1. SUBHADRA KUMARI CHAUHAN
THE CONTEXT: Google paid a tribute to activist and author Subhadra Kumari Chauhan’s 117th birth anniversary with a creative doodle. With the doodle, the New Zealand-based guest artist, Prabha Mallya, hopes people find the courage to follow their dreams. The doodle shows Chauhan holding a pen – surrounded by several notes, the queen of Jhansi and people taking part in a protest.
ABOUT SUBHADRA KUMARI CHAUHAN
- Subhadra Kumari authored a number of works in Hindi poetry, with Jhansi ki Rani being her most famous composition. The poem, which describes the life of Rani Lakshmi Bai, is one of the most recited and sung poems in Hindi literature.
- Chauhan’s poetry and prose primarily centered on the hardships that Indian women overcame, such as gender and caste discrimination. Her poetry remained uniquely underscored by her resolute nationalism.
- Subhadra Kumari was born on August 16, 1904 in a Rajpur family of Nihalpur village in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. She studied initially in the Crosthwaite Girls’ School in Prayagraj and passed the middle-school exam in 1919.
- She married Thakur Laxman Singh Chauhan of Khandwa in 1919 at the age of 16 and had 5 children with him. Then she moved to Jabalpur.
- Subhadra and her husband joined Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement in 1921.
- She was the first woman Satyagrahi to court arrest in Nagpur and was jailed twice for her involvement in protests against British rule in 1923 and 1942.
- She was a member of the legislative assembly of the state (erstwhile Central Provinces).
- She died in 1948 in a car accident in Seoni, MP, on her way back to Jabalpur from Nagpur, where she had gone to attend an assembly session.
Reference: Indian express
2.14TH AUGUST WILL BE OBSERVED AS PARTITION HORRORS REMEMBRANCE DAY
THE CONTEXT: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has said that in memory of the struggles and sacrifices of our people, 14th August will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.
INDIAN POLITY, GOVERNANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
3. PM MODI’S SPEECH FROM RED FORT ON 75TH INDEPENDENCE DAY
THE CONTEXT: Addressing the nation from the Red Fort in the national capital on India’s 75th Independence Day Prime Minister laid out the plan for the next 25 years before the nation.
THE KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM PM INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH
- On Farmers: It is high time when the country needs to apply scientific research and suggestions to the agriculture sector to provide food security to the nation and to increase food production. The country must increase the collective power of small farmers and make them the nation’s pride.
- New e-commerce platform: The government will develop an e-commerce platform for the products made by women self-help groups (SHGs) in villages. More than eight crore women in the villages who are associated with them. These women make various products and now the government will prepare an e-commerce platform for their products to get a big market in the country and abroad.
- ‘Amrit Kaal’: “‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayaas’ is very important for the achievement of all our goals.The next 25 years were ‘Amrit Kaal’ for India and its citizens and it would be the priority of the government to ensure that essential services reach the last person seamlessly. The purpose of Amrit Kaal is to better the lives of citizens, lessen the development divide between villages and cities, reduce government interference in people’s lives, and have the latest technology so that we are not behind any country in the world
- Fortified rice to poor by 2024: The government will fortify the rice distributed to the poor via different schemes such as Midday Meal in a bid to address the problem of malnutrition. Malnutrition and lack of micro-nutrients are affecting the growth of poor children. Looking at this, it has been decided to fortify the rice given to the poor via different government schemes.
- Infrastructure plan ‘Gati Shakti’: India will launch a 100 trillion rupee ($1.35 trillion) national infrastructure plan that will help generate jobs and boost the economy. The programme will be called “Gati Shakti” and will help boost productivity of industries.
- Reservation ensured: Reservation is being ensured for Dalits, STs, backwards and general category poor. The hand-holding of deprived communities is necessary. We have to bridge the gap between lives in villages and cities.
- New history of connectivity being written in northeast: A new history of connectivity is being written in the northeast, and announced that the work to connect the state capitals in the region with rail services will be completed soon. Multiple parts of the country — whether its east, northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh including the entire Himalayan region, the coastal belt or the tribal region — will become a big base for India’s development in the future.
- PM Modi lauds scientists: It is the result of the strength of our industrialists and scientists, that today India does not need to depend on any other nation for COVID-19 vaccines.
- Energy independent: PM sets a target of becoming ‘energy independent’ by 2047 through a mix of electric mobility, gas-based economy, doping ethanol in petrol and making the country a hub for hydrogen production. India spends over ₹12 lakh crore on energy imports every year. For India to progress, for Atmanirbhar Bharat, energy independence is the call of the hour.India has to take a pledge that it will be energy independent by the year we celebrate 100th year of Independence.
