- Kurumbas are the tribe who live in the mid-ranges of the Nilgiris or “blue-mountains”.
- The Kurumba art is traditionally practiced by only either by the male members of the temple caretakers, or priest to the Kurumba village.
- The women of the family contribute to the decorations at home in the form of borders around the door and windows and kolams on the floor.
- The art are primarily ritualistic, describing various facets of tribal life.
- Often it is painted on the outer wall of the temple and the house.
- Eluthu paarai is an ancient 3000-year-old rock-painting site of Kurumbas in the Kothagiri region of the Nilgiris.
- The rock art depictions in this site come under the category of ‘petrographs’ means “rock art”.
- Rock engravings are called ‘petroglyphs’.
- The Pithora painting form is traditionally performed on walls inside the homes of the Rathvas tribe.
- The Rathva community of Gujarat like most Adivasi communities of India has a revered cultural diversity.
- Rathva culture is full of colourful mythology, historical lore, music, festivals, rituals and preeminently their art.
- Pithora painting is a part of an elaborate ritual performed to complete vows to gain the boon of the chief god of the Rathvas, Baba Pithora.
- In times of difficulty, Rathva seek the guidance of Badva, the chief priest or shaman of the village.
- Badva performs readings based on the skills he has acquired through ancestral schooling, and recommends undertaking a vow to paint Pithora in the home in order to gain a boon from Baba Pithora.
- The person who undertakes the vow is known as Ghardhani, or in simple terms, home owner.
- The Ghardhani and Badva invite a Lakhara (individual who paints Pithora) of repute in the community.
- Sarus crane, whose numbers pushed to the edge by habitat degradation and human callousness, now seems to be getting a new lease of life in Uttar Pradesh, where it enjoys the status of official State bird.
- The Sarus (Grus antigone) is the tallest flying bird in the world.
- It is also India’s only resident breeding crane.
- As per IUCN status it is listed under vulnerable category.
- It has three disjunct populations in the Indian sub-continent, south-east Asia and northern Australia.
- Navy commanders of the Indian Ocean littoral states will convene in Bandar Abbas (IRAN) next month for participating in Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).
- IONS, the 21st century’s first significant international maritime security initiative launched in February 2008, provides a forum for discussion of regional maritime issues and promotes friendly relationships among member nations.
- It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues and, in the process, endeavors to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly agreements on the way ahead.
- Under the charter of business adopted in 2014, the grouping has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and anti-piracy now renamed as maritime security.
- The 35 member nations of the IONS are grouped into four sub-regions- South Asian, West Asian, East African and South East Asian and Australian.
- There are nine states with observer status.
- Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur , was commissioned as INS Kohassa to enhance the operational capability of Andaman and Nicobar Command.
- NAS Shibpur was identified by NITI Aayog as one of the ‘Early Bird’ project as part of holistic island development.
- INS Utkrosh at Port Blair and INS Baaz at Campbell Bay are the other naval air base in Anadman.
- INS Kohassa has been named after a White-Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- It is set up as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for surveillance in North Andaman.
- The station will function as a base for joint operation of both military and civil aircraft in keeping with the UDAN scheme of the government.
- It is located in the northern most part of the islands and the airfield holds strategic importance not only for the security of the islands but also for its overall development.
- The close proximity of Coco Islands (Myanmar) and wide expanse of Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) makes the base a very vital asset.
- Andaman and Nicobar islands dominate the Bay of Bengal with more than 60,000 commercial vessels passing through each year.
- Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORISA) is a global scheme to address the increase in total CO2 emissions from international aviation above 2020 levels.
- The aviation industry is committed to technology, operational and infrastructure advances to continue to reduce the sector’s carbon emissions.
- On average (2021-2035), flights subject to CORSIA’s offsetting requirements will account for over 600 million tons of CO2 per year.
- This makes CORSIA one of the largest carbon pricing instruments in the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions coverage.
- CORISA is expected to complement other planned measures such as:
- aircraft technology evolution
- operational improvements
- the greater use of sustainable aviation fuels.
- On 2018, International Civil Aviation Organization adopted the international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for CORSIA.
- The adoption of global standards for CORSIA will ensure the necessary level of uniformity in regulations which our industry needs.
- A unique event which will showcase the rich handloom and textile tradition of India is being held at Elephanta Caves.
- The first-of-its-kind event at Elephanta Caves is being organized by the Ministry of Textiles, in partnership with IMG Reliance.
- Elephanta Caves near Mumbai is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The Elephanta Caves are located in Western India on Elephanta Island.
- It is also known as the Island of Gharapuri (City of caves).
- They were named Elefante – which morphed to Elephanta – by the colonial Portuguese when they found elephant statues on it.
- The masterpiece “Sadashiva” dominates the entrance to one of the caves in Elephanta.
- Sadashiva sculpture represents three aspects of Shiva: the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer.
- It is identified, respectively, with Aghora or Bhairava (left half), Taptapurusha or Mahadeva (central full face), and Vamadeva or Uma (right half).
- The sculptures are also noteworthy for their forms, dimensions, themes, representations, content, alignment and execution.
