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19th August Current Affairs

Arunachal Pradesh Government forms panel to discuss autonomous regions in the state

In News:

Arunachal Pradesh Government formed a committee under the chairmanship of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein to discuss possible solutions of the Patkai Autonomous Council and Mon autonomous Region.

What is the issue?

the regions under the Autonomous councils of Arunachal Pradesh are currently under the Fifth Schedule of Indian Constitution. This does not provide special rights for the indigenous communities as that of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The autonomous councils in the sates are demanding to include Arunachal under the sixth schedule, to make the Arunachalees the owners of Natural resources rather than being protectors. Also, the Sixth Schedule will enable legitimate ownership making the indigenous communities self sufficient.

Sixth Schedule:

The Sixth Schedule includes 10 autonomous district councils in 4 north eastern states. They are Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura. It seeks to safeguard the rights of the tribal population by forming Autonomous District Councils.

The Article 244 and Article 275 provide these special provisions.

Bordoloi Committee:

The Committee was formed by the Constituent Assembly. It was formulated to provide limited autonomy to the tribal regions in the North-East. It was this committee that framed the concept of Autonomous Administration Councils in India.

Autonomous Councils:

There are 10 autonomous councils in the North East and 2 in Ladakh. They are as follows

Governor Powers:

The Governors can organize and re-organize the autonomous districts. He can increase or decrease the areas under the administration of the autonomous councils.

Powers of the Autonomous Councils:

These Autonomous Councils can make laws on land management, forest management, formation of village council, public health and sanitation, marriage, social customs, mining, money lending, inheritance of property, village and town level policing.

PM Modi launches Optic Fibre Link connecting Lakshadweep Islands with the mainland

In News:

PM Modi announced the Optic Fibre Linking of Lakshadweep Islands with the mainland during his address at the 74th celebrations of Independence Day.

Details:

The undersea Optical Fibre Cable link to be established between Lakshadweep and the mainland is second in the country. The first of its kind was established between Chennai and Port Blair.

The Lakshadweep Undersea project is to be completed in 1,000 days. It will help to boost communication between India and Lakshadweep. The Department of Telecommunications is to implement the project. The cable will boost internet speed up to 400 Giga Bytes per second. Also, it will boost 4G mobile services and digital services such as e-governance, tele-education, tourism, tele-health in the islands.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

The Chennai-Port Blair Optic Fibre Link is to be implemented at a cost of Rs 1,224 crores in the Andaman Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are important to mount pressure on China. This is especially important at the current situation as India-China border issues are becoming bitter. India expects China to make similar move in the Indian Ocean Region as made in the Ladakh border. Therefore, it is preparing itself to counter Chinese moves. This is being done by strengthening Defence Systems in the islands by providing high speed network connenctivity.

The strategic location of Andaman Islands makes it important for India to secure its maritime borders. It sits at the mouth of Malacca Strait, one of the busiest trade routes. This is the main reason for India to set up its tri-service command in the Andamans in 2001.

Lakshadweep:

Just like Andaman, the Lakshadweep also has its strategic importance. As India is expanding its maritime horizons in both western and eastern sides of Indian Ocean, the island has received increased attention. Also, with the new naval base Karwar (on the west coast of India), the islands are to be used to strengthen India’s command in the western Indian Ocean.

Though Lakshadweep falls under the southern Naval Command, Kochi it is to closely work with Karwar Naval Base.

Karwar Naval base is located in the state of Karnataka, very close to the border of Goa. River Kali flows close by to the base.

PM Modi launches Project Lion, Project Dolphin during I-Day celebrations

PM Modi launched Project Lion and Project Dolphin during his speech at the 74th Independence Day celebrations.

Details:

Project Lion is to involve conservation of Asiatic Lions. It will focus on habitat development by engaging modern technologies. Also, the project is to address Human-Wildlife conflict. It will involve local communities living closer to lion landscapes. The Project will also provide livelihood opportunities to these people.

Project Lion is to focus on health management of lions and provide world standard care to the lions. It is to be noted that around 92 lions died in Gir in January 2020. In 2018, around 59 lions died due to Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreak in the sanctuary.

Project Lion will enhance finances and duration that are already being allocated by GoI. This is because, there are projects that are already running to conserve the species. Therefore, the enhancement.

Asiatic Lion Conservation Project:

It was launched during the first term of the current NDA Government. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had approved the project for three years 2018-21. A budget of Rs 97.85 crores was allocated.

Project Dolphin:

Project Dolphin was launched to conserve and protect the Dolphins in the rivers and oceans in the country. The project will conserve dolphins in aquatic habitat using modern technology especially in anti-poaching activities.

The project is to involve fishermen and other set of population that are dependent on rivers and oceans for their livelihood.

The Project is to primarily focus on Gangetic Dolphins. The Gangetic Dolphins were declared as National Aquatic Animal in 2010. The project is to work under several ministries such as Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Fisheries, Shipping, Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Rural Development.

There are around 3,700 Gangetic Dolphins in India. They are considered as ideal ecological indicators of healthy riverine eco system.

Protection Status:

The Gangetic Dolphins have been declared ‘Endangered’ under IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. It has been listed under CITES Appendix-1.

The Gangetic Dolphins have been classified under Schedule-1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is the only sanctuary for the Gangetic Dolphins in the country.

Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project:

It is an initiative of Indian Government to safeguard Asiatic Lions from extinction. Under the project, the Asiatic Lions are to be introduced in Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Ths is because, the last Asiatic Lion population found in Gir National Park of Guajrat are facing threats due to anthropogenic factors, epidemics and natural disasters.

Israel-UAE Peace Pact

In News:

The United Arab Emirates became the first Gulf country to sign peace agreement with Israel recently. The Agreement is also called Abraham Accord. Israel is the third Arab country after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) to sign the peace agreement.

Details:

The name Abraham has been provided to honour three major Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The deal has stopped Israel annexation of West Bank. The West Bank is sandwiched between Israel and Jordan. According to the agreement, Israel and UAE will sign agreements in coming weeks on direct flights, telecommunications, tourism, energy, security and health care. Also, the countries are to fight COVID-19 together.

Significance:

The deal was announced at the US White House. Both UAE and Israel are close allies of the United States. The deal now strengthens opposition to Iran. Iran is the main threat in the region according to all the three powers US, Israel and UAE.

What is the issue?

The West Bank was captured by Jordan at the end of Arab-Israeli war. Later in 1967, Israel again snatched it back in 1967. During the 1967, Israel was defeated by the combined forces of Syria, Egypt and Jordan.

Background:

The deal now halts the annexation of West Bank by Israel.

Palestine:

The Palestinians reject and denounces the deal. They seek for a two-state solution. The deal would make implementation of Two State Solution more challenging.

Two State Solution:

It is based on UN resolution of 1947 that proposed two states. One is where the Jews constituted the majority and the other is where the Palestinian Arabs constituted the majority population.

Hamas:

Hamas, according to the United States is an Islamist militant group that runs the Gaza Strip. The group views the deal as “stabbing in the back by UAE”.

Geopolitics in the region:

The agreement will now bring all the Sunni nations in an anti-Iran alliance with Israel. The allies of Iran in the region include Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The Hezbollah in Lebanon are backed by Iran and so are the Houthis in Yemen.

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