UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 Material | Art and Culture Current Affairs- Literature and Other important aspects – Dec. 2021- 15th March, 2022

Dear Friends,

This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this post, we have covered Art, architecture, and Culture in the news of the Literature and Other important aspects section. This post covers current affairs from Dec. 2021 to 15th March 2022. In the 2nd part, we will cover the rest of the current affairs from July 2021 to 31st April 2022.

Art and Culture in news 2021-22

Literature and Other important aspects

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Maya Civilisation

News: A recent study reveals that drought was likely not the sole reason for the collapse of the ancient Mayan civilization. This led to a theory that the Maya people faced starvation because of their dependence on drought-sensitive crops such as corn, beans and squash.

Image Source: Down to Earth

About Maya Civilization: Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization. The civilization originated in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The civilization developed in the area that today comprises southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador.

The civilization was known for its monumental architecture and an advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy.

The civilization flourished between 600 and 800 AD. However, between 800 and 950 AD, many of the cities of civilization were abandoned. This period is called the collapse of the Classic Maya civilizations.

Artwork and Bacteria

News: Recently, a team of scientists has used helpful bacteria to clean the art work of Michelangelo in Italy.

How is the Artwork cleaned?

Art restorers have usually employed chemical agents and more recently laser techniques to remove dirt, oil, glue or pollutants from monuments, stonework, and paintings.

But since 1980s, when researchers first used micro-organisms like Bacteria Desulfovibrio vulgaris to clean a marble monument at the Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, the role of micro-organisms has been recognised in protecting the artistic heritage of humanity.

Aren’t microorganisms like Bacteria considered harmful for Art?

Bacteria and other tiny organisms have traditionally been viewed as a threat to art.

But not all are harmful. Some specialized microbes can be set loose on artwork in an effort to clean and restore the original glory of these pieces of cultural heritage.

Moreover, these bacteria are not modified or genetically engineered. They are just common ones from natural environments that love to eat various proteins.

Dhara – an Ode to Indian Knowledge System

News: The Ministry of Culture has announced ‘DHARA, an Ode to Indian Knowledge System’ as a part of the Science Week Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate.

What is the purpose of DHARA?

DHARA comprises a series of lecture demonstrations by eminent scholars across the world to revisit our history and celebrate the achievements of India and the contribution of great scholars, mathematicians, scientists, and leaders to its heritage.

The lectures commenced with ‘Mathematics in India’ which will focus on India’s contribution to Mathematics through the ages.

Contributions of Indian Mathematicians

Sulbasutras( 800 BCE): It is the oldest extant text. It explicitly states and makes use of the so-called Pythagorean theorem, besides giving various interesting approximations to surds.

Pingala’s Chandassastra ( 3rd cent. BCE): It lays foundations for various combinatorial techniques. (Knowledge of combinatorics is necessary to build a solid command of statistics).

Aryabhata (c. 499 CE): He described algorithms for extracting square root and cube root based on the decimal place-value system. He also presented the differential equation of the sine function in its finite-difference form and a method for solving the linear indeterminate equation.

Brahmagupta(c. 628): He discussed the arithmetic operations with zero. He also introduced the profound ‘bhavana’ law of composition for solving quadratic indeterminate equations.

Madhava (c. 1340–1420): He pioneered the Kerala School of astronomy and mathematics. He also discovered the infinite series for pi (π)—the so-called Gregory-Leibniz series)—and other trigonometric functions.

Hindi translation of Tolkāppiyam

News: The Minister of State for Education has released the Hindi translation of Tolkāppiyam and the Kannada translations of 9 books of Classical Tamil literature.

Tamil Literature: Tamil writing systems date back to 250 BCE and Tamil sangam poetry contains 2381 poems in Tamil composed by 473 poets. Some important Tamil works are: Tolkāppiyam, the eight anthologies (Ettuttokai) and Ten Songs (Pattuppattu).

Tolkāppiyam: It was authored by Tolkappiyar and is considered the earliest of Tamil literary work.

