16 April 2017

New balsams add to Nilgiris biodiversity colours

Three new species of plants belonging to the Balsaminaceae family were identified in the Mukurthi National Park in the Nilgiris recently.

The three Balsams

  • Named : (1) Impatiens kawttyana (2) Impatiens taihmushkulni (3) Impatiens nilgirica
  • Found by Tarun Chhabra and Ramneek Singh a few years ago, were formally classified recently.
  • Impatiens kawttyana : Identifiable by its large, white flowers, glandular hairs followed by white hairs at the throat, and has been named after a Toda deity hill, ‘Kawtty’.
  • Impatiens taihmushkulni : Named after the Toda deity hill Taihmushkuln.
  • Impatiens nilgirica : Variant nawttyana differs slightly from a previously identified species, with the newly found variety having longer scape  and petioles with white flowers among other small variations. This variety was named based on on Todas members of the Balsaminaceae family Nawtty.
  • Sacred deity hills of the Todas are located inside the park and they have played a tremendous role in protecting the area.
  • Three new species were found in isolated pockets of the Mukurthi National Park and Porthimund reserve forests, and while I.taihmushkulni has been tentatively classified by researchers to be endangered.
  • There was not enough data on the other two species.
  • The new species throw light on the continued importance and diversity of the Nilgiris.

The Nilgiri


  • An International Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills ranges of South India.
  • Reserve spreads over in the states of Tamil Nadu,  Karnataka and Kerala.
  • The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster conjoining the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 2012.
  • It includes the Mudumalai, Mukurthi, Sathyamangalam, Nagarhole, Wayanad, and Bandipur national parks.
  • Major Tribal groups : Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, Edanadan Chettis, Cholanaickens, Allar,Malayan.
  • There are more than 135 endemic species of plants in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, of which the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu forms the core, with over 90 endemics.

Source : The Hindu, Wikipedia

GS III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

₹2,000-crore push for women engineers

Department of Science and Technology will be leading a ₹2,000-crore initiative to encourage more girls and women to take up careers in the domain of science and engineering, where they are under-represented.

Key Facts

  • Pilot programme covering 100,000 girls and women.
  • The programmme covers school-going children to those interested in research
  • Aim is to raise the percentage of women working in the Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, and other national research labs.
  • To take it from the 10% or so at present, to 33% in the next five years.


  • India fared reasonably well when it comes to enrolment of women in science and engineering, which stood at around 35%.
  • But the proportion of women in the science and engineering workforce was an abysmal 12%.
  • Though there are more girls than boys in the life sciences, there are fewer in physics, maths, earth science and chemistry.
  • Enrolment of women is 28% in engineering, and “very low” in the classical streams  like mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

 Regulatory body issues new ad norms for celebrities

Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), self-regulatory body, has released a set of guidelines for celebrity endorsements that bring personalities, including doctors, authors, activists and educationists, into the celebrity category.

This comes as a part of review the Consumer Protection Act and may have a provision to deal with misleading ads.

New Guidelines

  • Celebrities, for the purpose of this guideline, are those people who are from the field of Entertainment and Sports and would also include other well-known personalities like Doctors, Authors, Activists, Educationists, etc. who get compensated for appearing in advertising.
  • All advertisements featuring Celebrities should ensure that it does not violate any of the ASCI code in letter and spirit.
  • Celebrities are expected to have adequate knowledge of these Codes
  • It is the duty of the Advertiser and the Agency to make sure that the Celebrity they wish to engage with is made aware of them.
  • Testimonials, endorsements or representations of opinions or preference of Celebrities must reflect genuine, reasonably current opinion of the individual(s) making such representations, and must be based upon adequate information about or experience with the product or service being advertised.
  • Celebrity should do due diligence to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the advertisements they appear in or endorse are capable of being objectively ascertained and capable of substantiation and should not mislead or appear deceptive.
  • Celebrities should not participate in any advertisement of a product or treatment or remedy that is prohibited for advertising under:
  1. The Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954 as updated from time to time or
  2. The Drugs & Cosmetic Act 1940 and Rules 1945: (Schedule J) as updated from time to time or
  3. A product which by law requires a health warning “…..is injurious to health” on its packaging or advertisement.
  • If the Celebrity either directly or through the concerned Advertiser/Agency chooses to seek Advertising Advice from ASCI on whether the advertisement potentially violates any provisions of the ASCI code or not and if the Advertisement is developed fully following the Advertising Advice provided by the ASCI, then the Celebrity would be considered as having completed due diligence.
  • However, ASCI’s Advertising Advice will not be construed as pre-clearance of the Advertisement.

Source : Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

GS II : Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Download as PDF : 16 April 2017


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s