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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

26 May, 2020

24 Min Read

GS-I : Art and Culture
Ramkinkar Baij

Ramkinkar Baij

Context

  • Ministry of Culture’s National Gallery of Modern Art will organise virtual tour titled “Ramkinkar Baij | Journey through silent transformation and expressions” to commemorate the 115th Birth Anniversary of Ramkinkar Baij on 26th May 2020.
  • This virtual tour presents the works of art from the prominent artworks of Ramkinkar Baij from reserve collection of NGMA, grouped in a series of five different themes of (i) Portrait, (ii) Life Study, (iii) Abstract & Structural Composition, (iv) Nature Study & Landscape and (v) Sculptures.
  • The virtual tour is being launched to pay tribute to the one of the greatest sculptor, painter – an iconic artist of modern India, especially for the young artists to know the kind of restless experiment that the artist had one with forms – figurative and abstractive both.

Ramkinkar Baij

  • Ramkinkar Baij, one of the most seminal artists of modern India, was an iconic sculptor, painter and graphic artist.
  • Ramkinkar Baij (1906-1980) was born in Bankura, West Bengal, into a family of little economic and social standing and grew by his sheer determination into one of the most distinguished early modernists of Indian art.
  • In 1925, he made his way to Kala Bhavana, the art school at Santiniketan and was under the guidance of Nandalal Bose.
  • Encouraged by the liberating, intellectual environment of Santiniketan, his artistic skills and intellectual horizons blossomed, thus acquiring greater depth and complexity.
  • Soon after completing his studies at Kala Bhavana he became a faculty member, and along with Nandalal Bose and Benodebehari Mukherjee played a pivotal role in making Santiniketan one of the most important centres for modern art in pre-Independent India.
  • Ramkinkar's monumental sculptures are established landmarks in public art. One of the earliest modernists in Indian art, he assimilated the idioms of the European modern visual language and yet was rooted in his own Indian ethos.
  • He experimented restlessly with forms, moving freely from figurative to abstract and back to figurative, his themes were steeped in a deep sense of humanism and an instinctive understanding of the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.
  • Both in his paintings and sculptures, he pushed the limits of experimentation and ventured into the use of new materials.
  • For instance, his use of unconventional material, for the time, such as cement concrete for his monumental public sculptures set a new precedent for art practices.
  • The use of cement, laterite and mortar to model the figures, and the use of a personal style in which modern western and Indian pre-classical sculptural values were brought together was equally radical.
  • He was invited to participate in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1950 and in the Salon de Mai in 1951.
  • In 1970, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan for his irrefutable contribution to Indian art.
  • In 1976 he was made a Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi. In 1976, he was conferred the honorary Doctoral Degree of ‘Desikottama’ by Visva Bharati, and in 1979 an honorary D.Litt by Rabindra Bharati University.
  • Ramkinkar made his last journey, after a period of illness, in Kolkata on the 2nd August, 1980.

Source: PIB

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GS-III :
N-95 masks

N-95 masks

Context

  • The Government has notified N-95 Masks as an essential commodity under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 .
  • Thus, hoarding, black-marketing of the essential commodity is punishable offence under the Act.
  • To keep check on the hoarding, black-marketing of the essential commodity, NPPA in exercise of the powers conferred under National Disaster Management Act, 2005 had directed all States/ UT Governments to ensure sufficient availability of surgical and protective Masks, Hand Sanitizers and Gloves at prices not exceeding the Maximum Retail Price printed on the pack size vide Orders dated 13th March 2020.

N95 Respirators

  • An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.
  • The 'N95' designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles.
  • If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks.
  • However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death.

Comparing Surgical Masks and Surgical N95 Respirators

  • The FDA regulates surgical masks and surgical N95 respirators differently based on their intended use.
  • A surgical mask is a loose-fitting, disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. These are often referred to as face masks, although not all face masks are regulated as surgical masks. Note that the edges of the mask are not designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.
  • An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. Note that the edges of the respirator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth. Surgical N95 Respirators are commonly used in healthcare settings and are a subset of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs), often referred to as N95s.

The similarities among surgical masks and surgical N95s are:

  • They are tested for fluid resistance, filtration efficiency (particulate filtration efficiency and bacterial filtration efficiency), flammability and biocompatibility.
  • They should not be shared or reused.

Source: PIB

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GS-III :
Heatwaves

Heatwaves

  • Heatwaves, or heat and hot weather that can last for several days, can have a significant impact on society, including a rise in heat-related deaths.
  • The India Meteorological Department requires that temperatures increase 5–6 °C (9–10.8 °F) or more above the normal temperature to be called a heatwave.
  • Heatwaves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards, but rarely receive adequate attention because their death tolls and destruction are not always immediately obvious.
  • Population exposure to heat is increasing due to climate change.
  • Globally, extreme temperature events are observed to be increasing in their frequency, duration, and magnitude.
  • Exposure to heat causes severe symptoms, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke – a condition which causes faintness, as well as dry, warm skin, due to the inability of the body to control high temperatures.
  • Other symptoms include swelling in the lower limbs, heat rash on the neck, cramps, headache, irritability, lethargy and weakness.
  • Heat can cause severe dehydration, acute cerebrovascular accidents and contribute to thrombogenesis (blood clots).
  • While the effects of heat may be exacerbated in cities, due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect, the livelihoods and wellbeing of non-urban communities can also be severely disrupted during and after periods of unusually hot weather.
  • Heatwaves can burden health and emergency services and also increase strain on water, energy and transportation resulting in power shortages or even blackouts.
  • Food and livelihood security may also be strained if people lose their crops or livestock due to extreme heat.

Data

  • Between 2000 and 2016, the number of people exposed to heatwaves increased by around 125 million.
  • From 1998-2017, more than 166 000 people died due to heatwaves, including more than 70 000 who died during the 2003 heatwave in Europe.

Source: WHO/TH

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