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Insights Learning (I-Learning) TEST 20 : 31 December 2017- 14 January 2018

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Insights Learning (I-Learning) TEST 20 : 31 December 2017- 14 January 2018


  1. Indicator species
  • An indicator species is the one whose status provides information on the overall condition of the ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem.
  • They reflect the quality and changes in environmental conditions as well as aspects of community composition. Some of the examples of indicator species are given below.

Stoneflies: indicate high oxygen water – Stoneflies spend the majority of their lives as nymphs. Many species require a high concentration of dissolved oxygen and are found in clean swift streams with gravel or stone bottom.

Mosses: some moss species indicate acidic soil. Delicate mosses found on rocks and trees in cities around the world can be used to measure the impact of atmospheric change and could prove a low-cost way to monitor urban pollution.

  • The “bioindicator” responds to pollution or drought-stress by changing shape, density or disappearing, allowing scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations

Lichens: some species indicate low air pollution. Lichens as a group have a worldwide distribution and grow almost on any surface, for example soil, bark, roof tiles or stone. Because lichens get all their nutrients from the air, many species are very sensitive to air pollution.

Fungi: Can indicate old-growth forests where an abundance of coarse woody debris exists.

Mollusca: numerous bivalve molluscs indicate water pollution status. Mollusca, and quite often bivalve molluscs are used as bioindicators to monitor the health of an aquatic environment, either fresh- or seawater.

Source: Additional Research: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/moss-serves-as-a-cheap-pollution-monitor/article19547104.ece

 


 

  1. Capital Gains

Profits or gains arising from transfer of a capital asset are called “Capital Gains” and are charged to tax under the head “Capital Gains”.

Capital asset is defined to include: Any kind of property held by an assessee, whether or not connected with business or profession of the assesse, stocks, movable property, jewellery; archaeological collections; drawings; paintings; sculptures; or any work of art. An increase in price of any of the above is subject to capital gains tax.

For e.g. if you purchased a residential house in 2015 for Rs. 10,00,000 and sold it in 2016 for Rs. 20,00,000, a capital asset gain of Rs. 10,00,000 arising on account of sale of residential house will be charged to tax under the head “Capital Gains”.

Source: http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Tutorials/15-%20LTCG.pdf

 


 

  1. Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC)

It is a project of NASA in the Arctic. It will take an year-round expedition into the central Arctic exploring the Arctic climate system.

Background: The Arctic is a key area of global climate change, with warming rates exceeding twice the global average.

  • Many processes in the Arctic climate system are poorly represented in climate models because they are not sufficiently understood.
  • Understanding of Arctic climate processes is limited by a lack of year round observations in the central Arctic.

What?

MOSAiC will be the first year-round expedition into the central Arctic exploring the Arctic climate system.

  • The project with a total budget exceeding 60 Million € has been designed by an international consortium of leading polar research institutions under the umbrella of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).
  • The results of MOSAiC will contribute to enhance understanding of the regional and global consequences of Arctic climate change and sea-ice loss and improve weather and climate predictions.
  • As such it will support safer maritime and offshore operations, contribute to an improved scientific basis for future fishery and traffic along northern sea routes, increase coastal-community resilience, and support science-informed decision-making and policy development.

Source: http://www.mosaicobservatory.org/

 


 

  1. BioCNG

Background:  Transport sector is one of the major oil consuming sectors; it consumes 51% of the final oil consumption (International Energy Agency, 2010).

The use of biogas-­‐CNG blend in CNG vehicles is not possible without upgrading the quality of the biogas. Biomethane is upgraded biogas which can be used in CNG vehicles as a fuel.

What?

Bio-CNG is a purified form of biogas with over 95% pure methane gas. It is similar to natural gas in its composition (97% methane) and energy potential. While natural gas is a fossil fuel, bio-CNG is a renewable form of energy produced from agricultural and food waste. Bio-CNG is being looked at as an environment-friendly alternative to diesel.

Benefits:

This Bio CNG can be used to power automobiles with the same efficiency as fossil fuel CNG and is now dispensed under the brand name AgroGasTM.

Bio CNG has a high calorific value and can be used in blast furnaces; also it can be converted into electricity.

The cost of production of 1kg of bio-CNG could be Rs15-20, cheaper than CNG, petrol and diesel. Besides, it will help in reducing the country’s import of diesel up to 50%. It is also pollution free.

Source: http://mnre.gov.in/file-manager/akshay-urja/november-december-2016/EN/Images/31-33.pdf

http://www.climatetechwiki.org/technology/biomethane-cng

https://www.insightsonindia.com/2017/12/30/insights-daily-current-affairs-30-december-2017/

 

 


 

  1. Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs)

KBAs are seen as an ‘umbrella’ designation, which includes globally important sites for different taxa and realms.

They include Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites, Important Plant Areas (IPAs), Important Sites for Freshwater Biodiversity (ISFB), Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) etc.

Why?

The identification of KBAs is an important approach to address biodiversity conservation at the site scale i.e. at the level of individual protected areas, concessions and land management units.

How?

KBAs are identified using globally standardised criteria and thresholds, and have clearly defined boundaries. There is no maximum or minimum size of sites, because appropriate size varies according to the socio-economic criteria, such as land use and tenure.

Source: http://biodiversitya-z.org/content/key-biodiversity-areas-kba