Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - December 5, 2017


Hornbill Festival – Kisama, Nagaland

The UNEP’s report titled ‘Solid approach to waste: how 5 cities are beating pollution –

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated 18th edition of the Hornbill Festival at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, Nagaland.
  • The festival coincided with 54th statehood day of Nagaland.
  • Hornbill Festival also called as the ‘Festival of Festivals’ in Nagaland is tourism promotional extravaganza to revive, protect and preserve the richness and uniqueness of Naga heritage.

Enlighten about Hornbill Festival –

  • Hornbill Festival is celebrated in Nagaland every year in first week of December.
  • It is one of biggest indigenous festivals of country.
  • The festival pays tribute to Hornbill, the most admired and revered bird for the Nagas for its qualities of alertness and grandeur.
  • The majestic bird is closely identified with social and cultural life of Nagas as reflected in tribal folklore, dances and songs.
  • It is organized by State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments and also supported by Union Government.
  • Hornbill Festival was established on 1st December 1963 and was inaugurated by the then President Dr. S Radhakrishnan.
  • Over the years festival has become a unique platform for tourists to witness cultural diversity not only of Nagas and other seven sister states of northeastern region.

Government Schemes

National Strategic Plan – 2017-24

Under the aegis of -

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Aim -

  • Eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2030.
  • It was launched on the occasion of World AIDS Day (1st December).
  • Mission SAMPARK was also launched to trace those who are Left to Follow Up and are to be brought under Antiretroviral therapy (ART) services.

Enlighten about NSP 2017-24

  • The National Strategic Plan 2017-24 will pave a roadmap not only for achieving the target of 90:90:90 Strategy but also strive along with partners towards fast track strategy of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
  • Mission SAMPARK will further aid to will help in fast-tracking the identification of all who were HIV positive and subsequently linking to ART programme.
  • Presently, about 11.5 lakh People Living with HIV (PLHIVs) are taking free ART through 536 ART centres in the country.
  • It is big challenge to trace those who are Left to Follow Up and needed to be brought under ART services.


CITES awarded Certificate of Commendation to India for its effort to combat illegal wildlife Trade

  • India was awarded certificate of commendation for its effort to combat illegal wildlife trade by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • The award was given to Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) for its efforts in conducting and coordinating species-specific wildlife enforcement operation, codenamed ‘Operation Save Kurma’.
  • It recognises exemplary enforcement action of WCCB’s regional and global effort to combat illegal wildlife trade.

Enlighten about Operation Save Kurma

  • The operation was conducted to combat the proliferating illegal trade of live turtles and its parts from the country to destinations abroad.
  • The operation was also aimed to invite attention of the enforcement agencies towards such illegal trade.
  • During the operation conducted from December 15, 2016 to January 30, 2017, approximately 16,000 live turtles and tortoises were seized and released back into the wild.
  • WCCB had worked in close collaboration with regional law enforcement agencies of different states.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

  • CITES is international agreement to regulate worldwide commercial trade in wild animal and plant species.
  • Its aim is to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild.
  • It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • It entered into force in July 1975.
  • It is administered through United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • It’s secretariat is located in Geneva (Switzerland).
  • CITES is legally binding on state parties to the convention, which are obliged to adopt their own domestic legislation to implement its goals.
  • Currently, 183 countries are signatory to the CITES.
  • It classifies plants and animals according to three categories, or appendices, based on how threatened.
  • They are Appendix I: Appendix II and Appendix III species for banning and regulating their cross border trade.
  • In addition CITES also restricts trade in items made from such plants and animals, such as food, clothing, medicine, and souvenirs.

International Organisations

1ST Meeting of Working Group BIMSTEC
Discussed draft text of BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement.

  • In the first meeting of Working Group BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member countries discussed draft text of BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement.
  • The agreement has been drafted by the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India detailing modalities for promoting coastal shipping in region

BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement

  • The objective of agreement is to facilitate coastal shipping in region to give boost to trade between member countries.
  • It will apply to coastal shipping that is shipping within 20 nautical miles of coastline.
  • Once agreement is ratified by member countries and becomes operational, it will facilitate lot of cargo movement between member countries can be done through cost effective, environment friendly and faster coastal shipping route.

Need for Agreement

  • The requirements for movement of vessels within 20 nautical miles of coastline are different from standard requirements of deep sea shipping.
  • Coastal ship movements require smaller vessels and lesser draft, and therefore, involve lower costs.

Enlighten about the Working Group BIMSTEC

  • The meeting of Working Group is follow up of BIMSTEC leaders’ call at Retreat hosted by India in Goa in October 2016 to enhance connectivity in region on sidelines of BRICS Summit.
  • India is lead country in BIMSTEC for cooperation in transport and communication.

International Maritime Organisation Council – India re-elected

  • India was re-elected to Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at an assembly of body at its headquarters in London.
  • India was elected under category B that represents nations with largest interests in international sea borne trade.
  • It secured second-highest 144 number of votes from member-countries, just after Germany’s 146.

Enlighten about IMO Council

  • The IMO Council plays crucial role in deciding various important matters within mandate of IMO especially in relation to global shipping industry and its work strategy and budget.
  • India has been one of earliest members of IMO, having ratified its convention and joined it as a member-state in 1959.
  • India has been elected to the Council of the IMO ever since it started functioning, except for a two-year hiatus during 1983-1984.

State Specific

Kapu Reservation bill - passed by Andhra Pradesh

  • Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed Kapu Reservation Bill, 2017 to provide 5% quota in education and employment.
  • The reservation to Kapu community will be given by including them in Backward Classes list.
  • The reservation to existing Backward Castes will not be affected by this decision.
  • With the quota for Kapus, the total reservation in state goes up to 55%, beyond 50% cap set by Supreme Court for reservations.
  • Andhra Pradesh already has 29% reservation for Backward Castes. Apart from this, 15% and 6% reservations exist for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
  • The bill will be sent to Centre for its consent and State government is also going to request Centre to include this reservation in the 9th Schedule, to insulate it from judicial review.

Enlighten about KAPU community –

  • The Kapu community has 27% population in Andhra Pradesh. It has been demanding reservations for decades.
  • Before the 2014 elections, present Chief Minister had promised to give quota to community on being elected to power.
  • Even the Justice Manjunath commission constituted by present government had recommended reservation to Kapu community

Indian Navy Day – 4th December

46th Navy Day

  • The Indian Navy Day is observed every year on 4 December to celebrate achievements and role of the naval force to the country.
  • This year is 46th Navy Day.
  • Celebrations of Navy Day not only display India’s technological progress but also the maritime achievements of India.

Enlighten about the day -

  • The observance of the day commemorates the launch of Operation Trident by the Indian Navy against Pakistan on 4th December, 1971.
  • During 1971 India-Pakistan war, the Indian Navy had played a significant role in the bombing of Karachi harbour, the stronghold of the Pakistani Navy.
  • In this attack, Indian Navy sank four Pakistani vessels including PNS Ghazi and ravaged the Karachi harbour fuel fields.
  • In this operation, three missile boats of the Indian Navy, INS Nirghat, INS Nipat and INS Veer had played a pivotal role.
  • Operation Trident had also resulted in first use of anti-ship missiles in the Arabian Sea region.