It is the most ancient extant Tamil grammar text and the oldest extant long work of Tamil literature

It is a comprehensive text on grammar, and includes sutras on orthography, phonology, etymology, morphology, semantics, prosody, sentence structure and the significance of context in language.

It is a unique work on grammar and poetics. It consists of three parts of nine sections each. The three parts deals with Ezhuthu (letter), Col (word) and Porul (subject matter).

Almost all levels of the human language, from the spoken to the most poetic, lie within the purview of Tolkappiyar’s analysis.

The Tolkappiyam in Hindi was translated by Dr. H. Balasubramaniam and Prof. K. Nachimuthu.

Ettutogai (Eight Anthologies): It consists of eight works – Aingurunooru, Narrinai, Aganaooru, Purananooru, Kuruntogai, Kalittogai, Paripadal and Padirruppatu.

Pattuppattu (Ten Idylls): It is an anthology of ten mid-length poems. It pictures the descriptions of the Tamil country and its seasons. It consists of ten works – Thirumurugarruppadai, Porunararruppadai, Sirupanarruppadai, Perumpanarruppadai, Mullaippattu, Nedunalvadai, Madurai Kanji, Kurinjippatttu, Pattinappalai and Malaipadukadam.

Sahityotsav and Sahitya Akademi

News: Sahitya Akademi is organising a literature festival named “Sahityotsav”.

About Sahityotsav: Sahityotsav is a Festival of Letters of Sahitya Akademi. It is India’s most inclusive literature festival. The festival will be a part of the celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. The prestigious Sahitya Akademi Awards will also be presented during the festival.

About Sahitya Akademi Award

Sahitya Akademi award was established in 1954. It is a literary honour that is conferred annually by Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of letters.

The Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it has recognized, and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India.

Note: Besides the 22 languages enumerated in the Constitution of India, the Sahitya Akademi has recognised English and Rajasthani as languages in which its programme may be implemented.

Significance: The Sahitya Akademi award is the second-highest literary honour by the Government of India, after the Jnanpith award.

About Sahitya Akademi: Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, was founded in 1954 by the Ministry of Culture. It is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages of India

Though set up by the Government, the Akademi functions as an autonomous organisation. It was registered as a society in 1956 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Location: Rabindra Bhawan near Mandi House in Delhi

Jharokha-Compendium of Indian handicraft/ handloom, art and culture

News: The Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Textiles are organizing “Jharokha-Compendium of Indian handicraft/ handloom, art and culture”.

About Jharokha

Jharokha is a celebration of traditional Indian handicrafts, handlooms, and art & culture.

It is a pan India celebration that held at 16 locations in 13 states and UTs.

The first event under this celebration is being organized in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

It will be organized at Rani Kamlapati Railway Station which is named after the brave and fearless Queen Kamlapati of the Gond kingdom of Madhya Pradesh.

Significance of the event

  1. The celebrations at Jharokha will include showcasing of handicraft and handloom products from across the country.
  2. Women artisans, weavers, and artists who have given their significant contribution in promoting and reviving Indian handloom and handicrafts will also be felicitated in the event.

Konyak Tribe

News: At Least 14 civilians were killed in the firing incident in Mon District in Nagaland. The civilians belonged to the Konyak Community.

About Konyak Tribe

Konkyak is one of the major tribes of Nagaland that reside mostly in the Mon district. They are also settled in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Myanmar.

Features: A distinct group of Konyaks is easily recognized by their tattooed faces.

Occupation: They are traditional hunters and warriors of Nagaland, but now their main occupation is agriculture.

Note: Mon is the only district in Nagaland where separatist group NSCN (IM) has not been able to set up base camps, largely due to resistance from the Konyaks.

In 2019, around 4,700 Konyak Naga women, came together in their colourful traditional attire in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Traditional Konyak Dance”.


Aoling Festival: It is a festival celebrated by the Konyak Naga people. It celebrates the arrival of spring and prays for a good upcoming harvest.

Lao-Ong Mo Festival also known as the Post-harvest festival is celebrated by the Konyak tribe to signify the winding up of all harvest activities, norms, and rituals that were practiced or adhered to by every household.

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