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Nitrate in Plants

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 11th July 2022






  • Animal discoveries of India

  • Re-wilding Red Pandas

  • New waste disposal technology at International space station

  • Nitrate in plants

  • Swimming robots



Animal discoveries of India


Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change has released Animal Discoveries, 2021.

  • Animal discoveries report is named as “Animal Discoveries- New Species and New Records” is published
  • It is an annual compilation published by ZSI, first publication is in 2009.
  • It is the only authentic source of faunal discoveries in India.

Animal discoveries report helps to protect them now and in the future.

It also enables the general public to understand existence of species worldwide, as well as our ability to shape political, social, and financial forces that influence conservation zones.

Animal Discoveries, 2021:

Animal Discoveries, 2021:

  • The present edition of 2021 is released on July 1st, which is 107th foundation day of ZSI.
  • The report mentions 540 new species discovered in 2021.Of these 406 are new discoveries while 134 new records to India.
New species discovered:                              
  • Mammals: Crociduranarcondamica,(in picture)a white toothed shrew found in narcondanIsalnds of Andaman and Nicobar.
  • Reptiles: Boigawhitakeri, or Whitaker’s cat snakefound in western Ghats.
  • A faunal group Hymenoptera, an order of insects contained most new discoveries, i.e80 new species and a new genus.

With these new species total fauna in India stood at 1.03 lakh new species, which is 6.1% of total faunal diversity in the world.

Zoological Survey of India:

ZSI was found in 1916 during erstwhile British empire.

  • Objective:to promote survey, exploration and research leading to advancement in knowledge of various aspects of exceptionally rich life of country.
  • It is a subordinate organization of Ministry of Environment, forest, climate change (MoEFCC).
  • The survey has so far established 16 regional and field stations,with its headquarters at
  • Functions:It functions as a guardian of National Zoological collections, containing over a million specimens from all animal groups ranging from Protozoa to mammals.


Re-wilding Red pandas


Darjeeling zoo has started an ambitious programme of augmenting wild red panda population.

Re-wilding programme:

Re-wilding Red pandas

  • 20 red pandas are set to be released into forests in five years from the Padmaja naidu Himalayan zoological park.
  • The red pandas population is decreasing in the wild.
  • Singlila and neora valley national parks are the places where they are found in the wild in west Bengal.
  • the population count at Singlila and Neora valley national parks stood at 38 and 32 individuals respectively.
Red panda:

Red panda(Ailurus fulgens) is important in the global conservation.

It is an arboreal species, it is considered as an indicator species of ecological change.

Red pandas are shy and solitary.

IUCN status: Endangered

CITES: Appendix 1

Indian wildlife protection act: Schedule 1.

Singalila and neora national parks:
Singalila NP
  • It is located in west Bengal.
  • It was declared national park in 1992.
  • Rivers: Rammam and sirikhola flow through the park.
  • Species: mammals like red panda, leopard cat, yellow throated marten, barking deer
  • Birds like Himalayan vulture, scarlet minivet
Neora valley NP
  • It is also a national park which is located in west Bengal.
  • Its is linked with pangolakha wildlife sanctuary of Sikkim.
  • River neora flows here.
  • Species:Mammals like Indian leopard, Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, red panda
  • Bird species like hoary throated barwing, maroon backed accentor etc.


New waste disposal technology at International space station


NASA has successfully tested a new waste disposal technology on international space station (ISS).

Oldway of waste disposal:

New waste disposal technology at International space station

Earlier astronauts at ISS had to collect trash and wait (months) the Cygnus cargo vehicle.

  • Cygnus cargo vehicle is disposable spacecraft designed as supplies transporter to space mission.
  • After its mission is completed, it is released filled with trash bags.
  • It gets completely burned up during re-entry into earth’s atmosphere.
New disposal technology:
  • The new waste disposal technology is developed by nanopracks.
  • It uses a specially designed waste container which is mounted in the bishop airlock.
  • It has a capacity of 270 kgs of waste carrying.
  • After filling it up it is released into space during its re entry into earth’s atmosphere this gets completely burned up.
Bishop airlock module

It is a commercially funded airlock module launched to the ISS.

