Maritime Exercise SLINEX-20

News: The eighth editions of annual India Navy – Sri Lanka Navy bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 has scheduled at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka from 19 to 21 October 2020. The Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLN Ships Saurya (Offshore Patrol Vessel) and Gajabahu (Training Ship) led by Rear Admiral Bandara Jayathilaka, the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet, Sri Lanka Navy. The Indian Navy will represent indigenously built ASW corvettes Kamorta and Kiltan under the command of Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Also, Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak helicopter embarked onboard IN ships, and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft will take part.

About SLINEX-20

This exercise aims to build up inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations linking both navies. Moreover, the exercise will also exhibit the capabilities of our indigenously constructed naval ships and aircraft.  

To enhance the high degree of interoperability between two navies, they will be planning to include surface and anti-air exercises covering weapon firing, seamanship evolutions, manoeuvres and cross deck flying operations.

SLINEX Exercise

The first SLINEX exercise took in 2005.

From 4 to 7 November 2013, SLINEX-13 was conducted off the coast of Goa. In this exercise, INS Talwar and SLNS Sagara participated. This exercise conducted major activities were replenishment at sea approaches, visit, board, search and seizure exercise, surface firing on a floating target, flying operations and asymmetric threat operations.

The fourth SLINEX was conducted on 27 October and 15 November, off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. SLNS Saurya, SLNS Samudra, SLNS Sagara, INS Kora, INS Kirpan and INS Savitri included.

SLINEX 2018 conducted from 7 to 13 September 2018, off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. SLNS Sayurala, SLNS Suranimala, SLNS Samudura, INS Kirch, INS Cora, and INS Sumitra together with helicopter and two Dornier air crafts of the Indian Navy included.

SLINEX series of exercise represents the deep combat between India and Sri Lanka, which has strengthened cooperation in the maritime domain. Cooperation between the Indian Navy and Sri Lanka Navy has also grown remarkably in recent years, in consonance with India’s Policy ‘Neighbourhood First and Hon’ble PM’s vision of Security and Growth for all in the region (SAGAR)’. Synergy developed during SLINEX exercise which shows the result seamless coordination of joint IN – SLN efforts in September 2020 to assist to MT New Diamond, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), which had caught fire off the East Coast of Sri Lanka.

Source: PIB

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur History

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was born on October 27, 1670, at village Rajouri in the Jammu state of India. His original name was Lachhman Dav. At the teenage, he left home and became a Bairagi. He took the name of Madho Das. He came to the Nashik on the Bank of Godavari in Maharashtra. There he took the discipline of a Yogi named Aughar Nath. After his death, he moved to Nanded and became famous for his magical and tantric powers.

Guru Gobind Singh visited Bairagi’s cottage in September 1708. The Bairagi tried magic powers on Guru. When he noticed the magic failed and fell at Guru’s feet. Said: “I am your banda, your slave”. Guru blessed him and baptized. He gave the name as Banda Singh. Hereafter, Banda Singh was no longer a Bairagi, become a Sikh and discipline of Guru Gobind Singh. Now he became a saint-soldier, ready to fight the tyrants.

Banda Singh learnt about the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur. He also learnt about the cold-blooded murder of the Guru’s younger sons at Sarhind; about the hardship and suffering borne and the sacrifices made by the Guru; of wholesale persecution of millions of non-Muslims by the Mughals.

A Pathan stabbed Guru Gobind Singh. After that Bandha Singh requested to Guruji to allow to proceed to Punjab in order to punish them. He accepted his request.

Guru Gobind Singh appointed as commander of the Khalsa. He gave him the title of “Bahadur”, saying ‘In all that you do, you will always act as a brave saint-warrior’. Also gave him five arrows from his quiver as a pledge of victory, saying ‘If you ever find yourself in a hopeless situation, think of the Guru and God, and shoot one of these arrows, and you will get divine help and guidance. He bestowed on him a flag and a drum, saying, ‘They will serve as emblems of temporal authority’.

