CAO Weekly News Roundup- November WEEK -02

 New ant species discovered in the Western Ghats {Biodiversity}

In news

Researchers have discovered a new species of ant in the Western Ghats, recognised as one of the world’s ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity.

The new species was found in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.Image result for New ant species discovered

  • Belonging to Tyrannomyrmex, a rare tropical genus of ants, the species was discovered by the team from the Vallakadavu range
  • Paying tribute to their mentor and eminent myrmecologist Musthak Ali, who is regarded as the country’s ‘ant man’, the authors of the study have named the new species Tyrannomyrmex alii (or T. alii) Sadasivan and Kripakaran 2017.
  • Tyrannomyrmex is a rare myrmicine (subfamily of ants) ant genus that is distributed in the Indomalayan bio-region that extends from southern India and Sri Lanka to southeast Asia.
  • The particular genus had been erected in 2003 with the discovery of the species, Tyrannomyrmex rex Fernández, in Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Later, two more species that were under the same genus had been discovered

Periyar National Park

  • Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP) is a protected area near Thekkady in the districts of Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta in Kerala.
  • It is located high in the Cardamom Hillsand Pandalam Hillsof the south Western Ghats along the border with Tamil Nadu
  • It is an important tiger and elephant reserve.
  • The park is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and the Pamba.
  • The park is often called the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or Thekkady. It is located high in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the south Western Ghats along the border with Tamil Nadu.
  • The first official action towards the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity in Kerala was taken in 1934 by the Maharaja of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, by declaring the forests around Periyar lake as a private game reserve to stop the encroachment of tea plantations

 India’s Second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) {Science & Tech}

In news

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has signed an Institutional agreement with Anna University to establish India’s second Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC).

About TISC

  • These centres will be set up under WIPO’s Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) program.

The programme provides innovators in developing countries with access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services, helping them to exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect, and manage their intellectual property (IP) rightsThe objective of the TISC


To stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations.

WIPO was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world”.

WIPO currently has 189 member states, administers 26 international treaties, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The current Director-General of WIPO is Francis Gurry, who took office on 1 October 2008. 186 of the UN Members as well as the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue are Members of WIPO. Non-members are the states of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, South Sudan and East Timor. The Palestinians have observer status

 Chennai is now part of UNESCO’s ‘creative cities network {Art & Culture}

In news

Chennai has been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition.


  • Including Chennai, a total of 64 cities from 44 countries have joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Jaipur and Varanasi are the other Indian cities that feature on the list.
  • Gastronomy, music, crafts and folk art, media arts, design, film and literature are the seven fields of creativity highlighted by the network

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

  • It was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
  • The 180 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective.
  • Placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
  • The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.

 India’s indigenous subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay set for fifth trial {Defence}

In news

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved yet another feat on 7th November  with the successful test flight of ‘NIRBHAY

Features of the missileImage result for Nirbhay

  • Nirbhay is an all-weather low-cost long-range cruise missile with stealth and high accuracy.
  • The missile has a range of more than 1000 km.
  • Indigenously designed
  • The missile has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100 m.
  • Its relatively slow flight speed allows it to navigate its way precisely to the target.
  • The Nirbhay cruise missile is an Indian version of the American Tomahawk.
  • The missile is capable of being launched from multiple platforms on land, sea and air.
  • Can carry both Conventional and nuclear warhead.

 Allow Kambala races minus the cruelty: Centre tells Supreme Court {Culture}

In news

The Attorney General invited the court to lay down objective conditions so that there is no unnecessary pain or suffering caused to the bulls

KambalaImage result for Kambala

  • In its traditional form is non-competitive with buffalo pairs made to race one after another in paddy fields, which is considered a thanksgiving to the Gods for protecting the animals from diseases.
  • It is an annual buffalo race conducted in Coastal belt of Karnataka.
  • It is a traditional bull sport similar to Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.
  • The ‘track’ used for Kambala is a slushy paddy field.
  • It is conducted in both competitive and non-competitive manner.
  • The Kambala season generally starts in November and lasts till March in the following year.

