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TODAY'S CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR UPSC 01/08/2023

Project Tiger merges with Project Elephant

Project Tiger and Project Elephant, two significant conservation initiatives in India, have been merged under a new division called ‘Project Tiger and Elephant Division’ by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Recently, the Prime Minister also commended the success of Project Tiger on its 50th anniversary.

A similar proposal was made in 2011 to merge Project Tiger, Project Elephant, and Integrated Development under Wildlife Habitat. However, the plan was dropped after objections from experts on the National Board for Wildlife standing committee.


The actual fund allocation for tiger conservation has been dwindling since 2018-19, and the amalgamated budget of Project Tiger and Project Elephant in 2023-24 is lower than the previous year’s combined budget. While the merger aims to rationalize funding and improve conservation by reducing overlap in areas with both programs, the lack of funds and the confusion regarding fund division have raised concerns among experts.



Ministry of Environment and Forests initiated Project Elephant in 1992, aiming to provide financial and technical assistance to states in their efforts to manage the free-ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants

The Government of India introduced Project Tiger on April 1, 1973. This conservation initiative focuses on safeguarding the Bengal tiger and its natural habitats, aiming to prevent the extinction of the species while preserving ecologically significant areas as part of the country’s natural heritage.


SAGE PORTAL

About SAGE (Senior Care Aging Growth Engine) PORTAL:-

  • Launched: 2021.

  • Ministry: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

  • The SAGE scheme identifies, evaluate, verify, aggregate, and deliver products, solutions and services directly to the stakeholders.

  • Implementation: The Government acts as a facilitator, enabling the elderly to access the products through these identified start-ups. ( SAGE)

Objectives:-

  • To support the needs of India’s elderly persons. (Quality of Life for Elderly Index)

  • To select, support and create a “one-stop access” to elderly care products and services.

  • To encourage the selected “startups” based on innovative products and services to address the services from health, housing, care centers, and technology access linked to needs ranging from finances, food and wealth management to legal guidance.

  • To promote private enterprises to bring out innovation in products to benefit elders.

Debris of ISRO Rocket Found in Australia

Recently, an intriguing discovery was made on the shores of western Australia, where a large object was found. The Australian Space Agency has confirmed that the object is debris from an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket. The rocket’s origin and the potential implications of falling space junk have raised questions about international regulations and liability in such cases.

International Agreements and Liability

International regulations exist to address the issue of space debris, including objects falling back to Earth. The Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects outlines the liability of launching countries for any damages caused by their space objects on Earth or to other space assets. This provision makes the launching country “absolutely liable” to pay compensation for any harm caused.

An Overview of the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects

  1. The Space Liability Convention, a treaty established in 1972, extends the liability rules set forth in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

  2. Effective since September 1, 1972, the Liability Convention has garnered ratification from 98 States, with 19 signatories yet to ratify, and four international intergovernmental organizations accepting its rights and responsibilities.

  3. States bear international responsibility for all space objects launched within their territory, regardless of the launching party. If a space object originates from State A’s territory, facility, or under its influence, State A holds full liability for any resulting damages.

  4. In cases of joint space launches involving two collaborating states, both nations are jointly and severally liable for damages caused by the space object, granting the injured party the option to sue either state for the complete compensation amount.

  5. The Liability Convention mandates that claims must be raised by one state against another state, complementing existing and future national laws to compensate parties harmed by space activities.

  6. Unlike typical national legal systems, which permit individuals or corporations to initiate lawsuits against others, the Liability Convention confines claims solely to the state level. Consequently, individuals seeking compensation for space object-induced damages must pursue claims through their country against the responsible launching state.

Largest Country in the World

Russia is considered to be largest country in the world with a total area of 17,098,242 sq. km and a land of 16,376,870 sq. km which is equivalent to 11% of the total world’s landmass of 148,940,000 sq. km. Russia is the largest country in the world, with a land area that is larger than the next 13 countries combined. Russia is a country of extremes, with a vast array of landscapes and climates. From the frozen Arctic tundra to the lush forests of Siberia, Russia is a land of great beauty and diversity.

NATIONAL MISSION ON LIBRARIES SCHEME

The National Mission on Libraries is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture under the Government of India, aimed at the modernization and digital interconnection of almost 9,000 libraries throughout the country. Its primary goal is to grant readers easy access to a vast array of books and information. The ambitious project is estimated to cost approximately 1000 crores. It has been specifically designed to cater the needs of a diverse audience, including students, researchers, scientists, professionals, children, artists, and differently-abled individuals.

The Vision of National Policy on Library and Information System (NAPLIS)

The foundation for the National Mission on Libraries (NML) was laid down by the National Policy on Library and Information System (NAPLIS) in 1985. A committee chaired by Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyaya envisioned NAPLIS to foster, promote, and sustain the organizations, availability, and use of information. The policy aimed to leverage the latest advances in technology and train library and information personnel to meet the evolving information needs of society.

Meteorite Arrowhead in Switzerland

Archaeological discoveries often shed light on the rich history of our ancestors, and one such intriguing find is an ancient arrowhead made of an extraordinary material. In the 19th century, an arrowhead was unearthed in Switzerland, and to the astonishment of researchers, it was crafted from an unexpected material – iron from the sky.

Tracing the Meteorite’s Origins

According to scientists, the meteorite that contributed to the creation of the arrowhead is believed to have originated from Estonia. The astonishing revelation of its distant origin highlights the existence of extensive trade networks that thrived thousands of years ago. The fact that this meteorite iron traveled from such a considerable distance is a testament to the complex connections and exchanges between ancient civilizations.

Contributing to Prehistoric Iron Resources

During prehistoric times, pure iron was a scarce resource, making it essential for our ancestors to seek alternative sources. Iron meteorites, which are more resilient during atmospheric entry, became a valuable source of iron for the ancient people. It is presumed that most Bronze Age iron tools and weapons were crafted from meteoritic iron due to its availability and unique properties.

Regions of Discovery

While most meteoritic iron artifacts have been found in regions such as the Middle East, Egypt, and Asia, this extraordinary arrowhead was discovered in Switzerland. The settlement of Mörigen in Switzerland, thriving during the Bronze Age, became a promising location for such discoveries, close to the Twannberg field, known for meteoritic iron fragments from ancient impacts.

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