News: The paper titled ‘A strategic road map for conserving the endangered dhole Cuon alpinus in India’, was published by the Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society-India and others.
- Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh rank high in conservation of dhole.
- On the other hand, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana and Goa will need to take measures to conserve dhole.
- Dhole: It is also known as Asian wild dog, Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red dog and mountain wolf.
- Habitat: It is native to Central, South and Southeast Asia.
- IUCN Status: Endangered
- CITES: Appendix II
- Wildlife Protection Act: Schedule II
- Threats: a) Depletion of prey base b) Habitat loss and transformation, c) Retaliatory killings due to livestock predation d) Disease and pathogens and e) Competition with other species like Tigers and Leopards for prey.
News: Ecuador is on alert due to the appearance of Chinese fishing boats off its Galapagos Islands.
- Galápagos Islands: It is an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean.It is administratively a province of Ecuador.
- Formation: The islands were formed at the meeting point of three tectonic plates—the Nazca, Cocos, and Pacific and are situated at the crossroads of three major Pacific currents.
- World Heritage Site: In 1978, the Galapagos islands was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Significance: The islands are known for their large number of endemic species such as land iguana, giant tortoise that were studied by Charles Darwin which contributed to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution.
News: Government of India has launched ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan- 2020-21’.
- Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan(VVM): It is a program for popularizing science among school students of standard VI to XI to identify the bright minds with a scientific aptitude among the student community.
- Bodies Involved: It is an initiative of Vijnana Bharati(VIBHA) in collaboration with Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organization under the Department of Science and Technology and NCERT, an institution under the Ministry of Education.
- Barakah nuclear power plant: It is the United Arab Emirates’s first nuclear power station and the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab World.
- The Nuclear plant has achieved criticality and has successfully started towards power production.
- Criticality: It is a term that signifies the initiation of a controlled but sustained nuclear fission reaction.
- Nuclear Fission: It is a process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller nuclei and usually some byproduct particles.
- When the nucleus splits, the kinetic energy of the fission fragments is transferred to other atoms in the fuel as heat energy, which is eventually used to produce steam to drive the turbines.
News: The Bombay High Court has said that the Nag river has become extremely polluted due to industrialisation and urbanisation.
- Nag River: It is a river flowing through the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra.
- Origin: The river originates in Lava hills near wadi and forms a part of the Kanhan-Pench river system.
- Significance: The Nagpur city derives its name from the Nag river.
News: SpaceX and NASA have successfully completed the final phase of their Demo-2 mission for the Crew Dragon spacecraft after two NASA astronauts returned to Earth safely.
- Crew Dragon Demo-2: It is the first crewed test flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.It is a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
- The Demo-1 mission was launched in 2019.It was an uncrewed mission.
- Objective: To send astronauts to the International Space Station(ISS) and return back safely to test and validate the Crew Dragon for operational, long-duration missions to the space station.
- Commercial Crew Program: It is a partnership between NASA and the private industry to develop and fly human space transportation systems.