North East Current Affairs

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India, ADB ink $80 Million Loan Agreement to Improve Urban Services in Agartala and Aizwal

Union Government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed $80million loan agreement to improve urban services in two North Eastern cities Agartala and Aizwal.

This loan agreement is the third tranche of a $200 million financing facility of ADB under its North Eastern Region Capital cities Development Investment (NERCDI) Program.

Key facts

  • The loan funds will be used for investments in water supply, sanitation and solid waste management in Agartala and Aizwal.
  • It will support urban reforms as well as strengthen the institutional, managerial, and financial capacity of service institutions benefiting nearly a million people in the two cities.
  • ADB’s third tranche loan is in the form of ordinary capital resources of 20-year term.
  • The Union Ministry of Urban Development is nodal agency for implementing the tranche 3 activities and overall program associated with that will have June 2019 deadline.

Under NERCDI, the previous program tranches have provided assistance to five other cities in the Northeast. They are Aizawl (Mizoram), Shillong (Meghalaya), Gangtok (Sikkim), Kohima (Nagaland) and Agartala (Tripura).

About Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • ADB is based in Manila, Philippines.
  • Established:
  • Members: It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region including India.
  • It is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.


New tree frog genus named Frankixalus discovered in north-eastern India

Researchers have discovered a new genus of tree hole-breeding frogs named Frankixalus in the forests of northeast India and bordering parts of China.

It was discovered by team of researchers led by Professor Sathyabhama Das Biju who is popularly known as the frogman of India.

Key facts

  • The new genus has been named after Professor Franky Bossuyt of Brussel based Vrije Universiteit for his contribution in amphibian research.
  • Frog populations of this genus live in pools of water in the trunks of canopy trees especially in tree holes.
  • They live in low-resource environments which are common practice among frogs and tadpoles of these frogs eat their mother’s eggs for sustenance.

Findings in this regard have been published in a paper in the international journal PLoS One. It should be noted that this new genus includes species of frogs which were first described in 1876 based solely on museum specimens.


Impose AFSPA in Garo Hills: Meghalaya High Court

Meghalaya High Court has asked Central Government to enforce Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 in militancy-hit Garo Hills region of the state.

The order was issued by a full 3 bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh, Justice T N K Singh and Justice S R Sen while hearing on pending cases of militants calling bandhs in the state.

The Court observed that

  • Central government can enforce AFSPA in Garo Hills region in order to deploy armed forces to aid of civil administration to restore public order and maintain the law and order.
  • The imposition of AFSPA would be only for the purpose of enabling the civil authorities in the state to effectively deal with militancy so that there is a regime of rule of law.


  • Recently the Meghalaya state is witnessing a rise in number of militancy incidents in the region especially in Garo Hills including abduction of a Megahalya Government Officials by Garo National Liberation Army militants.
  • Though in past decade the insurgency was more or less contained in the state, but in last 2 years there has been a rise in the number of violence as several dormant insurgent groups in state started resurfacing.

About Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958

  • Empowers armed forces to deal effectively in ‘Disturbed Areas’ declared by both state and Central government.
  • Parliament had enacted it in 1958 to provide special legal security to the armed forces for carrying out operations in the troubled areas of 7 sisters states of North east.
  • The act was extended to Jammu and Kashmir in 1990 in order to confront the rising insurgency in the area.
  • The act provides army officers and jawans legal immunity for their actions undertaken disturbed areas.