Expected Questions in Environment & Latest Developments Part 3 (Set 2)

⪻ Articles ⪼

Weeds Threaten Gujarat՚s Lion and Their Prey:- Two shrubs lantana camara and cassia tora spreading in the Gir forest are threatening Asiatic lions. Experts and forest department officials said that the spread of lantana camara (locally known as indradhanu) is so rapid that removing them is difficult.

How the Growth of Lantana Camara and Cassia Tora is Causing Problems?

  • The thorny lantana and cassia tora (locally known as kaalmukho) stop the growing of grass and other shrubs that the herbivorous feed on.
  • Potential danger is that of lions moving out in revenue areas in search of prey, thus increasing chances of human-animal conflict.

Lantana Camara

  • Lantana camara, also known as big sage is a species of flowering plant within the verbena family.
  • Lantana is the favourite food of bulbuls and the faeces of these birds only help spread the weed.

Cassia Tora

  • Cassia tora is another plant of the legume family that renders the land non-fertile by not allowing grass to grow.
  • Cassia tora is a dicot legume in the subfamily caesalpinioideae.
  • Its native range is probably South Asia.
  • Its most common English name is Sickle Senna.
  • Cassia tora grows in dry soil from sea level up to 1800 meters.
  • The seed can remain viable for up to twenty years.

Alphonso Mango from 5 Districts of Maharashtra Gets Geographical Indication Tag

Chennai based Geographical Indication Registry & Intellectual Property India has granted Alphonso mango from 5 districts of Maharashtra gets Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

  • These 5 districts Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Thane, & Raigad are from western Konkan coastal region of State.
  • Southern district of Gujarat, Valsad & Navsari are also famous for production of Alphonso. Alfonso is started in some areas of Bihar even before some time.
  • W/this recognition, Alphonso has joined list of 325 products from India with GI tag.

Geographical Indication (GI)

  • GI is indication used on products that have specific geographical origin & possess qualities or reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Purpose of GI tag enables stakeholders to authenticate their production while earning premium & derive improved livelihood.
  • 1st GI in India was given to Darjeeling tea in 2004.
  • Karnataka tops w/38 GI products, followed by Maharashtra which has 33 GI products. Tamil Nadu comes 3rd w/25 GI products.

PM Modi Inaugurates Sikkim՚s First-Ever Airport

PM inaugurated Sikkim՚s 1st-ever airport at Pakyong. Pakyong airport is India՚s 100th functional airport & one of country՚s 5 highest airports.

  • Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is an airport in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is one of the highest commercial airports in the world at 3,256 m above mean sea level.
  • Airport was constructed by Airports Authority of India.

Facts about Pakyong Airport

Sikkim՚s First-Ever Airport
  • Travel Time Cut: W/new airport, travelling time to Sikkim will be get cut down by almost 5 hr. because, nearest airport to which tourists could fly down was Bagdogra in West Bengal.
  • Passenger capacity: It has capacity to handle 50 in-bound & as many out-bound passengers.

Other Details of Pakyong Airport

  • 1st commercial flight from Pakyong is scheduled to begin from 4th Oct. , when Spice jet will start its daily Kolkata-Sikkim flights.
  • Spice Jet will operate 78-seater Bombardier Q400 flights to & from Delhi, Kolkata & Guwahati every day under Civil Aviation Ministry՚s Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme.
  • Airport will cater only to domestic flights, but later it will provide international flight services connecting Sikkim w/other countries like Paro in Bhutan, Kathmandu in Nepal & Dhaka in Bangladesh.

Refinery to be Set at Babulwadi, Taluka Rajapur in Ratnagiri

  • Oil PSUs namely Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) , Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) & Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) have decided to set up integrated refinery-cum-petrochemical complex w/refining capacity of 60 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) at Babulwadi, Taluka Rajapur in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra w/estimated investment of ₹ 3 lakh crore.
  • Joint Venture (JV) Company, ‘Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Limited (RRPCL) ’ is formed to execute project.

Details on New Refinery

  • Global Oil & Gas majors, Saudi Aramco & ADNOC have partnered w/JV Company.
  • Govt. of Maharashtra vide Gazette Notification on 18th May, 2017 has declared said site as industrial area under MIDC Act, 1961.
  • RRPCL has initiated awareness campaign thru print & electronic media as well as door to door campaign to impress upon local population about benefits of project as well as to dispel misconception about adverse environment impact by setting up refinery.

First Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme the ‘North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom’

1st project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme ‘North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom’ was inaugurated in Manipur.

