GREEN MERMAID

CONTEXT:

Scientists from the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda have discovered a new species of marine green algae from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The green seaweed is named Acetabularia jalakanyakae.

ABOUT

  • Acetabularia jalakanyakae is a bright green algae with a size as small as 20 to 40 mm.
  • This algae species is named after the word ‘jalakanyaka’ which means ‘goddess of oceans’ or ‘mermaid’ in the Sanskrit language.
  • It is the first species of the genus Acetabularia discovered in India.

PROPERTIES

  • Acetabularia jalakanyakae have caps with intricate designs as if they were umbrellas of a mermaid.
  • The main featureof the newly discovered species is that the plant is made up of one gigantic cell with a nucleus.
  • Its nucleus forms a rhizoid structure, which facilitates the algae to attach itself to shallow rocks.
  • Rhizoidsare a structure in plants and fungi that functions like a root in support or absorption.
  • Moreover, the species is highly regenerative in nature such that even if one chops off the top portion, the algae can regrow.

 

WHAT IS ALGAE?

  • Algae are chlorophyll-bearing, simple, thalloid, autotrophic and largely aquatic (both freshwater and marine) organisms.
  • They also occur in a variety of other habitats: moist stones, soils and wood. Some of them also occur in association with fungi (lichen) and animals (e.g., on sloth bear).
  • The algae reproduceby vegetative, asexual and sexual methods.
  • Algae are useful to man in a variety of ways. At least a half of the total carbon dioxide fixation on earth is carried out by algae through photosynthesis.
  • They are also of paramount importanceas primary producers of energy-rich compounds which form the basis of the food cycles of all aquatic animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UDDHAV APPEALS FOR MUTED DAHI HANDI FESTIVAL

     CONTEXT

          Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday appealed to “Dahi Handi” festival mandals to observe restraint in celebrations this year owing to the pandemic, in the wake of Niti Aayog’s warning of the possibility of a devastating third wave in india next month.

 

ABOUT

  • Dahi Handi is a major part of the celebration of Janmashtami and on this occasion, a ‘handi’ or earthen pot, filled with ‘dahi’ and ‘makkhan’ is hung at a height. A group of young boys make a huge human pyramid and attempt to break the ‘handi’ to get to the ‘makkhan’ inside.
  • Krishna Janmashtami marks the auspicious day when Lord Krishna, an avatar of the Lord Vishnu, was born to Devaki and Vasudev to rid the people of Mathura from the tyranny of King Kansa. It is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu religion.

BACKROUND

  • The 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu was prophesied to be the one to rid Mathura from evil and cause the downfall of King Kansa.
  • However, once Kind Kansa became aware that the one to cause his defeat would be his own nephew, he vowed to kill all the children born to his sister Devaki.
  • To prevent Lord Krishna’s death, Vasudev took Him to Yashoda and Nanda in Vrindavan.
  • Lord Krishna was very spirited and naughty as a child. His love for ‘makkhan’ and ‘dahi’ and all other dairy products drove him to steal them from the residents of Vrindavan.

ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS

  • As per the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine report of 2012 “There is a considerable risk of serious, life-threatening injuries inherent to human pyramid formation and descent in the Dahihandi festival”
    Traffic Congestion and excessive littering.
  • Sound pollution.
  • Height of the earthen pot (Matki) many a times causes tragic accidents and recently Supreme Court prescribed some guidelines for it. However, it was not followed in some places.
  • Number of injuries due to such event is increasing due to rising competitions among groups to reach the top first.

 RECENT JUDGEMENTS

  • 2014: Children below the age of 12 were banned from participation by the government of Maharastra.
  • 2014: Bombay High Court ruled that minimum age should be raised to 18 years and height of the pyramid should be no more than 20 feet for safety reasons.
  • 2016: The Supreme Court upholds the directives of the Bombay High Court but various organizations have re-appealed on different legal grounds. They state that Olympic sports are dangerous and cause injuries too, but that is not sufficient grounds to ban Olympic participation. Banning a religious tradition, they state, infringes on the religious rights of a particular community.

 

 

MISSION SAGAR – INDIAN NAVAL SHIP AIRAVAT ARRIVES AT JAKARTA, INDONESIA TO DELIVER MEDICAL SUPPLIES

CONTEXT

  • Indian Navy’s Landing Ship Tank (Large) INS Airavat arrived at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia on 24 August 2021 to deliver 10 Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) containers, based on the requirement projected by the Government of Indonesia
  • On completion of disembarkation of the medical supplies and, as part of the ongoing Mission SAGAR, INS Airavat will continue onwards to deliver medical supplies to other friendly nations in the region.

ABOUT MISSION SAGAR

  • Mission Sagar Is part of India’s HADR assistance to friendly foreign countries during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) was launched in 2015. It is India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Through SAGAR, India seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbours and assist in building their maritime security capabilities.
  • Further, India seeks to safeguard its national interests and ensure Indian Ocean region to become inclusive, collaborative and respect international law.
  • The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain like Act East Policy, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy etc.
  • The assistance is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the Indian Ocean region.
  • It highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her neighbouring countries and further strengthens the existing bond.
  • The deployment is also in consonance with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).

PAST MISSIONS

  • ‘Mission Sagar’ was India’s initiative to deliver Covid-19 related assistance to the countries in the Indian Ocean Littoral states. The countries included were Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles.
  • Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychellesalong with La Réunion are part of Indian Ocean Commission. India has recently become an observer to the Commission.

Under the Mission, India will

  • Deploy Medical Assistance Teams in Mauritius and Comoros, helping their Governments deal with Covid emergency and in case of Comoros, with dengue fever also.
  • Deliver consignments of Covid related essential medicines to Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles and about 600 tonnes of food items to Maldives.
  • In addition, in case of Mauritius, a special consignment of Ayurvedic medicines is also being sent.
  • The consignments also include Hydroxychloroquine tablets.

ABOUT INS AIRAVAT

  • INS Airavat is the third Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel of the Indian Navy.
  • INS Airavat was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers in Kolkata at Yard 2016
  • She is named for the mount of god Indra, the elephant Airavata, as mentioned in the Rigveda.[5]
  • On 1 May 2016, INS Airavat arrived at Brunei to participate in the ADMM Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus) Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism(Ex MS & CT) which took place from 1–9 May 2016.
  • During the exercise, she engaged with participating navies from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, Republic of Korea and the United States, through professional interactions in harbor and complex operations at sea.