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Liberal Democracy

Why in News: The recent student demonstrations on American college campuses opposing the conflict in Gaza have brought attention to a multifaceted crisis involving liberal democracy, higher education institutions, and the essence of protest.Is Liberal Democracy in Decline? | IE Insights

About Liberal Democracy


  • Liberal democracy represents a governmental system safeguarding individual rights and freedoms, upholding the rule of law, conducting free and fair elections, and employing checks and balances.
  • Core principles include equality under the law, freedom of speech, press, and assembly, as well as the division of powers among governmental branches.

Addressing the Crisis:

Dialogue and Understanding:

  • Promoting constructive dialogue and mutual comprehension between students and university administrations is crucial.
  • Respect for freedom of speech and expression should be balanced with ensuring campus safety and order.

Engagement Channels:

  • Encouraging constructive engagement with issues through various avenues such as forums, debates, and student-led initiatives is vital.
  • These channels facilitate meaningful discussions and problem-solving while fostering a conducive environment for expression and exchange of ideas.

Source: IE


Critical Minerals Summit

Why in News: The Ministry of Mines is set to organize a two-day summit titled “Critical Minerals Summit: Strengthening Beneficiation and Processing Capacities” in New Delhi.Bill introduced to start private mining of deep-seated critical minerals |  Economy & Policy News - Business Standard

About Critical Minerals Summit 

    • Organizers: The Ministry of Mines, Government of India, collaborates with the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (Shakti), the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and the Indian Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) for this event.
    • Objectives: Aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and driving innovation in critical mineral beneficiation and processing.
    • Participant Diversity: The summit will convene a diverse group of stakeholders, including industry leaders, startups, government officials, scientists, academics, and policy experts, both from India and abroad.
  • Focus Areas: 
  • It addresses the growing demand for Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) essential for renewable energy systems and electric vehicles, aligning with India’s strategic development objectives.
  • The Ministry of Mines has identified eight key minerals for emphasis at the summit, including Glauconite (Potash), Lithium – Rare Earth Elements (Laterite), Chromium, Platinum Group, Graphite, Tungsten associated with Graphite, Rare Earths (RE), and Vanadium associated with Graphite.

Source: pib


Nilgiri Tahr Survey

Why in News: The inaugural synchronized census of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr in India will be undertaken as part of Project Nilgiri Tahr, jointly conducted by Tamil Nadu and Kerala.Nilgiri Tahr: Exclusive attraction of Munnar - SpiceTree Munnar

About Nilgiri Tahr

Scientific Classification:

  • Scientific name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius
  • Taxonomic Relation: It is closely related to the Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) found in Kashmir and Bhutan, and the Arabian tahr (Arabitragus jayakari) found in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Unique Characteristics:

  • It stands as the sole mountain ungulate in southern India among the 12 ungulate species present in the country.

Population Estimates:

  • According to a 2015 report by WWF India, there are approximately 3,122 Nilgiri Tahrs in the wild.

Habitat and Distribution:

  • Inhabits open montane grassland habitats at elevations ranging from 1200 to 2600 meters in the South Western Ghats.
  • Endemic to the Western Ghats, with significant populations concentrated in the Nilgiris and Anamalais. Smaller populations exist in the Palani hills, Srivilliputtur, and the Meghamalai and Agasthiyar ranges.

Key Habitats:

  • Eravikulam National Park in Kerala harbors the largest population of Nilgiri Tahrs, with over 700 individuals.
  • Anamalai Tiger Reserve, particularly the Grass Hills National Park, is estimated to be the second-largest habitat, with a population exceeding 200 individuals.


  • The species faces threats from habitat loss and sporadic hunting for meat and skins.

Conservation Status:

  • Classified as Endangered by the IUCN.
  • Protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.
  • Designated as the state animal of Tamil Nadu, with October 7 celebrated as Nilgiri Tahr Day in honor of conservationist ERC Davidar.

Source: TH

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