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7th August – Prelims Booster

Abanindranath Tagore

National Gallery of Modern Art has organised a virtual tour titled “The Great Maestro | Abanindranath Tagore” to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Abanindranath Tagore on 7th August 2020.

Who was ‘Abanindranath Tagore’?

  • Abanindranath Tagore, the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, was one of the most prominent artists of India.
  • He was the first major supporter of swadeshi values in Indian Art. Abanindranath first created the ‘Indian Society of Oriental Art’ and later went on to establish Bengal school of Art.
  • His sole aim for establishing the school was to counter the English influence on Indian artists.
  • He did that by incorporating Indian elements in his works and achieved success when British art institutions gave in and accepted to teach and propagate his style of works in their organisations.
  • His idea of modernising Mughal and Rajput paintings eventually gave rise to modern Indian painting, which took birth at his Bengal school of art.
  • Abanindranath is also regarded as a proficient and accomplished writer. Most of his literary works were meant for children. Some of his books like ‘BudoAngla’, ‘Khirer Putul’ and ‘Rajkahini’ are best examples of Bengali children’s literature.

Work of Abanindranath Tagore –

  • He was very much influenced by the Mughal School of painting as well as Whistler’s Aestheticism.
  • In his later works, Abanindranath started integrating Chinese and Japanese calligraphic traditions into his style. The intention behind this move was to construct an amalgamation of the modern pan-Asian artistic tradition and the common elements of Eastern artistic and spiritual culture.
  • Ganesh Janani, Bharat Mata, The Victory of Buddha are some of his prominent and famous paintings etc.
  • He liked to paint sets of images dealing with a theme or a text such as the ‘Arabian Nights’ or the ‘Krishna Leela’.
  • As a modernist at heart who was guided more by his sensibility than his training, he transformed the post-Renaissance academic realism into which he was trained with his series of contacts with oriental art into something more supple and responsive to the imaginative flights of his mind.

National Handloom Day

Recently, the 6th National Handloom Day on 07th August 2020 was celebrated by the Ministry of Textiles.

About National Handloom Day –

  • 7th August was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on the same date in the year 1905.
  • The objective is to generate awareness about Handloom Industry amongst public at large and its contribution to the socio-economic development.
  • The first National Handloom Day was held on 7th August 2015 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Chennai.
  • On this day, the handloom weaving community is honoured and the contribution of this sector in the socio-economic development of this country is highlighted.

About Swadeshi movement –

  • The swadeshi movement was started as a response to the partition of Bengal decision taken by Lord Curzon. The reason given was administrative but the truth was actual reason was political. The British wanted to crush the national movement at its nerve centre “Calcutta”. The partition would have divided Bengal and turned it into a minority and prop up Muslim communalists as an alternative to the congress.
  • The formal proclamation of Swadeshi Movement was made on 7th August 1905 in a meeting held at the Calcutta Town Hall. In the meeting, the famous Boycott Resolution was passed.
  • The Congress Session of 1905- The session took place at Banaras. Gopal Krishna Gokhale took up Swadeshi call.
  • The Congress Session of 1906 – The session took place at Calcutta under the presidentship of Dadabhai Naoroji. In this session, four resolutions on the Swadeshi, Boycott, National Education and Self-Government demands were passed.
  • It is to be noted that the two terms- Swadeshi and Boycott are complimentary. By the term Swadeshi, we mean adopting indigenous products. And by the term Boycott, we mean rejecting foreign made products.
  • The people were urged to boycott foreign cloth and the shops selling foreign goods were picketed. The Ganpati and Shivaji festivals popularised by Tilak became a medium of Swadeshi propaganda. People tied rakhis on each other’s hand as a symbol of unity of two halves of Bengal. Women came out of their homes for the first time and joined processions and picketing.

SN5 Starship

Recently, a prototype of the SpaceX’s uncrewed “Mars ship”, a stainless steel test vehicle called SN5, and which is a part of the Starship spacecraft, successfully flew to an altitude of over 500 feet for a little less than 60 seconds.

What is ‘Startship’?

