- Kaziranga set to be expanded by 3,053 hectares
The issue in news
The Assam government has approved the addition of 30. 53 sq. km to the 884 sq. km-Kaziranga National Park.
The issue in news
- The additional area would make the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) grow to 1085.53 sq km. The core area of the KNPTR is 430 sq km.
- The three additions are habitat corridors and would help provide connectivity to Orang and Nameri National Parks across river Brahmaputra.
- It also provides connectivity to the hills of Karbi Anglong to the south of the park, where the rhino, tiger, deer and other animals take refuge during the floods.
- The additions include encroachment-evicted areas and suitable wildlife habitat on river islands (sandbars) that are vulnerable to encroachment.
- It is a move to consolidate the wildlife areas anticipating better wildlife conservation and reduction in human-wildlife negative interactions in the future.
Kaziranga National Park
- Kaziranga National Park is one of India’s oldest reserve areas. It is located in Golaghat and Nagaon, in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam in northeast India. The park is administered by the forest department of the Assam State Government.
Kaziranga’s One-Horned Rhinoceros
- The greater one-horned rhinoceros is the largest of the three Asian rhinos and, together with African white rhinos, is the largest of all rhino species.
- It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. With at least half of the total population of rhinos, India’s Kaziranga National Park remains a critical reserve for this species.
The greater one-horned rhino is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which gives it an armour-plated appearance.
- They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.
Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF)
- In 2015, the process of setting up a Protection Force dedicated to controlling Rhino Poaching was established by the government.
- By 2018, a team of 82 members was appointed by the Assam Government. The SRPF went under intense training at the Forest Guard School along with weapons training at the 9th Assam Police Battalion, both, in Assam.
- Kaziranga National Park, also being a tiger reserve, the SRPF is also a tiger protecting force. The Assam government would be paying the salaries of the SRPF members, and the amount would be reimbursed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which recommended setting up of the special force.
Kaziranga and Wetland Bird Census 2019
- The Wetland Bird Census 2019 has recorded the following with respect to Kaziranga Park. Kaziranga National Park has recorded 96 species of wetland birds, which is one of the highest for wildlife reserves in India.
- The survey has observed an increase in not just the total number of birds, but also the number of different species and the families.
- A notable improvement has been observed compared to the first wetland bird survey in Kaziranga (2018).
- The bar-headed goose constitutes the most significant share followed by common teal and northern pintail species.
- The other species with sizable numbers include gadwall, little cormorant, Eurasian wigeon, Asian openbill, northern lapwing, ruddy shelduck and spot-billed pelican.
- The survey has covered four ranges of the park — Agoratoli, Bagori, Kohora and Burapahar.
- Agoratoli Range, home to Sohola, the largest of Kaziranga’s 92 perennial wetlands, saw the highest number of birds.
- The wetlands constitute the major portion of and also nourish Kaziranga’s ecosystem. Data on wetland birds is vital given that an increase or decrease in the number of birds is indicative of the park’s health.
- Project Dolphin
The issue in news
Prime Minister recently announced plan to launch a Project Dolphin .
The project aims to save both river and marine dolphins.
- This project will be on the lines of Project It is to implemented by the Ministry of Environment,
Forest and Climate Change.
- There is a need for special programmes for Gangetic Dolphin . under Namami Gange, has been taking some steps have been taken to save dolphins. (National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), implements the flagship scheme Namami Gange)
- Scientific Name: Platanista gangetica They are blind and catch their prey by emitting an ultrasonic sound . These are also called susu.
- They are found mainly in the Indian subcontinent (Ganga- Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems and Ganga’s tributaries)
- Dams, Pollution, Excessive silting , sand mining
Status of Conservation:
- First Schedule of the Indian Wildlife (Protection), Act 1972.
- Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- Appendix I (most endangered) of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
- Appendix II (migratory species that need conservation and management or would significantly benefit from international co-operation) of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
Wildlife Protection Act:
- First Schedule of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.: first schedule protection means that they are given the highest degree of protection against hunting.
- Vikramshila Ganges Dolphin Sanctuary (Bihar)
- The Conservation Action Plan for the Ganges River Dolphin 2010-2020
- The National Ganga River Basin Authority National Aquatic Animal
- 5 October is celebrated as National Ganga River Dolphin Day.
- 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet
The issue in news
Union Culture and Tourism Minister virtually attends the 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet.
- The current edition of the BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet is chaired by Russia.
- The following propositions were made by India:
- To explore possibilities of hosting a Digital Online Exhibition on a shared theme towards the end of 2021 under the auspices of the BRICS Alliance of Museums.
- Opening the BRICS Corner under the auspices of the BRICS Alliance of Libraries proposed to be inaugurated during India’s BRICS Presidency in 2021. The Corner will disseminate information related to the history and culture of BRICS . The corner will display books, periodicals and other e-resources gifted by the BRICS countries.
- The National Gallery of Modern Arts, New Delhi will host the BRICS Joint Exhibition titled ‘Bonding Regions & Imagining Cultural Synergies’ under the auspices of the BRICS Alliance of Art Museums and Galleries, proposed to be held in 2021 hosted by India.
- Defence Minister in Moscow
The issue in news
Defence Minister Mr Rajnath Singh addressed the Combined Meeting of Defence Ministers of SCO, CSTO & CIS Member States.
- The Minister talked about the situation in Afghanistan and also reaffirmed India’s commitment to the evolution of a global security architecture which will be open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based and anchored in international laws.
the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO):
- The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a Russia-led military alliance of seven former Soviet states that was created in 2002. Often called the Eurasian counterpart of NATO, the CSTO’s purpose is to ensure the collective defence of any member that faces external
- The organization supports arms sales and manufacturing as well as military training and exercises, making the CSTO the most important multilateral defence organization in the former Soviet Union.
Members of CSTO:
- Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan. Afghanistan and Serbia hold observer status.
- Uzbekistan was a member from 2006 to 2012. Its presidency rotates among its members annually.
- Beyond mutual defence, the CSTO also coordinates efforts in fighting the illegal circulation of weapons among member states and has developed law enforcement training for its members in pursuit of these aims.
- Members also use the organization to counter cyber warfare, narcotics trafficking, the illegal circulation of weapons, transnational crime, and terrorism.
- The CSTO has its origins in the Collective Security Treaty, which took effect in 1994 and included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The CSTO is headquartered in Moscow, Russia.
- Indra Navy – 20
The issue in news
The 11th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY held between 4th and 5th September in the Bay of Bengal.
- Indra Navy is a biennial bilateral maritime Exercise between the Indian Navy and the Russian Navy.
- Initiated in 2003, the exercise epitomises the long-term strategic relationship between the two Navies.
- The primary aim of exercise INDRA NAVY-20 is to further consolidate inter-operability built up by the two Navies over the years and also to enhance understanding and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations.
- The scope of this edition includes wide- ranging and diverse activities across the spectrum of maritime operations.
- Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, INDRA NAVY-20 would be undertaken in a ‘non-contact, at sea only’
- The exercise would involve surface and anti-aircraft drills, firing exercises, helicopter operations, seamanship evolutions,