Tuesday, 18th October 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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"Beti Bachao Beti Padao" programme

●  

Asset Reconstruction Company and SARFAESI Act

●  

Govt cereal stocks hit 5-yr low amid record inflation

●  

Democratic Decentralisation - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

●  

Kerch bridge - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Living Root Bridge - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

HELP (Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy)

●  

Iranian Kurds - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Split Verdict - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

World Economic Outlook - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

PM Devine - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

India’s first sanctuary for slender lorises notified

●  

Bullwhip Effect - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Durgavati Tiger Reserve - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

●  

The impossible trinity is better solved than defied: Livemint

4   Case Study of the Day

●  

Conservation of Endangered Species: Vulture Conservation

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

"Beti Bachao Beti Padao" programme


In News:

  • The mandate of the "Beti Bachao Beti Padao" programme has recently been expanded by the Women and Child Development (MoW&CD) Mnistry to include skilling of girls in non-traditional livelihood (NTL) options.

Beyond News:

  • Non-Traditional Livelihoods (NTLs) includes occupation in sectors as construction workers, electricians, carpenters, motor mechanics, veterinary doctors etc. where gender continues to hinder women’s participation in the
  • Aim:
    1. Convergence between various departments for providing quality education to empower girls.
    2. To raise awareness about safe menstrual hygiene, besides promulgating elimination of child marriages.
  • Previously, the scheme was revised to include components including target of ensuring 1% increment in enrolment at the secondary level and skilling of girls and women every year.

Major highlights:

  • Gender equality: India ranks 135 out of 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 of the World Economic Forum.
  • Female-to-male labour: force participation rate is nearly at 80 as against the desired 50 per cent.
  • Method: Ministries of Women and Child Development, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and Minority Affairs will sign MoU to facilitate the upskilling of girls in non-traditional occupations.
  • Apex committee: will be set up to implement the scheme in districts, headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development under Mission Shakti.
  • Enrolment: Enrolment of girls in secondary education, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects where women have been historically under-represented.
  • Importance:
    • Streamlining: Help in convergence between Ministries and Departments to ensure adolescents complete their education, build skills, and enter the workforce in a diverse range of professions.
    • Empowerment: Help to overcome gender-based discrimination, child marriage, and financial hardships to carve a niche for themselves with non-traditional skills.
    • Self-reliance: Girls will be given skill training in non-traditional vocations, making them torchbearers of a women-led Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/skilling-of-girls-in-non-traditional-livelihoods-included-in-beti-bachao-beti-padao-scheme/article65998460.ece

 

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Keywords: General Studies II, Government Schemes, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
News Snapshot

Asset Reconstruction Company and SARFAESI Act


In News:

The RBI has increased the minimum capital requirement for asset reconstruction companies (ARC) and expanded the range of their activities by permitting them to act as resolution applicants (RAs) under the bankruptcy law.

Recent Guidelines of RBI

  • ARCs can now operate as resolution applicants, which is not allowed under the SARFAESI Act.
  • Companies that want to act as applicants must have a board-approved policy and a minimum net owned fund of Rs. 1000 crores to be eligible to become RAs.
  • The ARCs should also make additional disclosures in their financial statements on assets acquired under IBC.
  • RBI has also raised the minimum capital requirement for setting up ARCs to ₹300 crores from the existing ₹100 crores.

About Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest SARFAESI Act, 2002.

  • The act was designed to use several procedures to address the issue of non-performing assets (NPAs), also known as bad assets, held by banks and financial institutions.
  • Following a 60-day warning to the defaulting borrower, banks and other financial institutions may:
    • Take possession of the borrower's pledged assets,
    • Assume responsibility for managing such assets,
    • Appoint someone to look after them or
    • Ask the borrower's creditors to pay their debts in relation to the asset as well.

Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARC’s)

  • ARCs are registered with the RBI in India and are established under the Companies Act under section 3 of (SARFAESI), Act 2002.

SARFAESI & IBC

  • Only secured financial creditors are covered by the SARFAESI Act of 2002, whereas both secured and unsecured creditors' rights and interests are protected under the IBC.
  • The SARFAESI Act has no bearing on the insolvency resolution procedure as specified by the Code, according to Section 14(1)(c) of the IBC, 2016.
  • ARCs, are specialist organizations that help banks resolve bad loans by purchasing the bank's debtors at a mutually agreed-upon price and then generating its own profit by selling the loan at a price greater than what it paid to acquire it.
  • ARC should maintain a capital adequacy ratio of 15% of their risk-weighted assets.
  • In 2002, four banks—SBI, ICICI, PNB, and IDBI Bank—created the Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Ltd., also known as Arcil, which became the country's first ARC.

