Why in news? The home ministry has banned AQIS and ISIS Wilayat Khorasan under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for encouraging terrorism in India and also attempting radicalisation and recruitment of youth in the country.
Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS):
Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) is an affiliate of ‘Al-Qaida (AQ).
It is a terrorist organisation, which has committed acts of terrorism in the neighbouring countries.
It has been promoting and encouraging terrorist acts on the Indian interests in the Indian Sub-continent and has been attempting radicalisation and recruitment of youth from India.
Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP):
The ‘Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat Khorasan/Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K)’ is an Afganistan based affiliate of ISIS.
It is a terrorist organisation, which promotes and encourages terrorism in the Indian sub-continent.
ISKP has been committing terrorist acts to consolidate its position by recruiting youth for ‘global jihad’.
It aims to achieve the objective of establishing its own ‘caliphate’ by overthrowing democratically elected governments.
It considers India and the Indian interests as its targets and is engaged in activities of radicalising and recruiting Indian youth for terrorist activities.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:
UAPA is an Indianlaw aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.
It bans certain terrorist associations, punishes membership and association with such organizations and punishes terrorist activities.
The law been le legislated to impose reasonable restrictions in interests of sovereignty and integrity of India on exercise of freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably without arms and to form associations.
FACT # 2
Why in news?The Ambubachi mela is currently being held in the state of Assam.
The Ambubachi Melais an annual Hindu mela held at Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam.
This yearly mela is celebrated during the monsoonseason that happens to fall during the Assamese month Ahaar.
It is the celebration of the yearly menstruationcourse of goddess Kamakhya.
Also known as Siddha Kubjika, the goddess is a Hindu tantric goddess of desire who evolved in the Himalayan hills.
She is also identified as Kali and Maha Tripura.
The festival is also known as ‘Mahakumbh of the East’ as it draws lakhs of devotees from all over the world.
It is believed that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti, goes through her annual cycle of menstruationduring this time stretch.
It is also believed that during the monsoon rains the creative and nurturing power of the ‘menses’ of Mother Earthbecomes accessible to devotees at this site during the mela.
There is no idol of the presiding deity but she is worshipped in the form of a yoni-like stone instead over which a natural spring flows.
FACT # 3
Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018
Why in news? The UN has recently launched the 2018 version of the yearly Sustainable Development Goals Report.
Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018:
The report finds that conflict, climate change and inequality are major factors in growing hunger and displacement and are hindering progress towards the SDGs.
The report highlights positive progress on the proportion of people living below the poverty line, under-five mortality and access to electricity.
Since 2000 the proportion of people living with families on less than US$1.90 per day has falled from 26.9% to 9.2%, and the unemployment rate has decreased.
Maternal mortality has declined by 37%, and the under-five child mortality rate has decreased by 47%.
The proportion of population with access to electricity in the least developed countries (LDCs) has more than doubled.
Child marriage continues to decline around the world, in line with progress towards SDG target 5.2.
In Southern Asia, for example, the report states that a girl’s risk of marriage during childhood has decreased by more than 40% since 2000.
On SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), the report states that over 100 countries now have sustainable consumption and production (SCP) policies and initiatives.
Despite this progress, the report finds significant challenges remaining on the world’s progress towards the SDGs.
The report underscores particular challenges for the world’s most marginalized and disadvantaged groups.
Among other examples, gender inequality continues to hold women back and deprive them of basic opportunities and rights, while youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
Individual SDG highlights include:
SDG 2 (zero hunger):
The number of hungry people in the world has risen from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, mostly as a result of conflicts and disasters and droughts linked to climate change.
In 18 countries, the report finds that conflict is a main driver of food insecurity.
SDG 4 (quality education):
More than half of children and adolescents are not meeting minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics, with disparities persisting along gender, urban-rural and other divides.
SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation):
In 2015, 2.3 billion people lacked a basic level of sanitation, and 892 million people practiced open defecation.
SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities):
91% of the global urban population breathes air that does not meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality guidelines for particulate matter.
SDG 14 (life below water):
Global trends suggest declining marine fish stocks and deterioration of coastal waters, due to pollution and eutrophication.
SDG 15 (life on land):
The report finds that the world’s forest areas continue to shrink.
SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions):
More than 570 different flows involving trafficking in persons were found between 2012 and 2014.
SDG 17 (partnership for the Goals):
Official development assistance (ODA) for capacity building and national planning has been stable since 2010.