Development Project in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Why in discussion?
Current Affairs May-2021, Recently, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been approved for the developmental project of NITI Aayog for the Great Nicobar Islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Recently, the Environment Appraisal Committee- EAC of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for NITI Aayog’s developmental project for the Great Nicobar Islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Is approved However in the past the Environmental Assessment Committee (EAC) had expressed concern regarding the developmental project of NITI Aayog in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But the committee has now approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project.
NITI Aayog’s Development Project
NITI Aayog has designed a developmental project for various islands and regions of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (eg Great Nicobar Island, Little Andaman Islands etc.).
In fact, in August 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Andaman and Nicobar Islands would be developed as a ‘Maritime and Startup Hub’. Since then, NITI Aayog had formulated a model of developmental project for this union territory.
For this, the Niti Aayog has also presented a vision document.
The following facilities will be developed in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands under the developmental project of NITI Aayog, viz.
International Container Transshipment Terminal,
Greenfield International Airport,
Exclusive Forest Resort.
It is worth noting that NITI Aayog has also proposed a megacity plan for Little Andaman Island in its vision document. This megacity will be developed over an area of 680 sq km of Little Andaman Island. Under this, a new Greenfield Coastal City will be created, which will be developed as a Free Trade Zone. This free trade zone will be able to compete with countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong. Underwater resorts, casinos, golf courses, convention centers, international airports, hospitals, special forest resorts will also be developed in this.
Issues related to the developmental project of NITI Aayog
The NITI Aayog has been criticized by environmentalists for this developmental project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Environmentalists say that this will cause significant damage to various areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and destroy the ecosystem here.
Some environmentalists have expressed serious concerns about this developmental project on the following three grounds-
Vulnerability to Earthquakes and Tsunamis
NITI Aayog’s argument
NITI Aayog says that developmental project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands will ensure development of this entire region. Additionally, the strategic importance of the region will increase further.
This developmental project will promote sustainable and holistic development.
About Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a Union Territory of India located in the Bay of Bengal, comprising around 576 islands, large and small.
These islands are divided into two major archipelagos – the Andaman Islands in the north and the Nicobar Islands in the south.
Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands are separated from each other by 100 channels.
Situated east of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Andaman Sea separates it from Thailand and Myanmar countries. India’s only active volcano ‘Baron Island’ is located here.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands ecosystem has 555 species of hard or rocky coral, which are environmentally significant.
Additionally, due to prolonged isolation from the mainland, these islands became hotspots for the emergence of many species, resulting in hundreds of endemic species and subspecies that have evolved here.
Jayanti Special : Maharana Pratap
Why in discussion?
Recently Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has paid homage to ‘Maharana Pratap’, a symbol of motherly love, valor and self-respect, on his birth anniversary.
The Prime Minister said that Maharana Pratap made Ma Bharti proud with his unmatched courage, bravery and fighting skills. Their sacrifice and dedication to the motherland will always be remembered.
Maharana Pratap was born on 9 May, 1540 AD in the Kumbhalgarh fort of Rajasthan. His father was Maharaja Uday Singh and mother Rani Jeevat Kanwar. Along with this, he was the grandson of the great Rana Sanga. Maharana Pratap’s childhood name was ‘Kika’.
In the imperialist policy of Emperor Akbar, Mewar always appeared as a strong blocker. This sequence shows a strong hierarchy from Maharana Sanga to Rana Pratap.
To avoid Akbar’s imperialist policies, Uday Singh left Mewar and encamped on the Aravalli mountain and made Udaipur his new capital. Although Mewar was actually under them.
Maharana Udai Singh made his younger son sit on the throne against the rules, but later the Rajput chieftains installed Maharana Pratap on the throne of Mewar.
The Battle of Haldi Valley and the struggle of Maharana Pratap
The Battle of Haldi Valley took place on 18 June 1576. On this day, the army of the Mughals and the army of Rana Pratap were face to face in Haldighati.
Haldighati is located 18 km from Eklingji in Rajasthan, which connects the districts of Rajsamand and Pali. Its name is ‘Haldighati’ because the soil here is yellow like turmeric.
Actually Akbar tried hard to bring Maharana Pratap under his control like other Rajput kings, but Maharana Pratap never put his knees in front of him.
Eventually Akbar started a military campaign against Pratap, making Ajmer his center. With this, a war begins in which a small state exhausts the famous Mughal Empire from war.
Mughal emperor Akbar led his large army to Mewar under the leadership of Mansingh and Asaf Khan. According to historians, this army team had tremendous artillery with Mughal, Rajput and Pathan warriors. Shahzada Salim (Jahangir) along with Akbar’s famous generals Mahavat Khan, Asaf Khan, Maharaja Mansingh were also operating the Mughal Corps, which numbered from 80 thousand to 1 lakh.
In front of this huge Mughal army, Maharana Pratap’s army was led by Muslim Sardar Hakim Khan Suri which included a total of 20000 soldiers which was a unique thing.
In this war, a small army of Maharana Pratap cut the teeth of Mughal soldiers. When the situation became turbulent and the Mughal army began to dominate, Maharana Pratap retreated from the battlefield and continued his battle with the guerrilla system.
He wandered in the forests with his wife and children, wandering in the grass-roots and grass-roots loaves, but he never lost patience. Despite the terrible calamity, he awakened his loyalty to the motherland and self-respect to the Mughals. Always continued his fight against the regime.
Despite 30 years of continuous efforts of Emperor Akbar, he could not take Maharana Pratap captive.
In this struggle of Maharana Pratap, his loyal horse Chetak supported every moment and till his last breath Chetak served his master.
Ultimately Maharana Pratap died on 29 January 1597 in Chawand due to injuries sustained during the war and hunting.
Maharana Pratap’s Shaurya saga in the pages of Indian history still inspires us to love, self-respect and valor towards the motherland.
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