Current Affairs

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 14th April 2020

Dr. B R Ambedkar’s Birth Anniversary

  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was born on 14th April 1891 in Mhow, Central Province (now Madhya Pradesh).
  • He was India’s first Law Minister and was Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the new Constitution.
  • He led the Mahad Satyagraha in March 1927 against Hindus who were opposing the decision of the Municipal Board to throw open the tank to all communities.
  • He participated in all three Round Table Conferences.
  • In 1932 Dr. Ambedkar signed the Poona pact with Mahatma Gandhi, which abandoned the idea of separate electorates for the depressed classes (Communal Award).
  • His ideas before the Hilton Young Commission served as the foundation of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • In 1936, he was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly as a legislator (MLA).
  • He was appointed to the Executive Council of Viceroy as a Labour member in 1942.
  • In 1947, Dr. Ambedkar accepted PM Nehru’s invitation to become Minister of Law in the first Cabinet of independent India
  • He resigned from the cabinet in 1951, over differences on the Hindu Code Bill.
  • Contributions of Dr. Ambedkar are as follows
  1. Organisations – Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (1923), Independent Labor Party (1936), Scheduled Castes Federation (1942).
  2. Books – Annihilation of Caste, Buddha or Karl Marx, The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables, Buddha and His Dhamma, The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women
  3. Journals – Mooknayak (1920), Bahishkrit Bharat (1927), Samatha (1929), Janata (1930)


  • The Indian Government has set up Panchteerath in the memory of Dr BR Ambedkar.
  • Panchteerath include:
  1. Amedbkar’s birthplace in Mhow,
  2. The place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK
  3. Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, where he took education
  4. Mahaparinirvan Sthal in Delhi, and
  5. Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai

Round Table Conferences

  • First Round Table Conference – It was held in London on Nov. 12, 1930 but the Congress did not participate in it.
  • Second Round Table Conference – It was held in London on the 7th of September, 1931.
  • In March 1931, Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin (Viceroy of India 1926-31) entered into a Pact, called Gandhi-Irwin Pact, by which the Congress called off the Civil Disobedience Movement and agreed to participate in the Round Table Conference.
  • Thus Mahatma Gandhi participated only in the second round table conference.
  • Third Round Table Conference – It was held in London on the 17th of November, 1932 to consider the reports of various sub-committees appointed from time to time.
  • It ultimately led to the passage of Govt. of India Act, 1935.
  • The Congress did not participate as most of the leaders were in jail.

Yanomami Tribes

  • Brazil is home to an estimated 8,00,000 indigenous people from more than 300 ethnic groups.
  • Guarani, Kaingang, Pataxó Hã Hã Hãe Tupinambá, Yanomami, Tikuna and Akuntsu are popular tribe of Amazon.
  • Yanomami, also called South American Indians, live in the remote forest of the Orinoco River basin in southern Venezuela and the northernmost reaches of the Amazon River basin in northern Brazil.
  • They numbered around 27,000 individuals throughout their range.
  • Yanomami live in small, scattered, semi permanent villages and speak the Xirianá language.
  • They practice hunting and slash-and-burn agriculture.
  • Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa who secured the land rights of the Yanomami people was awarded the Right Livelihood Award-2019, also known as Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize.
  • Recently, a Yanomami indigenous boy died in Brazil after contracting Covid-19, raising fears for the Amazon tribes.

Meru Jatra Festival

  • Meru Jatra marks the end of the 21-day-long festival of penance named ‘Danda Nata’.
  • Danda Nata is celebrated in the month of ‘Chaitra’.
  • Danda as the name implies, is self-inflicted pain, which the danduas (people who participate in the festival) undergo to pay their obeisance to the lord Kali.
  • It is also a form of worshipping the lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
  • The origin of the festival is generally traced to 8th and 9th AD after the decadence of Buddhism in Orissa.
  • On the occasion of Mahavishub Sankranti thousands of devotees used to gather at the Tara Tarini hill shrine and other temples.
  • Tara Tarini hill shrine, located at a hilltop on banks of the Rushikulya river, is a major centre of Shakti worship in Odisha.
  • The twin goddesses Tara and Tarini represent one Shakti and are the main deity of Ganjam district (Odisha).
  • Mahavishub Sankranti is the start of the Odia New Year.
  • Odisha administrations has banned the famous Chaitra Jatra festival at Tara Tarini hill shrine as a precautionary measure against Covid-19 infection.

Pattachitra Painting

  • Pattachitra style of painting is one of the oldest and most popular art forms of Odisha.
  • The name Pattachitra has evolved from the Sanskrit words Patta, meaning canvas, and Chitra, meaning picture.
  • Pattachitra is done on canvas and is manifested by rich colourful application, creative motifs and designs, and portrayal of simple themes, mostly mythological in depiction.
  • The Pattachitra, when painted on cloth, follows a traditional process of preparation of the canvas.
  • First, the base is prepared by coating the cloth with the soft, white, stone powder of chalk and glue made from tamarind seeds.
  • It is a tradition to complete the borders of the painting first.
  • The painter then starts making a rough sketch directly with the brush using light red and yellow.
  • The colours used are normally white, red, yellow, and black.
  • When the painting is completed it is held over a charcoal fire and lacquer is applied to the surface.
  • This makes the painting water resistant and durable, besides giving it a shining finish.
  • Some of the popular themes represented through this art form are
  1. Thia Badhia – depiction of the temple of Jagannath.
  2. Krishna Lila – enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child.
  3. Dasabatara Patti – the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
  4. Panchamukhi – depiction of Lord Ganesh as a five-headed deity.

Interoperable Set Top Boxes

  • Recently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that all Set Top Boxes (STBs) in the country must be made interoperable.
  • It means that consumers should be able to use the same STB across different DTH ( Direct to Home) or cable TV providers.
  • As of now STBs deployed in the cable TV networks are non-interoperable.
  • STBs in the DTH players comply with license conditions to support common interface module based interoperability.
  • So, in practice, they are also not readily interoperable.
  • Lack of interoperability deprives the customer of the freedom to change her/his service provider.
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been suggested to make the required amendments in licensing and registration conditions to make interoperability mandatory.
  • It has also been recommended to set up a coordination committee to steer implementation of revised STB standards for both the DTH and the cable TV segments.
  • The committee may maintain continuous oversight for setting up of the digital TV standards by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

  • It was established by an Act of Parliament (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997) to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.
  • It provides a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
  • The TRAI Act was amended to establish a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
  • TDSAT was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Back to top button