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TOPIC: GS 2 India and its Neighborhood- Relations.

Staying invested

What is the news?

  • Government decision to ask the MEA to brief all actions in Afghanistan as questions grow about the Government’s planning for contingencies with the Taliban’s takeover .
  • The Taliban militia entered Kabul the Government including the MEA and the Defence Ministry has occupied with the challenging evacuation of Indian nationals.
  • The Government’s decision to evacuate the entire embassy staff and security personnel first has made it more difficult to facilitate those Indians, as well as long-term visa holding Afghan Sikhs and Hindus needing to return.

Conflict of Interest

  • Most of the Indians based in Afghanistan returning home or expected to soon the Government must face the larger strategic questions over whether the Indian Embassy was evacuated too early.
  • India had undertaken evacuations during the 1990s too, but then the presence of Indian nationals was not as large and Indian stakes in Afghanistan were not so deeply rooted.

India – Afghanistan Relationship

  • In the past 20 years, India has built considerable interests, including major infrastructure projects and ongoing development projects, helped script the Afghan Constitution and conduct of elections, as well as enabled the training and education of the next generation of officials, soldiers and professionals.

 

Conflict of interest

  • Government decided it was safer to pull up stakes emulating neither the S. and European countries who relocated their diplomatic outposts to the Kabul airport, nor Russia, China and Iran, which decided not to vacate their embassies there.
  • Going forward, the Government must explain its expects to approach the new regime in Afghanistan once it is formed.
  • It is still unclear whether this will be merely a repeat of the brutal regime seen from 1996- 2001, or whether negotiations are under way for a more inclusive coalition, including several former leaders of Afghanistan, will fructify into a transitional government.
  • The rise of Taliban power and that of the group’s Pakistani backers is a particular security concern as groups such as the LeT and the JeM could use Afghanistan as a staging base for terror attacks in India.

Way Forward

  • The Government must explain approach the Afghan people, especially those whose lives could be in danger,
  • It also includes Embassy staff and associates, those working on Indian projects, minorities, including those Islamic sects such as the Hazaras have been targeted, as well as women.
  • A more open, liberalised visa policy, and more swift processing of the newly launched special “e-Emergency X-Misc” visas would reassure both Afghans and the international community that India’s exit from Afghanistan is not permanent
  • It will retain its traditional and historic interests in the country and its people, despite adverse events there

Mains Question

Explain how India must retain its traditional and historic interest in Afghanistan and its people ?

 

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/staying-invested/article36067532.ece

 

PRELIMS PUNCHERS

  1. Shankaracharya Hill

It also called Takht-i-Sulaiman, is a hill overlooking the Dal Lake and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. It is famous for the sacred Shankaracharya Temple, also known as Jyeshteswara, which occupies the top of the hill. It is the destination of hundreds of tourists each day. The site is said to date back to 2,500 BC, however the present temple probably dates from the time of the Mughal emperor Jahangir

The hill top affords a commanding view of the Kashmir Valley for tens of miles. Before 1940, the forests occurring on this hill were depleted due to the removal of fuel wood, small timber and fodder. There came a stage when this hill became virtually devoid of trees. Thereafter, a massive afforestation and rehabilation programme was taken to increase the tree cover, which was met with considerable success. Presently Shankaracharya Hill supports a good forest cover. Kalhana mentions the hill by the name of Gopadari and gives an account of the fight between the troops of the then ruler and the pretender Bhiksacara who invaded Srinagar and was repulsed and latter took refuge on the Gopadri hill.

Sources : https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/no-proposal-to-change-name-of-shankaracharya-hill-says-omar/

 

  1. Nagarhole National Park

It is a national park located in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka, India. This park was declared the 37th Tiger Reserves of India in 1999. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster including all of Nagarhole National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site. The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls, and a healthy predator-prey ratio, with many tigers, Gaur, elephants, Indian leopards, and deer including chital and Sambar deer.

