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ART

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CULTURE
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INDIAN DANCE FORMS

Sangrai Dance Theatre Olympics in India


In News In News:
 Traditional Sangrai dance of Tripura was  Starting in Greece in 1995, Theatre Olympics fest
presented in Republic Day parade for the first has since been held across the world every few
time. years since 1995.
Related Information  The 2018 edition will be hosted by India (the first
 Maharashtra won the best tableau award on time in the country) and Preparations for the same
Republic Day Parade which was based on are on in full swing.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation who Theatre Olympics
introduced Ashtapradhan mandal (Council of  Greek theatre director ‘Theodoros Terzopoulos’
Eight Ministers) consisting of conceptualized Theatre Olympics and it was held
 Peshwa (chief minister), for the first time in Delphi, Greece.
 Amatya or majumdar (finance),  The idea was to gather the best theatre
 Sachiv or shuru nawis(correspondence), practitioners from around the world and create a
 Sumant or dabir(foreign minister) forum for exchange — of ideas, cultures, forms
 Senapati or san-i-naubat (recruitment, training and practices.
and discipline of the army)  It was also to be another kind of exchange,
 Mantri or waqia nawis: (personal safety of the between eras, trying to find a continuum between
king) the past, present and future of theatre.
 Nyayadhish (administration of justice)  The current edition in India is being organized by
 Dhanadhyaksha or the pundit rao (looking after the National School for Drama (NSD), which is an
charitable work) autonomous body under the ministry of culture.
 Himachal Pradesh’s tableau depicted a model of  This event will see numerous Indian and foreign
Kye Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery drama troops performing across multiple cities
established in the 11th century located in the Spiti over the course of the fest.
Valley.
History of Indian theatre
 Chhattisgarh’s displayed artists performing dance
based on Kalidasa’s Meghadootam (a lyric poem  India has had a rich theatre history as early as
which tells the story of a yaksha who has been 200 BCE and saw the likes of Kalidasa and
exiled from his kingdom). Bhavabhuti, Sudraka and Bhasa producing
masterpieces.
Details
 It is performed by the Mog tribal community on  Simultaneously, there is an equally fertile
the occasion of Sangrai festival during the month landscape produced tribal, subaltern and folk
of Chaitra (in April) of the Bengali calendar year. theatre that morphed and thrived down the ages.
The day is celebrated to welcome the New Year.  The anti-colonial theatre of the mid-19th century
 The Mog are the Arakanese descendants who live brought in the draconian Dramatic Performances
in the Indian state of Tripura. (Prevention) Act of 1876.
 Mogs are Buddhists and have close affinity with  Later, the pre-Independence Left movement
Burmese Buddhism in all socio-cultural and generated vital critical energy through the Indian
religious aspects. They are dependent on Jhum Peoples Theatre Association.
Cultivation.  But our long theatrical tradition hasn’t been
 Their language is grouped under Tibeto-Chinese sufficiently exhibited to our own people and the
family which is also linked with Assam-Burmese “Indian theatre needs a push, to become vibrant
section of language. again.
 Thus, the Olympics being envisaged is not just
Nongkrem Dance Festival about bringing international theatre to India but
 Recently, this dance festival was celebrated at Smit also about brining Indian theatre to Indians.
village in Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Initiatives Taken
 This dance festival celebrated for the harvest  The itinerary for the program looks huge with 465
thanks giving and for peace and property for all productions from 35 countries in 51 days across
the community people. 17 cities.
 It is the one of the most important festival of  Each production will get up to Rs.1.5 lakh per
Kharitribe – Hima Khyrim during which men, show besides travel, accommodation and other
women and the children dance to the tunes of costs.
drums and pipes  There is also technical support such as sets,
 The celebration begins with the sacrifice of a goat. lighting, sound and subtitles along with
In fact, the word Nongkrem means “goat killing photography, videography and publications.
ceremony, special dance is performed by the men  Apart from the main plays, there will be ambient
called” kashad Mastieh’ in which they hold sword performances — tribal, folk, street, puppetry,
in their right hand and a whisks in left hand. magic shows — before each show.
 In total, the fest is expected to present roughly
35,000 artistes across India.

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Concerns Hoped out of the Festival
 There is considerable concern on how the festival  Theatre Olympic is a massive effort, but mere
will respond to political dissent, Dalit concerns or massiveness alone can do little to help theatre,
other controversial topics. although it need not be dismissed completely.
 Notably, there is no censorship and a mere  This event can potentially become the very first
guideline against “nudity and anti-nationalism” theatre census conducted in the country, and can
has been provided. serve as an invaluable research project.
 Plays were selected through a two-tier process and  There will be Catalogues, brochures, papers,
most plays were submitted on DVD, many of videos, a documentary, and live streaming of the
which were of poor quality (due to small regional recordings of thousands of hours of performances.
groups).  The extensive documentation planned around the
 The sheer numbers and content diversity often Olympics, thus, stands to become its single most
hindered the review process, and also language significant legacy.
and cultural barriers got aggravated by distance.  This will also help in increasing networking of
 The review format also tends to neglect thoughtful, various drama teams and provide the much
text-based plays and also results in loss of context needed oxygen for the currently struggling art
and local traditions, which are lost in translation. form.
 Notably, Germany has a hefty theatre culture, and  This event will also boost awareness and therefore
each play usually comes with a booklet that gives theatre infrastructure.
an overview of the contextual setting and its
customs.

TRIBALS

Battle of Koregaon of woods, and later of burnt bricks.


In News: Recently, on the 200th anniversary of
the Battle of Koregaon clashes broke out in Vakataka Dynasty
Maharastra. In News
 Mahars are a caste cluster living maily in  A team of archaeologists have confirmed that the
Maharashtra and adjoining states. Vakataka dynasty ruled from its capital
 The Mahars, though untouchables, had been Nandivardhan, or the present day Nagardhan
valued for their military skills for centuries and  It is a large village discovered near Ramtek taluka
formed a significant portion of Shivaji’s army. in Nagpur district.
 However under the Peshwas they were ill-treated About Vakataka Dynasty:
and lost their military glory.  The Vakataka Empire originated from the Deccan
 The Mahar were unified by B R Ambedkar, who in the mid-3rd century CE.
urged them to militant political consciousness and  They were the most important successors of the
to great educational improvement Satavahanas in the Deccan and
Battle of Koregaon contemporaneous with the Guptas in northern
India.
 It was the last of the Anglo-Maratha battle that
 The Vakataka dynasty was a Brahmin dynasty.
took place on 1 January 1818 in Bhima, Koregaon
Little is known about Vindhyashakti, the founder
between the troops of Maratha Ruler Baji Rao
of the family.
Peshwa II and the British East India Company
(EIC).  Territorial expansion began in the reign of his son
Pravarasena I.
 In the battle the EIC represented by majority of
Mahar soldiers successfully resisted Peshwa  The Vakatakas are noted for having been patrons
troops in which Peshwa lost 600 of his soldiers of the arts, architecture and literature.
after which he withdrew and gave up plans to  The rock-cut Buddhist viharas and chaityas of
attack Pune. Ajanta Caves (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) were
built under the patronage of Vakataka emperor,
 British constructed a tower to commemorate
victory with an inscription stating, “Accomplished Harishena.
one of the proudest triumphs of the British Army
in the East.”
 The Mahars celebrate this day as the day when
they regained their former status of military glory.

Moidams - the Mound - Burial System


of the Ahom Dynasty, Assam
 Moidams are vaulted chamber (chow-chali), often
double storied entered through an arched passage,
used for burying the royals in Choraideo landscape
of the foothill of Patkai hills.
 The Changrung Phukan (canonical text developed
by the Ahoms) discusses that Moidams were made
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by al-hussain , grandson of the Prophet was
defeated and massacred by an army sent by the
Umayyad caliph Yazid I.
 The battle among Shiaite Muslims (followers of al-
hussain) the 10th of Muharram became an annual
holy day of public mourning.
About Badshahi Ashoorkhana
 Badshahi Ashoorkhana is a Shia Muslim
mourning place, near Charminar in Hyderabad,
India. It was constructed in memory of martyrdom
of Imam Hussain in the battle of karbala, and is
used during the festival of Moharram.
 It was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in
1611, three years after building the Charminar.
 Ashoorkhana is famous for its resplendent tile work
that have retained their lustre and vibrant colours
even after four centuries.

Battle Of Haifa
In News: The Embassy of India held a ceremony
in Haifa to mark the Centenary of the Battle of
Haifa when on 23 Sep 1918, Indian soldiers from
the Jodhpur, Mysore and Hyderabad Lancers
liberated the city of Haifa.
Significance of this Discovery Haifa
 Till now, researchers have only managed to get  It is third largest city in Israel.
written inscriptions and copper plates, all featuring
the Vataka king Prithvisena. It is the first traces  It is home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCO
sealing the fact that the king shifted his capital from World Heritage Site and a destination for Bahá'í
Padmapura to Nandivardhan in Vidarbha. pilgrims (one of the religious group in Israel).
 They have unearthed some vital signs and remains  The Indian cavalry brigades fighting under the
in the form of typical artefacts including ceramics, leadership of British General Edmund Allenby
ear studs made of glass were excavated belonging helped liberate Haifa from the clutches of the
to the period during the Vakataka rule. Turkish-German forces inn 1918
 Terracotta objects depicting images of gods, Indian Participation in World War I
animals, humans along with amulets, scotches,  In World War I the Indian Army (alongside Britain)
wheels, skin rubbers, spindle whorls were fought against the German Empire on the Western
discovered. Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and
 Some of the ceramics, according to the Gallipoli.
researchers, dates back to 3-4th century BCE.  It included 3.7 million tonnes of supplies, over
 A near-intact clay sealing of the Vakataka empress 10,000 nurses, 1,70,000 animals, £146m of Indian
Prabhavatigupta, the chief queen of the Vakataka revenue, and political support including that of
king Rudrasena II has also been unearthed. Gandhi, who helped recruit Indian volunteers in
the face of nationalist opposition.
Badshahi Ashoorkhana  The Indian Army was the largest volunteer force
In News: Telangana government and Aga Khan in the world, which provided 1.5 million troops to
Trust are working to restore the Badshahi serve overseas from regions such as the Punjab,
Ashoorkhana monument. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and
About Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah Bihar.
 He was the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty  Of these men, around 50,000 died, 65,000 were
of Golkonda who ascended to the throne in 1580. wounded, and 10,000 were reported missing, while
 He founded the city of Hyderabad and built its 98 Indian army nurses were killed.
architectural centerpiece, the Charminar. He also  Volunteering offered a chance to break through
built Charkaman archways. the caste system, because becoming a soldier
 He is a contemporary of Tulsidas, Mirabai and paid well and it meant becoming part of the
Surdas. His poetry is bound to earth and revels in ‘warrior’ caste, which gave high status in society.
the universality of love and mystic experiences.  Indian forces had their greatest impact in West
 During his reign, Jean Baptiste Tavernier visited Asia, with 60 per cent of all Indian troops serving
and wrote about walking into the Qutb Shahi in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq), and another 10
tombs complex where carpets were laid out and per cent in Egypt and Palestine.
whoever walked in was served pulao.  India Gate in New Delhi commemorates the
Battle of Karbala 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting
 It took place in 680 A.D. Ashoora or 10th day of for the British Army during the World War I. The
Muharram. brief military engagement in a place memorial bears the names of more than 13,516
called Karbala in Iraq, in which a small party led British and Indian soldiers killed in the
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Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. Problems faced by A&N tribes
 India’s contribution to the British became one of Intrusion
the reasons for passing the Montague-Chelmsford  Missionaries had greater success on the Nicobar
Reforms which introduced dyarchy to the Islands to the south, which lie on the ancient
provinces (meaning Indian representatives would marine trade route between Europe and the Far
be elected and would represent the province to the East.
British Crown.)  But missionaries have been historically unwelcome
 Following this period, Gandhi launched his first in the Andamans, and the tribes of the Islands
India-wide campaign of civil disobedience against have resisted every occupation force with bows
British authority in February 1919. It was not and arrows.
driven by anti-Western or anti-British sentiment  Even recently an American missionary was killed
per se, but by the pursuit of self-determination. by Sentinelese tribes in north sentinel Island when
he violated the law and tried to contact the tribes.
Understanding the Tribes of Andaman Diseases
In News: An American National was allegedly  Due to their isolation it is unlikely the Sentinelese
killed recently by Sentinelese tribes of A&N have immunity against even common diseases.
Islands, when he trespassed into their restricted  A large chunk of the population of the 10 Great
island. Andamanese tribes was wiped out after the
Demographics of A&N islands indigenous peoples caught syphilis, measles, and
 The Andaman Island has dived into four different influenza on an epidemic scale following contact
regions namely North, Middle, South and Little with the early settlers.
Andaman. Natural Disasters
 The four major tribes of Andaman are as follows  The habitats of the A&N tribes are prone to natural
1. Great Andamanese -Strait Island is the part of disasters like tsunami and earth quakes.
North and Middle Andaman district which is the  Global warming has a high toll on these poor
home to Great Andamanese tribe, Fewer than 50 tribes, who are less resilient to recent climatic
Great Andamanese are alive today. changes.
2. Jarawa - South Andaman and Middle Andaman Developmental Projects
Islands is inhabited by the Jarawa tribes, there are  When NH 223 was being built in the 1980s, the
only 300-400 people of this community alive today. Jarawa repeatedly attacked workers, the state
3. Sentinelese -North Sentinel Island is part of North power-fenced the construction site and several
Andaman region which is home to the Sentinelese tribal were electrocuted.
tribe, only 50-100 tribes are alive today.  In recent times local touts and policemen
4. Onge - The Little Andaman Island is home to Onge conducting human safaris on NH 223 that cuts
tribes, these tribes are fewer than 100. through the Jarawa reserve.
 Apart from there are nine Nicobar Islands that are  The highway continues to bring the world and
home to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups sexual exploitation, substance abuse and disease
(PVTGs). into their shrinking sanctuary.
Characteristic features of A&N tribes Government measures
Race
 The Sentinelese and other aboriginal tribes of the
 The Andaman tribes including the Sentinelese are archipelago are protected under The Andaman and
Negrito, where the Nicobar tribes are Mongoloid. Nicobar (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes)
 The A&N tribes are short stature possibly due to Regulation, 1956.
the “island effect” that causes genetic limitation  According to the regulations,
over time. 1. Traditional areas occupied by the tribes are
Habitat declared as Reserves.
 The Sentinelese is a pre-Neolithic people who have 2. It prohibited entry of all persons to reserves except
inhabited North Sentinel Island for an estimated those with authorization.
55,000 years without contact with the outside 3. Photographing or filming the tribe members is also
world. an offence.
 The reclusive Sentinelese still holds their tiny fort  Under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order,
and all remain animistic in faith. 1963, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a
 What makes these tribes special is that they are “Restricted Area” in which foreigners with a
protected by coral reefs that make landing on their restricted area permit (RAP) can stay on 13
island dangerous, and by the tribe’s unwavering islands, and make day visits to another 11.
hostility towards outsiders.  The government gave up in the mid-1990s, and in
Occupation order to safeguard their health and sovereignty,
 Seafaring, Hunting, Forest dwelling are the decided that no one could enter a 5-km buffer zone
predominant occupation of these tribes. around their island, which was already out of
 In recent times most tribes have abandoned bounds.
hunting-gathering and depend entirely on  Between 1998 and 2004, when the Jarawa started
government help. to respond to the state, all government hospitals
bordering their reserve opened special wards to
treat them for infections.

