Current Affairs 2017 - April

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Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas to be celebrated on May 02, 2017

May 2, 2017 will be observed as Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas by National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) at 12 locations, namely, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj, Kolkata, Raj Ghat (Hardoi), Bithoor, Srinagar ( Uttarakhand), Vidhur Kuti (Bijnor) and Devprayag. Apart from these locations, with the help of Ganga Vichaar Manch, local NGOs and volunteer support, the event is slated to be organized at more than 30 other locations.

The objective of the event is to spread awareness and promote active involvement of the masses in Swachh Ganga. The event envisages developing a sense of pride and ownership among masses and to actively support for Namami Gange programme.

Ganga Vichar Manch which is a volunteer wing of National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) would execute the event in close coordination with State Programme Management Groups, State Government Departments/Agencies, District Administration and other key stakeholders at each of the above locations.

Background

In March 2017, NMCG observed 16 days long ‘Ganga Swachhta Pakhwada’ along with five Ganga Basin States. The event emerged as a mass movement with the participation of various stakeholders. NMCG is organizing ‘Ganga Swachhta Sankalp Divas’ by considering the overwhelming success with active participation of various communities in the pakhwada.

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‘Digi Yatra’ initiative to make flying simpler

The Ministry of Civil Aviation under the proposed “Digi Yatra” initiative is looking forward to make boarding pass and security check-ins digital at airports using Aadhaar and mobile phones. Under this initiative, a digital mode for airport entry and verification of passengers would be used. The move is aimed to ease the security and boarding procedure. In a sum, the initiative aims to make the whole air travel experience completely digital. According to the civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha, the proposed initiative would not require any paperwork and the traveller will be securely identified through Aadhaar number, passport or other documents. The ministry is now working on establishing a uniform set of standards and protocols which can be applied across the system. The ministry expects to roll out the initiative in the coming months.

In addition, the ministry is also in the process of coming up with an approach to have a no-fly list based on safety. The government has decided to come with a no-fly list in the wake of instances of unruly behaviour by air passengers that endanger the safety of all passengers in an aircraft. By having a ‘no fly list’, the government wants to ensure that the unruly passengers are not able to fly and are appropriately dealt with.

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Prime Minister inaugurates International Basava Convention

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled translated volumes of Vachana in 23 Indian languages on the occasion of Basava Jayanti. The 23 Vachana volumes were edited by late M M Kalburgi and have been translated into other languages by more than 200 people. Prime Minister also released the digital version of the work. This is the first ever celebration of Basava Jayanti at the national level in New Delhi.

The translated volumes of Vachana was commissioned by the Basava Samithi at a cost of 2.5 crore rupees of which the Karnataka government has contributed 1 crore rupees. The celebrations also coincide with golden jubilee of Basava Samiti that was set up by former Vice President B D Jatti 1964 to spread in Basavannas message.

Vachana is a prosaic form very much popular in the Kannada literature. It propagates values of universal brotherhood. It was penned by Basavanna and other saints. The 12th-century social reformer Basavanna used this style of writing to spread social awareness and bring equality in the 12th-century society.

Basavanna

Basavanna was a 12th-century philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet and a social reformer who lived in Karnataka during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I. He served as the chief minister of his kingdom.

Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals. During his tenure as Chief Minister, he introduced many new public institutions like Anubhava Mantapa (“hall of spiritual experience”) that would facilitate men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to have a healthy and open discuss on various spiritual and mundane questions of life. A 13th-century sacred Telugu text, the Basava purana by Palkuriki Somanatha offers a full account of Basava’s life and ideas.

In 2003, former President of India Abdul Kalam inaugurated Basaveshwar’s statue in the Parliament of India. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of the river Thames in London.

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