Current Affairs 11th February, 2019


Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture



What to read?

Prelims – About the Masthakabisheka

Jain monks participated in the Thorana Mahothsava during the Maha Masthakabisheka.

About Lord Bahubali:

  • Lord Bahubali renounced the kingdom and took to spreading the significance of non-violence and sacrifice. “The Bahubali statue installed here signifies his sacrifice. Because of the message the statue stands for, the place has been attracting large crowds from across the globe.”

  • King Bahubali is the son of First Jain Tirthankara Rishabhadeva.

History of Shravanabelgola:

  • Jain saint Bhadrabahu reached this place from Ujjain along with his disciples. Later Chandragupta Maurya, the ruler of Patna, also handed over his kingdom to his son Bindusara and chose to spend his days here.

The Gomateshwara statue:

  • The Gomateshwara statue also represents the rich heritage of the country with regard to art and sculpture. “The statue was installed in 981 and that was the time when the first anointing ceremony was held. Since then, the ceremony has been held once in 12 years.


Topics Covered

1. Governance

NSA to look into Cow slaughter case in Madhya Pradesh

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What to read?

Prelims – National Security Adviser

Mains – Initiatives taken to protect and development of Cattle in India

Government in Madhya Pradesh has slapped the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against three men accused of killing a cow at Khandwa.


The NSA is the chief executive of National Security Council (NSC) and primary advisor to Prime Minister on national and international security and oversees strategic issues.

It is NSA to whom intelligence agencies such as Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) report, rather than directly to Prime Minister. Due to such vested powers, NSA is prominent and powerful office in the bureaucracy. NSA is assisted by a Deputy NSA.

The post was created in November 1998 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government. Brajesh Mishra was first to be appointed NSA of India. Since the inception of the post, all NSAs appointed belong to Indian Foreign Service (IFS) except M K Narayanan and incumbent, Ajit Doval, who belong to Indian Foreign Service (IFS) except M K Narayanan and incumbent, Ajit Doval, who belong to Indian Police Service.

Importance of Livestock sector in achieving Inclusive Growth in India

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  • Distribution of livestock is more equitable than that of land. In 2003 marginal farm households (≤1.0h hectare of land) who comprised 48% of the rural households controlled more than half of country’s cattle and buffalo and two-thirds of small animals and poultry as against 24% of land. Between 1991-92 and 2002-03 their share in land area increased by 9 percentage points and in different livestock species by 10-25 percentage points.

  • Livestock has been an important source of livelihood for small farmers. They contributed about 16% to their income, more so in states like Gujarat (24.4%), Haryana (24.2%), Punjab (20.2%) and Bihar (18.7%).

  • The agricultural sector engages about 57% of the total working population and about 73% of the rural labour force. Livestock employed 8.8% of the agricultural work force albeit it varied widely from 3% in North-Eastern states to 40-48% in Punjab and Haryana. Animal husbandry promotes gender equity. More than three-fourth of the labour demand in livestock production is met by women. The share of women employment in livestock sector is around 90% in Punjab and Haryana where dairying is a prominent activity and animals are stallfed.

  • The distribution patterns of income and employment show that small farm households hold more opportunities in livestock production. The growth in livestock sector is demand-driven, inclusive and pro-poor. Incidence of rural poverty is less in states like Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, and Rajasthan where livestock accounts for a sizeable share of agricultural income as well as employment. Empirical evidence from India as well as from many other developing countries suggests that livestock development has been an important route for the poor households to escape poverty.


Topics Covered

1. Infrastructure



What to read?

Prelims – About the tunnel

Mains – Strategic Importance of North East

Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the Sela Tunnel Project in Arunachal Pradesh.

About the project

The Project costing Rs. 687 crore being constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) would be completed in the next three years.

It covers a total distance of 12.04 kms which consist of two tunnels of 1790 and 475 meters.

Features of the tunnel

  • All weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas.

  • ​Reduction in more than one hour of travelling time from Tezpur to Tawang.

