Sikkim GK Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

It gives us immense pleasure in presenting the Sikkim Current Affairs Yearbook 2020, Useful for competitive exams. This book deals with the relevant features and topics of Current affairs of State in a systematic and comprehensive manner by the use of simple and concise language for easy and quick understanding. We hope that the readers will find this book user friendly and helpful in preparation of their examinations. I look forwarded to have the views, comment, suggestions and criticism from readers which would definitely help in further improvement of the Book. I would like to heartfelt thanks to all my team members for their efforts to prepare this book. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

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Sikkim Current Affairs/General Knowledge Yearbook 2020 has become an integral part of a lot of entrance exams being conducted at the graduate and under-graduate levels. It is very important for students to remain updated on the current happenings in their surroundings especially those that are important from the perspective of state. Current Affairs Yearbook 2020, a thoroughly revised, reorganised, updated and ENLARGED edition, presents a comprehensive study of all the sections that are covered under the subject of General Knowledge. The Yearbook 2020 provides the latest information & most authentic data reference material on Current Affairs and General Knowledge. It has specially been designed to cater to aspirants of various competitive exams across the state. The material has been written in a lucid language and prepared as per the requirements of the various competitive exams.

Current Affairs consists of latest news/ information about Sikkim based on The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, Yojana, People, Events, Ideas and Issues across the Social, Economic & Political climate of the State.

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Latest and Authentic information must for All Competitive Exams – The Mega Current Affairs Yearbook 2020 provides the latest information & most authentic data reference material on current Affairs and General Knowledge. It has specially been designed to cater to aspirants of various competitive exams like Civil services, and Other exams across the Sikkim State.

Student-Friendly Presentation – The material has been given in bulleted points wherever necessary to make the content easy to grasp. The book has ample tabular charts, mind Maps, Graphic Illustrations which further makes the learning process flexible and interesting. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

Must Have for Multiple Reasons: The Current Affairs Mega Yearbook 2020 is a Must-Have book for all kinds of Objective & Descriptive Tests, Essay Writing and Group Discussions & Personal Interviews, The Sikkim General Knowledge section provides crisp and to-the-point information in Geography, History, Polity, Economy, General Science, etc. which otherwise could be very exhaustive.

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Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020: Sikkim Affairs

Sikkim is a state in northeastern India. It borders Tibet in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. Sikkim is also located close to India’s Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Sikkim’s capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 35% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park.

The Kingdom of Sikkim was founded by the Namgyal dynasty in the 17th century. It was ruled by a Buddhist priest-king known as the Chogyal. It became a princely state of British India in 1890. After 1947, Sikkim continued its protectorate status with the Republic of India. It enjoyed the highest literacy rate and per capita income among Himalayan states. In 1973, anti-royalist riots took place in front of the Chogyals palace. In 1975, the monarchy was deposed by the people. A referendum in 1975 led to Sikkim joining India as its 22nd state. Sikkim Affairs Yearbook 2020

Modern Sikkim is a multiethnic and multilingual Indian state. The official languages of the state are English, Nepali, Sikkimese and Lepcha. Additional official languages include Gurung, Limbu, Magar, Mukhia, Newari, Rai, Sherpa and Tamang for the purpose of preservation of culture and tradition in the state. English is taught in schools and used in government documents. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Sikkim’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, and as of 2014 the state had the third-smallest GDP among Indian states, although it is also among the fastest-growing. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

Sikkim accounts for the largest share of cardamom production in India, and is the world’s second largest producer of the spice after Guatemala. Sikkim achieved its ambition to convert its agriculture to fully organic over the interval 2003 to 2016, the first state in India to achieve this distinction. It is also among India’s most environmentally conscious states, having banned plastic water bottles “in any government functions and meetings” and polystyrene products (throughout the state).

