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PRELIMS FACTS 14-06-2018

FACT # 1

Nikkei Asia Prize


Why in news? Indian social worker, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, was honoured with this year’s prestigious “Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community”.

Nikkei Asia Prize:

  • The Nikkei Asia Prizewas launched in 1996 and the program honors people and organisations in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas:
    • Regional growth:
    • The category for regional growth (Economic and Business Innovation) is designed to recognize business and economic initiatives that improve living standards and stability in their regions.
    • This could be entrepreneurs who have successfully developed industries and businesses due to innovation.
    • Science, technology and innovation: The category for science, technology and environment was established to recognize scientific researches and technological innovations in various fields.
    • Culture: The category for Culture is designed to recognize people who have made a difference in their countries and Asia through cultural, artistic or educational activities.
  • The awards were created and presented by Nikkei Inc, one of the largest media corporations in Japan.
  • Former Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh and Infosys Chairman Narayan Murthy are among few Indians who have won this award in the past.

Nikkei Asia Prize 2018 winners:

  • Indian, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was presented the award under the category ‘culture and community’.
  • Dr Pathak invented the two-pit pour-flush ecological compost toilets that has helped provide low-cost environment friendly toilets to millions of people in the developing world.
  • He had founded Sulabh International in 1970.
  • It is an NGO that works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation among other social services.
  • It has also ensured the safety of rural women and freedom from manual labour of removing human waste.
  • The other two winners of the award are:
    • Ma Jun (Economic and Business Innovation): a Chinese environmentalist for using the power of the internet to promote cleaner industry
    • Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem (Science and Technology): a Vietnamese doctor for bringing cutting-edge medicine for children.

FACT # 2

Dam Safety Bill, 2018

Why in news? The Union Cabinet has recently approved a proposal for enacting the Dam Safety Bill 2018.


Dam Safety Bill, 2018:

  • A legislation on dam safety which will empower authorities to take regulatory action and lay down safety standards for existing and new dams in the country.
  • The proposed law lays the onus of dam safety on the dam owner and includes ‘penal provisions’.
  • It will help all states and Union Territories adopt uniform dam safety procedures.
  • It will ensure safety of dams and help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property.
  • The bill provides for mandatory surveillance, emergency action plan, comprehensive dam safety review, inspection and operation & maintenance of all dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning.
  • It also provides for setting up a national committee on dam safety which will recommend necessary regulation.
  • Also it proposes setting up a National Dam Safety Authority as a central regulatory body which will implement policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety across the country.
  • Earlier the Centre initiated the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP-I) in 2012 for strengthening dam safety and operational performance through comprehensive repair and rehabilitation work.
  • It will continue till June 2020.

FACT # 3

Warli Art


Why in news? Important article on Warli Art in the Hindu.


Warli art:

  • Warli is a tribal art form that was mostly created by the Adivasis of the Western Ghats.
  • It is one of the oldest art forms in India.
  • It originated in Maharashtra and is still practiced.
  • This tribal art form is thought to date back to the 10th century A.D. Although, the style of Warli painting was not recognised until the 1970s.
  • The Warli tribe, which does these paintings, is one of India’s largest tribes located on the outskirts of Mumbai.
  • Their culture basis itself around the concept of Mother Nature therefore, elements of nature serve as focal points for Warli paintings.
  • These artists used to use the clay walls of their huts as a canvas for their paintings.
  • The Warli artists use only a white paste made out of rice paste and water.
  • They use glue as a binder.
  • Artists use a bamboo stick which is chewed at the end to give it a paintbrush like texture.
  • In ritual Warli paintings, walls are painted only to celebrate special occasions like harvest or weddings.
  • Most of these paintings use a set of geometric shapes like circle, triangle and square.
  • This comes from the tribe’s observation of nature.
  • The circle represents the sun and the moon, while the triangle represents the mountains and pointed trees.
  • The square on the other hand is a human invention, indicating a sacred piece of land or enclosure.
  • In a ritualistic Warli painting, the central motif would be the square with a depiction of ‘Palaghata’, the mother goddess symbolising fertility.
  • This central motif would be surrounded by scenes of hunting, farming, fishing, trees and animals.
  • Festivals and dances are also common scenes found in a ritual painting.
  • Apart from ritual paintings, Warli paintings also cover day-to-day activities of the village people.
  • Most Warli paintings also depict the tarpa dance.
  • Tarpa is a trumpet like instrument played by the village men.
  • Tarpa dance then happens when women and men hold hands together and form a circle around the tarpa player
  • Since the 1970s Warli paintings have moved from clay huts and walls to paper and canvas.
  • Jivya Soma Mashe is known as the father of modern Warli painting as he transformed the art form.
  • Warli painting is now registered with a georgraphical indication under the Intellectual Property Rights Act by the tribal non-profit organization Adivasi Yuva Seva Sangh.
  • There are also efforts in progress to strengthen the sustainable economy of the Warli with social entrepreneurship.

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