Prelim Bits 27-04-2024 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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April 27, 2024

UNICEF Venture Fund Pledge

26 Start-Ups recently Announced as Founding Members of UNICEF Venture Fund Pledge.

UNICEF Venture Fund

  • The Venture Fund was launched by UNICEF in 2014 and invested in its first cohort in 2016.
  • The UNICEF Venture Fund is a $35 million+ fund that invests in for-profit startups registered in emerging economies.
  • It invests in frontier technology spaces, such as blockchain, drones, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, extended and virtual reality.
  • The fund makes equity-free investments of $50–100K in technologies for children.

UNICEF Venture Fund Pledge

  • It is a voluntary commitment by graduates of the Venture Fund's seed-stage investment period to donate a portion of their financial success to the fund.
  • Early-stage companies that can't provide financial support can pledge in-kind support.
  • The fund's goal is to help identify and grow innovations for children by investing in open-source, early-stage technologies with the potential to impact children globally.
  • Working - Graduates of the Venture Fund’s seed-stage investment period are invited to make a voluntary pledge to share a proportion of their financial success in the form of a donation.
  • In-kind support is pledged in lieu of financial support from early-stage companies committed to ‘give forward’.
  • Pledge members, with support from the Fund, will receive a ‘soft-landing’ after their graduation by being part of a network of mission-aligned, multidisciplinary tech entrepreneurs.
  • When pledges are fulfilled and members become donors to the Fund, they unlock the potential to partner with UNICEF to accelerate progress for children globally.



UNICEF | UNICEF Venture Fund Pledge



A pan-India survey on the feet sizes of Indians was recently carried out as part of a larger project for developing an Indian sizing system for footwear.

  • Findings – A survey on the feet sizes of Indians was conducted between December 2021 and March 2022 in 5 geographical zones.
  • To understand the size, dimensions and structure of an average Indian foot, 3D foot scanning machines were deployed.
  • It found that the growth of the foot size of an average Indian woman peaked at the age of 11 years whereas that of an Indian man peaked at about 15 or 16 years.
  • Overall, Indians’ feet were found to be wider than that of Europeans or Americans.
  • British system - The British introduced UK sizes in India before Indian independence.
  • According to it, an average Indian woman wears footwear sizes between 4 and 6, and the average man between 5 and 11.
  • Since there existed no data on the feet structure, size, dimensions of Indians, developing an Indian system had been difficult and was never undertaken.
  • Bha – The survey created the need for developing an Indian sizing system for footwear.
  • Proposed to be named ‘Bha’ ( ) to represent Bharat, it could form the basis for manufacturing footwear in India.
  • Both the users and the footwear manufacturers could benefit with this system.
  • Bha will replace the existing UK/European and the US sizing systems.

Bha - footwear sizes


I – infants (0 to 1 year),


V – girls (12 to 13 years),


II – babies (1 to 3 years),


VI – boys (12 to 14 years),


III – small children (4 to 6 years),


VII – Women (14 years and above) and


IV – children (7 to 11 years),


VIII – Men (15 years and above).

  • For commercial purposes, initially manufacturing of footwears ranging in sizes III – VIII would be sufficient.
  • Benefits - 85% of the country’s population will get the right fitting and better comfort.
  • Footwear manufacturers would need to develop only 8 sizes as against the present 10 sizes (English system) and 7 sizes (European system).
  • In addition, half-sizes would not be needed.
  • The shoe last size will have an additional 5mm foot length.
  • Implementation - Bha is expected to be implemented sometime in 2025.



The Indian Express | New shoe sizing system for Indians


Archaeological sites in Telangana

A team of archaeologists recently discovered a unique Iron Age megalithic site having over 200 monuments at Ooragutta of Mulugu district, Telangana.

  • Megalithic monuments known as ‘Dolmenoid Cists ’ were usually found in this region and most of the monuments have squarish or rectangular shapes.
  • Contrary to this, the site discovered at this place (Ooragutta) has unique features.