According to legend, Khye Bumsa, a 14th-century prince from the Minyak House in Kham in eastern Tibet, received a divine revelation instructing him to travel south to seek his fortunes. A fifth-generation descendant of Khye Bumsa, Phuntsog Namgyal, became the founder of Sikkim’s monarchy in 1642, when he was consecrated as the first Chogyal, or priest-king, of Sikkim by the three venerated lamas at Yuksom. Phuntsog Namgyal was succeeded in 1670 by his son, Tensung Namgyal, who moved the capital from Yuksom to Rabdentse (near modern Pelling). In 1700, Sikkim was invaded by the Bhutanese with the help of the half-sister of the Chogyal, who had been denied the throne. The Bhutanese were driven away by the Tibetans, who restored the throne to the Chogyal ten years later. Between 1717 and 1733, the kingdom faced many raids by the Nepalese in the west and Bhutanese in the east, culminating with the destruction of the capital Rabdentse by the Nepalese. In 1791, China sent troops to support Sikkim and defend Tibet against the Gorkha Kingdom. Sikkim Affairs Yearbook 2020

Sikkim allied with Britain against their common adversary, Nepal. The Nepalese attacked Sikkim, overrunning most of the region including the Terai. This prompted the British East India Company to attack Nepal, resulting in the Gurkha War of 1814. Treaties signed between Sikkim and Nepal resulted in the return of the territory annexed by the Nepalese in 1817. However, ties between Sikkim and the British weakened when the latter began taxation of the Morang region. In 1849, two British physicians, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker and Dr. Archibald Campbell, the latter being in charge of relations between the British and Sikkimese governments, ventured into the mountains of Sikkim unannounced and unauthorised. The doctors were detained by the Sikkimese government, leading to a punitive British expedition against the kingdom, after which the Darjeeling district and Morang were annexed to British India in 1853. The invasion led to the Chogyal of Sikkim becoming a titular ruler under the directive of the British governor. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

Prior to Indian independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, as the Vice President of the Executive Council, pushed through a resolution in the Indian Constituent Assembly to the effect that Sikkim and Bhutan, as Himalayan states, were not ‘Indian states’ and their future should be negotiated separately. A standstill agreement was signed in February 1948. Sikkim Affairs Yearbook 2020

Meanwhile, Indian independence and its move to democracy spurred a fledgling political movement in Sikkim, giving rise to the formation of Sikkim State Congress (SSC). The party sent a plate of demands to the palace, including a demand for accession to India. The palace attempted to defuse the movement by appointing three secretaries from the SSC to the government and sponsoring a counter-movement in the name of Sikkim National Party, which opposed accession to India. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

The demand for responsible government continued and the SSC launched a civil disobedience movement. The Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal asked India for help in quelling the movement, which was offered in the form of a small military police force and an Indian Dewan. In 1950, a treaty was agreed between India and Sikkim which gave Sikkim the status of an Indian protectorate. Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, which controlled its external affairs, defence, diplomacy and communications. In other respects, Sikkim retained administrative autonomy.

A state council was established in 1953 to allow for constitutional government under the Chogyal. Despite pressures from an India “bent on annexation”, Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal was able to preserve autonomy and shape a “model Asian state” where the literacy rate and per capita income were twice as high as neighbouring Nepal, Bhutan and India. Meanwhile, the Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for Nepalis in Sikkim. People marched on the palace against the monarchy. In 1973, anti-royalist riots took place in front of the Chogyals palace. Sikkim Affairs Yearbook 2020

In 1975, the Prime Minister of Sikkim appealed to the Indian Parliament for Sikkim to become a state of India. In April of that year, the Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok and disarmed the Chogyal’s palace guards. Thereafter, a referendum was held in which 97.5 per cent of voters supported abolishing the monarchy, effectively approving union with India. India is said to have stationed 20,000–40,000 troops in a country of only 200,000 during the referendum. On 16 May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished. To enable the incorporation of the new state, the Indian Parliament amended the Indian Constitution. First, the 35th Amendment laid down a set of conditions that made Sikkim an “Associate State”, a special designation not used by any other state. A month later, the 36th Amendment repealed the 35th Amendment, and made Sikkim a full state, adding its name to the First Schedule of the Constitution. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