Further, a council of five Piarars was appointed to assist him. It consisted of Bhais Binod Singh, Kahan Singh, Baj Singh, Daya Singh and Ran Singh. The Guru also gave him Hukmnamas to Sikhs. After that Banda Singh called as their leader, and to fight under his banner.

Every Sikh is set aside one-tenth of his income for charitable and religious purpose and is called Daswandh. The amount was regularly remitted to the Guru’s treasury, either directly or through a Masand.

There were three classes of men who joined Banda Singh campaign. In the first class, comprised of faithful and loyal Sikhs. The second class consisted of paid soldiers. The third class was entirely composed of irregulars.

Banda Singh attacked and conquered all strongholds of Muslim oppression, like Samana, Kapuri, Sadhaura, and Chhat.

Banda Singh had become master of Punjab – east of Lahore, i.e. from Panipat to Lahore. He aimed to destroy the Mughal rule from the land altogether. He fixed the fort of Mukhlispur as his capital.  

He abolished the Zamindari system of the Mughals. In its place, he introduced peasant proprietorship. The Zamindari system means villager should pay a fixed amount to the government as land-revenue or Land-lord.

In Delhi, near Qutub Minar, there stands a Gurudwara in his memory.

SVAMITVA

News:

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) scheme on Sunday to distribute property cards that will enable beneficiaries to take loans and resolve land disputes.

About SVAMITVA Scheme:

The Central Government launched SVAMITVA scheme on the occasion of National Panchayat Day, i.e. 24th April 2020. The Ministry of Panchayat Raj (MoPR) is a play role of Nodal Ministry for implementation of the scheme. In the States, the Revenue Department / Land Records Department will play the role of the Nodal Department. With the support of State Panchayat Raj Department, Nodal Departments carry out the scheme implementation. Survey of India shall work as the technology partner for implementation.

The scheme aim is to provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India. Also, they will be using the latest Drone Surveying technology for defining the inhabitant land in rural areas. This scheme would provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners.

Key Points:

1. To secure financial stability to the citizens in rural India and use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits.

2. Making accurate land records for rural planning

3. It is useful for determination of property tax

4. Using the GIS map, to make better quality Gram Panchayat Development Plan

5. It will also reduce property disputes and legal cases.

Area Covers: In the first phase, it will cover 1 lakh beneficiaries, including householders of 346 villages in UP, 221 in Haryana, 100 in Maharashtra, 44 in Madhya Pradesh, 50 in Uttarakhand and two in Karnataka.

The target of this scheme is to complete implementation in four years. The card will be available through digital technology also.

Also, it will help for Gram Panchayat that currently struggle with generating revenue, primarily through property tax. Which help to invest in the needs of local communities. The Gram Panchayat collected only 19 percent property tax accordingly to the Economic Survey 2018.

Source: PIB

PHILATELY DAY

Thirteenth October is Philately Day. India Post, Mumbai has started the celebration of the National Postal Week from 9th October has come out with unique philately merchandise – a ‘Stamped Mask’. The masks are made of cloth and have pictures of stamps imprinted on them. It is an attempt to make the mask attractive and also drive home the importance of wearing masks during the present Covid 19 pandemic.

India Post, Mumbai, similar to other government departments has been in the forefront in increasing awareness about Covid 19 and joined the Covid Appropriate Jan Andolan campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8th October.

In a bid to increase awareness about the role and importance of the postal sector in socio-economic development and the impact ‘post’ leaves on the lives of people, India Post has decided to launch the ‘Know Your Beat Postman’ initiative.

The World Health Organisation has also stated that masks must be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives.

World Post Day

World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9th October to memorialise the establishment of the Universal Postal Union. The Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established in 1874 in Bern, Switzerland.

The World Post Day declared by the UPU in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. The aim was to create and enable a system that allows a free flow of international mail around the world.

The purpose of the day is to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in people’s and businesses’ everyday lives and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries.

What is meaning of Philatelic?

Philatelic is the study of postage stamps and postal history, which refers to the collection, appreciation and research activities on stamps and other philatelic products.

