Current Affairs 12th March, 2019

PAPER – 1 AND PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. Art and Culture

2. Infrastructure

Kashi Vishwanath Corridor

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains - Location of Kashi Vishwanath, the proposed Corridor and its significance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.

Key facts

  • The project envisions a massive makeover of the holy shrine and its surrounding areas. This massive makeover is the first after the 1780 AD when the Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore renovated the temple and the area surrounding it.

  • The proposed 50-feet corridor will directly connect Ganga’s Manikarnika and Lalita Ghat to the Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple.

  • Along the corridor, pilgrims and travellers will see a newly built museum and depicting Varanasi’s ancient history and culture.

Background

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Kashi Vishvanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples.


PAPER – 1

Topics Covered

1. Indian History – Ancient

Excavations in Kutch shed light on early Harappan custom

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What to read?

Prelims – About Harappan Civilization

Mains – Observations at the excavated site

Archaeological excavations undertaken by a group of researchers and students of the University of Kerala in Kutch (Gujarat) have shed light on the custom and burial rituals that were prevalent during the early Harappan phase.

Indus Valley Civilization was the first major civilization in south Asia,  which spread across a vast area of land in present day India and Pakistan (around 12 lakh sq.km). The time period of mature Indus Valley Civilization is estimated between BC. 2700- BC.1900 ie. for 800 years. But early Indus Valley Civilization had existed even before BC.2700.

Features of IVC

  • BC. 2700- BC.1900 ie for 800 years.

  • On the valleys of river Indus.

  • Also known as Harappan Civilization.

  • Beginning of city life.

  • Harappan Sites discovered by – Dayaram Sahni (1921) – Montgomori district, Punjab, Pakistan.

  • Mohanjodaro discovered by – R. D. Banerji – Larkana district, Sind, Pakistan.

  • City was divided into Citadel(west) and Lower Town(east).

  • Red pottery painted with designs in black.

  • Stone weights, seals, special beads, copper tools, long stone blades etc.

  • Copper, bronze, silver, gold present.

  • Artificially produced – Faience.

  • Specialists for handicrafts.

  • Import of raw materials.

  • Plough was used.

  • Bodies were buried in wooden coffins, but during the later stages ‘H symmetry culture’ evolved where bodies were buried in painted burial urns.

  • Sugar cane not cultivated, horse, iron not used.

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Observations in the excavation site

  • The rectangular graves, each of varying dimensions and assembled using stones, contained skeletons that were placed in a specific manner.

  • They were oriented east-west with the heads positioned on the eastern side. Next to the legs on the western side, the archaeologists found earthen pots and pottery shards and other artefacts, including conch-shell bangles, beads made of stones and terracotta, numerous lithic tools and grinding stones.

  • The skeletal remains of human beings in most of them were found to be disintegrated. The presence of animal skeletons along with those of humans were also recorded in a few graves.

  • Instances of primary burial and secondary burial (when the remains of the primary burial are exhumed and moved to another grave) were found

What does the excavation reveal?

The burial of belongings next to the corpse could possibly suggest the prevalence of the concept of afterlife.

Lending credence to the trade network that could have existed during the early phase of the Harappan civilisation from 3300 BCE to 2600 BCE, the researchers claimed that the mud pots bore similarities with those that were unearthed from other Harappan sites in Kot Diji, Amri and Nal in Pakistan, Nagwada, Santhali, Moti Pipli and Ranod in North Gujarat, and Surkotada and Dhaneti in Kutch.


PAPER – 3

Topics Covered

1. Science and Technology

30th  Anniversary of World Wide Web

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What to read?

Prelims – About WWW

Google on 12-03-2019 celebrated 30 years of World Wide Web (WWW) with a doodle. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the WWW in 1989 and wrote the first web browser in 1990.

WWW

  • The WWW, commonly known as the Web, is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

  • The first web browser was released in 1991 —— first to the research institutions and then to the general public on the Internet in the same year.

  • The WWW is the primary tool billions of people today use to interact on the Internet.

  • In addition to text, web pages may contain images, video, audio and software components that are rendered in the user’s web browser as coherent pages of multimedia content.