Dolmenoid cists are box-shaped stone burial chambers that are only partially underground.

  • Dolmenoid Cists shaped by Cap-Stones - The side slabs are arranged with slabs following the shape of the capstone.
  • Hence, each ‘dolmenoid cist’ has a unique shape as dictated by the cap-stone.
  • These monuments can be dated around 1,000 BCE.
  • In Europe, such monuments are known as Passage Chambers.
  • It is likely that this type of monuments have given rise to the more evolved type of squarish and rectangular monuments.
  • The team also discovered two new rock art sites at Damaratogu village.
  • It includes the site, "Devarlabanda Mula" featuring animal depictions without humans or weapons/domestic animals.
  • This suggests the paintings might be from the Mesolithic Age (8000-3000 BCE).



The Hindu | Archaeological sites in Telangana


World Craft City (WCC)

The World Crafts Council International (WCCI) has recently picked Srinagar for mapping its craft clusters before its final nomination as the World Craft City (WCC) from India this year.

  • Kashmir’s status - The final announcement about the city’s inclusion is likely in the next 2 months.
  • The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage-Kashmir (INTACH-K) is collaborating with the J&K Handicrafts department to map the craft sector ahead of the final nomination.
  • Some popular crafts - Papier mache, walnut wood carving, hand-knotted carpet, Kani shawl, Khatamband, pashmina, Sozni craft 
  • The total craft related workforce in Srinagar stands at 1.76% approximately.

World Craft City Programme

  • It is a groundbreaking initiative launched in 2014 by the World Crafts Council AISBL (WCC-International).
  • It is to recognize the pivotal role of local authorities, craftspeople, and communities play in cultural, economic, and social development worldwide.
  • The WCC-World Craft City Programme establishes a dynamic network of global craft cities, aligning with the principles of the creative economy.
  • This initiative responds to the increasing acknowledgment of the valuable contributions made by local entities to the multifaceted dimensions of development.
  • Jaipur (Rajasthan), Mammalapuram (Tamil Nadu) and Mysore have been added as craft cities from India.

World Crafts Council International (WCCI)

  • It is a Kuwait-based organisation working on recognition and preservation of traditional crafts across the globe.
  • Founded by - Ms. Aileen Osborn Vanderbilt Webb, Ms. Margaret M. Patch, and Smt Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay at the 1st World Crafts Council General Assembly in New York in 1964.
  • Since its inception, the World Crafts Council AISBL has been affiliated with UNESCO under Consultative Status for many years.
  • The World Crafts Council AISBL (WCC-International), an international non-profit organization, is dedicated to fostering the preservation, promotion, and advancement of global craftsmanship and traditional crafts.
  • The main aim is to empower artisans, celebrate cultural diversity, contribute to sustainable development by supporting the rich tapestry of global craftsmanship, and preserving languishing crafts from extinction.



  1. The Hindu | Srinagar vies for global craft city tag
  2. WCC International | World Craft Cities
  3. WCC International | About 


Shompen Tribes

Great Nicobar’s particularly vulnerable tribal group, Shompen, cast their vote for the first time in the Andaman and Nicobar Lok Sabha constituency.

  • The Shompen are an indigenous tribe who live in the rainforests of Great Nicobar Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The Shompen have lived on the island for around 10,000 years.
  • The Shompen tribe is one of the 6 main tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, along with the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, and Nicobarese.
  • The Shompen are one of the most isolated tribes on Earth and have an estimated population of 200–300 people.
  • The Shompen are divided into 7 groups based on their concentration and bands.
  • They live in the areas of Galathea, Alexandria, Dagmar and Jubilee river basins, and the seacoasts.
  • Diet - The Shompen are nomadic hunter-gatherers who primarily hunt wild pig, python, monitor lizard, crocodile, and sea turtle.
  • They also collect a wide variety of forest plants, but their staple food is the pandanus fruit, which they call larop.
  • PVTGs - They are one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India.



  1. The Hindu | Shompen cast their vote for the first time
  2. Survival International | Shompen Tribes


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