Prelims facts

  1. Bon Bibi: Sundarban

Why in News

  • A centuries-old folk theatre form and the worship of a forest goddess i.e. Bon Bibi has helped the natives of the Sundarban survive by understanding the power of nature and the limits of human needs.

Key Points

  • Bon Bibi: Bon Bibi is a deity of the forest and the central character of Bon Bibir Palagaan, a musical drama unique to the Sundarbans. Shrines to Bon Bibi and her twin brother Shah Jongoli dot the landscape of the Sundarbans.
  • The followers of Bon Bibi are fishermen, crab-collectors and honey-gatherers who live in the mangroves with wild animals such as tigers and crocodiles to earn a livelihood.
  • Bon Bibir Palagaan: People express their belief in Bon Bibi through Bon Bibir Palagaan, a dramatic storytelling form that is enacted throughout the island.
  • Traditionally, the performances are held near Bon Bibi temples or villages bordering the forests. An unwritten code believed to be given by the deity prohibits islanders from carrying guns or weapons into the forest.


  • The Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal.
  • It spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh. The active delta region is among the largest in the world, measuring about 40,000 sq km. India’s Sundarban was declared as the UNESCO’S World Heritage site in 1987.
  • Sunderban Wetland has been accorded the status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’ under Ramsar Convention in 2019.
  • Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve (National Park) is an Important Bird Area under Birdlife International.
  • The area is known for many rare and globally threatened wildlife species such as the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), Water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica), and olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary is a part of Sundarban and is famous for the sight of rare birds.


  1. Swabhiman Anchal

 Why in News

  • Recently, a passenger bus service was started for the first time after India’s Independence in Swabhiman Anchal region (formerly known as the cut-off area) in Odisha’s Malkangiri district.

Key Points

  • The bus service was able to start after the construction of the Gurupriya Bridge in 2018, which connected Swabhiman Anchal with the rest of the State. Till now, motor launches and boats were used to be the only mode of communication to reach ferry points and from there people were taking country boats to reach villages.
  • Swabhiman Anchal is situated along the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border, and had long been a stronghold of left-wing extremists.
  • The region is covered by water from three sides and another side by inhospitable terrain. Balimela reservoir is also situated in the region. Recently, a new police station also started functioning in Jodambo (a gram panchayat in Swabhiman Anchal).


  1. No Merger of CBDT and CBIC

 Why in News

  • Recently, the Central government has clarified that it has no proposal to merge the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
  • The clarification came after the news appeared in certain sections of media that the government was considering to merge the two boards.

Key Points

  • The merger proposal was one of the recommendations of the Tax Administrative Reforms Commission (TARC) under the chair of Parthasarathi Shome that submitted its report in 2014. However, the proposal was not accepted by the government. CBDT and CBIC have been created under the Central Boards of Revenue Act, Both Boards are part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance.
  • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT): It provides inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for the administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department. Direct Taxes include income tax, corporation tax etc.
  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC): The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) was renamed as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in 2018 after the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • It deals with the tasks of formulation of policy concerning levy and collection of customs, central excise duties, Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST).


  1. Atmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)

Why in news

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launches AI-based ASEEM digital platform to bridge the demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors.

About ASEEM digital platform:

  • The ASEEM portal aims to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.
  • the Artificial Intelligence-based platform has been envisioned to strengthen their career pathways by handholding them through their journeys to attain industry-relevant skills and explore emerging job opportunities. Besides identifying the major skills gap in the sectors ​and providing a review of global best practices, ASEEM will provide employers a platform to assess the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans.
  • It refers to all the data, trends and analytics which describe the workforce market and map demand of skilled workforce to supply.
  • It will provide real-time granular information by identifying relevant skilling requirements and employment prospects.

Who developed ASEEM

    • ASEEM, also available as an App, is developed and managed by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with Bengaluru-based company Betterplace, specialising in blue-collar employee management.
  • The portal consists of three IT-based interfaces:
    • Employer Portal – Employer onboarding, Demand Aggregation, candidate selection ​
    • Dashboard – Reports, Trends, analytics, and highlight gaps ​
    • Candidate Application – Create & Track candidate profile, share job suggestion
  • ​ ASEEM will be used as a match-making engine to map skilled workers with the jobs available.
  • It will enable policymakers to take a more objective view of various sectors.


  1. Aids to Navigation Bill 2020

Why in news

  • Shipping Ministry issues draft “Aids to Navigation Bill 2020” for public consultation.


  • The draft bill is proposed to replace the almost nine decades old Lighthouse Act, 1927, to incorporate the global best practices, technological developments and India’s international obligations in the field of Aids to Marine Navigation.
  • The draft bill provides for empowering the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) with additional power and functions such as vessel traffic service, wreck flagging, training and certification, implementation of other obligations under international conventions, where India is a signatory.
  • It also provides for the identification and development of heritage lighthouses.

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