1) Horseshoe crabs: one of the oldest living creatures on earth (around 450 million years) and medicinally priceless, appear to be disappearing along Odisha’s coast which is the largest habitat of horseshoe crabs in India
- These crabs are basically deep-sea animals and known as marine ‘living fossil’
- The blood of this crab is very important for the preparation of rapid diagnostic reagents.
- Only a few countries in the world have them. They are marine and brackish water arthropods and the only living members of the order Xiphosura
- Despite their name, they are not true crabs or crustaceans: they are chelicerates, most closely related to arachnids such as spiders, ticks, and scorpions.
- Horseshoe crabs live primarily in and around shallow coastal waters on soft, sandy or muddy bottoms. Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule IV
2) Montevideo Convention: The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States is a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1933, during the Seventh International Conference of American States.
- As per Montevideo Convention, a region wanting to become independent should meet 4 criteria: A country-hopeful must have a defined territory, people, government, and the ability to form relationships with other countries.
- However, there is no straightforward rule to become a country. A region’s quest for nationhood mainly depends on how many countries and international organisations it manages to convince to recognise it as a country.
- The biggest sanction of nationhood is the United Nations recognising a territory as a country.
3) New Parliament building: The new building’s six entrances exhibit ‘guardian statues showing auspicious animals’, who have been chosen based on their importance in Indian culture, vaastu shastra and traits such as wisdom, victory, power and success.
- North: Gaj (elephant); represents knowledge, wealth, intelligence and memory.
- South: Ashwa (horse), symbolizing endurance, strength, power and speed
- Eastern: Garuda (eagle), which symbolizes the aspirations of the people. East is associated with the rising sun, which represents victory.
- North-eastern: hamsa (swan), which represents prudence and wisdom.
- The remaining entrances display Makara (a mythical aquatic creature that is a combination of body parts of various animals), representing unity in diversity, and Shardula (a mythical animal said to be the most powerful of all living beings) which is a symbol of the power
4) Creation of a New District: The power to create new districts or alter or abolish existing districts rests with the State governments either through an executive order (mostly used) or by passing a law in the State Assembly. The Centre has no role to play in the alteration of districts or creation of new ones. The Home Ministry comes into the picture when a State wants to change the name of a district or a railway station.
- The departments such as the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Intelligence Bureau, Department of Posts, Geographical Survey of India Sciences, and the Railway Ministry, provides their clearance to the proposal of state government.
- After examination of their replies, state government receives a no-objection certificate.
- As of August 2022, there are a total of 766 districts.