1) Himalayan Gray Langur: also called Chamba Sacred Langur is a colobine, meaning leaf-eating monkey. It is endemic to the Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal regions of western Himalayas, where the ecosystem is vulnerable. It is also reported from Pakistan and Nepal.
- It is considered an endangered species in IUCN red list. In the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, it is under Schedule II.
- Two protected habitats of the species namely Machiara National Park and Dachigam National Park. Machiara National park is in Pak-Occupied Kashmir
2) Currency Monitoring List: The US Department of Treasury recently removed India along with Italy, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam from its Currency Monitoring List of major trading partners
- The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 of US requires its Treasury Department to report to the Congress in every six months if any country is manipulating its currencies to gain trade advantages over the US.
- There are three criteria the US Treasury looks at in placing a country on the watch list:
- Significant trade surplus with the US (at least $20 billion in 12 months), A large current account surplus (at least 2 per cent of GDP over a 12-month period), “Persistent”, one-sided intervention. The countries that meet two out of the three criteria are placed on the list.
- India had been on the list for the last two years.
- China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan are the seven economies that are a part of the current monitoring list.
3) Rule of Law Index 2022: It was released by an international civil society organisation, World Justice Project (WJP). According to the report, the rule of law has declined globally for the fifth consecutive year.
- India has been ranked 77 out of 140 countries with a score of50 on the ‘rule of law index’.
- The top-ranked country : Denmark, followed by Norway (2), Finland (3)
- The bottom ranked countries are Venezuela (140), Cambodia (139), Afghanistan (138)
- The index is prepared by examining these four principles through eight factors- constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.
4) Afzal Khan: he was a general in the Bijapur Adil Shahi empire who was tasked with carrying out a military campaign against Maratha warrior-king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
- Shivaji called a council of war at the fort of Pratapgarh, where most of his advisers urged him to make peace. However, Shivaji was not eager to back down and he set up a meeting with Khan. During the meeting, an embrace between the two turned into an attack in which Shivaji emerged victorious. Khan’s remains were buried at the fort and a tomb was constructed on Shivajij’s orders.
5) Beypore Uru: An uru is a wooden dhow, mainly made of Malabar teak, probably the biggest handicraft in the world. Beypore urus are purely made of wood, without using any modern techniques, and traditional methods are used to launch this ship into the water.
- Beypore is a town located on the banks of the Chaliyar River.
- The Khalasis are the traditional artisans responsible for the manufacture of the Uru.
- Arab traders were especially enamoured of them, and were among the first major patrons of these vessels. It takes at least four years to build an Uru.