Folk arts of Himachal Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh has two stylistic streams of art and culture – classical or courtly (the Great Tradition) and folk (the Little Tradition).
- The figures of Hindu deities such as Shiva, six-headed Karttikeya or Kumara, Gaja-Lakshmi, Krittika, Rishi Vishvamitra, etc were engraved on the coins issued by the chieftains of the janapadas (republics) such as the Kunindas, the Malavas, the Audumbaras, etc. by the 3rd century BCE.
- The stone statues of Vishnu and numerous reliefs carved in the Sarnath style are found in Ambika Mata and Parashurama temples in Nirmand in Kulu district, popularly known as the Kashi of the Himalayan region, dated to the 4th-5th centuries CE.
- Free standing wood statues of Surya and one of his attendants Dandi and Pingala, and four door frames featuring flowing forms of Hindu goddesses executed in Gupta and post-Gupta style, i.e. late 6th-early 7th centuries CE are found in wooden temple of Surya that has been reconstructed and dedicated to Docha-Mocha (a village deity) in Gajan hamlet in Kulu valley.
- Chaukhandi Stupa is an ancient Buddhist site in Uttar Pradesh’s Sarnath.
- Stupas have evolved from burial mounds and serve as a shrine for a relic of the Buddha.
- The Chaukhandi Stupa was built as a terraced temple during the Gupta period between the 4th and 6th centuries to mark the site where Lord Buddha and his first disciples met traveling from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath.
- Later King Govardhan, son of Raja todarmal modified the stupa by building an octagonal tower to commemorate the visit of Mughal ruler Humayun.
- The monument has been declared to be “of national importance” by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Defense Space Research Agency (DSRO)
- Cabinet Committee on Security has approved to set up new agency called Defense Space Research Agency (DSRO).
- The agency will be entrusted with the task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies.
- The agency would be providing the research and development support to the Defense Space Agency (DSA) which comprises members of the three services.
- The DSA has been created to help the country fight wars in the space.
- The Defense Space Agency is being set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three forces.
- India is in the process of acquiring the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) from the US.
- US is also mounting pressure on India to consider its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) and Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile defence systems.
- NASAMS is a state-of-the-art defence system that can maximise the ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, UAV or emerging cruise missile threats.
- The system can be deployed to identify, engage and destroy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as well as protect high-value assets and mass population centres against air-to-surface threats.
- NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS and features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.
- It was designed and developed jointly by Raytheon and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, primarily for the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).
International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA)
- National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) will be hosting the five-day annual International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) meet from June 17 to 21.
- Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies.
- The meet is a collaboration of radio astronomers from a dozen countries across the globe.
- It uses more than 12 radio telescopes all over the world with an aim to detect ultra-low frequency gravitational waves.
- Ultra-low frequency Gravitational Waves are wrinkles in space-time produced by two massive black holes, each revolving around the other.
- Such black holes, which weigh billion times more than Sun, are found in the centres of colliding galaxies.
- These waves affect radio pulses from 10km size stars called radio pulsars by changing ever so slightly the period of radio pulsation of these stars.
- It is a species of bush tomato i.e native to the arid parts of Australia.
- It’s not unusual for flowers to be hermaphrodite, i.e. to bear both male and female organs present in every blossom.
- 85% of the planet species have flowers that are bisexual.
- But for the most part, a given plant species will stick to one primary and predictable type of sexual expression,
- However, this plant can vary between female, others male, and a combination of both.
- Therefore the researchers have named the plant Solanum plastisexum.
- Plastisexum means “moldable” or “changeable” sex.
- It is the first to be recognised as gender-fluid.
- It strengthens the idea that sexual binary form among all life forms i.e consisting of only two distinct and disconnected forms is, fundamentally false.
- Hundreds more Indians confirmed as British under Windrush Scheme.
- The ‘Windrush Generation’ refers to citizens of former British colonies who arrived in the UK before 1973, when the rights of such Commonwealth citizens to live and work in Britain were substantially curtailed.
- They were people from commonwealth countries, including India, who arrived in Britain between 1948 and early 1970s.
- The name derives from the ship MV Empire Windrush, which brings nearly 500 Jamaicans to the UK.
- The immigrants came at the invitation of the British government, which was facing a labour shortage due to the destruction caused by World War II.
- The 1971 Immigration Act gave Commonwealth citizens who were already living in the UK indefinite leave to remain and most of them came without any documents.
- After a change of law in 2012, people were asked for proof.
- The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land under restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
- At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030.
Operation Sunrise 2
- It is a three-week-long coordinated operation carried out by the armies of India and Myanmar in their respective border areas, targeting several militant groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam and the first phase of “Operation Sunrise” was conducted three months ago along the Indo-Myanmar border.
- Four Northeast Indian states share the border with Myanmar: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur.
Access, Watch and Reserve (AWaRe)
- WHO has urged all countries to adopt the Access, Watch and Reserve guidelines to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs.
- ‘Rx: Keep it simple’ is the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) prescription to combat the growing menace of antibiotic abuse and burgeoning resistance worldwide.
