Andhra Pradesh’s Second Largest Petroglyph Site

Andhra Pradesh’s second largest petroglyph site, containing about 80 petroglyphs, has been discovered at Mekala Benchi in Kurnool district.

  • Kandanathi, with 200 petroglyphs, the biggest petroglyph site in Andhra Pradesh is also in Kurnool district.
  • Petroglyphs are rock carvings (rock paintings are called pictographs) made by pricking directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammerstone.
    • These Petroglyphs mostly have images of bulls or bull-riding, in addition to human figures, an elephant, tiger-like animals and cupules.
    • While Mekala Benchi has petroglyphs dating back from the Neolithic to the Megalithic period, Kandanathi carvings range from the prehistoric to the historic period.
    • The petroglyphs at Kandanathi reveal the presence of the Boya community divided into many exogamous groups such as Mandla (herdsmen) and Yenubothula (buffalomen).

Stone Ages

Palaeolithic (Old Stone) Age

  • Basically a hunting and food gathering culture.
  • Palaeolithic tools include sharpened stone, chopper, hand axe, scraper, spear, bow and arrow, etc. and were generally made up of hard rock quartzite.
  • Rock paintings and carvings found at Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh reflect upon hunting as the main subsistence activity.
  • Palaeolithic age in India is divided into three phases: Early or Lower Palaeolithic (50,0000 – 100,000 BC), Middle Palaeolithic(100,000 – 40,000 BC) and Upper Palaeolithic (40,000 – 10,000 BC).
  • Homo sapiens mark their presence in upper palaeolithic age.

Mesolithic (Middle Stone) Age

  • The age is marked by transition from Pleistocene period to Holocene period and favorable changes in the climate.
  • The early period of Mesolithic age marks the hunting, fishing and food gathering.
  • Domestication of the animals began in this age.
  • The tools called Microliths were smaller and had improved geometry than the Palaeolithic age.

Neolithic (New Stone) Age

  • Referred to as the concluding phase of the Stone Age, the age heralded the beginning of food production.
  • Sedentism (living in one place for a long time) use of pottery, and invention of crafts are characteristics feature of neolithic age.
  • The neolithic tools composed of heavy ground tools like pestles, grinders, pounders and also axes and sickles.

Megalithic culture

  • Megaliths refer to large stone structures that were constructed either as burial sites or as commemorative sites.
  • In India, archaeologists trace the majority of the megaliths to the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC), though some sites precede the Iron Age, extending up to 2000 BC.
  • Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent. Majority of them are found in peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Survey of Child Care Institutions

Recently, Ministry of Women and Child Development released a report, Mapping of Child Care Institutions under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

  • The report consists of findings of the survey conducted by Childline India Foundation and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) of 9,589 shelters homes/child care institutions.
  • The study of the Mapping Exercise of the Child Care Institutions(CCIs)/Homes throws light on a critical component of the Juvenile Justice System i.e. functioning of CCIs/Homes across the country, in the context of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act).

