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PRELIMS BOOSTERS – 2018: The Gayal (Mithun) and Arctic Council 






The Gayal (Mithun) and Arctic Council 


The Gayal (Mithun)

Gayal, mithun, mythun

  1. Vulnerable — IUCN.
  2. Semi domestic bovine
  3. considered to be descendent from wild Indian gaur
  4. State animal of Arunachal Pradesh & Nagaland
  5. Habitat
  • Forested hills and nearby grassy clearings at elevations of up to 5,900 feet.
  • Distributed in north-eastern hill region of India and also of China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh
  1. Gayal is a social animal, they found in small groups and usually contain one adult male and several females and juveniles
  2. Economic importance
  • Mainly reared for meat, which is considered to be more tender and superior over the meat of any other species
  • Mithun milk, though produced less in quantity, is of high quality and can be used for preparation of various milk products
  • Leather obtained from this species has been found to be superior to cattle.
  1. Socio-cultural significance
  • Ownership of Mithun is considered to be the sign of prosperity and superiority of an individual in the society
  • Also used as marriage gift and sacrificial animal for different social and cultural ceremonies.
  1. National Research Centre on Mithun — for developing the scientific and sustainable mithun rearing system and for catering the needs of mithun farmers with the following mandates:
  • Identification, evaluation and characterization of mithun germplasm available in the country.
  • Conservation and improvement of mithun for meat and milk.
  • Act as a repository of germplasm and information centre on mithun.


Arctic Council 


  1. 1996 – Ottawa declarationarctic council
  2. Intergovernmental forum which addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and people living in the Arctic region
  3. Not a treaty-based international organization but rather an international forum that operates on the basis of consensus.
  4. The decisions, recommendations or guidelines of the Arctic Council are non-enforceable and strictly the prerogative of the individual state.
  5. Its mandate explicitly excludes military security
  6. Origin
  • September 1989 – Initiative of Finland — 8 Arctic countries met in Rovaniemi, Finland to discuss cooperative measures to protect the Arctic environment.
  • As a result numerous technical and scientific reports being prepared
  • 1991 — Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) signed by 8 arctic members — declaration on the protection of Arctic environment


  1. Focus areas
  • The Environment and climate change.
  • Bio-diversity.
  • Oceans
  • The indigenous Arctic peoples.


  1. Organization structure

a) Chairmanship

  • rotated every two years once

b) Secretariat

  • Rotated biennially with the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council
  • It supports the Chair of the Arctic Council
  • It manages logistics related to the biennial member states’ meetings and the more frequent SAO meetings

c) SAO ( Senior Arctic Official)

  • a government representative, usually from a member states’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • guides and monitors Arctic Council activities in accordance with the decisions and instructions of the Arctic Council Foreign Ministers.


  1. Members

a) 8 countries with territory above the Arctic Circle (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation, and the United States)

b) 6 Permanent Participants (PP) groups

Permanent Participants

a) Organizations that represent indigenous peoples in the Arctic Council; either by representing a) a single Indigenous People resident in more than one Arctic State; or, b) more than one Arctic Indigenous People resident in a single Arctic State.

b) They are fully consulted in all deliberations and activities of the Arctic Council.

c) The Indigenous Peoples Secretariat (IPS) in Copenhagen, Denmark, serves the six Permanent Participant organizations:

  • Aleut International Association (AIA)
  • Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC)
  • Gwich’in Council International (GCI)
  • Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)
  • Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East (RAIPON)
  • Saami Council (SC)


  1. Observer status in the Arctic Council

a) is open to:

  • Non-arctic states
  • inter-governmental and inter-parliamentary organizations, global and regional
  • non-governmental organizations

b) observer country is invited to the meetings of the council

c) India granted the observer status in 2013 at Kiruna Ministerial Meeting


  1. Arctic Council working groups — engage in scientific-oriented studies on issues concerning the Arctic environment and its inhabitants.
  • Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP)— strengthening and supporting mechanism to encourage national actions to reduce emissions and other releases of pollutants.
  • Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) — monitors the Arctic environment, ecosystems and human populations, and provides scientific advice to support governments as they tackle pollution and adverse effects of climate change.
  • Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) — addresses the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, working to ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources.
  • Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR)— protect the Arctic environment from the threat or impact of an accidental release of pollutants or radionuclides.
  • Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) –protection and sustainable use of the Arctic marine environment.
  • Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) — works to advance sustainable development in the Arctic and to improve the conditions of Arctic communities as a whole