Prelim Bits 29-08-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 29, 2023

Meo Muslims

Communal violence erupted recently between a group of young men in the Meo muslims and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad during a religious procession spotlights the Nuh district of Haryana.

  • The Meos are the inhabitants of Mewat, a region spread across the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and a few areas of western Uttar Pradesh.

The word ‘Meo’ is used to describe those who might have been the aboriginal population from the hills and may have links to the Meena tribal group.

  • History - They were appointed chieftains by the rulers of Delhi during the Mughal period.
  • The Meos have been actively participated in the 1857 revolt and the entire community was declared a “criminal tribe” under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, as a punishment.
  • Habitat - The Meos, originally settled in the hills, ravines, and dense forests of the Aravali range.
  • Religion - Meos follow syncretic religious traditions. They even celebrate Hindu festivals like Diwali, Holi and Teej along with festivals of Islam.
  • The reason for that is Meos converted from Hinduism in phase’s centuries ago.


  1. The Indian Express | Mewat’s Meo Muslims
  2. The Print | Nuh violence puts focus on Meo Muslims
  3. EPW | How Meos Shape Their Identity?

Shinon Meeras

The Dard community in Jammu & Kashmir gets its own museum Shinon Meeras in Gurez Valley recently.

  • Museum - Shinon Meeras, a centre to highlight the Dard-Shina tribes was thrown open at the Gurez Valley in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
  • The centre is a unique tribute to preserve and promote the glorious artistic heritage of the Dard-Shin tribal community.
  • India’s first museum for Dardis traces the journey of Shina culture, language, and the Gurezi way of life.
  • A sand art display showcases the Indian Army’s Operation Eraze to liberate Gurez from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 1948.
  • Dard Community are a Buddhist group inhabited in the villages of Dha, Hanu, Garkone and Darchik on both sides of the Indus River. They speak Shina language.
  • Dard Community were once recorded in the chronicles of ancient Greeks and Romans for expanding their rule into Afghanistan and Tibet.
  • Habitat - The Dard or Dard Aryans or Dard-Shina tribes are the inhabitants of Jammu & Kashmir’s Ladakh region.
  • They are culturally and linguistically different from other tribes in region.
  • Occupation - These tribals are mainly dependent on agriculture.
  • The apricots grown here are considered among the best in the world.
  • They rear goat and sheep for milk and meat, and their festivals are based on the solar calendar.
  • Researchers believe that the ‘Aryans of Ladakh’ or the ‘Brokpas’ are descendants of Alexander’s army and had come to the region over 2,000 years ago.


The Hindu | Dard community

Naming of space objects

The point where the Chandrayaan-3 lander touched down on the lunar surface will be named Shiv Shakti.

Moon’s ownership

  • In 1966, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs came out with the Outer Space Treaty.
  • Article II of this treaty said that the countries had to cooperate in their Space exploration activities and could not stake a claim to the Moon.
  • However, the Treaty does not talk about naming sites on the Moon.

The Moon does not come under the jurisdiction of any one country, this is what makes global exploration and landing missions possible.

Naming the landing sites on the Moon

  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) determines some other rules for Space activities.
  • The IAU has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919 and India is among its 92 members.

The earliest moon maps were created in the 17th Century by Italian astronomers Grimaldi and Riccioli.

  • Many mission sites first see names being given to them informally.
  • These names are later submitted to the IAU for approval.

The method

  • The Working Group of IAU handles the process.
  • The decisions and recommendations are not enforceable by any national or international law.
  • Upon successful review by vote of the members of the WGPSN, names are considered approved as official IAU nomenclature, and can be used on maps and in publications.
  • Approved names are immediately entered into the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.


  1. The Indian Express – Who names sites on the Moon?
  2. CNBCTV – How Moon landing points are named?

Priest of Pacopampa

Archaeologists unearth 3,000-year-old priestly tomb in northern Peru.

  • Archaelogists believed that it might have honoured an elite religious leader in the Peru.
  • The priest was buried under 6 layers of ash mixed with black earth, with decorated ceramic bowls and seals which indicates the ancient ritual body paint used for people of elite standing.
  • The tomb was nearly 2 meters in diameter and 1 meter deep.
  • Two seals were also found along the upper edges of the tomb, one with an anthropomorphic face looking east and another with a jaguar design facing west.
  • Other Findings - Lady of Pacopampa discovered in 2009, Priests of the Serpent Jaguar of Pacopampa in 2015 and Priest of the Pututos in 2022.


The Hindu | Priestly tomb in northern Peru

Grand Cross of the order of honour

PM Modi was recently conferred with Greece's Grand Cross of the Order of Honour by the Greek President Katerina N Sakellaropoulou.

  • About - The honour is bestowed by the Greek President to Prime ministers and eminent personalities who, by reason of their distinguished position, have contributed to enhancing the stature of Greece.
  • The Order of Honour was established in 1975 as a replacement for the Order of George.
  • It is the 2nd highest honour in the country in terms of priority and importance.
  • The head of goddess Athena is depicted on the front side of the Star with the inscription "only the righteous should be honoured".

Grand Cross of the order of the honour

  • It is a gold-plated cross with a red enamelled medallion in the centre.
  • The badge is worn around the neck on a blue and white ribbon.

Quick Facts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Other Awards




Order of the Nile



Companion of the Order of Logohu

Papua New Guinea


Companion of the Order



Ebakl Award

Republic of Palau


Order of the Druk Gyalpo



Legion of Merit



King Hamad Order of the Renaissance



Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddin



Order of St. Andrew Award



Order of Zayed Award



Grand Collar of the State of Palestine Award



State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan



Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud

Saudia Arabia


The Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour





1. NDTV | Greece's Grand Cross Of The Order Of Honour

2. Live Mint | Greece's Grand Cross Of The Order Of Honour

3. The Hindustan Times | Grand Cross of the Order of Honour

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