#1 PAIKA REBELLION
On April 16, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi honoured in Bhubaneswar descendants of 16 families associated with what is known as the Paika rebellion of 1817. Here’s an explainer about the little-known but bloody rebellion of Odisha against British colonialism.
What is Paika rebellion?
- When the British started tinkering with the revenue system in 1803, the farming community of Odisha rose in rebellion.
- At that critical juncture, Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar — the military chief of the King of Khurda — led his motley army of Paikas forcing the British East India Company forces to retreat.
- The rebellion came to be known as Paika Bidroh (Paika rebellion).
When did it take place?
- The rebellion, by the landed militia of Khurda called Paiks, predates the first war of independence in 1857 but did not get similar recognition.
- It took place when the British East India company wrested the rent-free land that had been given to the Paiks for their military service to the Kingdom of Khurda
Why does Mr. Modi honour people associated with the rebellion now?
- It’s 200 years since the army led by King of Khurda revolted against the British on April 2, 1817.
- The rebellion had been flagged by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget speech this year where he said that “two hundred years ago in 1817, a valiant uprising of soldiers led by Bakshi Jagabandhu [Bidyadhar Mohapatra] took place in Khurda of Odisha.
- We will commemorate the same appropriately.”
#2 JAIMINI ROY
- Google is celebrated with a doodle the 130th birth anniversary of one of the big names in 20th century Indian art, Jamini Roy.
- A graduate from the Government College of Art, Kolkata, Roy was a pupil of Abanindranath Tagore, the creator of 'Indian Society of Oriental Art'. Roy was born in Beliatore village of Bankura district in 1887.
- He started his career spanning over six decades as a commissioned portrait artist but soon gave up and began experimenting with Indian folk art. He took lessons from patua, a community known for their traditional occupation of painting idols, to better his craft at Kalighat paintings.
- Some of his other world famous work includes, ‘Ramayana’ a magnum opus spread across 17 canvases; ‘Gopini and two Companions’; ‘Mother and Child’; ‘Bengali Woman’; and ‘Three men in boat’ .His work, however, wasn’t limited to painting alone. His wooden sculptures, rooted in Indian villages, reflect the traditional art of Bengal. The quintessential ‘Jamini Roy’ work exhibits bold colours of red, yellow ochre, blue, and white. Roy brought versatility and emotion to folk art. While a painting of a Santhal woman oozes sensuousness, the ‘Three Pujarinis’ are very traditional looking almond-eyed women.
- Jamini Roy received many awards and accolades, including the Padma Bhushan in 1955. In 1976, the Archaeological Society of India declared him one of “Nine Masters” to be treated as treasure. Roy passed away in 1972.
#3 Teesta River
Teesta River water issue
- Negotiations for sharing of river water has been taking place since 1983. In 2011, an interim deal was proposed to be signed which allocated 42.5% of Teesta’s waters to India and 37.5% to Bangladesh. But due to Mamata Banerjee’s opposition, the deal was shelved.
- Unlike Ganga water sharing in 1996 or the recent exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh, there exists very little opposition for Teesta river water treaty even in North Bengal, where the river flows.
- Recently, Mamata Banerjee has proposed linking of three more rivers in North Bengal with Teesta so that there will be enough water to share. But this proposal is termed unviable as the rivers mentioned by Banerjee originates in Bhutan and flows in different gradients when compared with Teesta.
- Hydropower generation in Teesta river is another point of contention. In Sikkim alone, there are at least 26 projects that produces 50,000 MW of power. With Banerjee’s tough stance, Bangladesh may approach an international court or demand share from the hydro-electricity generated in Sikkim.
#4 URJA GANGA SCHEME
#5 Namami Brahmaputra
- The biggest river festival of India “Namami Brahmaputra” has started in 21 districts of Assam on March 31, 2017.
- President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated the 5-day festival on the banks of the river, which is considered country’s only male river.
- Various cultural programmes, traditional sports, Brahmaputra Aarti, exhibition, film shows, seminars and competitions will be the part of the festival.
- Spiritual leader Dalai Lama and several Union ministers will also attend the festival.
- This festival is likely to give a boost to the investment and tourism prospect in the state.
- Prime Minister of Bhutan, Governor of Assam and Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will also attend the inaugural ceremony.
- NASA has announced that Saturn’s sixth-largest moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s fourth-largest moon Europa may be habitable as they have the necessary ingredients required to sustain life.
- The key ingredients of life are liquid water, a source of energy for metabolism, and chemicals such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulphur.
- Findings were made by NASA with the help of Cassini-Huygens unmanned spacecraft and the Hubble Telescope.
- Cassini-Huygens unmanned spacecraft was sent in 1997 to study Saturn, its rings, and its moon.
- Saturn’s moon Enceladus has a higher possibility of hosting life than Jupiter’s Europa as it has a form of chemical energy on which life forms can feed.
- Enceladus is a small, icy moon which has an abundance of hydrogen molecules in water plumes.
- 98% of the gas in the plumes was found to be water and 1% is hydrogen and the remaining is a mixture of molecules of carbon dioxide, methane, and ammonia.
#7 Unnat Bharat Abhiyan
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India programme to uplift rural India.
- The programme is being launched in collaboration with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other leading Government Engineering Institutes like College of Engineering, Pune across the country.
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is being coordinated and steered by IIT Delhi.The programme involve engaging with neighbouring communities and using technologies for their upliftment.
#8 UDHAM SINGH
- He was an eye-witness of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre as he was serving water to crowd gathered along with his friends.
- He considered Governor of Punjab, Michael O' Dwyer to be original culprit as he supported massacre.
- Deeply influenced by Hindustan Socialist Republican Army and a member of Ghadar Party.
- Returned to India on order by Bhagat Singh with revolvers and ammunitions along with 25 associates. Caught for possessing unlicensed arms but was released in 1931.
- Escaped to Germany by Kashmir way and evaded surveillance by British Police.
- Singh reached London in 1934 and planned to assassinate Reginald Dyer but it is debated that it was Reginald Dyer or Michael O' Dwyer.
- Shot Michael twice in Caxton Hall by revolver given to him by Puran Singh Boughan.
- Went on 42-day hunger strike in jail and was forcibly fed.
- Formally charged for killing Michael O'Dwyer on April 1 1940.
- Singh was convicted and sentenced to death. On 31 July 1940, Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison and buried within the prison grounds.
- Singh's actions were condemned by Gandhi ji and Nehru but most of the commoners and other aggressive leaders said that it is an important action for Indian independence struggle.Later on Nehru applauded his actions in 1962 and used the word 'Shaheed-e-Azam' for him.The Times of London called him 'Fighter for Freedom' and Bergeret in Rome also praised him.
#9 HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014
#10 Bharat ke Veer App
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has launched web portal and mobile application named “Bharat ke Veer” to enable people to contribute towards family of martyrs from central paramilitary forces.