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 In 2014, the A&N administration announced a  Even though “separate approvals continue to be
change of policy from “hands off” to “hands off but required for visiting Reserve Forests, Wildlife
eyes on” to protect the Sentinelese. Sanctuaries and Tribal Reserves.
Government’s Measure  But this move compromised the safety of the tribes
 In recent years, the Andaman Chamber of and ecology of the islands.
Commerce and Industry and the Andaman  Following this the UT Administration clarified that
Association of Tour Operators have pressed to Indian nationals would continue to require a pass
have the RAP restrictions relaxed. issued by the Deputy Commissioner for entering a
 In 2018, the Home Ministry dropped the RAP tribal reserve.
requirement for visiting 29 inhabited islands until  Apart from this foreigners would need prior
2022. approval from the Principal Secretary (Tribal
Welfare), from various instances it is found that
these rules are being compromised.

FESTIVALS OF INDIA
Medaram’s Jatara Bhadrabahu migrated from Ujjain to
In News Shravanbelgola in response to a serious famine
 Central government is likely to declare Medaram’s during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya.
Sammakka-Sarakka/Saralamma Jatara a national  The group of monks that migrated came to be
festival this year. known as Digambaras (sky clad or naked) and the
group of monks who stayed in the north under
 Medaram is a remote place in the Eturnagaram
Sthulabhadra came to be known as Shvetambara
Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of Dandakaranya, the
(White-robed)
largest surviving forest belt in the Deccan.
 Later Chandragupta Maurya handed over his
About the Festival kingdom to his son Bindusara and chose to spend
 It is held bi-annually in Medaram village, Telegana his last days at Sravanbelagola.
to honour the twin goddesses - Sammakka and
her daughter Sarakka.
 It is held by forest dwelling Koya Tribe of the Kuthiyottam
region and is the biggest tribal festival in Asia In News:
attracting non- adivasis as well.  Kerala State Commission for the Protection of
Significance of National Tag Child Rights registered a suo motu case in
connection with the Kuthiyottam ritual.
 Apart from getting recognition, national tag would
also make Medaram eligible for central funds. Background
 Once declared a national festival, Jatara can be  The Kuthiyottam ritual has been under scanner for
considered for ‘intangible cultural heritage of violating child’s rights and not taking child’s
humanity’ tag of UNESCO. consent into account.
 Union government had in 2015 declared Vanaj, a  Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child
tribal dance and music festival, as national Rights (KSCPCR) banned the ritual at
festival. Chettikulangara temple in Alappuzha district in
2016 citing violation of child rights.
Mahamastakabhisheka
Pongala is a harvest festival of Tamil Nadu and
In News: The President recently inaugurated the
Kerela. One of the most famous of them is
Mahamastakabhisheka, which is the largest
Attukal Pongala. It is also considered as the
gathering of Jains in the world, in Shravanbelgola,
largest religious congregation of women in the
Karnataka.
world.
Mahamastakabhisheka Pongala meaning 'to boil over’, is a ritual in
 It is the head anointing ceremony of the which women prepare a pudding made from rice,
Bahubali which is observed once every 12 years jaggery, coconut and plantains cooked together,
in the Digambar Jain tradition. and offer it to the goddess. The ritual can only be
 The Gomateshwar statute is dedicated to performed by women.
Bahubali, the son of Rishabhanath, the first in the
line of the 24 Jain tirthankaras.
 The statue has been depicted in kayotsarga
About Kuthiyottam Ritual
posture. Kayotsarga means to give up one's  The Kuthiyottam ritual is usually performed every
physical comfort and body movements, thus year during the Pongala festival at the Attukal
staying steady, either in a standing or other Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram,
Kerala.
posture, and concentrating upon the true nature
of the soul.  Nearly 1,000 young boys undertake a seven-day
 The statue is said to be built by Chavundaraya penance before Pongala day. These boys are said to
who was the commander-in-chief as well as the represent the wounded soldiers of the goddess.
Prime Minister of the Ganga King Rachamalla  The boys have to observe strict discipline and stay
during the later period of 10th century A.D. inside the temple for seven days. They are made to
About Shravanbelgola wear thin towels (thorthu).
 A group of Jain monks under the leadership of  They have to sleep on the floor, have measly meals

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and bathe three times a day. They also have to while also promote the hill district as a potential
prostrate 1,008 times before the deity tourist destination.
 The ritual also involves piercing the child’s side  It is indeed a pride for the govt to organise Shirui
with a small hook and knotting a thread through it Lily Festival.
to symbolise their bond with the Goddess.  The campaign is organised by the Giving Tree and
 This ritual is performed at various temples all this wild.
across Kerela. It is also called choral muriyal in
several parts of the state. Bisket Jatra being celebrated in Nepal
 The famous bisket Jatra is being celebrated in
Madhavpur Mela Bhaktapur and other parts of Kathmandu Valley.
In News  It is the beginning of the Nepali New Year.
Recently, the famous Madhavpur Mela saw its  It is a nine-day long festival starting four days
first-ever cultural integration with the North-East. before and continuing for 4 days after.
About the Mela  The festival holds both cultural and historical
 The Madhavpur Mela is an annual event at significance.
Madhavpur Ghed of Porbandar district in Gujarat.  The main attraction of Bisket Jatra is Chariot
 Madhavpur in Gujarat has its historical identity as procession of Lord Bhairavanath.
a place where Lord Krisha married Rukmini.
 Madhavpur Mela shares its connect to the Mishmi Ambubachi Mela
Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The Mishmi Tribe In News: Ambubachi Mela, a four day annual fair
traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak was held recently at Kamakhya Temple in
and through him to his daughter Rukmini. Guwahati, Assam.
 During the event, a jatha (group of people) of 150 About the Fair
people from North-East will visit the Mela as  It is celebrated to mark the annual menstruation of
representatives of Rukmini’s family. Goddess at Kamakhya temple.
 The fair takes place in June every year and this
Nabakalebar Festival year it was held from 22 June to 26 June.
In News Significance of the Fair
 Recently, the President released Rs 1,000 and Rs  It is considered as an auspicious period when
10 commemorative coins on the occasion of women pray for fertility and celebrate child bearing
Nabakalebar festival. capabilities of women.
About the Festival  It also marks as an occasion to promote awareness
 This festival is symbolic recreation of wooden forms about menstrual hygiene.
of the four deities at Jagannath Temple, Puri.  Tuloni Biya Ritual: meaning ‘small wedding’, it is
Naba means new and the Kalebar is body. the celebration of attainment of womanhood of
 In Jagannath cult, there is a periodical renewal of Girls in Assam.
the wooden forms of Jagannath, Balabhadra, About Kamakhya Temple
Subhadra and Sudarshana.  Situated on the Nilanchal Hills in Guwahati,
 The soul or the Brahma is transferred from the old Assam, it is one of the 52 Shakti peeths or Seat of
idols to their new bodies in a highly technical Shakti followers
prescribed and secret method.  It is believed to be the site where Hindu deity Sati’s
 The Nabakalebar festival is observed in a gap of 12 womb and genitals fell after she burned to death
to 19 years.
 During this festival the annual Rathyatra becomes
 Kamakhya Devi, the reigning deity, is also
worshipped as the Goddess of fertility
the Nabakalebar Ratha Yatra.
 It is also considered as one of the prime seats of
Silver Jubilee of Losar Festival Tantric rituals.
 Buddhist community of Itanagar celebrated the
silver jubilee of the Losar festival. Behdiengkhlam Festival
 For the Buddhist community, the festival is termed In News: Behdiengkhlam festival was recently
as the New Year according to their Buddhist celebrated at Jowai, Jaintia Hills District in
calendar. Meghalaya.
 This festival was full of cultural presentations Details
across the state, it include the colourful  Behdiengkhlam is a traditional festival clebrated
Bhutanese and the Gorkha Cultural programs. after sowing is done seeking a good harvest and to
 The three-day festival, organized by the (IBCS) drive away plague and diseases. ("beh dien" means
itanagar Buddhist cultural society was celebrated to drive away with sticks and “khlam" means
with a lot of enthusiasm and traditional zeal. plague or pestilence.)
 The festival is observed by 'Pnars' who believe in
Manipur’s Shirui Lily Festival Began the traditional faith of "Niamtre".
 Manipur’s five day Shirui Lily Festival, celebrated  During the festival young men symbolically drive
in the Ukhrul district head quarters. away evil spirits by beating the roof of every house
 The festival organised by the state tourism with bamboo poles.
department, aims to spread awareness.  Women do not participate in the dancing, and
 It conserve the endangered state flower Shirui Lily, have an important function of offering sacrificial
food to the spirits of the forefathers.
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 The main feature of the festival is the making of  Tourism & Governance: It will have interactive
the "Dein Khlam", "Symlend" and "Khnong", sessions and workshops with stakeholders on
which are rounded, polished and tall trunks of varied themes like Skill Development in Tourism
trees. Sector, Innovation in Tourism, and Developing
 The people also display their artistic skills by Rural Tourism in locations near established
erecting ‘rots’ (tall bamboo structures decorated destinations.
with colour paper and tinsel).  India Tourism Mart 2018(IMT-2018): The
 As part of the celebration, a game similar to Tourism Ministry in partnership with the
football called dat la wakor is also held with each Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and
team trying to score a goal with a wooden ball. The Hospitality (FAITH) will organize the first ever ITM
one to score first is the winner and it is also 2018 during Paryatan Parv.
believed that the winner would have a bumper
 FAITH is the apex organization of all the
harvest.
important trade and hospitality associations of the
The Jaintia Tribe country.
 They are also known as Syntengs and Pnars.  The objective of the event is to create an annual
 They reside in the east part of Meghalaya and they Global Tourism Mart for India in line with major
are of an Austrio-Asiatic origin. international travel marts being held in countries
 They are a matrilineal society as the children across the world.
take the identity or family title solely from the  The Mart will provide a platform for all
mother. stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality
 Amongst the Jaintias, it is the youngest daughter industries to interact and transact business
who inherits property and has the obligation to opportunities.
take care and look after the family.
 The tribe is famous for artistic weaving, wood- Bathukamma Festival
carving and cane and bamboo work. In News
 Jaintia men wear Jymphong and dhoti while the  For the first time ever the New South Wales
women wrap several pieces of clothes so as to give Parliament in Sydney, Australia celebrated the
a cylindrical shape. During functions they wear ethnic festival of Bathukamma.
crowns of silver and gold with peak attached at the  Pochampally Handloom Weavers also got a chance
back of it. to promote their sarees in this celebration.
 Apart from Behdiengkhlam festival, the Laho About Bathukamma
Dance festivals also an important festivals of the  Bathukamma that means ‘Mother Goddess come
Jaintias. Alive’ is a colourful floral festival of Telangana
celebrated towards the end of monsoon.
Festival of Naukhai being celebrated in  Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack of different
Odisha unique seasonal flowers most of them with
 It is celebrated in Odisha on 14 Sep, 2018. medicinal value, arranged in seven concentric
 During this harvest festival of western Odisha, layers in the shape of temple gopuram.
season’s first crop (nabanna) is offered to presiding  The final day of Bathukamma, known as Pedha or
deities. Saddula Bathukamma falls two days before
Dussehra.
Paryatan Parv 2018 About Pochampalli Sarees
In News: The Union Ministry of Tourism recently  The art originated in 18th Century in Pochampally
organized the second edition of “Paryatan Parv”- a town of Telangana and is locally called as Chit-ku.
nation-wide celebration of Tourism. The town is popularly known as the silk city of
About Paryatan Parv India.
 These sarees are culturally popular for the Ikat
 Paryatan Parv is being organized with the styling and designs (geometrical) imprinted on this
objective of drawing focus on the benefits of
fabric.
tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the
 The Poochampalli Ikat Sarees also have GI tag in
country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism
their name.
for All”.
 Components of Paryatan Parv
Amarnath Yatra
 Dekho Apna Desh: It will encourage Indians to In News: Terrorist recently attacked pilgrims on
visit their own country. It will include video, Amarnath Yatra.
photograph and blog competitions visited during
Significance of Amaranth yatra
event, stories of India through Travelers’ Eyes to
promote tourism.  The Amaranth cave deep is in the Himalayas in
south Kashmir.
 Tourism for All: It will promote tourism events at
sites across all States in country.  The cave is 3,888 m above sea level, can be
reached only on foot or by pony.
 These will mainly be People’s events with large
scale public participation.  Each year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims
make the trek up to the shrine.
 The activities at these sites will include Cultural
Programmes of Dance, Music, Theatre, Tourism Formation of deity shrine
Exhibitions showcasing culture, cuisine and  The ice lingam is formed by a trickle of water from
handicrafts and handlooms etc. a cleft in the cave’s roof.
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 The Shiva lingam gets its full shape in May, after  As part of the ritual, the tribes perform aarathi by
which it begins to melt by August. lighting camphor and ghee in a vessel and circling
 The water freezes as it drips, forming, over time, a around the idol at the temple in the
tall, smooth ice stalagmite. Ponnambalamedu forest 3 times.
 A stalactite is an icicle-shaped formation that  This Aarathi performed by the tribes is referred to
hangs from the ceiling of a cave, and is produced as Makaravilakku
by precipitation of minerals from water dripping
through the cave ceiling. India International Cherry Blossom
 Most stalactites have pointed tips. Festival in Shillong
 A stalagmite is an upward-growing that have  India International Cherry Blossom festival is
precipitated from water dripping onto the floor of a scheduled to be held from November 14 to 17 in
cave. Shillong, Meghalaya.
 This festival is the world’s only autumn cherry
 Most stalagmites have rounded or flattened tips.
blossom festival.
 The festival is organized by Government of
Meghalaya’s Forest & Environment Department as
well as by the Institute of Bio resources &
Sustainable Development (IBSD) in collaboration
with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
 The aim of the festival is to celebrate the unique
autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms.
 The Cherry Blossom tree flowers only for a short
period in a year.
Other Pilgrimages in J & K  The festival will showcase full pink and white
Vaishno Devi cherry blossoms found all along the roadside of the
famous Ward Lake.
 Vaishno Devi Mandir is a very popular Hindu
 Alongside, the festival will also showcase the
temple dedicated to the Hindu Goddess
region’s food, wine and crafts in addition with
 It is located in the Trikuta Mountains of Jammu several cultural events.
and Kashmir.
Strategic Importance
 It is at an altitude of 5200 ft. above the sea level.  Japan’s Participation The main highlight of the
 The Temple is 13.5 km from Katra. festival will be the exposition of Japanese cultural
 Various modes of transportation are available from events and cuisine.
katra including Ponies, Electric vehicles.  Embassy of Japan is a strategic partner for the
 A person who visits Amarnath also visits this festival. There will be several cultural events
shrine. showcasing Japanese cultural and cuisine.
Shankracharya Temple  The festival in a way will act as a channel to
 Situated on the Zabarwan Mountain in Srinagar, deepen and strengthen the connections with the
Kashmir. Government of Japan.
 Shankracharya Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.  The tradition of planting cherry blossoms, also
called Sakura, was first begun by Japan.
 Visiting this temple involves the devotees to trek to
the top of the hill on which it stands, about 1100  In fact, Japan has been celebrating the Sakura
feet above the plains. Festival from the 3 rd century and it continues till
date.
 Built in 371 BC, the great saint Shankracharya is
 Economic Importance
said to have stayed there during his visit to
 The cherry blossom festivals are being celebrated
Kashmir.
by around 28 countries across the world including
Raghunath Temple India.
 Raghunath Temple is one of the largest temples in  The other countries that celebrate this festival
North India and is located in Jammu. include Holland, United States of America, and
 It was built by Maharaja Gulab Singh (founder of South Korea.
the kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir) and his son  This festival generates huge employment
Ranbir Singh. opportunities and generates a lot of revenue as it
 There are seven shrines, each having its own attracts lakhs of visitors from across the world.
Shikhara, present at the site of the temple.  Last year, the festival boosted the local economy of
 Raghunath Temple enshrines many idols of the Meghalaya by 300%.
Hindu gods and goddesses but its presiding deity  The festival is also likely to promote sustainable
is Lord Rama. tourism in the northeast.
 Meghalaya is the home to 5,538 species of fauna
Makaravilakku Festival and about 3,128 species of flowering plants.
 Makaravilakku is the religious practice performed  It accounts for 18% of India’s total oral wealth.
by the tribes in the forest of Ponnambalamedu. Also, Meghalaya is the home to the country’s only
 Once the Cyrus star (Makara Jyothi) appears in two species of true apes.
the sky during the day of the Makara Sankranti
festival, the tribes perform their rituals in a temple
at Ponnambalamedu forest.

