Last NDFB faction in Assam calls truce
The last faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) has called a truce. But two of its most wanted top guns remain at large and within “sniffing distance”.
Recently, the Central and Assam governments and the NDFB’s Saoraigwra faction, or NDFB-S, signed a tripartite agreement in New Delhi for the cessation of operations.
What is Bodoland dispute?
- Bodos are the single largest tribal community in Assam, making up over 5-6 per cent of the state’s population. They have controlled large parts of Assam in the past.
- The four districts in Assam — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang — that constitute the Bodo Territorial Area District (BTAD), are home to several ethnic groups.
- The Bodos have had a long history of separatist demands, marked by armed struggle.
- In 1966-67, the demand for a separate state called Bodoland was raised under the banner of the Plains Tribals Council of Assam (PTCA), a political outfit.
- In 1987, the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) renewed the demand. “Divide Assam fifty-fifty”, was a call given by the ABSU’s then leader, Upendra Nath Brahma.
- The unrest was a fallout of the Assam Movement (1979-85), whose culmination — the Assam Accord — addressed the demands of protection and safeguards for the “Assamese people”, leading the Bodos to launch a movement to protect their own identity.
Why the demand for Bodoland?
- For centuries, they survived sanskritisation without giving up their original ethnic identity.
- However in the 20th century, they had to tackle a series of issues such as illegal immigration, encroachment of their lands, forced assimilation, loss of language and culture.
- The 20th century also witnessed the emergence of Bodos as a leading tribe in Assam which pioneered the movements for safeguarding the rights of the tribal communities in the area.
Who is NDFB?
- In October 1986, the prominent group Bodo Security Force (BdSF) was formed by Ranjan Daimary.
- The BdSF subsequently renamed itself as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), an organisation that is known to be involved in attacks, killings, and extortions.
- In the 1990s, Indian security forces launched extensive operations against the group, causing the latter to flee to bordering Bhutan.
- In Bhutan, the group faced stiff counter-insurgency operations by the Indian Army and the Royal Bhutan Army in the early 2000s.
GSAT-30 gives India a communication boost
The nation’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-30, was launched into space from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou.
- The 3,357-kg satellite will replace INSAT-4A, which was launched in 2005 and marks the first mission of the year for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- The high-power satellite is equipped with 12 normal C band and 12 Ku band transponders.
About GSAT-30 –
- With a mission life of over 15 years, GSAT-30 will provide DTH [direct-to-home] television Services, connectivity to VSATs [Very Small Aperture Terminals] for ATM, stock exchange, television uplinking and teleport services, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance applications.
- It gives the Indian mainland and islands coverage in the Ku band, and extended coverage in a wider area stretching from Australia to Europe in the lower-frequency C-band.
- The Ku and C bands are part of a spectrum of frequencies, ranging from 1 to 40 gigahertz, that are used in satellite communications.
Blue Dot Mechanism
US-India is working on a ‘blue dot mechanism’ to promote practical cooperation in infrastructure development.
About the Blue Dot Mechanism –
- The U.S., Japan and Australia unveiled the Blue Dot Network at a summit in Bangkok recently.
- The initiative is not intended to be a financing pipeline. Instead, it will evaluate infrastructure projects according to standards set by a steering committee of government agencies, development finance institutions and the private sector.
- It has already taken Japan and Australia on board to encourage private investment in infrastructure projects.
- The network is “ratings mechanism” that would grade infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region on different parameters to ensure transparency and is planned as direct counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
- Worthy projects will be awarded a Blue Dot, piecing together a global map of quality infrastructure undertakings.
- The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation will be on the steering committee
- However, unlike the BRI, the BDN would not offer public funds or loans for the project.
APNA UREA – SonaUgle
Union Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers has launched a new ‘urea fertiliser’, called the ‘APNA UREA – SonaUgle’.
About SonaUgle. –
It is developed by HURL (Hindustan Urvarak and Rasayan Limited), which is a joint venture company promoted by the three Maharatna Companies i.e. Coal India Limited (CIL), NTPC Limited (NTPC) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) as the lead promoters with FCIL and HFCL as other two partners.