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General Awareness - Quick Facts Art & Culture

Aatmanirbharta named Oxford Hindi Word of the Year 2020

Aatmanirbharta has been named by Oxford Languages as its Hindi word of the year 2020. The Oxford Hindi word of the year is a word or expression that is chosen to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, which have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance. Aatmanirbharta', which means self-reliance, came into the limelight when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to make India an Atmani

First-ever Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports Festival begins in Ladakh

Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the first-ever Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports Festival on January 21, 2021 at Padum in Zanskar of Kargil district.  The 13-day festival has been organised by the Ladakh UT Administration to promote Zanskar as a winter tourists destination. The Union Sports Minister said that Zanskar used to remain cut off from the rest of the world for 5-6 months due to heavy snow but no more now. The Union Sports Ministry plans to pr

Union Cabinet permits the merger of four government films media units with NFDC

The Union Cabinet on December 23, 2020, approved the merger of four of its media units- Directorate of Film Festivals, Films Division, Children’s Film Society, and National Film Archives of India with the National Film Development Corporation- NFDC. The vision of the new entity will be to ensure the focused and balanced development of Indian Cinema in all the genres- children’s content, feature films, films/content for the OTT platform, short films and documentaries, and animation

India-Japan Samvad conference 2020: PM Narendra Modi proposes library of traditional Buddhist literature

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 6th India-Japan Samvad conference on December 21, 2020 through video conferencing. PM Modi began by thanking the Japanese government for its constant support to the India-Japan Samvad. He stated that the forum has done great work to ensure promote the ideas and ideals of Lord Buddha, especially among the youth. He said that historically, the light of the Buddha's message spread out from India to many parts of the world. The Prime Minister prop

Subramanya Bharati: Greatest Tamil literary figure and Social Activist

Prime Minister Modi on December 11, 2020, virtually addressed the International Bharat Festival, 2020. The event was organized by the Vanavil Culture Centre in Chennai and saw the participation of several international and national poets and artists. International Bharati Festival was held to honour the national poet, Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati on his 138th birth anniversary. PM Modi also conferred Bharati Award 2020 virtually to writer and author Seeni Vishwanathan who made a voluminous compe

International Emmy Awards 2020: Delhi Crime from India wins best drama series

Indian web series Delhi Crime on Netflix has won the best drama series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards 2020. The event was held virtually for the first time in the history of International Emmy Awards due to the pandemic. The series which is directed by Richie Mehta is based on the horrific 2012 Delhi gang-rape and murder. Another Indian show on prime ‘Four More Shots Please’ and actor Arjun Mathur from ‘Made in Heaven’ also made their way for the nominati

51st IFFI to be postponed amid the pandemic

The 51st annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which was earlier scheduled to start from November 20, 2020, in Goa has now been postponed to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 51st edition of the annual film festival will not be conducted in a virtual and physical format. About the International Film Festival in India (IFFI): IFFI was founded in 1952 and since then it has been one of the most significant film festivals in Asia. The festival is held annually currently in Goa

Short Film ‘Am I?’ wins first prize in Online Short Film Contest organized by I&B Ministry and NFDC

Short film ‘Am I?’ directed by Abhijit Paul has won the first prize in an Online Short Film Contest organized by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting along with National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The theme as announced by the I&B Ministry and NFDC for the short film entries was to revolve around patriotism, while also equating it to the Atmanirbharta, self-reliance as the new mantra of progress for the nation.  

All 9 tribal freedom fighters museums to be ready by end of 2022

As per the statement released by the ministry, two of the nine museums sanctioned for the tribal freedom fighters are already nearing completion and the rest of them are at the different stages of progress. The largest of these museums have been built in Rajpipla in Gujarat at a cost of Rs. 102.55 crores. The government has been planning permanent museums in the states where Tribals had lived, struggled against the British rule, and had refused to bow down so that the upcoming generations ma

President confers Dada Saheb Phalke Award to Amitabh Bachchan

President Ram Nath Kovind conferred Dada Saheb Phalke Award to  Amitabh Bachchan at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on December  29, 2019. Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest film honour.  Dadasaheb Phalke Award The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the highest film honour in India. It is conferred annually by the Directorate of Film Festivals, under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.   The recipient of the prestigious honour is selecte

