Other History related updates

Issues with UGC’s New Undergraduate History Curriculum

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Synopsis: Recently, the UGC (University Grants Commission) suggested a new undergraduate history curriculum. However, it falls short to meet its desired objectives and requires reconsideration.

  • The UGC released a new document on the undergraduate history curriculum, named  Learning Outcomes-based Curriculum Framework (LOCF), 2021.
  • The document suggestes changes as per the changing domestic and international scenario.


  • Use history as a vital source to obtain knowledge about a nation’s soul.
  • Create a conscious student body that is aware about India’s glorious past and can compete at the global level.
  • Build a new narrative about the nation through a dialogue between past and present.
About the curriculum:
  • The five units of the course cover: 
    • The concept of Bharatvarsha 
    • Indian knowledge traditions, art, and culture
    • Indian economic traditions
    • Dharma, philosophy and ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’
    • Science, environment, and medical sciences
  • First paper of course is titled ‘Idea of Bharat.’ It seeks to study the primitive life and cultural status of the people of ancient India.

Concerning Issues:

  • Firstly, the idea of Bharatvarsha is portrayed as devoid of invasions. 
    • The origin is associated with the pristine ancient past. No credit is associated with Kushans, Mughals, etc. invasions in shaping the idea of Bharat.
    • Further little role focus is paid towards the contributions of the south, east, and northeast people towards nation-building.
    • The struggle of the masses in the freedom movement is also not given its due space in the creation of Bharat. 
  • Secondly, the paper on medieval and the early modern India (History of India, 1206-1707) shows that Hindus and Muslims as two separate entities. This would strengthen the belief in separate nations for Hindus and Muslims which led to the country’s partition in the past.
  • Thirdly, the use of force is projected as the main driver of change in society. It is shown in the case of Aryan, Mughal or any other invasion. This kind of narrative portrays violence as the sole reason for the change.
  • Fourthly, it adopts the categorization methods of colonial historians. This simply undermines the efforts of historians to challenge the colonial way of history-writing. 
    • The colonial methods used to pose a contrast between the secular, modern Europe and the backward ‘oriental’ states (having irrational adherence to religion).
  • Fifthly, the curriculum is biased towards the history of North India. The rich sociocultural, economic and political changes of other regions have been given very little room. Further, some regions are only introduced as political formations.

Pedagogical Issues:

    • Firstly, the style of pedagogy is more textbook-oriented. A less emphasis is placed on archaeological artefacts, coins, visits to monuments and museums etc. that helps in better understanding.
    • Secondly, the students are not encouraged to read the diversity of opinion which would have helped in a better understanding of history. 
    • Thirdly, the curriculum ignores the finest writings in Indian history. The bulk of readings span from the 1900s to the 1980s, with a heavy dependence on the work of Indologists. This curtails their resource base.
    • Lastly, the linkage of critical 21st-century issues like climate change, democracy, social justice etc. with the historical framework is missing.

In a nutshell, the curriculum aims to make history education space for passive rote-learning of ideas which was last popularized in the 1920s.

Source: Thehindu.com

Overexpansion of IITs will reduce its standards

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Commemorative “Dandi March” to mark 75 years of Independence

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What is the News?

The Prime Minister flagged off a commemorative 2021 Dandi March. It was to launch the celebrations of the 75th year of Independence – ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

About 2021 Dandi March:

  • 81 walkers will participate in The 2021 Dandi March. They will travel through the 386 km Dandi March route in memory of 78 companions of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1930 march from Ahmedabad to Dandi. 2 others joined mid-route.
  • The descendants of those who had walked the Salt March (in 1930) will also be honored.
  • Further, the subsequent journey will see big events at six places associated with Gandhi. These include MK Gandhi’s birthplace Porbandar along with Rajkot, Vadodara, Bardoli (Surat), Mandvi (Kutch) and Dandi (Navsari).

About the Dandi March:

  • Dandi March: It was a 24-day march from March 12 to April 5, 1930. It was a tax resistance campaign against the British salt monopoly. The march was based on Gandhi’s principle of non-violence or Satyagraha.
  • Why did Gandhi call for the Dandi March? The 1882 Salt Act gave the British a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt. Even though salt was freely available on the coasts of India, Indians were forced to buy it from the colonizers. Hence, Gandhi decided to inaugurate the civil disobedience using salt.

What happened at Dandi March?

  • On March 12, 1930, Gandhiji started the march from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea.
  • There, Gandhiji picked up a small amount of natural salt lying in a small pit. The act was symbolic but hugely covered by the press.
  • After that, Gandhiji] planned to stage a satyagraha at the Dharasana Salt Works. However, Gandhiji was arrested just days before the planned action at Dharasana.

Impact of the Dandi March: Due to Dandi March, similar acts of civil disobedience took place in other parts of India:

  • In Bengal, led by Satish Chandra Dasgupta and in Bombay led K.F Nariman walked with volunteers to prepare salt.
  • Further, the illegal manufacture and sale of salt were accompanied by the boycott of foreign cloth and liquor.
  • Forest laws were also flouted in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and the Central Provinces. Peasants in Gujarat and Bengal refused to pay land and chowkidari taxes.
  • Acts of violence too broke out in several states. But unlike what happened during the non-cooperation movement, Gandhi refused to suspend the civil disobedience movement this time.

Significance of the Dandi March:

  • The Dandi march was the most significant organised movement against the British Raj after the non-cooperation movement of the early 1920s.
  • The March was also a turning point in the Indian Independence movement. It received attention from the national, international media, and world leaders.

Source: Indian Express

[Answered] “Desalination technology is not an esoteric idea. However, it only has a limited application, given the operation cost”. Discuss. What is desalination? Can desalination help India with its water crisis situation?

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Inscription of Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya death discovered

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What is the news?

The first-ever written inscription of the date of death of Vijayanagar king Krishnadevaraya discovered at Honnenahalli in Karnataka.

About the inscription:

  • The inscription is written in Kannada. According to the inscription, Krishnadevaraya was one of the greatest emperors of India who ruled from the South.
  • He died on 17th October 1529 (Sunday) which was incidentally marked by a lunar eclipse.
  • Further, during that day, a village named Honnenahalli was gifted for conducting worship to the god Veeraprasanna Hanumantha.

About King Krishnadevaraya:

  • Krishnadevaraya was the emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire during 1509–1529.
  • Dynasty: He was the third ruler of the Tuluva Dynasty and is considered to be its greatest ruler. He possessed the largest empire in India after the decline of the Delhi Sultanate.
  • Dominant Ruler: He became the dominant ruler of India by defeating the Sultans of Bijapur, Golconda, the Bahmani Sultanate, and the Gajapatis of Odisha.
  • Titles: Krishnadevaraya earned the titles Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana (Lord of the Kannada empire), Andhra Bhoja (Andhra Bhoja(Scholar) King), and Mooru Rayara Ganda(King of Three Kings).
  • Foreign Travellers: Portuguese travellers Domingo Paes and Fernão Nuniz visited the Vijayanagara Empire during his reign.
  • Mathematician: The great south Indian mathematician Nilakantha Somayaji also lived in the Empire of Krishnadevaraya.
  • Golden Age of Telugu Literature: The rule of Krishna Deva Raya is known as the golden age of Telugu literature. Eight Telugu poets regarded as eight pillars of his literary assembly and known as Ashtadiggajas.
    • Among these eight poets, Allasani Peddana is considered to be the greatest. He is given the title of Andhra Kavita Pitamaha (the father of Telugu poetry).
  • Telugu Poem: Krishna Deva Raya himself composed an epic Telugu poem Amuktamalyada.

Source: The Hindu


CFS endorses Voluntary guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition

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What is “Pagri Sambhal Movement”?

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What is the News?

Farmers Union protesting against the three farm laws are celebrating February 23 as ‘Pagri Sambhal Diwas’ to remember the Pagri Sambhal Movement.

