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  • Published
    7th Apr, 2023

Art and Culture

Idu Mishmis

Announcement  to declare Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh as a tiger reserve has caused disquiet among the area’s Idu Mishmi people, who feel that a tiger reserve would “hinder their access” to the forest.

Who are Idu Mishmis?

  • The Idu Mishmi is a sub-tribe of the larger Mishmi group (the other two Mishmi groups are Digaru and Miju) in Arunachal Pradesh and neighbouring Tibet.
  • Known for their weaving and craftsmanship skills, the Idu Mishmis primarily live in Mishmi Hills, bordering Tibet.
  • The tribe is estimated to comprise around 12,000 people (as per census 2011), and their language (also called Idu Mishmi) is considered endangered by UNESCO.

Significance of Forests for Mishmi tribe:

  • Traditionally animists, the tribe has strong ties with the region’s rich flora and fauna.
  • Tigers are especially important to the Idu Mishmis — according to Idu mythology, they were born to the same mother, and thus, tigers are their “elder brothers”.

Art and Culture

Yangli festival

Tiwa tribesmen celebrated Yangli festival in Karbi Anglong district of Assam in every three years.

The Festival:

  • Yangli is one of the important festivals of the Tiwas as it is related with agriculture which is the mainstay of their economy.
  • In this festival, the Tiwas worship for a bountiful harvest and to protect their crops from pest and other natural calamities.
  • Sowing of paddy starts immediately after celebrating this festival.

About Tiwa Tribe:

  • Tiwa is one of the major tribe of Assam that centres itself on a traditional form of agriculture.
  • Also known as Lalung, the indigenous community is recognized as a Scheduled Tribe (ST) within the state of Assam.

Art and Culture

Thira Dance Form

Recently, ‘Nagaraja Thira’ was celebrated at the Sree Muchilottu temple at Kuthiravattom in Kozhikode, Kerala.


  • Thirra or Theyyam thira is a ritual dance performed in “Kaavu” (grove) & temples of the Malabar region in Kerala.
  •   This art form is performed by the artists of malaya (the artist who recognised for performing the art form called as a “perumalayan”) community.
  • This art is performed during Utsavam (annual temple festival).

Key features:

  • Clan deities (Bhagavathi, Shiva) are worshipped in these forms.
  • Theyyam thira is main sub division of Theyyam.

Theyyam are Hindu Shamanic ritualistic dance forms practiced in northern Kerala and some parts of Karnataka.

  • Thira brings the gods to life.
  • Performers dress up with ceremonial facial paint and loud clothing and dance in front of the deity, the bhagavathi.
  • The objective clearly is to bring a sense of awe to the proceedings.
  • Each performer represents a particular deity and is sponsored by devotees as a prayer offering.
  • These dancers are viewed as being possessed by the gods when they are in their act, with devotees queuing up to meet them to share woes and wishes.
  • The performers belong to the “Peruvannan” caste of, who are given prime importance in Thira.
  • Therefore in Kerala, both upper caste Brahmins, and lower caste tribals have an important place in worship.


Pattanam ancient site

Pattanam, the iron-age and post-iron-age archaeological site was recently mentioned in news for emerging as an example of a space and time with no caste or institutionalised creed, but with a close connect to nature


  • Pattanam is the only multi-cultural archaeological site on the south-western coast of the Indian-subcontinent.
  • The site is often referred to as the ‘first emporium’ of the Indian Ocean.
  • It is an example of the Greco-Roman classical age coming into direct contact with an ancient South Indian civilisation.
  • The site belongs to iron-age and post-iron-age which was also contains sophisticated weaponry.
  • The Pattanam excavations have unearthed over 45 lakh sherds (ceramic fragments); these include approximately 1.4 lakh belonging to the littoral regions of the Mediterranean, the River Nile, the Red Sea, the western and eastern Indian Oceans, and the South China Sea.
  • Pattanam is an ancient town in Kerala located 30 kms north of Cochin in Ernakulam district.
  • It was an early historic urban settlement and an important maritime trading hub. 


Avalanche hits Sikkim’s Nathu La

A major avalanche hit northeastern state Sikkim's Nathu La border region.

Nathu La pass:

  • Nathu La, one of the most important Himalayan passes in the country which is situated on the border with China.
  • It is a major tourist destination because of its scenic beauty.
  • It is over 55 kilometres from Gangtok.
  • Nathu La, situated on the international border 14,450 feet above sea level, is one of the open trading border posts between India and China.


World's highest Frozen Lake marathon

In Ladakh, country's first ever Frozen Lake Marathon on Pangong Tso has been officially registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's highest Frozen Lake marathon.