In 2000, the seventeenth Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje, who had been confirmed by the Dalai Lama and accepted as a tulku by the Chinese government, escaped from Tibet, seeking to return to the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Chinese officials were in a quandary on this issue, as any protests to India would mean an explicit endorsement of India’s governance of Sikkim, which China still recognised as an independent state occupied by India. The Chinese government eventually recognised Sikkim as an Indian state in 2003, on the condition that India officially recognise Tibet as a part of China; New Delhi had originally accepted Tibet as a part of China in 1953 during the government of Jawaharlal Nehru. The 2003 agreement led to a thaw in Sino-Indian relations, and on 6 July 2006, the Sikkimese Himalayan pass of Nathu La was opened to cross-border trade, becoming the first open border between India and China. The pass, which had previously been closed since the 1962 Sino-Indian War, was an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road.

On 18 September 2011, a magnitude 6.9Mw earthquake struck Sikkim, killing at least 116 people in the state and in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Tibet. More than 60 people died in Sikkim alone, and the city of Gangtok suffered significant damage. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

The early history of Sikkim starts in the 13th century with the signing of a blood-brotherhood treaty between the Lepcha Chief Thekong Tek and Tibetan prince Khye-Bumsa at Kabi Lungtsok in North Sikkim. This follows the historical visit of three revered Lamas to Yuksam in 1641 in West Sikkim, where they consecrated Phuntsog Namgyal, a sixth generation descendent of Khye-Humsa as the first Chogyal of Sikkim, thus heralding the beginning of the Namgyal dynasty in Sikkim. With the march of history, events in Sikkim saw the state pass through the process of democratisation and became an integral part of the Indian Union in 1975. Guru Padmasambhava blessed Sikkim route to Tibet. Sikkim is a blessed land, where people from all communities live in harmony. Inspite of the fact that Sikkim comprises of different people and multi ethnic society, perhaps it is the most peaceful state of the Indian Union to promote communal harmony and human relations, a feat which is much expected in a plural society like India.

The world’s third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga, regarded as the guardian deity of Sikkim, dominates the tiny Himalayan State with its awe-inspiring beauty and majesty. Sikkim is one of the 18 Biodiversity hotspots in the world. The Sikkim Himalayas show tremendous biological diversity. More than 5000 species of angiosperms are found in the State, which is nearly one third of the total species of angiosperm found in the country. There are 4,000 species of flowering plants, 362 species of ferns and allies, over 550 species of orchids, at least 36 species of Rhododendrons besides many variations and wild natural hybrids, 11 species of Oaks, 30 species of Primulas, 28 bamboos, over 700 species of Butterflies, probably thrice as many Moths, at least 48 species of freshwater fish around 50 species of Ambhibians, over 80 Reptiles, 600 species of birds, and around 150 species of Mammals in the state. Rare and globally threatened Snow Leopard, Tibetan Argali Sheep, Red Panda, as well as highest altitude domesticated bovid, the Yak, Black-necked Crane and Fairrieanum Orchid some of the most important species found here. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

The State government has encouraged agro-based industry in horticulture as well as agriculture keeping in view of the State’s immense wealth in natural resources. Sikkim is proud to be the largest producer of large cardamom. In view of the changing trends of world eco-system, the Chief Minister has announced a paradigm shift in the agricultural/horticultural policy by endeavoring to become the first organic State of the country. The prime concern are environment security, ecological susceptibility, product brand leading to better farm returns and inheritance of a highly developed mountain agriculture system, handed down through generations. Sikkim Affairs Yearbook 2020

Horticulture is one of the important sub-sectors that has involved into an engine of rural prosperity in the State. The major exportable items from the State comprises of horticulture produced such as ginger, large cardamom, flowers and Sikkim mandarin.

Thrust has been laid on development of traditional strengths such as large cardamom and orange, Diversification into floriculture, off-season vegetables, apiculture, organic farming and mushrooms has added new dimension to horticulture development initiatives.

The production of fruits has increased from 5250 to 20080 tonnes recording a growth of 282 per cent. Special programmes on area expansion and rejuvenation of old orange orchards backed up by scientific technology and cost effective inputs have been launched.

