• Quad members recently came together for a ministerial meeting.
• Members discussed the urgent need to restore the democratically elected government in Myanmar
• They also discussed the priority of strengthening democratic resilience in the broader region.
• The quadrilateral security dialogue includes Japan, India, United States, and Australia.
• All four nations find a common ground of being the democratic nations and common interests of unhindered maritime trade and security.
• The grouping traces its genesis to 2004 when the four countries came together to coordinate relief operations in the aftermath of the tsunami.
• It then met for the first time in 2007 on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
• The intention was to enhance maritime cooperation between the four nations.
Significance of the grouping:
• Quad is an opportunity for like-minded countries to collaborate on projects of mutual interest.
• Members share a vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific.
• Each is involved in the development and economic projects as well as in promoting maritime domain awareness and maritime security.
• It is one of the many avenues for interaction among India, Australia, Japan, and the US and should not be seen in an exclusive context.
China View on Quad:
• There is a general understanding that the Quad would not take on a military dimension against any country.
• The strategic community in China, nevertheless, had branded it an emerging “Asian NATO”.
• Notably, the Japanese PM address to the Indian Parliament gave a fresh impetus to the Quad concept.
• This recognized the economic rise of India.
Need for formalization:
• Despite renewed efforts, the QUAD has faced criticism over its lack of formal structure.
• There have been calls for institutionalization, a formal agreement to transform the group into a formidable anti-China bloc.
• A lot has changed over the years. Each member state has faced the heat of China increased aggression.
• China has grown in might and influence and is keen on picking up fights.
• After attempting to influence Australia domestic policies, it slapped punitive tariffs on the country.
• It is engaged in what has become a routine border confrontation with India.
• China has flared up territorial disputes with Japan with regards to the Senkaku Islands and is battling a fully-fledged trade war with the United States.
• Delhi Police have named environmental activists Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob, and Shantanu Muluk in an FIR.
• These four are volunteers of Extinction Rebellion which is a global environmental movement.
• It was initially launched in the United Kingdom on October 31, 2018, as a response to a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
• Now, it is a global movement that seeks to “rebel”, and asks groups to “self-organize”, without the need for anyone permission.
• It demands the groups to come up with collective action plans as long as they adhere to the group core principles and values.
• It is a decentralized, international, and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
• The group has “three core demands” of governments around the world.
• It wants governments to “Tell the Truth”, to “Act Now”, and to “Go Beyond Politics” to confront the climate and ecological emergency that the world is faced with.
• These activists are in the custody of the Delhi Police for editing and sharing a toolkit with anti-climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg.
• Some others have also been booked for coordinating with pro-Khalistan outfit Poetic Justice Foundation (PFJ) in connection with protest by farmers unions over the new farm laws.
What is a toolkit?
• A toolkit has become a handy tool in sustaining a movement or campaign in times of social media influences.
• It is a document created as an explainer on an issue as a guide to everybody who is associated with the campaign or can be roped in to give a fillip to the campaign.
• It also provides a roadmap of how to take forward the campaign or agitation explaining what needs to be done, when, and how.
• The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, on his Jayanti.
• Shivaji was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan.
• Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire.
• In 1674, he was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (emperor) of his realm at Raigad.
• Over the course of his life, Shivaji engaged in both alliances and hostilities with the Mughal Empire, Sultanate of Golkonda, and Sultanate of Bijapur, as well as European colonial powers.
• Shivaji military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence, capturing and building forts, and forming a Maratha navy.
• Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with well-structured administrative organizations.
• He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of the Marathi language.
• The Prime Minister has launched multiple initiatives in Assam.
• It includes the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra Programme and the 2 bridges across the Brahmaputra.
• It will provide seamless connectivity to the Eastern parts of India.
• It includes various development activities for the people living around River Brahmaputra and River Barak.
Key Initiatives under the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra programme:
• Ro-pax Vessl Services are water transport services.
• It launched between Neemati Ghat (Jorhat) and Majuli island, North Guwahati and South Guwahati as well as Dhubri and Hatsingimari.
• The benefits of this service include a reduction in travel time, vehicular emission and traffic on the road.
• Inland Water Transport(IWT) Terminal will be built at Jogighopa in Assam.
• The terminal will help in reducing the traffic on the Siliguri Corridor towards Kolkata and Haldia.
• It will facilitate the uninterrupted movement of cargo to the various North-Eastern States like Meghalaya and Tripura and Bhutan and Bangladesh as well.
• E-Portals are launched to promote ease of doing business.
• Car-D (Cargo Data) portal will collate cargo and cruise data on a real-time basis.
• PANI (Portal for Asset and Navigation Information) will act as a one-stop solution for providing information about river navigation and infrastructure.
Dhubri – Phulbari Bridge
• It is a proposed bridge over the Brahmaputra River.
• It will connect Assam Dhubri with Meghalaya Phulbari.
• The bridge is planned to be completed by 2026–27. It would be India longest bridge over water, which is more than 19 km.
• The Bridge will connect Jorhat to Majuli (Nemati ghat to Kamlabari ghat).
• The total length of this bridge is 6.8 Km.
• This bridge will provide connectivity to Majuli Island.
• This island is the cultural capital and cradle of Assamese civilization for the past 500 years.
• It is the world largest river island located in the Brahmaputra River, Assam.
• In 2016, it became the first island to be made a district in India.
• The island is formed by the River Subansiri in the north and River Brahmaputra in the south.
• The island is the nerve centre of neo-Vaishnavite culture.
• It has many Sattras (religious and cultural institutions).
• The tribal communities living on the island include the Misings, the Deoris, and the Sonowal Kacharis.