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6th February 2023 (7 Topics)

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Art and Culture

World’s first living heritage university

Visva-Bharati University is going to get the ‘heritage’ tag from UNESCO to take the distinction of world’s first living heritage university.


  • It was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921.
  • It was named after Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore until Visva-Bharati Society was registered as an organisation in May 1922.
  • Until Independence, it was a college and the institution was given the status of Central University in 1951 through a central Act.
  • Its first vice-chancellor was Rathindranath Tagore, the son of Rabindranath Tagore, and the second vice-chancellor was grandfather of another Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen.


  • In 1922, Visva-Bharati was inaugurated as a Centre for Culture with exploration into the arts, language, humanities, music.
  • It also served as institutes for Hindi studies (Hindi Bhavan), Sino-Asian studies (Cheena Bhavan), centre for humanities (Vidya Bhavan), institute of fine arts (Kala Bhavan), and music (Sangit Bhavan).

Art and Culture

Veteran singer Vani Jairam died

Veteran playback singer Vani Jairam, who sang over 10,000 songs across several Indian languages, died at 77.


  • Born on November 30, 1945 in Vellore.
  • She was trained as Carnatic music and later learnt Hindustani classical music as well.
  • The singer had lent her voice to several songs across 19 languages which included Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Odiya and Bengali.
  • Her big break in films came with the Hindi film Guddi in 1971, where she sang three songs for composer Vasant Desai.
  • Famous versions: Hum ko mann ki shakthi dena 

Awards and Achievements:

  • She also received the National Award thrice .
  • The Government of India, last month, announced that Jairam, who completed 50 years as a playback singer in 2021, would receive the Padma Bhushan award, the third-highest civilian award, for her contribution to music.

Science and Technology

North star and significance

The Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar during the Parliament’s sitting stated that Parliament is the “north star” of democracy.

About North Star:

  • ‘Polaris’, also known as the North Star or the Pole Star, is a very bright star (around 2500 times more luminous than our sun) placed less than 1° away from the north celestial pole.
  • Its position and brightness have made humans use it for navigation since late antiquity.
  • It is a part of the constellation ‘Ursa Minor’ and is around 323 light-years away from Earth.
  • Polaris seems to have been first charted by the Roman mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy, who lived from about 85 to 165 B.C.
  • While there does exist some evidence pointing at how the star was used for navigation in late antiquity, it is during the ‘Age of Exploration’ that it becomes such a central part of human history.

Does the Northern Star “change”?

  • However, during the reign of Julius Caesar (46-44 BC), there was no constant North Star. 
  • This is due to the fact that the northern celestial pole changes over time.
  • If you picture a line connecting Earth’s North and South Poles as the axis around which Earth rotates, that axis is slowly moving in its own circle.
  • By the end of the 21st century, the celestial pole will move away from the Polaris – humans will need to identify a new ‘North Star’.


Great Indian Bustard

Despite a Supreme Court order directing that low-voltage power lines go underground, no significant steps has been taken by power companies and State governments to comply with guidelines to save Indian bustard, according to the report.


  • The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), is a bustard native to the Indian subcontinent. Bustards are large terrestrial birds found in dry grasslands and steppe regions.
  • It is also known as the Indian Bustard; it is among the heaviest flying birds in existence.
  • It is the State bird of Rajasthan and is considered India’s most critically endangered bird.
  • It is considered the flagship grassland species, representing the health of the grassland ecology.
  • The GIB is now found in a small number only in western Rajasthan, while Gujarat claims to have a few females left in its Banni Grassland Reserve.
  • Population: As per the last count of the GIB in 2018, there were around 127 birds in the Desert National Park or the DNP in Rajasthan.

Protection Status:

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List: Critically Endangered
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I
  • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix I
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule 1

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