Assam Current Affairs

Entire Assam declared as ‘disturbed’ area under AFSPA for another month

The Union Home Ministry has declared entire Assam state as a disturbed area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for one more month, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB, and others.

The Home Ministry also declared 20 km belt along Meghalaya’s border areas adjoining Assam and three districts in Arunachal Pradesh (Tirap, Changlang and Longding) as disturbed under the AFSPA for two more months.

Background

AFSPA has been continuing in Assam since November 1990. In 2016, there were 75 incidents of violence reported in Assam in which 33 people, including four security personnel, were killed and 14 others were abducted. The violence was perpetrated in Assam by insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB and others. Similarly, continuing violence perpetrated by NSCN(K), NSCN(IM), ULFA, NDFB, and others were key reasons for continuing with AFSPA in Arunachal Pradesh. Meghalaya too has witnessed violence by ULFA, NDFB militants in the recent past.

About Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act

The AFSPA was enacted by the parliament in 1958. It grants extra-ordinary powers and immunity to the armed forces to bring back order in the disturbed areas. Some of these extra-ordinary powers include fire upon anyone after giving warning who is acting against law & order in the disturbed area, arrest anyone without warrant, stop and search any vehicle or vessel, legal immunity to armed forces personnel for their actions.

Note: Presently AFSPA is enforced in the 6 states of North East (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland) and Jammu and Kashmir. It was lifted in Tripura in May 2015.

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PM lays Foundation Stone for IARI at Gogamukh

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the Foundation Stone of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Gogamukh in Assam’s Dhemaji district located on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. This will be the third Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). Apart from IARI in the national capital, the work on setting up of second IARI in Ranchi, Jharkhand has commenced.  

The setting up of a new institute is envisaged to help in the overall development of agriculture sector in North-East India. The institute will have facilities related to farming, horticulture crops, animal husbandry and silk pest farming.

Prime Minister also spoke of “Panch Tatva” for the overall development and to boost connectivity in the North-East India. The five ways are highways, railways, waterways, airways and I-ways or the optical fibre network. 

IARI

IARI is a India’s premier national Institute for agricultural research and postgraduate higher studies in agricultural education. The IARI is financed and administered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The IARI is credited for the research leading to the Green Revolution in India of the 1970s.

The institute had its beginning in 1905 as Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) at Pusa, Bihar. In 1936 the institute got shifted and its new campus at New Delhi was established. At present, the institute has 20 divisions 5 multi-disciplinary Centres,  8 regional stations, 2 off-season nurseries, 3 All India coordinated research projects, and 10 national Centres located across the country.

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