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17 Aug, 2022

37 Min Read

Parsi New Year

GS-I : Art and Culture Festivals

Parsi New Year

The Parsi Community celebrates Paris New Year (also known as Navroz) on August 16 each year.

About Parsi New Year:

  • The Persian and Iranian New Year are known as Navroz or Nowruz, which means "new," while ruz means "day," respectively. As a result, the term literally means "a fresh day."
  • Countries with a sizable Persian cultural impact, such as Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, and areas of Central Asia, celebrate it.


  • The Persian king Jamshed is credited with developing the Persian or Shahenshahi calendar, and the holiday of Nowruz bears his name.
  • Jamshed averted a global disaster that would have killed everyone and took the guise of winter.
  • Scriptures claim that King Jamshed's reign was free from extreme heat or cold, early deaths, and unhappy living conditions for everyone.
  • It is believed that Nusservanji Kohyaji, a wealthy trader from Surat who frequently visited Iran and started celebrating Nowruz in India, brought the holiday to the country.

Nowruz celebrations in India

  • The Parsi community in India celebrates the event around August 16–17 using the Shahenshahi calendar, which does not take leap years into account. As a result, the holiday has migrated by 200 days from its original date.
  • It is listed among India's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

What is Zoroastrianism?

  • One of the earliest monotheistic religions is Zoroastrianism. About 3500 years ago, the Prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra) founded it in ancient Iran.
  • It was developed by Prophet Zarathustra in pre-Islamic Iran more than 3,500 years ago.
  • Zoroastrianism was one of the most influential faiths in the world for a thousand years. From 600 BCE until 650 CE, it served as Persia's (Iran) state religion. It is currently one of the smallest religions in the world.
  • According to Zoroastrians, there is only one God, Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), who made the world.
  • The Avesta is the name of the holy text of Zoroastrianism.

Zoroastrians can be divided approximately into two categories:

  • Iran's nationals
  • It's Parsi.

With an estimated 2.6 million Zoroastrians worldwide, the Parsis are the largest single ethnic community in India. "Parsi" is Gujarati for Persian.

One of the registered minority communities is the Zoroastrian (Parsi) community.

Also, Read - Fundamental Duties

Source: PIB

Fundamental Duties

GS-II : Indian Polity Fundamental rights

Fundamental Duties

Recently, the Chief Justice of India said fundamental duties in the Constitution are not merely to serve a "pedantic or technical" purpose.

CJI’s opinion:

  • The primary law that governs the interaction between the people and the government is our Constitution.
  • Although it has bestowed upon us unalienable rights, it also imposes upon us some fundamental duties
  • The fundamental duties were included as the path to social transformation; they are not only technical or pedantic.

Fundamental Duties

  • Incorporation of Fundamental Duties: Although there existed a Part III for Fundamental Rights when the Constitution was adopted in 1949, there were no provisions regarding Fundamental Duties to the Citizens.
  • On the advice of the Swaran Singh Committee, which the government appointed, the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1976, adding the Fundamental Duties of Citizens to it.
  • The Committee recommended that actions be made to make sure that the person did not neglect his responsibilities while exercising his fundamental rights.
  • Part IV-A of the Constitution contains the basic obligations.
  • The idea of fundamental duties was imported from the previous USSR.
  • In Article 51(A), 11 fundamental duties are listed.
  • 10 were added with the 42nd Amendment, and the 86th Amendment in 2002 added the eleventh.

Importance of fundamental duties

  • It acts as a constant reminder to citizens that, while exercising their rights, they still have obligations to their country and other citizens.
  • These operate as a deterrent to the populace against anti-social behaviour that denigrates the country, such as burning the flag, damaging public property, or upsetting public peace.
  • These aid in fostering a sense of discipline and loyalty to the country.
  • It aids the Court in deciding whether the law is constitutional.

Criticism of Fundamental Duties

  • They are rendered inherently non-justiciable.
  • Important responsibilities like paying taxes and family planning, etc., are not covered.
  • Provisions that are difficult for the average person to understand because they are vague and ambiguous.
  • Provisions that are unnecessary since they would typically be observed even if they weren't included.

