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Prelim Booster News

Environment June-2019
‘Micryletta aishani’

Why in News > Researchers have discovered a new species of ‘Paddy

Frog’ from Northeast India, primarily in Assam.

Micryletta aishani
• The newly discovered species has been named
Aishani, which is derived from Sanskrit word
‘aishani’ or aisani meaning Northeast.
• It is a group of narrow-mouthed frogs that is
primarily and widely distributed in Southeast
• These frogs are more commonly known as
"paddy frogs”.
‘Micryletta aishani’

• Micryletta aishani is currently endemic to Northeast India but it

could very well be present in neighbouring regions of Bangladesh
and Myanmar.
• Apart from Assam, it is also present in Tripura and Manipur
North East Map
Why in News > The coat of Asiatic golden cat comes in five other shades besides the
golden colour in Arunachal Pradesh, scientists have discovered.
Its coat comes in six types: cinnamon, golden, gray, melanistic, ocelot and tightly rosetted.

• Scientific name: Catopuma temminckii.

• IUCN : Near threatened
• found across eastern Nepal through north-eastern
India to Indonesia.
• Scientists believe that the wide variation displayed
in the cat’s coats provides them with several
ecological benefits such as occupying different
habitats at different elevations — from wet
tropical lowland forests to alpine scrubs — and
providing camouflage while preying on pheasants
and rabbits.
Why in News > 10th edition of regional GRIHA summit held in Nagpur.

• Full name GRIHA is Green Rating for Integrated
Habitat Assessment (GRIHA).
• It is a rating tool that helps people assesses
the performance of their building against
certain nationally acceptable benchmarks.
• It is given by the GRIHA Council, a not-for-
profit society jointly setup by The Energy and
Resources Institute (TERI) and the Ministry of
New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to
promote green buildings in India.

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

• TERI is a non-profit research institution that conducts research work in
the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
• Established in 1974 as Tata Energy Research Institute and was renamed
The Energy and Resources Institute in 2003.
• It aims to focus on formulating local and national level strategies for
shaping global solutions to critical issues.
• It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and
sustainable development.
• Its key focus lies in promoting clean energy, water management,
pollution management, sustainable agriculture and climate resilience.
India and Green Building (Imp. For Prelims)

The GRIHA Council performs which of the following functions?

1. Monitoring housing shortages in India and coordinating with Ministry
of Urban Development to execute cooperative housing projects
2. Resettlement of slum residents to in metropolitan areas
Which of the above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) None

Solution: d)
India to host UN meets on land degradation in September

Why in News > India for the first time will host the 14th session of the
Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to
Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
• Environment Ministry also launched a flagship
project, part of a larger international initiative
called the Bonn Challenge, to enhance India’s
capacity for forest landscape restoration (FLR).
Bonn Challenge
• The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring
150 million hectares of degraded and
deforested land into restoration by 2020 and
350 million by 2030.
India to host UN meets on land degradation in September

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

• The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD) is
observed on 17th June every year.
• UNCCD was established in 1994 and the only legally binding
international agreement linking environment and development
issues to the land agenda.
• This is one of the three major conventions of the United Nation
others two are the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity
• The theme for this year is “Let’s grow the future together”.
Why in News > India has opened its first specialised hydrotherapy treatment
for elephants suffering from arthritis, joint pain and foot ailments, near the
Wildlife SOS’ Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC) in Mathura.

About ECCC
• It is established by Wildlife SOS in
collaboration with Uttar Pradesh Forest
• It currently houses several rescued
elephants who were rescued from circuses
and from cruel owners who were in illegal
possession of these elephants.
Bihar bans tree-felling

Why in News > The Government of Bihar banned felling of trees, citing
increasing pollution as well as a fatal heatwave.

• The order was passed under the Forest
Conservation Act.
• Trees on private land, however, can be felled in the
absence of a tree-protection Act in Bihar.
• Bihar has been able to increase its green cover
from seven to 15 per cent under the Green
Arogyapacha: ‘Miracle Plant’

Why in News > Scientists from the University of Kerala have decoded the
genetic make-up of Arogyapacha (Trichopus zeylanicus).

