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Insights Daily Current Events, 15 December 2014

Insights Daily Current Events, 15 December 2014

Pro IS Tweeter arrested

A pro IS Tweeter was arrested in Bangalore. It was a coordinated effort of British and Indian Intelligence agencies along with Bangalore City Police.

  • However the arrested person has said that he hasn’t waged war against any allies of India and do not possess any sort of weapons. And hence, his arrest is not justified.
  • The roots of IS in the State were unmasked when a bid to recruit youths in Hyderabad for IS was foiled. Four students, on their way to Iraq, were detained in Kolkata in September.

Charges against him:

The police have booked cases against him under:

  • Section 125, IPC (waging war against Asiatic power ally of India)
  • Section 39, unlawful activities prevention Act 2004
  • Section 66, IT Act (computer related offences)

Sources: The Hindu.

‘Sambhar Lake degrading for lack of preservation’

Latest survey has shown that Sambhar Salt Lake, largest among the 26 Ramsar Sites in India, is fast degrading and losing its birdlife and biodiversity due to drying up conditions.


  • The management of the Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan having a rich natural habitat for birds, is neither under the jurisdiction of the Forests and Wildlife Department of the State nor the Sambhar Salts Limited and Bharat Salts both of which are public sector enterprises and use its water for their commercial requirements.

More details:

  • The random survey of the lake and its adjacent smaller water bodies and surrounding terrestrial habitat recorded 5 species of IUCN Red-listed threatened bird species and over 20,000 species of both water and terrestrial birds.
  • The Red-listed birds are Lesser flamingo, Ferruginous Duck, Spotted Redshank, and Black-tailed Godwit.

Ramsar sites:

Ramsar Sites are declared as per the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an inter-governmental treaty that provides the framework for national and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

  • The Ramsar Convention (formally, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.
  • It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971 and came into force on December 21, 1975.
  • These sites are declared as per the recommendation of the Environment Ministry of the respective countries.
  • The country with the highest number of Sites is the United Kingdom at 170 and the country with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia.
  • Wet lands:
    The Ramsar definition of wetlands is fairly wide, including “areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters” as well as fish ponds, rice paddies and salt pans.
  • Presently there are 168 contracting parties, up from 21 initial signatory nations in 1971. The state parties meet every three years as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP).

Major obligations of countries which are party to the Convention are:

  • Designate wetlands for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
  • Promote, as far as possible, the wise use of wetlands in their territory.
  • Promote international cooperation especially with regard to transboundary wetlands, shared water systems, and shared species.
  • Create wetland reserves.

Montreux Record:

  • Montreux Record under the Convention is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
  • It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List. The Montreux Record was established by Recommendation of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (1990). Sites may be added to and removed from the Record only with the approval of the Contracting Parties in which they lie.

There are 26 Ramsar sites in India.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki,, MOEF.


Tripura sanctuary closed after rhino dies of anthrax

The Sepahijala sanctuary near Agartala, a major tourist attraction, was closed to tourists after a rhino died of anthrax.


Anthrax is a disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a germ that lives in soil.

It affects animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats more often than people. People can get anthrax from contact with infected animals, wool, meat, or hides. It can cause three forms of disease in people.

Anthrax does not spread directly from one infected animal or person to another; it is spread by spores. These spores can be transported by clothing or shoes.

Symptoms & Infection:

  • In most cases, symptoms develop within seven days of exposure to the bacteria. The one exception is inhalation anthrax, which may take weeks after exposure before symptoms appear.
  • Respiratory infection in humans initially presents with cold or flu-like symptoms for several days, followed by pneumonia and severe (and often fatal) respiratory collapse.
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) infection in humans is most often caused by consuming anthrax-infected meat and is characterized by serious GI difficulty, vomiting of blood, severe diarrhea, acute inflammation of the intestinal tract, and loss of appetite.
  • Cutaneous anthrax, also known as Hide porter’s disease, is the cutaneous (on the skin) manifestation of anthrax infection in humans. It presents as a boil-like skin lesion that eventually forms an ulcer with a black center (eschar).


  • Occupational exposure to infected animals or their products (such as skin, wool, and meat) is the usual pathway of exposure for humans. Workers who are exposed to dead animals and animal products are at the highest risk, especially in countries where anthrax is more common.
  • It does not usually spread from an infected human to a noninfected human. But, if the disease is fatal to the person’s body, its mass of anthrax bacilli becomes a potential source of infection to others and special precautions should be used to prevent further contamination. Inhalational anthrax, if left untreated until obvious symptoms occur, may be fatal.
  • Anthrax can be contracted in laboratory accidents or by handling infected animals or their wool or hides.


  • The standard treatment for anthrax is a 60-day course of an antibiotic. Treatment is most effective when started as soon as possible.
  • Although some cases of anthrax respond to antibiotics, advanced inhalation anthrax may not. By the later stages of the disease, the bacteria have often produced more toxins than drugs can eliminate.

Use in Bioterrorism:

  • Anthrax has been used in biological warfare by agents and by terrorists to intentionally infect.
  • It was spread in US through a mail. It killed 5 people and made 22 sick.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki,