geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 31st December 2021

    1.     ARMED FORCES SPECIAL POWERS ACT

    • News: The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has been extended in Nagaland for another six months by the Union Home Ministry.
    • About Armed Forces (special Powers) Act:
      • Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 is an act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.
      • According to the Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain status quo for a minimum of 6 months.
      • One such act passed on 11 September 1958 was applicable to the Naga Hills, then part of Assam. In the following decades it spread, one by one, to the other Seven Sister States in India’s northeast (at present, it is in force in the States of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur {excluding Imphal Municipal Council Area}, Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and areas falling within the jurisdiction of the eight police stations of districts in Arunachal Pradesh bordering the State of Assam).
      • Another one passed in 1983 and applicable to Punjab and Chandigarh was withdrawn in 1997, roughly 14 years after it came to force.
      • An act passed in 1990 was applied to Jammu and Kashmir and has been in force since.
      • The Articles in the Constitution of India empower state governments to declare a state of emergency due to one or more of the following reasons:
        • Failure of the administration and the local police to tackle local issues
        • Return of (central) security forces leads to return of miscreants/erosion of the “peace dividend”
        • The scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for local forces to handle
      • According to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), in an area that is proclaimed as “disturbed”, an officer of the armed forces has powers to:
        • After giving such due warning, Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death, against the person who is acting against law or order in the disturbed area for the maintenance of public order,
        • Destroy any arms dump, hide-outs, prepared or fortified position or shelter or training camp from which armed attacks are made by the armed volunteers or armed gangs or absconders wanted for any offence.
        • To arrest without a warrant anyone who has committed cognizable offences or is reasonably suspected of having done so and may use force if needed for the arrest.
        • To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests, or to recover any person wrongfully restrained or any arms, ammunition or explosive substances and seize it.
        • Stop and search any vehicle or vessel reasonably suspected to be carrying such person or weapons.
        • Any person arrested and taken into custody under this act shall be made present over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station with least possible delay, together with a report of the circumstances occasioning the arrest.
        • Army officers have legal immunity for their actions. There can be no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law. Nor is the government’s judgment on why an area is found to be disturbed subject to judicial review.
        • Protection of persons acting in good faith under this act from prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings, except with the sanction of the Central Government, in exercise of the powers conferred by this act.

    2.     INDIAN PANGOLIN

    • News: The Odisha Forest and Environment Department has completed its first-ever radio-tagging of the Indian pangolin in an attempt to standardise the rehabilitation protocol for the animal in the State.
    • About Indian Pangolin:
      • The Indian pangolin also called thick-tailed pangolin and scaly anteater is a pangolin native to the Indian subcontinent. Like other pangolins, it has large, overlapping scales on its body which act as armour.
      • It can also curl itself into a ball (volvation) as self-defence against predators such as the tiger.
      • The colour of its scales varies depending on the colour of the earth in its surroundings.
      • Pangolins are the most illegally traded mammals in the world and the Indian pangolin is the largest among eight pangolin species.
      • The nocturnal animal lives in burrows and feed on ants and termites.
      • It is not common anywhere in its range, and is threatened by hunting for its meat and for various body parts used in traditional medicine.
    • About Nandankanan Zoological Park:
      • Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 437-hectare (1,080-acre) zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
      • Established in 1960, it was opened to the public in 1979 and became the first zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009.
      • Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP), which is the only conservation breeding centre for Indian pangolins in the world.
      • The centre was established in 2009 to standardise the protocol for housing and husbandry of the endangered species.

    3.     PARAMBIKULAM TIGER RESERVE

    • News: Parambikulam Tiger Reserve police station faced an unusual threat on Wednesday night when a female elephant and her calf raided the premises.
    • About Parambikulam Tiger Reserve:
      • Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, which also includes the erstwhile Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, is a 391 square kilometres (151.0 sq mi) protected area in Kollengode Block, Chittur taluk in Palakkad district of Kerala state, South India.
      • It is in the Sungam range of hills between the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills.
      • The sanctuary is located between Longitude:76° 35’- 76° 50’ E, and Latitude:10° 20’ – 10° 26’ N.

    4.     SAHITYA AKADEMI

    • News: The Sahitya Akademi on Thursday announced its awards for 2021 for literary works in 20 languages.
    • About Sahitya Akademi:
      • The Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages of India.
      • Founded on 12 March 1954, it is supported by, though independent of, the Indian government. Its office is located in Rabindra Bhavan near Mandi House in Delhi.
      • The Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honour in India, which the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, annually confers on writers of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the 24 major Indian languages such as Tamil, English, Bengali, Punjabi and the 22 listed languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution recognised by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.