Events & Observances Current Affairs - 2019

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20 May: World Metrology Day celebrated

The World Metrology Day is observed every year on 20 May, which commemorates anniversary of signing of Metre Convention in 1875.

About World Metrology Day

  • Background: The day commemorates anniversary of signing of the international treaty called Metre Convention in Paris on 20 May 1875, by which International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) was created. The Convention set the framework for global collaboration in field of science and measurement as well as in its commercial, societal and industrial applications.
  • Metrology: means ‘the science of measurement’.
  • The Metre Convention: also called ‘Treaty of the Metre’ provides the basis for a global coherent measurement system which encourages scientific discovery and innovation, international trade, industrial manufacturing and also improvement of quality of life and protection of global environment.

About World Metrology Day 2019

  • The theme for WMD 2019 was “The International System of Units – Fundamentally better.” This theme was chosen because in 16 November 2018, the General Conference on Weights and Measures agreed to one of the most significant revisions to International System of Units (the SI) since its inception.
  • The Research into new measurement methods, including those using quantum phenomena, justifies the change made.
  • The International System of Units (SI) is now based on a set of definitions each linked to laws of physics and have advantage of being able to accept further improvements in measurement science and technology (S&T) to meet needs of future users for coming years.

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18 May: ‘Buddha Purnima’ celebrated

Buddha Purnima also known as Vaishak Purnima is the birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha (or Lord Buddha). 18 May 2019 witnessed the 2,563rd birth anniversary of the Buddha and is being celebrated across the world.

About Buddha Purnima

  • Background: Buddha Purnima festival is traditionally celebrated to commemorate birth of Siddhartha Gautama​, who later became Gautama Buddha and founded Buddhism. People celebrate Siddhartha’s (a king by birth) choice to embrace a spiritual quest when he witnessed the suffering of common people which inspired him to let go of his royal life. He then renounced all worldly pleasures and became a holy man.
  • It is celebrated every year on the full moon day (known as Purnima), in month of Vaishakha, according to Hindu Lunar calendar.
  • Reason: It is also celebrated as Vesak in South and Southeast Asia. The day commemorates birth, death as well as enlightenment of Lord Buddha, all of which is said to have taken place on same day. It is after this enlightenment that later Siddhartha earned the title Buddha which means ‘The Enlightened One’.
  • Significance: Celebrating Buddha Purnima is all about praying with purest of feelings, and adopting what Buddhism stand for which is peace, harmony and non-violence.

Celebrations Worldwide

  • Nepal: is considered as Buddha’s birth country. He was born in Lumbini (now in modern-day Nepal). There Buddha Purnima day is celebrated on full moon day of Vaisakha month in accordance to Buddhist calendar.
  • Southeast Asian Nations: celebrate day during Vaisakha month of Buddhist and Hindu calendar, which is generally the month of April or May according to Gregorian calendar.
  • Others:
  • On this day, Countries all over world such as Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia,
  • Canada, United States (US) celebrate the essence of Buddhism. It is public holiday in many countries, and is celebrated by commemorating different ethnicities and cultures.

Celebrations India

  • It is celebrated by paying a visit to common Viharas (monastery for Buddhists), where Buddhists observe a longer than usual and full-length Buddhist sutra (or suttas), which is similar to a service.

17 May: Vesak Day

  • On 17 May 2019 United Nation (UN) observed “Vesak”, the Day of the Full Moon in month of May.
  • In 1999, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), by its resolution 54/115, recognized internationally Day of Vesak, to acknowledge contribution of Buddhism in world.

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