Important Facts for Prelims (20th July, 2018)
- 20 Jul 2018
- 5 min read
Dhole: Asiatic Wild Dog
A team of scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) track down a pack of 14
- The dhole (also known as the Asiatic Wild Dog, Indian Wild Dog and the Red Dog) is an endangered category(EN).
- Relatively high populations of Dholes are found in the Western Ghats and central Indian forests, due to high prey numbers and extent of protected forests, whereas lower numbers of Dholes are found in the Eastern Ghats, northeastern states, Terai region in northern India, Sikkim, Ladakh etc.
- Populations are declining in most areas due to several main threats which include depletion of prey base, habitat loss, persecution due to livestock predation, disease transmission from domestic dogs, and possibly interspecific competition.
- Scientists do not know a lot of aspects of their ecology, which makes conserving dholes far more difficult than tigers.
Jaintia Tribesmen Festival: Behdienkhlam
- Behdienkhlam is a traditional festival of the Pnars celebrated after sowing is done seeking a good harvest and to drive away plague and diseases.
- It is the most important festival in the socio-economic life of the Jaintias and it is celebrated in the month of June-July.
- The Khasis inhabit the eastern part of Meghalaya, in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. Khasis residing in Jaintia hills are known as Jaintias. They are also called Pnars.
New Rs. 100 Note
- The latest variant features Gujarat's 'Rani Ki Vav' (queen's stepwell) along with the Swachh Bharat logo and slogan on its reverse. Gandhiji's placement remains the same.
- In 2014, UNESCO had recognised Gujarat's 'Rani ki Vav', the 11th-century wonder in Patan, Gujarat as a World Heritage Site.
What is Rani ki Vav?
- A vav is a stepwell.
- The Stepwells are a distinctive form of existing water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent and have been constructed since the 3rd millennium BC.
- Rani ki Vav, on the banks of the Saraswati River, was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD.
- Rani ki Vav was built by Rani Udayamati as a memorial to her husband, the 11th century-king Bhima I of the Chaulukya or Solanki dynasty, who ruled parts of present-day Gujarat.
- As per UNESCO, Rani Ki Vav displays the "height of craftsmen's ability in stepwell construction".
- The vav is designed to appear like an inverted temple, signifying the sanctity of water.
- It was believed that bathing in the waters of the vav could cure people of many ailments. This "magical" quality of the vav's water was apparently due to the herbs found in and around the complex.
- It is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works.
Delhi Dialogue X
- India hosted the 10th edition of the Delhi Dialogue (DD X) in New Delhi.
- The Delhi Dialogue is a premier annual track 1.5 event to discuss politico-security, the economic and socio-cultural engagement between India and ASEAN.
- The theme of DD X is "Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation”.
- The Delhi Dialogue is being organized by the MEA in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)
Exercise Pitch Black
- Exercise Pitch Black is a biennial three-week multinational large force employment exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
- The Indian Air Force is all set to participate for the first time ever in Exercise Pitch Black 2018 (PB-18).
- Exercise Pitch Black ensures that the "training and integration of forces that occur during this exercise directly supports Air Force's ability to conduct operations.