Content Source Link:

  • https://m.economictimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/rbi-raises-minimum-capital-requirement-for-arcs-widens-scope-of-their-activity/amp_articleshow/94793110.cms,

 

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Keywords: GS paper III, Indian Economy, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
News Snapshot

Govt cereal stocks hit 5-yr low amid record inflation


According to data from Food Corporation of India (FCI), wheat and rice stocks in public godowns totalled 511.4 lakh tonnes (lt) as on October 1.

    • This is the lowest for same date since 2017.

Reasons for fall in stocks

  • Lower procurement of wheat during rabi marketing season 2022-23.
  • Continuation of free foodgrain scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
  • Russia-Ukraine war boosted international foodgrain prices, tempting farmers to sell produce to private traders for export.

Significance of buffer stocks

    • Keep prices of goods and commodities stable.
    • Currently, India is witnessing 8-year high inflation for cereals.
    • Prevent economic shocks as a result of shortages.
    • Guard against any unplanned event, such as production or harvest failure.
  • Food grain stocking norms refers to level of stock in the Central Pool that is sufficient to meet operational requirement of foodgrains and exigencies at any point of time.
  • Buffer stock concept was first introduced during 4th Five Year Plan (1969-74).
    • Presently, stocking norms fixed by Government comprise Operational stocks to meet monthly distributional requirement under Targeted Public Distribution System.
    • Food security stocks for meeting shortfall in procurement.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/india/govt-cereal-stocks-dip-to-five-year-low-amid-multi-year-high-inflation-8206923/

Image source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/india/govt-cereal-stocks-dip-to-five-year-low-amid-multi-year-high-inflation-8206923/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Buffer stock, Food Security
News Snapshot

Democratic Decentralisation - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment Acts, which were passed to encourage democratic decentralization in India, have been in effect for about 30 years, yet very little real progress has been accomplished in this domain.

Democratic Decentralization

  • It is the process of transferring authority over the state's resources and responsibilities from the center to the elected officials at lower tiers in order to encourage greater direct public engagement in governance.

  • The Indian Constitution's concept of devolution entails delegation of powers to local governments by law, supported by an adequate transfer of financial grants and tax revenues, with employees to carry out their duties.

Committees related to Democratic Decentralisation

BALWANT RAI MEHTA COMMITTEE (1957)

  • The committee recommended the establishment of the scheme of ‘democratic decentralization’, which ultimately came to be known as Panchayati Raj.
  • Rajasthan (1959) was the first state to adopt the system, followed by Andhra Pradesh in the same year.

ASHOK MEHTA COMMITTEE (1977-1978)

  • The committee was constituted in 1977 to revive and strengthen the declining Panchayati raj system.

G V K RAO COMMITTEE (1985)

  • It was appointed by the Planning Commission and the committee concluded that the developmental procedures were gradually being taken away from the local self-government institutions, resulting in a system comparable to ‘grass without roots’.

L M SINGHVI COMMITTEE (1986)

  • Constituted by the Rajiv Gandhi government on ‘Revitalization of Panchayati Raj institutions for Democracy and Development’.

 Constitutional Provisions

  • Local administration, including panchayats, is a state subject. So the states have choice over how much power and authority to devolve to panchayats.
  • Municipalities and panchayats must have elections every five years, and States must give these entities legal authority to carry out certain duties.
  • 73rd and 74th Amendments, which established PRIs, required the creation of panchayats and municipalities as elected local governments.

Achievements:

The 73rd and 74th CAA has sparked constructive competition amongst different states seeking devolution (the 3Fs: funds, functions, and functionaries).

  • Kerala has devolved 29 of its functions to Panchayats.
  • Rajasthan is to devolve numerous important departments including those dealing with women's issues, agriculture, health, and education.
  • Bihar proposed "Panchayat Sarkar," while states like Odisha raised the number of female seats by 50%.