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Dwijing Festival sideways due to heavy rainfall resulting in loss of
 An annual river festival, Dwijing Festival has properties and lives of many families.
begun on 27th December on the bank of River Aie
at Chirang district. It is the third edition of the Kambala
festival.  Kambala is traditional slush track buffalo race
 Dwijing Festival is an annual river festival that is held annually in coastal districts of
celebrated in the Bodoland Territorial Area Karnataka.
Districts (BTAD) region of Assam with various  These bullock cart races are held in parts of north
colorful events viz. ethnic trade and food festival, Karnataka and in the coastal districts of Udupi
exhibition, games & sports, river campaign & and Dakshina Kannada.
adventure and various culture programs to make it  The race, held between November and March,
a center of attraction for the visitors as a New Year involves a pair of buffaloes tied to a plough and
Festival. anchored by one person.
 The festival provides a platform of earning for the  They are made to run in parallel muddy tracks in a
people in the region by putting in to focus the competition in which the fastest team wins.
business activities for the better economy  It is believed to be held to propitiate the gods for a
generation through rural tourism. good harvest, besides being a recreational sport for
 The festival also aims to provide help to the food farmers.
victim families through charity generation and Background
distribution.  The Karnataka HC had stayed these traditional
 River Aie (Mother) River “Mother” originates from sports in view of Supreme Court’s ban on
the Himalayan Mountains of Bhutan and flows jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil
through the Chirang and Bongaigaon districts of Nadu.
Assam before joining the river Brahmaputra.  However, Karnataka Assembly had passed an
 The River Aie is the lifeline of the region as about ordinance Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
30000 families in the region are dependent on the (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 to allow
river for their daily livelihoods through Crops, Kambala to circumvent ban imposed by Karnataka
Fishing, Stone & Sand Collection and many other High Court.
activities.  The ordinance had received Central Government
 The River creates a massive attraction for many (Ministry of Law and Justice) and Presidential
tourists (locals/visiting) for picnic and weekend assent.
activities during the winter season and in summer Now PETA has opposed the upcoming Kambala
the river creates massive damages to both the festival on grounds of cruelty to animals.

UNESCO’S LIST OF INTANGIBLE


More Than 40 Languages In UNESCO’S domains of usage.
Endangered List  Under the programme, grammatical descriptions,
In News monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, language
 According to a list prepared by the UNESCO, 42 primers, anthologies of folklore, encyclopedias of
languages in India are endangered and maybe be all languages or dialects especially those spoken
headed for extinction. These languages are spoken by less than 10,000 people are being prepared.
by less than 10, 000 people. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization) is responsible for
Facts
coordinating international cooperation in
 There are 22 scheduled languages in India
education, science, culture and communication.
mentioned in the Eighth Schedule (Article 344(1)
The UNESCO has categorized languages on basis
and 351) of the Indian Constitution.
of endangerment as follows:-
 Apart from the 22 languages, there are 31
languages that have been given the status of  Vulnerable
official language by state governments and union  Definitely Endangered
territories.  Severely Endangered
 According to a Census Directorate report, there are  Critically Endangered
100 non-scheduled languages which are spoken by
one lakh or more people UNESCO adds Jamaican Reggae, Georgian
Government Initiatives Wrestling and Japanese rituals in coveted
 Government of India launched a scheme known list of intangible heritage.
as “Protection and Preservation of Endangered  UN cultural agency UNESCO has added six new
Languages of India” in 2014. elements viz Jamaican reggae, geogian wrestling
 Under this Scheme, the Central Institute of and Japanese ritual into its coveted list of
Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore works on “intangible heritage”.
protection, preservation and documentation of all Six new elements added in list are
the mother tongues/languages of India spoken by  Chidaoba – It is geongia’s traditional wrestling, it
less than 10,000 speakers keeping in mind the combinese elements of wrestling, music, dance
degree of endangerment and reduction in the and special garments.

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 Hurling – It is field game from Ireland it is played in 6 states (Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana,
by 2 teams using wooden ‘hurley’ stick and small Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh).
‘sliotar’ ball. It has six different dialects but can be written by
 Reggae – It is Jamacian music originating from only 100 people.
marginalized groups, mainly in western Kingston.  UNESCO has put it in the ‘vulnerable’ category in
 Raiho – Shin – They are Japanese rituals used to its Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.
admonish laziness and teach children good
behavior.
 AS Samer – It consist mainly of dancing and
singing and practiced across many areas of
Jordan, it is performed on various occasions, most
commonly during weddings.
 Spring Festive rites of Kazakhstan’s horse
breeders: It marks end of the old and beginning of
a new annual horse – breeding cycle. It is rooted in
traditional knowledge of nature and an age-old
relation between man and horse.
UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage
 This coveted list is made up of those intangible
heritage elements that help demonstrate diversity
of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its
importance.
 This list was established in 2008 when convention
for safeguard of the Intangible cultural heritage UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages
came into effect. in Danger
 The Atlas aims to raise awareness about
UNESCO Atlas of the World’s language endangerment and the need to
safeguard the world’s linguistic diversity.
Languages in Danger
 It also serves as a tool to monitor the status of
In News
endangered languages and the trends in
 Recently, first ever dictionary of Gondi language
linguistic diversity at the global level.
was launched.
 It uses nine factors to determine the vitality of a
More on News language.
 The project aims to create a standardized and  It segregates language based on Degree of
unified language and was supported by Indira Endangerment as Safe, Vulnerable, Definitely
Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, an endangered, Severely endangered, Critically
autonomous body under ministry of culture. endangered and Extinct.
 At present, Gondi is spoken by two million people

INDIAN PAINTINGS

Saora Paintings  Features of Saora Paintings –


In News: Recently, it was reported that the  They are painted with figurative patterns and
demand for Saora paintings of Odisha has been figures which are drawn in stylized manner.
rising in international and domestic markets.  Each painting has a rectangular frame and has
icons of deities and motifs from nature.
 Purpose of the painting – to please Gods and
Saura Tribe ancestors, averting diseases, promoting fertility,
 Saura (also called Saora or Lanjia Saora) are honour deceased etc.
one of the tribal communities who inhabit  Central theme – Idital is a house which is
remote ranges near Bansadhara River in represented by a circle. The figures are placed in
southern Odisha. panels like circles, triangular around the Idital.
 They have their racial affinity with the proto-  Process of making Saora Painting
Australoid.  Before painting the walls are cleaned and smeared
 They speak an ancient Mundari dialect of their with locally available red soil and the rice paste is
own called ‘saora’. applied as white colour. The Iditalmars follow a
 Saoras depend on land and forest for their stringent ritual by eating one meal a day for 10-15
subsistence and practice shifting cultivation. days till the painting is complete.
 They are enumerated as one among the 13  For paintings, a brush is made from a bamboo
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in split, black color from soot generated from the
Odisha. lamp. Sun dried rice powder for white, all these are
mixed with water and juice from roots and herbs to
make a paste.
Saora Paintings
 Saora Paintings are traditional murals (made on
walls) and are locally called as Idital and the
painters are known as iditalmar.

