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News:The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) hasn’t met since 2014.However, policy decisions and clearances have come from a standing committee.
- National Board for Wildlife(NBWL) is a statutory body constituted under Wildlife Protection Act,1972.
- Chairman: Prime minister.
- Vice-Chairperson:Minister of Environment, Forests & Climate Change.
- Powers:The board is advisory in nature and advises the Central Government on framing policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in the country.
- Functions:It is the apex body to review all wildlife-related matters and approve projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.
- No alteration of boundaries in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be done without approval of the NBWL.
- The National Board of Wildlife has constituted a Standing Committee.
- Composition:It is chaired by the Union Minister of Environment, Forests & Climate Change with Member Secretary and not more than ten members.
- Mandate:It considers the merits of projects that come to it for scrutiny.
News:Anak Krakatau volcano witnessed the longest eruption since its explosive collapse in 2018.
- Anak Krakatoa Island is a caldera situated in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia.
- The island emerged from the area once occupied by Krakatau which was destroyed in 1883 by an explosive volcanic eruption.It first appeared in 1927 and has been growing ever since.
- It is part of the Ujung Kulon National Park, listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage site.
- Caldera: It is a large depression formed when a volcano erupts and collapses.
News:The US President has accused China of taking advantage of the US through the World Trade Organisation(WTO) saying that if China is considered a ‘developing country’, the US should be called one too.
Developing Country Status in WTO:
- There are no WTO definitions of developed and developing countries. Members announce for themselves whether they are developed or developing countries.
- However, other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries.
Benefits:The WTO Agreements contain Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) provisions which give developing countries special rights which include:
- Longer time periods for implementing Agreements and commitments,
- Measures to increase trading opportunities for developing countries,
- Provisions requiring all WTO members to safeguard the trade interests of developing countries,
- Support to help developing countries build the capacity to carry out WTO work, handle disputes and implement technical standards among others.
News:The Vice President of India has paid homage to Jyotiba Phule on the occasion of Phule’s Jayanti.
- Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule also known as Jyotiba Phule was an Indian social activist, thinker, anti-caste social reformer and writer from Maharashtra.
- Female Education:Jyotiba Phule and his wife, Savitribai Phule were pioneers of women education in India as they started the first school for girls in 1848 in Pune.
- Satyashodhak Samaj (Truth Seekers Society):It was founded in 1873 with the main aim of a) Social Service and b) to give education to the lower castes and make them aware of the exploiting tradition of society.
- Dalit word:He introduced the Marathi word dalit (broken, crushed) as a descriptor for those people who were outside the traditional varna system.The terminology was later popularised in the 1970s by the Dalit Panthers.
- Published works: a) Tritiya Ratna b) Gulamgiri c) Manav Mahammand (Muhammad) among others.
Deenbandhu:It was a weekly Marathi-language newspaper founded by Krishnarao Pandurang Bhalekar in 1877 which served as an outlet for Jyotirao Phule’s Satyashodhak Samaj.
News:13th April 2020 marks the 101st anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in Amritsar.
- The Jallianwala Bagh massacre also known as the Amritsar Massacre took place on 13th April 1919 under the command of General Dyer who ordered firing against the protestors who were gathered at Jallianwala Bagh to condemn the arrest of two national leaders Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew.
Outcomes of the event:
- Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi as a sign of condemnation, renounced their British Knighthood and Kaiser-i-Hind medal respectively.
- In 1922, the British Government repealed the infamous Rowlatt Act.
- The British government appointed the Hunter Commission to inquire into the Jallianwala Bagh shootings.The committee condemned the incident but did not impose any penal or disciplinary action against General Dyer.
Rowlatt Act: It was passed in 1919 on the recommendations of the Sedition Committee chaired by Sir Sidney Rowlatt.It gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed detention of political prisoners without trial for two years.
News:An Asian Elephant from Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary has been rescued by the forest officials.
- Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh with a population of Asian elephants.
- Vegetation:It is covered by southern tropical dry deciduous and thorn forests.
- IUCN Status: Endangered
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
- Threat: Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
- Project Elephant:It was launched by the Government of India in 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors.
- Asian Elephant Specialist Group(AsESG):It is an integral part of the Species Survival Commission(SSC) of the IUCN to promote the long-term conservation of Asia’s elephants and wherever possible,the recovery of their populations to viable levels.
- Gaj Yatra:It is a nationwide awareness campaign led by Wildlife Institute of India(WII) to celebrate elephants and highlight the necessity of securing elephant corridors.