Challenges before Local Governments

  • Shortage of Staff
  • Lack of Infrastructure
  • Shortage of Funds
  • Delay in Elections
  • Diminished Role of Local Government
  • Corruption

Way Forward

  • To prevent delays in their disbursement, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj should keep an eye on how Finance Commission grants are released and spent.
  • To prevent delays in Finance Commission funds, panchayats should be encouraged to conduct local audits on a regular basis.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article62109220.ece

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.shutterstock.com%2Fsearch%2Fdecentralization&psig=AOvVaw1j1GlbXoEgxplXKjKrkib7&ust=1665725884746000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA0QjhxqFwoTCND8nM6-3PoCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK,

 

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Keywords: GS paper II, Local Self-Government, Co-operative Federalism
Terms & Concepts

Kerch bridge - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Recently, the Kerch Bridge which connects the Russian mainland with the Crimean peninsula, caught fire due to an explosion sparked by a truck bomb.
  • The Kerch Strait is a strait in Eastern Europe. 
  • It connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, separating the Kerch Peninsula of Crimeain the west from the Taman Peninsula of Russia's Krasnodar Krai in the east. 
  • The most important harbor, the Crimean city of Kerch, gives its name to the strait, formerly known as the Cimmerian Bosporus.

  • It has also been called theStraits of Yenikale after the Yeni-Kale fortress in Kerch.
  • Since it is the only direct link between Russia and Crimea, it plays a major role in supplying fuel, food and other key goods to Crimea, which hosts the port of Sevastopol – the historic home base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
  • It became a major supply route for Russian Forces after the military campaign against Ukraine was launched in early 2022.

Source:

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2022/10/09/damage-to-bombed-bridge-linking-crimea-and-russia-seen-in-detail-from-space/?sh=2e57dc5c6440

Image source:

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2022/10/09/damage-to-bombed-bridge-linking-crimea-and-russia-seen-in-detail-from-space/?sh=2e57dc5c6440

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: International Relations: Kerch Bridge, Russian annexation of Ukraine
Terms & Concepts

Living Root Bridge - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Centuries-old living root bridges of Meghalaya have been recently hit by water.
  • Living root bridges (also known as Jing Kieng Jri) are the aerial bridgesthat are built by weaving and manipulating the roots of the Indian rubber tree (Ficus elastica).

  • A root bridge uses traditional tribal knowledgeto train the roots of the Indian rubber tree (found in abundance in the area) to grow laterally across a stream bed resulting in a living bridge of roots.
  • It spans between 15 and 250 feet and is built over centuries.
  • They have been serving as connectors for generations in the Indian state of 
  • The bridges are primarily a means to cross streams and rivers.They have also become world-famous tourist attractions. The two most popular tourist spots are- Riwai Root Bridge and Umshiang Double Decker Bridge.
  • They have three main properties:
    • They are elastic,
    • The roots easily combine,and
    • The plants grow inrough and rocky soils.

Source:

  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/centuries-old-living-root-bridges-of-meghalaya-hit-by-water-scarcity/articleshow/94387099.cms

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/indembmoscow/status/1297835716085526528

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Environment and ecology, Living root bridge
Terms & Concepts

HELP (Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy)


  • Context: As many as 26 mainly offshore oil and gas blocks and 16 coal bed methane blocks have been notified for international bidding as India aims to quickly increase the area under exploration.
  • The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) is an exploration and production policy of the Government of India in the hydrocarbon sector, adopted in 2016. This replaces the previous NELP.

  • Main facets of this policy are:
    • uniform license for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbon,
    • an open acreage policy,
    • easy to administer revenue sharing model and
    • marketing and pricing freedom for the crude oil and natural gas produced.
    • The uniform license will enable the contractor to explore conventional as well as unconventional oil and gas resources including CBM, shale gas/oil, tight gas and gas hydrates under a single license
  • HELP provides revenue sharing model, which is easy to understand as well as administer, in tune with the Government’s policy of “Ease of Doing Business”.
  • This policy also provides for marketing freedom for crude oil and natural gas produced from these blocks, in tune with the Government’s policy of “Minimum Government –Maximum Governance.
  • Increasing exploration is at the center of the government's plan to raise domestic production of oil and gas and cut imports at a time when high fuel prices are affecting consumers.

Source:

  • https://swarajyamag.com/news-headlines/26-blocks-put-for-oil-and-gas-exploration-in-mega-offshore-round-highest-area-on-offer-so-far

IMAGE SOURCE:

  • https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/why-oil-sector-doesnt-see-a-helping-hand/article8361480.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, economy, HELP and NELP
Terms & Concepts

Iranian Kurds - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Nationwide protests over the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman in the custody of Iran’s morality police have intensified.
  • Kurds are one of the world’s largest people without a state and are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East.

