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News:On 14 April 2019, the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar has been celebrated.
- B.R. Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in Mhow, Central Province (now Madhya Pradesh).
- He was India’s first Law Minister and was Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the new Constitution.
- Mahad Satyagraha: It was led by B. R Ambedkar in 1927 to allow the untouchables to use water in a public tank in Mahad,Maharashtra.
- He participated in all three round-table conferences.
- Poona Pact: In 1932, Ambedkar agreed on Poona pact with Mahatma Gandhi and an agreement was signed between Ambedkar and Madan Mohan Malviya which abandoned the idea of separate electorates for the depressed classes(Communal Award).
- Organisations – Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (1923), Independent Labor Party (1936), Scheduled Castes Federation (1942).
- Books – Annihilation of Caste, Buddha Or Karl Marx, Buddha and His Dhamma, Who were the Shudras, The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women among others.
- Journals – Mooknayak, Bahishkrit Bharat, Samatha, Equality Janata among others.
- The Indian Government has decided to develop five places as Panchteerth in honour of Dr. B R Ambedkar.
- Panchteerath include: a) Amedbkar’s birthplace in Mhow b) The place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK c) Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, where he took education d) Mahaparinirvan Sthal in Delhi and e) Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai.
News:The Government of India in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds.
- The Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme was introduced in 2015.They are government securities denominated in grams of gold.
- Aim: To reduce the demand for physical gold and shift a part of the domestic savings used for the purchase of gold into financial savings.
- Issuance: Reserve Bank India on behalf of the Government of India.
- Eligibility: Restricted for sale to resident entities including individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
- Denomination: The bonds will be denominated in multiple grams of gold.The minimum permissible investment will be 1 gram of gold and maximum shall be 4 KG for the individual,HUF and 20 Kg for trusts.
- Duration: The time period of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option after 5th year.
- Sales Channel: Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation, designated post offices and National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange.
- Collateral: Bonds can be used as collateral for loans.
- Tradability: Bonds will be tradable on stock exchanges after it has been notified by the RBI.
News:The International Monetary Fund(IMF) has released the World Economic Outlook Report.
- The report is published twice a year.
- Aim: To provide analysis and forecasts of economic developments of member countries and highlights risks and uncertainty.
International Monetary Fund(IMF):
- It is an organization of 189 countries which seeks to ensure the stability of the International monetary system.
- Other Reports: a) Global Financial Stability Report and b) Fiscal Monitor(FM).
News:European Space Agency has announced its plan to launch JUpiter ICy moons Explorer(JUICE) mission by 2022.
- Aim:To spend at least three years making detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.
News:Odisha’s Ganjam district administration has banned the Meru Jatra festival and congregations due to Covid-19.
- Meru Jatra marks the end of the 21-day-long festival of penance named ‘Danda Nata’.
Danda Nata Festival:
- It is a 21-day long seasonal folk dance festival that is celebrated in the month of ‘Chaitra’.
- During the festival, people who participate in the festival(Danduas) undergo self-inflicted pain to pay their obeisance to the lord Kali.It is also a form of worshipping the lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
News:The US State Department has approved the sale of missiles and torpedoes worth $155 million to India.
Harpoon Block II Missile:
- It is an anti-ship missile capable of performing both land-strike and anti-ship missions.
- It would be integrated into the P-8I aircraft to conduct anti-surface warfare missions in defense of critical sea lanes.
MK 54 Torpedoes:
- It will provide India the capability to conduct anti-submarine warfare missions.
- P-8I Aircraft: It is used by the Navy to enhance its capabilities for maritime coastal surveillance, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Vessel (ASV) strikes.
- Torpedo: It is a cigar-shaped, self-propelled underwater missile launched from a submarine or warships for destroying other surface vessels and submarines.
- Submarine:It is a warship that can remain submerged and navigate underwater for a stipulated period of time.They are usually built for warfare and armed with torpedoes or guided missiles.
News: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued an advisory for using pooled samples for testing of COVID-19.
- Pooled testing, also known as group testing, is a procedure where individual specimens (e.g., urine or blood) are combined into a common pool.
- If the pooled test turns out to be positive, individual samples are tested- pool de-convolution. If there’s no positive result, all individual samples in the pool are regarded as negative.
- Helps to reduce the cost of screening a large number of individuals for infectious diseases.
- Can also help in tracing asymptomatic cases of the disease, thereby tracking community transmission.
News: Ministry of Tourism launched “DekhoApnaDesh” webinar series.
- The webinar series will provide information on different destinations and the culture and heritage of India.
- Launched in 2019 on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Objective: to draw focus on the benefits of tourism, showcase the cultural diversity of the country and reinforce the principle of “Tourism for All”.
- Dekho Apna Desh:To encourage Indians to visit their own country.
- Tourism for All:Tourism Events at sites across all States in the country organised.
- Tourism & Governance: Interactive Sessions & Workshops with Stakeholders on varied themes organised.
News: Ministry of Science and Technology launched CovidGyan
- It is a science based website for information on Covid-19.
- Aim: To fight misinformation around coronavirus disease and generate public awareness.
- It is a brainchild of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Tata Memorial Centre (TMC).
News: COVID-19 pandemic has affected the livelihood of Pattachitra artisans
- It is a traditional cloth-based scroll painting of Odisha.
- The name Pattachitra has evolved from the Sanskrit words patta, meaning cloth, and chitra, meaning picture.
- Major themes:
- Thia Badhia – depiction of the temple of Jagannath;
- Krishna Lila – enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child;
- Dasabatara Patti – the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu;
- Panchamukhi – depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity