Right Livelihood Award
- It is also known as Alternative Nobel.
- It is an international award to “honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.”
- The prize was established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, and is presented annually in early December.
- This year it was awarded for 3 Saudi activists – Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair.
Diwari pai danda
- It is a folk dance form from the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh.
- Belonging to the cow-herding community (Pal) ,that had been practising it over several generations.
- It traces its origin to the life and times of Krishna.
- It is said that when Krishna lifted Govardhan mountain on his finger to protect people from the wrath of a heavy downpour, people danced in joy.
- It is said Krishna along with his cousin Shishupal of Chedi used to play with sticks in childhood and this makes the origin of the folk form.
- The dance is a metaphor of life and you need to protect yourself from various things.
- It is a tradition of Hindustani Classical Vocal Music descended from the Nauhar Bani
- It is traced back to around 1300 AD during the reign of Emperor Allauddin Khilji.
- The first known musician of this tradition is Nayak Gopal.
- The style prevalent then in the Gharana was “Dhrupad–Dhamar“.
- Ghagghe Khudabuksh (1790-1880 AD) introduced the “Khayal” style of Gwalior Gharana into Agra gharana which Khudabaksh learnt from Natthan Paribaksh of Gwalior.
- This is the only Gharana that has still continued to sing Dhrupad-Dhamar along with Nom-Tom Alap,Khayal, Thumri, Tappa, Tarana, Hori.
- Manganiyars and related Langha are Muslim communities in Sindh, Pakistan and in the desert ofRajasthan, India in the districts of Barmer and Jaisalmer, along the border of Sindh province ofPakistan.
- They are groups of hereditary musicians whose music has been supported by wealthy landlords and aristocrats for generations.
- The Manganiars consider themselves descendants of the Rajputs and are renowned as folk musicians of the Thar desert.
- Though Manganiar and Langhas communities are Muslim, in Rajasthan many Manganiar songs are in praise of Hindu deities and celebrate Hindu festivals such as Diwali and Holiwhere the performers traditionally invoke the Hindu God Krishna and seek his blessing before beginning their recital.
Liquidity Coverage Ratio
- The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) refers to highly liquid assets held by financial institutions to meet short-term obligations.
- Statutory Liquidity Ratio is the percentage of deposits that banks have to mandatorily invest in government and state government securities, which is currently at 19.5 %.
- RBI has recently notified that banks are allowed to use up to 15 % (currently 13%) of holdings under the SLR reserves to meet their liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) requirements.
- This move will take the total carve-out from SLR available to banks to 15 per cent of their deposits.
- The RBI move follows concerns over tight liquidity conditions and banks’ unwillingness to lend to NBFCs.
- Indian Army conducted surgical strikes in 2016 which had strategic ramifications and were aimed to dissuade inimical adversary from adopting the path of violence and to ensure an environment of peace for the Nation.
- To showcase the courage, valour and sacrifice of Armed Forces, ‘Parakram Parv’ is being observed from 28-30 September 2018.
- The main event is planned in India Gate Lawns, Rajpath, New Delhi.
- Similarly, 53 locations in 51 cities across the Nation shall be showcasing the events highlighting valour of Indian Armed Forces in general and Special Forces in particular.
- Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali.
- It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.
- The pass provides a natural divide between the Kullu Valley with a primarily Hindu culture (in the south), and the arid high-altitude Lahaul and Spiti valleys with a Buddhist culture (in the north).
- The pass lies on the watershed between the Chenab and Beas basins.
- On the southern side of this pass, the Beas River emerges from underground and flows southward and on its northern side, the Chandra River (flows from the eastern Himalayas), a source stream of the river Chenab, flows westward.
Female circumcision or ‘khafz’
- The Supreme Court referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench petitions seeking a declaration that the practice of female circumcision or ‘khafz,’ prevalent in the Dawoodi Bohra sect, amounts to “female genital mutilation (FGM)” and is a violation of women’s right to life and dignity.
- A Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud observed that the issue deserved to be examined by a Constitution Bench.
- Earlier, at hearings, Justice Chandrachud had observed that circumcision leaves permanent, emotional and mental scars in a young girl.
