Andhra Pradesh [APPSC] Current Affairs - 2020

Peacock Parachute Spider: Rare tarantula sighted for first time

Researchers have sighted critically endangered species of tarantula- Peacock Parachute Spider for first time beyond its known habitat in the Eastern Ghats. Its known habitat is in degraded forests near Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh. Recently, it was spotted in a cave in Pakkamalai Reserve Forests (in Eastern Ghats) near Gingee in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu.

About Peacock Parachute Spider

It belongs to the genus Poecilotheria. It is commonly known as Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula. It is endemic to India. It was sighted for first time way back in 1899 by Reginald Innes Pocock on the basis of a single female specimen in Gooty. It is considered as biological pest controller.

Threats: There is huge demand for tarantulas by collectors in the pet trade. There is an urgent need to protect them.

Protection status: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorised it as Critically Endangered.

AP launches ‘Village Volunteers System’ on Independence Day

Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched his government’s flagship programme called ‘Village Volunteers System’ aimed at providing government services at doorsteps of people. The announcement in this regard was made during CM’s Independence Day address in Vijayawada.

About Village Volunteers System

The scheme would be officially launched on 2 October 2019, which also marks 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

It is aimed at providing governance services at doorsteps of people. Basic idea behind implementing scheme is to infuse confidence among people in government and to see that their basic needs are met at their door-steps.

Village secretariats would be set up in each village to deliver governance to people in 72 hours. These Village secretariats would also be launched from 2 October by making volunteers a bridge between government and people of state.

Volunteers: The scheme will involve more than 2.8 lakh volunteers. Under it, 1 volunteer will cover 50 families in each village. Identity cards will be given to each volunteer and they would get an allownace of Rs.5000 per month.

Telephone No.: Toll-free telephone number 1902 would be set up at call centre in Chief Minister Office (CMO) to receive grievances of people.

Volunteers will 1st identify beneficiaries, get to know their problems, and then describe and outline schemes being provided by government for them.

Significance: The scheme will be able to reach poorest of poor and make all villages self-sufficient.