Expected Questions in Agriculture and Animals 2019 – IAS/NET (Part-1) - (Set 2) (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”.

Belize’s Reef

  • Just a stone’s throw away from coast of Belize, brightly coloured tropical fish mingle w/sharks, manta rays & sea turtles around a sprawling reef beneath waters of Caribbean.
  • Mesoamerican Reef may now be removed from UNESCO’s list of threatened World Heritage Sites, Activists & Belizean government saves it
  • Second in size only to Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Caribbean reef was named to prestigious World Heritage List in 1996, but placed on endangered status in 2009 because of Belize’s plans to allow oil exploration nearby.
  • Warning encompassed mangroves that help protect reef & serve as breeding ground for many of hundreds of fish species that inhabit area. That spurred activists into action. They organised informal referendum in 2012, in which 96 % of Belizeans voted against offshore oil exploration, choosing reef over potential economic gains for country.
  • As threat to one of its top tourist attractions began to sink in, Belizean govt. adopted series of laws to protect reef. It came just in time for this week’s UNESCO meeting in Manama, Bahrain, where UN body is due to consider removing reef from its list of endangered heritage sites.

Orange crocodiles

  • Orange crocodiles found in West African state of Gabon
  • Reptile may have changed colour due to proximity to orange bats, according to scientists
  • Orange crocodiles live in caves & in total darkness, animals survive on a diet of bats & crickets, unlike above-ground crocodiles of same species which feed on fish & crustaceans.
  • Comparison of cave-dwelling & above-ground crocodiles confirms that they have not become separate species.
  • Subterranean creatures — whether orange or normal colour — have developed specific “genetic signature. “

National Park/Sactuary: Nauradehi sanctuary

Madhya Pradesh forest department has written to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revive its Cheetah Reintroduction Project to reintroduce Cheetahs in Nauradehi sanctuary located in Sagar dist.

  • Ambitious project was conceived in 2009 but had hit roadblock for want of funds.

Key Facts

  • Cheetah, fastest land animal was declared extinct in India in 1952.
  • India’s last spotted Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) had died in Chhattisgarh in 1947.
  • This species was hunted into extinction by British colonial officers & Indian royalty.
  • According to earlier action plan, around 20 cheetahs were to be translocated to Nauradehi from Namibia in Africa.
  • Namibia Cheetah Conservation Fund had showed its willingness to donate felines to India.

Background

  • NTCA, a statutory body under Union Environment Ministry had committed Rs. 50 cr. to State for this project.
  • Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had prepared Rs. 260 cr. Cheetah Re-introduction Project in 2012.
  • It was estimated that Rs. 25 cr. to Rs. 30 cr. will be needed to build enclosure w/huge boundary walls in area of 150 sq. km for introduction & protection of Cheetahs in Nauradehi before releasing them in wild.
  • Nauradehi sanctuary was found to be most suitable area for reintroduction of Cheetahs as its forests are not very dense to restrict fast movement of Cheetahs and also has abundant prey base.

National Park: Mukurthi National Park

  • Population of Nilgiri tahr at Mukurthi National Park has grown by an impressive 18 % in last 2 years, from 480 to 568.
  • Mukurthi National Park (MNP) is protected area located in western corner of Nilgiris Plateau west of Ootacamund hill station in northwest corner of Tamil Nadu in Western Ghats mountain range of South India.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered
  • Present distribution of Nilgiri tahr is limited to approx. 5 % of Western Ghats in southern India, in Kerala & Tamil Nadu in southern India.
  • It is found in high altitudes in India’s Western Ghats
  • Endangered wild goat could lose approx. 60 % of its habitat, starting from 2030s. s
  • Largest of 3 tahr species
  • State animal of Tamil nadu
  • Threats – habitat loss, overgrazing, illegal hunting

Mammals of India (MaOI)

MaOI is new model of repository on Indian mammals by Scientists & Researchers from National Centers for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore. It is citizen-scientific repository initiated in September 2018. It is 1st such repository of Mammals in India.

Special Features Of MaOI

It is online, freely –accessible portal whose aim is to develop individual pages for all Indian mammals covering all related information about their distribution, breeding, variation, identification & conservation.

Website mammalsofindia. org provides facility to citizen to upload photographic observations about mammals. 768 images, of 161 species of mammals, are uploaded by October 25,2018.

