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“Great Eared Nightjar” spotted first time in Kollam’s Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Screenshot_2As per the annual bird survey at the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, a brood of the highly elusive nocturnal forest bird, the Great Eared Nightjar was spotted first time in Kollam, Kerala. Earlier, it was recorded from the Siruvani foothills in Tamil Nadu in May 1995.

(The Great Eared Nightjar (Eurostopodus macrotis bourdilloni) belongs to the nightjar family. It gets its name from the two erect earlike tufts of feathers on its head, behind the eyes).

About the Kollam’s Bird survey at Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Led by the team of the nature lovers’ forum Warblers and Waders.
  • For the survey, the sanctuary was divided into six sub-divisions viz. Kattilappara, Kallar-Rockwood, Umayar, Rosemala, Dharbhakulam, and Pandimotta.
  • 194 bird species were recorded.
  • Objective: To update the checklist of birds in the sanctuary and study their status, abundance, and distribution in different habitats.
  • Noteworthy bird species recorded viz.  Painted Bush Quail, Sri Lankan Frogmouth, White-Bellied Black Woodpecker, Great Indian Pied Hornbill, Black Baza, Blue-Bearded Bee-eater, Red-Winged Crested Cuckoo, Great-eared Nightjar, Lesser Fishing Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Booted Warbler, Blue Rock Thrush, Malay Bittern, Brown Fish Owl, Black-capped Kingfisher, Thick-billed Warbler, Speckled Piculet, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon.
  • Highest bird presence of 124 species was recorded at Kattillappara and the lowest of 51 at Dharbhakulam.
  • Important birds recorded during previous surveys but absent this time were the Osprey, Lesser Coucal, Long-tailed Nightjar, Grey Heron, and the Hair Crested Drongo.

Note: The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary ( established in 1984 and located in Kollam District, Kerala) is rich in biodiversity and the Warblers and Waders has been conducting bird surveys there in association with the Kerala Forest Department since 1995. It is a protected area in the Western Ghats, India and comes under the control of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve. 

“RapiDot Diagnostic Kit” developed by Indian researchers to detect virus in shrimps

Screenshot_3The Mangalore-based College of Fisheries developed a diagnostic kit for the detection of white spot virus in shrimps. The technology developed with funding assistance from the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, New Delhi. 

About RapiDot Diagnostic Kit

This time tested technology developed by the Department of Aquaculture of the college.

  • Based on monoclonal antibody activity (preparing clones of the antibody or cells that are released by the body when the virus enters), and is considered to be a pioneering work.
  • This farmer-level kit is ideal for diagnosis and will cost farmers Rs.40-50.
  • Within five minutes of placing the sample on the cassette of the kit, the disease can be detected.
  • It is 100 – 100 x sensitive and 20 times cheaper than I step PCR test.
  • The kit can be preserved for four months in a refrigerator.
  • White spot diseases cause an estimated loss of Rs.500 crores to the shrimp culture industry in India.
  • At present, the test developed by the Japanese costs Rs.400.

To help farmers on a large scale, the technology transferred to a French multinational company, Virbac Animal Health Care.

Note: Shrimp is a small shellfish that has a long body and legs and that is eaten as food.

Indian firm VNL’s solar-powered ‘WorldGSM’ mobile tower architecture launched in Ghana to deliver affordable services in villages

The Indian telecom equipment-maker, Vihaan Networks Ltd (VNL) launched its’ solar-powered ‘WorldGSM’ mobile tower architecture, an environment-friendly and cost-effective mobile system, to deliver affordable services in villages.

Objective: To promote access to electronic services viz. broadcasting, the Internet, multimedia service and basic telephony in unserved areas of rural Ghana

This innovative green mobile tower solution is very useful in Africa, particularly in villages and remote locations. 

About Vihaan Networks Ltd (VNL)

  • Objective: To provide mobile services to rural communities in the developing world.
  • Founded: 2005.
  • Based in Gurgaon, India and Kista, Sweden.
  • Provide eco-friendly, cost-effective service in villages.
  • Their WorldGSM technology is the first micro-telecom application, a complete GSM system optimized for the massive rural opportunity. 

Note: WorldGSM runs exclusively on solar power and requires no diesel generator backup. It is also designed for simple delivery and deployment by local, untrained workers – all resulting in zero OPEX, dramatically lower CAPEX, and near zero maintenance.

Assam and Nagaland became first States to get Plastic Photo Identity Card

Nagaland and Assam will be the first two states to be issued plastic Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The new plastic EPICs have many scientific features viz. a hologram with coded details of the voter to prevent duplication, forging and tampering.

  • Plastic Photo Identity Card will be issued through common service center of Union Government’s Information Technology department.
  • The Election Commission (EC) The Election Commission (EC) declared the most expenditure sensitive states in the country: Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
  • And also set-up flying squad, static surveillance team and election expenditure monitoring committees to curb the use of money power during elections.

Note: Currently, voters using laminated Photo Identity Card for voting purpose which was not secure as well. It could be easily cloned and tampered but PVC is quite difficult to tamper and cloned, even it is very handy