History about Indian Philatelic

The Indian Philatelic began with the introduction of paper postage in India in 1852. Before that copper token were introduced for payment of postage in 1774. Penny Postage in England, Sir Bartel Frere, the Commissioner of Sind introduced paper stamps for his province in 1852. These stamps known as Scinde Dawak, which round in shape and issued in three forms – embossed on white paper without colour, on white paper in blue and on vermilion wafers.

The first design of India Postage Stamps was attempted by Col. Forbes of Calcutta Mint showing the ‘Lion and the Palm tree’.  

The first India Postage Stamps issued in 1854 bore the inscription ‘India Postage’. A new caption ‘भारत’ ‘India’ introduced replacing the ‘India Postage’ from November 1962. In 1854, the Queen Victoria stamps issued, a portrait of British Monarch had figured in Indian Stamp Designs. The first independence stamps, issued in 1947 with depicted the Ashoka Pillar, the Indian National Flag and an Aircraft.

What is the Philatelic material available at Philatelic Bureaux?

Philatelic material includes –

  • Mint stamps (unused stamps)
  • Commemorative Stamps
  • First Day Covers (FDCs, which are issued with every commemorative stamp )
  • Brochure (Information sheet accompanying each commemorative stamp )
  • Collectors’ Packs (Year-wise)
  • Miniature/Souvenir sheets which are sometimes issued

Source: PIB, Indian Postage Stamps

32 and 47 AMRUT Projects Completed in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

News: Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), during the interaction with the Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary/ senior officials of the States of Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand last month, be grateful the progress made by the States under AMRUT Mission. Also, he recommended them to complete all the projects within the extended Mission period up to 31st March 2021 to avail the Central Assistance (CA) which is 90% in the case of the two hill States.

In National Rankings of AMRUT, Himachal Pradesh ranked 15th and Uttrakhand 24th. Himachal Pradesh has met its target of 13,003 new household water tap connections by providing over 17,600 new connections. Uttarakhand has provided 36,554 new connections until the present.

Himachal Pradesh has until now provided 26,034 sewer connections against a target of 23,006 connections and Uttarakhand has given 24,818 new connections.

Himachal Pradesh has until now replaced 12,186 streetlights against the target 9,621 with LED lights, Uttarakhand has replaced 72,167 of the targeted 82,337 lights.

Both the States have implemented the OBPS (Online Building Permission System) system in their Mission cities. OBPS is part of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and should be implemented in all the ULBs apart from Mission cities, said by Shri Durga Shankar Mishra.

‘Catch the Rain’ Campaign:  Both the States were requested to initiate activities under ‘Catch the Rain’ Campaign. Secretary, MoHUA emphasised on the need to conserve water, and the objective of this campaign is to conserve/harvest every drop of water.

AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) Mission:

The Mission is providing essential services, e.g. water supply, sewerage, urban transport to households and build amenities in cities which will improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged is a national priority.

Purpose of Mission:

1. Assure that every household has access to a tap with the assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.

2. Increase the amenity of the value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces, e.g. Parks

3. Reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorised transport, e.g. walking and cycling. All these outcomes are valued by citizens, particularly for women, and indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in the form of Services Level Benchmarks (SLBs).

Mission Components:

The Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will seek to include some good aspect in the physical infrastructure components. The Mission Components as follows:

1. Water Supply:

  • Water supply systems including augmentation of existing water supply, water treatment plants and universal metering.
  • The system is provided rehabilitation of old water supply systems, including treatment plants.
  • It is the rejuvenation of water bodies specifically for drinking water supply and recharging of groundwater.
  • Special water supply arrangement for difficult areas, hill and coastal cities, including those having water quality problems (e.g. arsenic, fluoride)

2. Sewerage:

  • The system is decentralised, networked underground sewerage systems, including augmentation of existing sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants.
  • It is the rehabilitation of the old sewerage system and treatment plants.
  • It is the recycling of water for beneficial purposes and reuse of wastewater. 

3. Storm Water Drainage:

  • Construction and improvement of drains and storm water drain in order to reduce and eliminate flooding.

4. Urban Transport:

  • Footpaths/ walkways, sidewalks, foot over-bridges and facilities for non-motorised transport (e.g. bicycles).
  • Multi-level parking.

