World Rhino Day 2023

Why in news?

Recently, preparations are being held for the celebration of World
Rhino Day 2023.

About World Rhino Day 2023:

A large adult one horned rhinoceros in a salt lick at Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary in India.

World Rhino Day is observed on 22nd September.
Date: 22th September.


 To spread awareness for all five species of rhino and the work
being done to save them.
 It was first announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010.
 This special day provides the opportunity for cause-related
organizations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public to celebrate rhinos in their own unique ways.

The scientific name and conservation status of the five species are:

Javan Rhinos -(Rhinoceros sondaicus): Critically Endangered
Sumatran rhinos- (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis): Critically Endangered
Black rhinos- (Diceros bicornis): Critically Endangered
White rhinos -(Ceratotherium simum): Near Threatened (Southern
white rhino)
Greater One-Horned Rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis): Vulnerable

Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros :

 Also known as Indian rhino, it is the largest of the rhino species.
 It is identified by a single black horn and a grey-brown hide
with skin folds.
 India is home to the largest number of Greater One-Horned
Rhinoceros in the world.
 They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of
grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and
aquatic plants.
 At present, there are about 2,600 Indian rhinos in India, with
more than 90% of the population concentrated in Assam’s
Kaziranga National Park.


 The species is restricted to small habitats in Indo-Nepal terai and
northern West Bengal and Assam.
 In India, rhinos are mainly found in Kaziranga NP, Pobitora
WLS, Orang NP, Manas NP in Assam, Jaldapara NP and
Gorumara NP in West Bengal and Dudhwa TR in Uttar Pradesh.


 Poaching for the horns
 Habitat loss
 Population density
 Decreasing Genetic diversity

Protection Status:

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
CITES: Appendix-I
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.

Conservation Efforts by India:

New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 201’:

 India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia have signed a
declaration for the conservation and protection of the species.

DNA profiles of all rhinos:

 The project will help in curbing poaching and gathering
evidence in wildlife crimes involving rhinos.
National Rhino Conservation Strategy:
 It was launched in 2019 to conserve the greater one-horned

Indian Rhino Vision 2020:

 It was an ambitious effort to attain a wild population of at least
3,000 greater one-horned rhinos spread over seven protected
areas in the Indian state of Assam by the year 2020.

Source: IE

Vande Bharat Trains

Why in news?

Prime Minister is set to flag off nine new Vande Bharat trains on
various routes

What are Vande Bharat Trains?

 It is an indigenously designed and manufactured semi high speed,
self-propelled train that is touted as the next major leap for the
Indian Railways in terms of speed and passenger convenience
since the introduction of Rajdhani trains.
 The first Vande Bharat was manufactured by the Integral Coach
Factory (ICF), Chennai, as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme,
at a cost of about Rs. 100 crores.
 The Vande Bharat was India’s first attempt at adaptation of the
train set technology compared with conventional systems of
passenger coaches hauled by separate locomotives.
 The train set configuration, though complex, is faster, easier to
maintain, consumes less energy, and has greater flexibility in
train operation.
 Currently, two Vande Bharat Expresses are operational —one
between New Delhi and Varanasi and the other from New Delhi to
Katra.The 400 new trains will have “better efficiency” and railways are
looking at making several of these trainsets with aluminium
instead of steel.
 An aluminium body will make each trainset around 40-80
tonnes lighter than a current Vande Bharat and this will mean
lower consumption of energy as well as better speed potential.

What are the Features of the Vande Bharat Trains?

 These trains, dubbed as Train 18 during the development phase,
operate without a locomotive and are based on a propulsion
system called distributed traction power technology, by which
each car of the train set is powered.
 Its coaches incorporate passenger amenities including on-board
WiFi entertainment, GPS-based passenger information system, CCTVs, automatic doors in all coaches, rotating chairs and bio- vacuum type toilets like in aircraft. It can achieve a maximum speed of 160 kmph due to faster
acceleration and deceleration, reducing journey time by 25% to
 It also has an intelligent braking system with power regeneration
for better energy efficiency thereby making it cost, energy and
environment efficient.

What is the Significance?

 The sheer manufacturing of 400 of this trainset equipment in three
years will be additional employment generation to the tune of
 The pumping in around Rs 50,000 crore into the country’s rolling
stock industry, will give a big boost in the sectors of component
manufacturing, supplies etc.
 It will also improve railway finances and operational efficiency.

Source – The Hindu

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)

Why in news?

 The Supreme Court declined to entertain a writ petition seeking
an independent audit of the source code governing the entire
Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) system. The petition calls for an independent audit by applying the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1028
standard which is a well-established standard for software

About Electronic Voting Machine (EVM):

 Electronic Voting Machine (also known as EVM) is voting using
electronic means.