Nature of Fundamental Duties

  • The traditions, mythologies, religions, and rituals of India are largely included in the fundamental obligations.
  • These were essentially the obligations that codify responsibilities essential to the Indian way of life.
  • Additionally, it used instances from "ancient India" and the Hindu text Bhagavad Gita to support the claim that "Indians have a tradition of carrying out their duties."
  • Every person should be constantly reminded of their Fundamental Duties because the Constitution specifically granted them certain Fundamental Rights.
  • Because rights and obligations are related, it also calls for citizens to adhere to some fundamental standards of democratic behaviour.
    The existence of legislative provisions for implementing parts of the Fundamental Duties was noted by the Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties of the Citizens (1999).
  • According to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971, no one is allowed to disrespect the national flag, the Indian Constitution, or the national anthem.
  • The Protection of Civil Rights Act of 1955 established penalties for any offence involving caste or religion.
  • The Fundamental Duties, on the other hand, are not subject to legal proceedings, whereas the Fundamental Rights are.
  • It implies that citizens are not held accountable for failing to perform their essential obligations.
  • Although these obligations are not legally required, a court may consider them when making a decision.

The rationale for citizens’ duties can be summarized in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Every citizen plays a key role in building a New India — a clean, healthy, and prosperous nation. Everyone performing their duties, even mechanically, would pave the way for a better neighbourhood, better society, and ultimately, a better country.

Also, Read - Northeast’s Integration

Source: The Hindu

Northeast’s Integration

GS-III : Economic Issues Northeast development

Northeast’s Integration

From the very beginning of India's journey as an independent nation, the integration of Northeast India into mainstream Indian life has been a priority for the country.


  • Except Tripura and Manipur, British Assam essentially encompassed the whole present-day Northeast.
  • Although there was no Inner Line established in these kingdoms, the British nonetheless erected comparable administrative structures to divide the "excluded" highlands from the revenue plains.
  • India's first administrative tool for the tribal zone of undivided Assam was the Sixth Schedule.
  • The Schedules required the creation of Autonomous District Councils, wherein tribal customary rules were among the things that were given validity.
  • The majority of these autonomous territories split out from Assam in 1972.
  • Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram were made Union Territories, while Meghalaya was made a State. In 1987, these two were promoted to States.
  • The Part-C States of Tripura and Manipur, which merged with India in 1949, was likewise elevated to the status of States in 1972.
  • The Union Government established DoNER in 2001, and it was promoted to a full-fledged Ministry in 2004.

Significance of northeast

Growth Engine:

  • The Northeast has the capacity to lead the nation's economic expansion. It is discussed in the context of the region's future, which offers numerous chances for development.

Act East Policy:

  • Myanmar, a country in South-East Asia, is physically adjacent to the North Eastern Region. As a result, it might serve as the "Gateway to SouthEast Asia" for India.
  • This is significant when considering India's connections with nations like Thailand and Singapore, with whom we get along well. They are wealthy nations that can assist India in eradicating poverty in the area.

Electricity Resources:

  • The North-Eastern region offers enormous potential for hydroelectric energy due to the existence of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries.

Resources for Agriculture:

  • The North Eastern region is endowed with natural resources that are vital to the nation's economic development. For instance, Assam's tea estates provide a substantial amount of foreign cash for the nation. Similar uses for bamboo can be found in the furniture and cane industries. Mizoram's Bird's Eye Chilli is marked with a Geographical Indication (GI) label.


  • Because of its lush green scenery, different tribal cultures, clean air, pleasant climate, and distinctive geography, the North Eastern region has the potential to become a major tourism destination. It can be used as a resource for both rural and ecotourism.
  • The North Eastern Region, with its wildlife sanctuaries and parks, excellent scenic beauty, waterfalls, woods, and other natural features, is perfect for both passive and active ecotourism.

Challenges to the Development of the NER

Terrain Challenges:

  • The North Eastern region is primarily mountainous, except for the state of Assam, which contains a sizable portion of plains. Because of the issue with access to remote locations, it is difficult for government projects to be implemented in the area.

