9th Dec, 2020

UP government launches scheme for Tharu Tribals

The Uttar Pradesh government has recently launched a scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world.

The state government is working to connect Tharu villages in the districts of Balrampur, Bahraich, Lakhimpur and Pilibhit bordering Nepal, with the home stay scheme of the UP Forest Department.

The idea is to offer tourists an experience of living in the natural Tharu habitat, in traditional huts made of grass collected mainly from the forests.

Tharu tribe

The community of Tharu people belongs to the Terai lowlands.

Most of them are forest dwellers, and some practice agriculture.

Tharus worship Lord Shiva as Mahadev, and call their supreme being “Narayan”, who they believe is the provider of sunshine, rain, and harvests.

The Tharus live in both India and Nepal. 

In the Indian terai, they live mostly in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

A majority still lives off the forest.

They speak various dialects of Tharu which is a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, and variants of Hindi, Urdu, and Awadhi. 

In central Nepal, they speak a variant of Bhojpuri, while in eastern Nepal, they speak a variant of Maithili.

Tharu women have stronger property rights than is allowed to women in mainstream North Indian Hindu custom.

Two New Zoos Granted Recognition by Central Government

Two new zoos were granted recognition recently.

These are – Rajgir Zoo Safari in Nalanda, Bihar and Shaheed Ashfaque Ullah Khan Prani Udyaan in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh

Rajgir Zoo Safari, Nalanda, Bihar

The zoo is established exclusively comprising on only safari enclosures which offer larger space for captive animals.

The animals are not in cages but they are free to roam over a forest area. 

The zoo is located close to the historically important Nalanda.

Shaheed Ashfaque Ullah Khan Prani Udyaan, Gorakhpur, U.P.

With the establishment of this zoo, the state of Uttar Pradesh has a total of 9 zoos.

It is the second biggest zoo in Uttar Pradesh after Kanpur Zoological Park. 

Vanchit Ikai Samooh Aur Vargon Ki Aarthik Sahayta (VISVAS) Yojana

Recently, National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation (NBCFDC) and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) entered in to MoA With Central Bank of India for implementation of Vanchit Ikai Samooh aur Vargon ki Aarthik Sahayta (VISVAS) Yojana.

Ministry: Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

It is an Interest subvention Scheme for financial empowerment of economically marginalized OBC/SC Self Help Groups (SHGs) & Individuals.

The scheme will benefit OBC/SC SHGs with loans up to Rs.4 Lakh and OBC/SC individuals with loan up to Rs.2 Lakh with a quick interest subvention benefit of 5% directly into the standard accounts of borrowing beneficiaries.

Invest India wins UN Investment Promotion Award

The United Nations (UNCTAD) has declared Invest India- the National Investment Promotion Agency of India- as a winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award.

The award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements and best practices of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) across the globe.

This United Nations Investment Promotion Award is the most coveted award for Investment Promotion Agencies.

UNCTAD is a central agency that monitors performance of IPAs and identifies global best practices. 

Germany, South Korea and Singapore have been some of the past winners of the award.

Invest India

It is the national investment promotion and facilitation agency

Set up in: 2009

It is a non-profit venture 

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Focus: Sector-specific investor targeting and development of new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India. 

It also partners with substantial investment promotion agencies and multilateral organizations. 

It actively works with several Indian states to build capacity and bring in global best practices in investment targeting, promotion and facilitation areas.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 

It was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body.

It deals with trade, investment, and development issues. 

Goal: Maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis. 

Established by: United Nations General Assembly in 1964 

It reports to the UN General Assembly and United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Primary objective: To formulate policies relating to all aspects of development including trade, aid, transport, finance and technology. 

The permanent secretariat is in Geneva, Switzerland

Draft Guidelines Of Technical Specifications Of Floating Structures

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has issued the draft guidelines for technical specifications of floating structures for public consultation, with a vision to deploy world-class floating infrastructure all along the coastline.

Floating structure because of its inherent advantages, is attractive solution and is being encouraged by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

Deployment of floating jetties, especially in locations having a large tidal range, where conventional quay poses problems during low tide periods, is very convenient.

Floating jetties are cost-effective and much cheaper than conventional structures.

Setting up of floating structures is much faster as compared to conventional jetties.

Its environmental impact is minimal.

Expansions are easily feasible due to modular construction techniques.

It is easily transportable in case of reconfiguring of the port.

It provides constant freeboard between jetties and boats.

Bangladesh Signs First Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA)

Bangladesh signed its first Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan allowing duty free access to a range of goods between the two countries.

This is the first PTA Bangladesh has signed with any country in the world.

The agreement was signed on the occasion marking the 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Under the PTA 100 Bangladeshi products will get duty free access to Bhutan. 

At the same time, 34 items from Bhutan will get duty free access into Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is expected to sign 11 more PTAs and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with countries like Indonesia and Nepal by June next year.

In 1971, Bhutan was the first country in the world, followed by India as the second, to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country.

Mount Everest reported to be 86cm higher

The Foreign Ministers of Nepal and China jointly certified the elevation of Mount Everest at 8,848.86 metres above sea level — 86 cm higher than what was recognised since 1954. 

The earlier height was determined by the Survey of India in 1954, using instruments like the odolites and chains.

The devastating earthquake of April 2015 triggered a debate among scientists on whether it had affected the height of the mountain.

Mount Everest is Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. 

The China–Nepal border runs across its summit point. 

Global Teacher Prize 2020

A primary school teacher from Maharashtra’s Solapur district has won the one-million US dollar Global Teacher Prize 2020 for promoting girls’ education.

Ranjitsinh Disale from Paritewadi village, was awarded in recognition of his efforts to promote girls’ education and initiating a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India.

He has announced that he will share half of the one million dollar award money with the nine other finalists so that they too may continue their good work.

The award was established by the London-based Varkey Foundation and is given in partnership with UNESCO.

In the past, Disale had been named as the Innovative Researcher of the Year 2016 and has featured in the Satya Nadella’s book ‘Hit Refresh’.