International Day for Biological Diversity : 22nd May
•The year 2020 is a reflection, opportunity and solutions for biodiversity issues.
The year will witness:
1. The final period for the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan on Biodiversity and its 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
2. The end of the 2011-2020 United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, and start of other new pivotal biodiversity related decades for the period 2021-2030: the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
Theme for 2020 : “Our solutions are in nature”
•The theme highlights that Biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future
【Recently , Earth Hour was observed on 28th March, 2020. It encourages people to switch off the lights from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm as per their local time.】
1st International Tea Day: 21st May
•Recently, the first International Tea Day was observed on 21st May after it was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2019
•May 21 was chosen because the season of tea production begins in May in most of the tea producing countries
•Tea is a beverage made from the Camellia sinesis plant. It is the world’s most consumed drink, after water.
•It is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and southwest China, but the exact place where the plant first grew is not known. [There is evidence that tea was consumed in China 5,000 years ago]
•Tea is a tropical and sub-tropical plant and grows well in moderately hot and humid climates.
•The ideal temperature for its growth is 20°-30°C and temperatures above 35°C and below 10°C are harmful for the bush.
•It requires 150-300 cm annual rainfall which should be well distributed throughout the year
•It is the physical phenomenon that occurs when a pair or group of particles is generated and they interact in such a way that the quantum state of each particle of the pair or group cannot be described independently of the state of the others.
•In this quantum mechanical phenomenon, the quantum states of two or more objects have to be described with reference to each other, even though the individual objects may be spatially separated.
•This leads to correlations between observable physical properties of the systems.
【Albert Einstein dismissed this idea as a ‘spooky action’.】
•Recently, the scientists from S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata have developed a novel protocol to find out whether a pair of electrons is in an entangled state.
•This novel protocol to measure the status of entanglement is known as Device Independent Self Testing (DIST) method
•Coir is a 100% natural fiber, obtained from a renewable source – the coconut husk.
•Geotextiles are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain. These are typically made from polypropylene or polyester
•Coir Geo Textile is naturally resistant to rot, molds and moisture, and free from any microbial attack hence it needs no chemical treatment. It has a permeable, natural and strong fabric with high durability.
•They support many civil engineering applications including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, bank protection, coastal engineering and construction site silt fences or geotube
【National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (NRIDA) has announced that coir geo textiles will be used for construction of rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY-III).】
Odisha to promote contract farming system due to Pandemic
•Recently, the Odisha government has promulgated an ordinance allowing investors and farmers to enter into an agreement for contract farming
•The ordinance aims to facilitate both farmers and sponsors to develop mutually beneficial and efficient contract farming systems.
•It is also expected to improve the production and marketing of agricultural produce and livestock while promoting farmers’ interest
•Contract farming signifies an agricultural production (including livestock and poultry) based on a pre-harvest agreement between buyers (such as food processing units and exporters), and producers (farmers or farmer organisations).
•The producer can sell the agricultural produce at a specific price in the future to the buyer as per the agreement.
•Under contract farming, the producer can reduce the risk of fluctuating market price and demand. The buyer can reduce the risk of non-availability of quality produce