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[Newsbits] 14,15|01|2024: 2023 Global Water Monitor Report, Himalayan Wolf, Operation Sarvashakti & more

newsbits mindmap notes
Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) mind map
Recent News
GM Mustard Case
Supreme Court Involvement
Expressed Displeasure
Not Considering Expert Reports
Status Quo Since November 2022
Started January 9, 2024
Advocate Prashant Bhushan
Highlighted Lack of Human Health Impact Studies
Raised Precautionary Principle
Mentioned Irreversible Consequences
Issues Raised
Conflict of Interest
ICAR Director Dr. Raj Paroda
Herbicide Use Concerns
Impact on Biodiversity
Chaired by
Special Secretary/Additional Secretary
Co-Chaired by
Representative from DBT
24 Experts
From Various Ministries and Institutions
Approval of Activities
Involving Hazardous Microorganisms
Recombinants in Research
Industrial Production
Appraisal of Proposals
Release of Genetically Engineered Organisms
Products into Environment
Including Field Trials
Clearance Mandatory
For Environmental Release of GM Crops
Punitive Action Under Environment Protection Act
GM Mustard Development
In the 1990s
Patented in 2002
By CGMCP, University of Delhi
Approval Process
Technical Reviews
Safety Assessments
Over 10 Years
Rigorous Risk Analysis
Issues Resurfaced
October 18, 2022
Approval by MoEFCC
Challenged in Supreme Court
Moratorium Sought
By Petitioners
On GMOs Release
Cited Previous Reports
Calling for Ban on GMOs
In Centers of Origin or Diversity
Significance of GM crops
Increased Yield
Resistance to Disease
Improved Nutritional Value
Challenges of GM crops
Health and Safety Concerns
Environmental Impact
Biodiversity Risks
Regulatory Compliance Issues
Way Forward
Court's Decision Pending
On GM Mustard Approval
Need for Comprehensive
Biosafety Protocol
Public Transparency

The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) in India, functioning under the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, is currently in the spotlight due to its involvement in the approval process of genetically modified (GM) mustard. The Supreme Court of India has expressed displeasure over GEAC’s decision to approve GM mustard without considering the reports of a court-appointed Technical Expert Committee on biosafety. Advocates have raised concerns about the lack of studies on the impact of GM crops on human health, potential environmental risks, and issues of regulatory compliance. The approval process has been extensive, with over a decade of technical reviews and safety assessments. However, the Supreme Court’s decision on the matter is pending, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive biosafety protocol and greater public transparency in the approval process of GM crops.

Operation Sarvashakti mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Indian Army initiative
Counter resurgence of terrorism
Launched in January 2024
Thwart Pakistan's terrorism efforts
Address terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir
Target terrorists
Across both sides of Pir Panjal ranges
Use of human intelligence
Technology utilization
Flush out terrorists in Rajouri-Poonch
Jammu and Kashmir
Rajouri and Poonch districts
Indian Army
General Manoj Pande, Chief of Army Staff
Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, Northern Army Commander
Involved security forces
Jammu and Kashmir Police
Special Operations Group
Intelligence agencies
Combined counter-terrorist operations
Additional deployment of troops
Srinagar-based 15 Corps
Nagrota-based 16 Corps
Coordination meetings
Top security forces brass
Induction of more troops
Strengthening intelligence setup
Enhance regional security
Counter terrorist threats
Increase safety in affected areas
Potential for escalation of conflict
Need for precise intelligence
Managing civilian safety
Way Forward
Continued vigilance
Strengthening local support
Ongoing operations coordination

In simple terms, Operation Sarvashakti is a strategic initiative launched by the Indian Army in January 2024 to counter the resurgence of terrorism in the Jammu and Kashmir region, specifically in the Rajouri and Poonch districts. This operation aims to target terrorists operating on both sides of the Pir Panjal mountain ranges. It involves a combined effort of various security forces and relies on enhanced human intelligence and technology. The operation seeks to enhance regional security and safety but faces challenges such as the need for precise intelligence and managing civilian safety.

