Expected Questions in Agriculture and Animals 2019 – IAS/NET (Part-1) - (Set 1) (Download PDF)

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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channel to get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. com. You can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF”.

Mangalajodi bird sanctuary

  • Marshlands of Mangalajodi situated in northern end of Chilka Lake is home to many birds.
  • This bird sanctuary is another attraction of Chilka. It is known as fisherman’s village.
  • Migratory birds are seen here from October to March. These birds arrive from Iraq, Iran, Serbia &Himalayas.
  • 135 variety of birds are seen here during this season.
  • Sustainable village of Mangalajodi houses fishermen communities.
  • Local people depend on aquatic life for their living. It is one of best known places for eco-tourism.
  • Boat safaris are conducted, which will give opportunity to have a glimpse of birds like Black Winged Stilts, Sandpipers, Purple Swamphens, Open Billed Storks & Glossy Ibises.
  • Variety of fishes, prawns, crabs & other fresh seafood can be tasted.

Pangolin

  • Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata & Chinese Pangolin M. pentadactyla occur in India.
  • Indian Pangolin is a large anteater covered dorsally by 11 - 13 rows of scales.
  • Adult male is about one-third larger than female. Terminal scale is present on ventral side of tail of Indian Pangolin, which is absent in Chinese Pangolin.
  • Its sticky tongue, which is longer than its body, is specially adapted for reaching & lapping up insects in deep crevices.
  • To tear open anthills or termite mounds, it uses powerful forelimbs that are armed w/3 disproportionately long claws.
  • In sharp contrast, hind legs have tough soles & short, blunt nails on 5 toes.
  • Major threats to pangolins in India are hunting & poaching for local consumptive use & international trade, for its meat & scales in East & South East Asian countries, particularly China & Vietnam.
  • There is greater evidence of its inclusion in illicit international trade, in particular its scales, from both India & Pakistan, w/Myanmar & China comprising most likely, final destinations.
  • Seizure reports from country suggest that b/w 2009 & 2013, over 3,000 pangolins were hunted. Media reports state that during period, approx. 5,000 kg of pangolin scales were confiscated in 25 seizures. Inadequate information on population & distribution further accentuates threats arising from hunting & poaching.

Hangul

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is going to declare Kashmiri Red Stag (known as Hangul) as a Critically Endangered species. Critically endangered status to Kashmiri Red Stag will help it to get more protection & enhance conservation efforts to increase its rapidly declining population.

About Kashmiri Red Stag

  • Kashmir Stag or Hangul is a subspecies of elk native to India.
  • Earlier it is a subspecies of red deer. Mitochondrial DNA genetic studies have revealed that it is part of Asian clade of elk.
  • It is found in dense riverine forests in high valleys & mountains of Kashmir Valley & northern Chamba dist. of Himachal Pradesh.
  • As per Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) nearly 3000 to 5000 Hanguls existed around 1940s.
  • Only about 150 of them survive within its last bastion in Dachigam National Park located on foothills of Zabarwan range on outskirts of Srinagar, J&K.
  • Protection status: It is listed under Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 & J&K Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978. It is listed among top 15 species of high conservation priority by Central Government.
  • Reasons for decline in population: (i) habitat destruction, (ii) over-grazing by domestic livestock & (iii) poaching.

Nilgiri tahr

  • According to recent study published international journal Ecological Engineering, climate change is threatening Nilgiri tahr.

  • It is estimated that endangered wild goat could lose approx. 60 % of its habitat, starting from 2030s.
  • There are only around 2,500 Nilgiri Tahrs left in wild & their population is small & isolated. It makes them vulnerable to local extinction.
  • Study emphasises need for ecological restoration of Nilgiri Tahrs. It highlights demand for comprehensive species management plan.

Nilgiri tahr

  • It is state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is endemic to Western Ghats from Nilgiris to Kanyakumari. It is confined to narrow belt of higher elevation (altitudes) of Shola Forests in Western Ghats.
  • Protection Status: IUCN in its red data book has classified it as Endangered (number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals). Besides it is protected species under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

Japan is considering pulling out of International Whaling Commission (IWC).

Move would spark international criticism against Japan over whale conservation & deepen divide b/w anti- & pro-whaling countries.

Tokyo currently observes moratorium but exploits a loophole to kill hundreds of whales every year for “scientific purposes” & to sell the meat.

About IWC:

  • It is international body set up under International Convention for Regulation of Whaling (ICRW).
  • ICRW governs commercial, scientific & aboriginal subsistence whaling practices of 59 member nations. It was signed in Washington, D. C. , US, in 1946.
  • Headquarters — Impington, near Cambridge, England.
  • In 1986, it adopted moratorium on commercial whaling. This ban still continues.

Whale sanctuary:

  • In 1994, it created Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary surrounding continent of Antarctica. IWC has banned all types of commercial whaling.
  • Only 2 such sanctuaries are designated by IWC till date. Another is Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary by tiny island nation of Seychelles.