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Neanderthals - The Artistic Humans Ramayana.
In News: A recent study found that Europe’s cave  Characteristic features
paintings might have been drawn by Neanderthals.  line drawings filled in by bright colours and
Neanderthals contrasts or patterns.
 Neanderthals were archaic humans that became  Major theme: geometric patterns; religious motifs
extinct about 40,000 years ago. of Hindu such as Krishna, Rama, Tulasi plant,
 They seem to have appeared in Europe and later Durga, Sun and Moon etc.; auspicious occasions
expanded into Southwest, Central and Northern like marriages, birth etc.
Asia.  Floral, animal and bird motifs are also drawn
 Neanderthals were long thought to have been the and symbolic in nature, for example- fish depicts
archetypal cavemen, brutish and intellectually un- good luck and fertility.
evolved.  commonly includes double line border, bold use
 In early 1900s, scientific findings described of colours, ornate floral patterns and
Neanderthals as gorilla-like beasts, an extinct exaggerated facial features.
branch of humanity that could not compete with  Two-dimesional with no shading.
slender, brilliant humans.  It is done on freshly plastered walls using rice
Findings of the recent study paste and vegetable colours on a base of cow
 Earlier research shows that modern man and dung and mud. For commercial purposes, the
Neanderthals mated may have had the “cognitive work is now being done on paper, cloth, canvas
capacity to create art”. etc. and men have also got involved along with
women.
 It is also believed that they were capable of using
sophisticated technology (for prehistoric times) and  It has been given Geographical Indication (GI)
showed social behavior previously thought tag.
complicated for them to exhibit.
 Recent studies show that they were much more
Thanjavur Paintings
intellectually capable, the first cave-paintings, it In News: Raman Spectroscopy been is now being
turns out, could have been made by them. used to ascertain if gold or gemstones on
Thanjavur paintings are fake or not.
 Dating experts and archaeologists now agree that
the simple paintings from three caves in Spain, More on News
outline of a hand, an array of lines and a painted  Thanjavur painting is a form of miniature
cave formation are more than 64,800 years old. painting that flourished during the late 18th and
19th centuries. However, its origin can be traced
 Thus, these pre-date the arrival of the H. sapiens
back to early 9th century.
in Europe by at least 20,000 years.
 It is characterised by bold drawing, techniques of
 The cave paintings and their possible link to shading and the use of pure and brilliant colours
Neanderthals means that the gap between human
along with semi-precious stones, pearls and glass
and Neanderthal intellectual faculties may not be
pieces.
as wide as believed.
 The conical crown appearing in the miniature is a
Counter Arguments typical feature of the Tanjore painting.
 While some believe humans and their extinct  Gold is extensively used in Thanjavur paintings as
cousins were cognitive equivalents, others believe the glitter makes it more attractive as well as
that the latter definitely had sophisticated prolongs the life of the painting.
intelligence but their “cultural achievements fell  It has also been granted Geographical
short of modern humans”. identification tag.
 Cave art, with certain exceptions, was notoriously Raman Spectroscopy
difficult to date until very recently and thus
 Raman spectroscopy is one of the vibrational
modern humans have been historically assumed to
spectroscopic techniques used to provide
have created them.
information on molecular vibrations and crystal
 Neanderthal art may be comparable to the art and structures.
symbolism of modern man across Africa, painted
 This technique uses a laser light source to
egg shells and minerals attributed to “our direct
irradiate a sample, and generates an infinitesimal
ancestors” have been found and these date back
amount of Raman scattered light, which is
some 80,000 years.
detected as a Raman spectrum.
Raman Scattering (Raman Effect)
Madhubani Painting
 When light is scattered by matter, almost all of the
In News scattering is an elastic process (Rayleigh
 Recently, Madhubani/Mithila Painting was used to scattering) due to which there is no change in
decorate Madhubani railway station in Bihar
energy.
which also became one of the cleanest railway
stations in India.  However, a very small percentage of scattering is
an inelastic process (Raman scattering), thus a
About Madhubani Paintings scattered light has different energy from incident
 It derives its name from the Madhubani town in light.
Bihar where this art form was done traditionally.
 Its origin is believed to be during the period of

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UNESCO’S LIST OF TANGIBLE WORLD HERITAGE SITE IN INDIA

World Heritage Sites


In news: 6 monuments/historical sites in the
North Eastern states have been identified
tentatively for listing under World Heritage Site.
World Heritage Site
 Under Convention concerning the protection of the
world culture and natural heritage, 1972,
UNESCO encourages identification, protection and
preservation of cultural and natural heritage
around the world considered to be of outstanding
value to humanity.
 Such heritages are listed under world heritage site
list.
 The WHS helps in raising awareness, getting
expert advices and financial assistance as well.
 WHS are categorised into Cultural sites, Natural
sites and Mixed sites.
 The World Heritage Day is observed on 18th of
April every year.
Details
 Apatani Cultural Landscape, Arunachal Pradesh:
o Apatani civilisation existed in Zero Valley,
Arunachal Pradesh.
o The hallmark of the valley is judicious utilization
of limited land area. The relatively flat land in the
valley is used for wet-rice cultivation where fish is
also reared.
o The Apatanis are also known for their effective
traditional village council called bulyañ, which
supervises, guides and have legal oversight over
the activities of individuals that affect the
community as a whole.

 Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India: This pan-


India cluster comprises of sites from five
Indian states: Madhya Pradesh (Chanderi, the
13th cent. Moroccan traveler Ibn Batuta also
visited here), Uttar Pradesh (Banaras and
Mubarakpur), Maharashtra (Paithan and Yeola),
Andhra Pradesh (Koyyalagudem and Pochampalli,
the silk city of India famous for Ikat sarees) and
Assam (Sualkuchi for muga and mulberry silk).

Namdapha National Park, Arunachal


Pradesh
 It is only park in the World to have the four Feline
species of big cat namely the Tiger, Leopard, Snow
Leopard and Clouded Leopard.
Thembang Fortified Village, Arunachal
 The area lies close to the Indo-Myanmar-China tri-
Pradesh
junction.  Thembang bears an exceptional testimony to the
living cultural traditions of the Monpa tribe, which
depicts influences of diverse cultures - the
River Island of Majuli in midstream of Bhutanese, the Tibetans and the indigenous North
Brahmaputra River in Assam East Indian.
 The Majuli Island is a fluvial landform (a riverine  This includes their social structure and practices,
delta). rites, rituals and their vernacular building
 The formation of islets locally called as Chaporis knowledge systems such as Dzongs or the fortress
around the majuli island is its another significant which are also found in Bhutan and Tibet.
feature.
It is the largest mid river delta system in the world.

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37th UNESCO World Heritage Site in the decorative arts and architecture. The Art
In News: India’s nomination of the architectures Deco edifices, with their cinemas and residential
of "Victorian and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai” buildings, blend Indian design with Art Deco
has been included in UNESCO's World Heritage imagery, creating a unique style that has been
list. described as Indo-Deco.
Selection criteria (ii) and (iv)
(ii) To exhibit an important interchange of human Vishwa Shanti Ahimsa Sammelan
values on developments in architecture or In News: Vishwa Shanti Ahimsa Sammelan
technology, monumental arts, town-planning or (VSAS) 2018 took place in Mangi-Tungi in Satana
landscape design. Taluka of Nashik District, Maharashtra.
(iv) To be an outstanding example of a type of
building, architectural or technological ensemble
or landscape which illustrates a significant stage
in human history.
More about News
 It has been included in the list under Criteria (ii)
and (iv) of the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines.
 India accepted the renaming of the ensemble as
Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of
Mumbai as recommended by the World Heritage
Committee.
 This is the third site from Mumbai after the
Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji
Terminus railway station.
 Across India, there are now 37 world heritage
sites. With five sites, Maharashtra has the
maximum number of sites in India.
 India stands second largest in number after
China in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region. It is
overall sixth in the world.
World Heritage Committee
 It is the executive body responsible for the
implementation of the world Heritage Convention.
 The Convention is an international agreement
About Mangi Tungi Hills
adopted in 1972 by the Member States of the  These are the two hills of Sahyadri range.
UNESCO.  The hills have about 10 cave temples belonging to
Jainism.
 The primary mission of the Convention is to
identify and protect the world's natural and  These two peaks have special significance in
cultural heritage considered to be of Jainism because around 990 million Digambar
Outstanding Universal Value Jains achieved salvation on these two hills.
Therefore, the area is called ‘Siddha Kshtera’
 Strategic Objectives Of the convention is based on
(gateway to the state of enlightenment).
the "Five Cs": Credibility, Conservation,
 Mangi Tungi is also the site of the 108-feet tall
Capacity- building, Communication,
statue of Jain Tirthankar Bhagwan Rishabhdev.
Communities
This is the tallest monolithic Jain statue in the
 The Convention serves as a catalyst to raising world, erected in 2016.
awareness for heritage preservation.  Before that 57-feet tall Gommateswar statue of
 The World Heritage Fund, setup under Bahubali (Son of Lord Rishabhdev) at Sravan
convention, provides financial assistance to States Belagola was the tallest single-rock Jain statue in
Parties in identifying, preserving and promoting the world.
World Heritage sites. About Lord Rishabhdev
About the sites  He is the first Jain Tirthankara (spiritual teacher).
 This collection of Victorian and Art Deco He is also called Adi Nath.
landmarks is the largest such conglomeration  He introduced the philosophy of Non-Violence.
and first of the combination of these two genres of
architecture in the world to be included in world
 His symbol or emblem is Bull.
heritage list.  He is considered as the founder of Ikshvaku
dynasty to which Lord Rama belonged.
 The Ensemble consists of 94 buildings primarily of
19th century Victorian Gothic revival and Tirthankara (ford-maker): Also called Jina
early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture (victor), is a great human being who attains
with the Oval Maidan in the centre. liberation by destroying all his karmas and
becomes a role model for every living being. A
 Some characteristics of Victorian art are: Use of
Tirthankara not only attains salvation himself but
pointed arches, Heavy stone and brick work,
also helps all those who are sincerely trying to seek
Use of polychromes (contrasting colors) and Bold
nirvana by preaching and guiding them.
forms like towers, massive hip and gabled roofs.
 Art Deco, also called style modern was movement

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Unesco Global Geopark Network Geoparks in 38 countries.
Status  An aspiring Global Geopark must have a dedicated
In News: Recently Geological Survey of India website, a corporate identity, comprehensive
(GSI) chose heritage locations in Maharashtra and management plan, protection plans, finance, and
Karnataka for UNESCO Global Geopark Network partnerships for it to be accepted.
site status.  As of now there is no geo-heritage site from
What is UNESCO Global Geopark Network India is included under UNESCO Geo park
Network.
Status?
 UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified About the Sites Chosen
geographical areas where sites and landscapes of  Lonar Lake, Maharashtra:
international geological significance are managed  It is the world's oldest meteoric crater formed
with a holistic concept of protection, education and around 50,000 years ago and the only one formed
sustainable development. in basalt rock.
 It aims to enhance awareness and  It is a salt water lake.
understanding of key issues facing society, such  It became a national geo-heritage site in 1979.
as using our earth’s resources sustainably,  St. Mary’s Island and Malpe Beach, Karnataka:
mitigating the effects of climate change and  It is a hexagonal mosaic of basaltic rocks in an
reducing natural disasters-related risks. island off Udupi.
 The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), is a legally  It is estimated to be an 88-million-year-old
constituted not-for-profit organisation. Its formation that goes back to a time when Greater
membership is obligatory for UNESCO Global India broke away from Madagascar.
Geoparks.  It was declared a national geo-heritage site in
1975
 At present, there are 140 UNESCO Global

RELIGION

International Buddhist conference held in  It also aimed to help to propagate and enhance the
Lumbini, Nepal importance and the glory of Lumbini in the
 The theme of the conference was ‘Lumbini Nepal’ international arena.
the birth place of Lord Buddha and the fountain of  Representatives from 16 countries including US,
Buddhism and world peace. Japan, India, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka has
 The conference aims to disseminate teachings of attend the conference.
Buddha and spread the message of non-violence,
brotherhood, co-existence love and peace to the
international community.
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Government to set up Ist national  Pakistan’s Army Chief General had then told Sidhu
institute of inter-faith studies in Punjab that Pakistan hoped to build the corridor.
 Union govt will set up first of its kind institution.  But the Indian government refused to respond to
 It promote brotherhood and diversity. this informal proposal.
 This institute will set up on lines of teaching of  However, the Punjab government moved a
Guru Nanak Dev ji who preached qualities of resolution in the Punjab Assembly.
brotherhood, diversity and the concept of unity in  It adopted unanimously, seeking an uninterrupted
diversity. corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur
Sahib.
Approval on Kartarpur Corridor  Indian government has now announced that it
In News: The Cabinet approved the development would develop a corridor up to the International
of a corridor to enable smooth passage of pilgrims Border.
seeking to visit Pakistan’s Kartarpur Sahib.  The government also asked Pakistan to develop a
Kartarpur Corridor corridor with suitable facilities in its territory.
 Kartarpur Sahib - The gurdwara in Kartarpur  It comes at the time of the start of 550th birth
stands on the bank of River Ravi, about 120 km anniversary year of Guru Nanak.
northeast of Lahore.  The Pakistan government responded that it has
 Kartarpur Sahib is revered as Guru Nanak’s final already decided to open the corridor for the
resting place. anniversary.
 It was here that Guru Nanak assembled a Sikh India's Rationale
community and lived for 18 years until his death  The announcements were a coordinated step by
in 1539. the two countries, despite the big chill in the
 Corridor - It is a long-standing demand from the relationship.
Sikh community for easy access to the revered  India decided to go ahead because it did not want
shrine across the border. to be upstaged by Pakistan, which proposed it
 The Kartarpur corridor was first proposed in 1999 first.
when PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus ride to  This is despite the misgivings in the security
Lahore. establishment with the Kartarpur corridor.
 It is now conceived as a visa-free corridor for Sikhs  As, it may be another attempt by Pakistan to woo
from India to Pakistan’s Kartarpur Sahib. the Sikh community, aimed eventually at creating
 It will be developed from Dera Baba Nanak village unrest in Punjab.
in Gurdaspur, Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib,  India could not be seen denying its Sikh
Kartarpur. community what Pakistan was ready to roll out for
 The length of the corridor is about 4 km, 2 km on it.
either side of the International Border.  In all, the corridor is seen to be a big leap forward
for people-to-people relations.
 It will facilitate easier access and smooth passage
of Indian pilgrims throughout the year.
Way Forward
 Pilgrimages between India and Pakistan are
governed by the 1974 Protocol on Visits to
Religious Shrines.
 It includes a list of shrines in Pakistan and India
open for visitors from the other country, and for
which visas are required.
 The Kartarpur Corridor, which will provide visa-
free access from India to the shrine inside
Pakistan, may need a separate treaty.
 Also, officials from India and Pakistan will meet
How did the Decision come about? soon to discuss the logistics of the corridor and
 Few months back, Punjab minister Navjot Singh point of border crossing.
Sidhu attended the swearing-in ceremony of PM
Imran Khan in Pakistan.