• It is a highly potent medicinal plant endemic to the
Agastya hills in the southern Western Ghats.
• This plant is traditionally used by the Kani tribal
community to combat fatigue.
• The plants show anti-oxidant, aphrodisiac, anti-
microbial, anti-inflammatory anti-tumour, anti-
ulcer, hepatoprotective and anti-diabetic
About Kani Tribe

• Traditionally Kani tribes are a nomadic people. They

are indigenous to tropical forests of the
Agasthyamalai hills of the Western Ghats, a
mountain range in Kerala. They have a population
of almost 25,000.
• Kani has a rich tradition of using wild plants found
in the region for health reasons. The tribal
physicians, known as Plathi – are the exclusive
holders of the traditional medicinal knowledge of
the tribe.

• According to Kani tribal customs, only the Plathi

have the right to transfer and disseminate their
traditional medicinal knowledge.
About Agasthya hills

• Agasthya hill is a 1,868-metre (6,129 ft) tall peak

within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Western
Ghats of Kerala. The peak lies on the border of
Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
• This peak is a part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere
Reserve which lies on the border between the
states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
• The Thamirabarani River is a perennial river which
originates from the eastern side of the range and
flows into the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
• Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is among 20 new
sites added by UNESCO to its World Network of
Biosphere Reserves in March 2016.
Why in News > Wildlife experts have discovered the Impressed Tortoise in
Arunachal Pradesh. This species of tortoise have never been previously
sighted in India.
• Scientific Name of Impressed Tortoise is Manouria
• it occurs in mountainous forest areas in Southeast Asia
in Burma, southern China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Malaysia and now has been found in India.
• The species has a golden brown shell and skin. Adults
are much smaller than their relatives the Asian forest
tortoise (Manouria emys).
• listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.
• A team of herpetologists from the Forest Department and two NGOs
found the Impressed Tortoise in Yazali area of the Lower Subansiri
district in Arunachal Pradesh.
• This is the first record of the Impressed tortoise in India, taking the
count to five and the non-marine chelonian count to 29. Chelonian is an
order of reptile that includes turtles, terrapins and tortoises.
Asian Forest Tortoise
• There are only two species of tortoises under the Manouria genus.
• India was known to be the home of only the Asian Forest Tortoise
(Manouria emys) until the discovery of the Impressed Tortoise.
• The Asian Forest Tortoise, the largest in mainland Asia, is found only in
the northeast, as are 20 of the other 28 species of chelonians.
Joint Effort to Conserve Wildlife at Bandipur
Why in News > National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has
convened an inter-state meeting of senior forest personnel from
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala at Bandipur in Karnataka

• The joint effort would primarily focus:
To eradicate invasive plants such as Senna
Spectabilis which caused a major threat to the
wildlife habitat in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
• To ensure inter-state coordination in conserving
the endangered vulture population in the
Joint Effort to Conserve Wildlife at Bandipur

• To mitigate increasing human-wildlife conflict on the forest fringes of

the region. As part of it, information regarding radio-collared animals
and their movements would be exchanged among the department
• To stop forest fire and information on such incidents would be handed
over to the officials in the adjacent sanctuaries and tiger reserves.
• Information on accused in forest cases would also be exchanged each
other to avert wildlife-related crimes.
About Bandipur Tiger Reserve

• Bandipur Tiger Reserve came into being in 2007.

