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September 28, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm



  • After the Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in West Champaran district, Bihar is set to get a second tiger reserve in Kaimur district (Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary) by the end of the year or early 2024. The total tiger count in the State currently is 54.
  • Tigers were spotted in the Kaimur hills area.
  • The need for a second tiger reserve in the State came up as Valmiki Reserve reached its saturation point which has the capacity to manage nearly 50 tigers
  • The Kaimur district is divided into two parts: hilly area which is also known as Kaimur plateau and the plain area on the western side which is flanked by the rivers Karmnasa and Durgavati.
  • The district shares its boundary with neighboring States of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Earlier, the district was considered safe haven for Maoists and also a safe passage for them to enter into the neighboring States.

How Tiger Reserve status is given?

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change’s Project Tiger is a centrally sponsored programme that offers tiger reserve states in India centralised support for tiger conservation. The NTCA oversees project tiger’s execution.
  • Tiger reserves in india are declared by the NTCA, constituted with two components.
  • Core Area– the core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, exclusive tiger agenda is followed in the core areas.
  • Buffer Area- buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area, an inclusive people oriented agenda is followed in the buffer zone.



 The story so far: A total of 10 tigers (six cubs and four adults) have died in the Nilgiris since the middle of August

 How did the tigers die?

  • The first reported tiger deaths occurred on August 16 in the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) in Siriyur.
  • The cubs, believed to be only two weeks old, could have died due to starvation or umbilical infection.
  • The second death was of an adult tigress in the Naduvattam Range in the Nilgiris forest the tigress died due to injuries after fighting with another animal.
  • Another suspected incident of fighting is believed to have caused the death of the fourth tiger, the second adult, in the Kargudi forest range.
  • Two more tigers were found dead in Udhagai South Range near Avalanche in the Nilgiris Forest Division.
  • One of the tigers, a sub-adult, was found with injury marks, indicating that it too died due to a fight with another animal in the Nilgiris North Range.

Why are conservationists concerned?

  1. The forest department arrested four poachers from Rajasthan who had allegedly poached a tiger in the areas surrounding Emerald Dam near Avalanche,
  2. In addition, the inability of the forest department to track down the two mothers of the six tiger cubs that died in Siriyur and Kadanad has raised concerns

What are the reasons for the deaths?

  • High density of tigers in the Mudumalai-Bandipur-Nagarhole complex of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is pushing populations into the surrounding habitats in the Mukurthi National Park,
  • This leads to increased competition between animals and more fighting, resulting in more deaths.
  • Conservationists worry that this increase in population could lead to more negative human-animal interactions in the near future.
  • They emphasise the need to regenerate degraded habitats that can be re-colonised by the tigers’ prey such as Sambar, spotted deer and the Indian gaur.

AFSPA [Armed Forces Special Powers Act]


What is AFSPA:

Today in news:

  • The Manipur government on Wednesday extended the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the whole State — except in the jurisdiction of 19 police stations in seven districts
  • The “disturbed area” status under the Act will remain applicable in all the hill districts, which are dominated by tribal communities
  • Since 1981, AFSPA has been applicable in Manipur, a former Union Territory which attained Statehood in 1972. AFSPA also existed in the Naga-dominated areas of the erstwhile UT of Manipur since 1958.
  • Both the State and Union governments can issue notifications regarding AFSPA. Currently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued “disturbed area” notifications only for Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. The notifications for Manipur and Assam have been issued by their respective State governments.



  •  Perhaps for the first time for an Indian policymaker, the US is India’s “optimal choice” as a partner,
  • Big areas of cooperation between the two countries lie in technology, defence and security, and political convergence especially in the global south. 

Two changes US saw in recent years:

  • US is also fundamentally readjusting to the world. Part of it is the long-term consequences of Iraq and Afghanistan,
  • The other part, he said, was that US dominance and relative power vis a vis others had changed in the last decade and that was logical with the world becoming more democratic, opportunities becoming more available universally

The India-US dynamic: Key priorities

1.Technology:The India-US relationship has to focus strongly on technology. In many ways, the balance of power in the world has always been a function of the balance of tech.

Example: the CHIPS Act and IRA. They have in a way accelerated investments in a certain set of tech domains.

2.A big part of tech was spillover into defense and security.

3.The third would be politics in the context of the north-south divide. “Today, the global south is very distrustful of global north and developed countries.



 What is the UNFPA?

  • It is a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly and works as a sexual and reproductive health agency.
  • The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) establishes its mandate.
  • It was established as a trust fund in 1967 and began operations in 1969.
  • In 1987, it was officially renamed the United Nations Population Fund but the original abbreviation, ‘UNFPA’ for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities was retained.
  • Objective:

UNFPA works directly to tackle Sustainable Development Goals on health (SDG3), education (SDG4) and gender equality (SDG5).

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has released the State of World Population report 2023

Today in news:

  • India ageing, elderly to make up 20% of population by 2050: UNFPA report
  • Study says challenges facing India’s ageing population are the feminization and ‘ruralisation’ of older population
  • The percentage of elderly population in the country projected to double to over 20% of total population by 2050,
  • More than 40% of the elderly in India are in the poorest wealth
  • The data showed that women, on average, had higher life expectancy at the age of 60 and at the 80, when compared to men — with variations across States and Union Territories. Quintile, with about 18.7% of them living without an income
  • Poverty is inherently gendered in old age when older women are more likely to be widowed, living alone, with no income and with fewer assets of their own, and fully dependent on family for support,
  • It said that while most said they received state aid, this was not enough; that there were no accessible public healthcare facilities;
  • Nobody except NGOs or CBOs (community-based organisations) helped them.
  • Solutions: The UNFPA report suggested that the government must work on increasing awareness about schemes for older persons,
  • Bring all Old Age Homes under regulatory purview and focus on facilitating in-situ ageing to the extent possible.



The Indian Navy is all set to host the second edition of the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation (NIIO) Seminar, known as ‘Swavlamban 2023,

 SPRINT’ Initiative: A Catalyst for Indigenous Technology Adoption

  • ‘SPRINT’ stands for Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), NIIO, and Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC).
  • This collaborative effort aims to foster innovation and indigenisation in the defense sector.
  • The ‘SPRINT’ initiative has spurred the development of niche technologies across a wide spectrum.
  • Notable areas of advancement include blue-green lasers for underwater applications, autonomous weaponized swarms, underwater swarm drones, multiple firefighting aids, and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for various naval applications

 75 Challenges for Start-ups and MSMEs

  • A key highlight of the ‘SPRINT’ initiative is the issuance of 75 challenges to start-ups and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • These challenges serve as a clarion call to harness indigenous innovation for the benefit of the Indian Navy.



  •  India’s first-ever issuance of 50-year government bonds and 30-year green bonds can be easily absorbed by insurance companies and provident funds,
  • which are keen and have been looking for avenues to park long-term funds
  • India aims to raise ₹6.55 trillion ($78.73 billion) through the sale of bonds in October-March.
  • Long-term investors like insurers will have a natural demand for the 50-year paper. Most insurance companies require longer-duration bonds for their asset-liability management
  • Banks are not comfortable absorbing green bonds at a major premium.










September 28, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: