- The agreement, under Article-IV paragraph 4 of the CMS, is not ‘legally binding’. The CMS aims to conserve migratory I species and India is a signatory to it since November 1, 1983. In the meantime, an action plan has been formulated I which primarily envisages conservation action for raptor species.
- Four Colour Classification Scheme for Industries based on Pollution Index.
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released a new four-colour classification scheme on March 5, 2016 for industries based on their pollution potential.
- Under the new categorisation system, industries which pollute the most have been put in the Red category while the moderately polluting units are classified Orange. Industries that have a significantly low pollution load have been placed in the Green category’ while those that operate without causing any pollution have been categorised as White.
- The new category of white industries, which are practically non-polluting, will not require Environmental Clearance (EC) and Consent. That will help them get funds from lending institutions.
New Species of Burrowing Snake Discovered in Western Ghats
- As on March 5, 2016, a burrowing snake of the Melanophidium genus and belongs to the Uropeltidae family of snakes have been discovered in the Western Ghats in Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts. All species of this group are burrowers that live mostly underground.
- The species has been named after Pune-based herpetologist (one who studies snakes) Neelimkumar Khaire to pay tribute to his contribution to the knowledge, appreciation and conservation of snakes in India.
- The scientific name of the species is Melanophidium khairei while its common name is Khaire’s Black Shieldtail. It is distinct from three other species of the similar genus.
- The researchers were studying the species since 2001 and confirmed the new species. Its occurrence was recorded around 144 years ago.
Space Current Affairs
22nd BeiDou Navigation Satellite Launched
- China launched a Long March-3A carrier rocket carrying the 22nd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) lifts off from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, South-West China’s Sichuan Province, on March 30, 2016 to support its global navigation and positioning network.
- The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), which is being developed as an alternative to US GPS. It was the 225th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.
- The satellite, after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join others already in orbit and improve the stability of the system, preparing for BDS to offer global coverage.
ISRO Set to Launch 22 Satellites on One Rocket
- As on March 28, 2016, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) decided to launch a record number of 22 satellites in a single mission in May, 2016. The PSLV C34 rocket will blast-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Srikarikota.
- The trusted launch vehicle will inject 22 satellites into , orbit, a first in the history of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Apart from the Indian remote sensing satellite, Cartosat 2C, which constitutes the primary payload, the rocket will carry on board four micro-satellites weighing 85 to 130 kg each and 17 nano-satellites weighing 4 to 30 kg.
- As many as 18 satellites are being launched for foreign agencies including those from the USA, Canada, Germany, and Indonesia. Two of the nano-satellites have been developed by the Pune Engineering College and Sathyabhama University.
ISRO Established GIRI Radar System at Tirupati
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) established the Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI) on March 21, 2016 at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), an autonomous research institute of the Department of Space near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.