• It the largest protected area in southern India and
the largest habitat of wild elephants in South Asia,
together with the adjoining Nagarhole National
Park, Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad
Wildlife Sanctuary.
• It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
• The Moyar River originating from the Nilgiri
Mountain Range near Pykara, meandering through
the Reserve over a length of more than 20 Km.
• The Tiger Reserve is situated is a distinctive
landmass located at the tri-junction area of the
States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Plastic Parks
Why in News > 4 Plastic Parks approved for implementation in Phase-I- in
the States of Assam (Tinsukia), Madhya Pradesh (Raisen), Odisha
(Jagatsinghpur) & Tamil Nadu (Thiruvallur).
• There is a scheme in place to establish Plastic
Parks across the country.
• As per the Scheme guidelines, a Special
Purpose Vehicle set up by the concerned State
government, which is the implementing
agency, is responsible for all statutory
approvals, including environmental clearances
from the state level authorities at the DPR
Plastic Parks

• Further, the Scheme also provides building common infrastructure to

support the plastic production units for hazardous waste
management, incinerator, buildings and equipment/machinery for
common facilities for characterization, prototyping & virtualization,
non-destructive material testing, incubation, training, warehousing,
plastic recycling, tooling, designing, Research & Development, plastic
waste recycling etc.
• and establishment of effluent treatment plant, to ensure
environmentally sustainable growth through innovative methods of
waste management, recycling, etc
Plastic Crust– a new kind of sea pollution
Why in News > Scientists from the Marine and Environmental Sciences
Centre have discovered a new type of plastic pollution which has been
dubbed as “plasticrusts”.
About Plasticrust
• It is a layer of polyethene, the world's most widely
used plastic encrusted onto ocean rocks.
• In 2016, researchers first observed blue and grey
plastic patches on Madeira, a volcanic Portuguese
island off northwest Africa.
• After sampling rocks along the coastline,
researchers found that by 2019 the plasticrusts
covered 9.46% of the rocky surface.
Plastic Crust– a new kind of sea pollution

• According to researchers, the potential impact of plasticrusts is still

relatively unknown but had the potential to affect the island’s
‘Jal Shakti’Munistry

Why In • The Centre has created a new Ministry called ‘Jal

News Shakti’.

It has been created by merger of Ministries of Water

Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
along with Drinking Water and Sanitation.
‘Nal se Jal’ scheme to provide piped drinking water to
every household will be a component of government’s
Jal Jivan Mission.
The ministry will roll out government’s ambitious
plans to provide piped water connections to every
household in India by 2024.
‘Jal Shakti’Munistry

It will also address international and inter-states water disputes and

the Namami Gange project which is the flagship initiative to clean the
River Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries.
• Nearly four Lakh people are expected to converge on June 6 at the
Why In
historic Raigad fort to celebrate the anniversary of the Maratha warrior
News king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation ceremony.

Raigad fort is a hill fort situated in the Mahad, Raigad

district of Maharashtra. The fort is located in the
Sahyadri mountain range.
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj seized the fort in 1656,
then known as the fort of Rairi from Raje
Chandraraoji More, The King of Jawali.
Shivaji renovated and expanded the fort of Rairi and
renamed it as Raigad (King's Fort).
New species of wasp from Goa

• Scientists have recently identified a new species of wasp from the

Why In
genus Kudakrumia in Goa. The new Wasp species was collected in
the Western Ghats forests from Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary.

The wasp is dubbed as Kudakrumia rangnekari. It has been

named after Parag Rangnekar, a Goa-based researcher.

It belongs to genus Kudakrumia. The Kudakrumia is a genus

of primitive wasps that is described and previously known
only from Sri Lanka.

It is any insect of order Hymenoptera and suborder

Apocritawhich means neither a bee nor an ant. Wasps are
proficient at controlling pest populations and thus are
deployed to protect crops.

Why In • On the eve of World environment Day, 2019, Union

News Environment Minister launched #selfiewithsapling campaign.

Under the #selfiewithsapling

campaign people have been urged
to plant a sapling and post selfie
with the planted sapling on social

Every June 5th is World Environment Day.

The World Environment Day is a part of the United

Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for creating
awareness and action worldwide for the
environment. The first World Environment Day was
celebrated in 1973.
The theme for 45th World Environment Day is Beat
Air Pollution. It is the call for action to combat the
global crisis for ‘fresh air’.

Host by China
Oussudu Lake

Why In • Vulnerability assessment study conducted in Oussudu Lake, Puducherry

News had shown concern over rising plastic pollution in water bodies.

The Vulnerability assessment

study had highlighted that the
canals have become dumping
grounds for used plastic bags,
thermocols, cups, plates, pipes
and bottles.
Oussudu Lake

Oussudu Lake is a man-made lake situated about 10 km

from Puducherry.

Recognized as one of the important wetlands of Asia by

the International Union for Conservation of Nature and
Natural Resources (IUCN).
The structure of the lake > consisting of water, wetland
and mudflats.
It is a single largest catchment of fresh water in

The vegetation of the lake (ranges from small herbs to

trees) supports migratory avifauna as well as native birds
during summer and winter.

Why In • A “virgin” anaconda had given birth during the winter in

News the New England Aquarium, US without a male anaconda.

Parthenogenesis is a reproductive strategy that

involves development of a female (rarely a male)
gamete (sex cell) without fertililisation.
It occurs commonly among lower plants and
invertebrate animals (particularly rotifers, aphids, ants,
wasps and bees) and rarely among higher vertebrates”.
A gamete is the egg in females and the sperm in males.
In animals, parthenogenesis means development of an
embryo from an unfertilised egg cell.

Many species that reproduce through parthenogenesis do not reproduce

sexually. Others switch between the two modes taking cues from the
The term parthenogenesis is a amalgam of the Greek words parthenos
meaning virgin and genesis meaning origin. About 2,000 species are known
to reproduce through parthenogenesis, which is one of the known means
of asexual reproduction. Grafting (of plants) is also a type of asexual

Babies born through parthenogenesis are clones of the mother.

Parthenogenetic offspring tend to be clones of the parent because there
has been no exchange and rearrangement of genetic information with
another individual as happens in case of a sexual reproductive process
Hoolock Gibbon
• In an Arunachal Pradesh village, locals are planting a corridor of gibbon-
Why In
friendly trees in a bid to conserve the arboreal species in their natural
News habitat

About Hoolock Gibbon

Native to eastern Bangladesh, Northeast India and
Southwest China.
Listed as vulnerable in IUCN Red list
Mainly concentrated in the Mishmi Hills and are
now commonly known as Mishmi hills gibbons.
Protected in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary located in
Lower Dibang Valley district
Hoolock Gibbon

Mishmi Hills
Emission Trading Scheme
• Gujarat has launched India’s first trading programme to combat
Why In
particulate air pollution on World Environment Day 2019, which has air
News pollution as its theme.

The programme is a market-based system where the

government sets a cap on emissions and allows industries
to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap.

It is initiated by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board

It was designed with the help of a team of researchers
from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of
Chicago (EPIC), the Economic Growth Center at Yale
University and others.
Emission Trading Scheme
How ETS Work?
Under the cap and trade system, the regulator first defines the total mass of
pollution that can be put into the air over a defined period by all factories put

Then, a set of permits is created, each of which allows a certain amount of pollution,
and the total is equal to the cap.

These permits are the quantity that is bought and sold. Each factory is allocated a
share of these permits (this could be equal or based on size or some other rule).

After this, plants can trade permits with each other, just like any other commodity
on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).
Vespersaurus paranaensis
Why in News > The researchers have found the fossil of a previously unknown
dinosaur species named Vespersaurus paranaensis, that lived 90 million years
ago in the Cruzeiro do Oeste municipality of Parana state in southern Brazil.

• The fossil remains of the Vespersaurus
paranaensis is over a metre and a half in length. It
was a desert-based carnivorous dinosaur that
used claws to capture small prey in the region.
• The Vespersaurus was a theropod, a group of
two-footed, meat-eating dinosaurs that included
the better known Tyrannosaurus and
Vespersaurus paranaensis

• The northeastern region of Parana was once a desert and the

dinosaur’s remains suggest that the Vespersaurus was well adapted to
that type of climate.
Tawang yields a new species of dung beetle
Why in News > A new species of dung beetle has been discovered in
Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