About Pagri Sambhal Movement:

  • The Pagri Sambhal movement was a successful farm agitation against British government. It forced the British government to repeal three laws related to agriculture back in 1907.
    • The three farm-related were the Punjab Land Alienation Act 1900, the Punjab Land Colonisation Act 1906, and the Doab Bari Act.
    • These acts would reduce farmers from owners to contractors of land. Moreover, it would have given the British government a right to take back the allotted land if the farmer even touched a tree in his field without permission.
  • Led by: The movement was led by Bhagat Singh’s uncle Ajit Singh. He wanted to channel people’s anger over the farm laws to bring down the British government.
  • Anthem of the movement: Pagri Sambhal Jatta, a song by Banke Dayal, the editor of Jhang Sayal, became an anthem of the movement.
  • Bharat Mata Society: It was formed by Bhagat Singh’s father Kishan Singh and uncle Ajit Singh with their revolutionary friend Ghasita Ram. The society aimed to mobilise this unrest into a revolt against the British government.

Impact of the movement on British Government:

  • The British made minor amendments to the laws. However, the movement did not end.
  • Further, the movement also couldn’t remain non-violent after Ajit Singh was booked for sedition for his speech at a public meeting.
  • Hence, the British government repealed the three controversial laws in May 1907.

Source: Indian Express

What is Sedition?

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“Maharaja Suheldev” Memorial and “Chittaura Lake” development work

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What is the News?

The Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone of a Maharaja Suheldev memorial and the development work of Chittaura lake in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district.

About Maharaja Suheldev:

  • Maharaja Suheldev was the erstwhile ruler of Shravasti in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district who ruled in the 11th century.
  • He is known to have defeated and killed Ghazi Salar Masud in battle in Bahraich in 1034 AD. Ghazi Salar Masud was the nephew of Mahmud of Ghazni.
  • Further, He is also mentioned in the 17th-century historical romance Mirat-i-Masudi. It was written by Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti in Persian-language. The book was written during the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir.
  • People of the Rajbhar and Pasi community consider him as their descendant. These communities have a significant presence in Uttar Pradesh.

Chittaura Lake:

  • Chittaura Lake is located in Uttar Pradesh. The lake is also known as Ashtwarka jheel.
  • A small river named Teri Nadi flows from this lake. Apart from that, The lake is home to many migratory birds.
  • The lake is believed to be the place where the fight between Maharaja Suheldev and the Muslim invader Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud.
  • A statue of Raja Suhaldev and a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is present near the lake.

Source: Business Standard

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Veerashaiva “Lingayats” demanding for Quota

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What is the News?

The Veerashaiva Lingayats are demanding inclusion in the Other Backward Classes(OBC) quota category.

Who are the Lingayats?

  • Lingayats are classified as a Hindu sub-caste called Veerashaiva Lingayats.
  • They are essentially followers of the 12th-century philosopher Saint Basavanna who was against the caste system and Vedic rituals.
  • They are a dominant community who make up nearly 17% of Karnataka’s six crore population.

What is the current controversy?

  1. Currently, Veerashaiva Lingayats have been provided 5% reservation under a special category called 3B.
  2. However, a sub-sect called the Panchamasali Lingayats are demanding reservations under the category 2A. This category currently provides 15% reservations to backward castes. Panchamasali Lingayats are basically agriculturists who account for nearly 70% of Lingayats.
  3. Hence, Karnataka CM has directed the chairman of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission to conduct a study. The Commission will submit a report on the social, economic, and educational status of the Panchamasali community to determine their inclusion under the 2A category.

Characteristics of Lingayatism:

  • The Lingayats are strict monotheists. They enjoin the worship of only one God, namely, Linga (Shiva).
  • Lingayatism rejects any form of social discrimination including the caste system.
  • The Lingayats always wear the Ishtalinga (a necklace with a pendant that contains a small Shiva Linga). They believe that they will be reunited with Shiva after their death by wearing the lingam.
  • Lingayats are not cremated but are buried in a sitting, meditative position.

