Art and Culture
Sagol Kangjei: The ancient polo of Manipur
A 122-foot-tall statue of a polo player astride a Manipur Pony has been inaugurated in Imphal to conserve the game.
- Sagol Kangjei is the modern-day Polo game originated in Manipur.
- The sport indigenous to Manipur, in which players ride horses, specifically the Manipur Ponies, which are referenced in records dating back to the 14th century.
- The Manipur Pony is one of five recognised equine breeds of India.
- A pony is a type of small horse that is under an approximate or exact height at the withers, or a small horse with a specific conformation and temperament. Compared to a larger horse.
India & Japan to hold Maiden Air Exercise ‘Veer Guardian 2023’
India and Japan are set to hold their maiden air exercise from January 12-26.
- This is the first time that the Indian Air Force and Japanese Air Self Defense Forces will be exercising together.
- Location: Hyakuri Air Base, Japan.
- IAF: During the exercise, the participating IAF contingent will include four Su-30 MKI, two C-17 & one IL-78 aircraft.
- Japanese Air Self Defense Forces: The JASDF contingent will consist of four F-2 & four F-15 aircraft.
India, U.K sign and exchange letters for Young Professionals Scheme
The governments of India and the U.K. marked Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on January 9, 2023, and signed the Young Professionals Scheme.
About the scheme:
- It is a recruitment initiative aiming to:
- improve geographical representation
- promote gender parity in the Organization at the international level
- The agreement will permit up to 3,000 of their degree-holding citizens aged between 18 and 30 to live and work in each other’s countries for a period of two years.
India to host ‘Voice of the Global South Summit’
India hosted ‘The Voice of Global South’ Summit on January 12-13.
About the event:
- Theme: Unity of Voice and Unity of purpose.
- Ten to 20 countries will be part of one session and two lead sessions will be hosted by Prime Minister.
- We will be hosting a special virtual summit on 12th and 13th January 2023.
- This summit will be called the Voice of Global South Summit.
It essentially envisages bringing together countries of the global south and sharing their perspective and priorities on a common platform across a whole range of issue.
Polity & Governance
PM launches Aspirational Block Programme
The Aspirational Block Programme (ABP) has been launched to improve the performance of blocks lagging on various development parameters.
About the Aspirational Block programme:
- The aspirational district model is to be taken up to the block level in the form of the Aspirational Block Programme.
- Objective: To enable holistic development in those areas that requires added assistance. The focus area will also be more specific thus ensuring greater attention to detail.
- The programme will cover 500 districts across 31 states and Union Territories initially.
- The programme is on the lines of the Aspirational District Programme that was launched in 2018 and covers 112 districts across the country.
Polity & Governance
Prasar Bharati mulls own OTT platform
Prasar Bharati is coming up with an over-the-top (OTT) platform.
About the move:
- The Centre had recently approved the Broadcast Infrastructure Network Development (BIND) scheme for Prasar bharati, for the upgrade and expansion of broadcasting infrastructure till 2025-2026.
- The public broadcaster had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ‘Yupp TV’, an OTT platform.
- Owing to the platform, DD India is now accessible in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
- The channel is currently available in more than 190 countries via multiple platforms.
Polity & Governance
Women in Military Regiment of Artillery
The Indian Army decided to begin the induction of women into combat arms in the near future beginning with the Regiment of Artillery.
- The Indian Air Force pioneered in inducting the women into combat roles beginning with three women officers commissioned as the Fighter pilots in June 2016.
- IAF has commissioned 15 women fighter pilots till date.
- Military Regiment of Artillery
- The Regiment of Artillery is said to be the second largest arm of the Indian Army, after the infantry.
- Artillery with its missiles, guns, mortars, rocket launchers and unmanned aerial vehicles is also described as an ‘Arm of Decision’.
- This signment has about 300 regiments (each with 18 guns) and about 5,000 officers.
As of now the women officers have not been granted permanent commission into Infantry, Armoured, Artillery and Mechanised Infantry.
Godavari estuary, a prime habitat for Indian Skimmer
As per the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), the Godavari estuary in Andhra Pradesh has become a prime and safe habitat for the Indian Skimmer (Rynchops albicollis).
About Indian Skimmers:
- The Indian skimmer grows to a length of 40-43 cm.
- It has black upper parts, white forehead, collar and lower parts, long, thick, deep orange bill with a yellow tip and longer lower mandible.
- In flight, it has a white trailing-edge to wing and a short forked tail with blackish central feathers.
- It breeds colonially on large, exposed sand-bars and islands.
- Colonies of mating pairs can be observed nesting on sandy islands or open sand banks.
The Godavari Estuary:
- It is a prime habitat for Indian Skimmer.
- It is situated at the place where the 1330 km long Godavari meets the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of India in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
River Godavari divides at Dowlaiswaram into two prinicipal distributaries viz., the Vasishta and the Gautami which enclose a wide delta between them.
Rare White Tufted Royal Butterfly found in Kannur
A team of butterfly observers and researchers have found White Tufted Royal Butterfly, a rare butterfly species at Kalliyad in Kannur.
About the species:
- They are rare species having a wingspan of just 32-40 mm.
- Its larvae feed on Scurrula parasitica, a plant belonging to the Loranthaceae family.
- Scurrula parasitica, is a parasitic shrub, 0.5-1 m tall, with branches erect, woolly.
- There exists eight species of the butterfly.
- The butterfly is protected under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
The species had been spotted in Agasthyakoodam in 2017 and the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in 2018.
Science & Technology
Prithvi-II missile successfully tested-fired
A successful training launch of a short-range ballistic missile, Prithvi-II, was carried out on January 10 from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
- Prithvi-II missile has been an integral part of India’s nuclear deterrence.
- The missile struck its target with high accuracy.
- The missile is powered by light propulsion twin engines, has a range of around 350 km and can carry 500-1,000 kg of warheads.
- It uses an advanced inertial navigation system to strike the set target.
- The Prithvi-II was earlier successfully test-fired during night hours in 2018 and in 2019.
Prithvi was developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
Science & Technology (GS-III)
National Science Day 2023 Theme
At the launch of the theme event of National Science Day 2023, science and Technology minister has mentioned that India has a global role and rising visibility in the international arena of science.
About the event:
- National Science Day is celebrated every year on February 28 to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’.
- Theme: ‘Global Science for Global Wellbeing’.