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June

07

2019

    INTERNATIONAL RELATION

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

    NEWS: Modi, Khan meeting unlikely in Bishkek.
    SOURCE: The Hindu.>
    WHY IN NEWS: Both are scheduled to travel to the Kyrgyz Republic for the SCO summit on June 13 and 14.

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed during the St.Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in June 2002, and entered into force on 19 September 2003. This is the fundamental statutory document which outlines the organisation's goals and principles, as well as its structure and core activities.

    The historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held on 8-9 June 2017 in Astana. On the meeting the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    The SCO's main goals are as follows: strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states; promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

    The SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;

    The SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia;

    The SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

    Bishkek

    Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, borders Central Asia's Tian Shan range. It’s a gateway to the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountains and AlaArcha National Park, with glaciers and wildlife trails.

    ENVIRONMENT

    596 New Species

    NEWS: Ecologists have 596 reasons to cheer.
    SOURCE: The Hindu.

    Scientists and taxonomists have documented 596 new species of flora and fauna from India in the year 2018. Of the 596 species, 372 come under fauna (311 invertebrates and 61 vertebrates). The newly identified 224 plant species include seed plants, pteridophytes, bryophytes, fungi and lichen. About 31% of the plant species were discovered in the Himayalas.

    In 2018, 596 new species of flora and fauna from India have been documented by scientists and taxonomists. The details have been published by Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in the publications Plant Discoveries 2018 and Animal Discoveries 2018.

    Of the 596 species, 372 come under fauna (311 invertebrates and 61 vertebrates). 224 plant species new plant species have been identified which include seed plants, pteridophytes, bryophytes, fungi and lichen.

    The highest number of plant and animal species have been discovered in the Himalayas and Western Ghats. About 31% of the plant species were discovered in the Himalayas. In the case of animals, highest number (50%) of the discoveries were made in the Western Ghats.

    Among states, Kerala recorded the highest number of discoveries with 59 species, followed by West Bengal (38).

    With the latest addition, the number of plant species in India has been updated to 49,441 which is 11.5% of all flora in the world. Further, now with the latest animal discoveries the updated list of animal species in India has risen to 1, 01,681 which is about 6.49% of all the species in the world.

    The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex research organization under the Environment ministry for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country.

    The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), under the Environment ministry is the premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in India.