Locusts attack in urban areas of Rajasthan
•Over the last few days, swarms of locusts have been sighted unusually even in urban areas of Rajasthan. [Also reported from parts of Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.]
•The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) is a short-horned grasshopper.
•They enter the ‘gregarious phase’ by forming huge swarms that can travel up to 150 km per day, eating up every bit of greenery on their way.
[If not controlled, locust swarms can threaten the food security of a country]
•Swarms attacking crops in East Africa reached peak populations from November, and built up in southern Iran and Pakistan since the beginning of 2020, with heavy rains in East Africa in March-April enabling further breeding.
•It is a programme taken up by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for connectivity improvement for Chardham (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri) in Uttrakhand.
•The cost of the project is around Rs. 12,000 Crore.[~$1.4 billion]
•Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has completed construction of a 440 m long tunnel below the Chamba town on the Rishikesh-Dharasu road highway (National Highway – 94).
(The construction of the tunnel is a part of the Chardham Pariyojana.)
Border Roads Organisation(BRO)
•It was conceived and raised in 1960 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for coordinating the speedy development of a network of roads in the North and the North Eastern border regions of the country.
[It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence]
USA Offers Mediation Between India and China
•The offer has come in the backdrop of the ongoing standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
• Recently, India and China faces standoff at least four points along the LAC, including Pangong Tso lake, Demchok and Galwan Valley in Ladakh and Naku La in Sikkim.
•It is the first time that the USA made such an offer to India and China, referring to the LAC situation as a “raging border dispute”.
•Recently, the USA’s National Security Adviser also said that the U.S. could impose sanctions on both Beijing and Hong Kong, if China were to go ahead and impose a national security law on Hong Kong.
【 President Trump is seeing everything as a move for upcoming Election and only election:)
•This species was discovered in Central and South America and by Alcide d’Orbigny, A French naturalist in 1842.
[ They are less than an inch long, and range from brown to black in color. ]
•An invasive species named Charru mussel (Mytella strigata), native to the South and Central American coasts, is spreading quickly in the backwaters of Kerala
•The proliferation of Charu mussel poses a serious threat to the endemic species diversity of brackish water habitats of Kerala coast
•In such a scenario, the fast-breeding Charru mussel could be seen as a ‘pest’ attack on clam fishery
Anti-trust Case Against Google(Google Pay)
•Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has started looking into allegations against the Alphabet Inc’s Google
•According to the allegations, Google is abusing its market position to unfairly promote its mobile payments app (Google Pay) in the country.
•The complaint alleges the USA tech giant more prominently showcases its Google Pay app inside its Android app store in India, giving it an unfair advantage over apps of competitors.
•This is Google’s third major antitrust challenge in India.
1. In 2018, the CCI fined Google $21 million for ‘search bias’
2. In 2019, the CCI started probing Google for allegedly misusing its dominant position to reduce the ability of smartphone manufacturers to opt for alternate versions of its Android mobile operating system
•Dugong (Dugong dugon) also called ‘Sea Cow’ is one of the four surviving species in the Order Sirenia and it is the only existing species of herbivorous mammal that lives exclusively in the sea including in India
•Vulnerable = IUCN Red List [ protected in India under Schedule I of the Wild (Life) Protection Act, 1972.]
•Dugongs are an important part of the marine ecosystem and their depletion will have effects all the way up the food chain. Proper conservation is the only way to save dugongs from extinction
•According to a 2013 survey report of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), there were only about 200 dugongs in the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat.
【Dugongs graze on seagrass and the loss of seagrass beds due to ocean floor trawling is one of the most important factors behind decreasing dugong populations in many parts of the world】