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Prelim Bits 12-11-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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November 12, 2022

Himalayan Gray Langur

A study on diet of Himalayan Gray langur of the Kalatop-Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary (Himachal Pradesh) says that differing elevations of habitation changed the preference of two groups of Gray Langur.  

 

Altitude

Food preference

Constitution of fruits and flowers

Kalatop Forest Group

2,396 m

Flowers

11.11%

Khajjiar Forest Group

2,396 m

Fruits

15.49%

The Himalayan Gray Langur was once considered a sub-species of the Bengal Sacred Langur or Hanuman Langur (Semnopithecus entellus) but it was separated as a species in 2005.

himalayanlangur

  • The Himalayan Gray Langur (Semnopithecus Ajax) is also known as the Chamba Sacred Langur.
  • They are largely arboreal but can be found sometimes on ground.
  • Food - Colobine (leaf-eating monkey), sometimes feed on fruits.
  • Habitat - Very restricted distribution especially at higher elevations i.e. between 2200 m to 4000 m.
  • Range - India (Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh), Pakistan and Nepal.
  • In India, it is mainly reported from Chamba valley in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Except for Khajjiar-Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, its occurrence in other protected areas is difficult to determine.
  • Population - Estimated to be less than 1,500 mature individuals in 15-20 groups.
  • Threat - Habitat fragmentation and anthropogenic activities such as logging, residential and commercial development.
  • Conservation
  1. IUCN - Endangered
  2. CITES - Appendix I
  3. Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 - Schedule II

References

  1. The Hindu - Altitude decides simian attitude to diet
  2. IUCN – Himalayan Gray Langur

Statue of Prosperity

The Prime Minister unveiled the statue of Bengaluru founder Kempegowda in the premises of Bengaluru International Airport.

  • The Statue of Prosperity is the bronze statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda in a 23-acre heritage park on the airport premises.
  • The Statue of Prosperity is also known as the ‘Pragatiya Prathime’ and named in lines with Statue of Unity.
  • The statue is 108-ft height made of bronze. It has a 4,000 kg sword.
  • The statue holds the record in the World Book of Records for the first and tallest bronze statue of a founder of a city.

statueofprosperity

Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

  • Nadaprabhu Hiriya Kempegowda is a 16th century chieftain of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • Kempegowda assumed the chieftaincy from his father in 1513.
  • He was multilingual and authored Gangagaurivilasa, a yakshagana play in Telugu.
  • After having ruled for about 56 years, he died in 1569.
  • Founder of Bengaluru - He conceived the idea of a new city during a hunting expedition towards Shivanasamudra.
  • He later marked its territory by erecting towers in four corners of the proposed city.
  • He sought permission from the Vijayanagara emperor Achyutharaya and built Bangalore Fort and the town in AD 1537.
  • He then shifted his capital from Yelahanka to the new Bengaluru Pete.
  • Kempegowda have developed around 1,000 lakes in the city to cater to drinking and agricultural needs.

The Bengaluru International Airport, the Bus Stand, and even the main metro station in the Bengaluru city all are named after Nadaprabhu Kempegowda.

References

  1. The Hindu - Modi unveils 108-feet Kempegowda Statue
  2. The Indian Express - PM Modi unveils Kempegowda statue
  3. Times of India - Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

Afzal Khan

The Maharashtra Government completed the demolition of all alleged encroachments around the 17th Century tomb of Afzal Khan in Satara.

  • Afzal Khan was a general from the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur Sultanate, in Maharashtra’s Satara.
  • He played an important role in the southern expansion of the Sultanate by defeating the Nayaka chiefs who took control of the former Vijayanagara territory.
  • Khan was defeated and killed by Chhatrapati Shivaji in November 1659 in Battle of Pratapgad.

The day (November 10) Chhatrapati Shivaji killed Afzal Khan in the battle of Pratapgad is celebrated as ‘Shiv Pratap Din’.

  • The tombs of Khan and his bodyguard Sayyid, an expert swordsman lie near the Pratapgad fort (close to Mahabaleshwar).
  • Later Shivaji built the tomb and a tower in his honour, which is still known by the name ‘Afzul Buruj’ at Pratapgad.

References

  1. The Hindu - Illegal structures around Afzal Khan’s tomb demolished
  2. The Indian Express - Legal battle over demolitions near tomb of Afzal Khan
  3. Hindustan Times - Afzal Khan Tomb: SC to hear plea to stop demolition in Satara

Gaddi Tribe

Climate change is making it difficult for the pastoralist Gaddi tribe to preserve its traditional livelihood.

  • The Gaddis is a semi-nomadic pastoralist tribe.
  • The Gaddi tribe mostly lives in the high-altitude areas of Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The Gaddis are followers of Lord Shiva.

gadditribe

  • Transhumance - For most time of the year, they engage in transhumance or the seasonal movement of livestock from one grazing ground to another.
  • They travel with their herd and plod along difficult terrains in search of appropriate climate and grazing pastures.
  • During summer months the Gaddis move with their sheep and goats to pastures as high as 14,000 feet in altitude.
  • The Gaddis travel long distances to graze their livestock on the decided route before setting out.
  • These are traditional routes which have been followed for hundreds of years.
  • Their pastoral routines are affected by climate change.
  • The seven-day Bharmour Yatra is celebrated at the Chaurasi Temple at Bharmour once the herdsmen return.
  • Similar Transhumance Tribe - Van Gujjars

References

  1. Down To Earth - The lost shepherds of Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Methane Alert and Response System

The United Nations to launch satellite based detection system to track global methane emissions.

  • The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) is a data-to-action platform set up as part of the UNEP International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) strategy.
  • MARS aims to get policy-relevant data into the right hands for emissions mitigation.
  • MARS will alert governments, companies and operators about large methane sources to foster rapid mitigation action of this potent gas.
  • MARS will integrate data from a large number of existing and future satellites that have the ability to detect methane emission events anywhere in the world,
  • UNEP’s IMEO will send out notifications to the relevant stakeholders to take appropriate action.
  • MARS partners will also provide technical or advisory services on request, such as help in assessing mitigation opportunities.

Methane and Climate change

  • Methane (CH4) is a powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas (GHG).
  • CH4 accounts for a small portion of human-induced GHG emissions compared to carbon dioxide but 80 times more potent than CO2.
  • CH4 accounts for about half of the net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era.

Global Methane Pledge is an initiative from COP26 Glasgow, to cut methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 from the 2020 levels.

References

  1. The Indian Express - UN to set up system to track methane emissions from space
  2. Down To Earth - A satellite data system will help detect, act on methane emissions
  3. UNEP - UN announces satellite-based global methane detection system

 

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