Telangana government and Aga Khan Trust are working to restore Hyderabad’s 17th century Badshahi Ashoorkhana.
About Hyderabad’s 17th century Badshahi Ashoorkhana:
The 400-year old Ashoorkhana was built by Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah.
It was a house of mourning, where large congregations of Muslims gathered in memory of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain during the month of Muharram.
The building consists of a Kaman, Naqqar Khana (where ceremonial drums are beaten), Niyaz Khana (where visitors are fed), Sarai Khana (place to rest), Abdar Khana (drinking water is stored), the chabutra (platform) and a guard room.
During the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, in 1178 Hijri (about 1764 AD), the Ashoorkhana was converted into a bandikhana. For 80 years, it was used as a stable where horses were kept, before it was restored as a place of worship by the then mutawalli Mir Nawazish Ali Khan.
The eight wooden pillars were reconstructed and the alams were reinstalled. During this time, the main entrance, Bab-e-Faiz-e-Imam-e-Alamiyan, was also constructed.
Source: The Hindu
Odisha starts health insurance scheme for journalists
Odisha government has launched “Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana” for working journalists. The health insurance scheme for working journalists will be implemented with effect from June 1, 2018.
About Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana:
Under the scheme, journalists from across the state will get health insurance coverage up to Rs 2 lakh.
At least five members of a journalist’s family would be covered under the scheme.
The scribes will get their health insurance card from the District Information and Public Relations Officer (DIPRO) in their respective districts.
Gopabandhu Das (1877–1928) was a social worker, reformer, political activist, journalist, poet and essayist from Odisha. He was popularly known as Utkalamani (Jewel of Utkal or Orissa).
He won election to the Legislative Council that had been created in 1909 under the terms of the Morley-Minto Reforms.
He became the first president of Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee in 1920, holding the post until 1928, and he welcomed Gandhi to the province in 1921.
He started a discussion group, called Kartavya Bodhini Samiti (Duty Awakening Society), in which he and his friends considered social, economic and political problems.
He established a school at Sakhigopala, near Puri. Popularly known as Satyabadi Bakul Bana Bidyalaya, but called the Universal Education League by Das, it was inspired by the Deccan Education Society, operated in the gurukula tradition and aimed to impart a liberal education on a non-sectarian basis, despite opposition from orthodox Brahmins.
He was influenced by Swadeshi movement and took part in the non- cooperation movement.
He also launched and acted as editor for a short-lived monthly literary magazine titled Satyabadi from the campus of his school. Through this he was able to indulge his childhood aspirations to be a poet.
Source: The Hindu
Cauvery Management Authority
Acting on the Supreme Court’s direction, the Centre recently constituted a Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) to address the dispute over sharing of river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
About the Cauvery Management Authority:
Composition: The authority would comprise a chairman, eight members besides a secretary. Out of eight members, two each will be full-time and part-time members, while the rest four would be part-time members from states.
Powers: The authority will exercise power and discharge such duty for “sufficient and expedient for securing compliance and implementation” of the Supreme Court order in relation to “storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters”. It can also seek the help of the central government for implementation of the award and take appropriate action.
The authority will supervise operation of reservoirs and with regulation of water releases therefrom with the assistance of regulation committee.
The authority will also look at regulated release of water by Karnataka, at the inter-state contact point presently identified as Billigundulu gauge and discharge station, located on the common border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The authority at the beginning of the water year (June 1 each year) would determine the total residual storage in the specified reservoirs.
The authority has also been tasked to advise the states to take suitable measures to improve water use efficiency, by way of promoting micro-irrigation (drip and sprinkler), change in cropping pattern, improved agronomic practices, system deficiency correction and command area development.
It has to also prepare an annual report covering the activities of the authority for the preceding year. The Centre will initially contribute a sum of Rs 2 crore for the functioning of the authority.
The apex court, in its verdict delivered on February 16, had asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, including creation of the Cauvery Managament Board, for release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Modifications made by the Court:
The top court had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending the time for this on any ground.
It had raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.
