Maharashtra Current Affairs - 2019

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Factual Report on Great Indian Bustard by Rajasthan Forest Department

In a factual report submitted by the state forest department following the directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), it has been stated that there are about Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in the Jaisalmer area of the Desert National Park in Thar.

This claim by the Rajasthan Forest Department is contrary to that by the Wildlife Institute of India which had estimated a total population of GIB at 150 for whole India.

Fact Box: Great Indian Bustard

Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps

IUCN status: Critically Endangered

Plea before NGT

A petition filed by the Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL) stating that wind power projects and transmission lines were proving to be a major hazard for the survival of the endangered species in the desert area and most of the wind power projects are located in the natural habitat of the GIB in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Due to their weight, GIBs cannot fly at a high altitude. As a result, they caught in power lines.

Even the 30th Forest Advisory Committee report had advised ensuring that transmission lines in the natural habitats of GIBs should pass underground.

The petition claimed that the Rajasthan government is not doing enough to conserve the critically endangered species. No effort has been made to install ‘bird diverters’ on these power lines. Further, no measure has been taken to curb the menace of feral dogs and foxes in the park.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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Indian Teams Win Awards at NASA Annual Rover Challenge

Three teams from India have won awards at the NASA’s annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge which invites high school and college students to build and test roving vehicles for future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Indian Teams Awarded

  • The team from KIET Group of Institutions in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, won the “AIAA Neil Armstrong Best Design Award”, which recognises systems best designed to meet the Rover Challenge performance requirements.
  • The team from Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering from Mumbai, Maharashtra, won the “Frank Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award” for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems during the race as well as the “System Safety Challenge Award”.
  • The team from Lovely Professional University in Phagwara, Punjab, won the “STEM Engagement Award”, presented to the team that best-informed others about rocketry and other space-related topics.

Human Exploration Rover Challenge

The annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge of NASA is an engineering design challenge to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration. The challenge evaluates the teams by mimicking the opportunities, challenges and decision-making that our future planetary explorers will face in interplanetary space.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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