For development of off-season vegetables, introduction of hybrid/improved varieties of vegetables seeds in area specific clusters is the strategy. The production of vegetables has increased from 22,130 to 75,200 tonnes thereby registering 240 per cent growth.

The most remarkable growth is seen in floriculture where a record growth of 200 ha with production of over 230 lakh numbers of cut flowers and planting material has been recorded over a period of one and a half decade. The strategy lined up for development of floriculture includes programme implementation in cluster, use of elite planting materials, capacity building and skill development of growers and intensive follow-up.

Protected cultivation is one area that has recorded exponential growth in the State. Farmers are reaping huge profit by growing vegetables and flowers in greenhouses. So far, 10,360 low cost Polyhouses and 850 tubular structures have been constructed.

To mitigate water stress, 100 nos. of large community water tanks have been constructed. Flexible type of Genap tanks have been set up in many areas using imported Israeli and Holland technology. Dug out sunken ponds and roof water harvesting structures have been constructed in different vegetable fields and fruit orchards. Sikkim Affairs Yearbook 2020

Though Sikkim is a tiny Himalayan State, the Government and its people are very conscious about the environment and therefore have paid priority for setting up eco-friendly industries and the thrust areas are agro-horticulture and floriculture based, Animal husbandry and dairy development, handloom and handicrafts; tourism, precision oriented high value low volume products, Hydel power, tea, health, education etc. After the announcement of North-East Industrial and Investment Policy, 2007, to North-East region, including Sikkim w.e.f 1 April 2007, a number of industrial units have been set up especially in pharmaceutical and other activities like packing etc., besides the existing famous units like Government Fruit Preservation Factory (G.F.P.F.), Temi Tea Estate and Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts. The Sikkim Industrial Development and Investment Corporation and NEDFI are providing long term loans to micro and medium industrial activities and other services oriented units. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

The Department of Irrigation and Flood Control has covered 3701.03 hectares of agricultural land till the mid of Eleventh Five Year Plan. The target of Eleventh Five Year Plan was to irrigate 10,000 hectares of agricultural land. Further, 225 schemes were sanctioned during 2010-11 which have potential target to irrigate 8244.12 hectare of agricultural land.

Power sector is one of the vital sectors for the State. Its development is important because it will have two fold effects on the economy of the State. With the easy availability of electricity, the socio-economic condition of the people of Sikkim would favorably rise on the one hand while on the other hand revenue from the export of power will help the State to strengthen its revenue base. Thus, the sector has to be speedily developed to cater to the demand within and outside the State.

The total Hydro Power Potential of Sikkim is assessed by Central Water Commission, Government of India is around 8,000 MW, out of which around 2,000 MW is in the Micro, Mini and Small Hydro category. Remaining 6,000 MW would fall either in the small or mega size hydro scheme.

With the aim of achieving total installed capacity of 5,500 MW by the end of 12th Plan, the Energy and Power Department has so far allotted 27 hydroelectric power projects with a total installed capacity of 5,334 MW to various Independent Power Producers including NHPC.

The projects have been allotted to Private Power Developers on BOOT arrangement i.e. Build, OWN, Operate and Transfer Basis for a period of 35 years and at the end of 35th year the projects shall be reverted back to the State free of cost in good operating condition by the developers.

Roads: Gangtok is connected by roads with Darjeeling district of West Bengal and also with all the district headquarters within Sikkim. The total road length of the State is 2,933.49km which includes 873.40km road maintained by the Border Roads Organization.

Railways and Aviation: The closest railway stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri connecting Kolkata, Delhi, Bagdogra airport and other important cities. There is no airport in Sikkim, although there is a helicopter service between Gangtok and Bagdogra, heavily subsidised by the State Government. The State has also initiated construction of a number of helipads to connect the district and sub-divisional headquarters and important tourist places. Green field airport is being constructed at Pakyong in East Sikkim. There is a regular helicopter service between Gangtok and Bagdogra. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

Nestling in the Himalayan Mountains, the state of Sikkim is characterised by mountainous terrain. Almost the entire state is hilly, with an elevation ranging from 280 metres in the south at border with West Bengal to 8,586 metres in northern peaks near Nepal and Tibet. The summit of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, is the state’s highest point, situated on the border between Sikkim and Nepal. For the most part, the land is unfit for agriculture because of the rocky, precipitous slopes. However, some hill slopes have been converted into terrace farms.

