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GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

Janmashtami Celebrated Across India On August 14th; History And Significance Of The Occasion.

Background-

  • Marking the birth of Lord Krishna – Janmashtami or Krishna Janmashtami, a Hindu a festival is celebrated across India. This year (2017) Janmashtami has fallen on August 14, Monday. The festival is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu religion.
  • As per the Hindu lunar calendar, the Lord Krishna was born on the ‘eighth day’ known as ‘Ashtami’ at midnight in the holy month of Shravana. Hindus across the entire country and abroad are gearing up for the most significant festival. It is popularly celebrated in Mathura, in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan and in the northeastern states like Assam and Manipur.

Significance of Janmashtami–

  • Lord Krishna is believed to be the eighth avatar of Vishnu. According to the mythological tales, Lord Krishna’s uncle King Kansa wanted to kill him, therefore, as soon as he was born, his father Vasudeva took him across Yamuna to Gokul. Krishna was then taken care of by his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. On Janmashtami, devotees commemorate how Krishna emerged victorious over the trials and tribulations over his birth.
  • Rasa lila, fasting (upavasa), a night vigil (jagarana) and a festival (mahotsava) are considered as important parts of the Janmashtami celebrations. People do fasting by eating just a single meal a day before the festivities and break the fast on the next day when the Ashtami Tithi is over. People in the night, maintain a vigil and sing devotional songs. The devotees offer ‘chappan bhog’ on the following day known as ‘Nanda Utsav’ and prepares a list of 56 dishes to offer to the god. After the offering, this is then distributed and shared among the devotees after the fast.

Significance of Dahi Handi on Krishna Janmashtami-

  • At Vrindavan, Krishna was the most notorious child, known across the village for his mischief. Maakhan/Makhan or white butter, curd and milk were Little Krishna’s favourite. So fond was Krishna of maakhan that he would even go stealing butter across his village as soon as it was churned, much to the dismay his mother, who had to ultimately tie him to a pole to keep him from stealing butter. The impish act earned him the name ‘Maakhan Chor’.
  • Women of Vridavan also started tying their freshly churned makhan at a greater height off the ground so that Krishna couldn’t reach the pot. But all in vain. Krishna with his friends would form pyramids and reach the pots containing the milk and yogurt. The ritual of Dahi Handi is an imitation of the actions of Lord Krishna. People surrounding the boys, sing songs and celebrate the day. The boy who stands at the top is called as Govinda and the groups are either called as handis or mandals.

Sources- Financial Express, NDTV.

 

GS Paper II- Governance, International Relations.

Hyderabad To Host World Congress Of Optometry.

Background

  • Around 10 million children in India suffer from blindness related ailments, including basic sight problems.
  • They are part of the 100 million Indians who face the plight of mostly preventable blindness and in many cases treatable, according to Vinod Daniel, CEO of the India Vision Institute (IVI).
  • The world’s visually impaired will be the subject of some serious discussions at the upcoming 2nd World Congress of Optometry to be held in Hyderabad during September 11-13, 2017. The Congress will not only highlight and raise awareness of issues, but will also further the important strides made in India to improve both access to vision care and reduce avoidable blindness.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Preventable blindness and eyecare delivery as a public health issue is important in tackling problems. The Congress will deliberate key issues, skill development and training optometrists and vision care delivery as an integral part of public health.
  • The Congress is being hosted by the World Council of Optometry, the Asia-Pacific Council of Optometry and the IVI.
  • About 1,500 delegates are expected to participate. About 600 abstracts have so far been received.
  • The conference theme is ‘Accessible, quality vision and eye health’. It ties into WHO’s Universal eye health: A global action plan 2014-19, which aims to reduce the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25 per cent by 2017.
  • The CEO of the Australia-based Brian Holden Institute, Kevin Naidoo, the conference chair, said the conference will bring together experts in public health and clinical care. The twin challenges of quality care and access will be addressed.
  • The event will be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.

 

GS Paper III- Technology.

ICGS ‘Shaurya’ Commissioned, Dharmendra Pradhan Calls It ‘Joyous Moment’ For India.

Background

  • The Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Shaurya‘, an indigenously built offshore patrol vessel by Goa Shipyards, was commissioned, on 12th August, 2017 at Panaji, in Goa.
  • The commission was inaugurated by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who expressed his gratitude for being a part of this joyous moment.
  • The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas also congratulated the India Coast Guard for success in preventing drug trafficking near the Gujarat Coast.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • Addressing the media in Panaji, the Union Minister said that the Goa Shipyard has created an ancillary eco-system in Goa.
  • Pradhan also said that he has requested the Goa Shipyard to initiate a pilot project to explore the use of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) in ships like Shaurya and have talked to the GAIL to collaborate in the venture.
  • Focussing mostly on creating Green Energy fuel, Pradhan said that this would also help to create Goa as a state for green fuel conversion.
  • Pradhan added that its size, availability of raw material will be favourable, while urban and marine waste would be converted.
  • Talking about the renewable sources of energy that India is creating and is determined to create, Pradhan said that the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Vasco Terminal received the first consignment of 2.16MT of premium quality defence grade ATF from the paradeep refinery.
  • He further said that the government of India has planned to invest around Rs. 10,000 crore to Rs. 12,000 crore on RND of second generation ethanol.

Earlier in May 2017, the Goa Shipyard Limited launched Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shaurya’ at Vasco, the fifth of a series of six off-shore patrol vessels that the Coast Guard had tasked the Vasco defence public sector undertaking to build.

Sources- ABPlive.