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Lieutenant General Sarath Chand Takes over as Vice Chief of Army Staff

Lieutenant General Sarath Chand took over as Vice Chief of Army Staff and paid homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti, today. Before taking over as Vice Chief of Army Staff, the General officer was commanding South Western Command.
●    The General Officer was commissioned into the Garhwal Rifles in June 1979. During career spanning over 38 years, he has served in all operational theatres and has participated in many active combat leadership roles at every stage of command.
●    The early operational service of the General includes the command of Company in the Kargil Sector of Ladakh and in active operations during Operation PAWAN as part of the IPKF in Sri Lanka. He commanded battalion in Operation RHINO and Operation FALCON, an Infantry Brigade in the deserts and a Counter Insurgency Force deployed in the Kashmir Valley and thereafter commanded a strategically important 4 Corps.
●    He has also held a number of important staff as well as instructional appointments during his career. The General Officer has served at the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM-II).
●    The General Officer in his capacity as Vice Chief will head the General Staff Branch at the Army Headquarters and will provide crucial support to the Army Chief in discharge of his duties.

Indigenous Tribes in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands

At least five members of the Great Andamanese tribal group, an indigenous people of the Andaman archipelago, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), two people who follow the islands’ affairs, claimed.
“Seven people have tested positive. Five of them tribals and two are their non-tribal spouses,

It is safe to say that the original population of the Andaman and Nicobar islands consist of aboriginal indigenous people, i.e. tribal people. They have been dwelling in the forests and jungles of the islands for centuries, lead a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and appear to have lived in substantial isolation for thousands of years. The so called “civilians” or city/town dwellers only came later, earliest a few hundred years ago.
The Andamanese and Nicobarese can be split into two broad tribal groups mainly based on their place of origin. The Andaman Islands are home to four ‘Negrito’ tribes where as – the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa and Sentinelese. Where as the Nicobar Islands are home to two ‘Mongoloid’ tribes – the Shompen and Nicobarese.
The ‘Negrito’ tribes are believed to have arrived in the islands from Africa up to 60,000 years ago. All are nomadic hunter-gatherers, hunting wild pig and monitor lizard, and catching fish with bows and arrows. They also collect honey, roots and berries from the forest.The ‘Mongoloid’ tribes probably came to the islands from the Malay-Burma coast several thousand years ago.
75 tribal groups have been categorised by the Ministry of Home Affairs as PVTGs. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs implements the Scheme of ‘Development of PVTGs’ exclusively for them.
Article 366 (25) of the Constitution provides a process to define Scheduled Tribes.

Association of South East Asian Nation-India Business Council meet. Addressed by union minister piyush goyal

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal addressed the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Business Council Virtual Meet.He extended India’s friendship and partnership to ASEAN countries and expected to achieve a target of 300-billion-dollar trade through Business with them.He emphasized 3 C’s Cooperation, Collaboration & Commitment as guide for the strategic partnership between India and ASEAN countries. 
Key highlights
The Minister highlighted the Business Council meeting as a good forum to discuss concerns and best practices, share ideas and flag problems.
In the meeting it was also discussed that India and ASEAN countries should harness the full trade potential and use the forum as a medium to expand trade, address concerns of all members and businesses and resolve the differences.
The two sides also agreed to review the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement that was signed in 2009.
Act East Policy
India is focusing on Act East Policy to reach the ASEAN countries. In fact, the Act East policy of India was unveiled at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit in 2014.
India shifted from Look East Policy to Act East Policy in order add security cooperation along with trade and other economic cooperation. The following are the major areas where India and ASEAN are working together currently
Counter Terrorism: To share capacity building, best practices and information
Cyber Security
Maritime Cooperation
India-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation
The maritime cooperation is highly important for both the partners as China is increasing its influence in the Indo-Pacific region. The following are the major forums through which India and ASEAN are exhibiting their maritime strategies
Expanded ASEAN Maritime forum is conducted for better coordination in search and rescue operations and also manage accidents in sea according to ICAO and IMO guidelines. ICAO is International Civil Aviation Organization. IMO is International Maritime Organisation.
India plans to strengthen its maritime security measures through SAGAR. SAGAR is Security and Growth for all in the Region. SAGAR has been recognized by ASEAN.
Other official cooperation
India actively participates in the following ASEAN led events
ASEAN Region Forum
ASEAN PMC+1 with India
East Asia Summit
ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus)
ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee
ASEAN-India Senior Officials.

EU urges Turkey to stop Mediterranean drilling

The European Union has urged Turkey to halt its drilling activities in contested waters in the Mediterranean and ordered EU officials to speed up work aimed at blacklisting some Turkish officials linked to the energy exploration.

What’s the issue?

Over recent weeks, tensions have been rising in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, prompted by what seems like a simple rivalry over energy resources.

Turkey has pursued an aggressive gas exploration effort, its research vessel heavily protected by warships of the Turkish Navy.
There have been encounters with rival Greek vessels and a third Nato country, France, has become involved, siding with the Greeks.
These tensions also highlight another shift in the region – the decline of US power.

Cause for latest tensions:

Tensions are mounting to breaking point between Turkey and Greece over Turkey’s drilling work near the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which like Greece is an EU member country.

Turkey doesn’t recognize the divided island of Cyprus as a state and claims 44 per cent of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone as its own.

Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece.


About the Mediterranean:

It is a vast sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south, and Asia to the east.

The Mediterranean Sea connects:

to the Atlantic Oceanby the Strait of Gibraltar(known in Homer‘s writings as the “Pillars of Hercules“) in the west
to the Sea of Marmaraand the Black Sea, by the Straits of the Dardanellesand the Bosporus respectively, in the east
The 163 km (101 mi) long artificial Suez Canalin the southeast connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.


Onam is celebrated at the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of the solar Malayalam calendar (Kollavarsham). It falls in August or September each year.

The festival is spread over 10 days and culminates with Thiruvonam, the most important day.

About the festival:

According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.

It is also celebrated as the festival of paddy harvest.

How is it celebrated?

During the festival, people get dressed in their traditional attire, prepare the Onam Sadhya and take part in a variety of group activities such as the Pookolam (rangoli made with fresh flowers), Vallam Kali (boat race), Pulikali (tiger dance), Kai Kottu Kali (Onam dance), Kummattikali (mask dance) and various other activities.