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30 Mar, 2021

25 Min Read

P2P rally in Sri Lanka

GS-II : International Relations Sri Lanka

P2P rally in Sri Lanka


  • After months of restricted movement due to the pandemic, it was the first instance of several thousand people taking to the streets to assert their rights.

Details of the March

  • The ‘Pothuvil to Polikandy’ rally or ‘P2P’, began in the eastern Ampara district and ended in Jaffna in the Northern Province, covering several towns en route.
  • Prominent Tamil and Muslim politicians, activists, students, and residents took part in the march.
  • This march was headed by Rasamanickam, a legislator from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), from the eastern Batticaloa district.

Key concerns of the rally:

  • Departing from past struggles in the north and east that focussed on grievances specific to war-affected Tamils, the rally included key concerns of the Muslim community and Malaiyaha [Hill Country] Tamils working in the tea estates, in the list of ten demands put together by civil society groups.

Issues in North and Eastern Sri Lanka

  • It highlighted land grabs in Tamil areas,
  • Government-sponsored Sinhalese settlements,
  • Enforced disappearances,
  • Persisting militarisation,
  • Intimidation of activists and journalists,
  • The continuing use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and
  • The detention of political prisoners without trial.
  • The activists also demanded that the government reverse its enforced cremations policy affecting Muslims, and
  • Ensure a fair wage to plantation labourers.

Source: TH/WEB

20th Amendment of Sri Lankan Parliament

GS-II : International Relations Sri Lanka

20th Amendment of Sri Lankan Parliament

Key points

  • It envisages expansive powers and greater immunity for the Executive President.
  • The Amendment rolls back Sri Lanka’s 19th Amendment, a 2015 legislation that sought to clip presidential powers while strengthening Parliament.
  • The new legislation in turn reduces the Prime Minister’s role to a ceremonial one.

19th Amendment Act

  • The reduction in the terms of the President and Parliament from six years to five years.
  • Re-introduction of a two-term limit that a person can have as President.
  • The power of the President to dissolve Parliament only after four and a half years.
  • The revival of the Constitutional Council and the establishment of independent commissions.
  • The President remains the head of the Cabinet and he can appoint Ministers on the advice of Prime Minister

18th Amendment Act

  • It mainly sought to weaken the power of the presidency which the 18th amendment had greatly expanded.
  • The 18th amendment allowed four basic changes:
    • The President can seek re-election any number of times;
    • The ten-member Constitutional Council has been replaced with a five-member Parliamentary Council;
    • Independent commissions are brought under the authority of the President; and,
    • It enables the President to attend Parliament once in three months and entitles him to all the privileges, immunities, and powers of a Member of Parliament other than the entitlement to vote.

Source: TH

Antigenic escape

GS-III : S&T Health

Antigenic escape

  • Antigenic escape (alternatively called immune escape or immune evasion) occurs when the immune system of a human being ("host") is unable to respond to an infectious agent, or in other words that the host's immune system is no longer able to recognize and eliminate a virus or pathogen.
  • This process can occur in a number of different ways of both a genetic and an environmental nature.
  • Such mechanisms include homologous recombination, and manipulation and resistance of the host's immune responses.

Source: TH

Mitali Express between India & Bangladesh

GS-II : International Relations Bangladesh

Mitali Express between India & Bangladesh

PM Modi & Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated a passenger train between Dhaka, and New Jalpaiguri. It will strengthen the people-to-people connectivity & connect Dhaka cantonment and New Jalpaiguri on the Chilhati-Haldibari train link.

About Mitali Express:

  • The Chilhati-Haldibari train link is a significant one as it connects north Bangladesh with north Bengal.

Other Key Events:

  • On the occasion of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina presented a gold and silver coin to PM Modi.
  • Sheikh Hasina also handed over a silver coin to Prime Minister Modi which was released on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh Liberation.
  • Prime Minister Modi also visited Orakandi Temple and addressed a gathering.

Source: PIB

Panchayat Implementation in 6th Schedule Areas

GS-II : Indian Polity SC/ST

Panchayat Implementation in 6th Schedule Areas

The Union Minister of State for Home informed the Lok Sabha on March 23, 2021, that there is no proposal presently to introduce the Panchayat system in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam.

