West Bengal Current Affairs

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7th World Ayurveda Congress held in Kolkata

The 7th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) was held from December 2 to 4, 2016 at Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal.

It was organised by the World Ayurveda Foundation with the support of the Union Ministry of AYUSH to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine comprising Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

Key Facts
  • The focus theme of the Ayurveda Congress was “Strengthening the Ayurveda Ecosystem“.
  • The major components of the congress were public outreach session, Ayurveda Clinics for the general public and Public Lectures.
  • During the 7th WAC, 5 plenary sessions, 25 parallel sessions and a large number of paper presentations were also held.
  • On behest of PHARMEXCIL and Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry, buyer seller meet was also held to boost the export potential of the Ayurvedic Industry.

Besides, to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine the AYUSH ministry also had organised AROGYA Expo. It was inaugurated by Union Minister for AYUSH Shripad Naik.

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Gymnothorax indicus, new species of eel found in Bay of Bengal

Scientists from have discovered Gymnothorax indicus (proposed name Indian unpatterened moray), a new species of eel (a snake-like fish) in the northern Bay of Bengal region along the West Bengal coast.

It was discovered after it was collected in a trawl net by fishermen in northern Bay of Bengal, about 70 km off the coast.

About Gymnothorax indicus

  • The ell species Gymnothorax indicus is slender-bodied. It was found at a depth of 35 metres in the sea.
  • It is about one feet-long and edible. It has 194 vertebrae. Its dorsal fin has a black margin.
  • The body of the eel is uniformly pale brown without spots or patterns. Its eye rim is pale.

Significance of discovery: Scientists believe that these newly discovered eel species may contribute to food security in the future.

Eaten in coastal areas

Eels are found mostly at the bottom of rivers and seas. Globally, about 1,000 species of eels have been identified. In India their number is around 125. Eels are local delicacy in many countries like Japan. But consumption of eels in India is limited to coastal areas.

Rich marine biodiversity in Bay of Bengal

  • The coastal region of West Bengal adjoining areas of Bay of Bengal are the rich marine biodiversity. Over the past few years, it has yielded two new species of fish.
  • In 2015, Gymnothorax mishrai (Bengal moray eel), a short brown unpatterned moray eel was discovered.
  • Scientists also had discovered another new species of Haplogenys bengalensis (Indian velvetchin), an edible marine fish from the same area.

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West Bengal wins All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project Award 2015

West Bengal has been selected for the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project Award 2015. This will be the first time the state will be receiving this award.

The state was selected for this award by the 51st committee from the Indira Gandhi Krishi Bikash Kendra for its achievement in the four key areas that include scientific research for seeds.

Earlier, West Bengal also had won the Krishi Kamran Puraskar for three consecutive years. Besides, state government has also bagged the award (second position) for participating in International Agriculture and Horticulture Expo held in July 2016 in New Delhi.

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