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PRELIMS BOOSTERS – 2018: Serow and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 






Serow and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 



  1. Goat-like or antelope-like mammals of the genus Capricornis
  2. Live in central or eastern Asia.Red Serow
  3. There are 6 species
  • Japanese serow
  • Taiwan serow, 
  • Sumatran serow
  • Chinese serow
  • Red serow
  • Himalayan serow


  1. India – only 2
  • Himalayan serow most of the the entire Himalayan range
  • Red Serow  South Assam Hills, below the Brahmaputra river


Red serow

  • Near threatened – IUCN red list
  • State animal of Mizoram


  • Inhabiting rugged steep hills and rocky places, as well as hill and mountain forest areas with gentler terrain.
  • Range — Mishmi Hills in Assam, eastwards through the hill ranges of Yunan and Szechuan, the hills of Burma, Siam, Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra


Local names— Saza / Gya / Sumatran serow

  1. exceedingly active animals, not only on rocks but also on flat ground
  2. They are good climbers and are solitary creatures
  3. Their call is a whistling scream



  • Heavily hunted, mostly for local consumption
  • Trade — Horns are exported to Thailand to be attached to the spurs of fighting cocks (this is believed to give them more power).
  • Disease — goat pox epidemic caused by the Capripox Virus that wiped out the Serow last year (2015) Himalayan Serow



  • Appendix I of CITES.
  • Schedule – I animal of wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 

The Himalayan serow

(Capricornis thar) is a goat-antelope native to the eastern Himalayas and eastern and southeastern Bangladesh. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because the population is considered to be declining due to habitat loss and hunting for its meat

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 

  1. Established:1997
    Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands 
  2. Implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997
  3. Working relationship with the United Nations.
  4. Membership:192 States
  • Israel — signed but not ratified the Convention
  • Egypt, North Korea, Palestine and South Sudan — neither signed nor acceded
  1. Goal: preventing chemistry from ever again being used for warfare, thereby strengthening international security via
  • Destroying all existing chemical weapons under international verification by the OPCW
  • Monitoring chemical industry to prevent new weapons from re-emerging;
  • Providing assistance and protection to States Parties against chemical threats; and
  • Fostering international cooperation to strengthen implementation of the Convention and promote the peaceful use of chemistry
  1. 2013 Nobel Peace Prize — for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”.
  2. Organization structure

a) Conference of the States Parties (CSP)

  • Convened yearly
  • All countries participate and have equal voting rights
  • Countries are generally represented in the Conference by a permanent representative to the organization, which in most cases is also the ambassador to the Netherlands
  • It decides on all main topics regarding the organization (for example, taking retaliation measures) and the convention (approving guidelines, imposing retaliating measures against members).

b) Executive Council (EC) 

  • Executive organ of the organization
  • Consists of 41 States Parties — appointed by the Conference on a 2-year term
  • Oversees the budget
  • Cooperates with the General Secretariat on all matters related to the convention

c) Technical Secretariat (TS)

  • Inspection, verification etc.

d) Director-General

  • Appointed by the Conference for a maximum of two four-year terms
  1. OPCW budge – contribution of courtiers based on a UN scale of assessments.
  2. The OPCW–The Hague Award—  established to honor select individuals and institutions by highlighting their exceptional contributions towards the goal of a world permanently free of chemical weapons

10) National Authority Chemicals Weapons Convention (NACWC)

  • Established under the Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2000
  • Implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction