Hindu Notes from General Studies-01
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China differs with Nepal on Mount Everest’s height: report
China continues to differ with Nepal over the height of Mount Everest and sticks to its own calculation of the world’s highest peak which is four meters less than the Kathmandu’s measurement.
- China’s response came after reports said that Beijing had agreed to accept Nepal’s measurement of the mountain, which is almost four meters taller.
- China has not changed its measurement of the height of Mount Qomolangma, the Chinese name of the Mt Everest, which stands at 8844.43 meters, state-run Global Times reported.
- China recognises Mount Qomolangma as the world’s tallest, measuring 8,844.43 meters above sea level, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geo-information (NASG) told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
The peak of Mt Everest played a significant role in the settlement of boundary between Nepal and China, which earlier claimed the whole mountain as part of its territory after it took control of Tibet.
Hindu Notes from General Studies-02
SC refuses interim stay on Kambala buffalo race in Karnataka
- The Supreme Court refused to grant Karnataka’s buffalo race, Kambala, an interim stay.
A bench however, fixed March 12 for a final hearing on the plea by animal rights body People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the matter.
- To pave the way for the festival, the State cabinet had on January 28 last year decided to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, (Central Act 59 of 1960), enacted to prevent infliction of unnecessary cruelty and suffering on animals.
- PETA has opposed the upcoming Kambala festival on grounds of cruelty to animals. Calling for banning the sport, it said the agitators have taken a leaf out of the pro-jallikattu protesters’ book.
- Earlier, another animal rights’ body, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), had approached the apex court challenging the bill to legalise traditional buffalo races in Karnataka.
Bullock cart races are held in parts of north Karnataka and in the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.
The Kambala race, held between November and March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to a plough and anchored by one person.
They are made to run in parallel muddy tracks in a competition in which the fastest team wins.
It is believed to be held to propitiate the Gods for a good harvest, besides being a recreational sport for farmers.
Tribal areas to soon get bike ambulances
Buoyed by the response to the free bike ambulance service in Mumbai, the State government is planning to expand the fleet and run similar services in tribal-dominated regions.
The bike ambulance service, which was started in Mumbai in August last year to provide swift medical assistance to patients, has so far received around 1,500 calls from different parts of the metropolis.
It is difficult for a four-wheeler ambulance to go to hilly regions or reach the areas with narrow roads.
But bike ambulances can reach such places easily. Therefore, [this service will be operated] in inaccessible places in Jawhar, Mokhada, Nandurbar and Melghat regions.
The emergencyfirst responder service is available through the ‘108’ helpline. Paramedics ride the bikes to provide treatment to patients during the golden hour. The 10-bike fleet is operated by integrated services company BVG India.
Hindu Notes from General Studies-03
India’s forest, tree cover up by 1% in 2 years: Centre
India’s tree and forest cover has registered an increase of 1% or 8,021 sq. km in two years since 2015, according to the latest assessment by the government.
- The India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 was released by Environment Minister .
- According to the report, the total forest cover is 7,08,273 sq. km, which is 21.54% of the total geographical area of the country.
- Forest and tree cover combined is 8,02,088 sq. km or 24.39% of the total geographical area.
- The Environment Ministry said in the latest assessment that very dense forest in India has also increased by 1.36% as compared to 2015. ISFR is released every two years.
In terms of percentage of forest cover with respect to the total geographical area, Lakshadweep with (90.33%) has the highest forest cover, followed by Mizoram (86.27%) and Andaman and Nicobar Island (81.73%).
- The top five States where maximum forest cover has increased are Andhra Pradesh (2,141 sq. km), Karnataka (1,101 sq. km), Kerala (1,043 sq. km), Odisha (885 sq. km) and Telangana (565 sq. km).
- The survey, which has for the first time assessed water bodies, said that these bodies inside forest cover have increased by 2,647 sq. km during last decade.
- As per the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, India is placed 8th in the list of top ten nations reporting the greatest annual net gain in forest area.
Cyberspace shouldn’t help trigger terror: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned the world against the misuse of cyberspace to ensure it did not become a source of radicalisation, asserting that technology should be harnessed as a tool for development, not destruction.
- The comments by Mr. Modi at the World Government Summit in his plenary address comes at a time when the world community is engaged in efforts to address the misuse of cyberspace by terrorists and hackers.
- He emphasised the role technology was playing in India’s development.
- The Prime Minister told the audience that India is aspiring to assume leadership position in Artificial Intelligence, Nano, cybersecurity and cloud computing.
- India is the ‘Guest Country’ at the sixth edition of the World Government Summit, which is being attended by more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries.
Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal
Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months.
- Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side, Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal.
The other two species, Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal.
- While Gymnothorax pseudotile is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long, Gymnothorax visakhaensis is about a foot long. Enchelycore propinqua is the smallest of them measuring less than a foot.
- Eels are found mostly at the bottom of rivers and seas. Across the world about 1,000 species of eels have been identified. In India, the number is around 125.
- For species belonging to the family Muraenidae, referred commonly as Moray eels, there are records of about 200 species of which more than 30 species are found in India.