1. ‘Dhanu Yatra’ begins in Odisha’s Bargarh
The ‘Dhanu Yatra’ festival, considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatre, began on 27th December in the Western Odisha town of Bargarh.
President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of the eastern state as the 11-day festival began. The festival began after a gap of two years.
In this festival, events related to Lord Shri Krishna will be presented through folk arts that touch the hearts of millions of people.
About ‘Dhanu Yatra’
The 'Dhanu Yatra', which symbolises the victory of good over evil, came into being in Bargarh as part of the country's independence celebrations in 1947–48 and is held annually.
'Dhanu Yatra' is associated with the culture of Odisha.
It is an open-air theatre festival which is spread over more than 5 square kilometres and includes a village and a town.
As per tradition, for the whole eleven days, the people of Bargarh obey the orders of Raja Kansa and not the district administration.
Background of the festival
Dhanu Yatra was started after the harvest season of the year 1947-48, just after the independence of India as a reflection of the atmosphere of joy in the society for the end of British misrule.
Since then it is performed every year at the end of the harvesting of paddy, the main crop of the area.
It starts from the 5th day of ‘Pousasukla’ to end on ‘Pousapurnima’.
During 11 days the entire area of Bargarh city and sub-urban areas around Bargarh block turns into 'Mathura Nagari', the kingdom of Kansa.
The festival begins with a drama depicting the downfall of Ugrasena, the emperor of Mathura, by Kansa, enraged at the marriage of his sister Devaki with Vasudeva.
The festival ends with the death of the demon king Kansa and the restoration of the throne to Ugrasena.
2. India’s first carbon neutral farm inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinnari Vijayan at Aluva, Kerala
Kerala Chief Minister Pinnari Vijayan on 10 December 2022 inaugurated Kerala's State Seed Farm located in Aluva, Ernakulam district. It is the first farm in India which is carbon neutral.
The farm practices carbon-neutral farming which involves absorption of all the carbon that gets released during various agriculture practices in the soil itself.
The farm avoids using fossil fuels, energy-consuming equipment, and chemicals during cultivation by practicing mixed farming, keeping native breeds of goat, chicken, ducks and cows and producing vermicompost.
Mixed farming involves the cultivation of crops and raising of livestocks.
How the farm is made carbon neutral
- The main crop in the farm is high-yielding paddy and a variety of this crop is grown including njavara, rakthashali, Japanese violet, chottadi, and pokkali. By mixing five different varieties there is reduction in attacks by pests and diseases thereby avoiding the use of pesticides completely?
- Farming of goats, cows, chicken, ducks, bees, fish, vermicompost and azolla has also helped in cutting down waste generation. Converting agriculture waste into compost provides fertiliser for the fields as doe’s cow dung. The ducks and hens in the farm help in controlling pests.
- The animals on the farm are fed fodder, grass, hay and barn, all of which are produced at the farm. To become completely carbon-neutral, the farm has solar panels on the roof which helps in meeting the need for power.
3. UP government to build Ramayana, Mahabharata, Buddhist circuits under the New Tourism Policy
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet in a meeting held on 16 November 2022 and chaired by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath approved the New Tourism policy for the state on 16 November 2022. The government will focus on developing the Ramayana ,Krishna, Buddhist and Mahabharata circuit to promote religious tourism in the state .
Under the Ramayana circuit the places associated with Lord Rama will be developed . It will include Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Bithoor and other places of significance during the Ramayana period.
Under the Krishna Circuit the places associated with Lord Krishna will be developed. Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Govardhan, Barsana, Nandgaon, and Baldev will be included in the Krishna circuit.
Under the Buddhist circuit Kapilvastu, Sarnath, Kushinagar, Kaushambi, Shravasti, Ramgram and other places associated with lord Buddha will be developed .
The Mahabharata circuit will include Hastinapur, Kampilya, Echhatra, Barnawa, Mathura, Kaushambi, Gonda, Lakshagriha.
Under the Shaktipeeth circuit Vindhyavasini Devi, Ashtabhuja to Devipatan, Naimisharanya, Maa Lalita Devi, Maa Jwala Devi, Shakumbhari Devi from Saharanpur to Shivani Devi, Chitrakoot and Sheetla Mata, Mau will be developed.
To boost spiritual tourism in the state, Gorakhpur, Balrampur, Mathura, Sant Ravidas Sthal, Maa Parameshwari Devi, Azamgarh, Bighu Ashram of Ballia, Bateshwar of Agra, Hanuman Dham Shahjahanpur have been included.
To boost wildlife and ecotourism,the government will focus on developing sanctuary and forest reserves.
