By: D.K Choudhary
Annual 2-day long Liker & Leh Dosmochey Festival Held in Ladakh
i. The centuries old two-day long Liker and Leh Dosmochey festival started in Ladakh Region of Jammu and Kashmir on February 24, 2017.
ii. Dosmochey is the major monastic festival held annually in the Ladakh region during the winter season to mark the destruction of evil spirit.
iii. The main focus of the festival includes mask dances with different monastic religious musical instruments.
iv .Leh Dosmochey is celebrated in Leh Palace. Monks from different monasteries gather together at the yards of the palace to perform “Chams”.
v. The Liker Dosmochey is celebrated by the Liker Monastery in western Ladakh.
Famous Monastic Festivals in Ladakh
♦ Matho Nagrang, Stok Guru Tsechu, Hemis Festival, Thiksey, Karsha and Spituk Gustor, Ladakh Festival, Yuru Kabgyat, Phyang Tsedup
Government Allows Tamil Nadu to Raise Number of Workdays under MGNREGA
i. The Central government has granted permission to raise the number of workdays under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee scheme in Tamil Nadu from the existing 100 days to 150 days.
ii. The increase in workdays aims to help rural laborers who are facing job loss as a result of the severe drought affecting the state.
iii. The scheme is being implemented in 12,524 villages of Tamil Nadu. Works like desilting of waterbodies in rural areas and maintenance of other rural assets are being undertaken under the scheme.
iv. In 2016, 33.43 crore man-days of employment have been generated so far under the scheme and Rs 4655 crore has been disbursed. With the increase in workdays, 3 crore more man-days would be generated.
PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates 112-foot Shiva Statue in Coimbatore
i. On the occasion of Mahashivratri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 112-feet-tall Lord Shiva statue at Isha Foundation in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on February 24, 2017.
ii. The statue is dedicated to “Adiyogi”, an incarnation of Lord Shiva who is considered to be the first of yogis.
iii .The statue has been funded by The Isha Foundation and constructed by a team of engineers and designers of the foundation in foothills of Velliangiri mountains in the Western Ghats.
iv. The foundation which was founded by the popular yoga guru Jaggi Vasudev has planned to set up similar statues in other parts of the country.
v. The bust of Lord Shiva is made of steel and weighs 500 tonnes. It took 2.5 years to design and eight months to build the statue.
vi. A five-tier security cover was put in place in and around the city and at the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border by police and the Special Protection Group due to the event.
vii. As a part of the occasion, PM Modi also released the book ‘Adiyoga: The source of Yoga’, which deals with yogic sciences.
♦ Mahashivratri is also known as the Great Night of Shiva. It is celebrated annually in remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life and the world.
♦ It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, practising yoga and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty and forgiveness.
Delhi Government Approves 37 Percent Hike in Minimum Wages
i .The Aam Aadmi Party led Delhi government approved a hike of around 37% in the minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled persons on February 24, 2017 in New Delhi.
ii. The Cabinet Committee chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sanctioned the increase based on the recommendation of a 15-member committee set up by former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung in 2016.
iii. The minimum wages for unskilled persons has been raised to Rs. 13,350 per month from the existing Rs. 9,724 per month.
iv. For semi-skilled, the wage has been raised from Rs. 10,764 to Rs. 14,698 per month while for skilled persons from Rs. 11,830 to Rs. 16,182 per month
v .Kejriwal government will send the committee’s recommendations to Lt Governor Anil Baijal on February 26, 2017 for final nod so that workers are benefited.
vi. Apart from housing, clothing and food, the committee took into consideration education, electricity and fuel prices before decided on the minimum wage.
School buses must have CCTVs, GPS, speed governors: CBSE
The Central Board of Secondary Education headed by Rakesh Kumar Chaturvedi has issued comprehensive guidelines on safety of children in school buses.
♦ This guidelines should be followed by all affiliated schools
New guidelines :
i. The Board divided the guidelines into seven broad categories which include exterior and interior of the bus, manpower and facilities on the bus, permits, arrangements by school authorities and advisory to parents.
ii. Speed governors with 40 km per hour, GPS and CCTV mandatory for school buses.
iii. The word ‘School bus‘ should be written prominently on the back and front of the vehicle
iv. The driver’s name, address, licence number, badge number and the telephone number of the school or the bus owner and transport department’s helpline numbers should be displayed at prominent places inside and outside the bus in contrast colour.
v. The windows to be fitted with horizontal grills and mesh wire, and doors of the bus to be fitted with reliable locks that can be locked
vi. One mobile phone number should be written in each school bus and ensure that the buses are not permitted to overtake any four-wheeler while carrying the school children.
India’s First Hill Station Bicycle Path Unveiled in Darjeeling
i. India’s first hill station bicycle path was inaugurated in Darjeeling on February 25, 2017.
ii. The 20 km long cycle route is developed at an altitude of over 2,000 metres and runs through thick pine forest and Senchal wildlife sanctuary. The path also provides a view of the third-highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga.
iii .The route starts from near Jorebunglow, south of Darjeeling and ends at a small local eco-village resort in Chatakpur.
iv. Riders can rent mountain bikes from Darjeeling at a price of Rs. 800 per day and fees of Rs. 70 rupee to enter the biking area.
v. The path was opened in response to growing interest from both national and foreign tourists and will attract bike-loving travelers.
♦ Darjeeling is a town and a municipality in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is also a popular tourist destination in India.
♦ It is noted for its tea industry, spectacular views of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Online payment of court fees introduced in Goa
i. The High Court of Bombay has joined hands with Goa Government and National Informatics Centre (NIC) has launched online payment of court fees through e-payment gateway in Goa.
ii. An e-payment of court fees would be available for District and Sessions Courts as well as all subordinate Courts in the coastal state.
iii. Now all the court fees are paid by way of impressed and adhesive stamps.
Festivals of Goa :
Carnival, Shigmotsav, Sabado Gardo, Beach Bonanza, Konkani Drama Fest, Chavoth, Diwali, Christmas, Easter, Shigmo, Dasehra