States and union territories of India Current Affairs - 2019

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Scientists carry out first ever Genetic Study on Lakshadweep Island’s Natives

For the very first time scientists carried out genetic study on people of Lakshadweep Islands. It was conducted by a team of researchers at CSIR’s (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). The authors studied major islands of Kadmat, Andorth, Chetlat, Agatti, Kalpeni, Bitra, Kiltan and Minicoy of Lakshadweep.

Key Findings of Study

  • They studied major islands of Kadmat, Andorth, Chetlat, Agatti, Kalpeni, Bitra, Kiltan and Minicoy of Lakshadweep.
  • They analyzed DNA samples of 557 individuals from eight major islands for mitochondrial DNA and 166 individuals for Y chromosome markers.
  • Unlike earlier when it was presumed that people of Lakshadweep Islands might have presence of genetic signatures of ancient people, like Andamanese and Australian aboriginals. It shows that majority of human ancestry in Island of Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and West Eurasia.
  • It found close genetic link of Lakshadweep islanders with people from Maldives, Sri Lanka and India. However, it did not found any evidence of early human migration through Lakshadweep islands.
  • Although, genetic composition of first human settlement of Lakshadweep archipelago is still not clear. But it found that there is a strong founder effect for both paternal and maternal lineages which signals that island’s population had limited genetic mixing.

Geographical Facts: Lakshadweep

  • It was formerly (1956–73) called Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands. It is India’s union territory.
  • It is an archipelago (extensive group of islands) of 36 islands in Laccadive Sea, scattered over 30,000 square miles of Arabian Sea.
  • Its administrative centre (capital) is Kavaratti.
  • ‘Lakshadweep’ in Malayalam language and in Sanskrit means “Hundred Thousand Islands”.
  • Nine Degree Channel: separates Minicoy Island from rest of Lakshadweep.
  • Eight Degree Channel: Separates entire group of Lakshadweep islands from Maldives.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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Sashastra Seema Bal to patrol Dudhwa tiger reserve

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) and Sashastra Seema Bal have joined hands to provide security to Dudhwa forests and its rich wildlife. It was part consensus reached among all security agencies including SSB, central and local intelligence officers, customs and excise officials, Special Tiger Protection Force and DTR’s field staff to discuss issues involving safety of Dudhwa forests and its wildlife.

Key Facts

The joint long route patrolling comprising SSB, STPF and DTR field staff will help to strengthen patrolling in and around Dudhwa to check forest and wildlife crimes. Intelligence and information will be also shared among various security agencies about activities of wildlife and forest criminals. Besides, mechanism to establish SSB border outpost level communication and information was approved for strengthening safety of Dudhwa.

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

It is protected area in Uttar Pradesh that stretches mainly across the Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts. It comprises Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. It covers area of 1,284.3 km2 and includes three large forest fragments. It shares north-eastern boundary with Nepal, which is defined to large extent by Mohana River. The area is vast Terai alluvial floodplain traversed by numerous rivers and streams flowing in south-easterly direction. It ranges in altitude from 110 to 185 m. Apart from tigers  (estimated 106–118), it is also home to swamp deer, sambar deer, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, Indian rhinoceros, sloth bear, ratel, jackal, civets, jungle cat, fishing cat, etc. It is home to one of finest forests in India, some of these trees are more than 150 years old and over 70 ft tall.

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

It is Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) entrusted with guarding country’s border with Nepal and Bhutan. It was established in 1963 and functions under administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Its headquarters are in New Delhi. It has specialist jurisdictions for national border patrol, security, and integrity.

Month: Categories: National

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