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Copper plates bring into focus Shilabhattarika and her poetry: Page 4
- Researchers at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, India claim to have established Shilabhattarika, a celebrated Sanskrit poetess of ancient India, as a daughter of the Chalukyan emperor Pulakeshin II of Badami.
- This conclusion was reached after the decoding of inscriptions on copper plates found in a charter from the reign of Badami Chalukyan ruler Vijayaditya.
- The decipherment reveals that Vijayaditya had donated the village of Sikkatteru to a vedic scholar named Vishnusharma on the request of Mahendravarma, the son of Shilabhattarika.
- The importance of this discovery lies in shedding new light on Shilabhattarika, who is known for her poetry in classical Sanskrit literature in ancient India.
- The decoding of the copper plates also marks a shift in the historiography of Badami Chalukyas by placing Shilabhattarika as having lived in the 7th century CE rather than being the wife of the 8th Century Rashtrakuta ruler Dhruva, as previously believed.
Thrissur Pooram celebrated with splendour: Page 5
- The Thrissur Pooram festival was celebrated on Sunday in Thrissur with a mix of religious and carnival spirit.
- More than 100 elephants, percussion ensembles, religious ceremonies and fireworks were part of the celebrations.
- Despite a red alert, the weather was pleasant, and a record crowd turned up to enjoy the festivities.
- The festival signifies the symbolic meeting of 10 temples and is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Medam.
- Kudamattam, where fancy umbrellas carrying the photo of football player Lionel Messi were the highlight, was one of the main attractions of the festival.
- India and China have been facing a border crisis along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for the past three years.
- Both sides have established buffer zones in some of the five friction areas where the two sides disengaged. In two other areas, Demchok and Depsang, Beijing has slowed down the momentum of the Corps Commander meetings.
- India’s Defence Minister has underlined the country’s position that the development of ties is premised on peace on the borders. Meanwhile, China’s Defence Minister has called on India to “take a long-term view” and “place the border issue in an appropriate position in bilateral relations.”
- The disengagement process has been long and tortuous, and de-escalation remains a far-off prospect.
- India’s Army Chief has described the current situation along the LAC as “stable but unpredictable.” Managing the LAC should remain the priority for both India and China to prevent the recurrence of clashes like those seen in 2020.
- If normalcy is to be restored in ties, disengagement in the remaining friction points will need to be followed by de-escalation, including the eventual de-induction of the estimated one lakh troops from both sides that have remained deployed in forward areas for close to three years.
- Regardless of Beijing’s wishes to downplay the seriousness of the border situation and relegate it to an “appropriate” position, India and China cannot restore normalcy in relations under the shadow of lingering unpredictability on the borders.
India, its SDG pledge goal, and the strategy to apply: Page 6
- India is the third largest economy in the world but translating this growth into progress on social and human development is equally important.
- India is ‘On-Target’ to meeting 14 of the 33 SDGs, including indicators for neonatal and under-five mortality, full vaccination, improved sanitation, and electricity access.
- India needs to escalate SDG indicators for women’s well-being and gender inequality as no district in India has yet succeeded in eliminating the practice of girl child marriage before the legal age of 18 years.
- Strong and sustained political leadership supported by a responsive administrative structure at all levels is critical for success in achieving SDG targets.
- India’s success in COVID-19 response was largely possible because of the existing digital infrastructure and new, indigenous initiatives. India must put in place a coordinated, public data platform for population health management by consolidating its many siloed platforms into an integrated digital resource.
- A targeted SDG strategy delivered at scale must be executed with timeliness, as seen in India’s COVID-19 relief package, to achieve the desired results.
- UPSC aspirants can refer to the SDG indicators mentioned in the article, as these may be relevant for the upcoming exams. They can also use the article as a reference for a better understanding of India’s progress on the SDGs.
Tread a new path, one that prioritises social justice: Page 6
- Labour Day is an occasion to celebrate the contribution of workers worldwide.
- The COVID-19 crisis, followed by inflation, conflict, and supply shocks, has created a challenging reality for workers worldwide.
- Real wages have fallen, poverty is rising, and inequality seems more entrenched than ever, creating a disturbing level of mistrust.
- Policies and actions must be human-centered to allow people to pursue both their material well-being and spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, economic security, and equal opportunity.
- Social justice should be prioritized to address inequality, poverty alleviation, and core social protection.
- The most effective way to do this is by providing quality jobs that offer decent work for all.
- It is essential to address long-term structural transformations, new technology, climate change, demographic changes, and to reassess and refashion the architecture of our social and economic systems.
- A Global Coalition for Social Justice is needed to position social justice as the keystone of the global recovery and ensure that our future is human-centered.
- International cooperation and solidarity are necessary to enhance efforts and create greater policy coherence, particularly within the multilateral system.
Stray dogs and poor waste management: Page 8
- Stray dog attacks in Indian cities have become a serious issue, with frequent reports of dogs attacking people to death.
- Poor waste management is one of the key reasons for the proliferation of stray dogs in Indian cities. Dogs are attracted to exposed garbage dumping sites as a source of food.
- The increase in the stray dog population in Indian cities is due to a population boom, coupled with a staggering rise in solid waste.
- Urbanisation plays a role in the proliferation of stray dogs as it promotes urban sprawls, slums, and disparity, leading to poor waste management.
- The disproportionate burden of dog bites falls on people living in urban slums located near dumping sites. Dog bites are higher in urban slums than rural slums.
- India’s response to the stray dog menace relies on the Animal Birth Control (ABC) program, through which municipal bodies trap, sterilize, and release dogs to slow down the dog population.
- Implementation of ABC and rabies control measures suffer from low awareness around the health implications of dog bites, irregular supply of vaccines, delay in seeking treatments, and a lack of national policy.
The protests against the refinery project in Maharashtra: Page 8
- The Barsu refinery project is a proposed multi-billion dollar refinery and petrochemical complex in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
- The project is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
- The project was initially supposed to be built in Nanar, but was denotified in 2019 due to strong opposition from locals and environmental activists.
- The project is expected to have a capacity of 60 million tonnes per annum and is estimated to cost around rupees three lakh crore.
- The villagers in the area are protesting against the project, citing concerns about the potential impact on the environment and the livelihoods of local communities.
- The state government has been issuing land acquisition notices to residents of six villages to acquire the initial 2,220 acres of land and has been a strong supporter of the project.
- The BJP is pushing the project as a significant step towards making India self-sufficient in the petrochemical sector, reducing the country’s dependence on imports, and boosting the local economy.
- The project is touted as a green refinery by the state government, and the Chief Minister has stated that the project will not be implemented without the local people’s consent.
Rajnath to hand over patrol vessel, landing craft to Maldives: Page 10
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting the Maldives to hand over a fast patrol vessel and a landing craft as India’s gift to the country.
- The visit is expected to further strengthen the friendship between India and the Maldives, one of India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean region.
- The bilateral ties between India and the Maldives, including in the areas of defence and security, have been on an upward trajectory in the last few years.
- India’s decision to provide military platforms to the Maldives is seen as a countermeasure to China’s persistent efforts to expand its overall influence in the region.
- During his visit, Rajnath Singh will call on Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and hold talks with Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Defence Minister Mariya Didi.
- India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and Maldives’ ‘India First’ policy seek to work together to jointly develop capabilities within the Indian Ocean region.
- The talks between Rajnath Singh and Maldivian Defence and Foreign Ministers will review the entire gamut of defence relations between the two countries.
Source: The Hindu Epaper
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