Current Affairs 25th March, 2019

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1. Rushikulya waits for Olive Ridleys

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Even after waiting for almost a month, Olive Ridley turtles have not yet arrived for mass nesting at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery and Devi river mouth. The reasons are not fully understood yet. Climate could be a reason for delay.

Olive Ridley turtles

  • IUCN Red list - Vulnerable

  • Habitat — warm and tropical waters of primarily in the Pacific, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.

  • Gets name from its olive coloured carapace, which is heart-shaped and rounded

  • Arribadas — synchronized nesting in mass numbers,

  • Operation Olivia — Olive Ridely Turtle protection program undertaken by Indian Coast Guard

  • Mating and breeding season — winter

Nesting places in India

  • Olive ridley sea turtles, along with the related Kemp’s ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called arribada (a Spanish word meaning arrival).

  • Thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.

  • In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large groups near Gahirmatha.

  • In Odisha, apart from Gahirmatha rookery, the mouth of the rivers Rushikulya and Devi also host nesting olive ridleys.

  • Nesting also happens in small numbers at several other points, such as Chennai, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, along the Indian coast.

What are the factors that affect nesting?

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  • Coastal erosion: Due to the shrinkage of the nesting beach, overcrowding of turtles is observed during nesting.

  • Predators: Eggs are damaged by predators or illegally harvested by people.

  • Light pollution: Lighting near the shore can cause hatchlings to become disoriented and wander inland, where they often die of dehydration or predation.


2. Health Ministry commemorates World TB Day

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare commemorated the World TB Day with a function to mark the occasion, and reiterated the commitment to eliminating TB in the country by 2025.

Tuberculosis (TB)

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  • It is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread through the air from person to person.

  • If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

  • There are two types of TB conditions: latent TB infection and Active TB.

  • Latent TB – the bacteria remain in the body in an inactive state. They cause no symptoms and are not contagious, but they can become active.

  • Active TB – the bacteria do cause symptoms and can be transmitted to others

National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2017 - 2025

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  • The National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2017 - 2025 is the plan produced by the government of India (GoI) which sets out what the government believes is needed to eliminate TB in India.

  • The NSP 2017 - 2025 describes the activities and interventions that the GoI believes will bring about significant change in the incidence, prevalence and mortality from TB.

  • This is in addition to what is already going on in the country.

Targets

The targets of the National Strategic Plan are set out as consisting of both outcome and impact indicators. There are also four main “thrust” or priority areas in the NSP which are:

  • Private sector engagement;

  • Plugging the “leak” from the TB care cascade (i.e. people with TB going missing from care);

  • Active case finding among key populations;

  • For people in “high risk” groups, preventing the development of active TB in people with latent TB.

Another “thrust” area is that of the Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB (PMDT).


3. Prevent degradation of ocean and its ecosystem: Vice President

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The Vice President of India has called for fully tapping the enormous potential of the Blue Economy for the country to achieve higher economic growth.

Sagarmala programme

  • India’s ambitious Sagarmala programme has identified 600 plus projects entailing huge investment of around Rs.8 lakh crore (120 billion dollars) by the year 2020.

  • This will save the country nearly six billion dollars per annum in logistics costs besides creating 10 million new jobs and boosting port capacity by 800 Million Metric Tonne per Annum (MMTPA) to an overall 3500 MMTPA.

  • Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) are being developed under Sagarmala with a proposed investment of 150 Million dollars per location.

  • The CEZs will become a microcosm of the blue economy wherein industries and townships that depend on the sea and contribute to global trade through sea connectivity are envisaged.


NIOS

  • The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) with its headquarters at Dona Paula, Goa, and regional centres at Kochi, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, is one of the 37 constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi.

  • CSIR-NIO was established on 1 January 1966 following the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) in the 1960s.

  • The institute has since grown into a multi-disciplinary oceanographic research institute of international repute.

  • The principal focus of research has been on observing and understanding special oceanographic characteristics of the Indian Ocean.


4. NITI Aayog to organise FinTech Conclave 2019

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NITI Aayog is organising a day-long FinTech Conclave at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi

About the conclave

  • The objective is to shape India’s continued ascendancy in FinTech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion.  

  • The Conclave will be featuring representatives from across the financial space – central ministries, regulators, bankers, startups, service providers and entrepreneurs.