Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

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Severe extinction threat to various Indian reptiles

As per an analysis of Zoological Society of London along with IUCN species survival commission:

  • 19% of turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles and other reptiles were facing severe threat of extinction.
  • One out of every five out of 10000 species of reptiles in the world, many of which are from India, is facing a threat of extinction.
  • Out of the endangered species are the King cobra, Indian crocodile (mugger), South Andaman krait and four kinds of turtles namely, Red-crowned Roofed Turtle, Bengal Roof Turtle, Jaggedshelled turtle and Hawksbill turtle. These species were identified to be extinct forever.
  • There is no information about conservation status of around one in every three reptiles in India.
  • 30% of the freshwater reptiles were almost close to extinction.
  • 50% freshwater turtles are close to extinction. These reptiles are affected by international and national trade.
  • 15% reptiles in Indo-malayan region were threatened.
  • Out of 1500 species samples in the study, 112 were from India.
  • Out of these 1500 species, 12.2% had threat of extinction.

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India, Sri Lanka ink anti-terror, tax evasion agreements

image India and Sri Lanka inked two distinct pacts on fighting international terrorism and avoidance of double taxation with the aim to enrich bilateral relationships.

Both sides also talked about enhanced cooperation in a range of areas including civil nuclear energy and the emotive issue of fishermen and rehabilitation process of Tamils in Sri Lanka besides the 13th Amendment of the Lankan constitution that gives autonomy to provinces. Both nations also decided to start a dialogue b/w Commerce Secretary of India and Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Sri Lanka at an early date to evolve a framework for a special economic partnership b/w the two countries.

India and Sri Lanka are each other’s largest trade partners in South Asia.

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Fact Box “Europa”

About Europa:

  • image Moon of Jupiter
  • 6th closest moon of Jupiter
  • Smallest of Jupiter’s 4 Galilean satellites
  • Discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei
  • Slightly smaller than Earth’s Moon

Composition:

  • – Primarily made of silicate rock
  • – Likely has an iron core
  • – Thin atmosphere composed mainly of oxygen
  • – Surface is composed of water ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System.

Time Line:

  • 1610 – Discovered by Galileo Galilei
  • 1979 – Studied by the Voyager mission
  • 1989 – The Galileo mission was launched which provided the bulk of the present data that we have on Europa.
  • 2022 JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer), the next mission to Europa by the European Space Agency.

“Europa” is most promising in habitability in universe after Earth: NASA

As per NASA, Jupiter’s sixth closest moon Europa is the most likely heavenly body in the universe beyond the Earth that could be habitable. Europa which bears an ocean, a thin shelf of ice and oxidants on its surface is far more likely to be habitable than the desert-covered Mars, which has been the focus of recent exploration.

Europa’s evident youth and smoothness of the surface have led to the theory that a water ocean exists underneath it, which could possibly be a home for extraterrestrial life.

This theory suggests that the heat energy from tidal flexing is the reason behind the ocean to stay in liquid state and causes geological activity very similar to the plate tectonics.

Mission “Clipper”:

  • NASA is planning a new $2-billion exploration project called “Clipper”.
  • The mission follows the success of Cassini, a probe that closely explored Titan, a moon of Saturn.
  • NASA will send a spacecraft to Jupiter’s orbit and conduct a number of fly-bys to study Europa in its entirety.
  • Clipper could be launched by 2021 and would take a further three-six years to reach Europa.

* As per scientists, Enceladus, the 6th largest moon of Saturn, could also be habitable.

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