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Why in News?

Maharashtra Chief Minister said the disputed border area between Maharashtra and Karnataka should be made an Union Territory until the matter is heard by the Supreme Court.

This sparked off a strong reaction in Karnataka.


  • Maharashtra has been claiming that Belagavi, Karwar and Nipani should be the part of that State as they are Marathi-speaking areas.
  • The erstwhile Bombay Presidency, a multilingual province, included the present-day Karnataka districts of Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwar and Uttara-Kannada (previously North Kanara).
  • The Belagavi/Belgaum region at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka comprises both Kannada and Marathi speakers.
  • In 1948, the Belgaum municipality requested that the district, having a predominantly Marathi-speaking population, be incorporated into the proposed Maharashtra state.
  • However, the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, which divided states on linguistic and administrative lines, made Belgaum a part of the then Mysore State (which was renamed Karnataka in 1973).
  • The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, formed in 1948, has been fighting for a merger of 800-odd villages in Karnataka with Maharashtra.

In 2014, the Karnataka government renamed Belgaum as Belagavi.

Facts for Prelims

World Customs Organization (WCO):

  • It was on January 26, 1953 that the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) had held its inaugural session in Brussels which was attended by representatives from 17 European countries.
  • International Customs Day was created by CCC in 1983.
  • In 1994, CCC was renamed as World Customs Organization (WCO).
  • WCO is the only international body looking after international customs and matters concerning border control.
  • WCO has head-quarter in Brussels, Belgium.
  • WCO currently has custom organizations from 182 countries as its members.
  • More than 98% of world trade is administered by WCO.


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