Facts for Prelims:
Cauvery River rises on Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in south-western Karnataka state. It flows in a south-easterly direction for 475 miles through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Before emptying into the Bay of Bengal south of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, the river breaks into a large number of distributaries forming a wide delta called the “garden of southern India.” The river is important for its irrigation canal projects.
In the upper course, at the Krishnaraja Sagara, the Kaveri is joined by two tributaries, the Hemavati and Lakshmantirtha, where a dam was constructed for irrigation.
Upon entering Tamil Nadu, the Kaveri continues through a series of twisted wild gorges until it reaches Hogenakal Falls. There the Mettur Dam was construted for irrigation and hydel power.
It’s main tributaries are the Kabani (Kabbani), Amaravati, Noyil, and Bhavani rivers.
Source: The Hindu
Agni-5 Ballistic Missile
India recently successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Long Range Ballistic Missile Agni-5 from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
About Agni-5 Ballistic Missile:
It is a surface-to-surface missile which can carry nuclear warhead weighing 1.5 tonnes to a distance of over 5,000 km and is the longest missile in India’s arsenal capable of reaching most parts of China.
The missile features many new indigenously-developed technologies, including the very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS), and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) which improves the accuracy of the missile.
Facts for Prelims:
Agni series: At present, India has in its armoury the Agni series — Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2,000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.
India joins the elite club: With this missile, India has joined an elite club of nations that possess the ICBM launch capability. Only the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United States and Britain, along with Israel, have so far possessed such long-range missiles.
Significance of the Agni project:
The successful development of Agni proved India’s capacity and technical expertise. This missile put India into an advanced stage of technology. Agni has not only technologically, scientifically and in the fields of security but also in international politics, put India on a noticeable platform. Agni missiles would be a game changer, transforming the way the world looks at India’s defence arsenal.
Source: The Hindu
Odisha beach is Asia’s first to get ‘Blue Flag’ tag
The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification.
Twelve more beaches in the country are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas, in accordance with the Blue Flag standards.
About Blue flag project:
Launched in December 2017 by the Environment Ministry, the prime objective of the project is to enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches. Under the project, each state or union territory has been asked to nominate a beach which will be funded through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme.
Criteria for certification:
To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach has to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism-related conditions. The standards were established by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985. For example- a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system. Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities. The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area.
Facts for Prelims:
Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) has been established under the aegis of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change.
The main objective of the Centre is to promote research and development in the area of coastal management including addressing issues of coastal communities.
It also supports implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) activities in India and implements the World Bank assisted India ICZM Project.
Source: The Hindu
Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS)
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has commissioned two very high resolution (12 km grid scale) state-of-the-art global Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) for generating operational 10-days probabilistic forecasts of weather. The EPS involves the generation of multiple forecasts using slightly varying initial conditions.
About Ensemble forecasting:
Ensemble forecasting provides localised predictions of a 12 km resolution compared to 23 kilometers in the earlier system.
The new model has been developed jointly by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting.
With this new model, India joins the US with a model that predicts with a 12 km resolution. Only the ‘European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast’ has a, better, nine-kilometer resolution.
Need for better forecasts:
Better forecasts lead to better management agriculture and water resources. It also helps promote tourism, solar and wind energy.
Source: The Hindu
Financial Literacy Week
To emphasize the importance of financial literacy, RBI is observing Financial Literacy Week in the month of June.
Focus: It will focus on creating awareness among customers of banks about financial products and services, good financial practices and going digital.
Theme: Consumer protection.
Indian Railways has introduced a new Humsafar Jodhpur Bandra express.
Humsafar express: Humsafar would be fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals. Humsafar Express coaches have mobile charging points and reading lights for each passenger along with easy upper berth climbing arrangement. The coaches also have facilities such as baby nappy changing pads and tea/coffee-makers, among other features.
India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab in Chandigarh dedicated to women related cases
Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory, India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab dedicated to women related cases will be set up in Chandigarh.
Forensic science plays a vital role in the criminal justice delivery system by providing investigators with scientifically based information through the analysis of physical evidence. With increasing reports of crime against women such as sexual assault, foeticide, homicide etc. there is an increasing demand for better scientific analysis of physical evidence. Scrutiny by Hon’ble courts demands more admissible, accurate and powerful forensic proof for human individualisation.