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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 04-08-2020

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August 04, 2020

Source - Sink Dynamics & Tiger Population

  • Source–sink dynamics is a theoretical model used by ecologists to describe how variation in habitat quality may affect the population growth or decline of organisms.
  • In this model, organisms occupy two patches of habitat.     
  1. Source, is a high-quality habitat that on average allows the population to increase.
  2. Sink, is very low-quality habitat that, on its own, would not be able to support a population.
  • However, if the excess of individuals produced in the source frequently moves to the sink, the sink population can persist indefinitely.
  • The tiger survey has highlighted that the tiger population in the source-sink is in the ratio of 60:40.
  • 33% of the tiger population in India lives outside its source i.e, tiger reserves.
  • 17/50 tiger reserves in India are going to achieve its maximum capacity to hold the tiger populations.
  • Tiger survey suggested that there is a need to create buffer areas around the habitat zones of tigers where guided land-use and faster conservation interventions can help reduce human-tiger conflict.

Ecological Trap

  • Ecological trap theory describes the reasons why organisms may actually prefer sink patches over source patches.
  • The concept stems from the idea that organisms that are actively selecting habitat must rely on environmental cues to help them identify high-quality habitat.
  • If either the habitat quality or the cue changes so that one does not reliably indicate the other, organisms may be lured into poor-quality habitat.
  • It thought to occur when the attractiveness of a habitat increases disproportionately in relation to its value for survival and reproduction.
  • The result is preference of falsely attractive habitat and a general avoidance of high-quality but less-attractive habitats.


  • The Indian leopard is one of the big cats occurring on the Indian subcontinent, apart from the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard.
  • Melanism is a common occurrence in leopards, wherein the entire skin of the animal is black in color, including its spots.
  • A melanistic leopard is often called Black Panther or jaguar, and mistakenly thought to be a different species.
  • In India, the leopard is found in all forest types, from tropical rainforests to temperate deciduous and alpine coniferous forests.
  • It is also found in dry scrubs and grasslands, the only exception being desert and the mangroves of Sundarbans.
  • It shares its territory with the tiger in 17 states.
  • Conservation Status
  1. Listed on a par with Tigers under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.
  2. Listed in Appendix I of CITES.
  3. Listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • The last formal census on India’s leopards was conducted in 2014 which estimated the cat’s population at between 12,000 and 14,000.
  • They also estimated 8,000 leopards in the vicinity of tiger habitat.
  • As part of its global tiger census, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is set to release a dedicated report on leopard sightings by the month-end.

Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network

  • The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) is an innovative technological solution aimed at strengthening immunization supply chain systems across the country.
  • eVIN aims to provide real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country.
  • It is being implemented under National Health Mission (NHM) by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • eVIN has reached 32 States and Union Territories (UTs) and will soon be rolled-out in the remaining States and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Ladakh and Sikkim.
  • Since April 2020, eight Indian States are using the eVIN application with 100 % adherence rate to track State specific COVID-19 material supplies.

Bharat Air Fiber

  • Bharat Air Fibre Services have been inaugurated in Maharashtra providing the residents wireless internet connections on demand.
  • The Bharat Air Fibre services are being introduced by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as a part of the Digital India initiative by the Government of India. It is being scaled pan-India.
  • It aims to provide BSNL fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) wireless connectivity up to a range of 20 km from the BSNL points of presence.
  • The connectivity speed is 100 Mbps and BSNL is offering various broadband plans in wireline and wireless segments.
  • It provides high-speed broadband to subscribers of remote areas by bridging the gap of last-mile connectivity through radio waves.

Protesting a Fundamental Human Right

  • UN Human Rights Committee has declared protesting to be a fundamental human right under the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.
  • According to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
  1. People have the right to demonstrate peacefully and the same should be respected by governments of 173 countries who have ratified the convention.
  2. They have a right to wear masks, right to gather to celebrate or to air grievances, “in public and in private spaces, outdoors, indoors and online.
  3. The right is available for everyone including women, migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers.
  4. The Governments are forbidden from collecting personal data to harass the participants or from suppressing the protest using generalized references to public order or public safety, or an unspecified risk of potential violence”.
  5. The governments are also not allowed to block internet networks or close down any website because of their roles in organizing or soliciting a peaceful assembly.
  • India is a party to this convention.

Constitutional provisions on Demonstrations

  • Every person has a right to protest as per Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution.
  • It flows out from freedom of speech and expression.
  • The right however can be curtailed on grounds mentioned in Article 19(2) such as contempt of court, sovereignty and integrity of India etc.
  • The Committee’s interpretation will be important guidance for judges in national and regional courts around the world, as it now forms part of international law.

Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation

  • Following SC’s Ayodhya verdict, Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board has constituted a trust to build a mosque in Dhannipur, Ayodhya.
  • The Trust will be called the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation.
  • Nine trustees have been announced, while it will “co-opt” the remaining six (Max.15 member trust).
  • Four out of the nine trustees are affiliated to the Board.
  • The Trust would construct a center showcasing Indo-Islamic culture of several centuries.
  • Along with it, a center for research and study of Indo-Islamic culture, a charitable hospital, a public library and other public utilities will also be established at the site in Dhannipur.


Source: PIB, the Hindu

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