INDIAN ARCHITECT, SCULPTURE AND POTTERY

Manipur based black pottery gains World’s largest Bird Sculpture ‘Jatayu’
prominence  Kerala tourism will soon inaugurate the world’s
 The Manipur based indigenous “Longpi Thanupai largest bird sculpture Jatayu Earth’s centre in
Pottery”. Kollam, Kerala.
 The ancient art has originated from two longpi  The replica of the bird ‘Jatayu’ a character in the
village in Manipur namely Longpi Khullen and Ramayana – is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide, 65 feet
Longpi Kajui near Ukhrul district. tall and is positioned right at the top of a rock
situated 1000 feet above sea level.
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 The rock, ‘Jatayupura’ where the structure is the Shatyayaniya Upanishad. himself wrote
based, is the place where Jatayu fell after its wings influential texts, such as bhāsya on the Brahma
were claim by Ravana. Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, all in Sanskrit.
 He provided an intellectual basis for the practice of
Statue of Ramanujacharya bhakti (devotional worship) in three major
In News: A 216-foot tall statue of Vaishnavite commentaries: the Vedartha-Samgraha, the Shri-
saint Sri Ramanujacharya is set to be unveiled in Bhashya and the Bhagavadgita-Bhashya.
Hyderabad soon.
About the Statue Monuments of National Importance
 It will become the world’s second tallest statue  The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has
and will be called as Statue of Equality, after the declared 6 monuments as Monuments of national
statue of the Great Buddha of Thailand (302 feet). importance in 2018.
 It is made of panchaloha (an alloy of gold, silver,  The six monuments declared as Monuments as
copper, brass and tin/lead) and its base depicts 36 Monuments of national importance in 2018 are:
elephants and 27-feet-high lotus petals. Old High Court Building in Nagpur,
 Near the statue will be another idol of the saint  Maharashtra Haveli of Agha Khan in Agra
made of gold, weighing 120 kg for regular  Haveli of Hathi Khana in Agra
worshipping.  Neemrana Baori in Rajasthan’s Alwar district
 Group of Temples at Ranipur Jharail in Odisha’s
According to Vishishtadwaita (Qualified
Bolangir district
Monism)  Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district,
 The living entities are believed to be qualitatively Uttarkhand.
one with the Supreme and at the same time  Criterion for the declaration of Monument of
quantitatively different. Ramanuja's assertion National Importance
was that the quantitative difference means that the
 The Archaeological Survey of India declares a site
fragmentary parts of the Supreme are dependent as Monument of National importance based on the
on the Supreme but they cannot become the following criterion:
Supreme. 1. The remains of an ancient monument
 According to this philosophy the living entities are 2. The site of an ancient monument
individual personalities, so too is the Supreme also  The land on which there are fences or protective
a personality-the Ultimate Personality. covering structures for preserving the monument
 The material world is the energy of Godhead, and Land by means of which people can freely access
the subjective reality does not undergo any change the monument
of substance in the matter of material  Ancient Monument: The Ancient Monuments and
manifestation. Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958
 About the end of the tenth century, the defines Ancient Monument as any structure,
Visishtadvaita system of philosophy was well erection or monument, or any tumulus or place of
established in Southern India and the followers of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription
this creed were in charge of important Vaishnavite or monolith which is of historical, archaeological or
temples. artistic interest and which has been in existence
About Ramanujacharya for not less than 100 years.
 Ramanujacharya, or Ilaiya Perumal is a South
Indian Brahman theologian and philosopher, the My Son Temple Complex
single most influential thinker of devotional  It is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined
Hinduism. Hindu temple in Vietnam
 He was a bhakti saint and also spread the message  It is constructed between the 4 th and the 14 th
of equality. His philosophy became known as century AD by the Champa Kings of Vietnam.
vishishtadwaita or qualified non-dualism. His  It has been recognized by UNESCO as a world
philosophical foundations for devotionalism were heritage site.
influential to the Bhakti movement.
 His disciples were likely authors of texts such as

Other Famous Sun Temples in India


Name of Temple Other Details
Sun Temple, Modhera  Gujarat
 Situated on the bank of the Pushpavati river
Surya Narayan Temple,  Andhra Pradesh
Arasavalli  Constructed during 7 th Century by Kalinga king Devendra Varma
Sun Temple, Martand  Jammu and Kashmir
 Listed as national importance in Jammu and Kashmir and protected
monuments of India
Sun Temple, Gwalior  Madhya Pradesh
 Architecture is inspired by the Sun temple in Konark

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Brahmanya DevTemple, Unao  Madhya Pradesh
 known for unique architecture and design
Sun Temple, Ranchi  Jharkhand
Sun Temple, Khatarmal  Uttrakhand
 Noted for its magnificent carved pillars and wooden doors
Surya Pahar Temple, Assam  Assam
 Has rock-cut Shivalingas, sculpture of twelve-armed Vishnu and
remains of the Ganesha and Hari Hara
Surya Narayan Temple, Domlu  Karnataka
Dakshinaarka Temple, Gaya  Bihar
 Images of Sun God Aditya are found here
Suryanar Temple,  Tamil Nadu
Kumbakonam  One of the nine Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu

Konark Temple seven horses.


In News: A state-of-the-art interpretation and  It is a UNESCO World Heritage site under Cultural
tourist facilitation centre was recently inaugurated category.
at the Sun temple at Konark, Odisha.  is the third link of Odisha's Golden Triangle. The
About Sun Temple, Konark first link is Jagannath Puri and the second link is
 The Temple was built in the 13th century by King Bhubaneswar (Capital city of Odisha).
Narasimhadeva I of the Ganga dynasty. It is also known as 'Black Pagoda' due to its dark
 It has a gigantic chariot of the Sun god, with 12 color.
pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by

INDIAN THEATER
Tholu Bommalata leather and bommalata – puppet dance).
In News: Tholu Bommalata’, the shadow puppet  The puppets are large in size and have jointed
theatre tradition of Andhra Pradesh has been waist, shoulders, elbows and knees.
declining.  The puppets are mostly made of skin of antelope,
Other Shadow Puppets spotted deer and goat. Auspicious characters are
made of antelope skin and deer skin.
 Ravanachhaya, Odisha
 They are coloured on both sides. Hence, these
 Chamadyache Bahulya, Maharashtra
puppets throw coloured shadows on the screen.
 Togalu Gombeyaata, Karnataka  Puppeteers narrate stories from the twin-epics of
 Tolpava Kuthu Vellalachetti, Kerala Ramanayana and Mahabharata with animated
movement of arms and hands to give a three-
More about the Tholu Bommalatam dimensional effect.
 It literally means "the dance of puppets" (tholu –

FAMOUS PERSONALITY OF INDIA


Saint Kabir About Saint Kabir
In News: PM offered floral tributes at Sant Kabir  Kabir Das, a mystical poet and great Saint of India,
Samadhi, on the occasion of the 500th death was born in the year 1440 and died in the year
anniversary of the great saint and poet, Kabir. 1518.
Nirguna bhakti and Saguna bhakti  He is the most important Nirguna Bhakti saint.
 The nirguna bhaktas were devotees of a formless  Kabir’s teachings were based on a complete, indeed
God even while calling him variously as Rama, vehement, rejection of the major religious traditions
Govinda, Hari or Raghunatha. The most and vouched for Nirguna form of Bhakti.
conspicuous among them were Kabir and Nanak.  His teachings openly ridiculed all forms of external
 The saguna bhaktas were devotees of god with worship of both Brahmanical, Hinduism and Islam,
attributes or in human form. Vishnu in its the pre- eminence of the priestly classes and the
incarnations as Rama, or Krishna, are most caste system.
popular deities that were worshipped by Saguna  It is considered that he got all his spiritual training
Bhakti saints. from his Guru named, Ramananda, in his early
 Thus, Saguna bhakti movement of North India was childhood.
essentially vaishnavite in character as compared to  Kabir Panth is the huge religious community which
Southern Bhakti movement which had both identifies the Kabir as the originator of the Sant
Vashnav as well as Shaiv streams. Mat sects.
 Kabir Das is the first Indian saint who has

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coordinated the Hinduism and Islam by giving a are Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana
universal path which could be followed by both Yoga, My Master, Lectures from Colombo to
Hindus and Muslims. Almora.
 According to him every life has relationship with Philosophy on Nationalism
two spiritual principles, Jivatma and Paramatma.  Vivekananda played a major role in the growing
His view about the moksha that, it is the process Indian nationalism in the late 19th and the 20th
of uniting these two divine principles. century, encouraging many Indians with his
 Some of the great writings of the Kabir Das are success and appeal in the west.
Bijak, Kabir Granthawali, Anurag Sagar, Sakhi  Swami Vivekananda’s nationalism is deeply rooted
Granth etc. in Indian spirituality and morality. He linked
India’s regeneration to her age-old tradition of
Pingali Venkayya spiritual goal.
In News: Recently, 142nd birth anniversary of  Unlike western nationalism which is secular in
Pingali Venkayya was observed. nature, Swami Vivekananda’s nationalism was
About Pingali Venkayya based on religion which is life blood of the Indian
 He was a freedom fighter who was the brain behind people.
designing of our National Flag – Tiranga.  He galvanized the National Spirit by exposing the
 He also served in the British Army in South Africa British policy of profiteering in complete disregard
during the Anglo Boer war in Africa and during to the Indian interests and taught people to get rid
this time he met Mahatma Gandhi. first of self-inflicted bondages and resultant
 Between 1918 and 1921 Venkayya relentlessly miseries.
campaigned for having our own national flag in  Like Vivekananda, Aurbindo Ghosh and Mahatma
every session of Congress. He even published a Gandhi also realized that religion and spirituality
book in 1916 with over 30 designs. are in the veins of Indians and worked for India’s
 He was a nationalist, an ardent believer of unification through awakening the force of religion
Gandhian principles, linguist and a writer. and spirituality.
 After Venkyya returned from South Africa, he stated Advaita Vedantism
researching about farming andcultivation of cotton  Advaita Vedanta is a non-dualistic school of
which earned him the nickname of Patti (cotton) Hinduism with its roots in the Vedas and
Venkayya. He was also known as Japan Venkayya Upanishads which recognizes one reality and one
and Jhanda Venkayya. God.
 Swami Vivekananda was a great lover of Vedantic
Swami Vivekananda philosophy and he spread Advaita Vedanta to the
In News west via the Ramakrishna Mission.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of Swami  He presented karma, bhakti, jnana and raja yoga
Vivekananda’s address at Parliament of the as equal means to attain moksha, to present
World's Religions in 1893 held in Chicago. Vedanta as a liberal and universal religion, in
Ramakrishna Mission contrast to the exclusivism of other religions.
 The Mission, founded by Vivekananda in 1897 is a Philosophy on Religion
humanitarian organization which carries out  His philosophy was assimilation of ideals
medical, relief and educational programs. prescribed in all religions and he believed that all
 Two main purposes of mission are to spread the the religions of the world have the same value and
teachings of Vedanta as embodied in the life of the importance.
Hindu saint Ramakrishna (1836–86) and to  He told that though the paths are different for
improve the social conditions of people. different religions but the goal is same.
 The ideals propagated by the mission include work  He attached great importance to the unity of all
as worship, the inherent divinity of every soul and religions and their fusion into one universal
the harmony of religions. religion.
About Swami Vivekananda  Swami Vivekananda represented India and
 He was one of the prominent Hindu leaders who Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's
carried the Indian philosophies to the West Religions (1893) in Chicago.
including Vedanta and Yoga.  Swami Vivekananda said in his speech ‘not only
tolerate other religions, but positively embrace
 His teachings and philosophy stressed on
them, as truth is the basis of all religions.’
different aspects of religion, youth, education,
 He spoke about tolerance and universality of
faith, character building as well as social issues
India’s spiritual traditions. He denounced
pertaining to India.
narrow-mindedness and fanaticism.
 He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in
 He promoted with equal zeal the idea of the
India, and contributed to the concept of
equality of all human beings.
nationalism in colonial India.
Philosophy on Education
 He was a disciple of Ramakrishna, from whom
 Swami Vivekananda laid the greatest emphasis on
he learned of
education for the regeneration of our motherland
 the Divine and spiritual part of oneself as well and a nation is advanced in proportion as
as the importance of kindness and service to education is spread among the masses.
mankind.  According to him “education is the manifestation
 Some of great literary works of Swami Vivekananda of perfection already in man and that what a man
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‘learns’ is really what he ‘discovers’ by taking the spiritual integration of the nation and world on the
cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite basis of universal brotherhood and goodwill
knowledge.” becomes all the more relevant in these times.
 He advocated a man-making character-building  It has the potential to avert wars ensuring peaceful
education. co-existence of individuals and nations.
 He said that education must make the students  Several Government schemes like ‘Start Up India’,
self-reliant and help them face the challenges of ‘Stand Up India’, Atal Innovation Mission schemes
life. as are based on his philosophy that the future of
 He believed if young boys and girls are encouraged India lay in the hands of youth.
and are not unnecessarily criticized all the time,  The philosophy of 'Ek Bharat-Shrestha Bharat' is
they are bound to improve in time. the essence of Swami Vivekananda's.
Relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s
philosophy
 The message of Swami Vivekananda promoting

