1) Nicobar long-tailed Macaque: It is a subspecies of the larger family of long-tailed macaques found across South-East Asia. It is distinct from its cousins in appearance, behaviour and geographical location. The macaque is found in only three of the Nicobar islands—Katchal, Little Nicobar, and Great Nicobar—with GNI being home to the largest population. IUCN: Vulnerable
2) Duty drawback scheme (DDS): It provides exporters with a refund of customs duty paid on unused imported goods, or goods that will be treated, processed or incorporated into other goods for export. Claims must be lodged within 4 years from the date the goods were exported. Duty drawback can be only claimed for compensating unrebated taxes and duties, not for GST.
3) Karen ethnic people: They are a large and dispersed ethnic group of Southeast Asia.
- They trace their origins to the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, or Tibet.
- Karen settled in Burma/Myanmar’s southern Irrawaddy river Delta area and in the hills along the Salween River in eastern Myanmar and in neighbouring Thailand.
- The vast majority of Karen are Buddhists (over two thirds), although large numbers converted to Christianity during British rule and constitute about 30 per cent among the Karen.
- In Karen society women are often considered inferior or subservient to men and both women and men are encouraged to adhere to strict gender roles.
- The languages of the Karen are generally considered to be of the Tibeto-Burman family and the main dialects are Pwo and Sgaw.
4) Votive Stupa: Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has recently discovered two 1200-year-old miniature votive stupas during landscaping activities near Sarai Tila mound on the premises of ‘Nalanda Mahavihara’, a world heritage site in Nalanda district.
- These are forms of the stupas, with their distinctive domelike drum, originating in eight cylindrical structures in which the Buddha’s relics were placed after his death.
- The stupa shape has become associated with the Buddhist goal of release from the cycles of suffering and rebirth.
- In addition to the drum, this stupa has a tiered base and is crowned with a series of stylized umbrellas that symbolize royalty and divine status.
5) Tharu people: They are an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills, located in southern Nepal and in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
- They speak various dialects of Tharu, a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-Iranian group of the Indo-European family, and they are largely Indian in culture.
- Most Tharu practice agriculture, raise cattle, hunt, fish, and collect forest products.
- Although they are Hindu, the Tharu use their own traditional ritual specialists in addition to the Hindu Brahman priests.
- Forest officials of the Katarniaghat division say a plan is in the works for the financial inclusion of the Tharu groups that live near the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) and are much affected by human-wildlife conflicts.