1. National Pharmacy Week

The issue in news

The 59th National Pharmacy Week (NPW) observed.

About National Pharmacy Week:

  • The Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) organises NPW during the third week of November every year to make all stakeholders aware of the presence of pharmacists in society and to know the role played by registered pharmacists with respect to medicines, their usage, handling and dispensing.
  • The theme of the 2020 celebration is “Pharmacists: Frontline Health Professionals”.

 

  1. SIMBEX-20

The issue in news

Indian Navy to host Exercise SIMBEX-20 in the Andaman Sea.

Main points

  • The 27th edition of SIMBEX, India – Singapore Bilateral Maritime Exercise is scheduled to be held in November 2020 (23rd – 25th) in the Andaman Sea.
  • The annual bilateral exercise, started in 1994, is aimed at enhancing mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices from each other.
  • The 2020 edition of SIMBEX will witness participation by Indian Navy ships including destroyer Rana with integral Chetak helicopter and indigenously built corvettes Kamorta and Karmuk.
  • In addition, IN submarine Sindhuraj and P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

 

  1. SITMEX-20

The issue in news

Trilateral maritime exercise SITMEX being conducted in the Andaman Sea.

Main points

  • SITMEX is a trilateral maritime exercise between the navies of India, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Commenced in 2019, the first exercise was hosted by India.
  • The 2020 exercise is being hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
  • Besides improving inter-operability between the friendly navies, SITMEX series of exercise also aims to strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.

 

  1. Laxmi Devi Temple: Hoysala

The issue in news

A damaged Hoysala-era idol of Goddess Kali of the Lakshmi Devi Temple was recently found at Doddagaddavalli, Karnataka

Main points

Lakshmi Devi Temple:

  • Lakshmi Devi temple was built by the Hoysalas in the year 1114 CE during the rule of king
  • The building is made of Chloritic schist ( also known as soapstone). The temple does not stand on a jagati (platform), a feature which became popular in later Hoysala temples.
  • The temple is a chatuskuta construction (4 shrine and tower). The towers are in Kadamba nagara The mantapa is open and square. The reason for the square plan is the presence of shrines on all four sides of the mantapa.

 

Hoysala Temple Architecture:

Noticeable features of Hoysala art

 

  • Makartorana: It leads to the mantapa of the temples.
  • Mantapa: Hoysala temples have features of both open (outer mantapa) and closed mantapa (innner mantapa).
  • Pillars: The mantapas of Hoysala temples have circular pillars. Each pillar bear four brackets in the top with sculpted figures.
  • Cella (vimana): The characteristic feature of vimana in Hoysala temples is that they are plain inside while outside is profusely elaborated.
  • Development of kalasa: The Hoysala temples bear a very nice vase shaped water pot that stands on the top most portion of the temple tower.
  • Salabhanjika:  The origin of this mythical woman figure trace back its orgin from the Buddhist sculpture. Salabhanjika or madanika is a mythical women figure with stylized feminine characters who stands near a tree or grasping a branch of a tree.
  • Shrine: The Hoysala temples generally bears one or more shrines. The temples are classified as ekakuta (one shrine), dvikuta (two shrines) etc relating to the number of shrines.
  • Sometimes, they are portrayed engaging in artistic activities like music, dance etc..
  • Kirtimukh: The figure of kirtimukhh ornates the vimana of some Hoysala temples.
  • Mythical presentation:  The pictures from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas are very vigorously decorated in the walls of the Hoysala temples. At the entrance of the makartorana, various scenes are depicted from the Hindu mythology in sequential manner in clockwise direction.
  • Erotica: In some temples of Hoysala dynasty erotic sculptures are seen swayed by sakta tradition prevailing that time.
  • Artistic plan: The shrine of the Hoysala temples are generally seen in stellate shaped though sometimes staggered square plan is visible.
  • General decoration: Besides mythical presentation, the walls of Hoysala temples are decorated with live panels of musicians, dancers, animals etc.

5 . India-China on Brahmaputra

The issue in news

The construction of several dams along the Brahmaputra river on the Chinese side has become a repeated cause of concern for India.

Main points

Brahmaputra (known as Yarlung in China):

  • It originates near the Mansarovar lake from Chemayungdung glacier of the Kailash range under the name of Siang or Dihang, from the
  • It enters India west of Sadiya town in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Tributaries: Dibang, Lohit, Siang, Burhi Dihing, Tista, and Dhansari.
  • It is a perennial river and is flooded twice annually (by melting of the Himalayan snow in summer and the monsoon flows).

 

Concerns Raised:

Degradation of the Basin:

  • Silt carried by the river gets blocked by dams leading to a fall in the quality of soil and reduction in agricultural productivity.

Threats to Flora and Fauna:

  • Brahmaputra basin is one of the world’s most ecologically sensitive zones and is identified as one of the world’s 34 biological hotspots.
  • It also has several species of flora and fauna which are endemic to only this part of the world.
  • The river itself is home to the Gangetic river dolphin.

Unfavourable Location:

  • The location of the dams also poses a risk as the Himalayas are one of the most vulnerable to earthquakes and seismic activity.
  • Landslides resulting from earthquakes pose a significant threat. For example, the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the resultant landslides wiped out several dams and other facilities.

Risk to Inhabitants:

  • Making dams on this river would result in water security in an era of unprecedented shifting climate patterns.

Strategic Implications:

  • There is the potential to significantly change the flow rate during times of standoffs and high tensions.
  • During the 2018 Doklam border standoff between India and China, China stopped communication of water flow levels from its dams, effectively rendering India blind to floods during the standoff.

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