International Big Cats Alliance(IBCA):The PM recently launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA), inaugurated the programme ‘Commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger’, and released the summary report of All India Tiger Estimation (5th cycle) in Mysuru,Karnataka. IBCA will focus on the protection and conservation of seven major big cats of the world such as tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar and cheetah in collaboration with countries harbouring these species.
Members: Membership to the alliance will be open to 97 “range” countries, which contain the natural habitat of these big cats, as well as other interested nations, international organizations, etc.The IBCA will engage in advocacy, partnership, knowledge e-portal, capacity building, eco-tourism, partnerships between expert groups and finance tapping.
The alliance will also disseminate information on benchmarked practices, capacity building, resources repository, research and development and awareness creation among its members.
State Energy Efficiency Index Report: It is developed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in association with Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE). SEEI 2021-22 has an updated framework of 50 indicators aligned with national priorities. Programme-specific indicators have been included this year to track outcomes and impacts of state-level energy efficiency initiatives. 5 states – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan and Telangana – are in the Front Runner category (>60 points). 4 states – Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Punjab – are in the Achiever category (50-60 points).Further, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Chandigarh are the top-performing states in their respective state groups.Telangana and Andhra Pradesh showed the most improvement since the last index.
Zoji La:Zoji La is a high mountain pass located in the Kargil district of Ladakh.The pass links Leh and Srinagar and provides an important link between Union Territories of Ladakh and Kashmir.Zoji la is known as the “Mountain Pass of Blizzards”.Zojila pass remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall, cutting off Ladakh region from Kashmir.In 2018, the Zojila tunnel project was launched. The tunnel is Asia’s longest and strategic bi-directional tunnel, which will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.It is a horseshoe-shaped single-tube, 2-lane tunnel in the Himalayas between Ganderbal in Kashmir and Drass town in Kargil district of Ladakh. The project includes a Smart Tunnel (SCADA) system, which has been constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method.
Z-Morh Tunnel connecting Kashmir to Ladakh is also under construction.
Tiger Census:The 5th cycle of Tiger Census, an evaluation of tiger reserves in India released by the PM of India, has estimated the number of big cats in the country (interim figures) at 3,167 in 2022 (increased by 200 or 6.7% in the past four years).The 2018 Tiger Census (released in 2019) had established the presence of 2,967 tigers in India.After identifying individual tigers from camera-trapped photos, the WII uses the Spatially Explicit Capture-Recapture (SECR) method to estimate the range of tiger abundance.The numbers of tigers in areas where tigers are present but not camera-trapped are yet to be extrapolated. NTCA in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), has conducted a national assessment for the “Status of Tigers, Co-predators, Prey and their Habitat” every four years since 2005.The first status assessment of 2006 was peer reviewed by the IUCN.