  • They are largely Sunni Muslims and are a minority community in Armenia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey.
  • They speak Zazagorani language similar to Farsi.
  • Kurdish nationalism stirred in the 1890s when the Ottoman Empire was on verge of falling apart.
  • Some famous cities are Erbil (Hewler) — the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, Amedi, Dahuk, Kirkuk, Raniya, Soran, Sulaymaniyah - the cultural capital of Iraqi Kurdistan and Zakho.
  • These cities have oil rich
  • Some other displaced communities: Rohingyas of Myanmar, Chins and Karens, Romas of Europe, Akna, Lisu and Yao Tribe

 SOURCES:

  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29702440
  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/who-are-iran-minority-kurds-mahsa-amini-death-in-custody-8201052/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, International relations, Iranian Kurds
Terms & Concepts

Split Verdict - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Why in News? The Supreme Court recently delivered a split verdict in the Karnataka hijab ban case.
  • What is Split Verdict? A verdict is said to be a split verdict in case the bench cannot decide one way or the other in a case, either by a unanimous decision or by a majority verdict. Split verdicts can only happen when the Bench has an even number of judges.
  • What Next? After a split verdict, the case is heard by a larger bench with an odd number of judges to decide the case.
  • Earlier Instances: A split verdict was earlier seen in Delhi high court verdict on exceptions provided under martial rape under IPC, and in the Madras Court Division Bench order on the challenge to the disqualification of AIADMK MLAs in 2018.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Judicial System, Indian Polity
Terms & Concepts

World Economic Outlook - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Why in News? The World Economic Outlook recently cut India’s FY2023 growth forecast to 6.8%, from 7.4 % prediction in July and 8.2 % prediction in January.
  • What is World Economic Outlook? It is a survey by the IMF team published twice a year. It gives a detailed analysis of the world’s economic situation.
  • Key Highlights:
    • Title: Countering the Cost-of-Living Crisis.
    • India may become the third biggest economy after the United States and China in the next five years.
    • The cost of living is rising owing to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the impacts of the slowdown induced by Covid19 pandemic.
    • Global growth is forecast to slow (6.0% in 2021 to 2.7% in 2023).
    • Global inflation is forecast to rise (4.7% in 2021 to 8.8% in 2022 but to decline to 6.5 percent in 2023)

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: World Economic Outlook, International Monetary Fund
Terms & Concepts

PM Devine - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Why in News? The Union Cabinet has approved a new Scheme, Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE) for the remaining four years of the 15th Finance Commission from 2022-23 to 2025-26.
  • About:
    • PM-DevINE, is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% Central funding and will be implemented by the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER).
    • It will have an outlay of Rs.6,600 crore for the four-year period from 2022-23 to 2025-26.
  • Objectives of PM-DevINE:
  • Fund infrastructure convergently, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti
  • Support social development projects based on felt needs of the NER (North East Region)
  • Enable livelihood activities for youth and women
  • Fill the development gaps in various sectors

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3, Government Schemes, Centre-State relations
Terms & Concepts

India’s first sanctuary for slender lorises notified


  • Why in News? The Tamil Nadu government has declared the Kadavur forest region in Karur and Dindigul districts as the Wildlife sanctuary for the endangered species – Slender loris.
  • About:
  • Endangered nocturnal insectivorous animal.
  • India is home to two nocturnal primates --- slender loris and slow loris.
  • While slow loris inhabits the northeastern states of India, slender loris is mainly found in southern states.
  • Protected endangered species - Slender loris
  • About the Sanctuary
  • Area – 11,806.56 hectares
  • State – Tamilnadu
  • Districts – Karur and Dindigul
  • Declared under – the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972
  • Census on February (of Slender loris) - 1,172

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, environment, Ecology, Wildlife Sanctuary
Terms & Concepts

Bullwhip Effect - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Why in News? Bullwhip effect is an important phenomenon in supply chain management.
  • What is it? It is a small change in downstream demand near the end consumer which causes a significant change in upstream demand closer to the manufacturer.
    • Bullwhip effects can lead to excess inventory, lost revenue, and overinvestment in production.
    • Causes of the bullwhip effect includes: poor demand forecasting, price fluctuations, lack of clear communication etc.
    • Increased collaboration and visibility across the chain are used to mitigate bullwhip effect.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Economics
Terms & Concepts

Durgavati Tiger Reserve - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Why in News? Madhya Pradesh (MP) Wildlife Board approved a new reserve for tigers of Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR).
  • One-fourth of PTR will get submerged due to linking of Ken-Betwa rivers.
  • In wake of river linking project, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had asked UP and MP governments to notify new tiger reserves.
  • Durgavati Tiger Reserve will spread across Narisinghpur, Damoh and Sagar districts.
  • A green corridor linking PTR with Durgavati will be developed for the natural movement of the tiger to the new reserve.
  • Other tiger reserves in MP: Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, Pench, Satpura, Sanjay-Dubri.

