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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

27 Apr, 2023

14 Min Read

India-Thailand Relations

GS-II : International Relations Act East Asia Policy

  • Both parties expressed satisfaction with the ongoing bilateral defence cooperation at the 8th India-Thailand Defence Dialogue, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Cultural ties and mutual cooperation that have been shaped by thousands of years of lasting historical and cultural ties characterise India and Thailand relations.

Highlight

  • It was examined how various bilateral defence cooperation programmes were progressing.
  • The co-chairs came up with ways to strengthen current areas of cooperation, particularly in the fields of defence industry, marine security, and multinational cooperation.
  • The Indian defence industry's potential was praised by Thailand.
  • The two chairs also described initiatives towards developing areas of collaboration and concerns with regard to global commons.

Indian-Thai Relations: Historical Background

  • Full diplomatic ties were established after India gained independence in 1947. However, there was little reason for India to look towards Thailand in terms of trade and the economy, so relations between the two were at best minimal. Additionally, due to Cold War politics, the USSR and the USA formed the opposing camps of the two superpower blocs. The situation was altered during the 1970s East Asian economic growth and the end of the Cold War. Since that time, Thailand and India's relations have been generally amicable.
  • Since 2001, there has been a noticeable improvement in Indo-Thai relations, as seen by a rise in business and economic ties, high-level visits, and the signing of numerous agreements. In a number of multilateral forums, including ASEAN and the sub-regional organisation BIMSTEC, which includes Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bhutan, India and Thailand are working together.
  • India is a member of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), a club of six nations, and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), which was founded by Thailand in 2002.

Indo-Thai Cultural ties

  • The interactions between India and Thailand have taken shape over centuries of strong historical and cultural ties. Geographical proximity had resulted in numerous people-to-people interactions and a lengthy history of bilateral diplomatic connections, both of which had paved the way for the development of a mutually beneficial alliance.
  • The ancient Sanskrit and Pali languages, which have their origins in India, are where the majority of the Thai language finds its roots. Thailand adopted Buddhism as its main religion when it was introduced there during King Ashoka's rule of the Mauryan Empire. Thai religious practises, art, architecture, and music evolved during the centuries-long historical links, drawing inspiration from Indian art and stories.

Economic and Commercial Relations:

  • Despite the pandemic condition, bilateral commerce reached USD 9.76 billion in 2020 after reaching USD 12.12 billion in 2019.
  • In 2018, Thailand exported goods of USD 7.60 billion to India, and India exported goods to Thailand for USD 4.86 billion.
  • In 2021–2022, bilateral trade between India and Thailand hit a record high of over USD 15 billion.
  • Thailand is India's fifth-largest trading partner in the ASEAN bloc, behind Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
  • Thai products currently enjoy tax reductions because of the ASEAN-India FTA in Goods, which went into effect in January 2010.

Connectivity:

  • Around 1.9 million Indian tourists travelled to Thailand in 2019 but only 160,000 Thai travellers went to India, primarily to visit Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
  • In accordance with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) framework, India and Thailand are collaborating to strengthen regional connectivity.
  • It is anticipated that the much anticipated India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway will increase land connectivity across Northeast India and Southeast Asia, becoming the first-ever cross-border facilitation agreement between South and Southeast Asia.

Defence Cooperation:

  • Over time, the bilateral defence engagements have grown to encompass high-level visits, capacity-building and training programmes, Defence Dialogue talks, military-to-military exchanges, and yearly joint military exercises.

Defence drills:

  • Army exercise MAITREE.
  • Air Force exercise SIAM BHARAT.
  • Indian Navy's coordinated patrol with Thailand.
Way ahead
  • Through bilateral interactions to increase trade and investments, both parties should address issues relating to trade barriers and lowering import duty costs.
  • Opportunities for collaboration between Thailand and India's startup environment should also be investigated.
  • By making investments in each other's markets, the two nations can collaborate to close gaps in the supply chain.

Source: Press Information Bureau

Translocation of Elephants

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Animals

  • The Kerala government's appeal of the order of the Kerala High Court is rejected by the Supreme Court.
  • The Kerala government's appeal against the Kerala High Court's directive to move Arikomban (Wild Elephant), the "rice tusker" of Munnar, to the Parambikulam tiger reserve was recently dismissed by the Supreme Court.

About the translocation of elephant

  • The act of transporting an elephant from its natural habitat to another location is referred to as translocation.
  • This procedure is frequently used to address human-elephant conflict (HEC), in which elephants kill humans occasionally while damaging crops and destroying homes.
  • The procedure of catching, restraining, and transporting elephants is frequently extremely stressful for them and can result in harm, misery, and even death.
  • Elephant populations may also be significantly impacted, particularly if the translocated elephant is a matriarch or a breeding female.
  • Additionally, research has shown that moving elephants may only shift the conflict's focal point rather than eliminate it entirely.
  • Elephants frequently adjust to their new surroundings and continue to raid homes or fields, which causes more conflict.

Argument against

  • A huge male elephant that had been relocated from the West Midnapore farmland in South Bengal to the Mahananda Sanctuary in the Darjeeling district was the subject of India's first radio-telemetry study of a translocated problem elephant in 2006.
  • The elephant started destroying homes and raiding crops in communities and Army locations rapidly.
  • In 2012, a team of biologists followed 12 male Asian elephants that had been relocated 16 times to various national parks in Sri Lanka as part of a study on translocated problem Asian elephants.
  • The study concluded that translocation led to the spread and escalation of the conflict between humans and elephants as well as an increase in elephant mortality.
  • In December 2018, Vinayaga, a bull known for raiding crops, was relocated from Coimbatore to the Mudumalai-Bandipur region.

