Current Affairs

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 11th March 2020

International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS)

  • The International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) is a group of senior military leaders, security experts, and security institutions across the globe dedicated to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing the security risks of a changing climate.
  • The launch of the IMCCS was announced at The Hague, Netherlands, in 2019 as a response to a growing demand from military professionals for sharing information and best practices on addressing the security and military dimensions of climate change.
  • The IMCCS is administered by the Center for Climate and Security
  • World Climate and Security report is published recently by IMCCS
  • According to the report, the impact of climate change on water will increase the risk to global security in the next decade.
  • The report has also highlighted that forced displacement and scale of natural disasters would increase by 2040, as a result the projected conflicts within nations would increase.

Changes in Snow Cover

  • According to NASA and JAXA findings Winter snow cover is now expected to last for 110 days, down from the 126 days between 1982 and 2014.
  • The patterns of change were visible in maps showing changes in the duration of winter snow cover between 2071 and 2100. This was compared to data from 1982-2014.
  • The largest decline in snow cover was expected between 40 and 50 degrees latitude across North America and Asia.
  • This means species will have to try to survive an extra month without such protection.
  • Another problem species will face is longer periods of frozen ground, which will expose them to colder temperatures and leave them more vulnerable to predators.
  • Animals like rodents will be more exposed to predators and find it tough to find food in frozen ground.
  • Changes in duration of bare, frozen ground for 2071-2100 compared to 1982-2014
  • Plants will face problems with freeze-thaw cycles, the diversity of microbes will also be impacted by colder soil temperatures.
  • Only those species which can tolerate and adapt to these new conditions will survive.

Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX-2020)

  • National level Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX-2020) was conducted by the Indian Coast Guard in Goa.
  • This is for the first time the 03 pillars of national SAR mechanism i.e. Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Defence, took part in SAREX-20.
  • It had the theme of Harmonization of Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue code named ‘HAMSAR’.
  • SAREX exercise is being conducted biennially by Indian Coast Guard under the aegis of National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB).

National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB)

  • The NMSARB was constituted by the union government in 2002, with the Director General Indian Coast Guard as its Chairman.
  • The board coordinates the National Search and Rescue Plan, in accordance with the provisions of International Conventions.
  • Members of 19 organizations including DG Shipping, the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and representatives of stakeholders including coastal states, sailing and fishing vessel associations, are represented on the Board, as resource agencies.
  • The Board meets annually to discuss policy issues, formulate guidelines and procedures, and considers recommendations on updating the National Search and Rescue (SAR) plan.
  • The Indian Coast Guard, is the nodal agency for Maritime Search and Rescue.


  • The gaur (Bos gaurus) is also called the Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine.
  • They are heavily built, with body weight varying between 400 and 1,200 kilogram.
  • It is native to South and Southeast Asia and has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986.
  • It is extinct in Sri Lanka and probably also in Bangladesh.
  • Due to an increase in grassland cover, Gaur (Bos Gaurus), has returned to Bihar’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR)

Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR)

  • Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) was set up in the early 1990s.
  • It is spread over 899 square kilometers in Bihar’s West Champaran district, bordering Nepal’s Chitwan National Park to its north and Uttar Pradesh to its west.
  • Gaur, which are native to south and Southeast Asia, had shifted to Chitwan a few years back due to grassland destruction in VTR.

Waterwheel plant

  • Aldrovanda vesiculosa or the waterwheel plant is a carnivore with well-equipped traps for capturing unsuspecting prey.
  • The traps are arranged in whorls around a central, free-floating stem, giving rise to the common name.
  • This is one of the few plant species capable of rapid movement.
  • Instead of bladders, the waterwheel produces snap traps that closely resemble those of the Venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula).
  • These traps function in a similar way, when zooplankton or even a small fish trigger the bristles along the rim, the trap snaps shut and begins the digestion process.
  • At one point in time, the waterwheel was found growing in wetland habitats throughout Africa, Europe, Asia, and even Australia.
  • Now it is considered at risk of extinction (IUCN has deficient data about the plant).
  • Most often this plant reproduces vegetative, reducing genetic diversity, sexual reproduction in the waterwheel is a rare event.
  • Its numbers have been severely reduced due to wetland degradation and destruction.
  • Agricultural and industrial runoff are exacting a significant toll on its long term survival.
Waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa) a carnivorous aquatic plant with Mosquito larva.

Pyramid of Djoser

  • The Pyramid of Djoser or Step Pyramid is an archaeological remain in Egypt.
  • The 6-tier, 4-sided structure is the earliest colossal stone building in Egypt.
  • It was built in the 27th century BC during the Third Dynasty for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser.
  • The pyramid is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial structures and decoration.
  • The pyramid went through several revisions and redevelopments of the original plan.
  • Recently the pyramid was reopened for visitors after 14-year restoration.

Source: Down to Earth, India Today, the Hindu

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