• A new species of dung beetle has been
discovered in Tawang district of Arunachal
Pradesh. The species, Enoplotrupes
tawangensis, is shining dark blue in colour,
measuring up to 27 mm and is relatively bigger
than most of the dung beetles.
• Dung beetles belong to the super family
scarabaeoidea, having clubbed antennae and
pro-tibiae (pro-legs) modified for burrowing
dung inside the soil.
Tawang yields a new species of dung beetle

• This group of insects are considered beneficial to the environment as

they help in nutrient cycling of the soil. Often referred to as little
recyclers, these scavenger beetles require mammalian dung to survive.
• Dung beetles are the one of the fascinating group of insects because of
their ability to bury dung deep in the soil and are indicators of the
ecological health of an ecosystem.
• Insects comprise almost 65% of all animal species on the planet. From
India, approximately 65,000 species of insects are known, of them,
more than 22,000 species are beetles.
• Other than the relatively large size and distinct blue colour, another
important distinguishing characteristic of this species is the strong
sexual dimorphism, with the fronto-clypeal horn shorter in females
than males.
5- Indian navy Environment conservation (INECR)
Why in News > Towards achieving the goal of Clean and Green Navy,
Indian Navy has formulated a plan – Indian Navy Environment
Conservation Roadmap (INECR) with specific action plans.

• The Indian Navy has formulated an environment
conservation roadmap aimed at reducing energy
consumption and diversifying its supply.

• Clean and Green Navy – Indian Navy pledges 1.5

% of its “Works” budget towards Renewable
Energy generation
Indian navy Environment conservation (INECR)

• Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR) – Indian

Navy has formulated specific plans covering the entire gamut of
operations, maintenance, administration and infrastructure/
community living.
• 24 MW of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) projects consisting of both Rooftop
and Land based solar panels are under execution at various shore
establishments of the Navy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar
Mission (JNNSM).
• Indian Navy has taken up initiatives for sustained usage of biodiesel for
all MT vehicles.
• The Green Initiatives Programme would aid in boosting the national
interests of environment sustainability and self-reliance in energy.
Why in News > The Government of India, the Government of Kerala and
the World Bank signed a Loan Agreement of USD 250 million for the First
Resilient Kerala Program.

• First Resilient Kerala Program was launched
recently to enhance the State's resilience against
the impacts of natural disasters and climate
• It is part of the Government of India’s support to
Kerala’s ‘Rebuild Kerala Development

• The Program represents the First ‘State Partnership’ of the World Bank
in India; it is the First of two Development Policy Operations aiming to
mainstream disaster and climate resilience into critical infrastructure
and services.
Why in News > Recently, Delhi recorded an ozone pollution which is 1.22
times higher than the eight-hour average standard for ozone exposure
that is 100 ug/cu m.

• Ozone is not directly emitted from any source. It
is a secondary pollutant which gets formed when
emissions from vehicles, industry or power plants
— nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds
— react in the air under the influence of sunlight
and temperature.
• It is also the third most important greenhouse gas
after carbon dioxide and methane.

• Generally, ozone is classified into two types:

• Good ozone: Found in stratosphere, it protects the Earth's surface from
dangerous ultraviolet light.
• Bad Ozone: Found in the troposphere (also known as ground level
ozone), it is man-made. The released nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon
monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), (NOx, CO, and
VOCs are known as ozone precursors) combine chemically with oxygen
to form ozone during sunny days.
• o During high-temperature conditions of late spring, summer and early
fall, high levels of ozone are usually formed in the heat of the
afternoon and early evening, dissipating during the cooler nights.
• o The ground-level ozone and PM 2.5 play the most significant role in
formation of smog.

• Effects
• On health: Irritation to skin and the respiratory system, higher rates of
pulmonary disease.
• On environment: When sufficient ozone enters the leaves of a sensitive
plant, it can reduce photosynthesis and slow the plant growth.
• Ground level ozone can damage ecosystems and contribute to
degradation of forests and their important services: these include
provision of clean air and groundwater, timber for construction and
energy, protection against natural hazards and of biodiversity.