Judicial issue

  • Supreme Court in 2014 had banned Kambala based on a petition filed by various animal rights organisations.
  • Following the massive protest against the ban, Karnataka government passed “The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance 2017” to legalize the bull sport.
  • Recently, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have challenged the ordinance but SC refuses to stay ordinance.

Shaala Sarathi {Education}

The Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD envisions improving the quality of school education by identifying and scaling promising innovations. In order to achieve this vision, the CSR for School Education portal has been launched to foster better coordination between NGOs, State governments and CSRs/Foundations.

  • It is a portal launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • It is a State-NGO-CSR Portal to aid the collaboration among the stakeholders in sharing innovative practices in various schools.
  • Shaala Siddhi – A comprehensive school evaluation system focused on well-defined quality based parameters.
  • It facilitates Schools to make professional judgments for improvement.

 Edible wild banana species discovered, the second such on the island in two years {Biodiversity}

Wild banana named Musa paramjitiana: Critically endangered, grow over 9 meterImage result for Edible wild banana species

  • In 2014, he discovered Musa indandamanensis, another wild banana, in a remote tropical rain forest on the Little Andaman island. It has dark green cylindrical flower bud.
  • “These discoveries present a great opportunity for plant breeders and horticulture experts to improve the existing banana crop.

 Tholpava Koothu {Art & Culture}

  • Tholpava koothu, the unique shadow puppet theatre form of Kerala, South India, is preserved as a family tradition by the Pulavars.Image result for  Tholpava Koothu
  • It is an ancient peculiar ritualistic art form dedicated to Bhagavati, worshiped by the people of Kerala as the Mother Goddess.
  • It is performed using leather puppets at the specially constructed theatre called Koothu Madam in front of the Bhagavati temple.
  • It is believed to have originated in the ninth century AD.
  • It uses Tamil epic “Kamba Ramayana” as its basic text.
  • The language used is a dialect of Tamil with an admixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam words.
  • It is a fine example of the integration of Aryan and Dravidian cultures.

 Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana launched to promote philately {Education}

In news

Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha today launched a Pan India scholarship program for school children called Deen Dayal SPARSH Yojana to increase the reach of Philately.

Key points

  • Under the scheme of SPARSH(Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby), it is proposed to award annual scholarships to children of Standard VI to IX having good academic record and also pursuing Philately as a hobby through a competitive selection process in all postal circles.
  • It is proposed to award 920 scholarships to students pursuing Philately as a hobby.
  • Every Postal Circle will select a maximum of 40 scholarships representing 10 students each from Standard VI, VII, VIII & IX. The amount of Scholarship will be Rs. 6000/- per annum @ Rs. 500/- per month.
  • To avail this scholarship, a child must be a student of a recognized school within India and the concerned school should have a Philately Club and the candidate should be a member of the Club.


  • It is the hobby of collection and study of Postage stamps.
  • It also entails the collection, appreciation and research activities on stamps and other related philatelic products.
  • The hobby of collecting Stamps includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloguing, displaying, storing, and maintaining the stamps or related products on thematic areas.
  • Philately is called the king of hobbies because Stamp collection as a hobby has lot of educational benefits – it teaches a lot about the socio economic political reality of the period in which the stamp is issued or the theme on which it is issued.

 Green trickster {Biodiversity}

  • Carnivorous plants usually grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen.
  • Thus, these plants derive some or most of their nutrients (but not energy) from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, typically insects and other arthropods.
  • They trap the insects by employing a variety of techniques like nectar, smell, colour and ultraviolet fluorescence to capture the prey.
  • The Nepenthes genus carnivorous plants capture insects through their leaf-evolved pitchers which act as biological traps.
  • According to a recent study, carnivorous plants use carbon dioxide (co2) to attract insects and ants to their traps.
  • It is found that the Indian Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes Khasiana) uses the gas both to attract the prey and to aid the digestive process.
  • The high CO2 inside the pitchers is produced by the respiration of tissues within the cavity.
  • The CO2 release and prey capture triggers the release of anti-fungal compounds, preventing infections from prey.


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