Daily Current Affairs – 2020
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
Why in news?
Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur will be commissioned as INS Kohassa. The move is being undertaken to enhance the operational capability of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).
NAS Shibpur, a village located on North Andaman Island, was established in 2010.
The NAS Shibpur was set up as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for surveillance in North Andaman. Located in the northern-most part of the islands, the airfield holds strategic importance not only for the security of the islands but also for its overall development.
About INS Kohassa:
- INS Kohassa has been named after a White-Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- By commissioning NAS Shibpur as INS Kohassa, the ANC’s ability to operate independently from all the regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands will get a great boost.
- Post commissioning, the station will function as a base for joint operation of both military and civil aircraft in keeping with the UDAN scheme of the government.
- INS Kohassa will become the third Naval Air Base in the Andaman and Nicobar islands after INS Utkrosh at Port Blair and INS Baaz at Campbell Bay.
As part of the Phase II expansion plan, the runway length would subsequently be extended to 3000 metre. This would enable the operation of wide-bodied civil and defence aircraft in the future.
- Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur was established in 2001 as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for enhanced surveillance in North Andaman.
- In 2009, the government of India accorded sanction to commission NAS Shibpur as a full-fledged air station.
- The length of the runway was extended to 12,000 ft, enabling both day and night operations.
- Dornier Do 228s of the navy and coast guard conducted the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from this base.
- In 2017, it was reported that the runway length would be extended to 3000m after the acquisition of about 100 hectares of land. This enabled the operation of wide-bodied civil and defense flights.
Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary
Why in News?
The Seasonal migration of wild animals from Nilgiri Biosphere to Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary has been seen recently.
- The annual migration begins from the end of February and it continues till the advent of monsoon in search of fodder and water.
- Animals also migrate to wildlife sanctuary from Muthumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka in search of food.
- A drastic decline in the sholas and grasslands is one of the reasons for the recent water scarcity in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
- The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was the first biosphere reserve in India established in the year 1986.
- It is located in the Western Ghats and includes 2 of the 10 biogeographical provinces of India.
- The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve falls under the biogeographic region of the Malabar rain forest.
- The sholas of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve are a treasure house of rare plant species.
- The Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, slender loris, blackbuck, tiger, gaur, Indian elephant and marten are some of the animals found here.
- The Muthumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley are the protected areas present within this reserve.
- Many of the major tributaries of the river Cauvery like the Bhavani, Moyar, Kabini and other rivers like Chaliyar, Punampuzha, etc., have their source and catchment areas within the reserve boundary
- The sholas and grasslands play a very important role in retaining water and supplying it to these streams
- Tribal groupslike the Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, Edanadan Chettis, Cholanaickens, Allar,Malayan, etc., are native to the reserve.
About Wayanad Sanctuary:
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere.
- The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a second largest wildlife park in Kerala and declared a Project Elephant, Elephant Reserves.
- It is situated between the Mysore and a small town Sultan Bathery in Wayanad district of Kerala.
- The sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the Northeast and Muthumalai of Tamil Nadu on the Southeast.