West Bengal Current Affairs

Bangladesh Bhavan inaugurated at Vishwa Bharti University in Santiniketan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Bangladesh Bhawan at Vishwa Bharti University in Santiniketan, West Bengal. Bangladesh Bhaban in Santiniketan will house museum and library. It has been divided into four zones. Zone I is dedicated to pre-historic period of undivided Bengal. Zone II includes chronicle phases of the language movement, Zone III is dedicated to 1971 India-Pakistan (Bangladesh Liberation) War. Zone IV will educate visitors about Rabindra in Bangladesh.

Visva Bharati University

Visva Bharati is public central university located in Santiniketan, West Bengal. It was founded by Rabindranath Tagore on 23 December 1921 who called it Visva-Bharati, which means communion of the world with India. Until independence it was a college but after independence, it was given status of university and was renamed Visva-Bharati University in 1951. Prime Minister of India is Chancellor   of the University. Some of its renowned alumni includes Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen, globally renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray and leading art historian, R. Siva Kumar. It is West Bengal’s only central university.

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Sunderban Reserve Forest to get Ramsar site status

West Bengal government has given its approval to State Forest Department to apply for coveted Ramsar Site recognition under Ramsar Convention to Sunderban Reserve Forest. Now, State Forest Department through Central Government will apply to Ramsar Convention Secretariat.

Key Facts

Once it is conferred Ramsar site status, Sundarbans Reserve Forest will be largest protected wetland in the country. There are currently 26 sites in India recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance, including East Kolkata Wetlands in West Bengal. Sunderban Reserve Forest is spread across 4,260 sq. km. with over 2,000 sq. km. of mangrove forests and creeks making it ideal site of wetland. The status wetland of international importance under Ramsar Convention will help in conservation of Sunderban (already World Heritage Site) which is facing threat from climate change and rising sea level.

About Sundarbans

Sundarbans is vast contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal spread across India and Bangladesh. It covers approximately 10,000 square kilometres of area of which 60% is in Bangladesh and remaining in India. It is located in delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins. It is the largest tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It was recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Sundarban forests are known for its self- Royal Bengal Tiger and other numerous species of animals, including Chital Deer, Crocodile and Snakes. It is facing threat from climate change and rise in sea level. It also faces threat from widespread construction and clearing of mangrove forests for fisheries.

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