Panipat Movie controversy: The Panipat trailer depicts Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali as a ruthless and brutal ruler

Panipat Movie controversy: Panipat trailer has created a controversy in Afghanistan over Sanjay Dutt’s portrayal of Ahmad Shah Abdali in the movie. The Panipat trailer, has stirred fears of impacting Indo-Afghan ties after its brutal depiction of Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali, who is considered as the founder of modern Afghanistan. Third Battle of Panipat: Everything you need to know The Third Battle of Panipat, known as one of the most significant battles ever fought in t

UNESCO added Mumbai and Hyderabad cities in UCCN (UNESCO Creative City Network) list

The UCCN or UNESCO Create City Network has declared Mumbai as a member of the creative city of films. Hyderabad has been named as a creative city for biryani and other delicious cuisines. UNESCO added both cities in UCCN (UNESCO Creative City Network) list along with 64 other cities from across the globe. Both cities will now be part of the 246-member UNESCO’s creative city network. This network brings together all those cities that have developed on their own creativity. What is UCCN?

Choreographer Saroj Khan Passes Away at the Age of 71

Ace Choreographer Saroj Khan has passed away at the age of 71 due to cardiac arrest in Mumbai. Among the Bollywood circles she was referred to as "The Mother of Dance/Choreography in India". She is a three time National Award Winner with 8 Filmfare awards to her credit.

Usha Ganguly, veteran theatre actor passes away

Ganguly was an eminent theatre personality who is most known for her work in Hindi theatre in Kolkata in the period between the 1970s and 1980s. She founded the theatre group, Rangakarmee, in 1976. The theatre group produced many plans such as Rudali, Mahabhoj, Himmat Mai, Antaryatra and Court Martial. Ganguly started acting in the same year with Sangit Kala Mandir and started work on her first play Mitti Ki Gadi, where she essayed the role of Vasantsena. The play was based on Mrichchakatikam b

Statue of Unity, Mumbai’s Soho House feature in Time’s list of 100 greatest places in world

India’s 'Statue of Unity' and 'Soho House' in Mumbai have been featured in the Time’s list of 100 greatest places in the world. The 597-ft tall 'Statue of Unity' is located in Gujarat and the Soho House is located in Mumbai. Besides the two Indian entries, the Time’s list includes Zakouma National Park in Chad, International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Pitcairn Islands, Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths in Iceland, Museum of Black civilization

Aadi Mahotsav begins in Ladakh

Aadi Mahotsav (National Tribal Festival) kicks off on August 17, 2019, at Polo Ground, Leh-Ladakh. It is a nine-day festival and theme of the festival is - A celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture and Commerce.   The product range will comprise of Tribal Textiles from Madhya Pradesh and North East, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Maharashtra. Tribal Jewellery from Himachal Pradesh, Black pottery from Manipur. Tribal Paintings like Gond art from Madhya Pradesh, Meta

Walmiki and Malhar: Two endangered languages discovered

A linguist Prof Mohanty from the University of Hyderabad has discovered two languages recently called Walmiki and Malhar, which were “lying hidden from linguists”. The languages are categorised `endangered’ as it is spoken by a very small number of people. The Malhar is spoken by just 75 including children from a particular community. These people live in a remote and isolated hamlet about 165 kms from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. The Walmiki is spoken in the dist

National Khadi Festival 2018 held in Mumbai

The National Khadi Festival 2018 is being organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to promote Khadi products. The main objective of the festival is to promote the products of cottage industry and create awareness regarding the art of states.  It is also aimed at providing employment to weavers and workers who are involved in the cottage industry. About Khadi and Village Industries Commission  It is a statutory body formed by the Union Government, under th


Kalaripayattu is a martial art based on the ancient knowledge of the human body. It originated in Kerala during 3nd century BC to the 2nd century AD.  It is now practised in Kerala and in some parts of Tamil Nadu. The place where this martial art is practised is called a 'Kalari'. It is a Malayalam word that signifies a kind of gymnasium. Kalari literally means 'threshing floor' or

Sri Nankana Sahib Massacre

Nankana Sahib is the birth place of first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev. The centenary of Sri Nankana Sahib Massacre (Saka Nankana Sahib) is being marked in an event in Nankana Sahib on February 21, 2021. It was also the site of the first big agitation by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to take back control of gurdwaras from priests (mahants) backed by the British. Sikh leaders made attempts to bring mahant to the negotiation table but their efforts failed. On Feb