/ Diseases
Operation Amrith mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Kerala, India
Launched in January 2024
Tackle antimicrobial resistance
Prevent antibiotic overuse
What Full Provisions
Surprise raids
In retail medical shops
Strict record keeping
By pharmacies
Mandatory posters
No antibiotics without prescription
Kerala, India
Kerala Drug Control Department
Dr Sujith Kumar K
Drugs Controller
Dr Aravind Reghukumar
HOD, Infectious Diseases
Convener, KARSAP
Reporting system
Public participation
Toll Free Number
For lodging complaints
Pros Significance
Reducing AMR
Ensuring proper antibiotic use
Cons Challenges
Implementation challenges
Ensuring compliance
Way Forward
Continued monitoring
Public awareness
Strengthening KARSAP initiatives

Operation Amrith is an initiative by the Kerala Drug Control Department in India, launched in January 2024. Its purpose is to combat antimicrobial resistance and curb the overuse of antibiotics. The operation involves conducting surprise raids in pharmacies to detect unauthorized over-the-counter sales of antibiotics, enforcing strict record-keeping, and requiring visible notices in pharmacies about the prescription requirement for antibiotics. The public is encouraged to report any violations. The initiative is a part of the broader effort under the Kerala Anti-Microbial Resistance Strategic Action Plan, aiming to reduce antimicrobial resistance and promote appropriate use of antibiotics.

/ Species
Himalayan Wolf mind map
Recent News
IUCN Assessment
Classified as Vulnerable
Threat to Snow Leopards
Return to Nepal’s Himalayas
2018 Study
Confirmed as unique clade
2024 News
IUCN's first assessment
Genetic Uniqueness
Adapted to high altitudes
Predation Conflict
With livestock
China, India
Conservation Status
IUCN: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix I
Wildlife Protection Act: Schedule I
Illegal hunting
Habitat loss
Hybridisation with dogs
Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau
Geraldine Werhahn
Led research
Research Methods
Collecting wolf scat
Genetic analysis
Unique Adaptations
High-altitude survival
Human Conflict
Livestock predation
Environmental Threats
Habitat modification
Way Forward
Protection Measures
Secure wild prey populations
Improve livestock guarding
Manage feral dog populations
Trans-boundary conservation efforts
Continued study of genetics

The Himalayan Wolf, recently classified as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN, is a unique species native to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. A 2018 study first identified it as a genetically distinct clade, adapted for survival in high-altitude, low-oxygen environments. Researchers, led by Geraldine Werhahn, have been collecting and analyzing wolf scat for genetic studies. These wolves face threats from illegal hunting, habitat loss, and hybridization with dogs. They also conflict with local communities due to livestock predation. Conservation efforts focus on securing wild prey populations, improving livestock guarding methods, managing feral dog populations, and trans-boundary conservation initiatives. The Himalayan Wolf’s unique genetic adaptations for high-altitude survival highlight its ecological significance and the need for continued research and protective measures.

2023 Global Water Monitor Report mind map
Recent News
Close to average
No clear trend towards extremes
Average Temperature
Highest recorded globally
In 77 countries
Record-warm months frequency highest
Relative Air Humidity
Second lowest on record
Trend towards drier conditions
Soil Water Conditions
High annual conditions in many regions
Vegetation Vigour
Highest since 2001
Steady increase over decades
Surface Water Occurrence
Second lowest in two decades
Increasing record high occurrences
River Flows
Slightly lower than previous year
Record high flows more common
Record low flows less common
Lake Volumes
Increasing over decades
High storage records often broken
Terrestrial Water Storage
Many dry and wet records broken
Publication Date
January 11, 2024
Monitor climate and water resources
Interpret important hydrological events
Air temperature
Soil and groundwater conditions
Vegetation access to water
River flows
Lake volumes
Trends in water cycle
Hydrological events interpretation
Global Scope
Report covers worldwide data
Albert Van Dijk
Hylke Beck
Eva Boergens et al.
Global Water Monitor
Data collection on climate and water
Positive Impacts
Provides comprehensive global water data
Aids in understanding climate impacts
Supports policy-making and resource management
Potential Issues
Increasing extreme weather events
Challenges in managing water resources
Way Forward
Need for strong international mechanisms
Equitable and sustainable water management
Partnerships across governments, businesses, scientists, civil society
Inclusion of indigenous communities
Accelerated action to prevent water crisis

The 2023 Global Water Monitor Report provides a comprehensive analysis of global water resources, focusing on climate and water data such as rainfall, air temperature, humidity, soil and groundwater conditions, vegetation access to water, river flows, flooding, and lake volumes. The report highlights the highest recorded average global temperature, the trend towards drier conditions, and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. It underscores the necessity for strong international mechanisms, equitable and sustainable water management, and the importance of partnerships across various sectors, including governments, businesses, scientists, civil society, and indigenous communities, to prevent a global water crisis. The report is a crucial tool for understanding the impacts of climate change on water resources and for aiding policy-making and resource management.

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