News: Mon district in Nagaland observed a shutdown on Tuesday in protest against the killing of 14 civilians by the security forces, while the State Government called off a major ongoing festival as a mark of respect to the deceased.
About Hornbill Festival:
The Hornbill Festivalis a celebration held every year from 1 to 10 December, in Nagaland, Northeast India. It is also called the ‘Festival of Festivals’.
To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. The first festival was held in 2000.
The festival is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes.
Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, the Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. This festival usually takes place between 1 and 10 December every year in Kohima.
The Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.
For visitors it means a closer understanding of the people and culture of Nagaland, and an opportunity to experience the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland. On 1 December 2017 at the Naga Heritage Village of Kisama, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 18th Hornbill Festival and State Formation Day celebrations of Nagaland.
The week-long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display.
About Hornbill Bird:
Hornbills(Bucerotidae) are a family of bird found in tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia and Melanesia. They are characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly colored and sometimes has a casque on the upper mandible. Both the common English and the scientific name of the family refer to the shape of the bill, “buceros” being “cow horn” in Greek. Hornbills have a two-lobed kidney. They are the only birds in which the first and second neck vertebrae (the atlas and axis respectively) are fused together; this probably provides a more stable platform for carrying the bill.
The family is omnivorous, feeding on fruit and small animals. They are monogamousbreeders nesting in natural cavities in trees and sometimes cliffs. A number of mainly insular species of hornbill with small ranges are threatened with extinction, namely in Southeast Asia.
Hornbills show considerable variation in size. The smallest species is the black dwarf hornbill(Tockus hartlaubi), at 99.1 g (3.50 oz) and 32 cm (1 ft 1 in) in length.
The largest and most massive species appears to be the southern ground hornbillwhich has an average weight of 3.77 kg (8.3 lb), and can weigh up to 6.3 kg (14 lb) and span about 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) across the wings.
2. BORDER SECURITY FORCE
News: Referring to the violence in Nagaland where 14 civilians were killed, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday directed police officials of certain border districts not to allow personnel of the Border Security Force in habitations without permission.
The Border Security Force(BSF) is India’s border guarding organisation on its border with Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of India, and was raised in the wake of the 1965 War on 1 December 1965, “for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected there with”.
It has various active roles during an outbreak of war. It is the only CAPFto have a full-fledged Water Wing, Air Wing and even an Artillery Regiment of its own. It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The BSF has its own cadre of officers but its head, designated as a Director-General (DG), since its raising has been an officer from the Indian Police Service.
The BSF has grown exponentially from 25 battalions in 1965, to 192 battalionswith a sanctioned strength of 270,363 personnel including an expanding Air wing, Marine wing, An artillery regiment, and specialized units.
It currently stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defenceof Indian Territories.
3. NATIONAL AIR QUALITY INDEX
News: Frequent closure of schools in the Capital due to bad air quality and the risk it poses to children has made schools come up with ways to ensure that children continue to learn in a healthy environment by rethinking the architecture.
About National Air Quality Index:
National Air Quality Index (AQI) launched by the Environment Minister AQI is a huge initiative under ‘Swachh Bharat’
National Air Quality Index (AQI) transforms complex air quality data of eight pollutants into a single number (index value), nomenclature and colour.
National Air Quality Index (AQI) was launched on 17 October 2014 to disseminate information on air quality in an easily understandable form for the general public. The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants, namely,
Particulate Matter (size less than 10 µm) or (PM10),
Particulate Matter (size less than 2.5 µm) or (PM5),
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2),
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2),
Carbon Monoxide (CO),
Ammonia (NH3), and
4. CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
News: The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) to seek instructions with regard to a Petition Challenging a Chief Information Commissioner order Which had upheld a decision by the Prime Minister’s Office over a list of high- Profile bank fraud cases.
About Chief Information Commissioner:
The Central Information Commissionis a statutory body, set up under the Right to Information Act in 2005 under the Government of India to act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer due to either the officer not have been appointed, or because the respective Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer refused to receive the application for information under the Right to Information Act.
The commission includes one chief information commissioner and not more than ten information commissioners who are appointed by the President of Indiaon the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister. Two women have been chief information commissioners: Deepak Sandhu (fourth chief information commissioner overall) and Sushma Singh (fifth overall).