Integrated Refinery Expansion Project Complex (IREP)
- Prime Minister laid foundation stone for Integrated Refinery Expansion Project Complex (IREP) at Kochi, Kerala.
- IREP will be a modern expansion complex and transform Kochi refinery into the largest PSU Refinery in India with world class standards.
- It will be equipped for production of cleaner Fuels for India.
- It will double the production of LPG & diesel and commence production of feedstock for petrochemical projects in this plant.
Smart Food Executive Council
- Associations including the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) together have formed the Smart Food Executive Council.
- It was formed under the aegis of the Smart Food Initiative that was launched in 2013.
- Stemmed from the strategic thinking around the need for food that fulfils the criteria of being good for the consumer, good for the planet and good for the farmer.
- The Smart Food initiative is founded by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) and aims to build food systems where the food is good for you (highly nutritious), good for the planet and good for the smallholder farmer. It is an initiative which will initially focus on popularizing millets and sorghum.
Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW)
- The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), comprising about 30 companies, pledged over $1 billion to eliminate plastic waste across the world. They aim to invest $1.5 billion over the next five years for the same.
- The alliance is designed as a non-profit organization. It includes companies from across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa as well as the Middle East are part of the Alliance.
- The aim is to develop solutions to mitigate plastic pollution and promote a circular economy by utilising used plastics.
- Member companies include those that make, use, sell, process, collect and recycle plastics, as well as chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies, also called the plastics value chain. From India, Reliance Industries will advance efforts towards a sustainable future.
- Maniyaro is a variety of folk dance of Gujarat.
- It carries the sentiments of heroism in the Dandiya RAAS of Maher community in Gujarat.
- In Gujarat and especially in Saurashtra region, generally Men wear traditional costumes, having preset sized wooden sticks and present Maniyaro.
- Maniyaro is usually being played with the ancient instruments like Drum, Flute, and RAVAN Hattho etc.
- Lyrics of the songs that are being sung in Maniyaro are sometimes flowing enjoyment, at times expressing the feeling of separation and sometimes inspiring heroism.
Small Woodbrown butterfly
- This year has been an important one for butterfly researchers of Sikkim. After a span of 120 long years, researchers at the Sikkim University in Gangtok have rediscovered the Small Woodbrown butterfly species from Bakhim in Khanchendzonga National Park.
- The Small Woodbrown butterfly was discovered in Sikkim in 1887 by a scientist named de Nicéville.
- The Small Woodbrown butterfly, scientifically known as Lethe nicetella is named after its brown-coloured wings patched with white round spots. It is amongst the smallest members of the genus Lethe, with wings that are up to 50 millimeters long. The species is endemic to the eastern Himalayas and occurs in forests lying between elevations of 1,800-2,800 metres. Across the world, species of Lethe are found in Sunda Islands, Japan, Siberia, Himalayas and peninsular India. Of the 41 species of Lethe that are found in India, 32 species are reported from Sikkim alone.
- Researchers believe that an important reason why the Small Woodbrown butterfly species was not sighted in Sikkim for more than a century is its close resemblance with another species called Lethe sidonis.
- This species is fairly common in the Khanchendzonga National Park and differs from the Small Woodbrown butterfly in the size and structure of its wings–a feature that needs to be examined very closely by a trained zoologist using magnifying lenses.
- Although researchers have observed the Small Woodbrown butterfly feeding on faecal matter of cattle and horses, they are yet to perform an in-depth investigation about its life cycle, feeding and mating behaviour in its natural environment.
New species of Portulaca
- The southern penninsular region of India is a biodiversity hotspot. Several new species of animals, plants and insects have been discovered in this region in the past. This year two new species of Portulaca, commonly known as moss rose, have been added to this list.
- The two new species were discovered from Badami hills in Bagalkot district of Karnataka by botanists from the Shivaji University in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. The species have been named Portulaca badamica and Portulaca lakshminarasimhaniana.
- Portulaca badamica is named after the site of its discovery that is, the Badami hills, while the second new species—Portulaca lakshminarasimhaniana—honours Pakshirajan Lakshminarashimhan, who is the head of the Botanical Survey of India, western regional circle in Pune, for his significant contribution to plant taxonomy.
- Both these species differ from previously known species of Portulaca in the branching pattern of their stems as well as the structure and colour of their flowers and seeds. Portulaca originated in South America and Africa and has more than 100 species worldwide.
- From India, six species of Portulaca were earlier known and now there is addition of two new species.
- Both the new species of Portulaca grow in sandy soil accumulated on rocky plateaus of Badami and Guledgudda taluks of Bagalkot district. They are restricted in distribution and are facing constant anthropogenic threat due to human activities such as grazing pressure and construction.
- Portulaca badamica is listed under the data deficient category and Portulaca lakshminarasimhaniana is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- Apart from Portulaca species, Badami hills are home to many rare plants such as Barleria stocksii, Iphigenia mysorensis, Eleiotis rottlerii, Alysicarpus gamblei and Commiphora berryi.
10th Schedule of the Constitution
- The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act. It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.
- The decision on question as to disqualification on ground of defection is referred to the Chairman or the Speaker of such House, and his decision is final.
- The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.