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Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts for Prelims (8th February 2019)

  • 08 Feb 2019
  • 6 min read

Statue of Guru Padmasambhava

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled a 19-foot-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, at Jirang in Gajapati district, Odisha.
  • This 29 tonne stone statue is placed in the middle of ‘Padma Sarovar’, a large tank near Padmasambhava Mahavihara, the largest Buddhist monastery in eastern India.
  • The Dalai Lama had inaugurated Padmasambhava Mahavihara monastery in 2010. Tibetan refugees settled in this region over six decades ago.
  • Historians claim that Guru Padmasambhava, also known as second Buddha, was born and brought up in Odisha before he left for Tibet.
  • The statue of Guru Padmasambhava has been sculpted by noted sculptor Padmashri Prabhakar Moharana.

Rail tunnel for Vizhinjam port connectivity

  • A 10.7-km railway line, including a 9.02-km tunnel, has been proposed to connect Balaramapuram station on the Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram railway line to the upcoming Vizhinjam International Multipurpose Deepwater Seaport.
  • It will be the second longest railway tunnel of the country on completion after the Pir Panjal Tunnel which is in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The development of the Balaramapuram railway station is being explored as part of the rail link to the seaport.

Ladakh’s Dard Aryan Tribes

  • Dard Aryan tribe of Ladakh has requested the central government to intervene to protect their culture and legacy.
  • The ‘Dard’ is derived from a Sanskrit word, ‘Daradas’, which refers to people who live on hillsides.
  • Dard Aryan — believed to be the original descendants of ‘pure Aryan race’ — tribe is known for its liberal customs and ornate costumes. Many researchers believe that the ‘Aryans of Ladakh’ or the ‘Brokpas’ were a part of Alexander’s army and had come to the region over 2,000 years ago.
  • They live in the villages of Dha and Hanu (commonly called as Dhahanu), Darchik, and Gahanu - situated 163km southwest of Leh, the administrative capital of Ladakh.
  • The rich heritage of the Dard Aryans is under threat due to rapid modernization, migration and religious conversion.

MarCo Cubesat

  • NASA has lost contact with its two mini-satellites Mars Cube One (MarCO) named as MarCo-A and MarCo-B.
  • MarCo CubeSats were launched along with InSights Mission to serve as communication relays during its Mars landing.
  • After InSight’s landing, these spacecraft were launched further on their own trajectories to test if such low-cost technology can operate in deep space.
  • CubeSats are a class of spacecraft based on a standardized small size and modular use of off-the-shelf technologies.
  • All previous CubeSats have orbited the Earth. MarCO was the first attempt to orbit another planet.

Lunar Lander Beresheet

  • An Israeli nonprofit group is aiming to lead the first privately funded mission to land a probe on the moon.
  • The lunar lander named as Beresheet (Hebrew word: “Genesis”) will be launched by the group SpaceIL in support with Israel Aerospace Industries.
  • It will carry instrumentation to measure the magnetic field of the moon, a laser-reflector provided by NASA and a time-capsule of cultural and historical Israeli artifacts.

Ujjwala Utsav

  • The oil industry has observed Ujjwala Utsav celebrate the role played by all stakeholders – District Nodal Officers, Policymakers, Distributors, and beneficiaries – in making Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) a success.
  • The event was organized under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • PMUY anthem – Ujjwala Bharat Ujjwala- was also launched during the event.

Atal Bhujal Yojana

  • Recently, the World Bank has approved Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Central Sector, Rs.6000 Crore scheme, for sustainable management of groundwater with community participation.
  • The funding pattern is 50:50 between Government of India and the World Bank.
  • The identified over-exploited (OE) and water-stressed areas for the implementation of the scheme fall in the States of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • ABHY envisages active participation of the communities in various activities such as the formation of ‘Water User Associations’, monitoring and disseminating ground water data, water budgeting, preparation & implementation of Gram-panchayat-wise water security plans and IEC activities related to sustainable groundwater management.
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