Personalities in News

PM pays homage to “Lord Basaveshwara” on occasion of Basava Jayanthi

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What is the News?

The Prime Minister has greeted the people on the occasion of Basava Jayanthi, the Birth anniversary of Lord Basaveshwara.

About Lord Basaveshwara:

  • Basaveshwara is also known as Basavanna was born in Karnataka in 1131 CE. He was a Philosopher, Kannada Poet, Statesman and a social reformer.
  • He is known as the founder of Lingayatism. Furthermore, he was also a social reformer during the reign of the Kalyani Chalukya/Kalachuri dynasty.
Contributions of Lord Basaveshwara:
  • Firstly, Rejected Social Discrimination: He rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals. He advocated every human being was equal, irrespective of caste. According to him, all forms of manual labour was equally important.
  • Secondly, Philosophy: His philosophy was based on the principles of Arivu (true knowledge), ethos (right conduct), and Anubhava (divine experience). This brought a social, religious, and economic revolution in the 12th century.
  • Thirdly, New devotional movement: He developed and inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, or “ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva”. This movement shared its roots in the ongoing Tamil Bhakti movement.
  • Fourthly, Anubhava Mantapa(hall of spiritual experience): It was a public institution founded by Basavana. It welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life openly.
  • Fifthly, Poetry: Basavanna spread social awareness through poetry(Vachanas). Such as Shat-sthala-vachana (discourses of the six stages of salvation), Kala-jnana-vachana (forecasts of the future) and Mantra-gopya.
  • Sixthly, Socio-Economic Principles: Basaveshwara gave two more very important socio-economic principles. They are-
    • Kayaka – It means Divine work
    • Dasoha – It means equal distribution.
  • Seventhly, Ishtalinga: He is known for introducing the Ishtalinga (a necklace with a pendant that contains a small Shiva Linga).
Literary Works:
  • The Basavaraj Devara Ragale written by the Kannada poet Harihara is the earliest available account of the life of Basaveshwara.
  • A full account of Basava’s life and ideas are also narrated in a 13th-century sacred Telugu text, the Basava Purana by Palkuriki Somanatha.

 Monuments and recognition:

  • The then President of India inaugurated Basaveshwara’s statue in 2003 in the Parliament of India.
  • Basaveshwara is the first Kannadiga in whose honour a commemorative coin has been minted in recognition of his social reforms.
  • In 2015, the Prime Minister of India inaugurated the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of the River Thames at Lambeth in London.

Source: PIB

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PM pays tribute to “Gopal Krishna Gokhale” on his Birth Anniversary

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The Prime Minister has paid tribute to freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his Birth Anniversary.

About Gopal Krishna Gokhale:
  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale(1866 –1915) was an Indian liberal political leader and a social reformer during the Indian Independence Movement. He was born on 9 May 1866
Contributions of Gopal Krishna Gokhale:

Role in Indian a National Congress(INC):

  • Gokhale became a member of the Indian National Congress(INC) in 1889.
  • He was a member of the Moderate Group of Indian National Congress.
  • He became president of INC in 1905 in the Banaras session.

Role in Legislatures:

  • In 1899, Gokhale was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council.
  • He was also elected to the Imperial Council of the Governor-General of India in 1901.
  • He also played a key role in framing the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909.
Related Societies:
  • Firstly, he served as Secretary of the Deccan Education Society.
  • Secondly, he established the Servants of India Society in 1905. This society trained people to be selfless workers so that they could work for the common good of the people. 
  • Thirdly, Gokhale was a mentor to both Mohammed Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi even wrote a book called, ‘Gokhale, My Political Guru’. 
  • Fourthly, in 1908, he founded the ‘Ranade Institute of Economics’.
  • He started an English weekly newspaper, The Hitavada (The people’s paper).
  • Gokhale also published a daily newspaper Jnanaprakash
  • He has associations with the Sarvajanik sabha journal, which Govind Ranade started.

Source: PIB

Five years after Paris agreement

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Issue of Women’s rights in India

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Synopsis: March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. While celebrating it, we also need to look back at how women’s rights upheld by the state in the last years.


  • 8th march is being celebrated as International Women’s Day. It is celebrated to commemorate the struggles of women factory workers.
  • It was first organised by socialist movements as “international women’s day” in the first decade of the 20th century.
  • Later, from the 1920s, it began to be celebrated annually by communist parties, first in the Soviet Union and then in China.
  • Much later, the United Nations “established” International Women’s Day in 1977 in the wake of the International Women’s Year in 1975.
  • In India, the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8 started in the 1980s.
  • For the last few years, there are demands to celebrate the death of Savitribai Phule on March 10 as Women’s Day in India.

Contribution of Savitribai Phule

  1. Savitribai Phule was colonial India’s first female teacher. She fought for the cause of “social justice” against women’s caste-differentiated enslavement. She was ousted from the family home for breaking caste codes.
  2. Furthermore, she was instrumental in establishing the Satyashodhak Samaj in Maharashtra by her husband Jyotirao Phule.
    • It was a social reform society that focused on education and increased social rights and political access for underprivileged groups.
  3. However, the legacy, of Savitribai Phule, long ignored in the history of women’s rights.

State’s response to the major women-centric movements in 2020

  1. First, Denial of right to protest. For example, the Shaheen Bagh protest led by Muslim women against the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act. This protest ended with the arrests of many young women and students, on the charges of having incited violence.
    • In the recent farmer protests against the three farm laws, many women participated even during freezing weather in Delhi. However, the state didn’t show apathy towards their concerns.
  2. Second, denial of rights to live a dignified life. For example, Lockdown imposed hardship on women migrants. They were left without basic survival needs – food, shelter and care due to lack of social security.
  3. Three, denial of economic rights to women. For example, the lockdown witnessed increased domestic violence against women. Also, the burden of Women’s household care work increased due to the absence of paid domestic workers. Yet, there was no state response to recognize women’s care work and housework.
  4. Fourth, ineffective towards deterring gender violence based on caste. For example, Hathras rape case. The state response in tackling this kind of crime not proved effective to deter future caste-based violence.
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President addressed “Guru Ravidas” Jayanti

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The President of India has addressed the Guru Ravidas Jayanti Event.

