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Thrissur Pooram

Tags:  Paper: GS1/Art & Culture

In News

  • The state of Kerala will commemorate Thrissur Pooram, a 36-hour-long festival.

More about the festival Thrissur Pooram


  • Thrissur Pooram is celebrated during the month of Medam (April-May) in Malayalam.
  • This celebration is regarded as the “mother of all poorams.”
  • It is conducted in Thrissur’s Thekkinkadu Maidanam.

Festival highlights:

  • It is confined to the temples of Devis and Sasthas;
  • Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswams are the primary participants in the Pooram;
  • it is restricted to temples of Devis and Sasthas.This celebration represents the symbolic merging of ten temples.
  • The processions carrying the idols of participating temples — Kanimangalam Sastha, Naithalakkavu Bhagavathy, Lalur Bhagavathy, Ayyantole Bhagavathy, Panamukkampally Sastha, Choorakkottukavu Bhagavathy, Chembukkavu Karthyayani and Karumukku Bhagavathy – left for Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple in the morning.
  • Arrival of the Kanimangalam Sastha marks the beginning of Pooram rituals in the morning, followed by procession from other participating temples.
  • The presence of well-known elephants This time, Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran and Pambadi Rajan contributed to the splendor of the cheru poorams.


  • Thrissur Pooram is a significant temple festival in Kerala that dates back more than two centuries.
  • The festival was established by Shakthan Thampuran, the governor of the Kingdom of Cochin from 1790 to 1805.
  • In 1796, a group of temples were prohibited from witnessing the popular Arattupuzha Pooram because of heavy rains.
  • After hearing their complaints, Shakthan Thampuran decided to begin Thrissur Pooram on the same day in May.
  • Since then, the festival has become an important cultural and spiritual event in Kerala, attracting both domestic and international tourism.
  • It is currently one of the most well-known temple festivals in the globe.


  • Obeisance to the Shiva:
  • The Pooram is centered on the Vadakkunnathan Temple, and all of these temples dispatch their processions to worship Shiva, the presiding deity.
  • The Thampuran is believed to have planned the Thrissur Pooram festival’s schedule and major events.
  • Flag Hoisting:
  • The pooram officially commences with the raising of the flag.
  • Seven days before Thrissur Pooram, the flag hosting ceremony (Kodiyettam) commences.
  • All temples participating in Thrissur Pooram are present at the ceremony, and a small pyrotechnics display marks the beginning of the festival.
  • Poora Vilambharam:
  •  Poora Vilambaram is a tradition in which an elephant opens the south entrance gate of the Vadakkunnathan Temple, which hosts the Thrissur Pooram, with the ‘Neithilakkavilamma’ deity on top.
  • Madathil varavu:
  •  “Madathil varavu,” a panchavadhyam melam featuring more than 200 artists playing instruments such as the thimila, madhalam, trumpet, percussion, and edakka, is one of the most important events of Thrissur Pooram.
  • Sample Vedikettu – the fireworks show:
  • On the fourth day following the raising of the flag, Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devaswoms host a one-hour fireworks display known as the Sample Vedikettu.


  • It is an impressive display of cultural customs and traditions, complete with bedecked elephants, colorful umbrellas, and percussion music.
  • It features decorated elephants, colorful umbrellas, and percussion music.
  • Thrissur Pooram is an important festival that attracts a large number of tourists each year and is one of Asia’s largest assemblies.
  • It holds a significant position on the tourism map of India.

Source: TH

100 episodes of PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat

Tags: Paper: GS2/ Government policies & interventions

In News

  • Mann Ki Baat, the popular radio program hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has completed 100 episodes.

Role of Man ki Baat

  • On the 100th episode, PM framed the radio program as a national conversation that helps people connect — “a matter of faith, of worship,” and a “thaal of prasad” at the feet of “Janata Janardan.”
  • Radio can also reach individuals without a mobile device or Internet connection.
  • Recognition of significant initiatives in Haryana, such as the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign.
  • Spreading awareness about government programs and initiatives — Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Har Ghar Tiranga, digital payments, startups and unicorns, etc.
  • Communicating positivity and spreading optimism, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
  • Almost every episode includes obscure facts about India’s arts, crafts, folk culture, and champions, etc., that inform, educate, and maintain listener interest.

