- Bharatmala Pariyojana : The project is an umbrella program for the highways sector envisaged by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Under Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana, implementation of 34,800 km of national highways in 5 years (from 2017 to 2022) has been approved. Phase-II envisages around 48,000 km of road network across India by 2024.The objective is to optimise the efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions.
- Shree Lachit Borphukan : This year marks the 400th birth anniversary of Assam’s legendary war hero Lachit Borphukan. He was known for his leadership in the Battle of Saraighat, 1671 in which an attempt by Mughal forces to capture Assam was thwarted. The battle of Saraighat was fought on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati in 1671. It is considered as one of the greatest naval battles on a river which resulted in the victory of Ahoms over the Mughals. He was the inspiration behind strengthening India’s naval force and revitalising inland water transport and creating infrastructure associated with it due to his great naval strategies. The Lachit Borphukan gold medal is awarded to the best cadet from the National Defence Academy.
- CoP 19 of CITES : The Conference of the Parties (CoP 19) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is being held at Panama City. At CoP 19, India’s proposal for the transfer of Red-Crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) from Appendix II to Appendix I of CITES have been adopted by the CoP. The commendable result achieved by India in operations such as those initiated by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau namely Operation Turtshield, which resulted in nabbing many criminals involved in poaching and illegal trade of fresh water turtles was appreciated.
- The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) : It is an international agreement to which States and regional economic integration organizations adhere voluntarily.CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN.
- Aim : Ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.The CITES Secretariat is administered by UNEP and is located at Geneva, Switzerland.The CoP to CITES, is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention and comprises all its Parties.Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws.
- Leith’ Softshell Turtle : India’s proposal for transferring Leith’s Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia leithi) from Appendix II to Appendix I of the CITES has been adopted by the CoP to CITES. Leith’s Softshell Turtle is a large fresh water soft-shelled turtle which is endemic to peninsular India and it inhabits rivers and reservoirs.It has been poached and illegally consumed within India. It has also been illegally traded abroad for meat and for its calipee. Classification: Critically Endangered by IUCN and Schedule IV of WPA, 1972
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