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  • Category
  • Published
    14th Jul, 2023

Environment (GS-III)

Chinkara (Gazella bennettii)

Rajasthan court awards informer half of fine in Chinkara killing case.

About Chinkara or Indian gazelle (Gazella bennettii):

  • Chinkara or Indian gazelle is the State animal of Rajasthan.
  • Geographic Range: Indian gazelles, Gazella bennettii, are primarily found in the northwestern region of India in the state of Rajasthan.
  • Habitat: Dry deciduous forests, open woodlands, and dry areas such as sand dunes, semi-arid deserts, and arid valleys.
  • Conservation Status:
    • Gazella bennettii is considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    • They are included in the CITES Appendix III.

Salsola oppositifolia Desfontania

A team of researchers from Gandhinagar-based Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation has discovered a new species of saltwort called Salsola oppositifolia Desfontania. 


  • Salsola oppositifolia Desfontania is a perennial shrub that grows in saline, arid to semi-arid environments of the Kutch district.
  • The species belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae.
  • It is rarely prostrate and unlike other species of Salsola, does not have any hairs. As the name oppositifolia suggests, the leaves of this plant grow opposite each other in the stem.
  • It is a halophyte — a plant adapted to growing in saline conditions.
  • This species, earlier known from Italy, Northern Africa, Palestine, Spain and Western Sahara, has been reported for the first time from India.


According to recent findings, there has been lowest reproductive number in more than 50 years of monitoring the local population of the Ospreys ‘a raptor’.

About Ospreys:

  • Ospreys are very large, distinctively shaped hawks. Despite their size, their bodies are slender, with long, narrow wings and long legs.
  • Ospreys are brown above and white below, and overall they are whiter than most raptors.
  • From below, the wings are mostly white with a prominent dark patch at the wrists.
  • The head is white with a broad brown stripe through the eye.
  • Juveniles have white spots on the back and buffy shading on the breast.
  • Ospreys reside around nearly any body of water: saltmarshes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries, and even coral reefs.
  • Their conspicuous stick nests are placed in the open on poles, channel markers, and dead trees, often over water.

Atlantic menhaden:

The recent decline in Ospreys has happened due to shortage of fish species named ‘Atlantic menhaden’ and food for them.


  • These fishes are found in coastal and estuarine waters from Nova Scotia to northern Florida, Atlantic menhaden play many important roles.
  • They are filter feeders, primarily consuming phytoplankton and zooplankton in the water column. Menhaden support an important commercial fishery.
  • They constitute the largest landings, by volume, along the Atlantic Coast of the United States.
  • Menhaden are harvested for use as fertilizers, animal feed, and bait for fisheries including blue crab and lobster.
  • They are a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, so they are also used to develop human and animal supplements.
  • In estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, they are food for striped bass and other fish, as well as for predatory birds, including osprey and eagles.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

Tomato leaf curl virus (ToLCV)

ToLCV is a significant concern for tomato farmers as it can cause substantial economic losses.


  • Tomato leaf curl virus (ToLCV) is a plant virus.
  • It affects tomato plants and other crops in the Solanaceae family, such as peppers, eggplants, and potatoes.
  • It is a member of the Begomovirus genus.
  • Transmitted by: Whitefly Bemisia tabaci


Science and Technology

PBW RS1 Wheat variety

The Ludhiana-based institution has developed a new variety of wheat called PBW RS1.

About PBW RS1 variety:

  • The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has developed a new wheat variety called PBW RS1. 
  • This variety contains high levels of amylose starch, which is known to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Unlike regular wheat, consuming chapattis made from PBW RS1 does not cause an immediate and rapid rise in glucose levels.
  • The high amylose and resistant starch content in this wheat ensure that glucose is released more slowly into the bloodstream.
  • Additionally, the slower digestion process increases the feeling of satiety, so a person consuming chapattis made from PBW RS1 would feel full after having just two, compared to four chapatis made from normal wheat.
  • PBW RS1 has total starch content similar to other wheat varieties, around 66-70 percent.

Other Important Wheat varieties:

  • PBW-343, WH-896(d), PDW-233(d), UP-2338, PBW-502
  • Major wheat-growing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat.

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