Findings of the survey

  • Profile of CCIs/Homes
    • The nationwide figure reflects that among the total Homes surveyed (9589 Homes), there are mostly Children Homes and rest are Shelter Homes, Specialised Adoption Agency, Observation Homes, Special Homes, Swadhar Homes, Ujjawala, Place of Safety and Combination Homes nationwide.
    • Out of a total number of CCIs/Homes studied, 91% of the total CCIs/Homes, are run and managed by Non-Government Organisations, whereas, only 9% are Government supported Homes.
  • Profile of Children in CCIs/Homes
    • The different categories of children residing in the CCIs/Homes included Children who are Orphan, Abandoned, Surrendered, Sexually Abused, Victim of Child Pornography, Trafficked for domestic work, Trafficked for labour/Rescued from Labour, Trafficked for Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Victims of Child Marriage, Children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, Children affected by natural disasters as well as manmade disasters and conflict, and Homeless, Runaway/ Missing, Mentally and Physically Challenged Children.
  • Standard of Child Care Facilities
    • An analysis was done regarding the facilities for children like individual bedding, proper nutrition and diet, toys, hygiene and maintenance of the CCI/Homes, sufficient water, health check-ups, educational facilities based on the age and special needs of the child.
    • It was found that these were not being adequately and satisfactorily addressed in many CCIs/Homes resulting in a failure to provide even the basic services to the children residing there.
  • Lack of Grievance Redressal Mechanism
    • The absence of various mechanisms for grievance redressal including management and children committees, thereby limiting and/or eliminating options available for children to express their views and concerns to the appropriate authorities.
  • Human Resource
    • With respect to the adequacy of staff, as per the norm, the highest percentage of CCIs/ Homes following the norms was found in Delhi and lowest in Sikkim.
    • There is also a shortage of adequate staff both as per the norm and as per sanction across all the CCIs/Homes in India.
  • Physical Infrastructure
    • There is lack of security measures, such as a boundary wall, fencing, and a strong structure to ensure the safety of children and staff within the premises of many CCIs/Homes, including privacy in toilets and bathing areas.
    • In some CCIs/Homes, bathrooms are not available for children exclusively.
  • Adherence to Juvenile Justice (Act and Rules) Procedure
    • CCIs/Homes of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh had the lowest performance with respect adherence to JJ Act.
  • Financial Transparency
    • Serious limitations were found with respect to financial transparency.
    • Many CCIs/Homes do not have the necessary system for maintaining documenting financial records in place.


  • Representation: There must be an adequate representation of the different categories of CCIs/ Homes under the ambit of the JJ Act.
  • Registration: Registration must be made compulsory for all CCIs/Homes to register under the JJ Act.
    • Record Keeping and Documentation must be carried out as a matter of practice in all Homes/CCIs/Agencies.
  • Child Protection Policy: This must be adopted in every CCI/Home, must be explained to and signed by each and every staff, management or adult dealing in any capacity with the CCI.
    • State Government can enlist the help of child rights organizations and activists/lawyers to frame such policies and hand them over to the concerned officials in the CCIs.
    • Thorough screening and background check of all persons concerned with the CCI/Homes must be carried out.
  • Human Resources: The staff in the CCIs/Homes need to be properly trained to sensitively and efficiently deal with children and their issues, needs, problems, concerns, and safety. ]
  • Regular Monitoring and Action Taken Reports: Regular inspections by the relevant authorities and appropriate action must be taken against CCIs/Homes not following norms.
    • Intervention by the respective governments with the help of external agencies must be carried out to regularize finances to bring about transparency in the system.

Important Facts for Prelims (5th January 2019)

106th Indian Science Congress

  • The 106th edition of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) was inaugurated at Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Phagwara, Jalandhar Punjab.
  • The theme for ISC-2019 is 'Future India - Science and Technology'.
  • In his inaugural speech, the Prime Minister added ‘Jai Anusandhan’ to former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's famous slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan and Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Jai Vigyan to give a new slogan- Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan.
  • A time capsule containing 100 items representing India’s scientific prowess and the range of technology available in the modern world was lowered down to the ground to preserve a glimpse of present day India for future generations.
  • The previous (2018), i.e. 105th edition was held in Imphal (Manipur University).

Indian Science Congress (ISC)

  • The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) owes its origin to the foresight and initiative of two British Chemists, namely, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P.S. MacMahon.
  • The first meeting of the Congress was held from January 15-17, 1914 at the premises of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta.

Renewables 2018 Global Status Report

  • Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) has released the Renewables 2018 Global Status Report.
  • As of 2016, renewable energy accounted for an estimated 18.2% of global total final energy consumption, with modern renewables representing 10.4%.
  • India ranked fifth in renewable power (including hydropower) and fourth (not including hydropower) as of end 2017.
  • According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, a total of around 73.35 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed in the country as on October 2018.
  • This includes around 35 GW from Wind, 24 GW from solar, 4.5 GW from Small Hydro Power and 9.5 GW from Bio-power.