- It is a global campaign urging governments to adopt a tool to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs.
- The AWaRe tool was developed by the WHO Essential Medicines List to contain rising resistance and make antibiotic use safer and more effective.
- It classifies antibiotics into three groups
- It specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections, which ones should be available at all times in the healthcare system, and those that must be used sparingly or preserved and used only as a last resort.
- The new campaign aims to increase the proportion of global consumption of antibiotics in the ‘Access’ group to at least 60%, and to reduce use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance.
- Using ‘Access’ antibiotics lowers the risk of resistance because they are ‘narrow-spectrum’ antibiotics (that target a specific microorganism rather than several).
- They are also less costly because they are available in generic formulations.
- In India, the Health Ministry has made it mandatory to display a 5mm-thick red vertical band on the packaging of prescription-only drugs to sensitise people to be cautious while buying these medicines that are widely sold without prescriptions.
- Japan’s Washi paper’s market value is dwindling despite its UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage tag.
- Washi is a traditional Japanese paper.
- The traditional hand-made paper is manufactured from plants called kozo, or mulberry, which has fibres that are much longer than materials used for paper in the west such as wood and cotton.
Dalbergia sissoo (Indian rosewood/shisham tree)
- Shisham trees are found dying by experts are baffled.
- It is a decidious tree that is economically important for its value in forestry, agroforestry, and horticulture.
- It provides timber, fuelwood, fodder, has medicinal value, used extensively as an ornamental tree as well as for shading, erosion control, and soil fertility.
- Native to the Indian sub-continent and it has been introduced in various countries throughout the world.
- It survives in areas with a mean annual rainfall of 500-4500mm
- Its extensive root system makes it ideally suited for stabilizing and controlling erosion.
- The wood of Indian rosewood is highly durable with excellent finishing colour and smoothness.
- Scientists at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) identified a “fungus” could be the problem behind the dying of the tree.
- Conservation Status: Not Threatened
- Recently India has proposed to remove rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) from Appendix II (Not threatened) of CITES
- Appendix II of CITES states that trade must be controlled to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival. According to the India’s proposal, Listing of Dalbergia genus may create unnecessary complications in the trade. Export market of rosewood handicraft, a thriving sector has nearly crashed since an international agreement came into effect in 2017, regulating the trade in all the 250 rosewood species (under Dalbergia genus). India has proposed to remove rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) from Appendix II of CITES.
- It is the code name for the air strike India carried out against Pakistan in Balakot.
- India has scrapped a $500-million deal with Israel for the purchase of Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel after indigenous developer Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) claimed that it could deliver an alternative within two years.
- The DRDO offered to deliver thousands of indigenous MPATGM by 2021, almost the time it would take Rafael to deliver its Strike missiles,
- Spike is an Israeli fourth-generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead.
- It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
- It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants.
- PNS/M Saad is a fast-attack submarine powered with an air-independent propulsion system and the second of the Agosta-/Khalid-class submarines jointly designed and constructed by France and Pakistan.
- Post-Balakot air strike, Indian Navy hunted for this Pakistani submarine for 21 days.
- European Space Agency (ESA) developed a lunar evacuation system, named LESA.
- LESA is a pyramid-like structure whose purpose is to rescue an astronaut should he or she suffer an injury on the lunar surface.
- LESA stands for Lunar Evacuation System Assembly.
- It was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA).
- It is one among the preparations for NASA’s 2024 Moon mission.
- Astronauts will be wearing heavy extravehicular activity (EVA) suits and there is no way an astronaut could carry their fallen crewmate over their shoulder while wearing an EVA suit.
- LESA can be operated by a single astronaut to rescue a fallen colleague.
- It enables an astronaut to lift their crewmate onto a mobile stretcher in less than 10 minutes, before carrying them to the safety of a nearby pressurised lander.
- It is a desert-based carnivorous dinosaur that used claws to capture small prey 90 million years ago, which has been unearthed in southern Brazil.
- The Vespersaurus was a theropod, a group of two-footed, meat-eating dinosaurs that included the better known Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.
Minor Forest Produce (MFP)
- Minor Forest Produce, is defined by the FRA as “all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber and the like.”
- Tribals have the right to procure and sell these products.
- Cotton is a Kharif Crop and grows in tropical and subtropical areas.
- Soil Type : Optimum soil for cotton is the Black soils of Deccan and Malwa plateau.
- Cotton requires modest rainfall and in India, it is one of the predominant rainfed crops.
- Cotton requires uniformly high temperature (21°C to 30°C).
- It grows in areas having at least 210 frost free days in a year.
- Also grows well in alluvial soils of the Satluj-Ganga plain and red and laterite soils of the peninsular region.
- Main cotton producing states are Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
- Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab etc
- Diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria.
- It primarily infects the throat and upper airways, and produces a toxin affecting other organs.
- The illness has an acute onset and the main characteristics are sore throat, low fever and swollen glands in the neck, and the toxin may, in severe cases, cause myocarditis or peripheral neuropathy.
- The disease is spread through direct physical contact or from breathing in the aerosolized secretions from coughs or sneezes of infected individuals.