Tuesday, 7 August 2018

7th August 2018 | Assam daily current affairs for APSC

  • Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova saved four match points and rallied to defeat Croatia’s Donna Vekic and win her 18th career WTA title at the Washington Open. The 33-year-old Russian, ranked 128th in the world, defeated 44th-ranked Vekic 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 for her first WTA title since 2016 in Moscow. It was also Kuznetsova’s first title since left wrist surgery that had sidelined her earlier this year.
  • Assam girl Trisha Gogoi won a silver medal in the recently concluded World Junior Circuit Jordan Junior and Cadet Open held at Amman. Representing the India team, Trisha won silver medal in the team event and also a bronze medal in the doubles event. India defeated Thailand in the semifinals and lost to China in the finals of the team event. 
  • India notched up one of its most memorable football triumphs when the country’s under-20 team stunned traditional giants Argentina 2-1 despite being reduced to 10 men in a pulsating contest at the COTIF Cup. Deepak Tangri (4th minute) and Anwar Ali (68th) were the stars for the Indian U-20 team last night as the Floyd Pinto-coached side scripted a historic result against the six-time U-20 world champions, coached by 2006 World Cupper Lionel Scaloni and former mid-field star Pablo Aimar. It was a massive boost for Pinto’s side, which had lost 0-2 to Murcia before going down 0-3 to Mauritania. They were held to a goalless draw by Venezuela in their previous match in the tournament.
  • Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while addressing a meeting after laying the foundation stone of the Rs 10 crore project at Chamata stadium on Sunday, said that his government will organise sports events in 219 development blocks and 2202 gaon panchayats from this year to spot hidden talents in rural areas. 
  • World Champion Mirabai Chanu’s participation at the Asian Games appears doubtful with India chief coach Vijay Sharma recommending that she must pull out of Jakarta event to be fit for the Olympic qualifiers, later this year. The reigning CWG champion is struggling with an unidentified lower-back problem since May and is yet to begin full-fledged weight training.

Personality Focus :

  • Eminent writer-journalist and the first Jnanpith Award winning litterateur from the North East Dr Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya was fondly remembered today on the occasion of his death anniversary at a memorial programme ‘Birendra Smaran’ organised by the Dr Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya Memorial Trust in association with the North East Union of Working Journalists. 
  • Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya’s name is integral to the glorious history of Assamese literature not just for his Jnanpith Award winning Mrityunjoy, Sahitya Akademi Award winning Yaruingam and a number of other critically acclaimed works, but also for his prominent role as editor of the historic Assamese literary journal Ramdhenu that subsequently became the identity of the golden era of modern Assamese literature known as the ‘Ramdhenu Age’.

Epidemic  Focus:

  • Whitefly attack has been reported in several villages of Kamrup district, with agriculture scientists claiming it to be the first such phenomenon in the State in which vast stretches of vegetation has turned brownish-black.
  • The pest was first reported in coconut in Belize in 2004, then in Florida in 2009 and later in some south Indian states in 2016.
  • During the month of July, the pest infested coconut, arecanut, betelvine, banana, mango, guava, ornamental plants, etc., in several villages of Kamalpur agriculture circle. It was observed that almost all the leaves of coconut and other plants beneath and nearby it have turned brownish-black due to severe growth of sooty mould. All the leaves of the plants were found to be full of whitefly. Such type of wide coverage of sooty mould was observed for the first time in Assam.
  • While some normal whiteflies exist in small numbers in the State, such an epidemic-like attack by Rugose Spiralling Whitefly (Aleurodicus rugioperculatus) has been detected for the first time in the region.
  • Initially, villagers thought the phenomenon could be due to industrial pollution in the nearby areas, but that has been ruled out by scientists.
  • Although whiteflies are not normally considered coconut pests, these insects can damage crops and other plants directly by sucking the sap, which weakens the plant. Indirect damage may be caused by sooty mould formation over the excreted honeydew and by the transmission of pathogens.
  • The nymphs and adults suck the sap from underside of coconut leaflets and the heavy infestation leads to yellowing of the leaves, drying of the leaves and finally death of the plants. Excessive feeding by the whiteflies leads to excretion of honeydew which is deposited on the upper surface of the leaf resulting in growth of sooty mould. The growth of sooty mould causes disfigurement of hosts affecting the photosynthetic efficiency of the plants.
  • Scientists say the immediate cause of the massive population build-up of the pest is due to the hot humid weather condition with deficit rainfall and insufficient number of natural enemies of the pest.
  • The scientists’ team which investigated the epidemic has given a report to the district agriculture officer, suggesting management strategies like removal of the heavily infested leaves, installation of yellow sticky traps for the pests, spraying of mild soap water and starch solutions, etc.
  • Scientists also suspect that the pest could have come through coconut saplings brought to the State from south India. There are fears that it could spread to other contagious areas.


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