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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Asur Tribes

About the Tribes:

Asur is among the nine Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups( PVTGs) found in Jharkhand.

  • Of the 32 different tribes recorded in the State, only four to five tribes, including Santhali, Ho and Kuruk, have recorded language scripts.
  • As per the 2011 census, the tribe has a population of around 23,000 in Latehar and Gumla districts.
  • In the community, 50% of population could barely speak in Asur language; they are not fluent in the language.
  • The Asur language figures in the list of UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.
  • Only 7,000 to 8,000 Asur tribals are left in the community who are well conversant in the language.
  • With help from tribal rights activists, Asur Tribal Wisdom Centre, an organization involving Asur tribals, was established at Jobhipat village near Netarhat to protect the language and culture of Asur tribals.
  • Using mobile radio, the Asur community has been spreading the popularity of the language within their geographical limits.

About the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups( PVTGs):

In 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups.

Characteristics of PVGT’s :

1.   PVTGs have declining or stagnant population

2.   Low level of literacy

3.   Pre-agricultural level of technology

4.   Economically backward

5.   Generally inhabit remote localities having poor infrastructure and administrative support.

Mukurthi National Park (MNP)

Why in News?

The forest department has recently started construction of fire line/firebreak in the MNP.

What is Firebreak ?

A firebreak is a gap in vegetation or other combustible material that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a bushfire or wildfire.

A firebreak may occur naturally where there is a lack of vegetation or “fuel”, such as a river, lake or canyon.

About the MNP:

  • Mukurthi National Park (MNP) is located in the northwest corner of Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats.
  • It is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve(UNESCO World Heritage Site) along with Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley.

Keystone Species : The park was created to protect its keystone species, the Nilgiri Tahr.

There has been almost a 27% increase in the population of the Tahr in the Nilgiris over the last few years.

  • Forest Type:The park is characterized by montane grasslands and shrublands interspersed with sholas in a high altitude area of high rainfall, near-freezing temperatures and high winds.
  • Peaks:The Park is also home to Mukurthi Peak, one of the highest peaks in the Nilgiri Hills.
  • Tribes Living Inside: Todas (Todas are a pastoral tribe of the Nīlgiri Hills).

Facts for Prelims

Yara virus :

A new virus with genes not known before identified.

  • In a lake in Brazil, researchers have discovered a virus that they find unusual and intriguing called Yaravirus, it has a “puzzling origin and phylogeny”.
  • The newly discovered “Yaravirus” contains genes that have never been seen in any other viruses.

About Yaravirus:

  • The Yaravirus infects amoeba and has genes that have not been described before, something that could challenge how DNA viruses are classified.
  • Because of the Yaravirus’s small size, it was unlike other viruses that infect amoeba.
  • Named it as a tribute to Yara, the “mother of waters” in the mythological stories of the Tupi-Guarani indigenous tribes.
  • Over 90% of the Yaravirus’s genome has not been observed before.
  • The virus does not infect human cells, according to the researchers.


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