Evolution of Radio

  • Radio Broadcasting began in June 1923, during the British Raj, with the Bombay Presidency Radio Club’s programming.
  • Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of the radio frequency spectrum for noncommercial communications, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radio sport, competitions, and emergency communications.
  • There are more than 22,000 licensed amateur radio operators in India.
  • In the 1940s, amateur radio operators played a significant role in the Indian independence movement by establishing illegal pro-independence radio stations.
  • During the Quit India Movement of 1942, Congress Radio, also known as Azad Radio, was a clandestine radio station that broadcast for approximately three months.
  • It was organized by Usha Mehta (1920-2000), a student activist of 22 years at the time, with the assistance of amateur radio operators.

All India Radio (AIR)

  • All India Radio (AIR), founded in 1936 (renamed Akashvani in 1956) and a division of Prasar Bharati, is India’s national public radio broadcaster. Its headquarters are located in New Delhi.• All India Radio is the largest radio network in the world, and one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the number of languages broadcast and the range of socio-economic and cultural diversity it serves.
  • AIR motto – ‘Bahujan Hitaya: Bahujan Sukhaya’.
  • Nearly 92% of the nation’s landmass and 99.19% of the total population are served by AIR’s residential service, which consists of 420 stations located throughout the country.
  • Programming is produced by AIR in 23 languages and 179 dialects.

Private Radio

  • Private participation was not permitted until 1993, when the government tested a daily, two-hour private program slot on FM channels in Delhi and Mumbai.Radio City Bangalore, which began broadcasting on 3 July 2001, is the first private FM radio station in India.

Community radio stations

  • Community radio is a radio service that provides a third paradigm of radio broadcasting alongside commercial and public radio. Community radio is when locals produce and broadcast their own programs and contribute to the station’s operation. It is a gathering place where individuals can collaborate.
  • In December 2002, the Indian government authorized a policy for the issuance of licenses to well-established educational institutions, including IITs and IIMs, for the establishment of community radio stations.
  • In India, Sreedher Ramamurthy is regarded as the founder of community radio.
  • India has 372 community radio stations that serve farmer, tribal, coastal, ethnic minority, and special interest communities.

Relevance of Radio

Pandemic and the contribution of radio

  • In their presentations, the community radio broadcasters highlighted the best practices they implemented during the pandemic. Through tunes, drama, and discussions, they are reaching out to rural areas.
  • Six community radio stations in Uttarakhand have joined forces to disseminate information regarding new quarantine regulations, nutritious and locally available food, stress-reduction techniques, educational programming, and entertainment.

Recent government Initiatives

  • In November 2019, it was announced that 118 new community radio stations are in the process of being established.
  • Allow companies with a net worth of Rs 1 crore to participate in the tendering process for category C and D cities, as opposed to Rs 1.5 crore previously.
  • Elimination of the three-year restriction on restructuring.
  • Elimination of the 15% national limit on channel ownership.
Do you know?

  • The earliest example of a national leader using radio broadcasts was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats,” a series of 30 radio addresses, each typically lasting 20 to 30 minutes, delivered between 1933 and 1944.
  •  Short Wave (SW) (6–22 MHz), Medium Wave (MW) (526–1606 kHz), and Frequency Modulation (FM) (88–108 MHz) are currently utilized for analog terrestrial radio broadcasting in India.

Source: PIB

Solid waste management and stray dog attacks

Tags: Paper: GS 2/GS 3/Governance/Environment

In News

  • Recent dog bite incidents in Indian cities have highlighted the connection between urban solid waste management and errant dog attacks.

About Linkages between waste management and stray dog attacks

  • The availability of food and shelter determines the “carrying capacity” of a city, or its ability to sustain a particular species.
  • Free-roaming dogs are scavengers that scavenge for food and ultimately gravitate toward open garbage dumps.
  • Due to the availability of food, dogs congregate around municipal dumps, such as landfills and garbage dumps.
  • Stray dogs gravitate toward densely populated urban areas, such as urban slums, which are typically located near waste dumps and landfills.
  • The proximity of residential areas to landfills and the increase in dog assaults are indicative of “fundamental issues of unplanned and unregulated urban development.”

