Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Techology [Paper-II]: Forest and wildlife – Legal framework for Forest and Wildlife Conservation in India
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change released the ‘India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019’ in New Delhi.
- India State of Forest Report (ISFR) is a biennial publication of Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organization under the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change Government of India
- Starting 1987, 16 assessments have been completed so far. ISFR 2019 is the 16th report in the series.
- The report provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock inside and outside the forest areas, carbon stock in India’s forests, Forest Types and Biodiversity, Forest Fire monitoring and forest cover in different slopes & altitudes.
- Special thematic information on forest cover such as hill, tribal districts, and north eastern region has also been given separately in the report.
- FSI, in a first ever attempt has carried out a rapid assessment of biodiversity for all the States and UTs (except two) and for all the sixteen Forest Type Groups as per Champion & Seth Classification (1968).
- Apart from the number of tree, shrub and herb species as observed in the survey, Shanon Wienner Index which gives species richness along with the relative abundance, has also been calculated for each forest type groups in each State & UT.
- Total forest cover of the country is 712,249 square kilometres which is 21.67 percent of the geographical area of the country.
- Total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectare which is 24.56 percent of the geographical area of the country.
- There has been an increase in forest cover in Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in the last two years.
- Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
- In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%), Meghalaya (76.33%), Manipur (75.46%) and Nagaland (75.31%).
- Under the current assessment the total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated 7,124.6 million tonnes and there is an increase of 42.6 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2017.
- The annual increase in the carbon stock is 21.3 million tonnes, which is 78.2 million tonnes CO2 eq.
- Total forest cover in the North Eastern region is 1,70,541 sq km, which is 65.05% of its geographical area.
- There has been a decrease of forest cover to the extent of 765 sq km (0.45%) in the North Eastern region. Except Assam and Tripura, all the States in the region show decrease in forest cover.
- Due to importance of wetlands, FSI has carried out an exercise at the national level to identify wetlands of more than 1 ha within RFA.
- There are 62,466 wetlands covering 3.8% of the area within the Recorded Forest Area/ Green Wash (RFA/GW) of the country.
The extent of bamboo bearing area of the country has been estimated 16.00 million hectare. There is an increase of 0.32 million hectare in bamboo bearing area as compared to the last assessment of ISFR 2017.
- Mangrove cover has been separately reported in the ISFR 2019 and the total mangrove cover in the country is 4,975 sq km.
- An increase of 54 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2017.
- Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Gujarat (37 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (16 sq km) and Odisha (8 sq km).
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Structure of Indian Banking and Non- Banking Financial Institutions and reforms
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched eBkray, an online platform to increase the transparency in auctioning of assets attached by banks.
About the Platform
- It is a common online platform to auction assets attached by various state-run banks, seeking to bring in transparency in the sale of 35,000 properties currently available and many more in future.
- The platform is equipped with property search features and navigational links to all the e-auction sites of the state-run banks.
- The e-platform to sell assets provides a single-window access to information on all the properties up for e-auction, as well as a facility for the comparison of similar properties.
- It also contains photographs and videos of uploaded properties.
- It will enhance user experience through seamless access to information by the search based on the type and location of the property put up for e-auction by the banks in India.
- The e-auction platform has also now been linked to the Indian Banks Auctions Mortgaged Properties Information (IBAPI) portal.
Indian Banks Auctions Mortgaged Properties Information (IBAPI) Portal
- It is an initiative of Indian Banks Association (IBA) under the overarching policy of the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance.
- The Portal provides a common platform to display details of mortgaged properties to be auctioned online by Banks, starting with Public Sector Banks.
FACTS OF THE DAY
WORLD’S OLDEST RHINO
- A black rhino believed to be the oldest in the world has died in Tanzania at the age of 57.
- In general, the life expectancy of rhinos is between 37 and 43 years in the wild and they can live up to 50 years and above in captivity.
- The female rhino, named Fausta, died of natural causes in captivity in the Ngorongoro Crater.
2019 WORLD RAPID CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP
- India‘s Koneru Humpy won the 2019 women’s world rapid chess championship. Koneru defeated China’s Lei Yingjie in the final playoff match.
- Norway‘s Magnus Carlsen won the men’s world rapid chess championship. He won the title with eight wins, seven draws, and no defeats.
- Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) launched phase-1 services of the e-Governance (eGCA) project under which automated commercial pilot licences (CPLs) will be issued.
- With this launch, the issue of CPL-A with Flight Radio Telephony Operators License (FRTOL) and Instrument Rating has been automated.
- The project would enhance the efficiency of the various services provided by the DGCA and would ensure transparency and accountability in all DGCA functions.
- The project envisages an end-to-end solution including various software applications, connectivity with all the regional offices, a ‘portal’ for dissemination of information and for providing online and speedy service delivery in a secure environment.
- The eGCA project is being implemented with TCS as service provider and PWC as project management consultant.
- The eGCA project is expected to be completed by the end of year 2020.
BIOMETRIC ENABLED CENTRALISED ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEM (CACS)
- Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation launched the Biometric enabled Centralised Access Control System (CACS).
- Covering 43 Airports of AAI and 5 Joint Venture airports at present, the CACS project is aimed to digitize the employee movement process at the airports.
- This multi-layered security system encompasses the uniqueness of the Airport Entry Permit (AEP) users, biometric authentication in addition to PIN-based identity verification through contactless smart card technology, which manages access of personnel along with RFID based automated vehicle access control system according to the region, terminal, zone, and gate access privileges.
- The cost of the card is 225, which shall be valid for three years.
- Biometric ID (Biometric enabled Centralised Access Control System having chip embedded smart AEPs) thus issued, is non-duplicable.
- CACS project shall facilitate the ease of processing, enhanced security and prevent unauthorized entry into airport, alert authorities to an attempted intrusion or other irregularities for immediate response.
- The project is bound to assist around 2 Lakhs employees of various stakeholders who move in & out of the airport on a daily basis.
e-BCAS PROJECT TRAINING MODULE
- Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation launched ‘e-BCAS Project Training Module.’
- It is aimed at helping more than 1.5 lac employees of various stakeholders by migrating from manual process of training to digital platform.
- The objective of the e-BCAS project is to make all the activities in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) transparent, user-friendly, and efficient. The project intends to provide an ease of doing business with the stakeholders.
- The ‘e-BCAS’ project was envisaged to achieve a “paperless office” under e-Governance initiative of GoI.
- It is aimed at facilitating external stakeholders to access BCAS system by digital automation of all internal office procedures in 2016.
- The e-BCAS project included Training module, Quality Control and Operational module and Administration etc.
- In due course of time, with the integration of all three modules into the platform of e-BCAS, the processing time in giving clearances and approvals will be reduced considerably.
- According to information provided by government in Parliament, only 30% of the funds released under the Poshan Abhiyaan have been utilised by the State governments and the Union Territories.
- The five best performers in terms of fund utilisation were Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
- The worst five performers were Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Jharkhand and Assam.
- The Centre’s flagship programme Poshan Abhiyaan aims to improve nutritional levels among pregnant women, lactating mothers and children by reducing the level of stunting, underweight, anaemia and low birth weight by 2022.
- To ensure a holistic approach, all 37 states and union territories and districts have been covered.
- The goal of ‘POSHAN Abhiyaan’ is to achieve improvement in nutritional status in a time-bound manner during three years with fixed targets.
- It aims to reduce stunting among children in the age of group of 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.