Dhole

  • Known as Asiatic wild dog, red dog & whistling dog. It is about size of German shepherd, looks more like a long-legged fox. This highly elusive & skilled jumper is classified with wolves, coyotes, jackals, and foxes in the taxonomic family Canidae.
  • Dholes are unusual dogs for a number of reasons. They don’t fit neatly into any of dog subfamilies (wolf & fox, for instance). Dholes have only 2 molars on each side of their lower jaw, instead of 3 & have relatively shorter jaw than their doggie counterparts. Female dholes have more teats than other canid species & can produce up to 12 pups per litter.
  • Dholes are incredibly athletic. They are fast runners, excellent swimmers & impressive jumpers. These skills are critical when pack is hunting. In some protected areas, they share habitat w/tigers & leopards.
  • Dhole makes some extraordinary sounds: it can whistle, scream, mew & even cluck like chicken.
  • Whistling sound dhole is known for is so distinct, it can be used to identify individual animals.
  • Dhole can jump over 7 feet (2.1 meters) straight up into the air.
  • Dholes can catch prey over 10 times their own body weight & can even fend off tiger.

Comprehensive Plan for Dairy Development: An assessment

Sustained growth of milk production in India, growing at a CAGR of 5 % b/w 2010 - 16 & leading position of milk among all agricultural commodities have placed dairy in forefront of govt. ‘s commitment to double farmers’ income by 2022.

Vision 2022: National Action Plan on Dairy Development (NAPDD)

  • In order to bring dairying in sync w/its grand vision of doubling farmers’ income, govt. formulated comprehensive plan for dairy development - Vision 2022: NAPDD in 2017. It envisages increasing milk production to 300 million tonnes by 2023 - 24.
  • To realise desired milk production targets, plan projects to increase in-milk bovine population from 88 million to 116.38 million & average milk yield per bovine from 4.35 kg/day to 7kg/day b/w 2015 - 2023.
  • Enhancing herd efficiency ratio: Plan is to enhance herd efficiency ratio (Herd Efficiency Ratio is defined as ratio of in-milk bovine population to total bovine population) from 27 % to 40 % by 2023. At present, only Punjab has herd efficiency as high as 39%.
  • Increasing milk yield per bovine: Vision 2022 puts special focus on increasing milk yield of low-yielding, non-descript local cattle from 2.15 kg/day to 5 kg/day by 2023 - 24. It plans to upgrade 50 per cent of nondescript cattle using seven indigenous dairy breeds and another 50 per cent using 33 indigenous dual-purpose breeds.

Concern:

  • Plan doesn’t consider up gradation by using exotic breeds like Holstein Friesian. According to Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2016, average milk yield per day of crossbreed-exotic is more than 7 kg/day; which is required target of Vision 2022. States such as Punjab & Kerala have exhibited commendable achievements in milk production by grading up their local cattle with exotic breeds.

Zero Budget Natural Farming

  • Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a farming practice that believes in natural growth of crops w/o adding any fertilizers & pesticides or any other foreign elements. Inputs used for seed treatments & other inoculations are locally available in form of cow dung & cow urine.

  • ZBNF practicing farmer has lower cost of inputs & thus has better capacity to increase incomes. ZBNF crops helps in retaining soil fertilizing & is climate change resilient.
  • Andhra Pradesh govt. ‘s unique initiative to improve farmers’ livelihood thru ZBNF is right solution to fight climate change in drought-prone Rayalaseema region.
  • ZBNF was launched in September 2015 under Centre’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. Initially, 50 villages across 13 dist. of state were selected for pilot project. It is successful that govt. wants to scale it up.
  • Farmers practicing ZBNF gets higher yields. In Anantapuram, there is 136 % higher yield in groundnuts under natural farming. Farmers use bio fertilizers & that make soil fertile, thus giving higher yields.
  • World needs a global transition to a more resilient & sustainable agriculture that is less dependent on agrochemicals & draws more on natural biological & ecosystem processes. Zero budget natural farming can be of great aid in this direction.

About Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)

  • AWBI is constituted under provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act.
  • AWBI is statutory advisory body on Animal Welfare Laws & promotes animal welfare in country.
  • Established in 1962 under Section 4 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • AWBI has released directive to all state departments that it is their responsibility to protect all strays – cattle, dogs & cats wandering on streets.
  • Animal welfare officers for each dist. will be appointed & they would have a critical role to play in ensuring that strays are not mistreated.
  • AWBI does not have right to prescribe punishments or fines for violations of PCA Act but can pursue legal action.

Functions of Animal Welfare Board of India

To keep law in force in India for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals under constant study & to advise govt. on amendments to undertaken in any law from time to time.

To advise Central Govt. on making of rules under Act w/view to preventing unnecessary pain or suffering to animals generally & more particularly when they are being transported from one place to another or When they are used as performing animals or when they are kept in captivity or confinement.

- Published/Last Modified on: June 1, 2019

Agriculture/Agro Industries

Monthy-updated, fully-solved, large current affairs-2019 question bank(more than 2000 problems): Quickly cover most-important current-affairs questions with pointwise explanations especially designed for IAS, NTA-NET, Bank-PO and other competetive exams.