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Current Affair – July 8, 2021

INS Tabar exercise with Italian navy

  • As part of the ongoing deployment to the Mediterranean, INS Tabar entered the Port of Naples, Italy.
  • On departure from port, the ship also undertook a Maritime Partnership Exercise with ITS Antonio Marceglia (F 597), a frontline frigate of the Italian Navy, in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  • The exercise covered a wide range of naval operations including air defence procedures, replenishment at sea, communication drills and cross deck hello operations by day and night.
  • The exercise was mutually beneficial in enhancing interoperability and towards consolidating combined operations against maritime threats.
  • The exercise culminated with a ‘Steam Past’ by the two ships, as per the naval custom.
Source: PIB

Matsya Setu

  • Union Ministry for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying launched the Online Course Mobile App “Matsya Setu”.
  • The app was developed by the ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA), Bhubaneswar, with the funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad.

About the app

  • The online course app aims to disseminate the latest freshwater aquaculture technologies to the aqua farmers of the country.
  • Matsya Setu app has species-wise/ subject-wise self-learning online course modules, where renowned aquaculture experts explain the basic concepts and practical demonstrations on breeding, seed production and grow-out culture of commercially important fishes like carp, catfish, scampi, murrel, ornamental fish, pearl farming etc.
  • Better Management Practices to be followed in maintaining the soil & water quality, feeding and health management in aquaculture operations were also provided in the course platform.
  • Upon successful completion of each course module, an e-Certificate can be auto-generated. Farmers can also ask their doubts through the app and get specific advisories from experts.

Significance of the app

  • Capacity building of fish farmers is a very vital part of spearheading the Technology-led Aquaculture Development in the country.
  • It will be helpful for the farmers to learn the advancements in the technologies and Better Management Practices at their convenience.
  • Learning the advanced technologies will influence the adoption of scientific methods in fish farming; hence the productivity will be enhanced, and the income will be improved.
  • The app will disseminate the latest information on different schemes among the stakeholders, especially fishers, fish farmers, youth and entrepreneurs across the country assist them and facilitate ease of doing business.
Source: PIB

Export of GI certified Madurai malli

  • Consignments of Geographical Indications (GI) certified Madurai malli and other traditional flowers such as button rose, lily, chamanthi and marigold were exported to USA and Dubai from Tamil Nadu.
  • Indian community in Dubai and USA would be able to offer fresh flowers to Hindu deities both at home and temples while celebrating religious and cultural festivals after exports of flowers from India continue at regular interval.

Sourcing the exports

  • The flowers for the consignments were sourced from Nilakottai, Dindigul and Sathyamangalam; Tamil Nadu by APEDA

registered M/s. Vanguard Exports.

  • The exporters of consignments were supported by professors from floriculture department of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore in adoption of packaging technology to increase the shelf life of the flowers.
  • Direct contacts with the farmers to cultivate quality flowers were undertaken by the exporters and the initiative generated employment to about 130 women workers and about 30 skilled workers.

Jasmine exports

  • During 2020-2021, fresh cut flowers jasmine flowers and bouquets (comprising of jasmine and other traditional flowers) valued at Rs 66.28 crores were exported to countries like USA, UAE, Singapore, etc.
  • Out of which, value of Rs.11.84 crores were exported from Tamil Nadu region.
  • Jasmine (JasminumOfficinale) is one of the most popular flowers found across the world. The scent of Jasmine is synonymous with the splendor of Madurai’s Meenakshi temple. Madurai has emerged as a major market for the malligai grown in its neighbourhood, and has evolved into the ‘jasmine capital’ of India.
Source: PIB

Mugger body found in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary

  • The decapitated body of a three-feet-long Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) was found on the banks of River Mahanadi near Binikei temple within Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary in Odisha‘s Angul district.

Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary

  • Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary is spread over 795.52 square kilometers across four districts: Angul, Budh, Cuttack and Nayagarh.
  • It owes its name to the narrow stretch of River Mahanadi i.e. “Sat – kosh” or seven miles long near Tikarapada.
  • The reserve has 523.61sq km as core area. The area is also a part of the Mahanadi elephant reserve.
  • Satkosia is the meeting point of two bio-geographic regions of India; the Deccan Peninsula and the Eastern Ghats,

contributing immense biodiversity. Here Mahanadi has cut across the Eastern Ghats.

  • It is known for:
  • Gharials,
  • Mugger crocodile
    • Rare fresh water turtles like Chitra indica and Trionyx (Aspidiretesgangeticus)
  • The water bodies of Satkosia are home to around 108 muggers, according to the 2021 census.


  • Mugger crocodiles are covered under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Since 1982, the species has been marked ‘vulnerable’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It is a medium-sized broad-snouted crocodile native to the freshwater habitats. The species feeds on insects, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals.
  • The mugger is the least ferocious crocodile breed in this region.

Illegal fishing, construction of dams, barrages, irrigation canals, siltation, changes in the river course, artificial embankments and sand-mining caused excessive, irreversible loss of riverine habitat this threatens the existence of the species.

Source: Down-to-earth

Concerns over Diamond Mining in Chhatarpur, MP

  • The proposed diamond mine in the Buxwaha protected forest region in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh is to to excavate about five million tonnes of diamond-bearing kimberlite ore per annum.
  • It may have a greater ecological impact on the region. Environmentalists and local communities have been protesting against the project for over a month.

About diamond mining

  • Diamond mining is a water-intensive process.
  • The water requirement for the Bunder mine and ore processing plant is about 16,050 cubic metres per day according to the pre-feasibility report of the project. The project is estimated go on for 14 years.
  • The project threatens to further deplete the already scarce water reserve of the drought-prone Bundelkhand region.
  • Around 200,000 trees also will be felled for the excavation.

Do bundelkhand’s stream even have water?

  • When the monsoon ends the stream goes dry. It is not perennial.
  • The Chhatarpur was categorised as a semi-critical region by the Central Ground Water Authority in 2017.
  • In 2020, the district recorded a rain deficit of 24%. Low rainfall has been the trend in the district as well as in the Bundelkhand region.

Waste from tailing ponds and water-pollution

  • Two major kinds of waste are generated during the excavation of any ore.
  • Overburden (OB) waste which lies over the ore, such as rocks and soil.
  • The other is tailings or the remains of the mineral after the economically valuable components have been extracted from the finely milled ore.
  • Soil and OB wastes are not contaminated and thus are easy to dispose of. But tailings are disposed of in dams or ponds usually built around the mining site. The tailing ponds contain process-affected water, dissolved metals and various toxic ore processing reagents that can seep into the ground.
  • The problem will be to identify the location for the tailing ponds and how to manage them after the diamond is extracted.
  • Diamond extraction is not mechanical extraction and requires a lot of chemicals besides water. These chemicals do leak out. If it’s soluble in the water, then even if water is treated, it still remains there. The long-term impact of it is seen on animals, humans and the environment.

Other cases of waste

  • There have been several reports of contaminated waste leaching into the groundwater and the tailing ponds overflowing in the monsoon.
  • In April 2011, leakage from the red mud pond containing bauxite residue of the aluminium refinery of Vedanta Ltd in Odisha entered River Vamsadhara and caused enormous damage to the environment
Source: Down-to-earth

New ‘Ministry of Co-Operation’

  • A separate ministry Ministry of Co-operation  has been created.
  • It is for strengthening cooperative movement in the country.
  • It aims for realizing the vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’.
  • This ministry will provide separate administrative, legal and policy framework for strengthening cooperative movement in the country.
Source: Indian Express