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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Agreement on Bru-Reang refugee crisis

Why in news?

Union Minister for Home Affairs presided over the signing of an agreement between Government of India, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives in New Delhi to end the 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis.

More about :

  • A permanent solution has been arrived to this long standing issue of rehabilitating thousands of Bru-Reang people in Tripura and they can now look towards a bright future.
  • Under the new agreement, around 34,000 Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura and would be given aid from the Centre to help with their rehabilitation and all round development, through a package of around Rs 600 crores.
  • These people would get all the rights that normal residents of the States get and they would now be able to enjoy the benefits of social welfare schemes of Centre and State governments.
  • Under the new arrangement, each of the displaced families would be given 40×30 sq.ft. residential plots, in addition to the aid under earlier agreement of a fixed deposit of Rs. 4 lakhs, Rs. 5,000 cash aid per month for 2 years, free ration for 2 years and Rs. 1.5 lakhs aid to build their house.
  • The government of Tripura would provide the land under this agreement.

Background :

  • In 1997, following ethnic tension, around 5,000 families comprising around 30,000 Bru-Reang tribals were forced to flee Mizoram and seek shelter in Tripura.
  • These people were housed in temporary camps at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura.
  • Since 2010, Government of India has been making sustained efforts to permanently rehabilitate these refugees.
  • The Union government has been assisting the two State governments for taking the care of the refugees.
  • On 3rd July, 2018, an agreement was signed between the Union government, the two State governments and representatives of Bru-Reang refugees, as a result of which the aid given to these families was increased substantially.

There had been a sustained demand of most Bru-Reang families that they may be allowed to settle down in Tripura, considering their apprehensions about their security.

Henley Passport Index

Why in news?

India slips 5 spots on Henley Passport Index.

About the Index:

  • The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens.
  • The index began in 2006.
  • The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  • The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations. The data are updated in real time as and when visa policy changes come into effect.

 Key Findings:

  • Japan has been topping the Index for three straight years.
  • Afghanistan, at rank 107, the weakest.
  • India ranked 84th in the world.
  • Translates into visa-free access to 58 destinations, including 33 which give Indians visas on arrival.
  • Twenty of the 58 visa-free access destinations in the 2020 list are in Africa, and 11 each in Asia and the Caribbean. Serbia is the only European country to which Indian passport holders can travel visa-free.

Note – In the last decade, only eight nations granted visa-free-access to Indian nationals.


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