Karnataka Engineering research policy
Karnataka has launched the country’s maiden Engineering Research & Development (ER&D) Policy.
Significance of ER&D:
According to industry apex body Nasscom, ER&D has the potential to become a $100-billion industry in the country in the next five years.
The ER&D sector in the country is the fastest growing industry with a CAGR of 12.8%. Meanwhile, the global engineering research and development industry is expected to reach a spend of $2 trillion by 2025.
Highlights of the new policy:
World Wildlife Day
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March – the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 – as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of World Wildlife Day.
Theme this year: “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international regulatory treaty between 183 party states.
Formed in 1973 and regulates the international trade in over 35,000 wild species of plants and animals.
The focus of the convention is not solely on the protection of species. It also promotes controlled trade that is not detrimental to the sustainability of wild species.
How does CITES work?
The convention works primarily through a system of classification and licensing.
Wild species are categorised in Appendices I to III. This often reflects species’ threat status on the Red List of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species first created in 1964.
National CITES management authorities may issue permits once scientific authorities show non-detriment findings.
CITES is legally binding on state parties to the convention, which are obliged to adopt their own domestic legislation to implement its goals.
What is Species Recovery Programme?
The National Board for Wildlife and Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change last month included the caracal, a medium-sized wildcat found in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, in the list of critically endangered species.
The recovery programme for critically endangered species in India now includes 22 wildlife species.
Besides India, the caracal is found in several dozen countries across Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia.
While it flourishes in parts of Africa, its numbers in Asia are declining.
The wildcat has long legs, a short face, long canine teeth, and distinctive ears — long and pointy, with tufts of black hair at their tips.
The iconic ears are what give the animal its name — caracal comes from the Turkish karakulak, meaning ‘black ears’. In India, it is called siya gosh, a Persian name that translates as ‘black Ear’.
It finds mention in Abul Fazl’s Akbarnama, as a hunting animal in the time of Akbar (1556-1605). Descriptions and illustrations of the caracal can be found in medieval texts such as the Anvar-i-Suhayli, Tutinama, Khamsa-e-Nizami, and Shahnameh.
About the Species Recovery Programme:
It is one of the three components of the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH).
IDWH was started in 2008-09 as a Centrally sponsored Scheme. It is meant for providing support to protected areas (national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves and community reserves except tiger reserves), protection of wildlife outside protected areas and recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats.
Cyber volunteer plan
The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), a digital liberties organisation, has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs that the Cyber Volunteer scheme will lead to a “culture of surveillance and constant suspicion in society creating potential social distrust”.
What are the concerns?
IFF said there is no information on how the Ministry will ensure that scheme is not misused to extract misguided personal or political vendettas. There is also no process in place for withdrawal of complaints once submitted.
About the Cyber Volunteer Scheme:
The Ministry of Home Affairs’s “cybercrime volunteers” plan targets to rope in around 500 persons to flag unlawful content on the Internet for “improvement in the cybercrime ecosystem of India”.
The programme will include 200 “cyber awareness promoters” and 50 “cyber experts”.
The project is known as Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C). It was started in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir last week where the police issued a circular asking citizens to register themselves as volunteers.
The volunteers are barred from issuing any public statement about their association with this program and are also “strictly prohibited” from using the name of Ministry of Home Affairs or claim to have an association with the ministry on any social media or public platform.