5. Green Spaces / Parks:

  • Development of green space and parks with special provision for children, senior citizens and Divyang friendly components. 

Mission Coverage:

Five hundred cities have been selected under AMRUT. The category of cities that have been selected under AMRUT is given below:

  • All Cities and Towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities as per Census 2011, including Cantonment Boards (Civilian areas),
  • All Capital Cities/Towns of States/ UTs, not covered in above,
  • All  Cities/  Towns  classified  as  Heritage  Cities  by  MoHUA  under  the  HRIDAY Scheme,
  • Thirteen Cities and Towns on the stem of the main rivers with a population above 75,000 and less than 1 lakh, and
  • Ten Cities from hill states, islands and tourist destinations (not more than one from each State).

Source: PIB, http://amrut.gov.in/

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

News: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and KPIT successfully ran trails of India’s first Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) prototype car. It is running on an indigenously developed fuel cell stack at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. The fuel cell is a low-temperature PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) type Fuel Cell that operates at 65-75 degree centigrade, which is suitable for vehicular applications.

The PEM fuel cell technology includes the membrane electrode assembly. KPIT brought in their expertise in stack engineering, which included light-weight metal bipolar and gasket design, development of the balance of plant (BoP), system integration, control software and electric powertrain that enabled running the fuel cell vehicle. The fuel cell stack uses fragile metal bipolar plates, thus reducing the stack weight by about two-third.

In 2016, CSIR-NCL and CSIR-CECRI as part of the Industry Originated Project (IOP) category of the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) scheme partnered with KPIT for the development of an automotive-grade PEM Fuel Cell technology. Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) technology uses chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen to generate electrical energy, eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Further, the fuel cell technology emits only water, thus cutting down the emission of harmful greenhouse gases along with other air pollutants.

This technology is more suited for commercial vehicles (CV) such as buses and trucks. Battery electric buses/trucks require a large battery to achieve the desired operating range. In comparison, HFC technology requires a much smaller battery for a vast operating range. Hence, HFC technology offers more promise for the CV segment.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell :

A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. Both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction into usable electric power. However, the fuel cell will produce electricity as long as fuel is supplied, never losing its charge.

It is an electrical power source for electric motors propelling vehicles. Fuel cells operate best on pure hydrogen. However, fuels like natural gas, methanol, or even gasoline can be reformed to produce the hydrogen required for fuel cells. Some fuel cells even can be fueled directly with methanol, without using a reformer.

In the future, hydrogen could also join electricity as an essential energy carrier. Renewable energy sources, like the sun and wind, cannot produce energy all the time. However, they could, for example, produce electric energy and hydrogen, which can be stored until it is needed. Hydrogen can also be transported (like electricity) to locations where it is needed.

Hydrogen Resources:

1. Solar: Sunlight directly or indirectly generates the energy to produce hydrogen.

2. Biomass: Biomass can be converted to hydrogen and other byproducts through several methods.

3. Wind: It generated electricity can power water electrolysis to produce hydrogen, which could be used to fuel vehicles, or stored and then used in fuel cells to generate electricity during times of the day when wind resources is low.

Source: PIB, https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/types-of-renewable-energy/hydrogen/#gref, https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-resources

Current Affair – UPSC and MPSC exam

Repatriation and International Travel of over 20 Lakh People Facilitated since May 6, 2020

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, I/C, Civil Aviation said, Government of India has made more accessible the repatriation and International travel of over 20 lakh people through different means since 6th May 2020.

The Government of India has formalised air bubble arrangements with 16 countries like USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Japan, Nigeria, Kenya, Iraq, Bhutan and Oman.

LIFELINE UDAN

Lifeline Udan was launched to transport experts and equipment to every corner of the country during Covid-19 lockdown. Airlines operated 588 flights, flew more than 5 lakh kilometres and transported about 1000 tons of essential cargo. The airlines delivered testing kits and medical equipment to remote locations when movement by all other modes of transports was restricted.