  • ​Travellers would be able to avoid the dangerous snow covered Sela top at a height of 13,700 feet.​

All weather connectivity to Tawang would be a game changer for the local population ahead of Sela apart from the much required strategic edge for our security forces.

Strategic Importance of North East

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Sandwiched between Bangladesh to the west, Myanmar to the east and Bhutan and China to the north, the northeastern states of India remain geographically isolated from the rest of the country. They are also ethnically, culturally and linguistically distinct, predominantly speaking Sino-Tibetan and Austro-Asiatic languages (around 220 of them), rather than the Indo-Aryan languages of northern India, also with a strong Christian presence.

Although the states of Northeast India are small—physically, numerically and economically—they are increasingly gaining a significant strategic value. With ASEAN engagement becoming a central pillar of India’s foreign policy direction, these states play an important role as the physical bridge between India and Southeast Asia. Due to this, there has been a renewed interest by the federal government in advancing the region’s infrastructure and capability. This can be seen in initiatives such as the Act East Policy, which places the northeastern states on the territorial frontier of the India’s eastward engagement.

China claims the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh as ‘South Tibet’ and other border issues have seen renewed flare-ups between the two Asian giants. This is of grave importance to India due to the northeast forming a unique and precarious geographic feature of its territory. The partition of India in 1947 left the country with only the narrow Siliguri Corridor (colloquially known as the ‘Chicken’s Neck’) connecting the northeast to the centre of the Gangetic Plain of India’s northern Hindi-speaking heartland. Chinese activity on Bhutan’s Doklam Plateau, combined with the vulnerability of the Chicken’s Neck and the potential dislocation from the Gangetic Plain, has seen the northeastern states become a pressing concern for New Delhi.

Due to the increasing importance of the northeast there has been renewed interest in its local politics.


Topics Covered

1. Schemes

2. Art and Culture

Scheme for Pension and Medical Aid to Artistes

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – About the scheme and its benefits

The Government is implementing a Scheme namely “Scheme for Pension and Medical Aid to Artistes”.

Objective and benefits of the Scheme

The objective of the Scheme is to improve financial and socio-economic status of the old aged artistes and scholars who have contributed significantly in their specialized fields of arts, letters etc. but leading a miserable life or are in penury condition.

The Scheme has also provision to provide medical aid facility to such Artistes and his/her spouse by covering them under a convenient and affordable Health Insurance Scheme of the Government.

PAPER –  2 and 3

Topics Covered

1. Infrastructure

2. Urbanisation

“Light House Projects challenge”, “Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC- India)”

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What to read?

Prelims – About both Challenges

Mains – How it impacts in Urban Housing sector?

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has instituted a challenge for States/ UTs to select six sites across the country for constructing the Lighthouse projects under GHTC-India

Lighthouse Projects Challenge

MoHUA encourages all States/ UTs to participate in this challenge proactively.

The winning six States/ UTs that score the highest marks across the prescribed criteria will be awarded lighthouse projects.

The States/ UTs will receive Central Assistance to construct these projects as per PMAY (U) guidelines. In addition to this, a Technology Innovation Grant (TIG) for the States/ UTs is provisioned to offset the impact of any additional cost implication due to the use of new technology and to absorb the issues related to economies of scale and other related factors.

The selected sites for lighthouse projects will be used as an ‘open laboratory’ for live demonstration and will receive due attention from academia (Civil Engineering, Planning, Architecture), practitioners (Public/ Private), policy makers (Central/ State) and media apart from felicitation/ recognition in Grand Expo-cum-Conference.

Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC- India)

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The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has already launched a “Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC- India)”. 

The challenge has three components viz.

i) Conduct of Grand Expo-cum-Conference,

ii) Identifying Proven Demonstrable Technologies from across the globe and

iii) Promoting Potential Technologies through the establishment of Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators- India (ASHA-I) for incubation and accelerator support.

Out of the three, the second component intends to identify and pilot ‘Proven Demonstrable Technologies’ from around the world in actual housing projects in different parts of the country.

The shortlisted global technology providers will be invited to plan and construct light house projects within the framework of PMAY (U) on pre-selected sites provided by States/UTs across six identified PMAY.