Backward Areas:

  • Additionally, in contrast to the mainland, residents of the North East India Region are still pleased with a basic way of life and a lack of technology in their daily lives. Due to a lack of opportunities for high-income generating, the level of living remains low.
  • For instance, the farmers still use primitive farming techniques, while the tribal peoples in the nation continue to practice shifting agriculture.


  • India's North Eastern region is a landlocked area without access to the sea. The existence of the Siliguri Corridor, known as the chicken's neck for India, complicates this.
  • The Siliguri Corridor, which connects India with its North Eastern region, is only 21 kilometers wide. India would need to protect the corridor in the event of war so that the Indian armed forces could effectively rebuff any prospective Chinese incursions in the northern half of the North-East area.
  • It only has a little amount of maritime access. Similar to that, its challenging topography makes expressways and bigger roadways impractical.

Lack of Social and Physical Infrastructure:

  • NER has complained of being treated like a second-class citizen by the mainland, particularly in the context of local development initiatives.


  • The absence of political and social stability in the region is one of the main reasons for the lack of growth in the region. The tribal communities in the area have not entirely embraced the artificial boundaries left over from the British legacy, which is made worse by political opportunism.
  • Due to political factors and the diversion of young to insurgent organizations, which results in a lack of skill development and subsequent lack of opportunity, the region is still mired in a cycle of bloodshed.

Initiatives of the Government of India

  • The program, known as Mission Organic Value Chain Development-NER, has been in place in the North-Eastern states since 2017. The mission's goal is to encourage organic farming in the area. It aims to substitute a cluster-based strategy for conventional subsistence farming.
  • Seeds and Planting Material Submission (SMSP): It attempts to expand the supply of seeds for crops with high-yielding varieties. According to the Government, the overarching goal is to double farmers' income by 2022. The program is done in conjunction with other assistance initiatives including integrated farming systems and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs)
  • The North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) aims to improve both the social infrastructure in the form of health infrastructure as well as the physical infrastructure connected to power, connection, and water supply. It belongs to the central sector.
  • NEC: North Eastern Council It was established by statute in accordance with the North Eastern Council Act of 1971. Its members are all of the state's governors and chief ministers. The North Eastern Regional Minister of Development serves as its vice-chairman, and the Union Home Minister serves as its chairman. ..
  • Peace Efforts: Within the constraints of the Indian Constitution, the Indian government has made every effort to meet the needs of the local tribes and other residents. The Bodo and Nagaland Peace Accords, which have reduced insurgency and violence in the area and shifted attention back to the region's development, are two examples of the results.
  • Earlier efforts in this aim include the Mizo insurgency and Bru or Reang relocation.
  • Connectivity-related projects The Indian government has proposed additional routes via South East Asia to establish alternative routes to the region and lessen its reliance on Chicken's Neck:
  • The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project is a significant connectivity initiative that will link Haldia port with Mizoram via Myanmar. The route calls for a maritime trip from Haldia to the port of Sittwe in Myanmar. Through a network of roads and interior waterways, Sittwe would be linked to Lawngthai in Mizoram.
  • The BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar) Corridor: The project is intended to improve communication between China and India's economies while also helping Bangladesh and Myanmar, two countries that are near the route. India is less excited about the projects China has proposed as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, such as the Kolkata to Kunming Bullet Train (K2K Project) (BRI). India, meanwhile, has continued to support the BCIM corridor, asserting that the concept predates the BRI project.
  • The National Bamboo Mission aims to further the sector's overall growth by implementing a place-based, regionally-differentiated approach.
  • The objective is to expand the area used for bamboo farming and marketing

About Northeast

  • Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura are the "seven sisters" of Northeast India.
  • While Sikkim is a part of the Northeast and is separated from the other six states by the Siliguri Corridor, it is not considered to be one of the Seven Sisters, despite being a part of the region.
  • Another name for Sikkim is the "Brother" of the Seven Sisters.

What is the Siliguri Corridor?

  • Geographically separate from the rest of India, the Siliguri Corridor, also known as Chicken's Neck, connects the country's north-eastern region to the continent.
  • There are 60 km in width and 200 km in length. It is only 17 kilometres wide at its narrowest point.
  • The corridor runs from West Bengal's Terai, Jalpaiguri, and Darjeeling regions northward.
  • West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh all rely on the area for trade, business, and tourism.
  • Through this corridor, all land trade between the North East and the rest of the nation occurs.

