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Indus Valley settlement razed

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8.Indus Valley settlement razed

A 5,000-year-old Indus Valley settlement located in Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh, stands abandoned and unprotected.

The archaeological site, discovered in 1957 in Alamgirpur village of the district, is regarded as one of the most historically significant finds in the country as it showed for the first time evidence of habitation pertaining to the Harappan period in the Upper Doab region between the Ganga and the Yamuna.

However, at present the settlement, which lies just 70 km from the national capital, faces destruction by the villagers who have flattened the centuries-old structures to expand their cultivable land.

Worse, some of the villagers have built houses, memorials and temple-like structures on top of the settlement, where excavations till last year had given crucial insights about life and society during the Harappan period, also known as the Indus Valley Civilisation.

During excavations of the site which dates back to the Harappan period of 3300-1300 BC, the ASI archaeologists found ceramic items like roof tiles, dishes, terracotta cakes and figurines of a humped bull and a snake. After its discovery, the site was declared “protected.” But it is anything but that now. The chief of the ASI Agra Circle, Bhuvan Vikram, underlined the importance of the settlement but also accepted the complications which led to the encroachment by the villagers.

9.International Organization for Migration

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) to help resettle people displaced by World War II. As of April 2015, the International Organization for Migration has 157 member states and 10 observer states.[3][4]

It is the principal intergovernmental organization in the field of migration. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, be they refugees, displaced persons or other uprooted people.

The IOM Constitution[5] gives explicit recognition to the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement of persons.

IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:

  1. migration and development,

  2. facilitating migration,

  3. regulating migration, and

  4. addressing forced migration.

Cross-cutting activities include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants’ rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration.

In addition, IOM has often organized elections for refugees out of their home country, as was the case in the 2004 Afghan electionsand the 2005 Iraqi elections.

IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.


1.Sri Lanka plans new statute to redress Tamils’ grievances

A few days ahead of the release of a report on the alleged war crimes during the final stages of the Eelam War, Sri Lanka on Monday unveiled a set of proposals to redress the “grievances of the Tamil people,” including the adoption of a new Constitution and setting up of a truth commission.

Addressing the 30th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said: “The best guarantee for non-recurrence [of violence] is, of course, a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people. We hope we can achieve this through the adoption of a new Constitution. A Constituent Assembly of Parliament will be set up for this purpose shortly.”

Mr. Samaraweera, who led his country’s delegation that included Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa and Eastern Province’s Governor Austin Fernando, said a Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-recurrence would be set up in consultation with countries like South Africa “which have been advising us.”

Besides, an Office on Missing Persons would be established. Based on the principle of the families’ right to know, the organisation would take expertise from the International Committee of the Red Cross and function “in line with internationally accepted standards.”

Mr. Samaraweera added that a judicial mechanism would be put in place with special counsel.

2.World Bank ranks Gujarat as most investor-friendly State

Gujarat has come out on top in the World Bank’s first ever ranking of States on the ease of doing business in India. 

States were assessed on the implementation, over a six-month period from January to June, of a 98-point reforms agenda. Chief Secretaries of States participating in the “Make in India” workshop inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi last December finalised this action plan on “Ease of Doing Business”.

It was decided later to evaluate States to assess progress by June 2015.

BJP-governed States dominate the top ranks. Gujarat implemented 71.14 per cent of the reforms, according to the assessment. Andhra Pradesh came second with a score of 70.12 per cent, Jharkhand third at 63.09 per cent, Chhattisgarh fourth with 62.45 per cent and Madhya Pradesh fifth with 62 per cent.

The largest recipients of foreign investments, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, are ranked eighth and twelfth with less than 50 per cent scores.

Ease of doing business

The rankings reflect the ease of doing business in these States by the small and medium enterprises rather than foreign investors,” said World Bank Country Director Onno Ruhl.

The Union Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CII) and KPMG were involved in the exercise. The rankings of States will be released annually.

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