Maharaja Suheldev

Suheldev was a legendary medieval-era warrior-king. He is mentioned in Mirat-i-Masudi. According to the legend, Suhaldev was the eldest son of King Mordhwaj of Shravasti, during the 11th century. Though his historical existence is shrouded in mystery, he is today popular as a caste icon among the Rajbhars (OBC) and the Pasis (second largest Dalit caste in U.P.), both of whom have been competing for his legacy. According to critiques, BJP over the years aggressively tried

Harvest Festivals in India

Makar Sankranti: Makar Sankranti denotes the entry of the sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn) as it travels on its celestial path. The day marks the onset of summer and the six months auspicious period for Hindus known as Uttarayan, the northward movement of the sun. As a part of the official celebration of 'Uttarayan', the Gujarat government has been hosting the International Kite Festival since 1989. The festivities associated with the day are known by dif

Sattras in Assam

Political parties often go to different Sattras to seek blessings of Sankardeva. About Sattras: Sattras are monastic institutions in Assam. They were created as part of the 16th century Neo-Vaishnavite reformist movement. Movements started by the Vaishnavite saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva(1449-1596). Why were they established? They were established to spread the Sankardeva’s unique “worship through art” approach. They are doing it presently

Conservation of Ancient Folk Cultures

To protect, preserve & promote various forms of folk art and ancient folk cultures throughout the country including Jharkhand, Bihar and Kerala, the Government of India has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) with headquartrs at Patiala, Nagpur, Udaipur, Prayagraj, Kolkata, Dimapur and Thanjavur. Ancient folk cultures being preserved in Jharkhand are Faguwa Nritya, Turi Nritya, Paika Nritya, Hodopathy, Tribal dance (Karam Nritya).    

Traditional Textiles of Assam in News due to Upcoming Elections

Decorative jaapi (field hats), hand-woven gamosa, and bell-metal xorais are making frequent appearances in Assam as the election is coming closer. About Jaapi: Jaapi is a conical hat. It is made of bamboo and covered with dried tokou leaves Tokou is a palm tree found in the rainforests of Upper Assam. Jaapi is most often used in official functions in Assam to felicitate guests. Farmers also use jaapi to protect themselves from the harsh weather, both sun and rain whi

Shigmotsav Festival of Goa

Amid a rise in Covid-19 cases Goa government permitted the celebrations of the Shigmotsav Festival. Questions are being raised over the scale of celebrations of the festival in Goa. About Shigmotsav Festival: Shigmotsav festival also known as Shigmo is a spring festival celebrated in the state of Goa. The festival is the celebration of a rich, golden harvest of paddy by the tribal communities of Goa. Agricultural communities including the Kunbis, Gawdas and Velips celebrate the fest

Buddhist Remains found in Jharkhand

Earlier this year, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered Buddhist Remains from Hazaribagh at the eastern side of Jharkhand’s Sitagarha hills. What did the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) discover? ASI had discovered the remains of a Buddhist monastery along with some Shaivite remains which includes: Four Statues of Taras, the “saviouresses” of the Thunderbolt Vehicle, displaying the Varada mudra(gesture of hand showing dispensing of boons). Six

Dekho Apna Desh Webinar on Khajuraho Temples

The Ministry of Tourism recently organized a webinar on “Khajuraho Temples of Architectural Splendour” under Dekho Apna Desh. About Dekho Apna Desh webinar Ministry of Tourism launched Dekho Apna Desh webinar series in April 2020. Its objective is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations in India. It is also an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. About Khajuraho Temples: Khajuraho Group

Relics of 17th century Georgian Queen St. Ketevan Sent to Georgia

Relics of 17th century Georgian Queen St. Ketevan Sent to Georgia After a long-standing request of Georgia, External Affairs Minister handed over the holy relics of 17th century Georgian Queen St. Ketevan nearly 16 years after they were found in Goa. Who was St. Ketevan? Queen Ketevan was a 17th century Georgian Queen. From Kakheti, a kingdom in eastern Georgia, she was tortured and killed in 1624 in Shiraz during the rule of the Safavid dynasty. Portuguese missionaries were sa

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