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February 22, 2020
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February 25, 2020
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24 Feb Current Affairs

Kala Kumbh: Ministry of Textiles

In News:

The Ministry of Textiles is organizing ‘Kala Kumbh – Handicrafts Thematic Exhibition’ in various parts of the country from 14th – 23rd February, 2020.


The objective is to promote Geographical Indication (GI) crafts and heritage of India.


The GI tag for goods correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country). As of August 2019, 178 GI handicraft products were registered from all over India. These include Madhubani Painting (Bihar), Kondapalli Bommallu (Andhra Pradesh) etc.

The exhibition is being organized through the Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) under the Ministry of Textiles.

It is sponsored by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

The EPCH was established under Companies Act in the year 1986-87 and is a non-profit organisation, with an object to promote, support, protect, maintain and increase the export of handicrafts.

National Statistical Commission

In News:

Recently the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation released the draft National Statistical Commission (NSC) Bill in public domain for feedback.


The Bill seeks to establish NSC as the nodal, autonomous and statutory body for all core statistical activities. It also proposes the NSC to be a body corporate. The current body lacks statutory backing.

Formation: The Government of India through a resolution dated 1st June, 2005 set up the National Statistical Commission (NSC), on the recommendations of the Rangarajan Commission, which reviewed the Indian Statistical System in 2001.

Present Status of the NSC:

Composition: It has a part-time Chairperson, 4 part-time Members and an ex-officio Member, each having specialization and experience in specified statistical fields.

The Chief Statistician of India is the Secretary of the Commission.

He is also the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Mandate: To evolve policies, priorities and standards in statistical matters.

To improve the data quality in the statistical products and processes and work closely with the statistical agencies in the central and state government to ensure its implementation.

The NSC is a recommending body that helps the national statistical system in evolving better strategies to improve the functioning of the system.

World Mother Language Day

In News:

February 21 was International Mother Language Day. It has been observed since 1999 to promote “linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism”, according to the UN.


The theme of this year’s World Mother Language Day 2020 is “Languages without borders”.


UNESCO declared International Mother Language Day in 1999, to commemorate a 1952 protest against West Pakistan’s imposition of Urdu as the official language of East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh).

Key Points:

Of the world’s 6,000 languages, 43% are estimated as endangered, according to the UN. On the other hand, just 10 languages account for as many as 4.8 billion speakers — over 60% of the world population.

Globally, English remains the most widely spoken language with 1.13 billion speakers in 2019, followed by Mandarin with 1.17 billion, according to the online database Ethnologue. Hindi is third with 615 million speakers while Bengali is seventh with 265 million.

In India, Hindi is the most spoken language with over 528 million speakers in 2011, as per the Census. Bengali had 97.2 million speakers in 2011, followed by Marathi (83 million), while other languages with over 50 million speakers are Telugu (81 million), Tamil (69 million), Gujarati (55.5 million) and Urdu (50.8 million).

Percentage trends from 1991 to 2011 underline the growth of the most widely spoken language, Hindi, which was spoken by 39.29% of the Indian population in 1991, and whose share grew to 43.63% in 2011. For other languages in India’s top 12, the 2011 percentage share has fallen when compared to that in 1991.

About Kiliki Language:

On International Mother Language Day (February 21), Kiliki, a fictional language was launched by the Karky Research Foundation of India.

It now has evolved into a language with script grammar and more than 3000 words for everyday communication.

It is considered as the world’s easiest language.

This language is not associated with any race, community or caste.

Gold Deposits in Sonbhadra

In News:

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has discovered gold deposits of around 3,000 tonnes in Son Pahadi and Hardi areas of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh.


The gold deposits are almost five times India’s current gold reserve.

The deposits in Son Pahadi are estimated to be around 2,943.26 tonnes, while that at Hardi block is around 646.16 kilogram.


Sonbhadra is the second largest district (area-wise) of Uttar Pradesh after Lakhimpur Kheri.

It is the only district in the country which shares borders with four states.

Madhya Pradesh to the west, Chhattisgarh to the south, Jharkhand to the south-east and Bihar to the east.

Sonbhadra district is an industrial zone and has lots of minerals like bauxite, limestone, coal, gold etc.

It is drained by tributaries of the Ganges including the Belan and Karmanasha rivers. Son river flows through the district from west to east. Rihand river rises to the south in the highlands of Surguja district of Chhattisgarh and flows north to join the Son in the centre of Sonbhadra.

The Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar (also known as Rihand Dam) is a reservoir on the Rihand, lies partly in the district and partly in Madhya Pradesh.

Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary lies mostly within Sonbhadra, reaching generally east and west along the Kaimur Range, and extending to the Son river at its eastern end.

Sonbhadra is known for its several Cave painting sites found in the Vindhya region.

The Lakhania caves are located in the Kaimur ranges and are known for their beautiful ageless rock paintings.

These historic paintings are about 4000 years old.

Khodwa Pahar or Ghoramangar is another well-known ancient cave painting site.

Aditya-L1 Mission

In News:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing for its first scientific expedition to study the Sun, Aditya-L1. It would be placed into a point in space known as the L1 Lagrange point.


Aditya L1 will be ISRO’s 2nd space-based astronomy mission after AstroSat, which was launched in 2015.

Aditya 1 was renamed as Aditya-L1. The Aditya 1 was meant to observe only the solar corona

Key Points:

Launch Vehicle: Aditya L1 will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) XL with 7 payloads (instruments) on board.

Objective: Aditya L1 will study the Sun’s corona (Visible and Near infrared rays), Sun’s photosphere (soft and hard X-ray), chromosphere (Ultra Violet ), solar emissions, solar winds and flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), and will carry out round-the-clock imaging of the Sun.

Challenges: The distance of the Sun from Earth ( approximately 15 crore kms on average, compared to the only 3.84 lakh kms to the Moon).This huge distance poses a scientific challenge.

Due to the risks involved, payloads in earlier ISRO missions have largely remained stationary in space; however, Aditya L1 will have some moving components which increases the risks of collision.

Other issues are the super hot temperatures and radiation in the solar atmosphere. However, Aditya L1 will stay much farther away, and the heat is not expected to be a major concern for the instruments on board.

Lagrange Point 1:

Lagrange Points, named after Italian-French mathematician Josephy-Louis Lagrange, are positions in space where the gravitational forces of a two-body system (like the Sun and the Earth) produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion.

The L1 point is about 1.5 million km from Earth, or about 1/100th of the way to the Sun.

L1 refers to Lagrangian/Lagrange Point 1, one of 5 points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system.

These can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.

A Satellite placed in the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/ eclipses.

The L1 point is home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO), an international collaboration project of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Other Missions to the Sun:

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe’s aim is to trace how energy and heat move through the Sun’s corona and to study the source of the solar wind’s acceleration.

It is part of NASA’s ‘Living With a Star’ programme that explores different aspects of the Sun-Earth system.

The earlier Helios 2 solar probe, a joint venture  between NASA and space agency of erstwhile West Germany, went within 43 million km of the Sun’s surface in 1976.

Statehood Day of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh

In News:

On the Statehood Day of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh (21st February), the Prime Minister and other leaders praised the traditions and culture of the two northeast states.


On 21st February (1987) two new States of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh came into being as the 23rd and 24th states of the Indian Union respectively.

1) About Mizoram :

Capital: Aizawl

Sex Ratio: 975 female per 1000 male (National: 943)

Literacy: 91.58 % (National: 74.04%)

Mizoram shares the International Border with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

It has the highest concentration (percentage) of tribal population among all states of India.

According to the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019, Mizoram has the maximum forest cover as a percentage of their own geographical area at (85.4%).

2) About Arunachal Pradesh:

Capital: Itanagar

Sex Ratio: 938 female per 1000 male (National: 943)

Literacy: 65.38 % (National: 74.04%)

Arunachal Pradesh shares an international border with Bhutan, China and Myanmar.

It is the largest state area wise in the north-eastern region, even larger than Assam which is the most populous.

It is inhabited by the world’s largest variety (diversity) of ethnic tribal groups and subgroups.

Khelo India University Games 2020

In News:

The Prime Minister will launch the first-ever Khelo India University Games in Cuttack (Odisha) on February 22, 2020.

Key Points:

The Khelo India University Games are being launched by the Government of India in association with the Government of Odisha.

It is an aspirational competition for India’s youngsters with the objective of helping them find the balance between sport and education.

It is the largest ever competition held at the university level in India and will have about 3500 athletes from over 150 universities across the country taking part in it.

There will be a total of 17 sports namely archery, athletics, boxing, fencing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, rugby and kabaddi.

Khelo India:

The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country.

It also aims to establish India as a great sporting nation.

It is implemented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Under the scheme, the talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels (by the High-Powered Committee) will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.