GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

President Inaugurates 88th Mahamastakabhisheka At Shravanabelagola.

Background

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelgola (Hassan) on 7th February, 2018 by unveiling an idol of Lord Bahubali, placed in a silver frame, in the presence of several saints and dignitaries. The President also lighted a lamp to mark the inauguration of the mega event, held once in 12 years.
  • In his address, the President said he was blessed to be a part of the inaugural ceremony of the event, which has a long history. He said that this is an important place representing the country’s culture and heritage. It has been spreading the message of love, peace and non-violence to the globe.
  • Mr. Kovind said that Lord Bahubali renounced the kingdom and took to spreading the significance of non-violence and sacrifice.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Referring to the history of Shravanabelgola, the President said that the Bahubali statue installed here signifies his sacrifice. Because of the message the statue stands for, the place has been attracting large crowds from across the globe. He also informed that Jain saint Bhadrabahu reached this place from Ujjain along with his disciples. Later Chandragupta Maurya, the ruler of Patna, also handed over his kingdom to his son Bindusara and chose to spend his days here.
  • The Gomateshwara statue also represents the rich heritage of the country with regard to art and sculpture. The statue was installed in 981 and that was the time when the first anointing ceremony was held. Since then, the ceremony has been held once in 12 years, the President said.
  • Many dignitaries including Karnataka Governor Vajubha Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami, Acharya Vardhamana Sagar, a Jain saint, and Veerendra Heggade of Dharmastala, were present on the occasion.

Sources- The Hindu.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Maharashtra Government Approves New Wildlife Sanctuary At Ghodazari.

Background

  • The Maharashtra government has approved Ghodazari in Chandrapur district as a new wildlife sanctuary in the state. The decision was taken at the 13th meeting of the Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife, chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on 31st January, 2018.
  • The sanctuary, in the North East of Tadoba, will include 159 sq km of Brahmapuri forest.
  • Dr Anish Andheria, president of the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) and member of the board said that this will not only save the forest, but will also improve tourism in nearly 40 villages in the area.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The board also discussed various proposals for development work within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and wildlife sanctuaries in the state.
  • The proposal for road widening and strengthening of National Highway 8 outside SGNP was also approved at the meeting.
  • We approved the widening project as it is not getting into the park and we asked them to do the widening on the seaward side, added Andheria.
  • The board also approved the drilling of nine boreholes by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in SGNP for Geotechnical Investigation for proposed highway tunnel between Thane and Borivali.
  • The MSRDC had also sought approval for the construction of Nagpur-Mumbai Super Expressway near different wildlife sanctuaries. A committee has been constituted to look into these proposals. They will not allow them to pass through these sanctuaries, but if they are cutting through a corridor between two sanctuaries then they will suggest them mitigation measures, said Andheria, who will also be a member of the committee.
  • The board also gave approval to Tejas Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, to collect specimens of freshwater crabs for research purposes.

Sources- The Indian Express.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

India Successfully Test-fires Nuclear Capable Prithvi-II.

Background

  • India on 7th February, 2018 successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range in Odisha.
  • The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur near Balasore, Odisha at around 11.35 am.
  • Describing the trial as a complete success, they said all mission objectives were met during the test launch.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The perfect test launch came after successful trial of Agni-5 on January 18, 2018 and Agni-1 missile conducted from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast on 6th February, 2018.
  • Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. The state-of-the-art missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
  • The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Army and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise.
  • The missile trajectory was tracked by radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations by the DRDO along the coast of Odisha.
  • The downrange teams onboard the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown.
  • In salvo mode, on November 21, 2016, two missiles were successfully test fired in quick succession from the same base and the last trial was successful on June 2, 2017 from the same base.
  • Inducted into the Armed forces of the country in 2003, the nine-metre-tall, single-stage liquid-fuelled Prithvi-II is the first missile to have been developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development (IGMDP).

Sources- News18.