Gujarat [GPSC] Current Affairs - 2020

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Chinook Helicopters to be formally inducted into Indian Air Force

The first batch of four Chinook military helicopters manufactured by the American aerospace major Boeing has arrived at the Mundra port in Gujarat. This first batch consignment will be ferried to Chandigarh, where they will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2019.

Chinook Helicopters

Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel. Chinook would be deployed for humanitarian and disaster relief operations and in missions such as transportation of relief supplies and mass evacuation of refugees.

The advanced multi-mission helicopter Chinook will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions.

India had placed a mega contract to Boeing for the procurement of 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks for the Indian Air Force in September 2015. To deliver on the order, Boeing has strengthened its supply chain with over 160 partners in India. Boeing has also planned a joint venture to manufacture fuselages for Apache helicopters and the annual sourcing from India stands at $1 billion.

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Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

The Asiatic Lion Conservation Project was announced by the Centre and the Gujarat government at a cost of Rs 97.85 crore.

Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

Asiatic Lion Conservation Project would use modern information and communication technology for conservation and protection efforts of the Great Gir Region, including GPS-based animal and vehicle tracking, automated sensor grid with movement sensors, night vision capability and real-time monitoring and report generation.
The project will also have a dedicated veterinary institute, “lion ambulances”, and back-up stocks of vaccines that may be required.

The government of Gujarat has envisaged a ‘Greater Gir’ that includes, other than the existing Gir National Park, sanctuaries in Girnar, Pania and Mitiyala. The conservation project also includes “habitat improvement” measures, making more sources of water available, creating a wildlife crime cell, and a task force for the Greater Gir region.

Conservation of Asiatic Lion

In 2013 Supreme Court had ordered translocation of some lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh within six months and the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh was identified to be the most suitable for reintroducing the species. But no step forwards was made in this regard.

The translocation was planned as part of long-term survival plan so that the objectives of the conservation would be best served if they could be present outside Gujarat, too, so that they are protected against calamities like a forest fire, a disease, or calamities. The deaths of the Asiatic lions in Gujrat last year has again brought the questions of conservation to the forefront.

The other challenge is the increasing number of Asiatic Lions in Gujrat. As a result, several of them were now found outside protected areas and involved in the human-animal conflict as well as in increasing contact with domestic animals as well as feral dogs, from where they could have contracted the virus.

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