Important Facts for Prelims (4th February 2019)
- 04 Feb 2019
- 4 min read
Indus River Dolphin
- Recently the Punjab Government declared the Indus River dolphin, as the state’s aquatic animal.
- Indus river dolphin is found only in the main channel of the Indus River in Pakistan and in the Beas river in India.
- Indus river dolphins also known as Bhulan are one of the only four river dolphin species and subspecies in the world that are found in freshwater. Others include the Chinese river dolphin, Ganges river dolphin and Amazon river dolphin.
- The Indus river dolphin is a marine mammal which means it’s warm-blooded, breathes air, gives birth and produces milk to feed its young.
- It is listed endangered in the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species and its International trade is prohibited by virtue of it being listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
- Indus dolphin like Ganges River dolphin is functionally blind and relies on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey in muddy river water.
NASA Discovers Dwarf Galaxy
- NASA’s Hubble telescope has discovered a dwarf galaxy in the neighborhood of Milky Way galaxy.
- The dwarf galaxy is discovered only 30 million light years away within the globular cluster NGC 6752.
- The dwarf galaxy, nicknamed as Bedin 1, is a modestly sized, elongated galaxy. It measures only around 3000 light-years at its greatest extent which is a fraction of the size of the Milky Way.
- From the properties of its stars, scientists are able to infer that the galaxy is around 13 billion years old — nearly as old as the Universe itself.
- Due to its isolation, Bedin 1 is will be helpful in understanding the early Universe.
- A Globular cluster is a large group of old stars that are closely packed in a symmetrical and somewhat spherical form.
- Globular clusters are extremely luminous objects and may contain thousands to millions of stars.
- “Dwarf galaxies” is a general term for galaxies that are faint and small in size and have low-luminosity, lack of dust and old stellar populations.
Kerala’s Village Millet Scheme
- Kerala government has decided to expand millet village scheme to other districts in the state.
- The Millet Village scheme was first launched in Attappady in Palakkad district of Kerala.
- Under the Millet Village scheme, the government promoted the harvest of ragi (finger millet), thina (foxtail millet), cholam (sorghum) and kuthiravaali (barnyard millet).
- The project aimed at protecting seeds of traditional varieties of millets and ensures food security and livelihood for tribals.
- The scheme also provides financial assistance to farmers for cultivation of millets crops.
Millets Production in India
- Millets are cultivated in low-fertile land, mountainous, tribal and rain-fed areas. These areas include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
Advantages of Millets
- Millets also are known as ‘nutri-cereals’ and have a high protein content, short growing season, climate change resilience and low water requirement.