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Prelim Bits 04-03-2024 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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March 04, 2024

New GI Tagged Products

The Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai have given GI tag for Cuttack Rupa Tarakasi, Banglar muslin, Narasapur crochet lace products among others.

  • GI tag – A form of certification that recognises unique products based on their origin.
  • Characteristics – Products can be natural or man-made.
  • India being a member of WTO, enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 that came into force from 2003.

The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling Tea in the year 2004-05. Tamil Nadu has the highest number of GI tags in India.

Cuttack Rupa Tarakasi - Jewellery

  • It is a silver filigree, a form of metalwork in jewellery.
  • GeographyOdisha.
  • Qualities – Fine craftsmanship and luxurious design.
  • Origin – As early as 3500 BCE in Mesopotamia, it was incorporated and even today it is done as Telkari work.
  • In India – It might have reached Cuttack from Persia through Indonesia some 500 years ago by sea trade, also evidences shows the exchange of jewellery and gems between Kalinga and Indonesia.

The Banglar muslin – Handloom Craft

  • GeographyBengal.
  • Qualities – This finest muslin is made of cotton, which are spun to create threads that maintained tensile strength higher than any other cotton products.

Narasapur crochet lace products

  • Geography – Narsapur in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Qualities – Intricate craftsmanship, unique designs and good quality crochet craft.
  • In India – It was brought by missionaries to Narsapur.

Ratlam Riyawan Lahsun – Garlic variety

  • Geography – It is named after Riyawan village in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh

Ambaji White Marble

  • GeographyGujarat.
  • It is formed when limestone is re-crystallised under the earth’s crust due to intense pressure and heat.
  • Qualities – Pure white Colour with light grey veins.

Majuli mask

  • GeographyAssam
  • They are made in different variety and sizes as they are mainly divided into different categories
  • Mukha bhaona face mask – It covers the face.
  • Lotokoi hanging mask – It is bigger in size extends to the chest.
  • Cho Mukha huge mask – It is a head and body mask.

Majuli Manuscript Paintings

  • GeographyAssam.
  • It has illustrated numerous stories and chapters taken from the great Hindu epics Ramayana, Mahabharata and above all subjects from the Bhagavata Purana.

Risa Textile

  • Geography – Tripura
  • It is common in almost all 19 indigenous tribal communities of Tripura.
  • However, each community has its own design.

Hyderabad Lac Bangles and Kutch rogan craft are the other products that got GI tag recently.

Reference

The Hindu| Recent GI Tagged Products

 

Lahore Resolution, 1940

India plans to celebrate the Pakistan National Day in March 2024 at the Pakistan’s embassy complex in New Delhi.

Pakistan National Day is observed on March 23, the day the Lahore Resolution was adopted in 1940 by the Muslim League.

  • Adopted byAll-India Muslim League during its general session in Lahore from March 22 to March 24, 1940.
  • Objective – To formally call for an independent state for India’s Muslims.
  • Causes – Till the early 1930s, many Muslims had been agitating for better representation and safeguarding of their rights within the Indian Union.
    • Separate electorate granted to them in the Government of India Act, 1935, was a step towards that.
  • However, as the decade progressed, the voices that demanded a total break from India got stronger.

The Muslim League’s 1940 Lahore session was held days after the Khaksar tragedy, when members of a Muslim group called the Khaksars, fighting for India’s independence, were shot at by the British.

  • Resolution – No constitutional plan would be acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principle
  • Demarcating geographically contiguous units with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary.
  • Grouping the numerically Muslim majority areas like the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India into Independent States, where the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.
  • Providing constitutionals safeguards in other parts of India where the Mussalmans are in a minority and for other minorities in consultation with them.
  • Response by Indian Muslims – Abul Kalam Azad and the Deoband ulema led by Husain Ahmad Madani criticised the resolution and advocated for a united India.
  • Consequence – Though the resolution didn’t mention the word ‘Pakistan’, it reached a point from which the Muslim League never turned back and lead to 2 independent states ‘India & Pakistan’.
  • Significance – In March 23rd 1956, Pakistan officially adopted its 1st Constitution, which transformed the Dominion of Pakistan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • Between 1960 and 1968, the Minar-e-Pakistan was built at the site where the resolution was adopted and the text of the resolution is inscribed at the base of the tower.

Reference

The Indian Express| Pakistan National Day in New Delhi

 

Grey Zone Warfare

In the recent 9th edition of Raisina Dialogue, India’s Chief of Defence Staff mentioned that “grey zone warfare” is the latest in informal warfare.

The Raisina Dialogue is India’s premier annual conference on geopolitics and geo-economics that was designed on the basis of Shangri-La Dialogue.