The park covers located to the north-west of Bandipur National Park. The Kabini reservoir separates the two parks. The vegetation here consists mainly of North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests with teak and rosewood Dalbergia latifolia predominating in the southern parts. There is Central Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests with Pala indigo and thorny wattle towards the east. There are some sub-montane valley swamp forests with several species of the Eugenia genus. Recognised as an Important Bird Area the park has species of birds including the ‘critically endangered’ Oriental white-backed vulture, ‘vulnerable’ lesser adjutant , greater spotted eagle and the Nilgiri wood-pigeon.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bandipur-nagarhole-national-parks-see-surge-in-cattle-grazing/article7369288.ece

 

  1. An anticyclone

It  is a weather phenomenon defined as a large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere as viewed from above opposite to a cyclone. Effects of surface-based anticyclones include clearing skies as well as cooler, drier air. Fog can also form overnight within a region of higher pressure. Mid-tropospheric systems, such as the subtropical ridge, deflect tropical cyclones around their periphery and cause a temperature inversion inhibiting free convection near their center, building up surface-based haze under their base

Anticyclones aloft can form within warm-core lows such as tropical cyclones, due to descending cool air from the backside of upper troughs such as polar highs, or from large-scale sinking such as a subtropical ridge. The evolution of an anticyclone depends upon variables such as its size, intensity, and extent of moist convection, as well as the Coriolis force. The circulation around mid-level (altitude) ridges, and the air subsidence at their center, act to steer tropical cyclones around their periphery. Due to the subsidence within this type of system, a cap can develop which inhibits free convection and hence mixing of the lower with the middle level troposphere.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/imd-predicts-hot-weather-from-may-10/article34493982.ece

 

  1. Eutrophication

It is the gradual increase in the concentration of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients in an aging aquatic ecosystem such as a lake. The productivity or fertility of such an ecosystem naturally increases as the amount of organic material that can be broken down into nutrients increases. This material enters the ecosystem primarily by runoff from land that carries debris and products of the reproduction and death of terrestrial organisms.

Water blooms, or great concentrations of algae and microscopic organisms, often develop on the surface, preventing the light penetration and oxygen absorption necessary for underwater life. Eutrophic waters are often murky and may support fewer large animals, such as fish and birds, than non-eutrophic waters. Cultural eutrophication occurs when human water pollution speeds up the aging process by introducing sewage, detergents, fertilizers, and other nutrient sources into the ecosystem.

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-deadly-bloom-in-muttukadu-estuary/article36051424.ece

 

PRELIMS QUESTIONS

  1. Consider the following statement with regard to Shankaracharya Hill
  2. It also called Takht-i-Sulaiman, is a hill overlooking the wular Lake
  3. The present temple probably dates from the time of the Mughal emperor Jahangir

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of above

Answer : B

It also called Takht-i-Sulaiman, is a hill overlooking the Dal Lake and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. It is famous for the sacred Shankaracharya Temple, also known as Jyeshteswara, which occupies the top of the hill. It is the destination of hundreds of tourists each day. The site is said to date back to 2,500 BC, however the present temple probably dates from the time of the Mughal emperor Jahangir

The hill top affords a commanding view of the Kashmir Valley for tens of miles. Before 1940, the forests occurring on this hill were depleted due to the removal of fuel wood, small timber and fodder. There came a stage when this hill became virtually devoid of trees. Thereafter, a massive afforestation and rehabilation programme was taken to increase the tree cover, which was met with considerable success. Presently Shankaracharya Hill supports a good forest cover. Kalhana mentions the hill by the name of Gopadari and gives an account of the fight between the troops of the then ruler and the pretender Bhiksacara who invaded Srinagar and was repulsed and latter took refuge on the Gopadri hill

 

 

  1. Consider the following statement with regard to Nagarhole National Park
  2. It is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site
  3. The Kabini reservoir separates the two parks

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of above

Answer : C

It is a national park located in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka, India. This park was declared the 37th Tiger Reserves of India in 1999. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster including all of Nagarhole National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site. The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls, and a healthy predator-prey ratio, with many tigers, Gaur, elephants, Indian leopards, and deer including chital and Sambar deer.

The park covers located to the north-west of Bandipur National Park. The Kabini reservoir separates the two parks. The vegetation here consists mainly of North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests with teak and rosewood Dalbergia latifolia predominating in the southern parts. There is Central Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests with Pala indigo and thorny wattle towards the east. There are some sub-montane valley swamp forests with several species of the Eugenia genus. Recognised as an Important Bird Area the park has species of birds including the ‘critically endangered’ Oriental white-backed vulture, ‘vulnerable’ lesser adjutant , greater spotted eagle and the Nilgiri wood-pigeon.

 

 

 

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