Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav
Ministry of Culture, Government of India is organising the 10th edition of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat initiative in Madhya Pradesh from 14th to 21st October 2019.
RSM was conceived by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2015.
Its objective is to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Country in all dimensions, viz Handicrafts, Cuisine, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Documentation and Performing Arts-Folk, Tribal, Classical and Contemporary- all in one place.
So far, this Ministry has organised 9 RSM’s i.e. 2 each in Delhi and 2 in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, RSM North East , Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakahnd.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have discovered that the Golden Ratio exists within the human skull, putting it in the same category as pinecones, galaxies, and hurricanes—all of which exhibit the special number in their shape makeup.
The golden ratio can be defined in terms of a line, divided into two unequal segments in a way that their lengths meet a simple condition.
When the ratio between these two lengths (the longer segment divided by the shorter one) happens to be the same as the ratio between the entire line and the longer segment, then the line is said to be divided in the golden ratio.
For this condition to hold good, the ratio needs to be 1.61803… with the digits after the decimal going on forever; the golden ratio is what we call an “irrational number”.
It is represented by the Greek letter phi.
The golden ratio appears in the work of artists and designers from Da Vinci to Corbusier, and also shows itself in nature in pineapple scales, rose petals and many more places.
The latest such place is the human skull. If we draw an arc across the top of the skull and divide it at a key junction over the brain, the two arc-segments are approximately in the golden ratio.
Clean Air Cities Declaration
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal attended the C40 Cities Summit in Copenhagen through a video link and announced formation of a special task force to monitor implementation of ‘Clean Air Cities Declaration’ signed at the meet.
During the C40 World Mayor’s Summit, a global gathering of local leaders in Copenhagen dedicated to combating climate change, 35 cities pledged to drastically reduce air pollution by 2025.
Signatories will set ambitious pollution reduction targets within two years that meet or exceed national commitments and will implement substantive clean air policies by 2025, publicly reporting their progress on achieving cleaner air going forward.
The C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration declares that clean air is a “human right” and could encourage tree planting while penalising cars drivers, among other initiatives.
C40 research found that if all 94 member cities cleaned their transport, buildings, and industry, it would cut greenhouse gases by 87 percent and avoid nearly 220,000 premature deaths every year.
Ganges River Dolphin
The annual Ganges river dolphin census began in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh.
The annual Ganges river dolphin census is undertaken by World Wide Fund for Nature-India in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department.
It will be conducted along 250-km-long riverine stretch of Upper Ganga between Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary and Narora Ramsar site.
This year the upstream of Bijnor Ganga barrage up to Balawali has also been included. It has added around 30 km to the area being covered by the census which will conclude on October 15.
Tandem Boat Survey Method:
Unlike previous years, when direct counting method was used, this year the tandem boat survey method is being used.
Here the officials use two inflated boats which move in tandem to count the dolphins. After collating the data, statistical tools are employed to arrive at the final count. In this process, we don’t announce the number of sightings on a daily basis.
The method, developed by the renowned river and marine ecologist Gill Braulik, provides a more accurate count of the endangered species. New method is likely to yield more accurate count of the endangered species.
Lok Sabha Seats Should Be Rationalised
Former Union Minister and Congress leader Jitin Prasada said the number of Lok Sabha seats should be rationalised on the basis of population, as the composition of the Lower House has remained more or less the same for four decades.
Strength of Lok Sabha:
Article 81 of the Constitution defines the composition of the House of the People or Lok Sabha.
It states that the House shall not consist of more than 550 elected members of whom not more than 20 will represent Union Territories.
Under Article 331, the President can nominate up to two Anglo-Indians if he/she feels the community is inadequately represented in the House.
At present, the strength of the Lok Sabha is 543, of which 530 have been allocated to the states and the rest to the Union Territories.
The strength of the Lok Sabha hasn’t always been 543 seats. Originally, Article 81 provided that the Lok Sabha shall not have more than 500 members. The first House constituted in 1952 had 497.
Criteria of allotting Lok Sabha seats to a state:
Article 81 also mandates that the number of Lok Sabha seats allotted to a state would be such that the ratio between that number and the population of the state is, as far as possible, the same for all states. This is to ensure that every state is equally represented.
However, this logic does not apply to small states whose population is not more than 60 lakh. So, at least one seat is allocated to every state even if it means that its population-to-seat-ratio is not enough to qualify it for that seat.
Census considered for population:
As per Clause 3 of Article 81, population, for the purpose of allocation of seats, means “population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published”. In other words, the last published Census.