  • Grey Zone Warfare – A separate military action which generally means a middle, unclear space between direct conflict and peace in international relations.
  • Here, action is often covert or indirect, meaning a country’s response needs to be appropriate in terms of its scale.
  • Causes – In nuclear era, the cost of conventional conflict is high, prompting the nations to seek to covert aggressions.
    • Amid the US-USSR rivalry in cold war era, the knowledge that both were nuclear armed meant direct conflicts had to be restrained.
  • They are often employed by parties who have not had access to massive resources or power, traditionally to help them gain an advantage over superior powers.
  • Economic warfareDebt traps, economic sanctions among others.
    • Economic sanctions against China and imposition of duties on Chinese imports to the US.
  • Military warfareProxy wars
    • Chinese military’s presence in the South China Sea threatening Philippines and Taiwan.
  • Geo-political warfareLegal warfare (lawfare), Destabilizing insurgencies, mercenary operations and assassinations.
  • Cyber warfareInformation warfare, cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.

GreyZoneWarfare

  • Impact – Though it seems mild when compared to traditional strategic competition, it is not less vicious.
  • Rather than escalate in one dimension, it tends to escalate in multiple dimensions and leads to unintended over-escalation, creating a nightmare for crisis management.

Reference

The Indian Express| Grey Zone Warfare

 

Risa Textiles

Tripura’s traditional tribal attire ‘risa’ gets Geographical Indication tag.

Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a form of certification that recognises unique products based on their origin which can be natural or man-made. India has enacted Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 for this purpose.

A traditional Tripuri female attire

  • 3 parts – Risa, rignai and rituku.
  • Origin – Even before the time of the Manikya kings, who ruled Tripura for over 500 years since 15th Century.
  • Although this history is contested, Maharaj Trilochana aka Subhrai Raja is said to have invented nearly 250 designs of rignai during his time for his 250 wives.
  • Risa – A handwoven cloth used as a female upper garment, and also as headgear and a stole.
  • As an upper garment, it is wrapped around the torso twice.
  • Rignai – It is primarily worn as the lower garment which can be understood as an indigenous variety of the sari of mainland India.
  • Rituku – It is mainly used as a wrap, or like a ‘chunri’ or a ‘pallu’ of the Indian saree.
  • It is also used to cover the heads of newly married Tripuri women.
  • Risa – It is common in almost all 19 indigenous tribal communities of Tripura but each community has its own design.
  • Social relevanceAdolescent Tripuri girls are 1st given a risa to wear in an event called Risa Sormani, at age 12 to 14.
  • It is presented as a mark of honour to distinguished recipients.
  • As a turban by men during weddings and festivals, a cummerbund over the dhoti, a head scarf by young girls and boys, and a muffler during winters.
  • It is also used as a makeshift hanger to hold an infant on mothers’ backs.

Risa

  • Religious relevance – It is used in religious festivals such as Garia Puja by tribal communities.
  • Significance of GI Tag – It would increase its international popularity and marketing potential.

Handloom remains an integral part of the Tripuri household, even with the advent of powerloom-manufactured garments.

Reference

The Indian Express| GI Tag for Risa Textiles

 

Sri Ayya Vaikunda Swamigal

The Prime Minister of India has paid tributes to Sri Ayya Vaikunda Swamigal on his birth anniversary.

  • A pioneer of the social revolutionaries of south India and Kerala.
  • Birth place – Shastamkoyil near swamithoppu in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.
  • Original nameMudisoodum Perumal, was changed to Muthukutty due to objections raised by upper caste Hindus.
  • Education – He had no opportunity to systematic schooling but acquired knowledge of various religious texts.
  • Teachings – He preached ideas of equality and advocated the rights of depressed class people in the face of stiff opposition from upper castes as well as princely state of Travancore.
  • He requested people to give up irrelevant rites and rituals in their worship and also campaigned against animal sacrifices.
  • Thol seelai porattam – He was a part of this campaign to cover the upper part of the women of lower castes.
  • Turban protest – There was restriction of wearing the headgear on certain section of caste in Travancore so he advocated wearing turban in protest.
  • Samathuva Samajam – He started this to unite all people of various castes by organising inter-dining to accomplish it.
  • Ayya – his followers called him respectfully as Ayya (father) and his cult was known as Ayya Vazhi (the path of Ayya).
  • His ideas were collected into a text called Akila Thirattu Ammanai.
  • Nizhal Thangals – A simple temple of the Ayyavazhi religion built per the instructions of Akilattirattu Ammanai by commoners in order to worship without distinction of color, race or caste.
  • Thuvayal Thavasu – A religious exercise undertaken by his devotees.
  • Significance – His teachings affected many social changes in southern India which resulted in the emergence of a series of social and self-respect movements such as

Sri Ayya Vaikunda Swamigal criticised the rule of the British and the rule of Rajah of Travancore as the rule of White devils and Black devils respectively.

