Why in news?
Information shared by members of ‘Five Eyes’, the intelligence sharing alliance, was part of what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used to make public allegations on the Indian government’s possible involvement in the assassination of a Sikh Canadian, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada said.
What is “Five Eyes:
The Five Eyes brings together the United Kingdom, the United States,Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to form the world’s most comprehensive intelligence partnership.
Its beginnings may be traced back to the Second World War and the requirement of exchanging important information, primarily between the United Kingdom and the United States, in order for both nations to boost their war efforts.
The Five Eyes was formally established after World War II, on 5
March 1946, by a multilateral agreement for co-operation in signals intelligence (SIGINT), known as the UKUSA
Initially consisting of only the United Kingdom and the United States, it was expanded to include Canada in 1948 and Australia and New Zealand in 1956, all of these last three English-speaking countries being members of the Commonwealth of Nations and having similar political systems to the United Kingdom.As a result, the phrase ‘Five Eyes’ was derived from the lengthy ‘AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/Eyes Only’ classification level, which listed the ‘eyes’ who may have access to high-profile files and
How does it work?
How it operates is still obscured.
The alliance’s secrecy is so stringent that the treaty that established it was unknown to Gough Whitlam, Australia’s then-
Prime Minister, until 1973, and it did not come to public light until 2005.
Only in June 2010 was the full text of the UKUSA Agreement
disclosed and legally recognised by the British and American
Each alliance member is known to be in charge of information
collecting and analysis in certain parts of the world.Britain keeps an eye on Europe, Western Russia, the Middle East, and Hong Kong.
The US is in charge of the Middle East, as well as China,
Russia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
Australia is in charge of South and East Asia, whereas New
Zealand is in charge of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.
Canada keeps a close eye on Russia, China, and areas of Latin
Despite this divide, they work primarily together, and assisting
each other is an important component of this agreement.
Its role in present world
Its current role has many ramifications, including the maritime
domain,’ in which the alliance monitors shipping traffic passing
through strategic maritime areas, and the ‘aerospace domain,’
which includes ballistic missile tests, foreign satellite
deployments, and military activities of relevant air forces.
Terrorist organisations and weapons deals made by ‘problematic
regimes’ are also covered by the Five Eyes.
Source: The Hindu
Why in news?
Military leaders from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger signed a significant mutual Défense pact known as the Liptako-Gourma
Charter, marking a crucial step in addressing the security challenges plaguing the Sahel region.
About the Liptako-Gourma Charter:
The Liptako-Gourma Charter establishes the Alliance of Sahel
Liptako-Gourma Charter: Key Provisions
The charter binds signatory nations to provide mutual
assistance, including military support, in the event of an attack
on any one of them.
It specifically allows the use of armed force to restore and
ensure security in the face of aggression.
The agreement also commits the 3 countries to collaborate on
preventing or resolving armed rebellions within their borders.
Need for such alliance
The primary focus of the alliance is to combat terrorism within the
three member countries.
The Sahel region has grappled with a jihadist insurgency that initially
emerged in northern Mali in 2012 and later spread to Burkina Faso
and Niger in 2015.
About Alliance of Sahel States
The junta leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger signed a
charter to establish a defence alliance known as the Alliance of
Under this alliance, any attack on one or more signatory states
will be considered an attack on all signatories.
The alliance between three West African states, all ruled by
military juntas and former French colonies.
These three countries were also members of the France-
supported G5 Sahel alliance joint force, with Chad and Mauritania being the other two allies.
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic realm of transition in
Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian savanna to
Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central
latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red
The Sahel part includes from west to east parts of northern Senegal,
southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina Faso, the extreme
south of Algeria, Niger, the extreme north of Nigeria, the extreme
north of Cameroon and the Central African Republic, central Chad,
central and southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea
and the extreme north of Ethiopia.
Source: The Hindu.
Why in news?
India, US to Conduct 19th Edition of Yudh Abhyas in Alaska Focusing
on Stronger Military Cooperation
About Yudh Abhyas:
It is a joint military exercise conducted annually between
the armies of India and USA.
It has been ongoing since 2004.
It is designed to promote cooperation between the two
militaries while sharing training, cultural exchanges, and building
joint operating skills.
