20/11/2019 : Prelims Sure Shot
- The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of Lord Buddha.
- It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient, but much rebuilt and restored Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
- The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C., and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th century.
- It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period.
Parliament passes Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- Parliament passed Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after it was approved by Rajya Sabha.
- The Bill seeks to amend Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 to change provisions related to composition of Trustees of memorial and termination of trustee.
- It was earlier passed in Lok Sabha in August 2019.
Features of Bill
- It seeks to make trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial apolitical by removing the clause pertaining to the President of Congress Party as a permanent member of the trust.
- It also amends provision related to include Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People (Lok Sabha) or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House as a member of the trust.
- It also amends provisions related to termination of nominated trustee to allow his/her termination before the expiry of the period of five years by the Central Government, without assigning any reason.
Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951
It was enacted by Parliament to provide for the erection and management of National Memoraial to prepetuate memory of those killed or wounded on the 13th day of April, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. It provides for Trust for erection and management of the Memorial and also provided for composition of the Trust with certain Trustees for life.
International Energy Agency releases World Energy Outlook, 2019
- The Paris based International Energy Agency recently released its report on World Energy Outlook. The Agency has projected that the installed solar power in the world will increase by 3,142 GW by 2040. According to the report, the currently the world uses 495 GW of installed solar power.
Highlights of the report
- Oil demand will slow down after 2025 and the world will transit towards electric vehicles. However, the oil demand for the next decade will keep increasing with 85% of increase coming from the US. In African states, the gas and renewable sources will power the future energy. However, the demand for coal in these countries are still raising
- The report says that at present the energy demand in the world is growing at the rate of 2% per year.
- There are three climate scenarios projected by the report for the future. It includes the Current Policy Scenario, Stated Policy Scenario and Sustainable Development Scenario.
- According to Current Policy Scenario, the world will continue to function with the old regulations with energy demand rising at the rate of 1.3% by 2040. The Stated Policy Scenario is New Policy Scenario. Under this the report says that with the new policies that have been introduced by the governments, the energy demand will increase by 1% per year.
- The Sustainable Policy Scenario is the most ambitious of all the scenarios. Under this, the report says that by aligning with Paris Agreement the global temperature will reduce by 1.5 degree Celsius.
- IEA is an inter-governmental organization of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). the World Economic Outlook is the flagship publication of the agency.
Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for 2019: David Attenborough
- Renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough will be conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for the year 2019.
- He was selected for the 2019 prize by an international jury chaired by former President Pranab Mukherjee.
- He is being awarded the prize for a lifetime of doing more to reveal wonders of natural world to people than perhaps any other individual.
About Indira Gandhi Peace Prize
- It is annual prestigious award named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi. It is conferred every year by Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust since 1986 and consists of and a citation and a monetary award of Rs.25 lakh.
- The award recognizes creative efforts by individuals/organizations working towards creating new international economic order, promoting international peace & development as well as ensuring that scientific discoveries are used for larger good of humanity and enlarging the scope of freedom.
Earlier Recipients: First recipient: Parliamentarians for Global Action (1986); Others– UNICEF (1989), Rajiv Gandhi (1991), M S Swaminathan (1999), Kofi Annan (2003), Angel Merkel (2013), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) (2014) and UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHRC) (2015), Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2017) and Centre for Science and Environment (2018).
Haryana Government sets up new Foreign Cooperation Department
- The Haryana Government has created a new department called Department of Foreign Cooperation.
- The aim of the department is to focus on initiatives that are taken by the state that promotes welfare of non-Resident Indians, investment and youth employment.
- The Foreign Cooperation Department will work to formulate country-wise strategies that will promote employment and investment in the state
- The Department will work closely with the ministry of External Affairs to improve the international cooperation with the foreign provinces.
- The Department will also help to increase engagement under twin city programmes of the Ministry of External Affairs
- The Department will pursue issues that involves cooperation between public and private sectors.
- The main aim of the Department will be to work with bilateral and multilateral groups to promote the interest of the state in foreign countries.
- It will focus on trade and investments predominantly
- The Department will also maintain relations with Indian mission that are working abroad in matters that are related to the state of Haryana.
DRDO to double ASTRA’s range
- The DRDO Chief, Mr G Sateesh Reddy recently announced that DRDO (Defence Research Development Organization) is to increase the range of ASTRA air-to-air missiles.
- India is one of the few countries to own a successful BMD-Ballistic Missile Defence programme.
- Astra (Sanskrit word for weapon) is an all-weather air-to-air missile developed completely by DRDO. Currently, ASTRA is capable of engaging targets upto a distance of 110 km.
- The ASTRA missiles are integrated with Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircrafts of India.
- Now, DRDO plans to increase the range of the missile to 160 km. Apart from this, it is also planning to infuse technologies like solid fuel ramjet and dual pulse solid rocket motor.
- There are also plans to integrate the missiles with other aircrafts like Dassault, MiG-29, HAL Tejas.
Ballistic Missile Defence Programme
- The BMD is an initiative to develop multi-layered defence systems to protect India from missile attacks.
- The programme was introduced in the light of threats from China and Pakistan.
- Prithvi and Ashwin are the two most successful BMD missiles developed under the programme.