What is Sixth Schedule?

  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India protects tribal populations and provides autonomy to them by allowing the formation of autonomous administrative councils that can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture and others.
  • Four states of North East India -Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram-have got tribal status under the sixth schedule. Overall, 10 Autonomous Councils exist in these four states as of now.
  • The sixth schedule is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

Sixth Schedule Areas in North-East:

  • Assam: Bodoland Territorial Area, North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong
  • Meghalaya: Khasi Hills, Jaintiya Hills and Garo Hills
  • Tripura: Tripura Tribal Areas
  • Mizoram: Chakma, Mara and Lai districts

Powers of Autonomous Councils under Sixth Schedule

  • Executive and legislative powers
    • Under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, the autonomous district councils have the power to make laws, rules and regulations in the following areas:
    • Formation of village councils
    • Village and town level policing
    • Public health
    • Sanitation
    • Agriculture and cultivation
    • Water resources
    • Land management
    • Forest management
    • Appointment of traditional chiefs and headmen
    • Social customs
    • Marriage and divorce
    • Property Inheritance
    • Mining and minerals
    • Money lending and trading
  • Judicial powers
    • The Autonomous district councils can form courts to hear cases where both parties are members of Scheduled Tribes and the maximum sentence is less than 5 years in prison.
  • Taxation related powers
    • The Autonomous district councils can levy taxes, fees and tolls on land, buildings, vehicles, boats, bridges, roads, ferries and on the entry of goods into the area for the maintenance of roads and schools.
    • They can also levy employment, income and general taxes.

Source: TH

IUCN Declares African Elephants as Critically Endangered

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Animals

IUCN Declares African Elephants as Critically Endangered

The IUCN has declared African Forest elephants as critically endangered and Savanna (or bush) elephants as endangered.

Previously IUCN listed both African elephants as “vulnerable”. But now it has opted to list them separately. It is after genetic evidence proved that both are different species.

About African Elephants

  • African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth.
  • They are slightly larger than Asian Elephants and can be identified by their larger ears (Asian elephants have smaller, rounded ears.)
  • Elephants are matriarchal, suggesting they live in female-led groups.
  • The matriarch is usually the biggest and oldest.
  • African elephants are keystone species meaning they play a critical role in their ecosystem. They are also known as ecosystem engineers as they shape their habitat in many ways.
  • African elephants are distributed throughout the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa and the rainforests of Central and West Africa.
  • There are two subspecies of African elephants
    • African Savanna (or bush) elephant: They are larger animals that roam the plains of sub-Saharan Africa. It is listed as endangered under the IUCN Red List.
    • African Forest Elephants: They are smaller animals that live in the forests of Central and West Africa. It is listed as Critically Endangered under the IUCN Red List.

About Asian Elephants:

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • CITES: Appendix I.
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.
  • The Asian elephant is the largest land mammal on the Asian continent. They inhabit dry to wet forest and grassland habitats in 13 range countries spanning South and Southeast Asia.
  • Asian elephants are extremely sociable, forming groups of six to seven related females that are led by the oldest female, the matriarch.
  • There are 3 subspecies of Asian elephants – Indian, Sumatran, and Sri Lankan.
  • The Indian has the widest range and accounts for the majority of the remaining elephants on the continent.
  • In India, the Asian elephant is found in 4 fragmented populations, in south, north, central and northeast India.

Project Elephant

  • Tiger faces the threat of extinction, whereas the elephant faces the threat of attrition.
  • The elephant numbers have not increased or decreased drastically but there is increasing pressure on the elephant habitats.
  • Project Elephant was launched in 1992.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme.


  • to assist states having populations of wild elephants and to ensure long-term survival of identified viable populations of elephants in their natural habitats
  • addressing man-animal conflict.
  • Developing scientific and planned management measures for the conservation of elephants.
  • Protecting the elephants from poachers, preventing illegal ivory trade and other unnatural causes of death

Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054)

Source: TH

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