Jammu and Kashmir Current Affairs

Home Ministry forms study group to examine problems people residing in border areas

The Union Home Ministry has formed study group to examine various problems faced by people residing near International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir in wake of regular ceasefire violations by Pakistan. It will be headed by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary in Home Ministry.

Composition of study group

Its members are principal secretary (Home) in J&K Government, divisional commissioner of Jammu and divisional commissioner of Srinagar. Joint secretary (J&K) in Home Ministry is member-secretary of group.

Terms of References

The group will meet people living in border areas of Jammu & Kashmir, district administration officials, security forces deployed there and local public representatives and submit its report within two months. It will prepare a detailed report of issues being faced by public living near IB and LOC and submit recommendations for remedial action to be taken to address these issues.

Background

India shares a 3,323 km long border with Pakistan of which 221 km is IB and 740 km is LOC in Jammu & Kashmir. In recent times, there has been sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan. Till August 2017 there were 285 violations by Pakistani forces while the number was 228 for entire 2016 year.

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Government launches SECURE Himalaya Project

The Union Government had launched SECURE Himalaya, a six-year project to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in high Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states viz. Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.

It was launched by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Key Facts

The SECURE project aims at securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems. It is meant for specific landscapes including Changthang (Jammu and Kasmir), Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh), Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) and Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley (Sikkim).

The key focus areas of the project is protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats and also securing livelihoods of people in region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime. Under it, enhanced enforcement efforts and monitoring will be undertaken to curb illegal trade in some medicinal and aromatic plants which are among most threatened species in these landscapes.

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