Yudh Abhyas 2023:
o This marks the 19th edition of the joint exercise, which is hosted alternately between both countries.
o The training schedule focuses on the employment of an
integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN
o The schedule will include all operations related to
peacekeeping and peace enforcement.
o The joint exercise will also focus on Humanitarian
Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
o Troops from both nations will practice launching
swift and coordinated relief efforts in the wake of any natural
calamity.The exercise will see the employment of the coalition-
integrated battle group in the mountain and extreme climatic conditions.
o The elements like heliborne or airborne will be employed.
List of Exercises between India and USA:
Army: Yudh Abhyas and Vajra Prahar
Navy: MALABAR (Multilateral)
Air Force: Cope India, Red Flag (Multilateral)
Source – Indian Express
International Day for the Total Elimination of nuclear weapons
Why in news?
United Nations has been annually observing the International Day for the Total Elimination of nuclear weapons on 26th September.
What is the significance of nuclear weapons
The decision to observe International Day for the Total Elimination of nuclear weapons was taken in 2013, by the
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
It called for the “urgent commencement of negotiations in the
Conference on Disarmament of a comprehensive convention on
nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development,
production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer and use or
threat of use, and to provide for their destruction”.
This day is observed to make people aware across the globe
about the threats posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear
How the idea of nuclear weapons changed in recent
Since the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki during the Second World War, the international order
has fundamentally changed.
The potency of this weapon encouraged great powers like the
erstwhile USSR to join the nuclear arms race, thereby increasing
their nuclear stockpiles manifold.
Historically, it has been observed that when a nation state
possesses nuclear weapons, it is less likely to go to a full-scale
war with another state.
The reason being that these weapons have the capability to
annihilate entire populations and the radioactive residue left
behind leads to hazardous health consequences on future
generations as well.
As a result, no nation state takes the risk of going to a war with a
nuclear weapon state. The power of a nuclear weapon state actually lies in not using
the weapon, but in having it because once a state uses such
weapons, it can risk the wrath of the entire international
Thus, now nuclear weapons aren’t weapons for offence, but fordeterrence.
Way forward :
The biggest threat today about nuclear weapons is the fear of
these going into the hands of non-state actors, like terrorist
groups, who can exploit them, inflicting tremendous harm to the
humanity at large.
Thus, the important thing that responsible nation states should
keep in mind is that these weapons should not go into
irresponsible hands that can put the global security at a great
Source – India Today
Mithun – the state animal of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh
Why in news?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has
recently recognized the mithun as a ‘food animal,’ opening
doors for its commercial use.
The recognition of Mithun as a ‘food animal’ and the efforts to
promote its meat as a commercial product can indeed have
significant economic and cultural implications for the region.
What are ‘Food Animals’?
A ‘food animal’ refers to an animal species that is raised and utilized
for human consumption as food. This category includes livestock like
cattle, poultry, and pigs, and now, in the case of the Mithun in
Northeast India, certain indigenous animals have been officially
recognized as suitable for human consumption.
The mithun or gayal (Bos frontalis), is considered a descendant
of the Indian Gaur or bison.
It is distributed in Northeast India (particularly the states of
Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram),
Bangladesh, northern Myanmar and in Yunnan, China.
Reared under free-range conditions in hilly forests, the mithun is
known as the ‘cattle of the mountain’.
It plays an important role in the socio-economic and cultural life
of tribes such as the Nyishi, Apatani, Galo and Adi in Arunachal
The gayal is the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh and
Mithun holds deep cultural and ritual significance in the
northeastern states of India.
Its role in traditional practices and ceremonies reflects its
importance in the cultural heritage of the region.
Mithun is traditionally semi-domesticated and thrives in a free-
range forest ecosystem, requiring minimal human intervention.
This approach aligns with sustainable and eco-friendly
The recognition of Mithun as a ‘food animal’ by the FSSAI has
opened up opportunities for farmers and tribal communities to
benefit economically from the sale and processing of Mithun
Its low-fat content makes it a potential premium meat product,
catering to health-conscious consumers.
Diversification of Products:
Efforts to market various Mithun products, such as vacuum-
packed dry meat, pickles, soups, wafers, and instant biryani, indicate a move toward diversification and value addition,
expanding its market beyond the northeastern region.
Mithun is categorized as a Schedule I animal under the Wildlife
(Protection) Act of India, providing it with legal protection.Habitat loss, hunting, and disease outbreaks are some of the key
threats to the Mithun population. Conservation efforts are
essential to safeguard their future.
It is listed in CITES Appendix I.
Source – Indian Express