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PM Narendra Modi inaugurates exhibition marking 100 years of Champaran Satyagraha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated an exhibition titled “Swachhagraha – Bapu Ko Karyanjali – Ek Abhiyan, Ek Pradarshani” in New Delhi mark the 100 years (centenary year) of Champaran Satyagraha.

The exhibition will showcase Champaran Satyagraha and it will connect essential principles of Satyagraha with Swachhagraha. It will also showcase the ground covered by the Swachh Bharat Mission in creating a mass movement towards a clean India.

About Champaran Satyagraha

  • Champaran Satyagraha was Mahatma Gandhi’s first experiment of Satyagraha. It was undertaken in the erstwhile undivided Champaran district in northern Bihar in April 1917.
  • It was undertaken after Mahatma Gandhi learned about the abuses suffered by farmers, who were forced into growing indigo by British planters and estate owners.
  • The tenants from Champaran were forced under the law to plant three out of every twenty parts of his land with indigo for his landlord under the so called Tinkathia system.
  • Initially, Gandhiji was reluctant to commit himself to the task but he was so persuaded by indigo cultivator Rajkumar Shukla that he decided to investigate the matter.
  • Gandhiji’s plan was to carry out an extensive inquiry in the district and demand action based on its findings. However, local authorities did not find his visit welcoming and they unsuccessfully tried to dissuade him.
  • But Gandhi began his work from the house of Babu Gorakh Prasad in Motihari, headquarters of the then Champaran district.
  • During this time, Gandhij was served with a court summon while he was making a spot visit to village. Gandhiji was charged with violating law and was told to leave Champaran, but he refused to leave.
  • On April 18, 1917 when Gandhi appeared in Motihari Court and was accompanied by nearly 2000 local people. The magistrate wanted to defer the trial and resulted in the collapse of trial.
  • The then Lieutenant Governor of Bihar ordered the withdrawal of case against Gandhi, and the Collector wrote to Gandhi saying he was free to conduct the inquiry.
  • This small step in the form of passive protest was a giant leap forward in the history of freedom struggle and heralded the advent of Gandhian era.
  • His protest led to abolishing of exploitative tinkathia system. The victory at Champaran established Gandhiji in India’s struggle against the British raj.

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National Biodiversity Congress 2017 held in Kerala

The National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) 2017 was held in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala. The event is hosted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board.

NBC is one of the significant biodiversity mega events of the country. It aims to identify practical, evidence-based case studies at the regional level to support the plan of action. 

Key Facts
  • The focal theme of 2017 NBC was “Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”.
  • This edition of the event had organised array of programmes including exhibition, conference, capacity building workshops and Children’s Biodiversity Congress.
  • National Biodiversity Conference, governed by a national advisory committee comprising biodiversity conservation experts was also held.
  • Number of experts in field of biodiversity conservation had delivered keynote address and plenary lectures on variety of key issues related to biodiversity conservation, sustainable utilisation and benefit sharing.
  • Members of academic and research institutions, civil society, biodiversity management committees, NGOs, farmers, students, corporates also participated in the event.

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68th Republic Day celebrated on 26 January 2017

India celebrated its 68th Republic Day on January 26, 2017 with the theme “Skill India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”.

The day honours the date on which the Indian Constitution came into force on 26th January, 1950 replacing the Government of India Act, 1935 as the governing document.

Key Facts
  • This year, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the Chief Guest of the official ceremony.
  • The country’s military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of-the-art defence platforms, and diverse culture was displayed at the Republic Day parade at Rajpath in Delhi.
  • For the first time, a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG), popularly known as the Black Cat Commandoes, also took part in the parade. A contingent of UAE soldiers also marched down the Rajpath.
  • The Indian Army’s missile firing capability, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-2K, T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System, and Dhanush Gun System were displayed at the event.
  • Tableaux from seventeen states and union territories, six Central Ministries and Departments were also presented depicting varied historical, art and cultural heritage of the country.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee awarded Ashok Chakra, country’s highest peacetime military decoration to Havaldar Hangpan Dada posthumously for selfless service to nation.

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