 About Guru Ravidas:

  • Ravidas was a 14th-century saint and reformer of the Bhakti movement in North India. It is believed that he was born in Varanasi in a cobbler’s family.
  • Guru Ravidas Jayanti: It is celebrated on Magh Purnima. (It is the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Magha).
  • Disciple of: He is believed to be a disciple of the bhakti saint-poet Ramananda. He was also contemporary to the bhakti saint-poet Kabir.
  • Spiritual Guru: The Guru Ravidas is considered as a spiritual Guru of the Meera Bai.

Teachings of Guru Ravidas

  • Abolition of Caste: Guru Ravidas dedicated his whole life to the abolition of the caste system. He openly disliked the notion of a Brahminical society.
  • One God: He gained prominence due to his belief in one God and his unbiased religious poems. He also rejected the idea that people considered lower caste cannot meet God.
  • Guru Granth Sahib: The devotional songs of Guru Ravidas made an instant impact on the Bhakti Movement. Around 41 of his poems were included in the religious text of the Sikhs ‘Guru Granth Sahib’.
  • Begumpura: His idea of “Begampura” was considered as his moral and intellectual achievement. Begampura was a city conceived by him. In that city, there will be no sorrow, no caste and class.
  • Ravidassia Religion: His teachings resonated with the people leading to the birth of the Ravidassia religion or Ravidassia Dharam.

Source: AIR

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Contribution of Chidambaram Subramanian

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Source: Click here

Syllabus: GS 3 – Science and Technology – Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Synopsis:  Jan 30 is the birth anniversary of Chidambaram Subramanian. He had trust in science and believed that technology can resolve the problem faced by society.

About Mr. Chidambaram Subramanian (CS)

  1. He was born on 30 January 1910.
  2. He was concerned about the problem of food security in India. Also, an architect of public policy for Indian science and the Green Revolution.
  3. He was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1998.
  4. His call was for “Science of the humanity”.

What were the contributions of Mr. Chidambaram Subramanian?

Firstly, Food sufficiency goal-

  • Chidambaram Subramanian is known as the architect of India’s modern agricultural development policy.
  • His initiatives led to a record harvest of wheat in 1972 – an achievement termed the Indian Green Revolution.
  • He introduced high-yielding seed varieties and more intensive application of fertilizers as Minister for Food and Agriculture. It paved the way for increased production.
  • The site used for storing food grains during the Green Revolution became the Technology Bhavan that continues to house the Ministry of Science and Technology.

According to Chidambaram Subramanian, the economic independence of any Indian was heavily dependent on the four E’s: Education, Environment, Economy, and Empowerment of farmers.

Second, Institutional mechanism

  • National Agro Foundation (NAF) was set up as a Public Charitable Trust in 2000 by Chidambaram Subramanian to revive rural India through rural innovations. NAF institutionalized his will through farmer-centric programs.

Way Forward

  • In the time of novel coronavirus pandemic, when millions of people have been pushed below the poverty line. The best way out is to look for solutions by connecting to science.
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Teachings of Swami Vivekananda

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Synopsis: Teachings of Swami Vivekananda is still relevant to the 21st century youth 


  • 12th January, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, is celebrated as National Youth Day. His teachings still inspire the youth of India.  
  • At present one fifth of the young person in the world lives in India.  
  • The contribution made by these young population is significant in making India the third-highest growing economy among the 13 major economies in the last five years. 

How Vivekananda’s teachings are still inspiring our Youth’s? 

  • Firstly, by giving the slogan of “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.” Vivekananda’s has inspired Indian youths to take the leadership role in world arena and they are now eager to give direction to the world. 
  • Second, through the slogan of “Make a life’s aim and incorporate that idea into your life…. Think that thought over and over again. Dream it, live it… that is the secret to being successful” he was able to inspire Indian youths to focus more on their goals without any distraction and have helped them to be more successful. 
  • Third, through the slogan of “Until you can trust yourself, you cannot trust Allah or God” Swami Vivekananda was able to educate the youth on the power of Self-belief. 

How Vivekananda contributed to the Idea of a secular society? 

Swami Vivekananda, in his teachings combined thinking of different religions, communities and traditions.  

  • He represented Sanatan Dharma in Chicago in 1893, where he taught the world that it is our duty to encourage all those doing good so that they can make their dreams come true. He also highlighted the values of “Vishwabandhutva”, tolerance, cooperativeness, participation, religion, culture, nation, nationalism and the collective India-Indianness. 
  • Swami Vivekananda instilled his idea of charity at the root of Sanatan Dharma through his teaching that “The more we come to help and help others, the purer our heart becomes. Such people are like God”.  
  • His vision also gave rise to the idea of Antyodaya. Where he said, until the upliftment of the last poor person in the country is ensured, development is meaningless. 
  • At the Parliament of World religions, he said the Sanatani religion is instrumental in teaching the world the lesson of tolerance and universal acceptance. He proudly said Indian soils were the first laboratory and protector of secularism. 
  • When he addressed the Parliament of World Religions, he gave the message of universal brotherhood. 
  • Currently, His inclusive thinking is also reflected in the Narendra Modi government’s slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”. 

Swami Vivekananda took forward the efforts made by other thinkers to reach the roots of Indian culture. Secular thinking and the importance of oneness of the world made him acceptable worldwide. 



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