Current Affairs

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 11th April 2020


  • The Gamosa is an article of significance for the people of Assam.
  • It is generally a white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on three sides and red woven motifs on the fourth.
  • Assam has traditionally had two types of gamosas
  1. The Ukaor plain kind used to wipe sweat or dry the body after a bath,
  2. The Phulam, which is decorated with floral motifs to be gifted as a memento or during festivals such as Bihu.
  • Gamosa came to symbolize Assamese nationalism in 1916 when the Asom Chatra Sanmilan, a students’ organization was formed, followed by the Assam Sahitya Sabha, a literary body.
  • Wearing the phulam gamosa around the neck became a standard for cultural identity.
  • The Assamese way of life is woven in the gamosa, whether plain or decorative.
  • From a cultural symbol, it became a political symbol before designers explored its potential as dress material such as distinctive shirts.
  • The gamosa’s graph as a symbol of protest rose during the anti-foreigners Assam Agitation from 1979 to 1985.
  • The extremist United Liberation Front of Asom too used the towel with “revolutionary” motifs.
  • The gamosa staged a comeback as a political statement with the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act from mid-December 2019.
  • Recently the COVID-19 pandemic has made the ubiquitous gamosa, a decorative cotton towel, evolve from memento to mask.

Bihu Festival

  • Bihu is a set of three important Assamese festivals in the Indian state of Assam
  • There are three types of Bihu namely
  1. Rongali or Bohag Bihu (Sowing festival) – It is the most important of the three, celebrating spring festival, observed in April.
  2. Kongali or Kati Bihu (Crop protection festival) – It is the somber, thrifty one reflecting a season of short supplies and is an animistic festival, observed in October.
  3. Bhogali or Magh Bihu – It is a harvest festival, with community feasts, observed in January.
  • The Rongali Bihu coincides the Assamese New year and as well as with other regions of Indian subcontinent, East Asia and South-East Asia, which follow the Hindu calendar and Buddhist calendar.
  • The other two Bihu festivals every year are unique to Assamese people.
  • Like some other Indian festivals, Bihu is associated with agriculture, and rice in particular.
  • The term Bihu is also used to imply Bihu dance otherwise called Bihu Naas and Bihu folk songs also called Bihu Geet.

Army Worm Attack

  • Fall Armyworm (FAW) is a dangerous transboundary insect with a high potential to spread rapidly due to its natural distribution capacity and opportunities presented by international trade.
  • The armyworm caterpillar is the larval stage of several species of moths.
  • It has a huge appetite and can feed on more than 80 species of plants according to the entomologists.
  • FAW represents a real threat to food security and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers by spreading across all of sub-Saharan Africa, the Near East and Asia, FAW cannot be eliminated.
  • Farmers need significant support to manage FAW sustainably in their cropping systems through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) activities.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a Global Action for FAW Control as a response to the international threat posed by the armyworms.
  • Recently Directorate of Agriculture has reported an armyworm attack on the standing crops in the northeastern Dhemaji district of Assam.
  • The pest attack has added to sorrows of the already worried farmers, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The weather is a factor because there are no pre-monsoon rains in Assam yet and the temperature is very high now.
  • The armyworm can cause more damage in the absence of rain.
  • Another major issue is reaching out to farmers, all the roads and gaps have been blocked due to the fear of contracting coronavirus.

Operation SHIELD

  • Recently Delhi administration has announced Operation SHIELD to fight COVID-19
  • SHIELD stands for
  • S – Sealing of the immediate area or surroundings after geographical marking.
  • H – Home quarantine of all the people living in the area.
  • I – Isolation and tracing of people who have been first and second contacts.
  • E- Essential supply of commodities is ensured.
  • L- Local sanitation of the area by authorities.
  • D – Door to door health checks of everyone living in the area.
  • It will be implemented in 21 localities identified as containment zones in Delhi.

Source: The Hindu

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