Integrated Battle Groups:

The IBGs are brigade-sized agile self-sufficient combat formations which, can swiftly launch strikes against the adversary. Each IBG would be tailor-made based on Threat, Terrain and Task, and resources will be allotted based on the three Ts. They will be able to mobilize within 12-48 hours based on the location.

  • They need to be light so they will be low on logistics and they will be able to mobilise within 12-48 hrs based on the location.
  • An IBG operating in a desert needs to be constituted differently from an IBG operating in the mountains.
  • The IBGs will also be defensive and offensive. While the offensive IBGs would quickly mobilise and make a thrust into enemy territory for strikes, defensive IBGs would hold ground at vulnerable points or where enemy action is expected. The composition of the IBGs would also depend on this.
  • This is one of the major reorganization plans of the Indian Army with the aim of enhancing command efficiency and the capacities for rapid response and coordinated operations.


Tour of Duty (ToD):

The ‘Tour of Duty (ToD) is a  three years voluntary short service scheme for Indian youths. Indian Army is considering to allow common citizens to join the 1.3- million-strong force for a three-year tenure to serve the nation under the ‘Tour of Duty (ToD) or ‘Three Years Short Service’ scheme.

Initially, 100 officers and 1,000 men are being considered for recruitment as part of the test-bedding of the project. The Army’s plan is to attract the best talent into the force and bring the civil society closer to the force by giving them an opportunity to experience military life. It is for youths who do not want to make defence services their permanent vocation, but still want to experience military life.

  • It will help to “channelise the youth energy into positive utilisation of their potential”.
  • Rigorous military training and habits inculcated will lead to the healthy citizenry.
  • The entire nation will benefit from “trained, disciplined, confident, diligent and committed” young men or women who have done the three-year service.
  • An “initial survey” has indicated that the corporate sector will prefer to hire such youths rather than fresh graduates.
  • The cost of a three-year service per officer will be a fraction of the cost incurred on Short Service Commission (SSC) officers.


Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020:

Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 has been released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) provides essential information for understanding the extent of forest resources, their condition, management and uses. 

The latest of these assessments, FRA 2020, examines the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020. The FRA 2020 has examined the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020.
  • Forest area has declined all across the world in the past three decades. The world lost 178 mha of forest since 1990, an area the size of Libya.
  • The rate of forest loss has also declined due to the growth of sustainable management. The rate of forest loss in 2015-2020 declined to an estimated 10 million hectares (mha), down from 12 million hectares (mha) in 2010-2015.
  • The area of naturally regenerating forests worldwide decreased since 1990, but the area of planted forests increased by 123 mha.

Highest loss and highest gains:

  • Africa had the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 mha, followed by South America, at 2.6 mha.
  • On the other hand, Asia had the highest net gain of forest area in 2010–2020, followed by Oceania and Europe.


West Bank:

It is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north. The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

  • The West Bank was captured by Jordan after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  • Israel snatched it back during the Six-Day War of 1967 and has occupied it ever since. During this war, the country defeated the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.
  • It has built some 130 formal settlements in the West Bank, and a similar number of smaller, informal settlements have mushroomed over the last 20-25 years.

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