The Pangong Tso Lake:

  • Pangong Lake, situated at a height of almost 4,350m, is the world’s highest saltwater lake.
  • Pangong Lake, one of the most famous lakes in Leh Ladakh, derives its name from the Tibetan word, “Pangong Tso”, which means “high grassland lake”.
  • One-third of the nearly 160 kilometres-long lake lie in India, other two-thirds in China.

International Relations

Cope India’ Exercise

The Air Forces of India and the U.S. are set to conduct the Cope India exercise from at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal, with Japan as an observer.

About Exercise Cope India:

  • It is a bilateral joint exercisebetween Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF).
  • Cope India began in 2004as a fighter training exercise.
  • The exercise has evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchangesair mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises.

International Relations

Turkey approves Finland NATO membership bid

Finland became the 31st member of NATO after Turkey's parliament voted to approve its application.


  • Turkey had delayed Finland's bid to join the West's defensive alliance for months - complaining the Nordic nation was supporting "terrorists".
  • Any NATO expansion needs the support of all its members.


  • Finland will now be formally admitted into NATO at its next summit, taking place in July in Lithuania.
  • Significance:
  • Finland, a country with a 1,340km (832 mile) border with Russia and one of the most powerful arsenals of artillery pieces in Western Europe, is ditching its neutrality and joining the alliance in response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

International Relations

10th edition of SLINEX-23 in Colombo

India and Sri Lanka are going to hold the 10th edition of SLINEX-23, the bilateral maritime exercise, in Colombo.


  • India-Sri Lanka maritime exercise SLINEX is an annual maritime exercise.
  • The exercise aims to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures in multi-faceted Maritime operations between both Navies.
  • Interaction between the navies of the two countries has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and the vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region’ (SAGAR)’.

Polity and Governance


In the run up to the Women’s Day, Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri launched Swachhotsav, 3-week women-led swachhata campaign, under the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0.


  • Campaign aims to recognize and celebrate the transition from women in sanitation to women-led sanitation.
  • Series of events and activities will be organized across cities to celebrate women from all walks of life.
  • First edition of Women Icons leading Sanitation & Waste Management (WINS) Challenge-2023 announced during the event.
  • WINS Challenge-2023 to recognize high-impact women entrepreneurs or women-led enterprises working to achieve urban swachhata.

Science and Technology

Lynx-U2 fire control systems

The defence ministry has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited for the procurement of 13 ‘Lynx-U2’ fire control systems for the Navy.

 About the technology:

  • The Lynx-U2 system is a naval gun fire control system designed and developed indigenously.
  • It is capable of accurately tracking and engaging targets amid sea clutter as well as air or surface targets.
  • The ministry signed a contract with BEL, Bengaluru for “procurement of 13 Lynx-U2 fire control systems for the Indian Navy at a total cost of over Rs 1,700 crore under Buy Indian – IDMM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured) category.
  • The fourth generation, completely indigenous systems, will be installed on New Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels to be built indigenously at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers and Goa Shipyard Limited.

Science and Technology

Marburg virus outbreak

Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania has reported outbreaks of Marburg virus disease (MVD), the first-ever outbreak of the disease in these countries.


  • The Marburg virus was first identified in 1967 during outbreaks in Germany and Serbia and is known to cause severe and fatal viral haemorrhagic fevers in humans.
  • The virus is closely related to another deadly virus, Ebola and is rated as a high-risk pathogen by the WHO.
  • About the Virus:
  • Marburg virus is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals such as fruit bats, and further human-to-human transmission.
  • It can occur through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected patient or contaminated surfaces resulting in outbreaks.

Science and Technology

India registers first case of plant fungus

The first case of a plant fungus infecting human beings has been reported from Kolkata.


  • The fungus, Chondrostereum purpureum, is known to cause Silver leaf disease in plants.
  • However, a 61-year-old man is infected by the fungal species Chondrostereum purpureu.
  • Of the hundreds of millions of fungal species, only a few cause infections in humans.
  • Plant fungus is adapting to invade human cells by evading the process of ‘phagocytosis’.
  • ‘Phagocytosis or ‘cell eating’, happens when a cell uses its plasma membrane to recognise and ingest particles larger than 0.5 μm to clean and defend itself.

Science and Technology

NASA’s Artemis II mission to Moon

NASA announced the four astronauts who will make up the crew of Artemis II, which is scheduled to launch in late 2024.

About the mission:

  • The Artemis II mission will send these four astronauts on a 10-day mission that culminates in a flyby of the Moon.
  • The flyby will take the Orion capsule in one pass around the far side of the Moon.
  • This mission will test the technology and equipment that’s necessary for future lunar landings and is a significant step on NASA’s planned journey back to the surface of the Moon.

Science and Technology

Amogha-III Missile System

NASA announced the four astronauts who will make up the crew of Artemis II, which is scheduled to launch in late 2024.

About the mission:

  • The Artemis II mission will send these four astronauts on a 10-day mission that culminates in a flyby of the Moon.
  • The flyby will take the Orion capsule in one pass around the far side of the Moon.
  • This mission will test the technology and equipment that’s necessary for future lunar landings and is a significant step on NASA’s planned journey back to the surface of the Moon.

Science and Technology

NASA’s new computer model ‘DAGGER’

NASA’s new Deep Learning Geomagnetic Perturbation (DAGGER) model aims to forecast geomagnetic disturbances and provide a warning for solar storms.


  • NASA said that a new computer model that combines artificial intelligence and agency satellite data could help prepare for dangerous space weather. 
  • The model, called DAGGER (Deep Learning Geomagnetic Perturbation), uses the technical tool to analyze spacecraft measurements of the solar wind and forecast where an impending solar storm will strike on Earth – with 30 minutes of advance warning.
  • What are Solar storms?
  • Solar storms are a large explosion in the Sun's atmosphere caused by tangling, crossing or reorganizing of magnetic field lines.
  • Coronal mass ejection (CME) is a massive burst of plasma from the Sun, sometimes associated with solar flares.

Science and Technology

Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedoes

India is going to sign a weapons deal with the United States soon to buy American weapons, including the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedoes.

  • The MK 54 lightweight torpedo is the primary anti-submarine warfare weapon used by the U.S. Navy surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
  • Designed to operate in shallow waters and in the presence of countermeasures, it can track, classify and attack underwater targets.


New species of bush cricket

The three new species of Bush crickets, were found in two study locations namely in Shillong, Meghalaya, and in the forested area around of Sonipat, Haryana.

About the species:

  • The two new species found in Haryana and were named Hexacentrus tiddae — borrowing heavily from the local dialect where bush crickets are referred to as tiddaes — and Hexacentrus ashoka, respectively.
  • The third species found in Meghalaya was named Hexacentrus khasiensis — after the Khasi hills where it was discovered.
  • Hexacentrus is a genus of predatory katydids.
  • In India, the genus Hexacentrus is represented by seven species of which six are morphologically characterized while one is only acoustically characterized.


Deepest-ever fish caught in Japan


The deepest living fish (snailfish, of the Pseudoliparis belyaevi species) ever recorded have been caught, miles beneath the surface of the north Pacific Ocean.

The snail fish species:

  • Pseudoliparis belyaevi is a species of snailfish found in hadal zone of the Northwest Pacific Ocean, particularly the Japan Trench.
  • This species reaches a length of 10.8 cm.
  • The species is a marine and bathymersal fish that lives at depths exceeding 6,000m deep.
  • It is also harmless to humans.

Zones inside Ocean:

The ocean water column is made up of five zones: the sunlight zone (epipelagic), the twilight zone (mesopelagic), the midnight zone (bathypelagic), the abyssal zone (abyssopelagic) and the hadal zone (trenches).

Polity and Governance

Gaj Utsav 2023

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest is going to celebrate Gaj Utsav 2023 at Assam’s Kaziranga National Park.

About the event:

  • This is to be celebrated on the successful completion of 30 years of Project Elephant, and to provide the much needed boost to conservation efforts.
  • Objective: to promote elephant conservation, prevent human-elephant conflict, and protect their corridors and habitat.
  • This event is significant as Kaziranga is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, and also serves as home to the highest density of tigers in the world.
  • Assam has the second largest wild elephant population in the country, and also has a large number of elephants that are under human care.
  • Thus, the state was deemed perfect to celebrate Gaj Utsav 2023.


Nagri Dubraj receives GI tag

Chhattisgarh’s special variety aromatic rice Nagri Dubraj has received the Geographical Indications (GI) tag.

  • The GI tag is given for Nagri Dubraj to the women’s self-help group ‘Maa Durga Swayam Sahayata Group’ which is involved in the production of this variety of rice.
  • Nagari Dubraj rice, popularly known as Basmati of Chhattisgarh, is the traditional, fragrant rice variety of the state, which has a lot of fame and demand outside Chhattisgarh as well.
  • Shringi Rishi Ashram area of Sihawa is considered to be the place of origin of the Nagri Dubraj.
  • GI tag is an intellectual property right in which the quality and importance of any product is determined by the geographical environment of that particular place.
  • Thus, the place of origin of that product is recognized.

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