- The Chief Justice had orally observed that the Constitution does not allow a person to cause injury to another.
- The Bench had said the practice should be tested in the light of constitutional morality.
Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA)
- National Informatics Centre (NIC) and NIC Services Incorporated (NICSI) have jointly set up a Centre of Excellence for data analytics.
- This is aimed to support Government departments to unlock the hidden potential of the data that they are generating as part of the governance processes and use it to improve the overall governance.
- CEDA is envisaged to kick-start and fast track the adoption of advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities.
- It shall provide quality data analytic services to government departments at all levels by identifying appropriate tools and technologies and deploying people with right expertise.
- As part of its service offerings, it will help the departments
- Understand their business requirements and define their analytic needs
- Identify the data sets that are required to meet the analytic needs
- Determine access to the relevant data sources (both within as well as outside the government)
- Build the required data analytic solutions
- In integrating departmental data silos and deliver an integrated whole-of government analytics for an integrated policy formulation.
Mission for Integrated Development Horticulture
- Mission for Integrated Development Horticulture (MIDH), a centrally sponsored scheme is implemented for the holistic development of horticulture sector in the country covering fruits, vegetables, roots and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo through various interventions.
- Under MIDH, cluster-based approach is adopted for production and linking it with available infrastructure, or to be created, for post harvest management, processing, marketing and export. While selecting the cluster, preference is given to those areas where natural resource base and water resources have been developed. Special emphasis is also given for adoption of area based cluster approach towards developing regionally differentiated crops, which are agro-climatically most suitable for the State/region. However, the details of clusters including vegetables are not maintained at the Central level.
- No such proposal is under consideration of this Ministry. However, under MIDH for the current financial year, States/UTs were requested to make sub-plan for development of crop
- Clusters of major horticulture crops including vegetables and make provisions in their current years’ Action Plan for development of these clusters.
Global Language Park (bhasha van in Hindi)
- In what is certainly the first such experiment in the country, and perhaps the world, the eminent linguist Ganesh Devy plans to set up a Global Language Park (bhasha van in Hindi) in Pune.
- It will be located on a one-acre plot on the premises of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).
- Conceptualised as part of the 84th PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) International Congress that is underway in the city, the park will have about 80 ‘language ’.
- The idea is to physically represent 6,000 of the world’s spoken tongues in one space.
- Each tree represents the languages and dialects derived from the family or parent tree.
- Set to open in January 2019, the park will have a tree-lined walkway.
- Each plant will be equipped with a ‘bespoke audio tour’ to aid visitors.
- Audio samples of songs, poems, folktales, sayings, and jokes will be drawn from different world languages.
Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT)
- Embryo Transfer is a technique by which embryos are collected from a donor female and are transferred to recipient females , which serve as surrogate mothers for the remainder of pregnancy.
- INDUSCHIP has been developed for genomic selection of indigenous breeds.
- Benefits are : 5-6 fold increase in the number of off springs, calves so born will be of high genetic merit, off springs will be free from diseases.
- The Livestock Census has been conducted in the country periodically since 1919-20.
- It is an Indonesian island east of Borneo, comprises several long peninsulas radiating from a mountainous center.
- It’s known for coral reefs and dive sites such as Bunaken National Park, the Togian Islands and Wakatobi National Park.
- A powerful earthquake of 7.5 magnitude rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi , triggering a 5-feet-tall tsunami.
- The eight-day long annual festival is observed to worship Indra, the lord of rain and good harvest.
- It also marks the end of monsoon and beginning of harvest season and festivity.
- The chariot procession and mask dances are the main attraction of Indra Jatra.
- On the fourth day of the festival the chariot procession of living Goddess Kumari, Lord Ganesha and Lord Bhairav began from historic Basantapur Durbar Square.
- Nepal’s living Goddess Trishna Shakya made her first public appearance after she was appointed in September last year.
- It is a subregion of Oceania, composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean.
- It has a shared cultural history with two other island regions, Polynesia to the east and Melanesia to the south.
- The region has a tropical marine climate, and is part of the Oceania ecozone.
