News: The Election Commission on Thursday announced that the Presidential election would be held on July 18 and counting of votes, if required, would be held on July 21. President Ram Nath Kovind’s term ends on July 24.
About President’s Election:
As per Article 62 of the constitution of India, an election for the next President must be held before the completion of the incumbent’s term.
In President Election 2022, the elected members of the legislative assemblies of all the States and Union Territories of Delhi as well as Puducherry will also take part in the voting process of Presidential Elections in India.
The President of India is elected by the members of the electoral college comprising of the elected members of both the houses- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of the Parliament of India.
In the President of India 2022 election, apart from the elected members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the elected members of the legislative assemblies of all the States and the Union Territories can also take part in the voting process.
However, the nominated members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha or the legislative assemblies of the states are not eligible to be included in the electoral college. Therefore, they are not entitled to participate in President Election 2022.
The electoral college of the Presidential Election consists of the 776 MPs of the Lok Sabha (543) and Rajya Sabha (233), as well as the MLAs of the State Assemblies and the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. The total votes for the President of India election are counted on the basis of their value, which varies from State to State, with an MLA from Uttar Pradesh carrying the highest value followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal.
2. ONE HORNED RHINOCEROS
News: The one-horned rhinos of western Assam’s Manas National Park, bordering Bhutan, are expected to have high life expectancy and significant growth in population, the 14th Assam rhino estimation census has revealed.
Manas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tiger reserve, had about 100 resident rhinos prior to 1990, but a prolonged ethno-political conflict thereafter took a heavy toll with extremist groups known to have traded the horns of the herbivores for weapons.
A rhino reintroduction programme under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was started in 2006.
This entailed the translocation of rhinos from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary besides orphans hand-reared at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Kaziranga.
The current rhino population in the park was estimated at 40 after the census on April 1 and 2.
Park’s rhinos have a male-female sex ratio of 1:1, arrived at without considering 10 calves and five sub-adults. But such a population may suffer losses if not supplemented through translocations, the report warned.
About Indian Rhinoceros:
The Indian rhinoceros also called the Indian rhino, greater one-horned rhinoceros or great Indian rhinoceros, is a rhinoceros species native to the Indian subcontinent.
It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as populations are fragmented and restricted to less than 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi).
Moreover, the extent and quality of the rhino’s most important habitat, the alluvial Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands and riverine forest, is considered to be in decline due to human and livestock encroachment.
As of August 2018, the global population was estimated to comprise 3,588 individuals, including 2,939 individuals in India and 649 in Nepal.
Kaziranga National Park alone had an estimated population of 2,048 rhinos in 2009.
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam has the highest density of Indian rhinos in the world with 84 individuals in an area of 38.80 km2 (14.98 sq mi) in 2009.
Nearly 85% of the global Indian rhinoceros population is concentrated in Assam, where Kaziranga National Park contains 70% of rhino population.
Indian rhinos have a thick grey-brown skin with pinkish skin folds and one horn on their snout.
Indian rhinos once ranged across the entire northern part of the Indian Subcontinent, along the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra River basins, from Pakistan to the Indian-Myanmar border, including Bangladesh and the southern parts of Nepal and Bhutan.
They inhabit the alluvial grasslands of the Terai and the Brahmaputra basin.
News: Karnataka, which harbours around 6,000 elephants in the wild as per the 2017 census, has lost 70 of them due to various reasons in 2021.
The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), also known as the Asiatic elephant, is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed throughout the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, from India in the west, Nepal in the north, Sumatra in the south, and to Borneo in the east.
Three subspecies are recognised—E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, E. m. indicus from mainland Asia and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra.
It is one of only three living species of elephants or elephantids anywhere in the world, the others being the African bush elephant and African forest elephant.
The Asian elephant is the largest living land animal in Asia.
Since 1986, the Asian elephant has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as the population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three elephant generations, which is about 60–75 years.
It is primarily threatened by loss of habitat, habitat degradation, fragmentation and poaching.
The earliest indications of captive use of Asian elephants are engravings on seals of the Indus Valley Civilisation dated to the 3rd millennium BC.
Asian elephants inhabit grasslands, tropical evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and dry thorn forests, in addition to cultivated and secondary forests and scrublands.
4. THAILAND LEGALISES MARIJUNA
News: Thailand legalised the growing of marijuana and its consumption in food and drinks on Thursday, the first Asian country to do so, with the aim of boosting its agriculture and tourism sectors but smoking pot is still against the law.
About Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985:
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, commonly referred to as the NDPS Act, is an Act of the Parliament of India that prohibits a person the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
The Narcotics Control Bureau was set up under the act with effect from March 1986.
India had no legislation regarding narcotics until 1985. Cannabis smoking in India has been known since at least 2000 BC and is first mentioned in the Atharvaveda, which dates back a few hundred years BC.
The United States began to campaign for a worldwide law against all drugs, following the adoption of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961.