It was launched in December 2020.

Airlock: airlock in space is an airtight room with entrances that allows astronaut to go on a spacewalk without letting the air out of the spacecraft


International space station:
  • The international space station is modular space station in low earth orbit (LEO).
  • Its multinational collaborative project with NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, CSA as the participating space agencies.


Nitrate in plants


National center of Biological sciences, Tata institute of Fundamental research, Bengaluru (NCBS-TFIR) researchers found a new pathway to control nitrate absorption in plants.

Nitrogen as nutrient to plants:

Nitrate in plants

  • It is one of the most important macronutrients, needed for development of plant.
  • It is part of chlorophyll, amino acids and nucleic acids among others.
  • Nitrates play role in controlling genome wide gene expression that in turn regulates root architecture, flowering time, leaf development.
  • The hormone auxin is responsible for well-developed roots across all plants, influencing nitrate absorption.
Overuse of Nitrate:

Overuse can lead to accumulations of nitrates in soil and water, which can lead to

Water pollution, eutrophication, and increases contribution towards greenhouse gases.



1st edition of state ranking index for NFSA


Union minister of Consumer Affiairs, Food& Public Distribution, Textiles, and Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyalhas release 1st edition of “state ranking index NFSA”.

States ranking index NFSA:

1st edition of state ranking index for NFSA

The details of rankings are,

Odisha, UP, AP has emerged as top three states among the general category states in 1st edition.

Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim at top 3 in the special category states.

Among 3 UTs where Direct Benefit transfer is operational, Dadra& Nagar Haveli And Daman & Diuis the top ranked UT followed by Puducherry and Chandigarh.

  • Objective: the ranking attempts to document the status and progress of implementation of NFSA and various reform initiatives across the country.
  • The present index is largely focused on National food security act (NFSA) distribution.
  • And it is intended to include procurement of NFSA and Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Kalyan Yojana (PMGKAY) distribution in future.
  • Key pillars:The index is built on 3 key pillars which covers the end – end implementation of NFSA through Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  1. NFSA coverage, targeting and provisions of the act
  2. Delivery platform
  • Nutrition initiatives.
National food security act 2013:

National Food Security Act(NFSA)was enacted in 2013.

Aim: to provide food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of food at affordable prices to provide people to live life with dignity.

  • Coverage and entitlement under TPDS: upto75% of rural population and 50% of the urban population coverage under TPDS.
  • Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision
  • Identification of households
  • Nutritional support to women and children
  • Maternity benefit
  • Grievance redressal mechanism
  • Food security allowance


Swimming robots


NASA is developing the swimming robots that’s can swarm together.

Swimming robots

About Swimming robots:


  • Aim: to search for signs of alien life in waters under the thick icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon encleadus.
  • They are being developed under concept of the “Sensing with Independent Micro Swimmers (SWIM)
  • This concept is developed by Ethan schaler, a robotics mechanical engineer at NASA ‘s jet propulsion laboratory.
  • Design: Each robot about 5 inches in size and 3-5 cubic inches in volume.
  • They get packed inside a cryobot, which would tunnel through frozen crust and leave these robots underwater.
  • These cryobots would be connected via communications tether to the surface-based lander.
  • These swim robots could flock together in behavior inspired by fish or birds in order to reduce errors in data through their overlapping measurements.

Components of robot:Each robot would have its own propulsion system, onboard computer, and ultra sound communications system, along with simple sensors for temperature, salinity, acidity and pressure.


Cryobotis a robot that can penetrate water and ice.

It is a robot used to the exploration of masses of ice or areas trapped under icelike that of polar regions on Earth.


UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 11th July 2022

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