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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 6th July 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 6th July 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Vaquita : Endangered Marine Mammal

The world’s most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita, is teetering on the edge of extinction.

  • The vaquita is a shy member and the smallest of the porpoise family.
  • Scientific Name: Phocoena sinus
  • Vaquitas are the most endangered of the world’s marine mammals. Less than 20 vaquitas remain in the wild.
  • Vaquitas have the smallest range of any whale, dolphin, or porpoise.
  • They only live in the northern part of the Gulf of California, an area that is rich in fish and shrimp.
  • They are most commonly sighted in shallow waters up to 50 metres deep.
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Pangong Lake : Updates

According to satellite pictures, China’s military is preparing for the long haul in the area surrounding Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh.

  • Pangong Lake, also known as Pangong Tso, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft).
  • It derives its name from the Tibetan word, “Pangong Tso”, which means “high grassland lake”.
  • It is one of the world’s highest brackish water lakes, situated at a height of 4350 meters.
  • It is approximately 140 km from Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in China.
  • The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. Altogether, it covers 604
  • It is famed for its colour-changing water, from blue to red and green.
  • During winter, the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
  • It is not part of the Indus River basin area and is geographically a separate land-locked river basin.
  • It is in disputed territory. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) passes through the lake

Kaziranga National Park : In News

The devastating flood in Assam’s famed Kaziranga National Park (KNP) has claimed the lives of 114 wild animals, while 95 others have been rescued recently.

  • Kaziranga National Park is situated in the north-eastern part of the country in the districts of Golaghat and Nagoan in the state of Assam.
  • It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain.
  • It is inhabited by the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses, as well as many mammals, including tigers, elephants, panthers, and bears, and thousands of birds.
  • It was declared a National Park in 1974.
  • It is the first national park in Assam and is spread over an area of 400 sq. km.
  • The river Diffalu, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, flows through the National Park area (core/critical tiger habitat), while another tributary, Moradifalu, flows along its southern boundary.
  • In 1985, the park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
  • It is of sheer forest, tall elephant grass, rugged reeds, marshes, and shallow pools.

New Spider Species:

Two new species of litter-dwelling jumping spiders from the evergreen forests of the southern Western Ghats have been found by researchers from Christ College, Irinjalakuda.

  • The newly discovered species, Habrocestum swaminathan and Habrocestum benjamin, which have been added to the illustrious roster of the genus Habrocestum.
  • These spider species are the unsung heroes of natural pest control and vital indicators of ecosystem health.
  • Habrocestum swaminathan was discovered from the banks of the river Kunthi and was named after M.S. Swaminathan, considering his contributions to the science field and his efforts on the conservation of Silent Valley, from where the Kunthi river originates.
  • Habrocestum benjamin was collected from Thusharagiri, one of the foothills of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve.
  • These spiders are attractive with beautiful colour patches and were spotted near the Thusharagiri waterfalls, a busy tourist destination.
  • This species was named after Suresh P. Benjamin, a Sri Lanka-based jumping spider specialist.

Akash Surface-To-Air Missile:

Indian “Iron-Dome” Akash Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) is competing against Chinese-made Sky Dragon-50 air defense systems to secure an order from Brazil.

  • Akash Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) is a Short-Range Surface-to-Air Missile system to protect vulnerable areas and vulnerable points from air attacks.
  • It was indigenously designed and developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and is produced by Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).
  • It is designed to protect vulnerable areas from multifarious air threats.
  • It has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles, as well as ballistic missiles.
  • It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
  • It is 5.8 m long, has a diameter of 350 mm and a wingspan of 1,105mm.
  • It has a launch weight of 720 kg.
  • The missile can fly at a speed of up to Mach 2.5 and has a height ceiling of 18 km.
  • It can target aircraft up to 45 km away.
  • The most important element of the Akash SAM system battery is its high-power, multi-function Rajendra phased array radar.

