Current Affairs – July 2015

15 Gharials to be released in Beas belt in Punjab to boost tourism

Punjab government has announced to release 15 Gharials in the Beas belt, near Harike Patan in order boost tourism.

The Gharials species will be released as part of state government’s plan to make Beas belt, a natural habitat of the fish-eating crocodile species.

The release of Gharials has been planned in February-March 2015 near Karmowal village (near Harike Patan water bodies) by the Experts from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWFN).

Karmowal village has ample water bodies with sand banks making it suitable site for developing as habitat for the species. Gharials will be released depending upon the success of the initial phase of making natural habitat and after the release they will be kept under close watch.

About Gharial

  • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is also known as the gavial.  It is last surviving species of the family Gavialidae.
  • It is a fish-eating crocodile and belongs to one of the three crocodilian species found in the Indian Sub-Continent.
  • In historic times it was present in Indus River system, including Beas and Sutlej rivers, indicating healthy river system.
  • Protection Status: It is listed in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is also listed as Critically Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species.


Sanjiv Chaturvedi, Anshu Gupta win Ramon Magsaysay Award 2015

Two Indians Sanjiv Chaturvedi and Anshu Gupta have been awarded prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2015.

They are among the total five awardees have been conferred with this year’s award which is often regarded as Asia’s Nobel Prize.

Recipients of 2015 Ramon Magsaysay Award are

  • Sanjiv Chaturvedi: He has been bestowed with this award in recognition of his exemplary integrity, tenacity and courage in uncompromisingly exposing and investigating corruption in public office.
  • Chaturvedi is an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer and presently working as deputy secretary of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). From 2012-14, he had served as a Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) at AIIMS.
  • Anshu Gupta: He has been awarded for his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India and for his enterprising leadership in treating in cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor.
  • He is founder of NGO Goonj based in Delhi which was established in 1999. The NGO is operational in 21 Indian states and primarily works in disaster relief, community development and humanitarian aid.
  • Kommaly Chanthavong: She hails from Laos and has been chosen for her indomitable spirit in reviving and developing the ancient Laotian art of silk weaving, Loa’s priceless silken cultural treasure.
  • It had led in creating livelihoods for thousands of war-displaced, poor people and the dignity of women in Laos.
  • Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa: She hails from Philippines and has been recognized for her crusade in preserving the endangered artistic heritage classical dance form called pangalay (gift offering) of southern Philippines and propagating a dance form which celebrates and spread the sense cultural identity.
  • Kyaw Thu:He hails from Myanmar and was recognized for his generous efforts of compassion in addressing the fundamental needs of people of Myanmar both the living and the dead regardless of their religion or class for greater social good.

About Ramon Magsaysay Award

  • It is Asia’s highest honor and often regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
  • Established: in 1957 in the memory of Philippines’ 3rd President Ramon Magsaysay who had died in air disaster in March 1957.
  • It was established by trustees of the New York City based Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Philippine government.
  • It is awarded annually to individuals or organizations from Asia region for their altruistic and philanthropic service.
  • Award carries: Medallion bearing the likeness of the late President Ramon Magsaysay, cash prize and a certificate.