Why in News?
- A Chinese company recently signed an agreement to lease this entire island for 75 years, which is a part of Solomon Islands, after Beijing has recruited the Pacific nation as its latest ally in the strategically important region.
- It is a small Island, part of Solomon Islands in south western Pacific Ocean.
- It covers 2.08 sq.km and consist of over 1000 people.
- During Second World War, its natural deepwater harbour across from Guadalcanal has made it a military gem.
- The move of China has alarmed U.S as it sees island chains of south pacific as crucial to keep China in check and protect important sea routes.
2.Ex-Eastern Bridge – V
Why in News?
- The Indian Air Force is participating in a bilateral joint exercise with the Royal Air Force Oman (RAFO), named Ex Eastern Bridge – V, scheduled for 4 days in October 2019, at Air Force Base Masirah in Oman.
Ex Eastern Bridge – V:
- This is a joint bilateral exercise between the Air Forces of India and Oman.
- The previous exercise was held in 2017 at Jamnagar in Gujarat. 2019 marks the fifth edition of the exercise. The first such exercise was held in 2009 in Jamnagar.
- This is for the first time that the MiG-29 fighter aircraft will be participating in an international exercise outside India.
- The exercise will enhance inter-operability during mutual operations between the two Air Forces and will provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices.
- The participation of the Indian Air Force in the exercise will also promote professional interaction, exchange of experience and operational knowledge.
- Besides strengthening bilateral relations, it will also provide a good opportunity to the air-warriors to operate in an international environment.
Why in News?
- The Rangdum monastery in Ladakh in Kargil district could soon be given the status “monument of national importance” by the Archaeological Survey of India.
- It is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Gelugpa sect, situated on top of a small but steep sugarloaf hill at an altitude of 4,031 m (13,225 ft) at the head of the Suru Valley, in Ladakh.The 18th century monastery is “perched picturesquely on a top of a hillock like an ancient fort”.The main highlight of the monastery is its central prayer hall with an amazing collection of Tibetan and other artifacts.
- Apart from the monastery, the Rangdum locality, located 130 km from Kargil town, also serves as the base for various trekking routes.
- The ASI is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture.
- It is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.
- It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director-General.
Why in News?
- North Korea/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) state news agency KCNA released a series of photographs showing Kim Jong Un riding a white horse to the sacred mountain called Paektu.
- Situated at the Border between North Korea and China.
- It is also known as Baekdu Mountain in North Korea.
- In China it is known as Changbai Mountain.
- it is an active stratovolcano which last erupted over 1,000 years ago.
- At a height of 2,744 m (9,003 ft), it is the highest peak in the Korean peninsula.
A large crater lake, called Heaven Lake, is in the caldera atop the mountain.
- It is considered sacred by the Koreans since they treat it to be the spiritual origin of the Korean kingdom, where the founder was born.
- The Kim family legitimises their rule over DPRK by referring to the “Mount Baekdu Bloodline” (the mountain is also referred to as Baekdusan). A reference to the mountain is made in the South Korean national anthem as well.