IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

24th January, 2023 Geography

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  • On Parakram Diwas, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi participated in a ceremony to name the 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.

Note: January 23, the birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose, will be celebrated as “Parakram Diwas” every year.

The name of the Islands:

  • These islands have been named after the 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees. Major Somnath Sharma; Subedar and Hony Captain (then Lance Naik) Karam Singh, MM; 2nd Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane; Nayak Jadunath Singh; Company Havildar Major Piru Singh; Capt GS Salaria; Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa; Subedar Joginder Singh; Major Shaitan Singh; CQMH. Abdul Hamid; Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore; Lance Naik Albert Ekka; Major Hoshiar Singh; 2nd Lt. Arun Khetrapal; Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon; Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran; Naib Subedar Bana Singh; Captain Vikram Batra; Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey; Subedar Major (then Rifleman) Sanjay Kumar; and Subedar Major Retd (Hony Captain) Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands or Emarald Islands is a union territory of India consisting of 572 islands, of which 38 are inhabited, at the junction of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
  • The territory is about 150 km north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thailand and Myanmar by the Andaman Sea.
  • It comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands (partly) and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 150 km wide Ten Degree Channel (on the 10°N parallel).
  • The island chains are a submerged extension of the Arakan Mountains.
  • The Andaman Islands are divided into three main islands i.e. North, Middle, and South.
  • Port Blair, the capital of Andaman Nicobar Islands lies in South Andaman.
  • Duncan passageseparates Little Andaman from South Andaman.
  • The Coco Strait is between the North Andaman islands and the Coco Islands of Myanmar.
  • The Barren and Narcondam Islandsnorth of Port Blair – are the only active volcanoes in India.
  • Saddle peak (737 m) in North Andaman is the highest peak.
  • Ritchie’s Archipelago is a cluster of smaller islands that lie 20 km east of Great Andaman and Neil Island and Havelock Island are in Ritchie’s Archipelago.
  • Ross Island in South Andaman has been renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep, and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.
  • The Islands have dense tropical rainforests.
  • The Andaman Islands are home to four 'Negrito' tribes – the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa and Sentinelese.
  • The Nicobar Islands are home to two 'Mongoloid' tribes – the Shompen and Nicobarese.
  • The 'Negrito' tribes are believed to have arrived in the islands from Africa up to 60,000 years ago.
  • The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces.