Bangalore Blue Grapes
The Covid-19 lockdown has impacted the sale of banglore blue variety of grapes.
Bangalore Blue, characterized by its foxy flavour (effect of a flavor substance called methyl anthranilate), is exclusively grown in Bangalore Urban, Chikkaballapur and Kolar districts.
It is grown in red sandy loam soil at a day temperature of about 35-37 degrees Celsius and night temperature of 12-15 degree Celsius which is unique to Bangalore and its surrounding areas. The grapes develop their typical dark purple color at this temperature.
These grapes are mostly used for making juice and wine/spirit.
In 2013, the variety was given the Geographical Indication (GI) status.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) constructed the Daporijo bridge over Subansiri river in Arunachal Pradesh in a record span of just 27 days.
The bridge is of utmost importance in strategic connectivity as it links roads leading upto the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China.
Subansiri River (gold river), originates in the Tibet Plateau and enters India through Miri hills in Arunachal Pradesh.
It is the largest tributary of Brahmaputra River.
Border Roads Organisation:
It was conceived and raised in 1960 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for coordinating the speedy development of a network of roads in the North and the North Eastern border regions of the country.
It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.
BRO is regarded as a symbol of nation-building, national integration and an inseparable component in maintaining the security and integrity of the country.
It has diversified into a large spectrum of construction and development works comprising airfields, building projects, defence works and tunneling and has endeared itself to the people.
Water Quality Improves in Yamuna
According to a report by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the quality of water in the river Yamuna has improved along the Delhi stretch, compared to April 2019.
DPCC, along with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) carried out the study after being asked by a National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed monitoring committee.
Earlier, less air pollution and improved air quality were also noticed in various cities.
DPCC collected water samples from nine locations along the Yamuna and twenty locations of drains and compared the different parameters with values from April 2019.
According to the report, the pollution has reduced between 18% to 21% at various places.
Five locations have shown 18%-33% reduction in Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels. The rest of the locations have shown slight to considerable increase in BOD levels.
Four of the nine locations where dissolved oxygen (DO) was nil in 2019 showed DO levels of 2.3-4.8 mg/l in 2020.
However, the Yamuna has still not met the “water quality criteria”.
Lockdown: Earlier, a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) report had also highlighted the improved quality of water due to the lockdown (to curb the Covid-19).
Increased Flow: Haryana has increased the discharge of water which has also contributed to less pollution due to dilution of fresh water.
The river Yamuna, a major tributary of river Ganges, originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Bandarpoonch peaks in the Mussoorie range of the lower Himalayas at an elevation of about 6387 meters above mean sea level in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
It meets the Ganges at the Sangam (where Kumbh mela is held) in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh after flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
Length: 1376 km
Important Dam: Lakhwar-Vyasi Dam (Uttarakhand), Tajewala Barrage Dam (Haryana) etc.
Important Tributaries: Chambal, Sindh, Betwa and Ken.
Every year, April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day to raise public awareness about the environment and inspire people to save and protect it.
The year 2020 marks 50 years since the start of this modern environmental movement in 1970.
The theme of Earth Day 2020 is “Climate Action”.
It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
The idea of commemorating such a day was propounded by Gaylord Nelson, an American environmentalist and politician.
The Earth Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration (Earth Summit), to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
The Paris Agreement was also opened for signature on 22 April 2016 – Earth Day – at UN Headquarters in New York.
World Earth Day encourages people to take more steps for the protection of nature and to thank mother earth for the rich environment.
World Earth day 2020: Digital Celebration:
Google marked the 50th anniversary of the Earth Day with a special interactive doodle dedicated to one of the smallest and most critical organisms – the bees.
As people have to stay inside their homes amid Covid-19 lockdown, World Earth Day 2020 is all set to be celebrated digitally. People who plan on participating can join ’24 hours of action’.
One can also take 22 challenges that include measuring your carbon footprint, doing a plastic audit, skype a scientist, work for the earth, zero waste for one day and consume 1 meal per day this week on a plant-based diet.
UNGA Resolution on Covid-19
Recently, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution, calling for global cooperation to ensure ‘equitable and fair’ access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment for all nations to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UNGA resolution which was drafted by Mexico was adopted through consensus.
1) Prevent any undue stockpiling of essential medical supplies.
2) Recognised the importance of international cooperation and effective multilateralism to ensure that all States have in place effective national protective measures, access to and flow of vital medical supplies, medicines and vaccines.
3) Encourages member states to work in partnership with all relevant stakeholders to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines.
4) Called to bolster coordination with the private sector towards rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, antiviral medicines, personal protective equipment and vaccines, adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety, equity, accessibility, and affordability.
Earlier, the United Nations General Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution, calling for intensified international cooperation to defeat the pandemic that is causing severe disruption to societies and economies.
Recently, the Union Health minister urged the use of the e-Raktkosh portal as a single point for maintaining real-time information on the status of stocks of each blood group.
The Health Minister has termed the availability of blood in blood banks as ‘essential’.
In several blood disorders like thalassemia and haemophilia regular transfusion of the blood is necessary.
e-Raktkosh portal is a Centralized Blood Bank Management System.
It is a comprehensive IT solution to standardize and streamline the standard operating procedures, guidelines and workflow of blood banks across the nation.
It was inaugurated on 7th April 2016 by then Minister of Health and Family Welfare (MoHWFW)
It enforces Drug & Cosmetic Act, National blood policy standards and guidelines ensuring proper management of blood.
e-Rakt Kosh has components for management of the blood donation life cycle which includes:
1) The biometric Donor Management System
2) Blood grouping,
3) TTI screening,
4) Antibody screening,
5) A centralized Blood Inventory Management System
6) Bio-Medical Waste Management System for disposal of discarded blood