Pig painting may be world’s oldest cave art: archaeologists
Mains: G.S. I Society and Culture
Why in news?
The Painting on an Indonesian island is thought to be at least 45,500 years old.
- A photo provided by Maxime Aubert shows a cave painting depicting a wild pig in a cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
- The painting dates back at least 45,500 years, according to a study published in Science Advances, and may be the oldest figurative art ever glimpsed by modern eyes.
- It was discovered deep inside a cave called Leang Tedongnge.
- The animal in the painting resembles the warty pig, a species still living today on the island of Sulawesi where the cave is.
- Sulawesi was already considered by some experts to be the site of the earliest known representational cave art in the world.
Indian Army Day
Mains: G.S. III Various security forces and agencies and their mandate
Why in news?
Army Day is celebrated every year on 15th January in India to commemorate the jawans and the Indian Army.
- The Army Day celebrations began in 1949.
- Army Day is celebrated to mark Lt Gen K M Carriappa taking over as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army in 1949 from General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India.
- The Indian Army was established on April 1, 1895. It’s motto is “Service before self.
Trivia facts about Indian Army:
- The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces.
- The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army and its professional head is the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four-star general.
- The primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity, to defend the nation from external aggression and internal threats, and to maintain peace and security within its borders.
- It is the largest standing army in the world, with 1,237,117 active troops and 960,000 reserve troops.
- The army has embarked on an infantry modernisation program known as Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS), and is also upgrading and acquiring new assets for its armoured, artillery, and aviation branches.
- India controls the highest battlefield in the world, the Siachen glacier, at 5000 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSL).
- Indian soldiers are considered among the very best in high altitude and mountain warfare.
- Unlike other government organisations and institutions in India, there are no provisions for reservations based on caste or religion.
The Indian Army is counted among the top five powerful armies in the world. It ranks fourth after the US, Russia and China in terms of military power.
Jallikattu: Pride & Politics
Mains: G.S. I Indian Society and Culture
Why in news?
With Assembly polls round the corner in Tamil Nadu, the Pongal festival and Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport, have caught the attention of the BJP and Congress.
- The bull-taming sport is popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts — known as the Jallikattu belt.
- Jallikattu is celebrated in the second week of January, during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal.
- Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls.
- At a time when cattle breeding is often an artificial process, conservationists and peasants argue that Jallikattu is a way to protect these male animals which are otherwise used only for meat if not for ploughing.
- Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Barugur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu. The owners of these premium breeds command respect locally.
- Jallikattu is an old tradition. An ancient reference to bull taming is found in a seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, which is dated between 2,500 BC and 1,800 BC.
- Jallikattu first came under legal scrutiny in 2007 when the Animal Welfare Board of India and the animal rights group PETA moved petitions in the Supreme Court against Jallikattu as well as bullock cart races.
- Like Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka has Kambala.
- Rahul Gandhi said at Madurai on Thursday that he had witnessed Jallikattu and that it was safer for both bulls and bull tamers. He also charged BJP with making efforts to suppress Tamil culture and language.
World’s largest vaccination programme begins today
Mains: G.S. II Governance and Social justice, Health issues
Why in news?
Stage is set for roll out of world’s biggest vaccination drive against COVID on Saturday.Key details
- Oxford Covid vaccine Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and indigenously developed Covaxin by the Bharat Biotech will be administered to priority groups in the first phase.
- The coronavirus vaccination drive has been planned in a phased manner, identifying priority groups. Health care workers, both in government and private sectors including ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase starting today.
- As per the union health ministry’s guidelines, pregnant and lactating women should not be inoculated and the coronavirus vaccination is indicated only for 18 years and above.
- The persons injected with Covishield may have some mild Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFIs) like tenderness at the injection site, injection site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills, arthralgia and nausea.
- COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network’ application, widely called as CoWIN app, an online digital platform developed by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, will be used to manage and scale up the massive vaccination drive. It will facilitate real time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine.
- An estimated 10 million health workers will be vaccinated in the first round, followed by policemen, soldiers, municipal and other front-line workers.
- Next in line will be people aged over 50 and anyone under 50 with serious underlying health conditions. India’s electoral rolls, which contain details of some 900 million voters, will be used to identify eligible recipients.
- The government plans to vaccinate 300 million people by early August. This will happen in state-run health care centres, schools, colleges.
After U.S., Russia pulls out of Open Skies Treaty
Mains: G.S. II International Relations
Why in news?
Russia said Friday it will withdraw from an international treaty allowing observation flights over military facilities following the U.S. exit from the pact.Key details
- Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty last year significantly upended the balance of interests of signatory states.
- The treaty was intended to build trust between Russia and the West by allowing the accord’s more than three dozen signatories to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other’s territories to collect information about military forces and activities.
- S. President Donald Trump declared Washington’s intention to pull out of the Open Skies Treaty in May, arguing that Russian violations made it untenable for the United States to remain a party.
- Russia denied breaching the treaty, which came into force in 2002. The European Union has urged the U.S. to reconsider and called on Russia to stay in the pact.
- Russia’s looming exit presents another pressing arms-control challenge for the incoming Biden administration, which already has the soon-to-expire New START nuclear treaty to address with Russia.