Important Facts for Prelims (July 13, 2018)
- In the State of Odisha, ‘Bengei Nacha’ or ‘frog dance’ is a traditionally performed ritual to appease the rain gods.
- As per belief, the croaking sounds made by frogs during the ritual would alert rain god ‘Indra Devata’ to the lack of precipitation in a village.
- Amid much fanfare, villagers catch a frog and put it inside a pitcher partly filled with water which is carried by two people at the head of a procession.
- Monsoon rains are vital for Indian agriculture, which is a major source of employment in the country.
- Rituals devoted to rain gods vary from State to State depending upon local customs and traditions.
Scientists Perform First Color X-ray on a Human
- Scientists from New Zealand performed the first ever 3D color X-Ray on a human being using a technique that could improve the field of medical diagnostics.
- The new device, named Medipix, is based on the traditional black-and-white X-Ray but has incorporated a particle-tracking technology developed by CERN for its Large Hadron Collider.
- The color X-ray imaging technique could produce clearer and more accurate pictures and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses.
Buddha of Swat
- The Buddha seated in a meditative posture is an iconic 7th-century sculpture and is considered one of the largest rock sculptures in South Asia.
- The Buddha sits in Jehanabad, the epicenter of Swat's Buddhist heritage, a beautiful valley in the foothills of the Himalayas.
- The holy figure, depicted in a lotus position at the base of a granite cliff in northern Pakistan, was severely damaged by Islamists insurgents.
- Swat was for centuries a pilgrimage site for the Buddhist faithful, especially from the Himalayas.
- The Vajrayana school even consider it a "holy land", from where their faith originated.
- They continued to visit right up until the 20th century when borders hardened with the independence of British India and creation of Pakistan in 1947.