03rd December 2019 : UPSC Prelims Current Affairs: Prelims Sure Shot

National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM)


The Culture Minister informed that the NMCM will compile data of artists, art forms & geo location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies.

About the National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM):

  • The NMCM was set up by the Ministry of Culture in 2017.
  • The NMCM is under the umbrella scheme of Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana.
  • The mission aims at converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map, designing a mechanism to fulfill the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation and preserving the rich cultural heritage of this country in the form of a cultural repository of artists and art forms.
  • NMCM encompasses data mapping, demography building, formalising the processes and bringing all the cultural activities under one web-based umbrella for better results.
  • The mission aims to provide support in effective utilisation of financial & intellectual resources, minimising wastage of time in talent scouting and providing an opportunity for developing cultural inventory including artistes and art forms.
  • The mission also intends to identify platforms where Kala Grams, Craft Melas, etc. may be developed for the sharing of ideas, techniques, and resource pooling for planned development and promotion of cultural tourism.
  • It will compile data of artists, art forms & geo location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies.
  • Data from art & culture academies of the Ministry of Culture has been collected and will be entered into the database after due correction.
  • The mission will also conduct talent hunt competitions from the Block to the National levels.



What are e-cigarettes?

  • An electronic cigarette (or e-cig) is a battery-powered vaporizer that mimics tobacco smoking.
  • It works by heating up nicotine liquid.
  • Nicotine juice comes in various flavors and nicotine levels.
  • e-liquid is composed of five ingredients: vegetable glycerin (a material used in all types of food and personal care products, like toothpaste) and propylene glycol (a solvent most commonly used in fog machines.) Propylene glycol is the ingredient that produces thicker clouds of vapor.
  • Electronic cigarettes do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise a solution the user then inhales.

Provisions of the bill:

  • The Bill categorizes production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertisement of e-cigarettes and similar devices as cognizable offences.
  • The bill stipulates that persons found in violation of the law for the first time will face a jail term of up to one year or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both. For subsequent offences, there would be a jail term of up to three years and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh.
  • It further punishes storage of e-cigarettes with imprisonment up to six months or a fine of up to Rs 50,000, or both. Once the Bill comes into force, the owners of existing stocks of e-cigarettes will have to declare and deposit these stocks at the nearest office of an authorized officer.

The “90-90-90” target:

  • In order to infuse energy and urgency into global efforts to combat HIV-AIDS and complement the prevention target set by the SDGs, an ambitious treatment target was also adopted through UNAIDS, the lead UN agency that coordinates the battle against HIV.
  • The “90-90-90” target stated that by 2020, 90% of those living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people on such therapy will have viral suppression.
  • The gaps in detection, initiation of drug therapy and effective viral control were to be bridged to reduce infectivity, severe morbidity and deaths from undetected and inadequately treated persons already infected with HIV, even as prevention of new infections was targeted by SDG 3.3.

Hornbill Festival (Festival of Festivals)

Why in news?

20th Edition of Hornbill Festival begins in Nagaland.

Hornbill Festival:

  • Hornbill Festival was established on 1st December 1963, but the first festival was held in 2000.
  • Hornbill Festival is celebrated in Nagaland.
  • Duration: It is annually held from 1 – 10 December.
  • Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments of the Government of Nagaland.
  • The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.
  • The festival pays tribute to Hornbill, the most admired and revered bird for the Nagas for its qualities of alertness and grandeur.
  • The Hornbill Festival provides a colorful mixture of dances, performances, crafts, parades, games, sports, food fairs and religious ceremonies.

About Great Indian Hornbill:

  • It is one of the larger members of the hornbill family, distributed along Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  • It is the state bird of Kerala and Arunachal Pradesh.

Conservation Status and Threats:

  • It is evaluated as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
  • Habitat loss and hunting are major threats.


Blue Flag Certification

Why in news?

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ Certification for select beaches in the country.  

Blue Flag Certification:

  • Blue Flag is an international award presented to well manage beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes.
  • The certification is issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
  • Blue Flag criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria.
  • The Award is given to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.
  • Awards are issued on an annual basis to FEE member countries.


Why in news?

There are certain tribal communities who have declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs):

  • These groups are among the most vulnerable section of our society as they are few in numbers, have not attained any significant level of social and economic development.
  • 75 groups have been identified and categorized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups.
  • In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • PVTGs have some basic characteristics -they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, social institutes cast in a simple mould, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc

Development of PVTGs:

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs is implementing the scheme of “Development of PVTGs” which covers these 75 PVTGs for the activities like education, housing, land distribution, agricultural development and construction of link roads, social security or any other innovative activity meant for the comprehensive socio-economic development of PVTGs.
  • Under the scheme, State Governments submits Conservation-cum-Development (CCD) Plans on the basis of their requirement.
  • 100% grants-in-aid are made available to States as per the provisions of the scheme.


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