Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Apr 2018 12:27:14









THE dastardly attack carried out by an Islamic State suicide bomber, killing 57 people in Kabul is a brutal reminder of the grave threat countries in South Asia are facing. That the IS bombers have been able to easily target Shiite minority in Afghanistan points to the failure of security mechanism and also an easy channel provided by the radicalised elements in the Afghan society. The utilisation of disgruntled and radicalised youth by the IS to carry out their nefarious designs poses a big challenge to national security and Indian interests. So far, India has been able to neutralise threats emanating from its own soil by nipping in bud IS plans to entrap its youth. However, increasing presence of IS in Afghanistan and the support it is getting from Taliban adds to the worries. This increases the magnitude of the challenge manifold given the vulnerability of youth in the restive provinces of Jammu & Kashmir. This strata is an easy prey for the IS to be lured into its fold. It is a serious problem but still manageable, if India’s intelligence networks and security personnel work in tandem with alert efficacy.


That the forest cover in various States, since 2015, has increased marginally is definitely a positive sign. It speaks a lot about the unstinted afforestation activities undertaken by the environmentalists and the conservationists, who time and again have sounded the alarm bells that if deforestation continues at the existing rate, it will spell certain doom for all the living things in the ecosystem. The report by Forest Survey of India points out that the green cover has shown a substantial increase in certain States, but there are still a few States which have showed a downward trend. This, if not checked, can be a cause of concern. If the net result, after calculating the losses and the gains of the green canopy, appear in the red, then this can simply nullify the concrete work done by the conservationists. Forests are the lungs of the planet and an increasing green canopy will prove to be hugely beneficial to reducing the carbon footprint as well as favourable to the ecosystem. For best results, a complimentary partnership between man and trees is crucial.