Uttarakhand: Char Dham yatra sees highest footfall since 2019
The Char Dham yatra to the four Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri has recorded its highest-ever devotee turnout this year. The four shrines have been visited by 33.46 lakh pilgrims so far, as per data provided by the state government.
In 2019, the shrines had recorded a maximum footfall of 32.41 lakh devotees. In 2020 and 2021, the yatra was curtailed due to the Covid outbreak and saw footfall of around 3 lakh and 5 lakh pilgrims respectively. The devotee footfall was 26.22 lakh in 2018, 21.93 lakh in 2017 and 14.05 lakh in 2016. This year, the turnout is expected to rise further as there is still a month of the yatra left.
As per official data, this year, the Badrinath shrine has been visited by the maximum of 12.63 lakh pilgrims so far, followed by Kedarnath, which has recorded a turnout of 11.63 lakh. Gangotri shrine in Uttarkashi saw 5.31 lakh visitors, while 4.16 lakh pilgrims have visited the Yamunotri temple so far. In 2019, Badrinath had recorded a maximum footfall of 12.45 lakh, followed by 10.02 lakh in Kedarnath, 5.30 lakh in Gangotri and 4.66 lakh in Yamunotri.
2022 Forest Declaration Assessment
Recently, the 2022 Forest Declaration Assessment was published, showing that the Deforestation rates worldwide declined only modestly in 2021 by 6.3 % compared to the 2018-20 baseline.
Some 145 countries affirmed their commitment to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow (2021).
Forest Declaration Assessment publishes annual updates on progress toward global forest goals.
Brazil was the world’s largest contributor to deforestation in 2021.
The country marked a 3% rise in the rate of deforestation in 2021 compared to the baseline 2018-2020.
Russia withdraws from Black Sea Grain Initiative
Russia recently pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Deal, which was launched to mitigate food inflation caused by conflict in Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia account for roughly 30 per cent of the world’s exported wheat and barley, one fifth of its maize, and over half of its sunflower oil.
Russia is also the world’s largest exporter of fertilizers, accounting for 15 per cent of global exports.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative was signed by the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye during a ceremony in Istanbul in July. Under the deal, ships transporting grain from three Ukrainian ports travel along an agreed corridor to markets worldwide
Centre approves Terai Elephant Reserve in Uttar Pradesh
The Centre has approved the setting up of the Terai Elephant Reserve (TER) at Dudhwa-Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. The Terai Elephant Reserve is the 3rd Elephant Reserve in India which is spread over 3,049 sq km. The Terai Elephant Reserve includes protected areas, forest areas, and corridors for the conservation of wild elephants.
The Terai Elephant Reserve will be developed in the joint forest areas of Dudhwa and Piliphit tiger reserve. This will cover the conservation of four wild species including tiger, Asian elephant, swamp deer, and one-horned rhinoceros.
Restriction of Glyphosate
The glyphosate is a popular herbicide in India. Its usage became popular in the country after the illegal cultivation of Ht BT cotton started. It is mainly used in tea plantations to control the growth of unwanted plants.
Glyphosate is an herbicide that is applied on the leaves to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. It is a non-selective herbicide that can kill almost all plants by stopping them from producing specific proteins required for their growth. Sodium salt form of this herbicide is used to regulate the plant’s growth and ripen specific crops.
BCCI Decides To End Discrimination
In a historic decision, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announceda “pay equity policy”, saying that its centrally-contracted men and women players would get the same match fees.
This means the women players will now get Rs 15 lakh per Test match, Rs 6 lakh for a One-Day International (ODI), and Rs 3 lakh for a T20 International. Till now, they were paid Rs 1 lakh for a white-ball match, and Rs 4 lakh for a Test.
The annual retainership for women cricketers remains the same — Rs 50 lakh for Grade A, Rs 30 lakh for Grade B and Rs 10 lakh for Grade C. The men, who play more games, are paid Rs 1-7 crore, depending on their grade.