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In news:

India is set to buy 30 Drones from the US-based General Atomics worth $3 billion.

In brief:

  • The three services are expected to get 10 each, the MQ-9 Reaper or Predator-B
  • High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones, which have already been approved by the US President Donald Trump’s administration.
  • The approval includes the sale of armed drones to India and will come equipped with missiles and other systems.
  • All the drones will have different configurations as the payloads required by each service is going to be different.
  • The Indian Navy is already using the Boeing P-8i for the carrying out anti-submarine warfare, the drones which will be armed with missiles and radars will be used for the maritime reconnaissance.
  • The naval variant of Predator –B drones, also known as Sea Guardian has the capability to carry an external payload of 2.1 tonnes.It can fly at an altitude of over 40,000 feet, with endurance of around 35 hours.

New Highway Threatens Tiger Territory In Arunachal Pradesh

Why in news?

Arunachal Pradesh state government decided to build highway through the 862 sq km Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) in East Kameng district.


To connect Bhairabhunda in West Kameng district and Manmao in Changlang district along Arunachal Pradesh’s border with Assam.

More in news:

  • It enhances connectivity and develope the state’s foothill areas into economic and industrial zones.
  • Project is named as the East-West Industrial Corridor which is a proposed elevated corridor at the tiger reserve.
  • The proposed highway had been realigned to bisect PTR after the NHPC turned down the original proposal to let the corridor pass near its hydroelectric project on the Subansiri River.

About Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR)

  • It lies in the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya in the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It falls within the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
  • PTR is also the only Hornbill sanctuary in India.
  • Vegetation is predominantly tropical semi-evergreen forest.
  • Nyishi Tribe who inhabit the area around the park to protect the wildlife here.


  • State Government had in the past built a highway through the Namdapha National Park.
  • This corridor will be a threat to the adjoining Nameri Tiger Reserve in Assam too.

Cherish Our Biodiversity

Why in news?

India’s biodiversity was a “unique treasure” for the entire humankind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address.

News in PM’s speech:

  • Recent discovery of new species of fish in the caves of Meghalaya.
  • Conference of Parties of the Convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • It was a matter of pride that India would chair the COP Convention on migratory birds for the next three years.
  • Students to enrol in ISRO’s Yuvikaprogramme that arranged visits to different ISRO centres and held workshops on astronomy
  • Indian Air Force’s AN 32 aircraft from Leh’sKushokBakulaRimpoche Airport.
  • The aircraft for the first time ever used a mixture of 10% Indian bio-jet fuel.
  • These efforts will not only reduce carbon emissions but may also reduce India’s dependence on crude oil imports.

About Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

  • India is hosting the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
  • The theme of CMS COP-13 is ‘Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home’.

About the fish:

  • In a cave in a remote forested area of Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills a research expedition found large specie of a subterranean fish (occurring under the earth’s surface).
  • The blind fish was over 40 cm. It has not been named so far.
  • It is nearly five times the mean length (85mm/8.5 cm) for all known subterranean fish to date.
  • The only other species exceeding 300mm (30 cm) in length are eel-like Synbranchidae with nothing like the bulk of the new fish.
  • The 250-known subterranean (occurring under the earth’s surface) fish species around the world measure only around 8.5 cm on average.
  • The specialists say that possibly one (or more) populations of these fish became isolated deeper in the caves and over generations became adapted to the dark, losing their eyes in the process.

International Judicial Conference 2020

About International Judicial Conference 2020:

  • The Conference was organized by the Supreme Court of India.
  • The theme of the Conference was ‘Judiciary and the Changing World’.

Important Topics of discussion at the Conference included

  • Gender Justice.
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Protection of Constitutional Values.
  • Dynamic Interpretations of the Constitution in a Changing World.
  • Harmonization of Environment Protection vis-à-vis Sustainable Development and
  • Protection of Right to Privacy in the Internet Age.

The ‘Just world’ hypothesis:

  • The Conference introduced the “Just World” concept in the Judicial System of India.
  • The “Just World” fallacy is associated with the actions of bringing fair actions towards education, health, gender equality and other social issues.
  • Aim: Take the judicial system of the country to every citizen irrespective of their gender.
  • To bring upon gender equality in other crucial areas where women have still not earned their recognition, especially the areas of mining and military.

No Country Is Doing Enough To Protect Children’s Health, Finds Study

In News:

The report, titled A Future for the World’s Children? finds that the health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol, and tobacco at them.

In Brief:

  • It was released report by a Commission of more than 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world.
  • The Commission was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and The Lancet.

What the Report says?

According to the report, not a single country performs well in all three categories measured: child flourishing, sustainability and equity.

Exploitative marketing practices:

  • The report also highlighted the threats to children posed by the commercial sector. Exposure to marketing and advertisements of junk food and fat- and sugar-laden foods are linked to obesity among children.
  • The index shows that children in Norway, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands have the best chance at survival and wellbeing,
  • Children in Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, Niger and Mali face the worst odds.
  • In account of per capita CO2 emissions, the top countries trail behind: Norway ranked 156, the Republic of Korea 166, and the Netherlands 160. Each of the three emits 210% more CO2 per capita than their 2030 target.
  • The USA, Australia, and Saudi Arabia are among the ten worst emitters.
  • The only countries that are keeping CO2 emissions on target and landing within the top 70 countries (not ideal, but passable) on child flourishing measures are Albania, Armenia, Grenada, Jordan, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Vietnam and Uruguay.
  • India’s Performance: India’s performance: India stands 77th (sustainability index) and is at the 131st position on a ranking that measures the best chance at survival and well-being for children.
  • India has improved in health and sanitation, but it has to increase its spending on health.
  • Obesity on the rise: Globally, the number of children and adolescents who are obese has increased from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016 — an 11-fold increase.
  • An estimated 250 million children under five in low- and middle-income countries are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential.