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  • Published
    27th Feb, 2023

Art and Culture




The Union government has marked celebrations to commemorate the 284th birth anniversary of SanthSevalalMaharaj for the first time.


  • He was a spiritual and religious leader of the Banjara community, a nomadic community that has been declared a Scheduled Tribe (ST) in a few States of India.
  • The Samadhi Sthal of SantSevalalJi is situated in ManoraTaluka of Washim District of Maharashtra at Pohradevi which is also known as ‘BanjaraKashi’.
  • The jayanti was declared by Ministry of Culture.
  • Events organised:
  • The events consist of cultural and dance programmes, performed along with an exhibition of Banjara art for two days from February 26 and 27.
  • The celebrations are being organised under the aegis of the government’s AzadiKaAmritMahotsav campaign to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence.

The Banjara community:

  • The Banjara community have been declared as ST in five States (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Odisha, and Jharkhand),
  • Scheduled Caste in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, and Other Backward Class (OBC) in Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand.

Art and Culture

Sursingar, Karakattam


Addressing the Prime Minister’s Mann kiBaaton February 26, he spoke of several musical instruments and folk artists including Sursingar and Karakattam.


The Sursingar:

  • The Sursingar, a stringed musical instrument that is similar to the sarod, but which is older and produces deeper notes.
  • The instrument is made of wood and has a gourd attached to a hollow wooden handle with a metal fingerboard.
  • The strings of the instrument, usually four in number and made of brass or bronze, are plucked with a metal pick.
  • The Sursingar (along with the RudraVeena and the Surbahar) usually accompanies Dhrupad, the genre of Hindustani vocal music which has a low, deep, and thoughtful pitch.

The Karakattam:

  • Karakattam is an ancient folk dance of Tamil Nadu in which performers in colourful saris dance with a pot (karakam) on their head to invoke Mariamman, the goddess of rain.
  • The dance form became well known with the success of the Tamil film Karakattakkaran (1989), but has been criticised by purists for becoming allegedly low-brow and vulgar of late.
  • V Durga Devi of Salem is a well-known Karakattam dancer.

Polity and Governance

Marconi Prize 2023

MIT professor HariBalakrishnan wins 2023 Marconi Prize.


  • Dr.Balakrishnan is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • He has been cited “for fundamental contributions to wired and wireless networking, mobile sensing, and distributed systems”.

The Prize:

  • The Marconi Prize is a top honour for computer scientists and is awarded by the U.S.-based Marconi Foundation.
  • It is given to those who have made a significant contribution to increasing digital inclusivity through advanced information and communications technology.
  • Other awards:
  • Dr.Balakrishnan has previously won the Infosys Prize (2020) and the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (2021).
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