Gujarat Current Affairs - 2019

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Scientists sequence Asiatic lion’s Genome for the first time

The scientists from Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s (CSIR)-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, for the first time sequenced the entire genome of Asiatic lion.

Key Highlights of Study

  • The population of Asiatic lion, an endangered species is very low. At present only 523 animals are found in the Gir forests in Gujarat.
  • Need for Conservation: The study of genomes unraveled evolutionary history of Asiatic lion. It noted that evaluation of genetic diversity (i.e. the total number of genetic characteristics of a species which serves as a way for populations to adapt to changing environments) placed Asiatic lion in lowest bracket of genomic diversity index which highlights the gravity of its conservation status.
  • Multi-Pronged Approach: As per scientist for conservation of Asiatic lions it is crucial to adopt a multi-pronged approach. Therefore, genome study which will identifying characteristics which are specific to Asiatic lions will enable better population and disease management of endangered big cat.
  • Importance: The genome sequencing of Asiatic lions would enable scientists to better understand their evolution. With better understanding they can develop specific markers to study Asiatic lion’s population genetics (it means the differences at gene level within a population) and can further get newer insights into their population status and subsequent management.
  • Significance: Until now only partial genomic information of African lion is available. Therefore a comparative genomics between both African lion and Asiatic lions can only be undertaken once complete genome of African lion is sequenced. Therefore, once complete genome of African Cheetah, Royal Bengal tiger, and Jaguar will be available, the comparative studies of all these big cats would be possible.
  • This signifies that final objective of scientists is to understand species at DNA level and study that if there are any specific problems with regard to adaptability of Asiatic Lion to environment or behaviour vis-à-vis other big cats.

About Asiatic Lion

  • They are also known as Indian Lion, and Scientific Name is Panthera Leo Persica.
  • IUCN Red List Status: Endangered
  • They are also Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, in Appendix I of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
  • At present the only home of Asiatic lion is Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat.
  • Threats: Asiatic lion presently exists as a single sub-population. They are vulnerable to extinction from unpredictable events, like epidemic or large forest fire and in recent years poaching incidents were also indicated.

Month: Categories: Science & Technology

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Shops and Businesses in Gujarat can now remain Open 24X7

‘Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2019’ came into force from May 1. It allows that shops, commercial establishments and businesses running in state can now remain open round the clock (24X7). The act was passed by state Assembly in February 2019, but was notified on occasion of Gujarat’s foundation day, 1 May 1960.

Key Highlights: Gujarat Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 2019

  • It replaces ‘Gujarat Shops and Establishments Act of 1948’ which prohibited shops and other businesses from remaining open between 12 am to 6 am.
  • Now shops and commercial establishments employing less than ten persons will need no registration and those employing more than 10 workers will require one-time registration with no need for annual renewal
  • Working hours for women employees can be only between 6 am and 9 pm. It could be relaxed if after considering safety issues authorities make a written request.

Benefits

  • Increase Employment: In Gujarat about seven lakh shops and businesses employ less than ten persons and generate direct employment of about 10-12 lakh persons. As per new law they do not require registration.
  • Overtime Perks: Employees working overtime will get paid twice their pay, against one and half time under previous law.
  • Biggest beneficiaries of amendments to existing law would be markets, malls, food outlets and retailers, especially during festive season.

Month: Categories: States

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