Data Analysis

  • India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change estimates that only 75-80 percent of the total municipal waste is collected, and only 22-28 percent of it is processed. • A population growth in Indian cities has contributed to a staggering increase in solid waste.
  • The remainder is discarded throughout cities, feeding stray dogs and clogging sewage systems.
  • According to the 2019 official livestock census, the number of stray dogs in cities has increased dramatically, reaching 1.5 crores.

Issues and Challenges

  • The current systems for solid refuse collection and disposal are patchy, with inadequate implementation and funding.
  • The majority of metropolitan areas are littered with trash cans that are either ancient, broken, or inadequate for containing solid wastes.
  • Urban local governments are struggling to implement and maintain the 2016 Solid Waste Management Rules, such as door-to-door waste collection.
  • As a result of urbanization, managing solid refuse has become a formidable challenge, and “unconfined and unmanaged waste” contributes to the proliferation of stray dogs.
  • The proliferation of street animals in India is the result of ineffective animal birth control programs and a lack of rescue centers, as well as inadequate waste management.
  • India has the highest rabies mortality rate in the world, accounting for one-third of all rabies-related fatalities worldwide.
  • Frequent reports of canines chasing people down the street, attacking, and even “mauling” people to death have made the management of stray dogs a legal and administrative issue.

Measures and Initiatives of India

  • India’s response to the “stray dog menace” has relied on the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme, in which municipal bodies trap, sterilise, and release dogs to slow down the dog population.
  • The second anchor is rabies control measures, including vaccination drives.
  • Other measures include mass culling of dogs in states such as Kerala or imposing bans on the entry of stray dogs into colonies or feeding them in public.
  • In November 2022, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court ruled that anyone interested in feeding strays must first adopt them and feed them in their own homes. The court also ordered the municipality to fine anyone discovered feeding dogs in public places?200.

Suggestion  and Measures 

  • The first step in addressing stray dog bites is limiting the amount of exposed refuse.
  • Proper administration of refuse [solid waste] and a tolerant attitude toward dogs can assure the peaceful coexistence of dogs and people.
  • Cities must learn to better manage solid refuse, rabies vaccinations, and dog sterilization.
  • All collected waste must be transported to designated landfills.

Source: TH

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)

Tags: Paper: GS 3/Economy

In News

  • The Enforcement Directorate conducted inspections at Byju Raveendran’s three locations in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

About Foreign Exchange Management Act

  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 was enacted by Congress to replace the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1973.
  • This Act entered into effect on June 1, 2000.
  • The government of the United States has established the Directorate of Enforcement, staffed by a director and other officers, in order to investigate violations of the aforementioned statute.
  • It has been modified periodically to reflect the government’s shifting economic policies and objectives.

Key Provisions

  • It applies to the entirety of India, as well as all subsidiaries, offices, and agencies outside India that are owned or controlled by an Indian resident, as well as any violations committed outside India by any person to whom this Act applies.
  • The statutory authority granted by this Act enables the RBI and the Central Government to formulate and enact regulations and rules that are consistent with the country’s foreign trade policy.
  • The Act facilitates trade and business opportunities between India and other nations by establishing a legislative and regulatory framework for inbound and outbound investments.
  • It sets out provisions for current account and capital account transactions.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the regulatory body and controls the management of foreign exchange.
  • Additionally, the Act includes provisions for enforcement, penalties, adjudication, and appeal.


  • It was drafted by the Central Government to consolidate and modify the law relating to foreign exchange in order to facilitate external trade and payments and promote the orderly development and maintenance of India’s foreign exchange market.


  • It can be said that the Central Government and the Reserve Bank of India have achieved the broad goals of FEMA.
  • FEMA is a reformative law that has successfully eradicated its predecessor’s flaws.

Source: HT

Gum arabic

Tags: Paper:  GS1/ Distribution of Key natural resources across the world, Places in News

In News

  • Due to the conflict in Sudan, companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi have stockpiled gum arabic.

What is Gum arabic?