Under the new tourism policy the government will develop places associated with the freedom struggle like Meerut, Shahjahanpur, Kakori and Chaurichaura will be developed as a tourist place .
To boost tourism in the Bundelkhand area the government will focus on districts like Charkhari, Chitrakoot, Kalinjar, Jhansi, Deogarh, Lalitpur, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, and Jalaun.
Jaiveer Singh is the Minister of Tourism & Culture in the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
4. India hosts LeadIT Summit with Sweden at COP27, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
India and Sweden hosted the LeadIT (Leadership for Industry Transition) Summit, on 15 November 2022 on the side-lines of Conference of Parties (COP) 27 being held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November 2022. The initiative focuses on low carbon transition of the industrial sector which is a major source of carbon emission in the world.
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav co-hosted the summit with the Swedish Minister for Climate and the Environment Ms. Romina Pourmokhtari.
Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT)
The Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) was launched by the governments of Sweden and India at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 at New York City, United States of America.
It brings together countries and companies that are committed to action to achieve the 2016 Paris Agreement on reduction of carbon emission.
The LeadIT members are committed to achieving a net zero carbon emission.
5. Uttar Pradesh government to make Vrindavan -Mathura pilgrimage center carbon neutral by 2041
The Uttar Pradesh government has made an ambitious plan to make the Vrindavan -Mathura tourist pilgrimage center carbon neutral by 2041. This will be the first tourist center in India to plan for a carbon neutral status.
The government expects the tourist arrival in the Mathura Vrindavan region to increase from the present 2.3 crore per year to around 6 crore in 2041. To deal with the expected increase in footfall and increase in carbon footprint, the government has made a plan to make the region carbon neutral by 2041,
Plan of the government
- The entire pilgrimage region will be divided into four clusters each containing two of the eight key cites.
- The plan proposes to form small circuits called ‘Parikrama Paths’ which the pilgrim can undertake either on foot or using electric vehicles.
- To reduce the carbon emission the government intends to ban the use of private tourist vehicles in the entire Braj region
- Only electric public transport will run in the identified region
- All the 252 water bodies and 24 forests in the area will be revived so that they can act as a carbon sink.
Mathura -Vrindavan region and its significance
- The city of Mathura and Vrindavan is associated with Lord Krishna’s birth and childhood.
- Both the cities are situated along the river Yamuna.
- Mathura is mentioned in Ramayana and was one of the capitals of the Kushan King Kanishka (130AD).
- Some of the famous temples of the region are: Govind Dev Temple, Rangaji Temple, Dwarikadhish Temple, Bankey Bihari Temple and the ISKCON Temple.
- Gokul, Barsana and Govardhan are the other townships associated with the legend of Lord Krishna.
What is Carbon Neutral and Net Zero?
Carbon neutral refers to the removal of the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by various means as the amount of carbon dioxide which is released in the atmosphere leaving a Zero balance or zero carbon.
Net Zero means the removal of the same amount of Greenhouse gasses (eg CO2, methane, CFC etc. ) from the atmosphere by various means as the amount of Greenhouse gasses which is released in the atmosphere leaving a Zero balance or net Zero.
Important to Know
India has set a target to become zero net emission country by 2070.
Palli panchayat in Samba district of Jammu is the first carbon neutral panchayat in India.
6. Antyodaya Diwas 2022
Antyodaya Diwas is celebrated every year on 25 September to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, one of the prominent personalities in the history of Indian politics.
This year Antyodaya Diwas is the 106th birth anniversary of Upadhyay.
Antyodaya means "uplifting the poorest of the poor" or "rise of the last person".
The day was declared by the Government of India on September 25, 2014 and is being officially celebrated since the year 2015.
About Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya
He was born on September 25, 1916 in Chandrabhan village near Farah town in Mathura district, now known as Deendayal Dham.
His father's name was Bhagwati Prasad and he was an astrologer, mother's name was Rampyari.
The philosophy presented by him is called 'Integral Humanism'.
Its objective was to present an 'indigenous socio-economic model' in which human beings are at the centre of development.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay opposed western 'capitalist individualism' and 'Marxist socialism' and welcomed modern technology and western science.
7. On the lines of Delhi NCR, 'State Capital Region' will be made in UP
Tags: State News
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on 2 September proposed to create an Uttar Pradesh State Capital Region (UPSCR) on the lines of Delhi National Capital Region(NCR).
IMPORTANT FACTS -
- In the proposed SCR in the state, besides Lucknow, six other districts including Unnao, Sitapur, Rae Bareli, Barabanki, Kanpur Nagar and Kanpur Dehat have been asked to prepare the proposal soon.