References

  1. PIB| Birth Anniversary of Vaikunda Swamigal
  2. AyyaVaikundar| Sri Ayya Vaikunda Swamigal

 

Other Important Topics

World Wildlife Day

  • In 2013, UN General Assembly (UNGA) declared March 3 as United Nations World Wildlife Day to mark the adoption of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.
  • Theme, 2024 - Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation.

Haj Suvidha App

Union Minister for Minority Affairs has recently launched the Haj Suvidha App.

  • Haj is a pilgrimage that Muslims make to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
  • The Haj Suvidha app would provide necessary information, direct access to training modules, flight details, and accommodation to those embarking on the annual pilgrimage.
  • The app has been developed by Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N).

Ocean Grace

Union Minister of Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways inaugurated the 60T bollard pull tug named ‘Ocean Grace’ recently.

  • Ocean Grace is the 1st make in India Approved Standard Tug Design and Specifications (ASTDS) Tug developed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited.
  • Green Tugs Transition Programme (GTTP) launched in 2023 has set targets:
    • Green Tugs to start working in all major ports by 2025
    • Convert at least 50% of all the tugs into green tugs by 2030
  • National Centre of Excellence for green port and Shipping (NCoEGPS) will act as the nodal entity for GTTP.

Venice Biennale

  • The Venice Biennale (every 2 years) is one of the biggest and most prestigious art fairs in the world.
  • It was celebrated to commemorate the silver anniversary of King Umberto I of Italy and Margherita of Savoy started in 1895.
  • National pavilions are usually managed by their ministries of culture but currently, the Biennale consists of 29 permanent national pavilions.
  • Although India doesn’t have a permanent national pavilion, it officially organised exhibitions in 1954, 2011, and 2019.

Pancheshwar project

  • Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project (PMP) is a bi-national hydropower project between India and Nepal to generate energy and improve irrigation.
  • The project involves building 2 dams on the Mahakali River.
  • India and Nepal had signed a Treaty known as Mahakali Treaty in February 1996 with the main aim to implement Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project.
  • The Mahakali River, also known as the Sharda River or Kali River, is a transboundary river starting from the Milan glacier of India and Lipulekh of Nepal.

Vikramaditya Vedic Clock

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated 'Vikramaditya Vedic Clock' in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain city.

  • 'Vikramaditya Vedic Clock' is the world’s 1st vedic clock based on the Indian ‘panchang’ (almanack).
  • The unique clock also provides information on planetary positions, Muhurat, astrological calculations, and predictions.
  • In addition to this, it also indicates Indian Standard Time (IST) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
  • The clock will calculate time from one sunrise to another.
  • Ujjain has been considered the centre of time calculation and the Tropic of Cancer also passes through the city.

Melanochlamys droupadi

The Zoological Survey of India named a new marine species of head-shield sea slug after President of India Droupadi Murmu.

Melanochlamys droupadi

  • This sea slug species belonging to Melanochlamys genus.
  • It was discovered from Digha of West Bengal coast and Udaipur of Odisha coast.
  • The new species of head-shield sea slug is found nowhere in the world.
  • According to ZSI, species of this group are generally distributed in temperate regions of the Indo-Pacific Oceanic realm but 3 species are truly tropical distributed
    • Melanochlamys papillata from the Gulf of Thailand,
    • Melanochlamys bengalensis from West Bengal and Odisha coast.
    • Melanochlamys genus from West Bengal and Odisha coast.

Tyler Prize

  • The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is an annual award established in 1973 by John and Alice Tyler for scientific work on the environment, energy, and health.
  • It is considered one of the world's most prestigious awards for these fields and the Tyler Laureates receive a $250,000 cash prize and a medallion.
  • The 2024 Tyler Prize will be awarded to Johan Rockstrom for his groundbreaking contributions and pioneering work to the development of the Planetary Boundaries framework.

Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Site (DRS)

  • SEBI has laid out a framework for BCP and DRS for market infrastructure institutions (MIIs) such as stock exchanges, depositories, and clearing corporations.
  • The framework aims to ensure that in case of any outage, trading activities continue to take place without any disruptions.
  • Besides, it also helps in maintaining data integrity.
  • Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a procedural guidance to create plans that prevent, prepare, respond, manage, and recover a business from any disruption.
  • Disaster Recovery Site (DRS), also known as a backup site, is a place that a company can temporarily relocate to following a security breach or natural disaster.
  • DR sites can be internal, external or cloud-based.

Cheetah Conservation Breeding Centre

  • Gujarat is setting up India's 1st cheetah conservation breeding centre in Banni Grasslands Reserve.
  • The centre will have open-to-air isolation enclosures and aims to bring cheetahs to Gujarat early next year.
  • The Banni Grasslands Reserve is an arid grassland ecosystem in the Kutch district of Gujarat.
  • It's one of the largest grasslands in India and the largest in Asia.
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