  • Gum arabic is a natural gum produced from the coagulated liquid of two Acacia tree species.Legally, the phrase “gum arabic” does not specify a particular plant source.
  • The gum is harvested commercially from natural trees, predominantly in Sudan (80 percent) and throughout the Sahel region, from Senegal to Somalia.

Uses of Gum arabic

  •  It is soluble in water, edible, and used primarily in the food and soft-drink industries as a stabilizer (which helps bind food and drink ingredients together)
  •  It is a key ingredient in traditional lithography and is used in printing, paints, glues, cosmetics, and various industrial applications, including viscosity control in inks and textile industries.
Sahel region

•         The Sahel is a region in Africa that stretches from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, south of the Sahara.It is defined as the ecoclimatic and biogeographic transition zone between the northern Sahara and the southern Sudanese savanna.

•         Due to droughts, poor agricultural cultivation methods, and land exploitation caused by the rising demand for food and firewood, vast portions of the once-fertile region are now practically uncultivable.

Source: IE

Ratnagiri Oil Refinery

Tags: Paper: GS3/ Indian Economy/ GS2/ Government policies & intervention

In News

  • Hundreds of Barsu residents continued to demonstrate against the proposed Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemical Limited.

Why is there a Protest?

  • Locals opposed the project vehemently, arguing that the oil refinery would be detrimental to the environment of the Konkan region.
  • Protesters assert that once the project begins, chemicals will destroy mango orchards, cashew plantations, and other plantations in the region within a few months.
  • They demanded that the state government cease soil testing at the proposed location.

About Ratnagiri Oil Refinery Project

  • The Centre and the Maharashtra administration proposed the Ratnagiri Oil Refinery Project in 2014.Originally, the project was intended to be built on approximately 16,000 acres of land in 17 villages in the adjacent districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in the Konkan region.
  • The primary oil refinery was to be built in the village of Nanar in the Ratnagiri district.
  • It was intended to bring development to the underdeveloped Konkan region, employ at least one million locals, and generate additional employment opportunities through the establishment of ancillary entities.
  • Upon completion, the project is expected to stabilize the energy industry in the region, allowing Saudi Aramco and ADNOC to consistently furnish India with fuel.

Konkan Region

  • It is bounded by the Western Ghats mountain range (also known as Sahyadri) in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, the Daman Ganga River in the north, and the River Aghanashini in the south. The Gangavalli flows through the district of Uttara Kannada in present-day Karnataka. Its northern bank is the southernmost portion of the Konkan peninsula.
  • Accessibility to the energy industry in the region permits Saudi Aramco and ADNOC to supply India with a steady supply of fuel.

Source: TH

Anji Khad Bridge

Tags: Paper: GS3/ Infrastructure

In News

  • The Prime Minister praised the completion of India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge, the Anji Khad Bridge in Jammu and Kashmir.

More about News

  • The Anji-Khad rail bridge is India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge on Anji river (Anji River is a tributary of Chenab River)
  • It is a cable-stayed bridge connecting Katra and Reasi section of Jammu–Baramulla line in the Jammu Division of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The bridge is a part of rail line connecting Udhampur to Baramulla via Srinagar, a crucial connector between Kashmir and rest of India via railways.
  • Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and Hindustan Construction Company are executing the project.

Specifications of bridge

  • The total length of the bridge is 725 meters, with the primary span measuring 473.25 meters.
  • On the viaduct, trains will be able to travel at 100 kilometers per hour.
  • It has been designed to withstand winds of up to 213 kilometers per hour and severe cyclones.
  • A large number of sensors have been installed on the Anji bridge in order to monitor its structural integrity on a regular basis.
  • An explosion with up to 40 kilograms of explosives will not be able to obliterate the bridge.
Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla Railway Link

•         It is a national initiative undertaken by the Indian Railways to construct a 272 km-long broad-gauge railway line through the Himalayas in order to connect Kashmir to the rest of the country.

•         The initiative has three ‘legs’:

•         a 25-kilometer stretch from Udhampur to Katra in Reasi district, where the famous Vaishno Devi temple is located;

•         a 111-kilometer track rising northeast from Katra to Banihal in Ramban district;

•          a 136-kilometer stretch from Banihal to Baramulla, traveling north and then northwest, with Anantnag and Srinagar along the way.

Source: ET