Sardar Patel’s 72nd Death Anniversary
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950):
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was appointed as the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India from 1947 to 1950.
- Sardar Patel was among the leaders who fought hard for India’s freedom.
- Sardar Patel was not inclined towards politics. It was when he met Gandhi in Godhra that he changed his decision and decided to join Congress.
- He joined the movement to fight for the exemption of taxes in Kheda at the time of plague and famine.
- In 1922, 1924 and 1927, Patel was elected Ahmedabad's municipal president.
- Patel led the Satyagraha movement in Nagpur in 1923 against the British law of banning the hoisting of the Indian Flag.
He played an extremely important role in integrating over 500 princely states with the union of India, and is, therefore, called as the ‘Iron Man' of India.
Art and Culture
Three more sites added to UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage.
Gujarat’s Vadnagar town, the iconic Sun Temple at Modhera, and the rock cut sculptures of Unakoti in Tripura have been added to the tentative list of UNCESO World Heritage Sites.
About the list:
- With this, India now has 52 sites on UNESCO Tentative List.
- The list indicates rich cultural and natural wealth of India and shows huge diversity of our heritage.
- India has a dynamic vision and leadership and is committed to add more sites on the World Heritage List.
- Details of the sites included:
- Vadnagar Town: It is a multi-layered historic town in Gujarat’s
- Mehasana district. Some other names attributed to Vadnagar in history are Chamatkarpur, Anandpur, Snehpur and Vimalpur.
- The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed structures resembling a Buddhist monastery in Vadnagar city of Gujarat, a finding which could further establish the importance of the region as a thriving Buddhist centre.
- Modhera Sun Temple: Modhera Sun Temple was built in 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima I of the Chaulukya dynasty.
- The historical complex is famous for the magnificent kund known as the Ramakund, built in rectangular shape containing 108 shrines to various gods and demi-gods.
- Unakoti Rock cut sculptures: It is ‘Shaiba’ (Saivite) pilgrimage and dates back to 7th – 9th centuries.
- As per Hindu mythology, when Lord Shiva was going to Kashi along with one crore gods and goddesses he made a night halt at this location.
- The images found at Unakoti are of two types, namely rock-carved figures and stone images.
- Among the rock cut carvings, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention.
Art & Culture
Kashmiris celebrate warm ‘pheran’ to beat freezing 40 days of Chillai Kalan
The 40-day harshest spell of winter, locally called ‘Chillai Kalan’, has been celebrated as ‘Pheran Day’ in the Kashmir Valley.
- Objective: to popularise the loose-and-long woollen gown worn to fight the biting cold as the minimum temperature hovers below sub-zero in Srinagar.
- The “Chillai Kalaan” is the forty-day period of harsh winter which begins on December 21 and ends on January 31 next year
- In the Persian tradition, the night of December 21, the longest of the year, is celebrated as Shab-e-Yalda (night of birth) or Shab-e-Chelleh.
- Dozens of netizens from Kashmir named it the ‘Pheran Day’, after the long woollen gown worn during the winters in Kashmir.
- “The first day of ‘chillai kalan’ is to be celebrated as ‘World Pheran Day’,”
- The 40-day chillai kalan is followed by the ‘chillai khurd’ and ‘chillai bacha’, which sees a rise in day temperatures.
21 December is marked as the Winter Solstice, considered to be the shortest day in a year.
- The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest, darkest night of the year.
- Also known as the December solstice, the astronomical occurrence happens due to Earth's tilted axis of rotation in relation to the sun.
- On this occasion, daylight lasts only about 10 hours, 11 minutes.
- Significance: During the solstice, the earth's axis is tilted at its furthest point from the sun.
- This means that, for us in the northern hemisphere, the sun is at its lowest point in the sky.
Science & Technology
NASA Launches International Mission to Survey Earth’s Water
- SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) is the advanced radar satellite designed to give an unprecedented view of the life-giving fluid covering 70% of the planet.
- Joint project: NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES).
- The satellite will take the first global survey of Earth’s freshwater systems from space, observing not only the oceans but also lakes, rivers, and coastal regions. It will be able to measure the height of water in these systems for the first time.
- SWOT will cover the entire Earth’s surface between 78 degrees south and 78 degrees north latitude at least once every 21 days, sending back about one terabyte of unprocessed data per day.
- The satellite’s primary tool is the Ka-band Radar Interferometer, or KaRIn.
Science & Technology
Fusarium head blight (FHB), fungal toxins widespread in Europe
A fungal disease called fusarium head blight (FHB), which can infect wheat crops and contaminate the grain with toxins, is on rise in Europe.
- Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating fungal disease of wheat causing yield loss and grain contamination with mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN).
- These so-called mycotoxins include deoxynivalenol, commonly called “vomitoxin”.
- Vomitoxin is one of the most common mycotoxins, and it can contaminate a wide variety of grains including corn, wheat, oats, barley, and rice.
- Current situation:
- Vomitoxin was present in every European country studied, and overall it was found in half of all wheat samples destined for food. In the UK, vomitoxin was found in 70% of the food wheat produced between 2010 and 2019.
- Almost all (95%) of the vomitoxin contamination recorded in European wheat was within legal limits.
Science & Technology
Six cases of Hepatitis-A have been reported in the village among them two have died while four are under observation.
What is viral Hepatitis?
- Viral hepatitis is an infection that involves predominantly the liver.
- hepatitis A virus (HAV)
- hepatitis B virus (HBV)
- hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- hepatitis D virus (HDV)
- hepatitis E virus (HEV)
What causes Hepatitis A?
- Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver etiologically related to HAV.
- HAV is an RNA virus, classified in the hepatovirus genus of the Picornaviridae family.
Humans are the only natural host for HAV. HAV infection is predominantly spread from one person to another through the orofecal route or by contaminated food and water.