Elephant population rises in Odisha: 2015 Census

The population of elephants has increased to 1,954 in Odisha as per revealed in 2015 Elephant Census report.

The population of elephants in state has marginally increased by 24 elephants in the terns of population in 2015 compared to 2012 Elephant Census.

As per 2015 Elephant Census

  • 1450 elephants were enumerated in three elephant reserves viz. Mayurbhanj, Mahanadi and Sambalpur.
  • These 3 elephant reserve accounted for 74.21 per cent of the total elephant population of the state.
  • Remaining 402 elephants were found outside these elephant reserves and sanctuaries.
  • Composition: 1,096 elephants were identified as cow elephants and 341 elephants were identified as tuskers. Around 490 elephants among them aged below 5 years.
  • Man animal conflict: in some areas due to enormous anthropogenic pressure and urban infrastructure development has resulted in decline in population.
  • Deaths: 13 elephants had died from 2012 to May 2015. 49 elephants had died due to disease. While, 20 had died due to poaching and 5 were poisoned.
  • 14 elephants were deliberately and 9 were accidentally electrocuted. 13 elephants died after they were hit by speeding trains and vehicles.

The census which was carried out in 44 forest divisions has shown a positive growth in 26 divisions and a negative growth in 14 divisions.


Astra missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI in Odisha

Indigenously-developed beyond visual range air-to-air Astra missile was successfully test fired at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha.

In the test, the missile was fired from Sukhoi -30 MKI fighter jet in two developmental trials to prove its long range capability.

In the first trial, the missile was released when the fighter jet was performing a very high-g manoeuvre and in the second trial it was fired when the manoeuvre was higher than in the first exercise.

These tests were the part of seven developmental trials of the missile. After few more tests, including pre-induction trials the missile is expected to be inducted by 2016.

Facts about Astra missile

  • Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and one of the smallest weapon systems developed by it.
  • Single stage solid fuelled and has payload capacity of 15 kg conventional explosives.
  • It is air-to-air beyond-visual-range (BVR) all-weather missile that can be launched from different altitudes.
  • Capable of engaging and destroying highly maneuverable supersonic aerial targets and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed of 1.2 Mach to 1.4 Mach.
  • It should be noted that it is radar homing missile
  • It can engage targets in head-on up to 80 km and tail-chase up to 20 km modes and can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km and 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea level.
  • The missile can be integrated with fighter aircraft including Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).


Draupadi Murmu sworn in as first woman Governor of Jharkhand

Ms. Draupadi Murmu was sworn in as the first woman and overall ninth Governor of Jharkhand since the state was granted statehood status after bifurcating from Bihar on 15 November 2000.

Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice Virendra Singh administered oath of office under the provisions of Article 159 of Constitution to her.

She succeeds Syed Ahmed who was recently transferred as Governor of Manipur by President Pranab Mukherjee.

About Draupadi Murmu

  • Draupadi Murmu is two-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Odisha Assembly and had represented Rairangpur.
  • She had served as Cabinet Minister in the Naveen Patnaik led coalition government of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and BJP.
  • She was the Minister of State (MoS) with independent charge for Commerce and Transport from March 2000 to August 2002.
  • She also was MoS for Fisheries and Animal Resources Development from August 2002 to May 2004.

With this, Draupadi Murmu also became the first woman and tribal leader from Odisha to be appointed as a Governor in an Indian State.