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Tiger Reserve, Environment and ecology
Editorial of the day

The impossible trinity is better solved than defied: Livemint


The impossible trinity model idea is derived from the academic works of Canadian economist Robert Mundell and British economist Marcus Fleming.

  • Trilemma is a term in economic decision-making theory. Unlike a dilemma, which has two solutions, a trilemma offers three equal solutions to a complex problem.
  • A trilemma suggests that countries have three options from which to choose when making fundamental decisions about managing their international monetary policy agreements.
  • However, the options of the trilemma are conflictual because of mutual exclusivity, which makes only one option of the trilemma achievable at a given time. For instance, a central bank that chooses to increase the total money supply by adopting loose monetary policy cannot hope to maintain the foreign exchange value of its currency unless it resorts to restricting the sale of domestic currency in the currency market.
  • The trilemma poses a macroeconomic challenge for policymakers where monetary policy independence, exchange rate stability and capital account openness cannot be achieved simultaneously.

When making fundamental decisions about managing international monetary policy, a trilemma suggests that countries have three possible options from which to choose. These options include:

  1. Setting a fixed currency exchange rate
  2. Allowing capital to flow freely with no fixed currency exchange rate agreement
  3. Autonomous monetary policy

The technicalities of each option conflict because of mutual exclusivity. As such, mutual exclusivity makes only one side of the trilemma triangle achievable at a given time.

  • Side A: A country can choose to fix exchange rates with one or more countries and have a free flow of capital with others. If it chooses this scenario, independent monetary policy is not achievable because interest rate fluctuations would create currency arbitrage stressing the currency pegs and causing them to break.
  • Side B: The country can choose to have a free flow of capital among all foreign nations and also have an autonomous monetary policy. Fixed exchange rates among all nations and the free flow of capital are mutually exclusive. As a result, only one can be chosen at a time. So, if there is a free flow of capital among all nations, there cannot be fixed exchange rates.
  • Side C: If a country chooses fixed exchange rates and independent monetary policy it cannot have a free flow of capital. Again, in this instance, fixed exchange rates and the free flow of capital are mutually exclusive.

The challenge for a government’s international monetary policy comes in choosing which of these options to pursue and how to manage them. Generally, most countries favour side B of the triangle because they can enjoy the freedom of independent monetary policy and allow the policy to help guide the flow of capital.

  • https://www.economist.com/schools-brief/2016/08/27/two-out-of-three-aint-bad
  • https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/the-impossible-trinity-is-better-solved-than-defied-11664380636033.html
  • https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/trilemma.asp

 

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Keywords: GS Paper-3, economy
Case Study of the Day

Conservation of Endangered Species: Vulture Conservation


In news

A recent study by the University of York in the UK, has highlighted the threats to Vultures.

About Vulture Conservation

  • Total nine species of vultures found in India - 3 resident, rest migratory.
  • Of these Bearded, Long-billed, Slender-billed, Oriental white-backed types are protected in the Schedule-1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
  • Most potent threat in India was a veterinary drug - diclofenac, whose consumption through cattle carcasses resulted in large scale mortality.
  • Conservation Efforts
    • Ex-situ measures to breed and replenish populations in wild at Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, etc managed by experts from the Forest Department and Bombay Natural History Society.
    • Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE) consortium to oversee and coordinate conservation, campaigning and fundraising activities to save South Asia’s vultures.
    • Action Plan for Vulture Conservation 2020-2025, to lay out strategies and actions to stem the decline in vulture population.
    • The Vulture Safe Zone programme where an area is declared a Vulture Safe Zone, when no toxic drugs are found in undercover pharmacy and cattle carcass surveys, for two consecutive years, and the vulture populations are stable and not declining.

Source:

  • Vulture numbers ‘stabilising’, MoEF launches action plan to increase population

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/WWFINDIA/status/1302101651302436864/photo/1

 

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Keywords: GS3: Conservation, Vulture Conservation
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