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13 April 2024 Daily Current Affairs

1. India to access critical minerals from Congo

India in talks with Democratic Republic of Congo for copper and cobalt

India is looking to secure access to critical minerals like copper and cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo. A draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been shared with Congolese officials, and a final agreement is expected within three months.

MoU to allow exploration and potential mining

The MoU would allow India to conduct mineral exploration in Congo. If successful, India would be able to commercially extract the minerals.

Agreement similar to Argentina lithium deal

V.L. Kantha Rao, Secretary of the Union Ministry of Mines, said the government-to-government MoU will be finalized similarly to the one signed for lithium blocks in Argentina.

Signing expected in June

The final MoU with Congo is expected to be signed around June 2024.

Copper and cobalt critical for India's energy transition

The Indian government has identified copper and cobalt as critical minerals. Copper is essential for power cables, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and solar panels, playing a key role in India's energy transition. Cobalt is a vital component in batteries, and Congo is the world's largest supplier.

Editorial Explained: -

Wildlife Rescue in India: Beyond Capture and Relocation

The Ideal of Rescue

  • Rescue implies saving an animal from danger or difficulty.

  • It highlights the hope for animal survival and the complexities of human-wildlife coexistence.

Challenges of Reactive Capture

  • Frequent human-wildlife conflicts lead to capture and relocation, often unsustainable or fatal for animals.

  • Distinguishing true rescue from capture can be difficult.

Capture vs. Rescue: Examples

  • True Rescue: Leopards trapped in wells, elephants stuck in tanks, snakes in houses, or separated calves.

  • Unnecessary Capture: Leopards killing livestock or elephants damaging crops don't always require capture.

Ignoring Capture Guidelines

  • Central government discourages leopard/elephant capture based solely on sightings.

  • Preventive measures are recommended, with capture as a last resort.

  • This advice is often ignored, leading to harm and death of animals (e.g., south India elephant capture).

The Problem with Snake "Rescue"

  • High frequency of snake interactions leads to poor handling and unnecessary removal.

  • Relocation has low survival rates and doesn't solve conflict (creates a vacuum for other snakes).

  • These "rescues" harm snakes and don't address the root cause of conflict.

Rescue as Villainizing One Side

  • "Rescue" terminology implies one species threatens another.

  • This approach pits humans against animals and hinders conservation efforts.

Moving Towards Coexistence

  • We need to see human and wildlife as a shared community.

  • Conflict resolution should prioritize:

  • Realistic situation assessment

  • Minimizing animal stress

  • Ethical interventions considering both human and animal welfare

Proactive Solutions

  • Karnataka Forest Department's model: early warning systems, monitoring, fencing, education, waste management.

  • More research and resources are needed for innovative conflict resolution strategies.

Responsible Relocation

  • Relocation disrupts two ecosystems.

  • Animal welfare needs must be considered during relocation.

The Goal: A Win-Win Situation

We need approaches that benefit both humans and wildlife for long-term success.

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