FREEDOM AND CULTURAL MOVEMENT


Azad Hind Government countries of Southeast Asia during the World War
In News: On 21-October-2018, Government II.
celebrates the 75th Anniversary of formation of  On 1 September 1942, the first division of INA
Azad Hind Government. was formed.
Azad Hind Government  The main task of gathering them and forming the
 Subhas Chandra Bose on October 21, 1943, INA was carried out by Rashbehari Bose, one of the
established the provisional Azad Hind stalwarts of the freedom movement. Later it was
government in Singapore. He was the leader of reconsolidated as an army by Subhas Chandra
Azad Hind Government and also the Head of State Bose.
of this Provisional Indian Government-in-exile.  The INA was also at the forefront of women's
 It was a part of the freedom movement, equality, and the formation of a women's regiment,
originating in 1940s outside India with a purpose the Rani of Jhansi Regiment was formed as an all-
of allying with Axis powers to free India from volunteer women's unit to fight the British Raj as
British rule. well as provide medical services to the INA.
 The existence of the Azad Hind Government gave a
greater legitimacy to the independence struggle Sir Chhotu Ram
against the British. In News: Recently, Prime Minister unveiled a
 The role of Azad Hind Fauj or the Indian statue of Sir Chhotu Ram (1881-1945) in Rohtak
National Army (INA) had been crucial in district.
bequeathing a much needed impetus to India’s Political Activities of Sir Chhotu Ram
struggle for Independence.  He founded the Jat Sabha, followed by the launch
INA Trials of the Jat Gazette in 1915.
 A joint court-martial of hundreds of captured INA  He joined the Congress in 1916. In 1920, he
soldiers, led by Colonel Prem Sehgal, Colonel launched Zamindaran Party, which later became
Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, Major General Shah the Unionist Party in 1923 in alliance with Fazl-e-
Nawaz Khan, was held during 1945- 46 at the Red Hussain and Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan.
Fort.  His party won the general elections of 1936 and
 Leaders of independence movement Jawaharlal formed a coalition government along with the
Nehru, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Kailashnath Katju, Congress and Sikh Akali Dal. He became the
Bhulabhai Desai, Asaf Ali, along with Muslim Revenue Minister.
league defended the comrades of Bose despite Reforms Initiated by Sir Chhotu Ram
difference of ideology.  He conceived the Bhakra Dam project way back in
 The famous INA trial sparked off massive 1923. He, along with the King of Bilaspur, signed
unrest across the country, including the strike by the Bhakra Dam project.
the ratings (sailors) and officers of the Royal Indian  He was considered as an agrarian reformer. Under
Navy and Air Force -- from the ports of Mumbai him, various legislations were passed such as
and Karachi to Madras, Vishakhapatnam and Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1929,
Calcutta in February 1946. The airmen too struck Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act was
work at various places including Karachi and passed in 1939 (Mandi Act), Punjab Relief of
Kalaikunda (now in West Bengal). Indebtedness Act, 1943.
 Historians termed this unrest as "the last nail in  For his work, the peasantry rewarded him with the
the coffin" of the British Empire. titles of Deen-bandhu and Rahbar-e-Azam. Also,
the British honoured him with a knighthood in
Indian National Army (INA)
1937.
 The idea of INA was first conceived in Malaya by
Mohan Singh.
 The Indian National Army was founded by
prisoners of wars of British Indian Army captured
by the Japanese in Singapore, Malaysia and other
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Paika Rebellion Chair Sadharan Brahmo Samaj
 PM Modi announced setting up of a Chair on the In News: Recently, governing bodies of eight
Paika Rebellion, in Utkal University, colleges of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj (SBS), has
Bhubaneswar. been dissolved by the West Bengal government.
 He also released a commemorative stamp and coin More on News
on the Paika Rebellion.  The government stated that SBS is not a “separate
 Paika Rebellion minority religion”, the related colleges
 The Paika Rebellion of 1817 in Odisha briey shook administered by it Should be treated as “non-
the foundations of British rule in the eastern part minority Government-aided Colleges.
of India. About Brahmo Samaj
 Paikas were the peasant militias of the Gajapati  Founded in 1828 as Brahmo Sabha, by Raja
rulers of Odisha and rendered military service to Ram Mohan Roy. Later it become Brahmo
the king during times of war while taking up Samaj.
cultivation during times of peace.
 Doctrine: Believe in existence of one God,
 The British had established their sway over Bengal o No revelation, prophet or holy book is infallible
Province and Madras Province to the north and
or to be considered as authority.
south of Odisha and occupied Odhisa in 1803. o Human being is created from Singularity
 The Gajapati Ruler of Odisha Mukunda Deva-ll
 Social and Religious reform: abolition of
was a minor then and the resistance by Jai
caste system, child marriage and practice of
Rajguru, the custodian of Mukunda DevaII, was
Sati, opposed idolatry, condemned polygamy,
put down brutally.
and dowry system.
 As British began consolidating their rule and
started tinkering with the revenue system, they
faced the anger of the people of Odhisa. About Sadharna Bhramo Samaj (SBS)
 A few years later Paikas under Baxi Jagabandhu,  It is a general community of worshipers of one
the hereditary chief of the militia army of the God, formed in May 1878, traces back its roots to
Gajapati King rose in rebellion by taking the The Brahmo Samaj.
support of tribal and other sections of society in  It was formed by the followers of Keshav Chandra
March 1817. Sen (Brahmo Samaj) after he violated the Brahmo
 Paikas attacked British symbols of power, setting Marriage Act by marrying his 13 year old daughter
ablaze police stations, administrative offices and with Maharaja of Cooch-Bihar.
the treasury during their march towards Khurda,  Anandamohan Bose was its first President.
from where the British ed.  In 1891, it opened the Das Ashram, a welfare
 The Paikas were supported by the rajas of Kanika, institution of untouchables, the Brahmo Girls
Kujang, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and zamindars, School of Calcutta, and also founded small
village heads and ordinary peasants. hospitals, orphanages, a leper asylum.
 The Rebellion spread quickly. British were initially  Its basic principles are-
taken aback and then tried to regain lost ground o It believes in the existence and personality of God,
but faced stiff resistance from the Paikas. o It believes in the immortality of the human soul.
 There was a widespread suppression. Rebels o It does not believe in any particular book or
fought a guerilla war till 1819 but were captured collections of books as the one infallible revelation
and killed. Baxi Jagabandhu was nally arrested in of divine truth, love, and final authority.
1825 and died in captivity in 1829. o It does not believe in specific incarnation the Deity.
o It accepts, respects, and uses of scriptures of the
 The Paika Rebellion enjoys a cult status in Odisha.
world, (not as infallible) as ancient records of the
Children in Odhisa grow up with hearing stories of
moral and spiritual experiences.
the brave fight against the British.
 It is involved in various educational, social,
medical and other welfare activities.

EXCAVATIONS
Harappan Excavations in Haryana about a community, what its people value, its
In News: Near-complete skeletal remains of a social hierarchy, gender relations, and how it
young male and female have recently been treats its children.
discovered at an archaeological site in Rakhigarhi  There are five big known centers of the Harappan
village in Haryana. civilization of which three are in Pakistan namely
Brief Account of Harappa Studies Harappa and Ganweriwala in Punjab and Mohenjo
 Indus Valley Civilization had been spread across a Daro in Sindh).
vast area of land in present day India and Pakistan  The other two important in sites are found in India
(around 12 lakh sq.km). namely Dholavira and Rakhigarhi.
 It is called Harappa civilization after the place  Some important burial grounds have been
(Harappa in Pakistan) where first archaeological discovered in Lothal (Gujarat), Kalibangan
evidences for the civilization have been found. (Rajasthan), Farmana (Haryana), Sanauli (UP).
 Harappa studies are focused primarily on urban
design, crafts and trade, funeral customs say a lot

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 The only joint burial of a couple discovered earlier
has been from Lothal in Gujarat.
 But there, the skeletal remains of the male and
female were found placed over one other,
indicating that they may have been buried at the
same place, but at different times.
 In addition, the female skeletal remains were
found to have lesions or injury marks.
 This has made archaeologists to conclude that her
death could have been the result of a social
practice such as Sati.
 Remains of pots and stone-bead jewellery found
close to the burial site of the couple point to the
possibility of a ceremonial burial with rituals.
 These remains also suggest they belonged to
a middle-class family.
 The Harappa people were generally known to
strictly adhere to only legal relations.
 Thus, the fact that the couple was buried in the
About Recent Excavation
same pit together could be an indication of societal
 The excavations have been carried out in place acceptance of their relationship.
called Rakhigarhi in Haryana by Indian
 The researchers were inclined to believe that they
archaeologists, and a South Korean team.
could have been married.
 The necropolis, dated to between 2,500 BC and  This which would in turn suggest the possibility
2,000 BC, or the Mature Harappan Period, sprawls
that the institution of marriage originated in the
under a 1 hectare patch of land that has long been
Harappan civilization.
under cultivation by present-day residents of
Rakhigarhi. Other findings
 The excavation yielded graves contained full  Broadly, three types of graves have been
skeletal remains classified as Primary burials. discovered at Harappan sites.
1. Primary grave, the most common type, where
 The researchers subcategorized the primary archaeologists have found full-body remains of the
burials into “typical” and “atypical” cases.
person placed inside a pit.
1. Typical cases - Single bodies buried in supine
2. Secondary pits were those that contained partial
position inside a plain pit
remains of a few bones placed in the pit.
2. Atypical cases - These have brick-lined graves,
3. In the third type, instead of skeletal remains there
multiple bodies, or prone-positioned burials.
were just some accessories, presumably the
 In others, only a few human bones were found belongings of the deceased person. (Perhaps the
along with votive pots classified as Secondary body could not be ever retrieved, due to deaths
burials. caused by wild animals or during wars.)
 In yet others, only pots were found, Symbolic  Most of the graves at the Harappa sites have been
burials that suggest that the person died that of men, with only 20% of graves are of women,
elsewhere. while fewer than that of 1% is of children.
About the finding  However, excavations of cemeteries so far have
 Rakhigarhi was one of the most prominent sites of found that graves of women were positioned in the
the Harappan civilization. center of the cemetery, and surrounded with
 A team of Indian and South Korean researchers bangles, jewellery, and other ornaments.
carried out excavations in Rakhigarhi between  This could mean that the Harappan society gave
2013 and 2016. a higher status to women.
 The skeletal remains of the couple were discovered
from a site where nine graves were unearthed in Mapping IVC’s Rainfall Patterns
one trench. In News:
 Except for the foot bones, the two skeletons have  Indus Valley Civilization flourished along the
been found almost entirely intact. course of river Indus and was one highly depended
 Of the 62 graves discovered in Rakhigarhi, only on a perennial water source for sustenance.
this one had more than one skeleton and of  While there are varying claims on civilizations’
individuals of the opposite sex, together. climate, a recent research has asserted that the
 The researchers believe the couples were buried at civilization was at its peak during its wettest
almost the same time, perhaps even together, phase.
following their deaths which could have occurred Indus Valley civilization (IVC)
about 4,700 years ago.  Indus Valley civilization (IVC) is one of the earliest
Site reveal on marriage known organized urban human settlements, which
 Most archaeological recoveries show individuals flourished around 2000 BCE.
were buried separately in Harappan times.  It flourished in the north-western parts of the
 Joint graves have been very rare, and almost none Indian subcontinent, in the region around north
have been found containing a couple. Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Pakistan.
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 Its settlements are estimated to have flourished for the rains-fed streams would have brought sand to
1,500 years between 3000 and 1500 BCE, and is the lake.
said to have had its zenith between 2600-1900  Contrarily, if there was considerable rainfall, the
BCE. deposits would have a mixture of gypsum
 Those glorious 700 years is when the most modern (evaporation precipitate) and sand (run-off
townships of that era namely - Harappa, Mohenjo- deposit).
daro, and Rakhigarhi is said to have flourished.  Similarly, pure sand can be an indication of very
 The decline of the IVC is attributed to several good rainfall as erosion and deposition is likely to
reasons - climatic, tectonic, and even social – all of have dominated over the miniscule gypsum
which have varying degrees of evidence to support deposits.
them. Specific conclusions
Importance of water in IVC’s progress  These scientists have managed to establish a high
 Most scientists and archaeologists agree that the resolution chronology of the wet and dry phases in
availability of abundant water was the most the area between 9000 and 2000 BCE.
crucial enabler for the sustenance of the  They have inferred that this region, northern part
civilization – just like most other contemporary of Rajasthan, was largely dry till about 9000 BCE,
ancient civilizations. which is 11,000 years ago from the present.
 The presence of buried water channels and other  But between 9000 and 3000 BCE, there was
archaeological evidence suggests the dependence substantial precipitation in the area, making it
of Indus people on a perennial source of water. conducive for human settlements.
 Many geological and climatic studies have  Further, monsoon is said to have intensified
indicated good rainfall patterns in IVC region between 3000 and 2400 BCE, at the end of which
during the civilizations’ existence (although some a dry spell set in (which is continuing even today).
disagree).  This showed that the peak of the civilization
Researchers Reliance almost coincided with the wet phase when
 Gypsum deposits at an ancient lake “Karsandi” monsoon intensified for about 600 years about
(now dry) on the margins of the Thar Desert in 5000 years ago.
northern Rajasthan were studied by the  As the dispersal of the civilization also coincides
researchers. with the onset of the dry phase, this strengthens
 Notably, Karsandi is about 120 km northeast of the climatic theory for its rise and fall of IVC.
Rakhigarhi, an important IVC settlement that has  The study has implications for modern society as
seen some exciting excavations very recently. well, as we are witnessing climate change and
 It is also near Kalibangan and Karanpura, which perceptible variations in precipitation and
were also important centres of the Indus temperature.
civilisation.
 The scientists collected samples of different layers Excavations in Mythical towns
of gypsum and studied them in detail and carbon In News: The Department of Science and
dated the fossils in them to establish dispositional Technology (DST) is planning to send robotic
age. vehicles into the sea near Dwaraka in Gujarat, and
 While many such paleo-lakes in the region have Puhar in Tamil Nadu.
been studied before, this is the first time that About the programme
scientists were able to devise a chronology of  The programme is expected to involve
rainfall variations. organizations such as the National Institute of
 This analysis has asserted a clearly asserted that Ocean Technology and the National Institute of
rainfall had a bearing on the expansion and Oceanography (NIO).
contraction of Indus urbanism (more rain more  It is aimed to look for submerged structures that
prosperity). may point to evidence on the ancient cities.
Concept employed  It is also to test several technologies such as
 Chemical analysis of the layers of deposits in a sophisticated imaging technology which helps to
paleo-lake gives indications about the composition map the ocean floor with sonar.
of water at different times.  It will also help to date old stones and recoverable
 It thereby also gives indications on the implements using the latest techniques.
environmental condition at the time of  Earlier an expert committee had found evidence of
precipitation as the quantum of rainfall has a the course of the Saraswati, a river mentioned in
bearing on the deposits. the Rig Veda and in Hindu mythology.
 Gypsum is a common mineral deposits that History of Dwaraka
remain after the evaporation of saline water bodies  Excavations at Dwaraka, a coastal town in
and usually found at the cites of paleo-lakes. Jamnagar district of Gujarat, have a long history.
 If deposits in a particular layer are pure gypsum, it  Dwaraka, a port city, finds mention in ancient
is an indication of scanty rainfall and Greek texts from the 1st millennium and,
predominance of evaporation during that phase of according to legend, was a rich city that sank into
deposition. the sea.
 This is because the surrounding areas in the  It is one of the foremost Chardhams i.e four sacred
region are all very sandy, and if there was rainfall, Hindu pilgrimage sites