- Sainik schools now open for girls also: all Sainik Schools in the country will now be open for girls also. At present, 33 Sainik schools are operating in the country. Two-and-a-half years ago, the maiden experiment of admitting a girl in Sainik schools was carried out in Mizoram.
Reference: Live Mint
ENVIRONMENT, GEOGRAPHY AND AGRICULTURE
4. FOUR MORE SITES OF INDIA ADDED TO RAMSAR LIST
THE CONTEXT: Four more wetlands from India get recognition from the Ramsar Secretariat as Ramsar sites. These sites are Thol and Wadhwana from Gujarat and Sultanpur and Bhindawas from Haryana.
- With this, the numbers of Ramsar sites in India are 46 and the surface area covered by these sites is now 1,083,322 hectares. While Haryana gets its first Ramsar sites, Gujarat gets three more after Nalsarovar which was declared in 2012.
- Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest wetland in Haryana is a human-made freshwater wetland. Over 250 bird species use the sanctuary throughout the year as a resting and roosting site. The site supports more than ten globally threatened species including the endangered Egyptian Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, and Black-bellied Tern.
- Sultanpur National Park from Haryana supports more than 220 species of resident, winter migratory and local migratory waterbirds at critical stages of their life cycles. More than ten of these are globally threatened, including the critically endangered sociable lapwing, and the endangered Egyptian Vulture, Saker Falcon, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Black-bellied Tern.
- Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary from Gujarat lies on the Central Asian Flyway and more than 320 bird species can be found here. The wetland supports more 30 threatened water bird species, such as the critically endangered White-rumped Vulture and Sociable Lapwing, and the vulnerable Sarus Crane, Common Pochard and Lesser White-fronted Goose.
- Wadhvana Wetland from Gujarat is internationally important for its birdlife as it provides wintering ground to migratory waterbirds, including over 80 species that migrate on the Central Asian Flyway. They include some threatened or near-threatened species such as the endangered Pallas’s fish-Eagle, the vulnerable Common Pochard, and the near-threatened Dalmatian Pelican, Grey-headed Fish-eagle and Ferruginous Duck.
ROLE OF WETLANDS
- Wetlands provide a wide range of important resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation. They are, in fact, are a major source of water and our main supply of freshwater comes from an array of wetlands which help soak rainfall and recharge groundwater.
- The aim of the Ramsar list is “to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits”.
5. TRIFED TO MAKE AVAILABLE ECO FRIENDLY PANKHAS
THE CONTEXT: In TRIFED to make available eco-friendly Pankhas for eminent dignitaries and guests who will attend the Independence Day Celebrations at the Red Fort.
- These pankhas are eco-friendly and have been made out of natural, organic materials.
- The Tribes India pankhas are also available for sale in TRIBES India retail outlets across the country and also on its e-commerce platform (www.tribesindia.com)
- Atmanirbhar Bharat is a mission that TRIFED continues to strive towards as a part of its continued endeavor to support and sustain tribal incomes and livelihoods.
- In a small contribution to recognize the craftsmanship of the tribal artisans and provide a fillip to their livelihoods, TRIFED is collaborating with the Ministry of Defence once again to make available handmade pankhas for eminent dignitaries and guests who will attend the Independence Day function . This is the fourth year of this collaboration.
- Sourced from artisans across the country from states such as Rajasthan, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat and Jharkhand, these pankhas are eco-friendly and have been made out of natural, organic materials.
- As a memorabilia, these pankhas help revive memories of the past when these were an integral part of Indian households and offered comfort in the scorching heat
6. 6,808 DEATHS DUE TO HYDRO METEOROLOGICAL CALAMITIES IN 3 YEARS
THE CONTEXT: Nearly 6,800 people lost their lives in the country over the past three years due to hydro meteorological calamities such as flash floods, landslides and cyclones and West Bengal has recorded the highest deaths among all States, The details were provided by the Home Ministry.
- As per the reply, the country recorded 6,808 deaths (2,400 in 2018-19, 2,422 in 2019-20 and 1,986 in 2020-21). West Bengal recorded 964 deaths (383 in 2018-19, 227 in 2019-20 and 354 in 2020-21), which amounts to 14% of deaths due to hydro meteorological calamities.
- According to the Ministry, hydro meteorological calamities/ hazards include flash floods, cloudburst and landslides. During the monsoon period (April-October mainly; in Western Ghat terrains from April to December, including the phase of the northeast monsoon), incidents occur in almost all landslide-prone areas.In most cases, these are triggered by extreme rainfall events or cloudbursts. These types of fatal landslide events are common almost every year, mainly in the Himalayan States, in the Western Ghats, and Konkan areas.
- Other than West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh recorded 833 deaths, followed by Kerala 708 in the same period. In both the States, the spike in the casualties has been caused by floods. For instance, Kerala recorded 455 deaths in 2018-19 due to 2018 floods. Madhya Pradesh recorded 674 deaths in 2019-20 caused by floods.
