1. Pokkali rice seedlings from Kerala to the Sundarbans:-
Why in news?
Two farmers in West Bengal use their land for Vyttila-11 variety of pokkali rice cultivation.
This is due to seawater incursion into paddy fields of the Sundarbans after the cyclone.
- It is an organically grown rice variety cultivated in the water-logged coastal regions of Kerala.
- The crop duration is about 110 days.
- The rice plants grow up to 2 m.
- It is famed for its peculiar taste, extra-large grains size and its high protein content.
- The rice is cultivated from June to early November when the salinity level of the water in the fields is low.
- The rice crop doesn’t require other fertilizer or manure as the tidal flows make the fields highly fertile
- It draws nutrients from the prawns’ excrement and other remnants.
- The brand Pokkali has received a GI tag.
- A Geographical Indication (GI) is a name or a sign given to certain products that relate to a specific geographical location like a region, town or country.
- Using Geographical Indications may be regarded as a certification that the particular product is produced as per traditional methods, has certain specific qualities, or has a particular reputation because of its geographical origin.
- GI tag in India is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999. It is issued by the Geographical Indications Registry (Chennai).
2. NGT warns of penalty for Waste on Yamuna bank:
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed environmental compensation on the UP government.
- Due to adequate steps were not taken against dumping of unregulated solid waste on the banks of Yamuna River.
- The NGT committee has found that arrangement for leachate collection has not been made.
- The green panel specified the recommendations made by the NGT committee had to be followed such as
- Bioremediation and
- A fine will be levied on the authorities in case of non-
High Level of Ammonia in Yamuna:-
Recently, high levels of ammonia in the Yamuna river has been detected in Delhi which led to the disruption of water supply in Delhi.
As per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the acceptable maximum limit of ammonia in drinking water is 0.5 parts per million (ppm)
Effect of High Level of Ammonia:
- Ammonia reduces the amount of oxygen in water as it is transformed to oxidised forms of nitrogen. Hence, it also increases Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).
- If the concentration of ammonia in water is above 1 ppm it is toxic to fishes.
- In humans, long term ingestion of water having ammonia levels of 1 ppm or above may cause damage to internal organs.
- Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine or chlorine compounds such as sodium hypochlorite to water.
- This method is used to kill certain bacteria and other microbes in tap water. However, chlorine is highly toxic.
Long Term Solution of rejuvenating Yamuna:
- Stringent implementation of guidelines against dumping harmful waste into the river.
- Making sure untreated sewage does not enter the water.
- Maintain a sustainable minimum flow, called the ecological flow.
- Ecological flow is the minimum amount of water that should flow throughout the river at all times to sustain underwater and estuarine ecosystems and human livelihoods, and for self regulation.
3. Beirut Explosion:-
A huge explosion devastated the port area of the Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
- According to authorities, Ammonium nitrate was the cause of the Beirut blast that had been stored for years in a Beirut portside warehouse.
- This compound many times used before by the insurgent groups like the Taliban for improvised explosives. It was also a component in the bomb behind the 1995 Oklahoma City attack.
What is Ammonium Nitrate?
- Ammonium nitrate is an odourless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertiliser that has been the cause of numerous industrial explosions over the decades.
- When combined with fuel oils, ammonium nitrate creates a potent explosive widely used by the construction industry.
- In agriculture, ammonium nitrate fertiliser is applied in granule form and quickly dissolves under moisture, allowing nitrogen which is key to plant growth — to be released into the soil.
- Ammonium nitrate is an oxidizer means it intensifies combustion and allows other substances to ignite more readily, but is not itself very combustible.
- However, under normal storage conditions and without the very high heat, it is difficult to ignite ammonium nitrate.
How this can be safely stored then?
- There are generally very strict rules about where it can be stored: for example, it must be kept away from fuels and sources of heat.
- Many countries add calcium carbonate to ammonium nitrate in order to create calcium ammonium nitrate, which is safer.
- Proper inspection should be done.
4. Amnesty International India urges NHRC, NCW to re-open offices in J&K:-
An Amnesty International India report has urged the NHRC and the NCW to arrange offices in Jammu and Kashmir.
They said J&K individuals had not any redressal mechanism for their rights violations after the closure of the State Commissions a year ago.
- NHRC is an independent statutory body established in 1993 as per provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
- It is the watchdog of human rights in the country, i.e. the rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by Indian Constitution or embodied in the international covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
- It was established in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted for the promotion and protection of human rights in Paris (October, 1991) and endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 December, 1993.
About National Commission for Women:-
- It was set up as a statutory body in 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990.
- Its mission is to strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing her due rights and entitlements through suitable policy formulation, legislative measures, etc.
- Its functions are to:
- Review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women.
- Recommend remedial legislative measures.
- Facilitate redressal of grievances.
- Advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.
5. Divergence of somalian plate from Africa plate:-
- The rift is a narrow zone that is a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary, in which the African Plate is in the process of splitting into two tectonic plates, called the Somali Plate and the Nubian Plate (African Plate), at a rate of 6-7 mm annually.
- As extension continues, lithospheric rupture will occur within 10 million years, the Somalian plate will break off, and a new ocean basin will form
- The East African Rift (EAR) is an active continental rift zone in East Africa.
6. Brus reject resettlement site offer:
Refugees from Mizoram turn down proposal made by non Brus in Tripura.
- A quadripartite agreement in New Delhi allowed some Bru tribal displaced from Mizoram and are living in Tripura as refugees since 1997, to settle permanently in Tripura.
- The Centre, State governments of Tripura and Mizoram, and representatives of Bru organizations signed the agreement in the presence of Union Home Minister.
- The solution has evoked mixed reactions with rights activists fearing it could legitimize the ejection of minority communities by ethnocentric states.
Who are the Bru refugees?
- The Brus spread across Tripura, Mizoram and parts of southern Assam.
- They are also known as the Reangs in Mizoram, as they are ethnically different from the Mizos and have their own distinct language and dialect.
- While in Tripura their spread across six refugee camps in the state.
- The village council chief is “RAI” who permits Divorce and Widow Marriage.