- The Micronesia region encompasses five sovereign, independent nations—the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Nauru—as well as three U.S. territories in the northern part: Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Wake Island.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.
- USAID is one of the largest official aid agencies in the world, and accounts for more than half of all U.S. foreign assistance (which in absolute dollar terms is the highest in the world).
Champion of Earth
- The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) established Champions of the Earth in 2005 as an annual awards programme to recognize outstanding environmental leaders from the public and private sectors, and from civil society. Typically, five to seven laureates are selected annually.
- Each laureate is invited to an award ceremony to receive a trophy, give an acceptance speech and take part in a press conference.
- No financial awards are conferred.
- This awards programme is a successor to UNEP’s Global 500 Roll of Honour.
- In 2017, the program was expanded to include Young Champions of the Earth – a forward looking prize for talented innovators, 18 to 30, who demonstrate outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact.
Border Infrastructure and Management
- Recently the Centre has approved 60 projects being implemented under the umbrella scheme of Border Infrastructure and Management (BIM) to meet special development needs of people living in those areas.
- The projects are being implemented in 17 states having the international borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The projects are implemented in 111 border districts to meet special development needs of border population with focus on people living within 50 kms of the international border.
- The schemes include construction of roads, schools, primary health centres, promotion of rural tourism, border tourism, promotion of sports activities, cleanliness mission, protection of heritage sites, supply of drinking water, community centres, connectivity, drainage, to enable sustainable living in border areas.
- Construction of helipads in remote and inaccessible hilly areas which do not have road connectivity, skill development training to farmers for the use of modern and scientific technique in farming, organic farming are some of the other areas where the projects are being implemented.
- Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) is a one-stop solution for all indirect tax requirements.
- It is a Section 25, not for profit organization owned by the government and private players jointly.
- GSTN has been entrusted with the responsibility of building the Indirect Taxation platform for GST to help prepare, file, rectify returns and make payments of indirect tax liabilities.
Cyber Shikshaa Initiative
- Project Cyber Shikshaa focus on skilling women engineering graduates in the niche field of Cyber Security.
- It is launched by Microsoft & Data Security Council of India (DSCI) in association with Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY).
- The primary objective is to connect with underserved women from Tier 2 / Tier 3 cities and to align a career path for them in Cyber Security.
- Centre of Advance Computing (CDAC) will impart training to the selected women candidates from all over India.
Climate Finance Leadership Initiative
- The Climate Finance Leadership initiative support a global mobilisation of private capital in response to the challenge of climate change.
- It work to fulfill the private financing objectives included in the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
- Paris agreement reaffirmed the goal of mobilizing at least $100 billion per year by 2020 through a combination of public development finance and private foreign direct investment.
- It will draw members from top international financial firms and corporations.
- It focus on catalysing scaled-up investments in clean energy and climate resilience projects around the world, in both developed and emerging markets.
- The initiative will have a one-year term culminating in a UN Climate Summit to be held in September 2019.
- It will work closely with the government of France and will provide a first report to G7 Finance Ministers by July 2019.
- Recently the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban has partnered with Google to launch the Loo Review campaign.
- It is aimed to encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps.
- This campaign will allow all citizens to locate public toilets in their cities on Google Maps, Search and the Assistant and also provide feedback on the same.
- Local Guides are people who share reviews, photos, and knowledge on Google Maps to help people explore the world.
- The joint campaign to be run throughout October and November 2018 is an effort to increase the awareness and ease of locating public toilets across India. 500+ cities in India with more than 30,000 toilets with the name of “SBM Toilet” are currently live on Google Maps.
- One of the objectives of the SBM- U is to provide sanitation coverage through public toilet facilities across cities in India for achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. There is now a need to ensure that the ODF status is sustained through continuous usage and proper maintenance of public toilets.
- The ‘Public toilets near me’ feature will benefit citizens, particularly women and senior citizens, who often find it difficult to find access to clean toilets in the public space.
- The feedback provide by local guides through the Loo Review campaign will press upon the Urban Local Bodies to take proactive steps to improve public toilet facilities across the country.