Mumbai Current Affairs - 2020

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Samantha Express

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will launch a new train Samantha Express on February 14 from Nagpur. The Samantha Express will cover prominent places associated with Gautam Buddha and chief architect of the Constitution Dr B R Ambedkar.

Journey of Samantha Express

The Samantha express will run through the following places:

  • Chaityabhoomi (Mumbai): Dr Ambedkar was cremated here after his death on 6 December 1956 and it hosts a memorial for Dr Ambedkar.
  • Mhow (Indore): Dr Ambedkar was born at Mhow.
  • Bodhgaya (Gaya): Bodhgaya is a place where Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment under Bodhi Tree.
  • Sarnath (Varanasi):  Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma here.
  • Lumbini (Nautanwa): It was here Gautama Buddha was born.
  • Kushinagar (Gorakhpur): It was here Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death.
  • Deekshabhoomi (Nagpur): It was here Dr Ambedkar converted to Buddhism.

Dr B R Ambedkar and Buddhism

About two months prior to his demise, Dr Ambedkar converted to Buddhism. Speaking about conversion Dr Ambedkar had said that everybody has to admit that conversion is necessary to the Untouchables as self-government is to India. The ultimate object of both is the same and there is no difference in ultimate goal. The ultimate aim is to attain freedom. Freedom is necessary for the life of mankind. Conversion of Untouchables would provide them with complete freedom. The conversion cannot be called worthless by any stretch of the imagination.

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Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2019

The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) will be held at Varanasi on January 21  and would be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22. The theme of the PBD 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India.”

The convention held during the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) provides an important platform to engage and connect with the overseas Diaspora. The chief guest for this year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius.

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas

India celebrates Pravasi Bhartiya Divas on 9 January to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India. 9th January also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai in 1915.

The decision to celebrate PBD was taken based on the recommendations of the High-Level Committee (HLC) on the Indian Diaspora under the chairmanship of L. M. Singhvi. The first PBD was celebrated in 2002 and the PBD was held every year on 9th January since then.

In 2015, a decision was made to celebrate PBD once in two years in different states and a smaller event would be held in Delhi every alternate year. Now India celebrates Pravasi Bhartiya Divas once in every two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots.

Why Postponed in 2019?

The PBD 2019 has been delayed to facilitate the dignitaries to participate in the Kumbh Mela being held at Prayagraj and the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

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