Malabar Current Affairs - 2019

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 New Viper species Discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

A team of herpetologists (specialized in study of reptiles and amphibians) have discovered a more advanced new species of reddish-brown pit viper from Arunachal Pradesh. Their discovery was published in Russian Journal of Herpetology.

About the Viper

  • Scientific Name (of discovered Arunachal pit viper): Trimeresurus arunachalensis. This discovery of new species makes Arunachal Pradesh only Indian state to have a pit viper named after it.
  • Discovery: The research team from Pune-based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, found the snake species while conducting biodiversity surveys in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, in in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Significance: The viper discovered is never described before therefore this single known specimen of this species makes it currently the rarest pit viper in the world.
  • Type: It is a species of reddish-brown pit viper, a venomous snake.
  • It has a unique heat-sensing system.

Earlier Discoveries

  • With this, India is now home to fifth brown pit viper. The other four brown pit vipers are Hump-Nosed, Horseshoe, Malabar, and Himalayan who were discovered about 70 years ago.
  • This new discovery makes Arunachal pit viper the second serpent to have been discovered in state after Crying Keelback, a non-venomous snake was found in Arunacal’s Lepa-Rada district in 2018.

NOTE

The Vipers (or Viperidae) are a family of venomous snakes found in most parts of world. All such species have relatively long, hinged fangs that permit deep penetration and injection of snake venom.

Konkan 18: India, UK naval exercise held in Goa

The naval exercise Konkan 18 between India and United Kingdom will be conducted from November 28 to December 6, 2018 off Goa with units participating from both navies. The harbour phase is scheduled from November 28 to November 30 2018 followed by the sea phase from 2-6 December, 2018.

Key Facts

For this edition of exercise, Royal Navy will be represented by HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Class Destroyer equipped with integral Wildcat helicopter. Indian Navy will be represented by INS Kolkata, the first ship of latest Kolkata class destroyers, equipped with integral Seaking and submarine and maritime patrol aircraft Dornier. The thrust of exercise this year is on Anti-Air warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) and seamanship evolutions. Besides exercises at sea, it will also encompasses professional interactions and sports fixtures.

Background

Naval cooperation between India and United Kingdom is based on long term strategic relationship between both countries. Both Navies have, over years have undertaken bilateral activities such as training exchanges and technical cooperation. Bilateral KONKAN exercise was started in 2004 and since then has grown in scale. It provides platform to periodically exercise at sea and in harbor so as to build interoperability and share best practices.

The exercise is aimed at deriving mutual benefit from each other’s’ experiences and is indicative of continuing cooperation between two countries. The inter-operability achieved over years as result of such exercises has proved to be operationally beneficial to both navies. The naval cooperation is tangible symbol of commitment of both nations in ensuring a positive climate at sea for enhancing strategic stability and promoting economic prosperity.