UDAN – DRIVING THE GROWTH OF REGIONAL AVIATION SECTOR

UDAN scheme was launched for affordable regional connectivity. 766 routes were awarded after four rounds of bidding under UDAN out of which 284+ routes have been operationalised connecting 105 airports. 50 UDAN Airports developed & operationalised in 3 years as against 76 airports before.

Key Features :

1. 70% average load factor on the regional routes

2. Implemented economising measures within the scheme framework to bring down VGF requirements by 60% on select existing routes during COVID 19.

3. Start-Up and scale-up opportunities for small regional and MSME airlines.

4. 100 additional UDAN airports, 40+heliports and water-aerodromes to be connected.

5. Regional to Remote – North East (ACT East with Passighat, Tezpur) and Islands (Port Blair, Agatti)

MEASURES FOR AVIATION SECTOR

  • In January 2020 Fuel Throughput charge was rationalised. 
  • Central Excise Duty on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was reduced to 11% in October 2018.
  • GST on MRO reduced from 18% to 5% with a full input tax credit from 1 April 2020. This will attract MRO business to India, leading to a lot of savings for airlines in maintenance and also the creation of jobs.
  • Till now, only 60% of the Airspace was available for civilian Aircraft movement. Now, restrictions are being eased out. Air space rationalisation will save about Rs.1000 crore per annum for airlines
  • The proposal to bring ATF under the ambit of GST is before the GST Council which has representation from the States as well

Two new species of Pipeworts discover from the Western Ghats

In the Western Ghats, two new species of a plant group known for their various medicinal properties discovered by the Scientist from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune. The Western Ghats have one of the thirty-five hot-spots of biological diversity in the world and around 111 species in India.

The plant group is known as pipeworts (Eriocaulon), which completes their life cycle within a short period during monsoon.

One species, Eriocaulon cinereum, is famous for its anti-cancerous, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. E. quinquangulare uses against liver diseases. E. madayiparense is an anti-bacterial from Kerala.

“Identification of the species belonging to Eriocaulon is challenging as they all look similar, which is why the genus is often referred to as ‘Taxonomist’s nightmare’. Its tiny flowers and seeds make it difficult to distinguish between different species,” Dr. Choudhary pointed out. Their study published in the journals ‘Phytotaxa‘ and ‘Annales Botanici Fennici’.

Fig:   Eriocaulon parvicephalum
Fig:  Eriocaulon karaavalense

The one reported from Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra named as Eriocaulon parvicephalum (due to its minute inflorescence size), and the other reported from Kumta, Karnataka named as Eriocaulon karaavalense (named after Karaavali = Coastal Karnataka region).

Source: PIB

UPSC and MPSC topic : Environment

Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi Social Reformer

Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi alias Sarvajanik Kaka, was a lawyer, social reformer, and political activist. He was born in Satara on 9th April 1828. He started to work as a clerk and also tried to start his legal practice. He worked as a guide for Sardars and Jahagirdars.

Sarvajanik Kaka also built a Vishnu Temple. Parvati Sansathan committee started some illegal activities in a temple. So he decided to pay attention to it. He called a meeting, and in the second meeting, he chose to establish a Sarvajanik Sabha. Thus the Pune Sarvajanik Sabha founded on 2nd April 1870.

The Sabha adopted a novel procedure and beginning to make the Sabha an elected body to ensure an accurate representation of the people. To be a member of the Sabha a person was required to produce a ‘Mukhtyarnama’ (Power of Attorney) signed by the minimum 50 adults authorising him to speak and act on their behalf in all public matters. The first President of the Sabha was the Shrimant Shrinivasarao Pant Partinishi, Chief of Aundh. It was the first political organisation in India. This organisation gave the first impetus to public activities in the Deccan.

To social unity, Kaka and his friends Gowande’s wife took the programme of Sarvajanik Haldi Kunku at New Vishnu Mandir in 1873. This programme held by Shree Vicharavati Sabha which was established by him. Haldi Kunku gave to all women from any caste.

In 1874, due to flood in Nashik, it damaged the crops. Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi and Ramchandra Udas worked for it. Sabha gave Rs. 3,000/- for rehabilitation.