Also, Read - India-European Union Ties

Source: The Hindu

PIN Code History

GS-I : Modern History Modern India

PIN Code History

Postal Index Number (PIN) completed 50 Years.

About PIN code

  • At the time of Independence, India had 23,344 post offices, most of which were located in urban areas.
  • The postal system had to keep up with the nation's fast growth.
  • As a result, it was first made available in India on August 15, 1972.
  • Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, a senior member of the Posts and Telegraphs Board and additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Communications, was the person in charge of the endeavor.


  • It was meant to ease the process of mail sorting and delivery in a country where different places, often, have the same or similar names, and letters are written in a wide variety of languages.

How does the PIN code work?

  • Six digits make up the PIN.
  • Northern, Eastern, Western, and Southern postal regions are denoted by the first number, whereas the Army Postal Service is denoted by the number 9.
  • A subregion is indicated by the second number, and the sorting district is indicated by the third number.
  • The remaining data further reduces the geographic scope to the precise delivery post office.

Global Scenario

  • Globally, the US Postal Service's Nationwide Improved Mail Service plan, which was created to increase the speed of mail delivery, saw the introduction of the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code on July 1, 1963.
  • In the UK, automated mail sorting first appeared in the middle of the 1960s.
  • An alphanumeric postal code that allows for machine sorting at every level of handling, including the carrier's delivery route, is the key to mechanization.
  • In July 1968, Japan established its postal code address system, and the country's main post offices now have automatic postal code reader-sorters.

Source: The Indian Express

The Rhine River

GS-I : Physical Geography Contemporary climate and other issues

The Rhine River

Due to the exceptionally hot and dry weather, the Rhine river's water levels are quite low, making it difficult for many ships to travel the vital European commerce route with their cargo fully loaded.

About Rhine river

  • It is a western European canal that has played a significant role in the continent's culture and history. It is also among the most significant routes for industrial transportation worldwide.
  • It begins high in the Swiss Alps in two headstreams.
  • It empties into the North Sea through the Netherlands as it travels north and west from two minor headways in the Alps of east-central Switzerland.
  • Rhine River is a crucial route for a variety of goods, including wheat, chemicals, and coal.
  • It serves as a crucial connection between industrial manufacturers and international export terminals in North Sea ports like Rotterdam and Amsterdam, while canals and other rivers connect the Rhine to the Danube and enable shipping to the Black Sea.

Its impact on the German Economy:

  • Sipping cost has increased as more ships are needed to move consignments that would normally fit into a single vessel, adding to freight costs.
  • Shipping bottlenecks are another drag on the German economy, which is already grappling with high inflation, supply chain disruptions and soaring gas prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
  • The low Rhine water levels are expected to increase costs for chemicals companies such as BASF and could lead to production cuts.
  • Coal power plants – now back in fashion as an alternative to Russian gas supplies – also face supply shortages with boats unable to take on enough coal.

Also, Read - PIN Code History

Source: The Indian Express

Dornier Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

GS-III : S&T Defense system

Dornier Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

In an effort to strengthen their bilateral defence cooperation, India recently gave the Sri Lankan Navy a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft.

About Dornier aircraft

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a state-run aerospace company, is the manufacturer (HAL).


  • A short takeoff and landing aircraft is the Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft (STOL).
  • The Indian Navy has been using this multipurpose light transport aircraft since 1981 for electronic warfare operations, maritime surveillance, and disaster relief systems.

Significance of the move

  • In order to assist Sri Lanka in meeting its immediate security needs, the Indian Navy is providing the country with the aircraft from its inventory.
  • Against Chinese: A day before the Chinese ship "Yuan Wang 5" docks at the southern port of Hambantota, India hands over the Dornier aircraft.
  • Benefits to individuals The aircraft's ability to conduct search and rescue missions is an example of how it directly benefits the populace.
  • SAGAR: This type of cooperation is intended to increase Sri Lanka's capability and capacity and is consistent with the regional goal of security and growth for all (SAGAR).

Also, Read - Rhine River

Source: The Hindu

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