17th Nov, 2020

India adds two more Ramsar sites

India has recently added two more Ramsar sites. 

One is Lonar lake in Maharashtra which is the only crater lake of India. 

The other is Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

The Ramsar Convention 

It was signed on 2nd February, 1971. 

It is one of the oldest inter-governmental accords signed by member countries. 

Objective: To preserve the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance.

It is named after Ramsar, the Iranian city where the treaty was signed. 

Places chosen for conservation under it are given the tag ‘Ramsar site’.

The aim of the Ramsar list: To develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits.

Recently, Kabartal in Bihar’s Begusarai district was recognised as a wetland of international importance. 

It is the first such wetland in the state, under the Ramsar Convention, according to the Union Environment Ministry.

The Asan Conservation Reserve in Dehradun, the first wetland from Uttarakhand to be recognised by Ramsar convention, was added to the list in October this year.

Place in news: Peru

Peru’s fifth president in five years, Manuel Merino, was forced out of power, just five days after taking office, as massive protests swept Peru over alleged bribery – charges on the Presidet. 


It is a country in western South America. 

It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the south and west by the Pacific Ocean.

Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

The country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America’s Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration.

Its Capital is Lima.

Place in news: Puerto Rico

For the third time in ten years, the United States territory of Puerto Rico has voted in favour of statehood, and thus be treated at par with the current 50 states of the country.

 Puerto Rico

It is an unincorporated territory of the United States.

Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917, and can move freely between the island and the mainland.

As it is not a state, Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the U.S. Congress, which governs the unincorporated territory with jurisdiction under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950.

It is located in the northeast Caribbean Sea. 

It includes the eponymous main island and several smaller islands, such as Mona, Culebra, and Vieques.

The capital and most populous city is San Juan.

Originally populated by the indigenous Taíno people, Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493.

In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico, which remains an unincorporated territorial possession, making it the world’s oldest colony.

China’s Railway work Near Arunachal Border

China has begun work on a strategically significant railway line. 

It will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi in Tibet, which lies close to Arunachal Pradesh border.


This will be the second such route linking Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) with mainland China.

Earlier Qinghai-Tibet railway line connected Lhasa to the hinterland.

The railway line will largely improve the efficiency and convenience of China’s military personnel and material transportation and logistical supplies in the border area. Thus, China might be at an advantageous position.

The fragile ecological environment along the project line, may have ecological concerns for India.

Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile System successfully test-fired 

Recently, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile system (QRSAM).


QRSAM is a canister-based system. 

It means that it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments.

In the canister, the inside environment is controlled, thus along with making its transport and storage easier, the shelf life of weapons also improves significantly.

The system is capable of detecting and tracking targets on the move and engaging targets with short halts.

It is a short range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. 

It is primarily designed and developed by DRDO to provide a protective shield to moving armoured columns of the Army from enemy aerial attacks.

The entire weapon system has been configured on a mobile and is capable of providing air defence on the move.

It has been designed for induction into the Army. 

It has a range of 25 to 30 km. 

It also consists of two radars – Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar and Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar – with one launcher.

Both radars have 360-degree coverage with “search on move” and “track on move” capabilities.

The system uses a single stage solid propelled missile. 

Statue Of Peace

The Indian Prime Minister unveiled ‘Statue of Peace’ to mark the 151st Birth Anniversary celebrations of Jainacharya Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj.

He was a  Jain Acharya. 

The statue is made from Ashtadhatu i.e. 8 metals, with Copper being the major constituent. 

It is installed at Vijay Vallabh Sadhana Kendra, Jetpura, in Pali, Rajasthan.

Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj (1870-1954) 

He led an austere life as a Jain Saint working selflessly and dedicatedly to spread the message of Lord Mahavira.

He also worked relentlessly for the welfare of masses, the spread of education, eradication of social evils, wrote inspiring literature and gave active support to the freedom movement and the cause of Swadeshi.

Jolly Grant Airport

Environmental activists and local residents in Uttarakhand are opposing the cutting of trees for a project to expand Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport.

Dehradun Airport is also known as Jolly Grant Airport. 

It is also known as the Air Gateway of Garhwal and plays an important role in the tourism of Uttarakhand.

The Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority has proposed the expansion of Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun with the aim of upgrading it to meet international standards.

It is proposed to take over 87 hectares of forest land in Doiwala village in Dehradun district, and another 17.41 hectares of non-forest land for the project.