Important Facts for Prelims (24th December 2018)
- 24 Dec 2018
- 4 min read
Rampant Killing of Mongoose
- Recently Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and the Uttar Pradesh forest department seized raw mongoose hair and painting brushes made from it.
- Mongooses are small carnivorous mammals, with a long body and tail and a grizzled or banded coat widely found in India.
- They are listed under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and their hunting, possession, transportation and trade are offences, punishable with imprisonment up to seven years. They are also protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
- Traditional hunting communities that prey on them include the Narikuruvas in Tamil Nadu, Hakki Pakki in Karnataka, Gonds in Andhra and Karnataka, and the Gulias, Seperas and Nath in central and northern India. These communities are the main suppliers of raw mongoose hair.
- Six different species are found across the country: Indian grey mongoose, small Indian mongoose, ruddy mongoose, crab-eating mongoose, stripe-necked mongoose and brown mongoose. The Indian grey mongoose is the most commonly found species and also the most hunted.
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
- WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
- It is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities.
- It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act and CITES.
Award for National Unity
- Prime Minister has announced the institution of a new national honour for national unity on the pattern of Padma Awards drawing inspiration from Sardar Patel’s contribution towards unification of the country.
- The annual award will be given to an Indian who has contributed to national unity in any manner.
Agni-IV Missile Successfully Test-Fired
- India successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missile Agni-IV, with a strike range of 4,000 km.
- The surface-to-surface missile was flight tested from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range at Dr Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island.
- It is a two-stage solid-propelled missile, about 20 metres tall and weighs 17 tonnes.
- It is equipped with modern and advanced ring laser gyro-based Inertial Navigation system (RINS).
- The missile is supported by highly reliable redundant micro navigation system (MINGS) to give better accuracy.
- It is also equipped with 5th generation onboard computer with a distributed architecture.
- The seventh successful trial of Agni-IV missile comes soon after the second pre-induction trial in a canisterised version of Agni V.
- Ballistic missiles like Agni-I, II and III and Prithvi have already been included in the arsenal of the armed forces. Agni IV, and Agni V are undergoing trials.