In 1876, due to famine in Deccan and West Maharashtra, Sabha started to offer Rs. 17,000/- for affected people. Sabha requested to Government to appoint a committee to solve this problem permanently.

The Viceroy of India Lord Littan passed the bill about freedom of printing and Kaka opposed that bill. After opposition, Lord Ripan cancelled that bill in 1881.  

Sarvajanik Kaka put the concept of the Swadeshi Movement to Maharashtra when Bengali people were not aware of the effect of the Swadeshi Movement. He started the work of khadi in Sabarmati Ashram. He also used Bharat costume tradition at his own house.

Source – Shodhaganga, Image from peoplepill.com  

MPSC- Mains Topic – GS I paper.

Ecosystem and its structure

A. G. Tansley was invented the term ‘ecosystem’ in 1935. An ecosystem is a region of the landscape that forms such as forest, grassland, desert, wetland or coastal area.

An Ecosystem defines as “the living community of plants and animals in any area together with non-living components of the environment such as soil, air and water, constitute the ecosystem”.

All the ecosystems of the Earth are connected, e.g., the river system is connected with the ecosystem of the ocean, and a small ecosystem of dead logs is part of a large ecosystem of a forest.

Structure of an Ecosystem:

It has two main components: 1. Abiotic           2. Biotic

Abiotic:

These are the non-living components of the ecosystem. It includes basic inorganic elements and compounds, such as soil, water, oxygen, calcium carbonates, phosphates and a variety of organic compounds. It also includes such as solar radiation, wind currents. The energy of the sun is a significant energy source for the ecosystem.  There are two types a) Climatic factors such as rain, temperature, the light, wind, etc. b) Edaphic factors such as soil, pH, minerals, etc.

Biotic :

The living organisms such as plants, animals and micro-organism (Bacteria and Fungi) that form the biotic components. On nutrition-based, there are two basic components :

1. Autotrophic components :

This includes all green plants which fix the radiant energy of the sun and make food from inorganic substances.

2. Heterotrophic components :

This includes non-green plants and all animals which take food from autotrophs.

The biotic components can be classified into three main classes:

1. Producer

2. Consumers

3. Decomposers or Reducers and transformers

Producer:

The green plant in the ecosystem is called producers. The green plants have chlorophyll with the help of which they catch solar energy and change it into the chemical energy of carbohydrates using inorganic compounds, i.e. water and carbon dioxide. This process is called photosynthesis. The green plants’ make their own food they are known as Autotrophs.

The chemical energy stored by the producers is used partly by the producers for their own growth and survival, and the remaining is stored in the plant parts for their future use.

Consumer

The animals lack chlorophyll and are inadequate to synthesis their food. Therefore, they depend upon the producers for their food. There are four types :

1. Primary consumers

2. Secondary consumers

3. Tertiary consumers

4. Parasites, scavengers and saprobes

1. Primary Consumers

The primary consumers are herbivores. Some common herbivores are insects, birds and mammals in the terrestrial ecosystem. Elton named herbivores of an ecosystem as “key industry animals”. These serve as the chief food source for carnivores.

2. Secondary Consumers

Those animals that depend on the primary carnivores for food are called secondary consumers—E.g. sparrow, crow, fox, snakes

3. Tertiary consumers

These are the top carnivores which prey upon other carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. These are considered as tertiary or top consumers. E.g. Lions, tigers, hawk, vulture

4. Parasites, scavengers and saprobes

Besides different classes of consumers, the parasitic plants and animals utilise the living tissues of different plants and animals. The scavengers and saprobes utilise dead remains of animals and plants as their food.

Decomposers and transformers

The detritus food chain begins with dead organic matter.  The decomposers are a heterotrophic organism, mainly fungi and bacteria. They meet their energy and nutrient requirements by degrading dead organic matter or detritus are known as saprotrophs. Decomposers secrets digestive enzymes that breakdown dead and waste materials into simple, inorganic materials, which are subsequently absorbed by them.

Source: NCERT, biologydiscussion

MPSC – Mains Topic GS1 paper