  • Before the WWW, remote computers communicated directly for the first time in 1969 and in 1983, TCP/IP standard was adopted.


PAPER – 2 and PAPER - 3

Topics Covered

1. Defence

2. International Relations

India is world’s second largest arms importer

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What to read?

Prelims and Mains – Highlights of the report and the prevailing trend in arms trade

India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2014–18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global total, according to the latest report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Highlights of the report

  • However, Indian imports decreased by 24% between 2009-13 and 2014-18, partly due to delays in deliveries of arms produced under licence from foreign suppliers, such as combat aircraft ordered from Russia in 2001 and submarines ordered from France in 2008

  • Russia accounted for 58% of Indian arms imports in 2014–18, compared with 76% in 2009-13. Israel, the U.S. and France all increased their arms exports to India in 2014-18.

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  • The Russian share in Indian imports is likely to sharply go up for the next five-year period as India signed several big-ticket deals recently, and more are in the pipeline.

  • The report noted that despite the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan, arms imports decreased for both countries in 2014-18 compared with 2009-13.

  • Pakistan stood at the 11th position accounting for 2.7% of all global imports. Its biggest source was China, from which 70% of arms were sourced, followed by the U.S. at 8.9% and, interestingly, Russia at 6%.

  • Globally, the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2014-18 was 7.8% higher than in 2009-13 and 23% higher than in 2004-2008.

  • The five largest exporters in 2014-18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China together accounting for 75% of the total volume of arms exports in 2014-18

  • The flow of arms increased to the Middle East between 2009-13 and 2014-18, while there was a decrease in flows to all other regions

  • China, which has emerged as a major arms exporter, has increased its share by 2.7% for 2014-18 compared to 2009-13. Its biggest customers are Pakistan and Bangladesh.


  • PAPER – 2

    Topics Covered

    1. Law Enforcement agencies

    NCRB – 34TH inception Day

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    What to read?

    Prelims – About NCRB , its role and power

    National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) celebrated its 34th Inception Day tomorrow on March 11, 2019.

    NCRB

    • Formed in 1986, NCRB is mandated to empower the Indian Police with Information Technology and is responsible for collecting, maintaining and analysing the crime data of the country. It facilitates Investigating Officers with updated IT tools and information in Investigation of Crimes.

    • NCRB is the Nodal Agency for authentic source of data on crime, accidents, suicides, and prisons for policy matters and research. Bureau is also apex nodal agency for all Finger Print related matters including accreditation of Finger Print Experts in the country. Bureau is implementing & monitoring agency for implementation of Crime & Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), a Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan of Government of India. The project aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in the country.

    • NCRB also imparts training in Information Technology (IT) and Finger Print Science for Indian Police Officers as well Foreign Police officers. Areas covered during the training are Cyber Crime Investigation & Digital Forensics, CCTNS, Advanced Fingerprint Science, Network & e-Security, Coloured Portrait Building System, etc.

    • Four Regional Police Training Centres (RCPTCs) in Hyderabad, Gandhinagar, Lucknow and Kolkata also conduct similar courses for lower functionaries of Indian Police.


    PAPER – 1 AND PAPER – 2

    Topics Covered

    1. Awards, Titles

    2. International Organisations

    UN founded University of Peace confers Honorary Doctorate on Vice President of India 

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    What to read?

    Prelims – About the University of Peace

    The Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has been conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Peace founded by the United Nations Organisations (UNO)  for his contribution “to the Rule of Law, democracy and sustainable development in India”. Shri Naidu received the degree of ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ (Doctor Honoris Causa)  from the Dean of the University of Peace in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose.

    About the Reward and the University of Peace

    • The University of Peace was founded further to a resolution of United Nations’ General Assembly in December, 1980  incorporating an International Agreement for the establishment of the University of Peace with the mandate of “Engaging in dissemination of knowledge fundamental to the full development of the human person and societies through interdisciplinary study of all matters relating to peace”.

    • Important Note - India is a signatory to this resolution and Shri Venkaiah Naidu is the first Indian to receive an Honorary Doctorate from this University