Facts in News

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    Polity and Governance

    SAATH Initiative

    Syllabus: GS 2/Government Policies & Interventions

    In News 

    • Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor launched a Rural Enterprises Acceleration Programme titled ‘Saath’ for women.

    About 

    • There are 48000 SHGs in Jammu and Kashmir. 
      • Four lakh women are connected to these SHGs. 
    • Saath initiative will stress mentoring and market linkages of products created by these women.
    • Initially, workshops will be held for 5000 women, out of which 500 will be selected for intensive training and further 100 will be selected for mentoring.
    • Training: It will be provided to women in ten different sectors including Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Poultry, handcraft, Handloom among other various sectors under which rural women are working.
    • This initiative aims to teach women such skills and convert their businesses into Higher Order Enterprises.
    • The aim is to turn women into job-givers and produce further employment.
    •  Saath has given us the opportunity to interact with other women to know their thoughts, livelihoods and also know about several government schemes. 

    Objectives and Need  

    • There is not much profit in SHGs work and there is a lack of knowledge about marketing, packaging and branding
    • Saath is aimed at accelerating the livelihoods of rural women, associated with SHGs and who are doing small works and make them independent and strong in social and financial aspects.

    Self Help Groups (SHGs) 

    • They are small groups of poor people. The members of an SHG face similar problems. They help each other to solve their problems. SHGs promote small savings among their members. 
    • The savings are kept with the bank. This is the common fund in the name of the SHG. The SHG gives small loans to its members from its common fund

     

    Polity and Governance

    Glue Grant Scheme

    Syllabus: GS 2/Government Policies & Interventions

    In News

    • Recently, the Ministry of Education met the Vice Chancellors of 45 Central Universities to discuss the implementation of the Glue Grant Scheme for Education Institutions and some other initiatives

    What is the Glue Grant Scheme?

    • Under the glue grant institutions in the same city would be encouraged to share resources, equipment and even allow their students to take classes from each other. 
      • This is the first step for multidisciplinarity. 
    • Ultimately, faculty will be able to design joint courses, and one could see a DU student able to take a few classes at IIT-Delhi, or vice versa.
    • This also meant that institutions need not duplicate work by developing the same capacities, but would be able to build on each other’s expertise.

     

    Modern History

    Dara Shikoh

    Syllabus: GS1/ Modern History, Personalities

    In News

    • At a time when incidents of intolerance in the name of faith are being reported from Afghanistan, Dara Shikoh, one of India’s most enlightened thinkers, needs to be remembered. 

    Dara Shikoh

    • Background:
      • He was born in Ajmer, the land of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, to whom his father Shah Jahan had prayed for a son.
      • Dara Shikoh, who was Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s son and expected heir, was killed on the orders of his brother Aurangzeb in 1659 after losing the war of succession.
      • At the age of twenty-five, Dara wrote his first book, Safinat-ul-Awliya, a concise document detailing the lives of the Prophet and his family, the Caliphs and of saints belonging to the five major Sufi orders then popular in India.
      • Dara Shikoh is described as a “liberal Muslim” who tried to find commonalities between Hindu and Islamic traditions.

    Image Courtesy: Timenow

    • Work of Dara Shikoh
      • He had a deep understanding and knowledge of major religions, particularly Islam and Hinduism is known as a pioneer of the academic movement for interfaith understanding in India. 
      • He strove to develop cordial relationships between people by finding commonalities between Hinduism and Islam and bringing their cultures into dialogue. 
      • His most important works, Majma-ul-Bahrain (Mingling of Two Oceans) and Sirr-i-Akbar (Great Mystery) are devoted to the cause of establishing connections between Hinduism and Islam.
      • He not only discovered commonalities but even said that the foundation of the two religions is the same, which is the belief, “One Reality and One God”. He had a pluralistic outlook and understood India’s syncretic culture.
      • Dara Shikoh acquired proficiency in Sanskrit and Persian, which enabled him to play a key role in popularising Indian culture and Hindu religious thought. He translated the Upanishads and other important sources of Hindu religion and spirituality from Sanskrit to Persian. 
      • Dara Shikoh had a keen interest in the fine arts and architecture. An album he dedicated to his wife is a treasure of Indian art. 
      • A rare miniature painting showing him with his spiritual masters is preserved in the library of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). As a talented architect, he designed the beautiful Pari Mahal Garden Palace in Srinagar and many other monuments.
      • He wrote ‘Risala-i-hak Numa’ (The Compass of the Truth), the ‘Shathiyat or Hasanat-ul-Arifin’ and the ‘Iksir-i-Azam’.
      • He also commissioned the ‘Jug Bashist’ and the ‘Tarjuma-i-Akwal-i-Wasili’.

    Source: IE

     

    Biodiversity and Environment

    Pulicat Lake

    Syllabus: GS3/ Species In News

    In News

    • The migratory birds, including the famous flamingos, have started arriving at Pulicat Lake.

    About

    • This positive development is largely due to increase in the storage levels in the reservoir in adjoining areas.
    • Greater flamingos and pelicans are some of the famous migratory birds that visit this place.

    Pulicat Lake

    • It is the second-largest brackish water lake in the country, next only to Chilika lake.
    • Also called Pazhaverkadu, it lies at the border of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu on the Barricade Island of Sriharikota
    • The region in which Pulicat lake is situated receives rainfall from both South-West as well as North-East monsoon winds.
    • Two rivers that feed the lagoon are the Arani River at the southern tip and the Kalangi River from the northwest, in addition to some smaller streams.
    • Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is a famous bird sanctuary located near this lake.
    • The lake is also home to black-headed ibis, Asian openbill, black-crowned night heron, and little cormorant. Other migratory birds that visit the sanctuary include northern pintail, common teal, little grebe, northern shoveler, Eurasian coot, Indian spot-billed duck, grey heron, Oriental darter, black-winged stilt, garganey and gadwall
    • The project “Mangrove Restoration in Asia” is implemented at Pulicat Lake.
    • Flamingo Festival is held every year to promote tourism in Pulicat and Nelapattu.

    About Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary

    • It is considered one of the biggest habitats for some hundreds of pelicans and other birds. 
    • Located about 20 km north of the Pulicat Lake on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border.

    Source: TH

     

    Biodiversity and Environment

    Behler Turtle Conservation Award

    Syllabus: GS3/ Species In News

    In News

    • Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award.

    About

    • The Behler Turtle Conservation Award was established in 2006 to recognise outstanding achievements, contributions and leadership excellence in international turtle conservation and biology.
    • The award was given for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction.
      • The turtles are Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga), Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska), and Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans)
    • The award has been bestowed by several global bodies involved in turtle conservation such as Turtle Survival Alliance, IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Turtle Conservancy, and Turtle Conservation Fund.

    Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)

    • It was formed in 2001 as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises, and initially designated a Task Force of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

    Turtles 

    • Turtles are the reptiles of the order Testudines, characterized by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shield.
    • Tortoise is distinguished from other turtles by being land-dwelling, while many (though not all) other turtle species are partly aquatic.
    • Five species of sea turtles are known to inhabit Indian coastal waters and islands.
    • These are the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), Green (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles.

    Source: TH