1. The Freedom in the World 2020

Why in News?
  • Recently, the Freedom in the World 2020 report ranks India at the 83rd position, along with Timor­-Leste and Senegal.
About:
  • India’s score fell by four points to 71, the worst decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies this year.
  • The annulment of autonomy and the subsequent shutdown of Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, as well as the crackdown on mass protests, have been listed as the main signs of declining freedom in the report, released by Freedom House, a S.­based watchdog, which has been tracking global political and civil liberties for almost half a century.
  • The report treats “Indian Kashmir” as a separate territory, which saw its total score drop precipitously from 49 to 28 this year, moving it from a status of “Partly Free” to “Not Free”
  • It slammed the Internet blackout in Kashmir, terming it the longest shutdown ever imposed by democracy. It said freedom of expression was under threat in India, with journalists, academics and others facing harassment and intimidation when addressing politically sensitive topics
  • India scored 34 out of 40 points in the political rights category, but only 37 out of 60 in the civil liberties category, for a total score of 71, a drop from last year’s score of 75.

 

2. Gairsain

Why in News?
  • The Uttarkhand Government has recently named Gairsain as the new summer capital of the state.
Key Points:
  • Dehradun has been the temporary capital of the state since it attained statehood and still houses the chief minister’s residence, Raj Bhavan and MLA residences.
  • A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot weather.
  • The state Assembly is located in Dehradun but sessions are held in Gairsain as well.
  • It covers a large area suitable for the construction of the capital and accommodating people.
  • It is emerging as a tourist place and it is also a part of the major route connecting Garhwal with the Kumaon region.
  • It is the site of the source of the Ramganga River which rises near the Dudhatoli Parvat.
  • Its famous tourist attractions are the Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Badrinath, Vasundhara Falls etc.
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