Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 13th August-2020

 

1. Arunchal Pradesh away from Naga peace deal:-

  • The Centre has decided to conclude the naga peace talks with the NSCN (IM) and Naga National Political Groups in Nagaland by September this year.
  • But the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) appealed to the Centre to keep Arunachal Pradesh away from any kind of ‘territorial changes’ while finding a solution to the Naga political problem.

Naga issue:-

  • The key demand of Naga groups has been a Greater Nagalim (sovereign statehood) i.e redrawing of boundaries to bring all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast under one administrative umbrella.
  • It includes various parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam and Myanmar as well.
  • The demand also includes the separate Naga Yezabo (Constitution) and Naga national flag.

Background:-

  • The Nagas are ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in the state of Nagaland and its neighbourhood.
  • Nagas belong to Indo-Mongoloid Family.
  • There are nineteen major Naga tribes.
  • Recently, the Nagaland government decided to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland but later due to pressure from various fractions, the decision was put on hold.
  • The governments and civil society organisations in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur have made it clear that they would not compromise on their territorial integrity.

Measures to resolve the Naga issue:-

  • The history of Indo-Naga conflict shows that various past agreements have broken down due to different interpretations of the provisions.
  • Therefore various recommendations described below can help to achieve long-lasting peace in the region.
    • Providing autonomous Naga territorial councils for Arunachal and Manipur.
    • Common cultural body for Nagas across states.
    • Specific institutions for state’s development, integration and rehabilitation of non-state Naga militia.
    • Removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
    • A special status on the lines of Article 371-A will be explored for Naga areas outside Nagaland.
    • A constitutional body to look into issues related to Nagas in their whole territorial spread.

Nagas are culturally heterogeneous groups of different communities/tribes having a different set of problems from mainstream population.

In order to achieve the long-lasting solution, their cultural, historical and territorial extent must be taken into consideration.

Therefore any arrangement to be worked out should lead to social and political harmony, economic prosperity and protection of the life and property of all tribes and citizens of the states.


2. Krishi Megh:-

The Union Agriculture Minister launches Krishi Megh.

About Krishi Megh:-

  • Krishi Megh is the data recovery centre of ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research).
  • The data recovery centre has been set up at National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad.
  • Krishi Megh has been set up under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), funded by both the government and the World Bank.
  • The data recovery centre at NAARM is synchronised with the data centre at Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI).

Benefits of Krishi Megh:

  • It has been built to mitigate the risk, enhance the quality, availability and accessibility of e-governance, research, extension and education in the field of agriculture in India.
  • Krishi Megh is said to be a step forward towards digital agriculture of the ‘New India’.
  • It enables the farmers, researchers, students and policymakers to be more equipped with the updated and latest information regarding agriculture and research.

3. Connecting Chennai – Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI):-Prime Minister inaugurated the undersea optical fibre cable project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  • The submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Andaman & Nicobar Islands to the mainland was launched.
  • The project had started in December 2018 and the laying of the 2300 km submarine cable undersea was completed in record time by BSNL.
  • The submarine cable is expected to help the islands in getting cheaper & better connectivity and all the benefits of Digital India, especially in improving online education, telemedicine, banking system, online trading and in boosting tourism.
  • It will provide high-speed broadband connections in the union territory at par with services in the mainland.
  • The Islands would play an important role in India’s new trade strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India’s strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is very high and is going to increase.

Island Development Agency (IDA):

  • GOI had constituted the IDA in 2017 for the holistic development of the islands of the country.
  • The IDA functions under the aegis of the Home Ministry.

4. Dwarf Planet Ceres:-

  • As per the data collected by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, dwarf planet Ceres reportedly has salty water underground.
  • Dawn (2007-18) was a mission to the two most massive bodies in the main asteroid belt – Vesta and Ceres.

  • The scientists have given Ceres the status of an “ocean world” as it has a big reservoir of salty water underneath its frigid surface.
  • Ocean Worlds is a term for ‘Water in the Solar System and beyond’.
  • The salty water originated in a brine reservoir spread hundreds of miles and about 40 km beneath the surface of the Ceres.
  • Further, there is evidence that Ceres remains geologically active with cryovolcanism(volcanoes oozing icy material).
  • This provides scientists a means to understand the history of the solar system.

Ceres:

  • It is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
  • It was the first member of the asteroid belt to be discovered when Giuseppe Piazzi spotted it in 1801.
  • It is the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system (includes planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars).
  • Scientists classified it as a dwarf planet in 2006.
  • It has a diameter of about 950 km, which is more than one-fourth of Earth’s moon.
  • It takes 1,682 Earth days, or 4.6 Earth years, to make one trip around the sun.
  • It completes one rotation around its axis every 9 hours.
  • It does not have any moon or rings.
  • It has a 92 km wide crater named Occator located in its northern hemisphere.

Dwarf Planets:-

  • Dwarf planets are heavenly bodies that are too small to be considered a planet but too large to fall under smaller categories.
  • The International Astronomical Unit defines a planet as something that obeys the following criteria:
    • To be in orbit around the Sun
    • Has enough gravity to pull its own mass into a round shape

5. Forest cover loss threatens hornbills in Arunachal:-

A study has flagged a high rate of deforestation in Arunchal Pradesh is a major threat for hornbill habitat.

Hornbills:

  • The study find scale satellite imagery to assess Papum Reserve Forest (RF) adjoining Pakke Tiger Reserve (Pakhui Tiger Reserve) in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The results show the loss and degradation of critical hornbill habitat in the biologically rich forests of the Indian Eastern Himalaya.
  • According to the Global Forest Watch 2020 report, Arunachal Pradesh lost 1,110 sq.km of primary forest from 2002-2019.
  • These areas are affected by illegal logging and ethnic conflict.
  • The forests are under pressure due to agricultural expansion, conversion to plantations or logging.

Papum Reserve Forest:-

Papum Reserve Forest is geographically situated in the south west of East Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • It is surrounded by Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary to the east and Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary to the west.
  • It is a part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity hotspot in India.
  • There are four Biodiversity Hostpots in India: Himalaya, Indo-Burma, Sundalands and Western Ghats and Sri Lanka.
  • Papum Reserve Forest forms part of the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area.
  • An Endemic Bird Area is an area of land identified by BirdLife International as being important for habitat-based bird conservation because it contains the habitats of restricted-range bird species.
  • BirdLife International is a global partnership of non-governmental organizations that strives to conserve birds and their habitats.
  • It is covered by Subtropical Dry Evergreen and Semi-evergreen Forests, while the higher areas are under Subtropical Broadleaf Hill Forest cover.

 

 

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