  • Designed by SpaceX, Starship is a spacecraft and super-heavy booster rocket meant to act as a reusable transportation system for crew and cargo to the Earth’s orbit, Moon and Mars. SpaceX has described Starship as “the world’s most powerful launch vehicle” with an ability to carry over 100 metric tonnes to the Earth’s orbit.
  • Starship has been under development since 2012 and is a part of Space X’s central mission to make interplanetary travel accessible and affordable and to become the first private company to do so. Therefore, the company is working on building a fleet of reusable launch vehicles, capable of carrying humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.

Significance –

  • Starship can deliver satellites further and at lower marginal costs than SpaceX’s Falcon vehicles and it can ferry both cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Once developed, Starship is also expected to help carry large amounts of cargo to the Moon, for human spaceflight development and research. Beyond the Moon, the spacecraft is being designed for carrying crew and cargo for interplanetary missions as well.

Pokkali Rice

Due to severe seawater incursion (after cyclone Amphan) into paddy fields, farmers in South 24 Parganas District of West Bengal are betting on bringing pokkali variety of rice from Kerala to their fields.

What is Pokkali variety of rice?

  • The pokkali variety, known for its saltwater resistance, flourishes in the paddy fields of coastal Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts. The uniqueness of the rice has brought it the Geographical Indication (GI) tag and is the subject of continuing research.
  • Five kilos of Vyttila-11 variety of pokkali seedlings were sent by post by Francis Kalathungal, who is part of the Pokkali Samrakshana Samithi, which has been at the vanguard of a movement to revive pokkali cultivation and prevent it from dying out.
  • Vyttila-11 is the latest variety to come out of Kerala Agricultural University’s field station in Vyttila. It promises better yield of about 5 tonnes per hectare than the previous varieties, and is crossed with the Jyoti variety of rice popular in Kerala. The crop duration is about 110 days.

Bru-Reang Agreement

Recently, three organisations representing the Bru community displaced from Mizoram have rejected the sites proposed by the Joint Movement Committee (JMC), an umbrella group of non-Brus in Tripura, for their resettlement.

What is the issue?

  • The JMC comprising the Bengali, Mizo, Buddhist Barua and other communities had on July 21 submitted a memorandum to the Tripura government specifying six places in Kanchanpur and Panisagar subdivisions of North Tripura district for the resettlement of the Brus who fled ethnic violence in Mizoram since 1997. The JMC also proposed settling 500 families at most in these places.
  • Bru organisations have said that the inclusion of four JMC members in the monitoring team for the settlement of Bru internally-displaced people is not applicable since they are not having no connection or involvement in the issue of either repatriation to Mizoram or resettlement in Tripura during the last 23 years. Moreover, they have also opposed the prime constituents of the JMC in site selection because they are not a part of either the quadrilateral agreement (with the Government of India) or signatory to it.
  • The quadrilateral agreement was signed among the Bru groups, the Centre and the State governments of Mizoram and Tripura in New Delhi in January this year.

What was proposed now?

  • The three refugee groups insisted on resettling some 6,500 families in clusters of at least 500 families at each of the sites of their choice —seven in North Tripura district and five in the adjoining Dhalai district.
  • The sites proposed by the JMC are said to be unconnected by road and electricity and too far from hospitals, schools and other facilities.
  • The Bru groups also demanded the arrest of the JMC leaders for “abusive, derogatory and inflammatory statements” against the Bru community.

About the Bru-Reang agreement –

  • In 1997, about 30,000 Bru-Reang tribals fled from Mizoram and took shelter in Tripura’s refugee camps. These refugees were said to have fled from Mizoram due to ethnic tension. Before the agreement, these people were living in temporary shelters at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura.
  • To end the 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis, an agreement was signed in January 2020 which is known as Bru-Reang agreement. The Bru-Reang agreement was signed between the Government of India, presided by the Union Home Minister, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives on 17 January, 2020.
  • According to Bru-Reang Refugee agreement –
    • After the agreement about 34,000 Bru refugees will be settled in Tripura.
    • Centre will provide help to these tribes for their all-round development and for this around Rs 600 crores were sanctioned.
    • These tribes would get all the rights that normal residents of the State get and would be able to enjoy the benefits of social welfare schemes for Centre and State governments.
    • Each displaced family would be given 40X30 sq.ft. residential plots.
    • For 2 years, they will be given the aid of Rs 5000 per month, free ration for 2 years and about Rs 1.5 lakh aid to build their house.
    • Under this agreement, the Tripura Government would provide the land.

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