- 14 October 2022
- By GyanOk
Daily Current Affairs Notes for 14 October 2022
Discovery of ‘The Trapping Zone’ in Maldives
Recently, scientists reported the discovery of ‘The Trapping Zone’ in the island nation Maldives, India’s southern neighbour.
- This Trapping Zone is a new ecosystem, discovered some 500 meters beneath the surface, is being referred to as ‘as oasis of oceanic life’.
- It was discovered by scientists under the Nekton Maldives Mission. Nektons are pelagic faunal species (i.e. animals living in the open seas away from the shore) that are capable of swimming independently of wind and water currents. Some examples include bony fishes and sharks (under chordate nekton category), octopuses and squids (under molluscan nekton category) and shrimps and lobsters (under arthropod nekton category).
- The scientists spotted the ecosystem using the camera on the submersible named Omega Seamaster II. Biological samples were also collected for further research.
- The survey revealed the presence of several mega-faunal predators like sharks and other large marine fishes that feed on micro-nekton. According to the scientists, these organisms are trapped at the 500 m mark, against the subsea landscape.
- These micro-nektons usually exhibit ‘vertical migration’ i.e. migration from the deep waters to the surface at night and vice versa at dawn. However, they are prevented from diving deeper by the subsea features like the cliffs, terraces, volcanic structures and fossilized carbonate reefs, forming the base of the atolls. Hence, the ecosystem presents a rich source of food for the larger predators like tuna, alfonsino, spiky oreo and sharks.
- Notably, this is the first instance of such a high diversity of shark species being spotted in the deep sea around Maldives. Some of the species include tiger shark, sand tiger shark, gulper shark, six gill shark, silky shark, scalloped hammerhead shark and even the rare bramble shark.
- This discovery is significant given the critical knowledge of sub-surface biodiversity would further support conservation efforts and encourage sustainable ocean management. It would also boost the country’s fisheries and tourism sectors.
- Also the discovery has unveiled the possibility of such distinct new ecosystems existing on the continental slopes and oceanic islands elsewhere.
Maharashtra: Mumbai airport completely switches to renewable energy
The Adani group-AAI-operated Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), Mumbai airport has switched to green energy sources, fulfilling 95 per cent of its requirement from hydro and wind, while the rest 5 per cent from solar power. The facility witnessed a rise in natural energy procurement with 57 per cent in green consumption in April to a whopping 98 per cent. In August, the Mumbai Airport finally attained 100 per cent utilisation of renewable sources of energy.
Himachal Pradesh govt starts new scheme “HIMCAD” to help farmers
The state government of Himachal Pradesh has started a new scheme named ‘HIMCAD’, to provide irrigation facilities to farmers. According to the latest data, about 80% of the agricultural area of Himachal Pradesh is rain-fed. The scheme will provide end-to-end connectivity of farmers’ fields for better water conservation, crop diversification and integrated farming.
About the “HIMCAD” scheme:
- Under the scheme, it is planned to provide command area development activities to 23,344 hectares of cultivable command area by March 2024, and the State Technical Advisory Committee has approved 379 minor irrigation schemes worth Rs 305.70 crore. About 80 per cent of the agricultural area of the state is rain-fed.
- In order to provide irrigation facilities to the farmers in the state, the government has implemented schemes like Flow Irrigation Scheme, Efficient Irrigation Scheme through Micro Irrigation, Jal Se Krishi Ka Bal, construction of Lift Irrigation Scheme and Borewell etc.
- Under the scheme, to provide Command Area Development activities to 23,344 hectares of Cultivable Command Area (CCA) by March 2024, the State Technical Advisory Committee has approved 379 completed Minor Irrigation Schemes worth Rs. 305.70 crores. The development work of these schemes is in various stages.
Google launches Play Points Rewards Programme in India
Google is set to launch Play Points, a global rewards Programme for users in India. Users will earn points when they purchase with Google Play, including in-app items, apps, games, and subscriptions. The reward program has four levels known as platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. The levels will provide members with perks and prizes. The levels and tiers are based on the number of points they have collected.
Hollywood actor Tom Cruise became first actor to film in outer space
Hollywood Actor Tom Cruise, who is renowned for pulling off high-octane stunts in his projects, is taking things to the next level and may soon become the first actor to shoot in space. The Top Gun actor has reportedly partnered with director Doug Liman on a project that calls for him to perform a spacewalk. The Hollywood actor and director have reportedly approached the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) with a proposal for Tom to launch himself up to the International Space Station.
- The project was initially slated for 2020, but the Covid-19 outbreak put the project on hold. The movie is currently in the conceptual stage and hasn’t started shooting yet. Tom Cruise would be the first movie celebrity to film on the International Space Station if the film is successful, as was previously announced. Liman was asked about reports that the movie will cost around $200 million but she insisted they are yet to work out the final budget. Presumably, a flight to space for Cruise and a film crew will cost a packet.