In this context, the Chief Minister has directed the officials of the Housing Department to provide an action plan for the formation of SCR at the earliest.
Instructions for the upgradation of various cities of the state :
In view of the increasing trend of passengers in metro service in Lucknow, the Chief Minister has asked to prepare a proposal to start the second phase metro service in a week.
Instructions have also been given to start the Lucknow Green Corridor soon and to expand the limits of the Municipal Corporation.
At the same time, it has also been asked to expedite the process of revival of wetlands in Butler Lake and CG City.
He has also directed to select 35 acres of land and decorate Avadh Shilpgram and Kakori Shaheed Smriti Udyan with dynamic lighting to build a modern convention centre in the capital.
The Chief Minister has asked to prepare a city development plan for the planned development of big cities of the state.
At present, the Chief Minister has given instructions to prepare city development plans for Lucknow, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Jhansi, Mathura, Bareilly, Meerut, Agra, Chitrakoot, Varanasi and Prayagraj.
Whereas under the 2021 policy, the urban logistics plan for Ghaziabad, Prayagraj, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut has been asked to be prepared soon.
The Chief Minister has asked the officials to prepare a master plan keeping in mind the needs of the next 50 years in view of the rapidly growing urban population.
8. Chamba's Minjar fair got international status, notification issued
Tags: State News
After the Governor's approval to the 'Minjar Mela' to be celebrated in Chamba Valley of Himachal Pradesh, the Secretary, Department of Language and Culture, Rajesh Kanwar has issued its notification.
This year it has been celebrated from 24 July to 31 July 2022.
Actually, the inflorescence of the maize plant is called Minjar.
When the flowers bloom on the maize, Minjar Mela is celebrated and tourists from all over the country come to participate in this fair.
Minjar Mela is celebrated to commemorate the victory of the king of Chamba over the ruler of Trigarta (now known as Kangra) in 935 AD.
It is said that on the return of their victorious king, people greeted him with garlands of paddy and maize, which are symbols of prosperity and happiness.
This fair is organised on the second Sunday of the month of Shravan.
Minjar, a silk pendant worn by men and women alike on parts of the dress, is distributed at the time of the announcement of the fair.
The week-long fair begins when the Minjar flag is hoisted at the historic Chaugan.
Other world famous fairs of India
Kumbh Mela (in 12 years)
Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj, Ujjain
Pushkar (Camel) Fair
Sonepur Cattle Fair
Hemis Gompa Fair
Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)
Surajkund Handicraft Fair
Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh)
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)
9. PM to dedicate to nation Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project on 19th June
Tags: National News
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the main tunnel and five underpasses of the Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project to the nation on June 19.
About Integrated Transit Corridor Project
It is an integral part of Pragati Maidan Redevelopment Project.
The project has been built at a cost of over Rs 920 crore.
It aims to provide hassle free and easy access to the new world class Exhibition and Convention Centre being developed at Pragati Maidan.
The main tunnel connects Ring Road to India Gate via Purana Qila Road passing through Pragati Maidan.
Along with the tunnel, there will be six underpasses these are- four on Mathura Road, one on Bhairon Marg and one at the intersection of Ring Road and Bhairon Marg.
This project will ensure hassle free vehicular movement thereby saving time and money of the commuters.
It is part of the central government's broader vision to make people's lives easier with changes in urban infrastructure.
10. Lt Gen Gajendra Joshi takes over as GOC Strike 1
Lieutenant General Gajendra Joshi has taken over the charge of new General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Strike 1 or 1 Corps.
He took over the reins of 1 Corps from Lt Gen MK Katiyar.
Lt Gen Gajendra Joshi had vast operational experience in the form of operations in Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan.
He was actively involved in counter-insurgency operations as a Battalion Commander in South Kashmir and as a Sector Commander in Manipur.
He has commanded a division along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
His staff experience includes appointments to the General Staff Officer-Grade 1 (Operations) of the Mountain Division, Colonel General Staff (Operations) at Corps Headquarters in the High Altitude Area, Military Operations at Army Headquarters and Deputy Director General of Military Intelligence.
About Strike 1 or 1 Corps
I Corps is a military field formation of the Indian Army.
Its headquarter is in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
It was established on 1st April 1965.
It was launched in the Sialkot sector.
The Corps retaliated during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
In the 1971 war against Pakistan, corps 1 took part in the Battle of Basantar.
Currently it is a 'Strike Corps' within the Indian Army's Central Command.
Central Command headquarters is at Lucknow.