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20th November Current Affairs

Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti

(GS-I: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)

In News:

Guru Nanak Dev Ji Jayanti, also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab, celebrates the birth of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak.


Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day of Kartik month, also known as Kartik Poornima.

This year, followers of Guru Nanak will celebrate the Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 19, 2021.

It will mark the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first of the ten Sikh gurus.

About Guru Nanak Dev:

Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539) was born in a village, Talwandi Rai Bhoe, near Lahore (it was renamed later as Nankana Sahib).

He initiated inter-faith dialogue in the 16th century and had conversations with most of the religious denominations of his times.

His written compositions were included in the Adi Granth compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606).

It is known as Guru Granth Sahib after the additions made by the 10th guru Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708).

Guru Nanak’s Teachings: Peace and Harmony for all

Guru Nanak was a great champion of equality. He aimed at creating a casteless society in which there is no hierarchy.

For him, the differences and multiple identities based on caste, creed, religion and language were irrelevant.

He had said, “Preposterous is caste, vain the distinction of birth. The Lord gives shelter to all beings”.

Referring to women, the Guru Nanak says: “How can they be inferior when they give birth to men? Women as well as men share in the grace of God and are equally responsible for their actions to Him.”

The spirit of living together and harmoniously working together is a consistent thread of thought that runs through Guru Nanak hymns.

He founded three pillars of Sikhism namely Naam Japna, Kirat Karni, and Vand Chakna.

He consciously went on long journeys (called uddasian) to far off places along with his two companions Bhai Bala, a Hindu, and Bhai Mardana, a Muslim, to hold dialogues with many saints and Sufis even, some charlatans who claimed some spiritual powers and had some social following.

Significance and relevance of his teachings:

Guru Nanak Dev ji, saint-composer and amongst the great spiritual leaders, his ideas, thoughts and teachings assume far greater relevance today than ever before. They can promote peace, equality and prosperity across the globe.

The process for repealing a law

(GS-II: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these)

In News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on November 19 announced the repeal of three contentious farm laws.


He assured farmer groups protesting against these laws that the legislative process for the repeal would be completed in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament.

What were the farm laws that have been repealed?

They are:

The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, which is aimed at allowing trade in agricultural produce outside the existing APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandis;

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, which seeks to provide a framework for contract farming;

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, which is aimed at removing commodities such as cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potato from the list of essential commodities.

What does it mean for a law to be repealed?

Repealing a law is one of the ways to nullify a law. A law is reversed when Parliament thinks there is no longer a need for the law to exist.

Legislation can also have a “sunset” clause, a particular date after which they cease to exist.

How can the government repeal a law?

The government can repeal the laws in two ways — it can either bring a Bill to repeal the three laws or promulgate an ordinance that will have to be subsequently replaced with a Bill within six months.

For repeal, the power of Parliament is the same as enacting a law under the Constitution.

Article 245 of the Constitution which gives Parliament the power to make laws also gives the legislative body the power to repeal them through the Repealing and Amending Act.

The Act was first passed in 1950 when 72 Acts were repealed.

A law can be repealed either in its entirety, in part, or even just to the extent that it is in contravention of other laws.

What is the process for repealing a law?

Laws can be repealed in two ways — either through an ordinance, or through legislation.

In case an ordinance is used, it would need to be replaced by a law passed by Parliament within six months.

If the ordinance lapses because it is not approved by Parliament, the repealed law can be revived.

The government can also bring legislation to repeal the farm laws:

It will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament, and receive the President’s assent before it comes into effect.

All three farm laws can be repealed through a single legislation.

Usually, Bills titled Repealing and Amendment are introduced for this purpose.

Puri heritage corridor

(GS-I: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)

In News:

Puri heritage corridor is being developed at a cost of Rs 800 crore in Odisha.

What is the Puri heritage corridor project?

Conceived in 2016, the Project aims to transform the holy town of Puri into an international place of heritage.

A total of 22 different projects will be executed in a phased manner.

Funds have been allocated under the state government’s Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture at Puri (ABADHA) scheme.

The project includes redevelopment of Puri lake and Musa river revival plan.

About Puri Jagannath Temple:

It is an important Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Sri Krishna in Puri in Odisha.

The temple is believed to be constructed in the 12th century by King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.

Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.

This temple was called the “White Pagoda” and is a part of Char Dham pilgrimages (Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, Rameswaram).

The Puri temple is famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three principal deities are pulled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars.

Alexander and Chandragupta Maurya

(GS-I: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)

In News:

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently said that Chandragupta Maurya, who founded the Mauryan empire in the 4th century BC, had defeated Alexander of Macedon in battle — and yet, it is the latter whom historians have chosen to call “great”.

Legacies of Alexander vs Chandragupta:


Alexander was born in 356 BC at Pella in ancient Greece, and succeeded his father, king Phillip II, to the throne at the age of 20.

He came to be called ‘great’ because of his stupendous military conquests.

He had established, before he turned 30 years of age, the largest empire the world had seen until then, which stretched across modern western and central Asia all the way from Greece to India’s northwestern frontier.

Subsequently, Ghenghis Khan (1162-1227) stamped his authority over a bigger swathe of Asia and Europe, and other conquerors such as Tamerlane, Atilla the Hun, and Charlemagne, as well as Ashoka, Akbar, and Aurangzeb built their own very large empires.

His quest for India:

In 327 BC, Alexander crossed the Indus, the farthest frontier of the old Persian empire, and began his Indian campaign that lasted about two years.

The king of Taxila surrendered to Alexander.

In the battle of Hydaspes that followed, Alexander won against King Porus.

After the defeat of Porus, Alexander wished to march on into the heartland of the Gangetic basin — but upon reaching the Beas, the last of the five rivers of Punjab, his generals refused to go further.

Alexander was forced to turn back, and he followed the Indus southward to its delta, where he sent part of his army to Mesopotamia by sea, while leading the other part overland along the Makran coast.


His aborted Indian campaign notwithstanding, Alexander is believed to have died undefeated in any battle — seemingly fulfilling the prophecies of the oracles that he would conquer the entire world.

Alexander had travelled some 1,000 miles from Macedonia, conquering seven nations and, it is said, more than 2,000 cities.

He hoped to solve the “problem of the ocean” that Greek philosophers had grappled with, reaching the sea, and then sailing to subjugate more new lands.


He was the architect of an empire that controlled the plains of both the Indus and the Ganga, and which stretched until the eastern and western oceans.

With Pataliputra at its imperial centre, the Mauryan Empire for the first time unified most of South Asia.

Chandragupta laid the foundations of an extensive and efficient system of centralised administration and tax-collection that formed the bases of his empire.

Trade and agriculture were reformed and regulated with the building of infrastructure and standardisation of weights and measures, and provisions were made for a large standing army.

Some Greek sources suggest that Chandragupta may have been in communication with Alexander during the latter’s Indian campaign.


Chandragupta overthrew the unpopular last king of the Nandas, Dhana Nanda, and occupied his capital, Pataliputra.

Guided by the guile and strategy of Kautilya and by his own great military prowess, Chandragupta went about fulfilling his imperial ambitions.

Once he had established his mastery over the plains of the Ganga, he moved north-west to occupy the power vacuum left by the retreat of Alexander’s army.

The territorial foundation of the Mauryan Empire had been laid, with Chandragupta controlling the Indus and Ganges Plains and the borderlands — a formidable empire by any standards.