South India Current Affairs

Government to expand Logistics Data Bank project to South India  

The Union Ministry of Shipping is planning to expand Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project to the country’s southern region. So far, it had covered only the western logistics corridor.

The LDB project was launched at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), Mumbai in July 2016, making it first port in India to provide this service. Later its operations were expanded to the container terminals at Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), Mundra and Adani Hazira Port — both in Gujarat.

About Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project

The LDB project was unveiled in July 2016 to make India’s logistics sector more efficient through the use of Information Technology. Under this project, every container in the port facility is attached to a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID) tag and then tracked through RFID readers.

It is being implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Logistics Data Services Ltd. (DLDSL). DLDSL is jointly (50:50) owned by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Trust and Japanese IT services major NEC Corporation.

The LDB project covers the entire movement of containers through rail or road till the Inland Container Depot and Container Freight Station. Its service integrates information available with the agencies across the supply chain to provide detailed, real-time information within a single window.

Significance of project

It has helped to cut the overall lead time of container movement as well as reduced transaction costs that consignees and shippers incur. It also has aided importers and exporters in tracking their goods in transit. It is billed as a major ‘ease of doing business’ initiative aimed at boosting India’s foreign trade and ensuring greater transparency.

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Harikatha: traditional art of story-telling in South India

Harikatha, a traditional art story-telling was in news for its revival due to patronage from various cultural organisation.

Harikatha is a form of Hindu religious discourse in which the storyteller explores a religious theme, usually based on the life of a saint or a story from an Indian epic.

What is Harikatha?

  • Harikatha is an art form composed of storytelling, music, drama, dance, poetry, and philosophy in South India especially in villages of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • It had originated from Ajjada village of Srikakulam in Coastal Andhra. Its aim is to imbue truth and righteousness in the minds of people and sow the seeds of devotion in them.
  • It also aims to educate people about knowledge of atman (self) through stories and show them the path of liberation.
  • Harikatha at its peak was a popular medium of entertainment, which had helped to transmit cultural, educational and religious values to the masses.

Style of Harikatha

  • Harikatha involves the narration of a story, intermingled with various songs relating to the story. The subject for the Harikatha story may be any Hindu religious theme.
  • Usually the narration of story involves numerous sub-plots and anecdotes, which are used to emphasise various aspects of the main story.
  • The main story teller is usually assisted by one or more co-singers, who elaborate the songs and Mridangam accompanist. The storyteller uses a pair of cymbals to keep beat.

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