Source: Indian Express

 Read also https://blog.forumias.com/amendments-to-eia-notification-2006/

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“Tileswari Barua” – possibly the youngest martyr of India got recognised by PM

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What is the News?

The Prime Minister went the historic martyr town of Dhekiajuli in Assam and recognised the freedom fighters of that town. The town was associated with the Quit India Movement of 1942. During his visit, the PM also laid the foundation stone for two medical colleges and launched a road and highway project.


Dhekiajuli’s connection to the Quit India movement:

  • Dhekiajuli was home to possibly the youngest martyr of the Indian freedom struggle, (Tileswari Barua).

Sequence of Events:

  • On September 20,1942, as part of the Quit India movement, parades of freedom fighters marched to various police stations across several towns in Assam.
  • These squads were known as ‘Mrityu Bahini’ or death squads. The Mrityu Bahini had wide participation including women and children. They went to unfurl the tricolour on the top of police stations, as police stations were seen as the symbols of colonial power.
  • However, British administration came down heavily on them and open fired them. Due to which at least 15 people were shot dead in Dhekiajuli including the 12-year-old girl Tileswari Barua. This made Tileswari Barua possibly the youngest martyr of the freedom movement.

Impact of this incident :

  • This incident led to an increase in women’s participation in the Freedom Struggle. Several important women icons were Kanaklata Barua, Pushpalata Das, Tileswari Baru among others.
  • They not only started picketing but were also leading the ‘death squads’, presiding over meetings among others.

Source: Indian Express

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125th anniversary celebrations of ‘Prabuddha Bharata’ journal

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What is the News?
The Prime Minister will address the 125th-anniversary celebrations of the ‘Prabuddha Bharata’ journal. The event is organized by the Advaita Ashrama in Uttarakhand.

About ‘Prabuddha Bharata’ journal

  • Prabuddha Bharata: It is an English monthly journal of the Ramakrishna Order founded in 1896, by Swami Vivekanand.
    • Ramakrishna Order: It is the monastic lineage that was founded by Ramakrishna. It gave birth to twin organizations Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission both headquartered at Belur Math in Kolkata.
  • Purpose: The journal carries articles on social sciences and humanities comprising historical, psychological, cultural, and social sciences themes.
  • Significance: The journal has been a significant medium for the outreach of the knowledge and message of India’s ancient spiritual wisdom.
  • Personalities like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sister Nivedita, Sri Aurobindo, Former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, have contributed to the Journal over the years.

Source: Hindustan Times

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“Chauri Chaura” centenary celebration

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What is the News?
The Prime Minister has inaugurated the Chauri Chaura centenary celebrations at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

About Chauri Chaura incident:

The Chauri Chaura incident took place on 4 February 1922 at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of the United Province(Uttar Pradesh) in British India.

The sequence of Events:

  • Launch of Non-Cooperation Movement: In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi, launched the non-cooperation movement. It was launched to challenge oppressive government regulatory measures. The movement used non-violent methods of civil disobedience known as Satyagraha protests.
  • National Volunteer Corps: In 1921-22, volunteers of the Congress and the Khilafat movement were organized into a national volunteer corps. In 1922, these Corps appointed peasant officers in Gorakhpur to fill out pledges of non-cooperation, collect subscriptions and lead the picketing of shops selling foreign items.
  • The incident: In 1922, the volunteers participating in the Movement led by Bhagwan Ahir clashed with police, who opened fire. In retaliation, the demonstrators attacked and set the police station on fire. It killed all inside the station. The incident led to the death of three civilians and 22 policemen.
  • Impact: Mahatma Gandhi was strictly against violence. He halted the non-co-operation movement on the national level on 12 February 1922, as a direct result of this incident.
  • Consequence: It resulted in disillusionment among many younger Indian nationalists that India would not be able to end colonial rule through non-violence.
    • Hence, after this incident many revolutionaries had arisen— Jogesh Chatterjee, Ramprasad Bismil, Sachin Sanyal, Ashfaqulla Khan, Jatin Das, Bhagat Singh, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Masterda Surya Sen, and many others.

Source: Indian Express

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