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 Nearly a decade ago, Archaeological Survey of  It was once a flourishing ancient port city known
India (ASI) found copper coins and segments of as Kaveri poompattinam.
granite structures.  It is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean
 Pottery found here suggests that the city could be Sea.
over 3,000 years old.  Tamil and Buddhist literature also have references
 Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka to Poompuhar, or Puhar, as being the port capital
Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna, and is of the Chola dynasty.
believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat.  The ancient Tamil poem Manimekalai by the poet
History of Puhar Seethalai Saathanar is set in the town of
 Puhar is a town in the Nagapattinam district of Kaveripattanam.
Tamil Nadu.

MISCELLANEOUS

World’s first hand-painted film eyes an Food/Prasad/Langar/Bhandara free of cost


Oscar (Indian Painting) without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
 Loving Vincent is the world’s first animated feature  It is applicable to all Charitable Religious
film entirely painted by hand. Institutions such as Temples, Gurudwara,
 With 65,000 frames to be exact, all paintings are Mosque, Church, Dharmik Ashram, Dargah,
in the distinct style of Dutch Post – impressionist Matth, Monasteries etc. which follows following
painter Vincent van Gogh. norms:
 The film is based on a probe into Van Gogh’s  Which have been in existence for preceding five
untimely death. years before applying for financial
assistance/grant.
National Culture Fund  Which have been distributing free food, langar and
In News prasad to public for at least past three years on the
 A total of 34 projects have been successfully day of application.
completed under National Culture Fund (NCF)  Which serve free food to at least 5000 people in a
scheme since its inception. month.
About National Culture Fund  which should not be blacklisted under provisions of
 It was established as a funding mechanism FCRA or any other Act/Rules of the Central/State
distinct from the existing sources and patterns Government.
of funding for the arts and culture in India.  The ministry will register the eligible charitable
 It was created as a Trust under the Charitable religious institutions for a time period ending with
Endowment Act, 1890. finance commission period and subsequently the
 It aims at inviting individuals as well as private registration may be renewed subject to the
institutions in the task of promoting, protecting performance evaluation of the institutions.
and
Preserving India’s Cultural Heritage ‘Arth: Art for Earth’ Exhibition
 A council headed by Union Culture Minister  Union Minister of State for Culture Dr. Mahesh
manages and administers the Fund and decides Sharma inaugurated exhibition titled “Arth-art for
the policies while an Executive Committee Earth” at IGNCA, New Delhi.
headed by Secretary, Ministry of Culture  It consist of “Excavations is Hymns of Clay” – a
actualizes those policies. suite of environmental art installations by Manav
 The Government granted a one-time corpus fund Gupta weaving all of them with a storyline and
to NCF. Apart from this, there is no fund allocated poetry.
by the Government to National Culture Fund. It  The exhibition is available for public viewing until
receives contributions and voluntary donations as the 22nd of Oct 2018.
endowments from many other sources.
 All the projects undertaken by the NCF are Need for a New Antique Law
completed within a specified period, in
In News: The recent happenings over antique
accordance with an MoU signed by NCF with the
collecting across India draw attention to the
concerned donor organization.
shortfalls in the related laws and understanding.
Anomaly
Seva Bhoj Scheme
 A civilizational history cannot be constructed
In News: Recently, Ministry of Culture launched purely by an archaeological agency, despite it
a new scheme “Seva Bhoj Yojna”. being an important component.
More about the Scheme  Other groups such as littérateurs, historians,
 It is a central sector scheme to reduce financial anthropologists and curators also contribute
burden of Charitable Religious Institutions. valuable insights into the material culture.
 It envisages reimbursing the Central Government
share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST)
 However, the framing of laws has not happened in
conjunction with any of these disciplines.
and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) of
such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide  This was because at the time of framing law, the
agenda was to preserve India’s material culture.
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 But that rationality at the time of India's  With changing ideas, the role of private
Independence, no longer fits in with the present connoisseurship, individual collectors, trusts and
requirements. foundations should also be considered.
 The reality and needs of a modern-day state that  Their proactive agency has safeguarded the
seeks to understand its past is different. ancient Indian art from being channelled abroad or
Concerns being destroyed.
 The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 has  An urgent amendment to existing laws is essential
long outlived the purpose for which it was drafted. to save the material culture from being examined
 A promised amendment has been floated on the purely from the prism of religious sentiment.
website of the Union Ministry of Culture, but its  It should foster the creation of secular spaces
status is still largely unknown. where everyone can enjoy and appreciate the past.
Understanding
 Importance is ascribed by virtue of religious Climate Change and World Heritage Sites
sentiment, age or provenance to every significant In News: A recent study reveals that the World
and insignificant work of art. Heritage sites were threatened by climate change.
 But this hampers purposes of scholarship or Key highlights
understanding of what constitutes a beautiful  The study assesses the risk due to sea level rise by
work of art or a national treasure. the end of the century at 49 UNESCO coastal
 The view that once-sacred objects today only Heritage sites.
belong to temples is a myopic view and stems from  It presents a risk index that ranks the sites
a lack of understanding of - according to the threat they face from today until
 the role and purpose of these objects the end of the century.
 the temple economy that maintained them  The sites featuring highest on this index in current
 the constant process of renewal that occurred conditions include Venice and its Lagoon, Ferrara,
within historic sites City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta and the
 It thus denies the process of regeneration of these Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia.
living cultural sites.  All these sites are located along the northern
Ownership Adriatic Sea in Italy where extreme sea levels are
 Every object in a private collection is now seen as the highest.
the result of temple desecration and robbery.  This is because high storm surges coincide with
 The laws that govern the ownership of historical high regional sea-level rises here.
objects, their purchase and sale have been a  Dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the
disincentive for the average collector. Mediterranean are under severe threat of coastal
 Registering antiquities with the Archaeological erosion and flooding.
Survey of India (ASI) is a cumbersome and difficult  By the next century flood risk may increase by
procedure for most collectors. 50% and erosion risk by 13% across the region.
 Cultural vigilantism, the presumption of guilt Challenges
without trial, public shaming and the resultant  The Mediterranean region has a high
media trial have led to a dangerous state of affairs. concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
 Vigilante movements neither follow the rule of law  Many of these are in coastal locations as human
nor do they respect the ASI’s time-honoured activity has historically concentrated around these
process of registration of such artifacts. areas.
 It is casting a long shadow on the production of  The steep landscape and small tidal range in the
knowledge of the country's past. area has meant settlements often located close to
Limitations the waterfront.
 The rule is that every object over 100 years is an  So rising sea levels pose a threat to these sites and
antique. settlements.
 With every passing year, the number of objects  But more information on the risk at a local level is
that shift from 99th year to a 100 year status will needed.
increase.
 Also, the approaches to adaption and protection
 This would soon result in the transfer of vast vary across the region due to large social and
numbers of objects to a status of national economic differences.
antiquity.
 Besides, Heritage sites face many challenges to
 But is the state geared to handle and maintain this adapt to the effects of sea-level rise as it changes
vast emerging enterprise remains uncertain. the value and ‘spirit of place’ for each site.
 The state is also not equipped to handle the needs Way Forward
of a growing populace of collectors.
 Further monitoring is required to better
Way Forward understand the effects of climate change on
 It is well within the rights of every citizen to heritage sites and other natural hazards.
acquire and collect objects of their past.  The study has identified areas with urgent need for
 Nevertheless, this acquisition should definitely be adaptation planning.
governed by a legal process of buying.  The iconic nature of such sites can be used to
promote awareness of the need to take action to
mitigate climate change.
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 In some cases, relocation of individual monuments Ancient India:
may be technically possible too.  Rationalists and skeptics who held out for
scientific ideas have been a part of the Indian
Conserving Taj Mahal tradition since at least the 6th century BC.
In News  “Ajita Kesakambalin”, a contemporary of the
 The iconic Taj Mahal is losing its shiny whiteness Buddha, was the earliest known teacher of
due to pollution. complete materialism (stripped of any spiritual
 Despite about 3 decades of conservation efforts, pursuit in life).
there seems little improvement, which is worrying.  The “Charvakas Philosophical Tradition”, is largely
Taj preservation proceeding a product of his thinking that prioritised
 Petitions for the conservation of Taj has been empiricism and skepticism over Vedic ritualism.
hovering the corridors of Supreme Court for over 3  The original texts of the Charvakas have not
decades now. survived, but references to their rationalist
 In a 1996 case, the SC ordered a slew of measures, tradition are found in Buddhist and Jain works.
including the closure of factories in the vicinity, to  The Buddha himself cautioned against accepting
protect the monument. “what has been acquired by repeated hearing”, and
 But successive government haven’t implemented encouraged independent study and thinking.
these in spirit, which has resulted in the  Even within the wider Brahminical tradition,
monument turning from “Whitish to yellowish” and shades of opinion prevailed between the
then to the current state of brownish-green. Brahmanas and the Shramanas, and active debate
 Recently, the SC criticised “Archaeological Survey prevailed.
of India” for its dismal performance in preserving  Notably, even in Chhandogya Upanishad, one
the monument. Uddalaka Aruni speaks of the importance
 The union government has recently stated that it observing the surrounding rather than being
is mulling options for getting international experts superstitious.
to aid the conservation effort. Modern Times
Change of color of the Taj Mahal’s marble?  In the early modern period in Bengal, Raja Ram
 Firstly, the polluting industries and the vehicular Mohan Roy and the Brahmo Samaj led the charge
emissions in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) area against regressive tradition.
are a major source of pollution.  The regions of present day Maharashtra has a long
 Notably, Agra (location of Taj) has been rated the history of radical thought that challenged several
world’s eighth most polluted city in terms of PM ideas embedded in the caste hierarchies.
2.5 levels as per a recent WHO Report.  It was here that Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced
 Rampant construction and encroachments along Buddhism, and the Republican parties carry
with air pollution only compound the problem forward his legacy in their own ways.
 The second reason is that the Yamuna River,  Jyotiba Phule and Savitri Phule rejected caste and
which flows behind the Taj, has become highly gender inequalities.
polluted (due to Agra’s drains).  The first recorded reservation in educational
 The pollution has destroyed all aquatic life in the institutes for backward castes was in Maharashtra
river, and has also proliferated insects around the by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur (1894-
river, which swarm the monument at night. 1922).
 Fishes that would’ve eaten water breeding insects  Narayana Guru in Kerala and E V Ramasamy
and their larvae have now been wiped out, which (Periyar) in Tamil Nadu were early advocates of
has led to the increase in population of the latter. progress, and their ideas impacted politics deeply.
 This insect swarming has led to algal growth on  The Self-Respect movement in Tamil Nadu and the
the surface of the monument. Leftist movement in Kerala and West Bengal made
a strong case for rationalism and egalitarianism.
Indigenous Rationalism in India Way Forward
In News  Article 51A (H) of the Constitution of India gives a
 Hindu rightwing groups tend to portray call “to develop the scientific temper, humanism
rationalism as a western concept which is alien to and the spirit of inquiry and reform”.
Indian ethos and way of life.  The leaders of the national movement hoped that
 But a look at India’s deep rooted philosophical the lofty ideals of the emerging Indian state would
tradition reveals that there has been a vibrant encourage a modern and progressive outlook.
spirit of rationalist throughout.  Rationalism would also help in undoing the feudal
Rationalist tradition shaped up in India setup that has been in place since long and put us
strongly on a path towards social and economic
 It is believed that faith rules in India and that the equality.
number of Indians who didn’t state their religion
was only 3 million in the 2011 census.  In this context, it is important for the state to
ensure that vested interests don’t succeed in
 Nonetheless, this is a massive increase from the
stifling the voices of progressivism.
2001 census where just about 700,000 had not
declared a religion.

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Traditional Water Conservation Systems  Khadin – Also called dhora, is a long earthen
In News: The historic Taj bawadi , built during embankment that is built across the hill slopes of
the Adil Shahi era (1490-1686) in Vijayapura in gravelly uplands. It is indigenous to Jaisalmer
Karnataka was recently restored. region and similar to the irrigation methods of Ur
traditional water conservation systems region (Present Iraq).
around India  Kund – It is a saucer-shaped catchment area that
 Phad – It is a community-managed irrigation gently slopes towards the central circular
system in the tapi river basin in Maharashtra. It underground well. It is found in the sandier tracts
starts with check dam built across a river and of western Rajasthan and Gujarat.
canals to carry water to agricultural blocks with
outlets to ensure excess water is removed from the India’s first music museum to be set up in
canals. Thiruvaiyaru
 Zing – It is found in Ladakh, are small tanks that  Tamil Nadu has announced the setting up of
collect melting glacier water. A network of guiding country’s Ist music museum in Thiruvaiyaru
channels brings water from the glacier to the tank. which is the birthplace of saint Tyagaraja, one of
 Kuhls – They are surface water channels found in the Trinities of Carnatic music.
the mountainous regions of Himachal Pradesh. Saint Tyagaraja
The channels carry glacial waters from rivers and  He was a renowned composer of Carnatic music
streams into the fields.  He composed thousands of devotionals
 Zabo or Ruza System– It is practised in Nagaland. compositions.
Rainwater that falls on forested hilltops is collected
by channels that deposit the run-off water in Ministry of culture releases National
pond-like structures created on the terraced Museum Research Bulletin
hillsides.  This bulletin was revived after gap of 16 years.
 Jackwells - The Shompen tribe of the Great  The bulletin has number of research paper that
Nicobar Islands uses this system, in which highlight collection, display and education aspect
bamboos are placed under trees to collect runoff that National Museum engages with.
water from leaves and carries it to jackwells which  It has been illustrated by coloured photographs,
are pits encircled by bunds made from logs of hard some of which belong to reserve collection of
wood. national museum to make it appealing to wider
 Pat system – It is developed in Madhya Pradesh, audience.
in which the water is diverted from hill streams  The bulletin generates awareness about activities
into irrigation channels by diversion bunds. They of national museum.
are made across the stream by piling up stones
and teak leaves and mud. Panini Language Laboratory
 Eri – It is tank system, widely used in Tamil Nadu  Panini language laboratory was recently
which acts as flood-control systems, prevent soil inaugurated at Mahatma Gandhi institute in
erosion and wastage of runoff during periods of Mauritius to promote reading and writing Hindi
heavy rainfall, and also recharge the groundwater. amongst young and its further development.
 Johads – They are small earthern check dams  It was launched by External Affairs minister
used to conserve and recharge ground water, Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of 11th World
mainly constructed in an area with naturally high Hindi Conference held in Mauritius.
elevation.  Panini language lab aims to promote reading and
 Panam keni – The Kuruma tribe (a native tribe of writing Hindi amongst young generation and its
Wayanad) uses wooden cylinders as a special type further development.
of well, which are made by soaking the stems of  It will serve as medium to generate more interest
toddy palms and immersed in groundwater in learning Hindi amongst youngsters thereby
springs. strengthening language.
 Ahar Pynes – They are traditional floodwater Pāṇini
harvesting systems indigenous to South Bihar.  Pāṇini was an ancient Sanskrit philologist,
Ahars are reservoirs with embankments on three grammarian, and a revered scholar in ancient
sides and Pynes are artificial rivulets led off from India. He was Considered as the father of
rivers to collect water in the ahars for irrigation in linguistics,
the dry months.  Pāṇini likely lived in the northwest Indian
 Jhalara - Jhalaras are typically rectangular- subcontinent during the Mahajanapada era.
shaped stepwells that have tiered steps on three or  He is said to have been born in Shalatula of
four sides in the city of Jodhpur. ancient Gandhara, which likely was near modern
 Bawari - Bawaris are unique stepwells that were Lahor, a small town at the junction of the Indus
once a part of the ancient networks of water and Kabul rivers, which falls in the Swabi District
storage in the cities of Rajasthan. of modern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
 Taanka - It is a cylindrical paved underground pit  The area was then a satrapy of the Achaemenid
into which rainwater from rooftops, courtyards or Empire following the Achaemenid conquest of the
artificially prepared catchments flows. It is Indus Valley, which technically made him in all
indigenous to the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. probability an Achaemenid Persian subject.

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Ashtadhyayi commission by 3rd century BCE by Emperor
 Pāṇini is known for his text Ashtadhyayi, a sutra- Ashoka.
style treatise on Sanskrit grammar, 3,959 "verses"  It is believed that during the reign of Shunga
or rules on linguistics, syntax and semantics in Emperor Pushyamitra Shunga it was vandalised.
"eight chapters" which is the foundational text of While under Agnimitra Shunga, son of
the Vyākaraṇa branch of the Vedanga, the Pushyamitra, it was refurbished.
auxiliary scholarly disciplines of the Vedic period.
 His aphoristic text attracted numerous bhashya
(commentaries), of which Patanjali's Mahābhāṣya
is the most famous in Hindu traditions.
 His ideas influenced and attracted commentaries
from scholars of other Indian religions such as
Buddhism.
 Pāṇini's analysis of noun compounds still forms
the basis of modern linguistic theories of
compounding in Indian languages.
 Pāṇini's comprehensive and scientific theory of
grammar is conventionally taken to mark the start
of Classical Sanskrit.
 His systematic treatise inspired and made Sanskrit
the preeminent Indian language of learning and
literature for two millennia.

India-Vietnam Mou On Postal Stamp


In News: Recently, Union Cabinet has signed a  During the Satavahans Period the gateways, and
MoU with Vietnam on postal stamp.
the balustrade were built and highly decorated. The
What is the difference between a Stupa gateways commissioned were covered with
and Pagoda? narrative structures. The figure of Lord Buddha
 In general, however, "stupa" is the term used for a was carved in these structures as canopy under
Buddhist structure in India or Southeast Asia the Bodhi Tree at the point of Enlightenment.
while "pagoda" refers to temple or a sacred Various events of life of Lord Buddha were
building in East Asia which can be entered, and carved.
which may be secular in purpose.  As seen in the figure the main parts of the Stupa
 Stupa is a hemispherical dome shaped structure are – Anda, Harmika, Chatri, Pradakshinapatha,
which contains relics of remains of Buddha or a Medhi, Vedika and Torana.
Bodhistava, whereas Pagodas have sets of multiple  The Sanchi Stupa has four beautifully carved
discs. Toranas or the gateways which depict various
 Unlike the typical stupa, the pagoda actually has events of Buddhas’ life and Jatakas.
interior space, sometimes on several levels.  It has been enlisted as UNESCO world heritage
 Pagodas are found in Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, site in 1989. Pho Minh Pagoda of Vietnam
Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka etc.  It was built originally during the Ly Dynasty and
Background was later expanded in 1262 during Tran Dynasty.
 The Postal department of Vietnam and Indian had  It was a place for high-ranking mandarins and the
signed an agreement in December 2017 to issue a aristocracy of the Tran Royal Court to worship and
joint stamp on “India-Vietnam: Joint Issue on the lead their religious life.
theme ‘Ancient Architecture’”.
 The Agreement has been approved now by the Adopt A Heritage
Cabinet. In News: Recently, the Red Fort has been leased
 The Joint commemorative stamp depicts Sanchi out to Dalmia group.
Stupa and Pho Minh Pagoda of Vietnam which
was released on January 25.
Archeological Survey of India (ASI)
 Founded in 1861, it is an attached office of the
Ministry of Culture.
 It is the premier organization for the
archaeological research, scientific analysis,
excavation of archaeological sites, etc.
 Under the provisions of the Ancient
Monuments and Archeological Sites Remains
Act of 1958, the ASI administers more than
3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites
and remains of national importance.

Sanchi Stupa
 It is one of the oldest structures in India and was
Art & Culture_001 Byju’s Classes: 9873643487
28
More about Such Lease advertise itself through the site.
 The monument has been adopted under 'Adopt a  The companies are selected through Vision
Heritage' Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, wherein Bidding (i.e. company with best vision for the
a company utilises its CSR to develop and upkeep heritage site gets the opportunity), and are called
the monument. Monument Mitras.
 The legal status of the monument does not  The Project envisages limited ‘access’ to non-core
change after adoption. areas and ‘no handing over of monuments’ are
 The company does not collect any money from the involved.
public unless allowed by the government, and  To know more about the scheme, Please go
profits, if any, are used to maintain and upgrade through Government Schemes, 2018 of Vision IAS
tourism facilities. (under Ministry of Tourism).
Arguments for Involving Private
Enterprises Deendayal Hastkala Sankul
 The ASI is responsible for the upkeep of these In News: Prime Minister recently laid the
monuments. However, it faces various issues like foundation stone for Deendayal Hastkala Sankul –
lack of funds and expertise, inability in policing a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts in
entry and warding off encroachers, etc. Varanasi.
 Outsourcing is already being done to restore  The Sankul will facilitate the
monuments e.g. The Agha Khan and the Dorabji weavers/artisans/exporters in promotion of
Tata Trusts were recently involved in the handlooms/handicrafts in both domestic and
restoration of the Humayun’s Tomb. international markets.
 Corporates frequently sponsor the development  The Crafts Museum in the Sankul will preserve the
and upkeep of sites across the world, especially traditional handloom/handicrafts products of
in Europe e.g. in restoration of the Colosseum, Varanasi and showcase the handloom &
Trevi Fountain, management in Angkorvat Temple, handicraft products, which will be an inspiration
etc. for the new generation, scholars, designers and
 Along with the government, corporates can be tourists.
allowed to take some responsibility with proper Background
monitoring and safeguards.  The Finance Minister in the Budget 2014-15 had
Arguments against their Involvement announced setting up of a Trade Facilitation Centre
 The heritage of a country is national. It should be and a Crafts Museum to develop and promote
available to everybody and should not represent handlooms, handicrafts and silk products of
the agenda or interests of a private company. Varanasi and to provide necessary help to weavers,
 Many of the sites advertised for adoption are artisans and entrepreneurs of Varanasi in
religious or of religious importance, pushing them strengthening their marketing activities in domestic
further into the consumption-ruled private market as well as international markets and in carrying
can be seen questionable. forward the rich tradition of handlooms at
Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar Apni Varanasi.
Pehchan
 It is a joint initiative of Ministry of Tourism,
World Cities Cultural Forum
Ministry of Culture, ASI and State/UT In News: Recently, Mumbai became the first
Governments. Indian city to be a member of World Cities Cultural
 It aims to involve public sector companies, Forum (WCCF).
private sector companies and corporate More form News
citizens/individuals to take up the responsibility  Mumbai is a cultural centre which promotes
for making heritage and tourism more sustainable culture through its entertainment and fashion
through development, operation and maintenance industry, museums, temples etc.
of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities  It would allow Mumbai to share ideas, technology,
at the Indian heritage sites. challenges and access cultures and art of other
 The program outlines concrete responsibilities cities and broaden its perspective.
for the private companies, such as creating new World Cities Cultural Forum
infrastructure, new amenities and new levels of WCCF is the biggest forum of global network which
cleanliness, maintaining the existing operations, provides a platform for 33 cities to share their
making the monument more popular, and taking culture, data-driven research and intelligence
better care of tourists. while exploring the vital role and impact of culture
 The firm will, among others, have a responsibility in future prosperity.
to better advertise the site but will also be able to

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