Gujarat

Asiatic lion population in Gir sanctuary increases to 523: Census report 2015

According to 2015 census report, the number of Asiatic lions in Gir sanctuary of Gujarat and its surrounding areas has gone up to 523.

This 14th census lion census, has registered 27 percent increase in the number of Asiatic lions compared to 2010 census which had registered 411 Asiatic lions.

As per recent census,

  • There are 201 female, 109 male lions and 213 sub-adults as well as cubs in Gir sanctuary and other protected areas in Gir Somnath, Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts of Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
  • 268 lions were sighted in Junagadh district and 44 lions in the Gir-Somnath district. While 174 lions were sighted in Amreli district and 37 lions in Bhavnagar districts.
  • The lions’ habitat area has almost doubled in last five years and has considerably increased to 22,000 square kilometers.

About 2015 lion census

  • Lion census is being carried out at every 5 years by Gujarat state forest department.
  • 2015 Lion census exercise was carried out from 1st to 5th May, 2015.
  • The lion population was registered using Global Positioning System (GPS) incase of direct sighting or direct contact methods.
  • The census was conducted by more than 2 thousand persons. It included 600 units of enumerators, government officials, trackers, wildlife experts, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Note: Asiatic lions found in Gir sanctuary are only wild population of Asiatic lions in the world. They are categorised as endangered species in International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list.

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Indian Navy commissions INS Sardar Patel naval base in Porbandar

Indian Navy has commissioned INS Sardar Patel naval base in Porbandar, Gujarat in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Admiral RK Dowan.

The aim of this new naval base at Porbandar is to beef up security along the 1600 km coastline of the state. It will also increase the maritime security on western coast and strengthen surveillance and security in the region.

The newly commissioned naval base is christened after India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Patel. It is second naval base of Indian Navy on Gujarat coast, the first one is INS Dwarka at Okha in Dwarka district.

Importance of INS Sardar Patel naval base

  • It is a Forward Operating Base (FOB), located at a crucial strategic position as far as Navy is concerned because this coastal area is close to our western neighbours in Northern Arabian Sea, including along the International Maritime Boundary Line with Pakistan.
  • This naval base also will strenghten the maritime security and surveillance operations of Indian Navy as warships or surveillance ships can be mobilised at any time.
  • In addition, it will also protect the maritime infrastructure and commercial interests of Gujarat which caters around 70% of the country’s oil and 73% of gas imports through different ports located across the state.
  • The ports of Gujarat also handle 40 to 50% of the total maritime trade handled by the various ports of India.

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Achal Kumar Jyoti appointed as Election Commissioner

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Retired IAS officer Achal Kumar Jyoti as the Election Commissioner.

He will serve as Election Commissioner for a period of three years, i.e. till he attains the age of 65 years old (the age at which Election Commissioners demit office under the Constitution).

With this appointment, the strength of three member Election Commission of India (ECI) has now gone to two.

About Achal Kumar Jyoti

  • Achal Kumar Jyoti is retired IAS officer of the 1975 batch and was former Chief Secretary of Gujarat. He had retired from active service in 2013.
  • Earlier, he had worked as the Managing Director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited.
  • He also had served as Chairman of Kandla Port Trust from 1999 to 2004.

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