a surface at which seismic waves change velocity.

8.Explained: What are pre-packs under the present insolvency regime?

News: The Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA) has set up a committee to look into the possibility of including “pre-packs” under the current insolvency regime to offer faster insolvency resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC),

Facts:

  • Pre-Pack: It is a pre-planned process in which a financially distressed company and its creditors reach an agreement with a buyer for its sale prior to initiating insolvency proceedings.The sale then takes place on the date of initiation of insolvency proceedings or after the appointment of insolvency administrator.
    • In India’s case, such a system would likely require the approval of the resolution plan from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
  • Global Scenario: The pre pack system of insolvency proceedings has become increasingly popular in the UK and Europe over the past decade.
  • Benefits:
    • Pre-packs avoid lengthy negotiations with creditors after the commencement of insolvency proceedings enabling expeditious insolvency resolution with minimal involvement of courts and tribunals.
    • In the case of pre-packs, the incumbent management retains control of the company until a final agreement is reached.
  • Drawback:
    • The key drawback of a pre-packaged insolvency resolution is the reduced transparency compared to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process(CIRP) as financial creditors would reach an agreement with a potential investor privately and not through an open bidding process.

Additional Facts:

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code(IBC): It was implemented through an act of Parliament in 2016.It provides for a time-bound process to resolve insolvency and the code applies to companies, partnerships and individuals.