Rajasthan Current Affairs - 2019
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India for the first time will host the ‘Army scouts masters competition’. The event is scheduled to be held between end of July to mid-August 2019, in Jaisalmer City, Rajasthan.
- About: The Army Scouts Masters Competition is a part of International Army Games steered by Russia. This is the 5th edition of International Army games. India will be a co-host of Army International Scout Masters Competition 2019, which marks first such edition in international competition in which a country is a host as well as a participant.
- Objective: It is designed to forge strong ties with friendly foreign countries and to promote peaceful co-existence, collaboration, cooperation, team spirit, tranquility and development between contestants and at the same time facilitating sharing of best practices, hardware and technology.
- Purpose: Army Scout Masters Competition gives the participant countries an opportunity, and medium to learn from each other, co-operate and carry back best practices. It seeks to enhance international military to military and technical co-operation between participating states.
- Organiser: The event will be conducted under Indian Army and will be organised by Indian Army’s ‘Konark Corps’ at Jaisalmer Military Station.
- Participants: There are twenty-seven representatives from various countries. Besides India, namely Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and China will be participating. Few teams from eight countries (including Russia and China) have already arrived in Jaisalmer for coordination conference.
- Format: It is going to be held in five stages. The stages are designed such that it will test navigation skills, teamwork amongst participating teams, marksmanship, and endurance under an international panel comprising of experts judges, and arbiters.
- Involves: It involves simulated battle scenarios such as: driving infantry, setting up ambushes, combat vehicles, infiltrating behind enemy lines, surviving chemical and nuclear-effected environments, and ex-filtrate from enemy territory.
- The event will provide a platform for major military equipment such as Mi-17s, Advanced Light Helicopters, BMP infantry combat vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
About International Army Games
- Background: Since 2015, Russia has been holding International Army Games. From past four consecutive years International scout competitions were taking place at Koltsovo training ground in Novosibirsk Region. It is conducted under established format of competition amongst Scouts.
- Format: Around 30 countries participate in competition. They battle out in dozens of competitions spread over a fortnight (about two weeks) to prove which has best military in the world. Participant countries send in their troops in sports version of warfare on land, air, and sea. It includes tank biathlon and fighter planes maneuvering contest.
- India’s Partcipation: Since its inception, India has been participating in Army Games. In July 2018, Indian Army participated in two competitions namely Tank Biathlon and Elbrus Ring (which is mountain warfare combat patrol competition) of International Army games held in Russia.
Tags: Army International Scout Masters Competition 2019 • Army scouts masters competition • India Defence Ties • International Army Games • Jaisalmer City • Jaisalmer Military Station • Koltsovo Training Ground • Konark Corps • Novosibirsk Region • Rajasthan • Tank Biathlon and Elbrus Ring
In a factual report submitted by the state forest department following the directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), it has been stated that there are about Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in the Jaisalmer area of the Desert National Park in Thar.
This claim by the Rajasthan Forest Department is contrary to that by the Wildlife Institute of India which had estimated a total population of GIB at 150 for whole India.
Fact Box: Great Indian Bustard
Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps
IUCN status: Critically Endangered
Plea before NGT
A petition filed by the Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL) stating that wind power projects and transmission lines were proving to be a major hazard for the survival of the endangered species in the desert area and most of the wind power projects are located in the natural habitat of the GIB in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Due to their weight, GIBs cannot fly at a high altitude. As a result, they caught in power lines.
Even the 30th Forest Advisory Committee report had advised ensuring that transmission lines in the natural habitats of GIBs should pass underground.
The petition claimed that the Rajasthan government is not doing enough to conserve the critically endangered species. No effort has been made to install ‘bird diverters’ on these power lines. Further, no measure has been taken to curb the menace of feral dogs and foxes in the park.
Tags: bird diverters • Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation • Desert National Park • Forest Advisory Committee • Great Indian Bustard • Gujarat • Karnataka • Maharashtra • National Green Tribunal • NGT • Rajasthan • Wildlife Institute of India