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Prelim Bits 03-06-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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June 03, 2023

Environmental Information, Awareness, Capacity Building and Livelihood Programme (EIACP)

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), envisages to celebrate the World Environment Day 2023 with a thrust on the Mission LiFE.


  • The Environmental Information System (ENVIS) came into existence as a plan programme in 1983.
  • ENVIS has been subsumed within the revamped scheme of Environment Education, Awareness, Research and Skill Development.
  • ENVIS is renamed as EIACP (Environmental Information, Awareness, Capacity Building and Livelihood Programme).
  • EIACP serves as a one stop platform for dissemination of environmental information, policy formulation on environment and facilitation of alternate livelihoods through green skilling.
  • The programme is one of the Central Sector sub-scheme being implemented in alignment with Mission LiFE.
  • EIACP Hub on Status of Environment Related Issues is hosted by the Indian State Level Basic Environmental Information Database (ISBEID).
  • The ISBEID is a centralised database maintained by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India for all the States.
  • EIACP conducts Environmental Awareness Programs to School Children, Colleges and Universities on Environmental Important Days like, World Environment Day, World Earth Day, etc.



Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus)

Encroachment pushes Himalayan brown bears into Kashmir’s villages.

  • Description – The Himalayan brown bear is the largest mammal found in Kashmir.
  • It is considerably smaller than the Grizzly and the Kodiak bears.
  • Behaviour – This is the least arboreal (living in trees) bear and is largely terrestrial as an adaptation to life in the rolling uplands above the tree line.
  • It hibernates (Meaning) in winter.
    • Hibernation is the condition or period of an animal or plant spending the winter in a dormant state.
  • Distribution – Through the Western Himalayan states of Jammu & Kashmir Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (3000-5000 m).
  • It is found from northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northern India, west China and Nepal.
  • Populations are present in the Great Himalayan National Park (Himachal Pradesh) and the Deosai National Park, Pakistan.
  • They may also be present in south and western Ladakh, in the upper Suru and Zanskar valleys.
  • Habitat – It is not primarily a forest animal and inhibits alpine scrub and meadows above the tree line although it is occasionally found in subalpine forests.
  • Threats – They are threatened by habitat destruction due to various anthropogenic pressures such as habitat encroachment, tourism, and grazing pressure.
  • The Himalayan brown bear population has been steadily declining in the past century with only an estimated 500-750 bears left in India.

Protection Status

IUCN Status

Critically Endangered

Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972

Schedule I


Appendix I

Brown bears are distributed worldwide and include the famous Grizzly of North America.

Himalayan Brown Bear


  1. Down To Earth │Himalayan Brown Bear

Petroleum Coke (Pet Coke)

Government permits import of pet coke as raw material for lithium-ion batteries.

  • Petcoke is a by-product created when bitumen found in tar sands, is refined into crude oil.
    • Bitumen is a sticky, black, highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum.
  • It is a carbon-rich solid material derived from a thermo-based chemical engineering process.
  • It is a spongy, solid residue from oil distillation that can be burned for fuel similar to coal.
  • The process splits long chain hydrocarbons of petroleum into shorter chains that takes place in coker units.
  • There are two distinctive grades of Petroleum Coke viz. Calcinable or Green Petcoke and Fuel Grade Petcoke.
  • Production – Calcinable grade coke or Green Petcoke, also referred as RPC is produced at Koyali, Barauni, Bongaigaon, Digboi and Guwahati refineries of IndianOil.
  • Fuel Grade Petcoke is produced at Panipat, Paradip, Koyali and Haldia refineries of IndianOil.
  • Petcoke, a by-product from oil refining and a substitute for coal is referred by India due to the surge in the global prices of coal.
  • The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war resulted in a hike in the price of commodities such as coal, and crude oil.
  • Indian firms are also buying Petcoke from Venezuela because the country is offering the same at a discounted rate of 5-10% lower than the US.
  • The world’s biggest consumer of Petcoke, India imports over half of its annual Petcoke from the US which is around 27 million tonnes.
  • Applications – It is used as a feed stock or for fuels and is used in making cement, lime kilns, gasification units, and industrial boilers.
  • It is used as a carbon source in Electrodes for electrometallurgical industries, Synthetic Graphite, Aluminium Anodes, TiO2 pigments, Carbon Raiser.
  • Difference between Coke and Coal:



  • Charcoal is a type of fuel created when the wood is burned incompletely.
  • When burned, coal is a glossy, black fossil fuel that contains impurities, produces smoke, and produces less heat than coke.
  • Coke is a carbon-based fuel manufactured from calcined or dry-distilled mineral coal.
  • Coal is a soiled, black coal waste that burns hotter and cleaner than regular coal.
  • It is carbon-based and has a high calorific value.
  • Coal is not a renewable resource.
  • It is used as a fuel in steel foundries' blast furnaces.
  • It is commonly used to generate electricity.


  1. Business Standard │ Pet coke as raw material for lithium-ion batteries

Myristica swamps  

Climate change and human intervention threaten the Myristica swamps of Kerala.

  • Myristica swamps are freshwater swamps predominated by members of the Myristicaceae family.
  • The evergreen trees have evolved to live in the waterlogged conditions of the swamps.
  • They have two types of roots, knee roots (pneumatophores) and stilt root.
  • They have evolved over millions of years and are comprised of old-growth trees.
  • Location – In India, these unique habitats occur in the Western Ghats and a smaller distribution exists in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Myristica swamps are seen next to rivers and help in retaining water and act as a sponge, ensuring perennial water availability.
  • Important Species – Gymnocranthera canarica and Myristica fatua — belonging to the primitive Myristicaceae family.

M swamps


  1. The Hindu │ Climate change threaten the Myristica swamps
  2. Conservation India │ Conserving Threatened Myristica Swamps

Smart Bandage

A new ‘smart bandage’ raises the bar for treating chronic wounds.

  • The smart bandage is a soft stretchable polymer that helps the bandage maintain contact with and stick to the skin.
  • The bioelectronics system consists of biosensors that monitor biomarkers in the wound exudate.
  • Data collected by the bandage is passed to a flexible printed circuit board, which relays it wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet for review by a physician.
  • A pair of electrodes control drug release from a hydrogel layer as well as stimulate the wound to encourage tissue regrowth.
  • Working of smart bandages - Biosensors determine the wound status by tracking the chemical composition of the exudates, which changes as the wound heals.
  • Additional sensors monitor the pH and temperature for real-time information about the infection and inflammation.
  • A pair of electrodes, the same electrodes that stimulate the tissue, control the release of drugs from a hydrogel layer.
  • The wireless nature of the device sidesteps the problems of existing electrical stimulation devices, which usually require bulky equipment and wired connections, limiting their clinical use.

smart bandage 2023


  1. The Hindu │ Smart Bandage
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