What's New :
UPSC Interview Guidance Program. Register here...

Short News

  • Published
    16th Jan, 2024

International Relations

India Signs Agreement for Lithium Exploration & Mining Project in Argentina

India and Argentine signed agreement for Lithium Exploration and Mining in Argentina. The agreement was signed with Khanij Bidesh India Limited to start Exploration & Development of Five Lithium Blocks. 

Key information

  • Agreement gives further fillip to India’s Efforts for Sourcing Lithium
  • Agreement between Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) and the state-owned enterprise of Catamarca province of Argentina CATAMARCA MINERA Y ENERGÉTICA SOCIEDAD DEL ESTADO (CAMYEN SE) at Catamarca, Argentina.
  • It is a step which will not only play a crucial role in driving the energy transition for sustainable future, but also ensure a resilient and diversified supply chain for critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries in India.
  • This is the first ever lithium exploration and mining project by a Government Company of India.

Argentina is the part of “Lithium Triangle” along with Chile and Bolivia with more than half of world’s total lithium resources and having the distinction of having 2nd largest lithium resources, 3rd largest lithium reserves and 4th largest production in world.

Species in News

Punganur Cows

Punganur Cows:

  • Punganur cows are a distinctive breed originating from the Punganur municipality in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district.
  • Renowned for their dwarf stature, these bovines stand at a remarkable 70-90 cm tall, with an average weight ranging from 115 to 200 kg.
  • Marked by a broad forehead and short horns, these cows are well-suited for small-scale dairy farming and organic agriculture.

Rich Milk and Medicinal Properties:

  • Beyond their unique appearance, Punganur cows are valued for their high-quality milk, known to be rich in fat content and possess medicinal properties.
  • According to reports, these cows yield approximately 3 to 5 liters of milk daily, making them ideal for small-scale and sustainable dairy farming practices.

Cigaritis conjuncta

New butterfly species endemic to Western Ghats discovered in Karnataka.

Key Characteristics of Cigaritis conjuncta:

Discovery and Research:

  • Initial Sighting: First spotted in 2008 at Iruppu Falls in Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka, by Krushnamegh Kunte.
  • Field Research: Nine specimens found in Honey valley, Kodagu district of Karnataka.

Habitat and Distribution:

  • Habitat: Primarily found in dense mid-elevation evergreen forests.
  • Endemism: Only the second endemic species discovered in the Western Ghats.
  • Preference: Indicates specialized habitat preferences within the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspots.

Comparison with Other Silverline Butterflies:

  • Distinct Wing Patterns: Although appearing similar from a distance, the conjoined silverline butterfly reveals distinct wing patterns upon closer examination.
  • Naming: Named "conjoined silverline" due to the unique characteristic of fused bands on the underside of the wings.

Significance and Conservation:

  • Second Endemic Species: Signifies the ecological richness of the Western Ghats.
  • Conservation Concerns: Emphasizes the need for habitat preservation, especially in mid-elevation evergreen forest

From Black tigers to the Tibetan brown bear: Recent sightings of rare animals around the world

1. Tibetan Brown Bear: A Himalayan Enigma

  • Characteristics:
    • Subspecies of brown bear.
    • Inhabits high altitudes of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau.
  • Distribution:
    • Endangered, as per IUCN.
    • Faces threats from habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.
  • Recent Sighting:
    • January 2024 in Sikkim, India.
    • Captured on a camera trap in Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve.
  • Significance:
    • Remarkable achievement for wildlife conservation in the region.

2. Black Tiger: The Melanistic Marvel

  • Characteristics:
    • Rare color variant of Bengal tiger.
    • Dark coat with faint stripes due to a genetic mutation.
  • Distribution:
    • Not a separate species but a rare morph of Bengal tiger.
    • Approximately one in 10,000 tigers exhibit this condition.
  • Recent Sighting:
    • In Simlipal National Park, Odisha, India.
    • Home to the world’s largest population of black tigers.
  • Significance:
    • Photos posted by IFS Officer Parveen Aswan garnered attention on social media.

3. White Sea Turtle: Leucism's Elegance

  • Characteristics:
    • Rare hatchling with leucism (partial loss of pigmentation).
    • Not a separate species but a variation of the green sea turtle.
  • Distribution:
    • Spotted on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA, in October 2020.
    • One of 120 hatchlings from a nest that night.
  • Significance:
    • Unique occurrence during sea turtle nest monitoring.

4. Walter’s Duiker: Elusive African Antelope

  • Characteristics:
    • Petite African antelope, part of the dwarf antelopes group.
    • Described in 2010, one of the least known mammals.
  • Distribution:
    • No confirmed sightings until 2021.
    • Camera traps captured first-ever images in Fazao-Malfakassa National Park, Togo.
  • Significance:
    • Marks a breakthrough in understanding the species and its habitat.

5. Wood Warbler: A Songbird's Surprise Visit

  • Characteristics:
    • Small, colorful songbird.
    • Breeds in temperate forests of Europe and Asia.
  • Distribution:
    • Migratory bird wintering in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Uncommon in India, with limited records.
  • Recent Sighting:
    • Oct 15, 2022, in Long Beach, New York.
    • First recorded sighting in the area.
  • Significance:
    • Exceptional event for local birdwatching community.
GS Mains Classes GS Classes 2024 GS Classes 2024 UPSC Study Material

Verifying, please be patient.

Our Centers

DELHI (Karol Bagh)

GS SCORE, 1B, Second Floor, Pusa Road, Karol Bagh, New Delhi - 110005 (Beside Karol Bagh Metro Station Gate No. 8)

Get directions on Google Maps

BHUBANESWAR (Jaydev Vihar)

GS SCORE, Plot No.2298, Jaydev Vihar Square, Near HCG Day Care, BBSR - 751013

Get directions on Google Maps

LUCKNOW (Aliganj)

GS SCORE, 2nd Floor, B-33, Sangam Chauraha, Sector H, Aliganj, Lucknow, UP - 226024

Get directions on Google Maps

Enquire Now