- What the figures tell us about West Bengal is that for the three consecutive years the deaths due to natural calamities are high. The reason could be the geography of the State where there are both mountains and coastline. The State is susceptible to both landslides, cyclones and floods.
- Among the other States which recorded high causalties due to hydro meteorological calamities are Maharashtra — 571 deaths — in the same period. Assam, a State that faces regular floods, has recorded 303 deaths, Tamil Nadu 201 casualties and the coastal State of Odisha, 145 deaths in the same period.
- In terms of funds released by the Centre under State Disaster Response Funds, highest funds were allocated to Maharashtra, ₹1,288.80 crore, followed by Uttar Pradesh ₹773.20 crore and Madya Pradesh ₹728 crore. For West Bengal, the funds released by the Centre under State Disaster Response Funds was ₹404.40 crore
Reference: The Hindu
7. THE TALIBAN’S RAPID ADVANCE ACROSS AFGHANISTAN
THE CONTEXT: Taliban insurgents now control all of Afghanistan’s major cities apart from Kabul, after making rapid advances against local forces who are largely fending for themselves as foreign troops withdraw. Talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government on a political understanding that could lead to a peace deal, backed by the United States and its allies, have failed to make significant progress.
SOME OF THE MAJOR MILESTONES IN THE ISLAMIST MILITANT MOVEMENT’S ADVANCE IN RECENT MONTHS
April 14 – President Joe Biden announces U.S. troops will withdraw from Afghanistan starting on May 1 and ending on Sept.11, bringing America’s longest war to a close. It was an extension of the previous withdrawal deadline of May 1 agreed between the United States and the Taliban.
May 4 – Taliban fighters launch a major offensive on Afghan forces in southern Helmand province. They also attack in at least six other provinces.
May 11 – The Taliban capture Nerkh district just outside the capital Kabul as violence intensifies across the country.
June 7 – Senior government officials say more than 150 Afghan soldiers are killed in 24 hours as fighting worsens. They add that fighting is raging in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces.
June 22 – Taliban fighters launch a series of attacks in the north of the country, far from their traditional strongholds in the south. The UN envoy for Afghanistan says they have taken more than 50 of 370 districts.
July 2 – American troops quietly pull out of their main military base in Afghanistan – Bagram Air Base, an hour’s drive from Kabul. It effectively ends U.S. involvement in the war.
July 5 – The Taliban say they could present a written peace proposal to the Afghan government as soon as August.
July 21 – Taliban insurgents control about a half of the country’s districts, according to the senior U.S. general, underlining the scale and speed of their advance.
July 25 – The United States vows to continue to support Afghan troops with intensified airstrikes to help them counter Taliban attacks.
July 26 – The United Nations says nearly 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in May and June in escalating violence, the highest number for those months since records started in 2009.
Aug. 6 – Zaranj in the south of the country becomes the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in years. Many more are to follow in the ensuing days, including the prized city of Kunduz in the north.
Aug. 13 – Four more provincial capitals fall in a day,including Kandahar, the country’s second city and spiritual home of the Taliban. In the west, another key city, Herat, is overrun and veteran commander Mohammad Ismail Khan, one of the leading fighters against the Taliban, is captured.
Aug. 14 – The Taliban take the major northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and, with little resistance, Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province just 70 km (40 miles) south of Kabul. The United States sends more troops to help evacuate its civilians from Kabul as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he is consulting with local and international partners on next steps.
Aug. 15 – The Taliban take the key eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight, effectively surrounding Kabul.
Reference: The Hindu
Q 1. Which of the following pairs are correctly matched?
1. Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary Rajasthan
2. Sultanpur National Park Haryana
3. Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary Maharashtra
4. Wadhvana Wetland Gujarat
Select the correct answer using code given below:
a) 1, 2 and 3 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 and 4 only
d) 1, 2 , 3 and 4
ANSWER FOR AUGUST 13, 2021 PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS (REFER RELEVANT ARTICLE)
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched ‘SonChiraiya’ – (A brand and logo)- for marketing of urban Self-Help Group (SHG) products. While launching the brand and logo, he said that helping women to become financially empowered and live a dignified life is one of the priority areas of the Government.
- This initiative will certainly prove as a step towards increased visibility and global access for the products made by urban SHG women. Ministry expects to link many more such SHG members, with variety of professionally packaged, hand-crafted ethnic products, reaching the doorsteps of the customers globally.
Q2. ANSWER: b)
- Government released “IndiGau’, India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole etc.
- This indigenous chip was developed by the concerted efforts of scientists of National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad, an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology. It has 11,496 markers (SNPs) more than that placed on 777K Illumina chip of US & UK breeds.