But, by an amendment to this Clause in 2003, the population now means population as per the 1971 Census, until the first Census taken after 2026. This was justified on the ground that a uniform population growth rate would be achieved throughout the country by 2026.
Indo-Bangla Baul Music Festival
A three day long festival of Baul songs named Indo-Bangla Baul Music Festival concluded in Dhaka with performances by Bauls from India and Bangladesh. The program was organised to observe the 129th death anniversary of Baul saint Fakir Lalon Shah.
Baul Music is a form of folk music, unique to Bangladesh and West Bengal of India.
The word Baul means “afflicted with the wind disease” and the Baul singers are traditionally wandering minstrels singing their particular form of folk music.
The lyrics and music are soul searching, quite comparable to the genre of Sufi music. The lyrics in Baul music urge man to search for God within himself and decry the role of mosques and temples in the quest of God.
Lalon Shah is regarded as the most celebrated Baul saint in history.
Baul singers usually traveled alone and had their characteristic musical accompaniments.
They usually carried either a khamak, a string instrument with one or two strings attached to the head of a small drum or an ektara, a plucked single string drone.
Other instruments were a khanjani, a tambourine without jangles, mandira or kartal which are small bell-shaped cymbals or ramchaki, a pair of wooden clappers with jangles.
In 2005, the Baul tradition of Bangladesh was included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Quick Estimates of Index of Industrial Production
According to the data for the “Quick Estimates of Index of Industrial Production” released by the Ministry of Statistics, India’s industrial sector production contracted by 1.1 per cent in August when compared to the production in the same month in 2018.
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy in a stipulated period of time.
The IIP index is computed and published by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) on a monthly basis.
Currently IIP figures are calculated considering 2011-12 as base year. Besides the new base year, different sectors have been amended based on National Industrial Classification (NIC), 2008.
Major changes in coverage of the new series of IIP:
The un-organised sector was included in the existing series
Mining sector basket now comprisesof 29 minerals as opposed to 61 minerals in the old series.
Under ‘Electricity’ sector, electricity generation from renewable energy sources has been included.
There are two ways in which IIP data can be viewed.
Broad sectors: The first is to look at sectoral performance. In this the whole industrial economy is divided into three sectors; manufacturing (with a weight of 77.63 % in the index), mining (14.37 %) and electricity (7.99 %).
Use-based sectors: The second way is to look at the way such industrial products are used, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods and Intermediate Goods.
UN Security Council
India and Sierra Leone seek to expand bilateral ties and push for UNSC reforms.
Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses the following key issues:
Categories of membership.
Question of the veto held by the five permanent members.
Size of an enlarged Council and its working methods.
Security Council-General Assembly relationship.
Admit more permanent members.
Why reforms are necessary?
European and western bias in UNSC P-5. G-4 wants to expand the permanent seats in the UNSC to 10 to include 6 new members G-4 nations apart from one seat to Africa and one seat to Arabs.
It has been 72 years since the foundation of UNSC. The geopolitical realities have changed drastically, but the Council has changed very little.
Veto power is grossly misused by the permanent members in their own national interest.
Why India should be given a permanent seat in the council?
India was among the founding members of United Nations.
It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
GoI has signed a 190 million USD loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade road transport in the state of Rajasthan.
It is a regional development bank
Established on 19 December 1966.
Headquartered — Manila, Philippines.
Official United Nations Observer.
The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
It is modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.
Roles and functions:
ADB defines itself as a social development organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
This is carried out through investments – in the form of loans, grants and information sharing – in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.
International Day for Disaster Reduction
International Day for Disaster Reduction was observed on October 13th.
Theme: Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services.
In 1989, the UN General Assembly through a resolution had designated the second Wednesday of October as International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction.
Later on December 21, 2009, the Assembly adopted a new resolution on in which it designated 13 October as the date to commemorate the Day and it also changed the day’s name to International Day for Disaster Reduction.
The main objective of the observance is to raise awareness of how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters.
About Sendai Framework:
The “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” was adopted during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015.
Key features of the Sendai framework:
It is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action.
It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).
The Framework is for 15-year. It is a voluntary and non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
The new Framework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
The implementation of the Sendai Framework involves adopting integrated and inclusive institutional measures so as to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and strengthen resilience.
It is the latest typhoon and is said to be Japan’s worst storm in decades.
What’s the difference between hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons?
Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are all tropical storms. They are all the same thing but are given different names depending on where they appear. When they reach populated areas they usually bring very strong wind and rain which can cause a lot of damage.
Hurricanes are tropical storms that form over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific. Cyclones are formed over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. Typhoons are formed over the Northwest Pacific Ocean.