‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Conservation Environmental Impact Assessment – Tiny Orang roars on tiger density

Assam reserve, which has the smallest core, is host to 28 big cats, finds survey

    What you need to know:

  • Orang, the tiger reserve in Assam with the smallest core among 50 nationally protected areas, has presented wildlife scientists doing a census with a surprise: a high density of 28 big cats.
  • The count was revealed during phase IV of the all-India tiger estimation programme of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

   49th reserve:

  • Spread over Darrang and Sonitpur districts and notified in February 2016, Orang Tiger Reserve is the 49th in the country.
  • It has the smallest core of 78.28 sq. km., and the cat density was revealed during a census done between January and March 2017.
  • Kamlang Tiger Reserve in Arunachal is the 50th and latest to be notified. Density is calculated based on the number of tigers per 100 sq. km. “If we calculate density of tigers for 100 sq. km., it comes to 35.44.

   Four males found:

  • Choudhary said 24 camera trap images (17 females, four males and three as yet unidentified big cats) were taken during the exercise and the NTCA’s statistical model put the number of big cats in the reserve at 28.
  • Preliminary estimates of prey, which is important to sustain higher tiger numbers, revealed a good population of hog deer, wild boar and wild buffalo.
  • A Wildlife Institute of India and NTCA report last year titled The Status of Tigers, Co-predators and Prey in India, said the density in Kaziranga National Park was 12.72 per 100 sq. km., followed by Jim Corbett National Park (11) in Uttarakhand and Bandipur National Park (10.28) in Karnataka.

    Core-buffer division:

  • Orang’s buffer area is 413.18 sq. km., but experts say the boundary between the core and buffer is sharp and not contiguous forest as in other reserves of Assam.

   Source: Indian Express

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Security Challenges & their management in border areas – Army free to act against Pak

Ready to help Pakistan act against terrorists

    What is important to know:

  • The Army has been given a free hand to deal with any attempt by Pakistani troops to disturb peace in the country, said Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • Addressing a conclave of booth-level office-bearers of the Assembly constituencies within the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat, he warned the neighbouring country against any misadventure. “Indian forces will not count bullets while replying to any provocation by Pakistan,” he said.
  • His statement comes a day after two Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush by militants of an Army convoy that was moving on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
  • Pakistan has been making repeated efforts to disturb the peace and tranquility in J&K…our forces will give appropriate reply to such provocations,” he added.

   Govt. committed:

  • Stating that militancy has come down in all parts of the country, he said the government is committed to eliminate terrorism and “our forces are on alert round the clock and sacrificing their lives in fighting terrorists”. India is ready to help Pakistan take action against terrorists in Pakistan, including in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
  • Calling upon Pakistan to “close down the factory of terrorism”, Rajnath Singh said the army’s surgical strikes on Pakistani territory was a “pre-emptive action against Pakistan”.
  • “India does not have any ill will against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan has adopted terrorism as its state policy and harbours terrorists,” Rajnath Singh told a Regional Editors Conference here.
  • “India is ready to help Pakistan take action against terrorists in Pakistan, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” he said.
  • The minister said Pakistan needed to act against terrorists on its territory. “That is the reason it has been isolated not only in South Asia but also in the world.”
  • He said some countries and groups were trying to destablize India as New Delhi’s economic clout was growing in the world.
  • Referring to steps being taken to seal the international border with Pakistan, the minister said this would be achieved by December 2018.
  • There is about 181.85 km stretch in which construction of physical barrier is not feasible due to geographic constraints like riverine, low-lying, creek, marshy areas.
  • In this stretch, advanced technology solutions including cameras, sensors, radars and lasers will be deployed.

   Source: Business Standard

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Various Security forces & their mandate – Combat role soon for women in Army

At present, recruitment of women is limited to areas like medical and legal services, among others

   Brief:

  • Creating history, the Indian Air Force, last year, had inducted three women as fighter pilots, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.
  • A decision on having more women as fighter pilots will be taken after evaluating the performance of the three women — Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh who are now part of IAF’s fighter squadron.
  • The Indian Navy is currently deliberating on a policy on allowing women on board the ships. The Navy allows women in various other segments including in legal, logistics, naval architecture and engineering.
  • General Rawat has given the thumbs up to the strategic partnership model rolled out by the government to rope in leading private players for defence production, calling it a “big ticket” move to push modernisation of India’s armed forces.

    Modernisation plan:

  • He said the new model is expected to fast-track the Army’s modernisation plan as it will bring new technologies and help implement major military manufacturing projects.
  • The Army has been pressing for updating its weapons systems considering the evolving security scenario in the region and Gen.
  • Rawat said the SP model will help the Army in replacing its ageing fleet of tanks and critical weapons. “The strategic partnership model is a big ticket thing.
  • It will help the modernisation of armed forces. We have to gradually think of replacing our tanks. In the next seven to eight years, some of our old systems will have to be replaced.
  • It is good to start the process now. Because for production to take place, you need time,” said the Army Chief.
  • Under the new model, the government will allow Indian private sector companies to form joint ventures with foreign defence majors to build fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and main battle tanks in India.
  • Referring to the Army’s modernisation programme, Gen. Rawat expressed happiness over its progress and referred to the arrival of two ultra light howitzers from the U.S. and also to the Dhanush 155mm artillery gun developed by the DRDO.

   Source: The Hindu