 An EVM is designed with two units:

o The Control unit
o The Balloting unit.
o These units are joined together by a cable.

The control unit of the EVM is kept with the presiding officer
or the polling officer.
o This ensures that the polling officer verifies voters’ identity.
o The polling officer presses the Ballot Button which enables
the voter to cast their vote.

The balloting unit is kept within the voting compartment for
electors to cast their votes.
o A list of candidate’s names and/or symbols are available on
the machine with a blue button next to it.
o The voter can press the button next to the candidate’s name
they wish to vote for.

 Voting by EVMs is much simpler compared to the conventional
system, where one has to put the voting mark on or near the
symbol of the candidate of his choice on the Ballot Paper, fold it
first vertically and then horizontally and thereafter put it into the
ballot box.
o In EVMs, the voter has to simply press the button on the
Ballot Unit next to the candidate and symbol of his choice
and the vote is recorded.

About Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in India:

 The Indian electronic voting machine (EVM) was developed in
1989 by Election Commission of India in collaboration with
Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India
 The EVMs were first used in 1982 in the by-election to North
Paravur Assembly Constituency in Kerala for a limited number
of polling stations.
 The EVMs were used for the first time in the general election
(entire state) to the assembly of Goa in 1999. In 2003, all by-elections and state elections were held using
EVMs, encouraged by this election commission decided to use
only EVMs for Lok Sabha elections in 2004.
 EVMs do not require electricity
o EVMs run on an ordinary battery assembled by Bharat
Electronics Limited/Electronics Corporation of India

Maximum Votes

o An EVM used by the Election Commission of India can
record a maximum of 2,000 votes.

 Maximum Candidates

o In case of M2 EVMs (2006-10), EVMs can cater to a
maximum of 64 candidates including NOTA.
o However, in case of M3 EVMs (Post 2013), EVMs can
cater to a maximum of 384 candidates including NOTA.

Who designed the EVM?

o The EVMs have been designed by the Technical Experts
Committee (TEC) of the Election Commission in
collaboration with two Public Sector undertakings; Bharat
Electronics Ltd, and Bangalore and Electronic Corporation
of India Ltd., Hyderabad.
o The EVMs are manufactured by the above two undertakings.

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT):

 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is an independent
system attached with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) that
allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
 Serial numbers, names of candidates and symbols allotted to them
are loaded in the VVPAT unit with the help of engineers of the
manufacturer. When a vote is cast, a slip is printed containing the serial number,
name and symbol of the candidate and remains exposed through
a transparent window for 7 seconds.
o Thereafter, this printed slip automatically gets cut and
falls in the sealed drop box of the VVPAT.

 VVPATs with EVMs were used for the first time in a bye-
election of Noksen Assembly Constituency of Nagaland.

 The VVPATs are stored along with the EVMs in a secure strong
room till the completion of the Election Petition period.

Advantages of using EVMs:

 It completely eliminates the possibility of casting ‘Invalid Votes’.
 EVMs have enabled a more authentic and accurate reflection of the
choice of the electorate.
 With the use of EVMs, there is no need for printing millions of ballot
papers for every election. This results in huge savings by way of the
cost of paper, printing, transportation, storage and distribution.
 The counting process is very quick and the result can be
declared within 3 to 5 hours as compared to 30-40 hours, on an
average, under the conventional Ballot paper system.
 A device called ‘Totalizer’ can accommodate upto 14 Control Units
at a time to aggregate votes without revealing the candidate-wise
count of individual EVM used at a particular polling station.
o However, at present totalizers are not used in India as its
technical aspects and other related issues are under
examination and it is also the subject of a court case.

Temporary memory and Protect privacy

o The Control Unit can store the result in its memory until the
data is deleted or cleared.

Safe and Secure, and Ensure Free and Fair election

o The microchip used in EVMs is a one-time programmable/
masked chip, which can neither be read nor overwritten. The program used in the EVMs cannot be reprogrammed in a
particular manner.
o The EVMs are stand-alone machines which are not
accessible remotely from any network connected with any
external devices and there is no operating system used in
these machines.
o There is absolutely no chance of programming the EVMs in a
particular way to select any particular candidate or political

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

 The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a
professional association for electronic engineering and electrical
engineering (and associated disciplines)
 Its corporate office in New York City.
 The mission of the IEEE is advancing technology for the benefit
of humanity.
 The IEEE was formed from the amalgamation of the American
Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio
Engineers in 1963.
 IEEE and its members inspire a global community through its
highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and
professional & educational activities.

Source – Indian express