Photographs of rare species like Red Serow from Manipur, Lynx species of wild cat from J&K, Asian Golden Cat from West Kameng dist. of Arunachal Pradesh & Binturong, known as bear cat, from East Kameng dist. of Arunachal Pradesh are uploaded on this portal.

This is an exclusive portal for mammals in India which will help in having a good distribution map of mammals all around the country.

MaOI is an initiative under Biodiversity Atlas project. The Biodiversity Atlas is a species-based bioinformatics platform.

India is a mega-diversity country with only 2.4 % of the world’s land area but accounts for 7 - 8 % of all global species. There are about 426 species of mammals known from India, which is about 8.86 % of the world species.

Citizen Science Projects in Conservation Of Indian Biodiversity.

Citizen science projects are changing the scenario of collection of scientific information about biodiversity. These projects enable participants to make direct contribution to collection and research on information related to environmental issues. Citizens are the unpaid contributors in collecting information related to bio-diversity.

PM- KISAN: The return of targeted cash transfers

Scheme aims to provide assured income support to small & marginal farmers.

Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 ha, will be provided direct income support at rate of Rs. 6,000 per year.

Income support will be transferred directly into bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in 3 equal instalments of Rs. 2,000 each.

Around 12 cr. small & marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this.

PM-KISAN is expected to pave way for farmers to earn & live respectable living.

Concerns

  • In Indian context, most arguments in favour of UBI are premised on inefficiencies of existing social security interventions & seek to replace some of these w/direct cash transfers. Universalisation is key to efficient delivery of services against targeting proposed by these cash transfer schemes.
  • There is obsession w/cash transfers as it is assumed that it will take care of all problems. Silver bullet for agrarian crisis to malnutrition to educational deficit & solution for job crisis.
  • Real issue w/approach of a targeted cash transfer scheme is that it envisions role of state to only providing cash income to poor.

Analysis of PM-KISAN

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, which was announced in Interim Budget 2019 - 20.
  • Vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 ha, will be provided direct income support at rate of 6,000 per year.
  • Income support will be transferred into bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in 3 equal instalments of Rs. 2,000 each. Programme will be funded by GoI.
  • Around 12 cr. small & marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this.
  • PM-KISAN is expected to pave way for farmers to earn & live a respectable living.

Need of Scheme:

  • To address issues of fragmented land holding
  • To improve farmers income
  • To check increasing indebtedness
  • To bring farmers into fold of institutional credit

Challenges to Scheme:

  • Meagre Fund Transfer
  • Landless labour is not included
  • Land Record Issues

‘Policies biased against rainfed agriculture’

New rainfed agriculture atlas is released. It is released by Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network.

Atlas maps agro biodiversity & socio-economic conditions prevailing in such areas & attempts to document policy biases that are making farming unviable for many in these areas.

Challenges present:

  • 3 out of 5 farmers in India grow their crops using rainwater, instead of irrigation. Per hectare govt. investment into their lands may be 20 times lower, govt. procurement of their crops is a fraction of major irrigated land crops.
  • There is “negligence” toward rainfed areas which is leading to lower incomes for farmers in these areas. Farmers in rainfed areas are receiving 40 % less of their income from agriculture in comparison to those in irrigated areas.
  • Lands irrigated thru big dams & canal networks get a per hectare investment of ₹5 lakh. Watershed mgmt. spending in rainfed lands is only ₹18,000 - 25,000.
  • Difference in yield is not proportionate to difference in investment.
  • Flagship govt. schemes like seed & fertiliser subsidies & soil health cards, are designed for irrigated areas & extended to rainfed farmers w/o taking their needs into consideration.

Asian Elephant Alliance

Asian Elephant Alliance to secure 96 out of 101 existing corridors used by elephants across 12 States in India.

Joint venture is aiming at raising £20 million (₹187.16 cr. ) to secure 96 remaining elephant corridors, old & new in next 10 years.

Asian Elephant Alliance

  • Asian Elephant Alliance, umbrella of 5 NGOs, was launched to reverse crisis facing elephants.
  • Initiative aims to stem crisis facing world’s remaining Asian elephants – thought to number only 35,000 – 45,000.
  • Habitat loss, along with ivory poaching, has devastated population of wild Asian elephants, distinct species from their African cousins. Survival for these few remaining elephants requires urgent action.
  • New coalition - Asian Elephant Alliance is formed to tackle crisis.
  • Member organisations are Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), IUCN Netherlands, Wildlife Trust of India & World Land Trust.

- 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.