Numerous snow-fed streams have carved out river valleys in the west and south of the state. These streams combine into the major Teesta River and its tributary, the Rangeet, which flow through the state from north to south. About a third of the state is heavily forested. The Himalayan Mountains surround the northern, eastern and western borders of Sikkim. The Lower Himalayas, lying in the southern reaches of the state, are the most densely populated.

The state has 28 mountain peaks, more than 80 glaciers, 227 high-altitude lakes (including the Tsongmo, Gurudongmar and Khecheopalri Lakes), five major hot springs, and more than 100 rivers and streams. Eight mountain passes connect the state to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal.

Sikkim’s hot springs are renowned for their medicinal and therapeutic values. Among the state’s most notable hot springs are those at Phurchachu, Yumthang, Borang, Ralang, Taram-chu and Yumey Samdong. The springs, which have high sulphur content, are located near river banks; some are known to emit hydrogen. The average temperature of the water in these hot springs is 50 °C (122 °F).

Sikkim is situated in an ecological hotspot of the lower Himalayas, one of only three among the ecoregions of India. The forested regions of the state exhibit a diverse range of fauna and flora. Owing to its altitudinal gradation, the state has a wide variety of plants, from tropical species to temperate, alpine and tundra ones, and is perhaps one of the few regions to exhibit such diversity within such a small area. Nearly 81 per cent of the area of Sikkim comes under the administration of its forest department.

The opening of the Nathu La pass on 6 July 2006, connecting Lhasa, Tibet, to India, was billed as a boon for Sikkim’s economy. Trade through the pass remains hampered by Sikkim’s limited infrastructure and government restrictions in both India and China, though the volume of traded goods has been steadily increasing. Sikkim GK Yearbook 2020

Districts of Sikkim

The visitor to Sikkim will be spoilt for choice with each of the four districts offering a unique travel opportunity.

East District:

The east district is the most populated with Gangtok being the main administrative and business centre. Apart from the modern attractions of the capital town, in the east you will also find the beautiful Tsomgo Lake, the historically important Nathula pass, as well as many monasteries and temples. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and heart of all the business hubs.

West District:

West Sikkim is replete with history and religion. This is where the first Chogyal of Sikkim was consecrated at Yuksum in 1642 and this is where some of the holiest and most important monasteries of Sikkim were established, including Dubdi and Sanga Choling, the first monasteries to be built in Sikkim. West Sikkim is beautiful terrain abounding in lakes and waterfalls and also has great trekking routes. Gyalshing is the head quarter and town of the West District.

South District:

South Sikkim, the smallest district belies its size with its variety of tourist attractions. With stupendous view of the Khangchendzonga range, the south of Sikkim is a fairy tale land of picturesque villages and high hills. Near Namchi, the district headquarters is Samdruptse Hill, the site of the 135 feet tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava. In the south too are Tendong Hill and Maenam Hill, of mythical importance to the Lepchas and Bhutias, as well as the tourist destination of Ravangla which hosts the annual Pang Lhabsol festival with great pageantry. Namchi is the district headquarters of South Sikkim which is 78 kms from Gangtok. Sikkim Affairs Yearbook 2020

North District:

Perhaps the most beautiful of the districts, the North offers an exquisite experience for the lover of Nature and alpine scenery. Yumthang alone is enough to satiate the most demanding, with its panoramic Valley of Flowers. During springtime the lush meadows abound with delicate wildflowers that carpet the Valley floor in a rich riot of colors. A must-see here is the Hot Springs and the vibrant Sikkimese tribal culture and customs. 67 kms from Gangtok is the Mangan District Headquarter of North District. A three day music festival is held at Mangan in December every year.