  • Project covers 2 sites i.e. Kangla Fort & Khongjom in Manipur.
  • Project was sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism in September 2015 for ₹ 72.30 Cr.
  • Under this project, Union Tourism Ministry has carried out works such as restoration & improvement of outer & inner moat of old Govindajee Temple & rejuvenation of sacred ponds, reconstruction of old rampart, among others.


  • 36 km (22 mi) on Indo-Burmese road, war broke out b/w Manipur & British India in 1891.
  • It is here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of great warriors of Manipur proved his valor against superior force of invading British Army in 1891.
  • War Memorial is constructed on top of Kheba Hill.
  • 23 April is celebrated as Khongjom Day every year & is state holiday.

India՚s First in-Phone Guide and Mobile Application “Go What՚s That” in Chandigarh

Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, laid foundation stone of National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) for Women at Mohali, Punjab.

1,100 tags are placed at diff. tourist spots, which will give accurate information on each artifact.

Other Announcements:

  • Minister has launched 1st of its kind unique Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) for differently abled persons in Mohali.
  • He launched India՚s 1st in-phone guide & mobile application “Go what՚s That” in Chandigarh.

“Go what՚s That” Application

  • This is 1st of its kind app where tourist can scan QR code at heritage site to download history & details of that place in multiple languages.
  • App will help UT Administration in data analytics by getting real-time updates on each place, including number of tourists visiting places, scan details, etc.

Cabinet Approves Policy Framework for Exploration and Exploitation of Unconventional Hydrocarbons

Union Cabinet has approved policy to permit exploration & exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons such as Shale oil/gas, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) etc.

It will be carried out under existing Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) , CBM contracts & Nomination fields to encourage existing Contractors in licensed/leased area to unlock potential of unconventional hydrocarbons in existing acreages.

W/approval of this policy, there will be complete shift from ‘One hydrocarbon Resource Type’ to ‘Uniform Licensing Policy’ which is presently applicable in Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) & Discovered Small Field (DSF) Policy.

Benefits of Policy Framework for Exploration and Exploitation of Unconventional Hydrocarbons:

  • This policy will enable realization of prospective hydrocarbon reserves in existing Contract Areas which otherwise would remain unexplored & unexploited.
  • W/this policy dispensation, new investment in Exploration & Production (E&P) activities & chances of finding new hydrocarbon discoveries & resultant increased domestic production thereof is expected.
  • This will lead to induction of new, innovative & cutting-edge technology & forging new technological collaboration to exploit unconventional hydrocarbons.

Promotion of Zero Budget Natural Farming

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under Network Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) & All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) on Integrated Farming Systems, has initiated experiment on “Evaluation of zero budget farming practices in basmati rice-wheat system” at Modipuram (UP) , Ludhiana (Punjab) , Pantnagar (U ′ Khand) & Kurukshetra (Haryana) from rabi 2017 to study zero budget farming practices on productivity, economics & soil health including soil organic carbon & soil fertility.

Schemes for Zero Budget Natural Farming

Zero Budget Natural Farming, as name implies, is method of farming where cost of growing & harvesting plants is zero.

Zero Budget Natural Farming
  • It is natural farming technique that uses biological pesticides instead of chemical-based fertilizers.
  • Farmers use earthworms, cow dung, urine, plants, human excreta & such biological fertilizers for crop protection.
  • GoI is promoting organic farming in country thru dedicated schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) since 2015 - 16 & thru Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) .

Cyclone Warning Centre to be Set up in Thiruvananthapuram Within a Month

  • Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has announced to set up Cyclone Warning Centre in Kerala՚s capital Thiruvananthapuram.
  • It proposed to set up C-band Doppler weather radar at Mangalore, Karnataka. This comes in view of recent heavy rainfall & concerns over extreme weather activities in future.
  • Centre will be equipped w/state- of-the-art infrastructure including forecasting tools to provide daily weather alerts, issue weather warnings & coastal warnings or bulletins (for fishermenetc) .
  • IMD has 6 cyclone warning centres, 4 along east coast at Chennai (Tamil Nadu) , Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) , Bhubaneswar (Odisha) & Kolkata (West Bengal) , & 2 along west coast at Ahmedabad (Gujarat) & Mumbai (Maharashtra) .

C-Band Doppler Weather Radar

  • It is proposed to be set up at Mangalore, Karnataka to provide now cast alerts for severe weather, including thunderstorms triggered by heavy rain for next 2 - 3 hours.
  • This radar will cover northern Kerala & Karnataka.
  • There are 2 Doppler radars in Kerala at Kochi & Thiruvananthapuram, which cover central & southern districts, respectively.

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