Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - October 26, 2018

Social Welfare

International Arya Mahasammelan-2018 Swami Dayanand Saraswati


  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the International Arya Mahasammelan – 2018

Connect to Swami Dayanand Saraswati

  • Dayanand Saraswati (12 February 1824 – 30 October 1883) was an Indian religious leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement of the Vedic dharma.
  • He was also a renowned scholar of the Vedic lore and Sanskrit language.
  • He was the first to give the call for Swaraj as "India for Indians" in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak.
  • Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship prevalent in Hinduism at the time, he worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies.
  • Subsequently, the philosopher and President of India, S. Radhakrishnan called him one of the "makers of Modern India.
  • He showed us the path of renaissance and self-pride.
  • He was an intrepid warrior of social and spiritual reform.
  • He took effective measures for educational and social reform especially for women empowerment and eradication of untouchability.
  • Swami DayanandSaraswati had worked for eradication of discrimination in society on the basis of caste, creed and sect and motivated everyone to become Arya – that is - the best.

Connect to Arya Samaj

  • Arya Samaj is an Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas.
  • The samaj was founded by the sannyasi (ascetic) Dayanand Saraswati on 10 April 1875.
  • Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one God and reject the worship of idols.
  • The Arya Samaj was established in Bombay on 7 April 1875 by Dayananda Saraswati (born "Mool Shankar" in Kathiawar, Gujarat 1824 – died Ajmer, 1883)

Bilateral Relations

India and Bangladesh Sign Agreements for Enhancing Inland and Coastal Waterways Connectivity


  • India and Bangladesh signed several agreements, for enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity between the two countries
  • The two countries have signed an agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India.
  • A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has also been signed for movement of passenger and cruise services.


  • ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade’ (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh has been signed for inclusion of Dhubriin India and Pangaonin Bangladesh as new Ports of Call.
  • The two sides agreed to consider inclusion of Rupnarayan river (National Waterway-86) from Geonkhali to Kolaghat in the protocol route and to declare Kolaghatin West Bengal as new Port of Call.

Cruise vessel

  • The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of passengers and cruise vessels on Inland Protocol route and coastal shipping routes have been finalised.
  • These river cruise services are likely to commence between Kolkata – Dhaka - Guwahati – Jorhat and back.
  • Both sides have also agreed for development of Jogighopa as a hub/trans-shipment terminal for movement of cargo to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Bhutan and notifying Munsiganj River terminal by Bangladesh Customs for routing third party Exim cargo through Kolkata Port.


Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for 2014, 2015 & 2016


  • The Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 is being conferred

1. Thee doyen of Manipuri dance Sh. Rajkumar Singhajit Singh
2. Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh) and
3. One of India’s greatest sculptors, Sh. Ram Vanji Sutar, respectively.

  • The Jury under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister, Sh Narendra Modi and comprising of the Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Shri N. Gopalaswami & Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh

  • a doyen of Manipuri dance
  • The award recognizes his contribution in keeping the tradition of Manipuri dance alive and vibrant, promoting harmony through dance and also pays tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, who, deeply influenced by Manipuri dance, made it an integral part of the education curriculum at Visva Bharati.


  • It was established in 1961, has played a leading role in promoting Tagore’s works and Bengali culture, music and literature not only within Bangladesh, but all across the world.
  • It has built a close bridge of understanding and cultural exchange between Bangladesh and India, especially West Bengal.
  • Chhayanaut was part of the movement for an independent Bangladesh and provided a platform for cultural expression and assertion of Bengali identity.

Sh. Ram Vanji Sutar

  • He is one of the greatest living sculptors of India.
  • He has created more than fifty monumental sculptures in the last forty years of his career.
  • At the beginning of his career, he was involved in restoring several ancient sculptures found in the caves of Ellora and Ajanta.
  • His first notable work was the 45 feet Chambal monument at the Gandhi Sagar Dam, in Madhya Pradesh.

Connect to the award

  • The annual award was instituted by the Government of India during the commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
  • The first Tagore Award was conferred on Pt. Ravi Shankar, the Indian Sitar Maestro in 2012 and second was conferred on Shri Zubin Mehta in 2013.
  • The award carries an amount of Rs. 1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/ handloom item.
  • The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.