Mount Etna : Alert

Italy’s Mount Etna and the smaller Stromboli volcano spewed hot ash and lava, raising alert levels on the Mediterranean island of Sicily.

  • Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano and one of the largest in the world.
  • Its recorded volcanic activity dates back to 1500 B.C.
  • It is on the eastern coast of Sicily.
  • It is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world.
  • It is about 3,326 metres high and is the highest peak in Italy South of the Alps.
  • stratovolcano is also called a composite volcano.
  • This volcanic landform is characterized by a conical shape formed by layers of volcanic material deposited during successive volcanic eruptions.
  • These volcanoes tend to slope gently at the base but rise quickly near the summit to form tall mountain peaks.

Zorawar Light Tank:

Defence officials said that the prototype of the country’s indigenous light tank Zorawar is ready and will soon be subjected to extensive trials.

  • Zorawar Light Tank is an indigenously designed and developed Light Tank.
  • It was jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) along with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) as the lead integrator.
  • It was named after a military general, Zorawar Singh Kahluria, who had served under Jammu’s Raja Gulab Singh in the 19th Century.
  • It weighs a maximum of 25 tonnes, which is a key requirement of the light tank which ensures it can be transported by air.
  • The tank will be able to fire at high angles of elevation and perform the role of limited artillery and is an agile weapon platform.
  • It is designed to operate in varying terrain, from high-altitude areas and marginal terrains to island territories.
  • It will be equipped with all the modern technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Drone Integration, a high degree of situational awareness, and amphibious operation capability.
  • Unique about this tank is the weight as well as the combination of the fundamental parameters of a tank, which is the fire, power, mobility and protection. All three are optimized in such a way that the weight is also maintained.

People’s Biodiversity Register:

Thazhakara has become the first grama panchayat in Alappuzha and one of the first in Kerala to update and publish a comprehensive People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) with the involvement of local communities.

  • People’s Biodiversity Register serves as a comprehensive record of various aspects of biodiversity, including the conservation of habitats, preservation of land races, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals, micro-organisms, and the accumulation of knowledge related to the area’s biological diversity.
  • The Biological Diversity Act (2002) mandates the development of Peoples’ Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) at the local level to document as well as safe guard bioresources and associated knowledge.
  • As per the Biological Diversity Act 2002, Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) are created for “promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity” by local bodies across the country.
  • BMCs have been constituted by the local bodies in the States and Union Territories and are entrusted with the preparation of the PBRs in consultation with local communities.
  • It will play a crucial role in conservation, sustainable resource utilisation, and protection of traditional knowledge.
  • It will help local bodies in preparing various projects in agriculture, drinking water, and waste management, among other sectors, with a focus on biodiversity conservation and equitable sharing of benefits.

Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) Dam : In News

The water level at the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir, across the river Cauvery breached the 100 feet mark against the maximum level of 124.80 feet recently

  • Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) Dam is a type of gravity dam built on the river Kaveri and its tributaries, Hemavathi and Lakshmana Theertha, in the district of Mandya in Karnataka.
  • The dam was named after Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, the then-ruler of the princely state of Mysore, who played a significant role in initiating and funding the construction.
  • The dam’s primary objectives were to provide water for irrigation, generate hydroelectric power and mitigate the impact of droughts in the region.
  • The construction began in 1911 and was completed in 1931.
  • The dam was designed by Sir M. Visvesvaraya, a famous Indian engineer (often referred to as the ‘architect of modern Mysore’ or ‘father of planning in India’).
  • The reservoir is spread over an area of 130 Sq. Kms.
  • It is 2,621 meters (8,600 feet) long and 40 meters (130 feet) high.
  • The dam has arch-type 177 iron sluices and some of them have automatic doors.
  • The dam was among the first in the world to have automatic sluice gates.
  • It was constructed using traditional stone masonry and a lime-pozzolan mortar called surki, which acted as the binder.