St. Mary’s Island
- Lonar Lake is in Maharashtra and St. Mary’s Island and Malpe beach in coastal Karnataka are the GSI’s candidates for UNESCO Global Geopark Network status.
- An aspiring Global Geopark must have a dedicated website, a corporate identity, comprehensive management plan, protection plans, finance, and partnerships for it to be accepted.
The Geopark tag is akin to that of a ‘World Heritage Site’ for historical monuments that can bring India’s famed geological features to the global stage.
- Lonar lake is the only known meteorite crater in basaltic rock and is world famous. Lonar crater became a geo-heritage site in 1979. It is relatively young geologically, at just 50,000 years old.
- A meteorite estimated to weigh two-million-tonnes slammed into the Earth, creating a 1.83-km diameter crater where the lake formed. It is distinguished by a near-perfect, circular ejecta blanket, which refers to earth thrown up during the collision, around it.
- St. Mary’s island is a unique phenomenon that has been preserved well. St. Mary’s Island, declared a national geo-heritage site in 1975, is estimated to be an 88-million-year-old formation that goes back to a time when Greater India broke away from Madagascar.
|World Peace Monument
- World’s largest dome at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT)’s World Peace University (MIT-WPU) campus at Loni Kalbhor on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Institute authorities have said the structure, called the ‘World Peace Monument’ dome, took nearly 13 years to build. At 160 ft in diameter and 263 ft tall, it is larger in area than the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (which is 136 ft. in diameter and 448 ft. in height).
- The dome is built atop the MIT World Peace Library and the World Peace Prayer Hall, which are named after the 13th century poet-saint and philosopher Dnyaneshwar — a pivotal figure of the Bhakti movement in Maharashtra.
|Wahhabism and Deobandi Movement
- Wahhabism, which represents a rigid, exclusivist, virulently anti-Sufi form of Islam that allows its adherents to proclaim other Muslims as ‘unbelievers’, is in stark contrast to the original Deobandi perspective.
- Deoband’s founding father, Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi, was a member of the Chishti Sufi order. He and other leading ulama of Deoband believed that there was no contradiction between sharia (Islamic jurisprudence) and tariqa (the mystical path to God) and that the two need to be combined to reach haqiqa (ultimate truth).
- The only caveat was that mystical acts must not contravene the rules of sharia.
- PPRV or ‘Goat Plague’ is highly contagious, and can be deadlier than even CDV that wiped out a third of Africa’s lions in the mid-1990s. But it infects only domestic livestock — small ruminants like goats and sheep.
- It is part of a family of morbilliviruses that causes canine distemper in many carnivore species, measles in humans, and rinderpest in cattle. There is no record of PPRV making carnivores sick.
In fact, several viruses are passively present on carnivores, and this may at times even help build immunity. But there is always the possibility that PPRV may jump, mutate, and turn out to be catastrophic.
- Also, crammed for space, many Gujarat lions live in close proximity to feral or even domestic dogs, a species blamed for spreading CDV to African lions.
|International Civil Aviation Organization and Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) — a specialised agency of the United Nations — adopted the Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) at its general assembly, India’s watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued draft guidelines for aeroplane operators flying on international routes.
- Under the scheme, all operators engaged in international operations have to capture their fuel consumptions and carbon emissions data annually, starting from January 1, 2019. Further, beginning 2021, the operators will have to meet offsetting requirements by purchasing and cancelling “emission units”.
- As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global trade body of airlines, the air transport industry contributes 2 per cent of global carbon emissions.
- The CORSIA is part of an effort from the ICAO to halve carbon emissions by 2050, compared with 2005 levels.
- CORSIA aims to address any annual increase in total carbon dioxide emissions from international civil aviation above the baseline value — based on the average of 2019 and 2020 levels — in order to avoid the impact of any unusual fluctuations in air traffic in 2020 levels.
- CORSIA will be implemented in three phases, with the pilot phase from 2021 to 2023, first phase to be operational from 2024 to 2026, and second phase from 2027 to 2035.
- Even as the pilot and first phases are voluntary for ICAO’s members states to implement, the second phase is mandatory for all countries, including India.