Human Resource Development

Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)


  • The Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the web portal of the Scheme “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)

Connect to SPARC

  • This scheme aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world.
  • Under this Scheme, 600 joint research proposals will be awarded for 2 years to facilitate strong research collaboration between Indian research groups with the best in class faculty and renowned research groups in the leading universities of the world, in areas that are at the cutting edge of science or with direct social relevance to the mankind, specifically India.
  • The government has sanctioned the scheme “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)” at a total cost of Rs.418 Cr for implementation up to 31.3.2020 and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is the National Coordinating Institute to implement the SPARC programme.

Connect to the Features of SPARC

  • This scheme will improve research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions [overall top-100 or category-wise top-100 in NIRF ( including such Private Institutions )and the best institutions in the world (top-500 overall and top-200 subject-wise institutions listed in QS World University Ranking) from 28 selected nations
  • To jointly solve problems of national and international relevance. As per the criteria mentioned above, 254 top Indian Institutes and 478 top ranked global Institutes have been already identified.
  • A set of 5 Thrust Areas (Fundamental Research, Emergent Areas of Impact, Convergence, Action-Oriented Research and Innovation-Driven) and sub-theme areas in each thrust area has been identified for collaboration under SPARC based on emergent relevance and importance for the nation.

Impactful Policy Research in Social Science’ (IMPRESS)

  • The Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the web portal of the Scheme “Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS)”

Connect to the Scheme

  • 1500 research projects will be awarded for 2 years to support the social science research in the higher educational institutions and to enable research to guide policy making.
  • The research carried out under IMPRESS scheme will be used to understand and solve problems facing the society.
  • The ministry had sanctioned the scheme “Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS)” at a total cost of Rs.414 Cr for implementation up to 31.3.2021 and Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR) will be the project implementing agency.


India wins Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management Award, 2018


  • The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions


  • DARPG is an institutional member of Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) which is a non-profit association representing an international network of over 1100 senior public servants, Heads of Government, leading academics and researchers located in over 50 different countries across the Commonwealth.
  • The association is guided by international leaders who believe in the value of networking, knowledge exchange and the promotion of good governance for the betterment of citizens in the Commonwealth countries.
  • CAPAM has been announcing its International Innovations Awards (IIA) Programme bi-annually, since 1998.

Connect to the Award

  • The CAPAM Awards celebrate the spirit of innovation in the public service by recognizing organizations that have made significant contributions to improve governance and services in the public sector.

Unnayan Banka

  • The initiative entitled “Unnayan Banka- Reinventing Education Using Technology of Banka District, State of Bihar has been awarded under the Category “Innovation Incubation”.
  • “Unnayan Banka” is an initiative which envisages “Quality education for all’ especially for those at the bottom of the Pyramid, using latest technologies.
  • It’s a holistic model of overall development of youths from Education to Employability.
  • One of the most important Millennium Development Goals, “Education” is the great social Mobiliser & must be everyone’s Birthright and it is Government of India’s endeavour to provide this to all its children.

Unified Agriculture Markets

  • Another initiative entitled “Unified Agriculture Markets” of Co-operation Department of Government of Karnataka has also been selected under the Category ‘Innovation in Public Service Management’.
  • This initiative has also been awarded the overall Gold Award for CAPAM Awards, 2018.




  • BIOFACH INDIA is the world’s largest event on organic industry organized by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Indo-German of Commerce .

Connect to the event

  • India ranks first in terms of total number of organic producers and 9th in terms of worlds organic agricultural land.
  • Buyers from 15 countries are participating in the3-day event being held from 25th to 27th October 2018 in New Delhi.
  • This event showcases products like organic aqua culture, cashew, coconuts, tea and cocoa and oil seeds. Buyers-Sellers meet and an international conference are also being held alongside the main event

Statics of Organic production

  • The Government of India has implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) which is organised by the European Commission and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Due to these certifications India’s organic products are accepted by importing countries.
  • India’s organic products are exported to USA, EU, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan.

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , live mint