Argument in favour

  • The Kerala High Court emphasized that the presence of natural resources for food and water at the new location will discourage elephants from foraging near populated areas.
  • The court also stressed that the elephant will be radio-collared and that forest / wildlife officials will be watching its activities, which will take away the element of surprise from any conflict situations.

Important relocations in the past

  • Asiatic lions: Located from Gujarat's Gir National Park to Madhya Pradesh's Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Tigers: From Ranthambore National Park to Sariska Tiger Reserve and from Kanha Tiger Reserve to Satpura Tiger Reserve.
  • From Kaziranga to other protected locations like Manas National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, one-horned rhinos may be found.
  • Blackbuck: From the Tal Chhapar Sanctuary in Rajasthan to the Velavadar National Park in Gujarat.
  • Dolphins from the Ganges that travel to the Yamuna and the Chambal are known as Gangetic Dolphins.

Data and facts

  • India is home to the greatest population of wild Asian elephants, estimated at 29,964 as of the 2017 Project Elephant census.

  • Approximately 60% of the species' total population is there.

  • The most elephants are found in Karnataka, then Assam, and Kerala.

  • India's Natural Heritage Animal is the elephant.

  • Elephants are regarded as a "Keystone Species" because of their vital contribution to the balance and wellbeing of forest ecosystems.

  • They are renowned for having the biggest brains of any land animal, which contributes to their extraordinary intelligence.

  • Elephants are particularly essential grazers and browsers in the ecosystem, eating large amounts of grass each day and dispersing seeds as they go.

  • The frequently dense foliage that covers the Asian environment is also shaped by them.

Conservative Initiatives:

  • India In order to protect elephants and their natural habitat in India, the Indian government launched Project Elephant in 1992.
  • Additionally, 33 elephant reserves exist in India with the goal of conservation.
  • The purpose of World Elephant Day, which is commemorated on August 12 every year, is to increase public awareness of the critical need to protect and conserve elephants.
  • In order to raise awareness of the serious issues facing both Asian and African elephants, the day was launched in 2012.
  • Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme:In order to enhance global decision-making on the conservation of elephants in Asia and Africa, an international collaboration measures the levels, trends, and causes of elephant mortality.
Way ahead
  • Plans for proper monitoring and management, such as steps to reduce possible conflicts and post-relocation monitoring, should also be in place.

  • While moving difficult elephants may be considered as a strategy to reduce conflicts between people and elephants, it should be done so cautiously and on the basis of thorough management plans, community involvement, and sound scientific research in order to reduce potential risks and guarantee the welfare of both elephants and local communities.

Source: Indian Express

Abhilekh patal

GS-I : Art and Culture Literature

  • The National Archives' "Abhilekh Patal" webpage, which features over 1 crore pages of historical records, has received praise from the Prime Minister of India.

Regarding Abhilekh Patal

  • Patal, which means a board, platform, or surface, is a Sanskrit word that has been used in Indian documents since ancient times.
  • The abbreviation for Portal for Access to Archives and Learning has been created using both of these phrases.
  • It is a fully functional web gateway that enables users to access digitized collections and reference materials from the National Archives of India through the Internet.
  • It includes the reference materials for the more than 2.7 million files the National Archives of India has on hand.

National Archives of India

  • It serves as the repository for the Government of India's historical records and holds them in trust for the benefit of both the record authors and the public users.
  • It is an Attached Office of the Indian Governments to the Ministry of Culture.
  • The Imperial Record Department was established on March 11, 1891, in Calcutta (Kolkata), and In the year 1911, it was moved to The New Capital in New Delhi.

Read Also: Biotransformation Technology

Source: Press Information Bureau

First Waterbodies Census

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Biodiversity & Environment

  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti has published the results of the nation's first-ever water body census, providing important new information about the water resources of the nation.
  • The census offers a thorough inventory of the country's water resources, showing differences between rural and urban areas as well as different degrees of invasion.

What does the Census of Waterbodies mean?

  • In conjunction with the 6th Minor Irrigation Census for 2017–18, the waterbodies census was carried out.
  • The definition of a waterbody under this definition is "all-natural or man-made units bounded on all sides with some or no masonry work used for storing water for irrigation or other purposes."
  • An inventory of India's water resources, including both natural and artificial water bodies including ponds, tanks, lakes, and more, was to be provided by the census, along with information on the encroachment of water bodies.

Important Census Findings:

  • 24,24,540 water bodies were counted nationwide as part of the census, with West Bengal having the most (7.47 lakh) and Sikkim having the fewest (134).

According to the report

  • The most ponds and reservoirs are in West Bengal.
  • South 24 Parganas in West Bengal is the district with the most waterbodies.
  • Most tanks are located in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Most lakes are found in Tamil Nadu.
  • Maharashtra is at the forefront of water conservation efforts.
  • The paper notes that only 2.9% of the waterbodies are in urban areas, with 97.1% of them being in rural areas.
  • Ponds make up the majority of the water bodies, followed by lakes, reservoirs, percolation tanks, water conservation programs, tanks, and other structures.

Waterbodies:

  • The census also gathered information on the encroachment of waterbodies for the first time, revealing that 1.6% of all listed waterbodies are infringed upon, with 95.4% of encroachments occurring in rural areas and the remaining 4.6% occurring in urban areas.
  • More than 75% of the area of the waterbody is significantly encroached upon.

Importance

  • Important information from the census will help decision-makers manage and conserve water resources in the best possible way.
  • The inequalities between rural and urban areas are brought to light, as well as the necessity of strong invasion prevention measures.
  • The census data can be used as a starting point for evaluations of India's water resources in the future, allowing for the tracking of adjustments and advancements in the direction of sustainable water management.

Source: Indian Express

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