Online Quiz Test

Sangita Kalanidhi and Nritya Kalanidhi Awards

GS1 Art and Culture

In News

  • The Madras Music Academy has announced the 2023 Sangita Kalanidhi and Nritya Kalanidhi winners.


  • Bombay Jayashri has been selected to receive the Sangita Kalanidhi award.
  • Her melodic and meditative singing style has earned her the Padma Shri award from the Indian government.
  • The award for dance is presented to Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari.
  • Both Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi are her forte.

Sangita Kalanidhi Award

  • It was founded in 1942 and is considered the highest honour in the field of Carnatic music.
  • Prior to that, a senior musician or expert was invited to preside over the annual conference of the Music Academy.
  • In 1942, it was determined that the invited musician would be awarded the title of Sangita Kalanidhi, which consists of a gold medal and a birudu patra (citation).

Nritya Kalanidhi award

  • It is presented annually by the Madras Music Academy in the realm of dance.

Sangita Kala Acharya

  • Established in 2012 by Dr. Engikollai Krishnan and Dr. Leela Krishnan, the award is presented annually to a senior dancer in January at the opening of the annual dance festival.

About Madras Music Academy 

  • • This institution is a landmark in the history of the fine arts. It grew out of the December 1927 session of the All India Congress held in Madras. It was envisioned as the institution that would define Carnatic music. It also bestows the Sangita Kalanidhi, Nritya Kalanidhi, Sangita Kala Acharya, TTK, and Musicologist awards.
Carnatic Music

• Carnatic music or Carnatic sangeet is the classical music of south India.

• The southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka gave rise to Carnatic Sangeet. These states are known for their strong Dravidian cultural presentation.

• Purandardas is considered to be the father of Carnatic music.

• There is a highly developed theoretical system in Carnatic music. It is based on a complex Ragam (Raga) and Thalam system (Tala). Raga is essentially the scale, and its seven notes are Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Dha, and Ni.

• The Tala (thalam) serves as the rhythmic basis for Carnatic music.

Papanasam Shivan, Gopala Krishna Bharati, Swati Tirunal, Mysore Vasudevachar, Narayan Tirtha, Uttukadu Venkatasubbair, Arunagiri Nathar, and Annamacharya are notable exponents of Carnatic music.



India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL)

GS 2 India & Foreign Relations

In News

  • The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline was recently inaugurated by the Indian and Bangladeshi prime ministers (IBFPL).
  • This is the first transnational energy pipeline between the two nations.

More about the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL)


  •  The total length of the pipeline is 131.5 km.
  •  The pipeline connects the Siliguri-based marketing terminal of Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation’s Parbatipur depot (BPC).


  • The pipeline was constructed for an estimated cost of 377 crore rupees. The Bangladesh portion of the pipeline cost?285 billion.
  • The construction of the project began in 2018 with grant funding from India.

Fuel transport:

  • It will be used to transport Indian diesel to Bangladesh.
  • In June of this year, an experimental supply will begin.
  • Each year, one million metric tonnes of high-speed diesel will be transported through the pipeline to seven districts in North Bangladesh.
  • The fuel transport agreement will be in effect for 15 years, with the possibility of extension.


  • The operation of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will establish a sustainable, dependable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly method for transporting HSD (High-speed diesel) from India to Bangladesh, thereby enhancing energy security cooperation between India and Bangladesh.

India Bangladesh Relations

  • After Bangladesh’s independence in December 1971, India was one of the first nations to recognise the country and establish diplomatic relations.
  • Internationally, both countries are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Indian Ocean Coastal Regional Cooperation Association, and the Commonwealth.

Trade and investment: 

  • Bangladesh is India’s largest trading partner in South Asia, and India is Bangladesh’s largest export market in Asia.
  • In 2021, India’s exports to Bangladesh totaled $14.09 billion.
  • Bangladesh may become India’s fourth-largest export market in FY22, a five-place jump in just two years.
  • Bangladesh’s growth is largely attributable to its success as a garment exporter, which accounts for approximately 80 percent of its total exports.

Power and energy cooperation:

  • Cooperation in the energy sector is now one of the defining characteristics of India-Bangladesh relations.
  • Currently, Bangladesh imports 1,160 MW of electricity from India.
  • India’s largest development partner is Bangladesh.
  • In the past eight years, India has provided Bangladesh with three Lines of Credit (LOC) totaling $8 billion for the development of infrastructure in various sectors, including roads, railways, shipping, and ports.

Capacity Building and Human Resource Development:

  • Human resource development is a crucial aspect of India’s development cooperation efforts in Bangladesh, as evidenced by its numerous ongoing training programmes and scholarships.
  • Since 2019, the Indian government has trained 1,800 Bangladesh Civil Service officials at the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) in Mussoorie.
  • The Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) in Dhaka plays a crucial role in the celebration of cultural ties between the two nations.
  • Its training programmes, which include Yoga, Kathak, Manipuri dance, Hindi language, and Hindustani classical music, as well as the cultural performances of renowned artists from India and Bangladesh, contribute to the promotion of intercultural relations.

Defense Cooperation:

  • High-level exchanges between the service chiefs of the Indian Navy, Bangladesh Navy, and Indian Air Force, the conduct of the second annual defence dialogue and the first tri-services staff talks, as well as service-specific discussions between the Navy and the Air Force.
  • DG-level discussions between the Coast Guards have significantly enhanced bilateral defence cooperation.
  • In the field of training, both nations have maintained and expanded their collaborations.
  • Exercise Sampriti (Army) and Exercise Milan are two examples of joint exercises between the two nations (Navy).

Multimodal Connectivity:

The passenger trains between India and Bangladesh:

  • Bandhan Express: • It traverses the distance via the Petrapole and Benapole border routes in order to meet the needs of people from both countries.
  • Maitree Express: starting from Dhaka for Kolkata – since 2008
  • The tri-weekly service between Kolkata and Dhaka previously had a 90 percent passenger load. The train has the same passenger capacity as Bandhan Express, which is 456.
  • Mitali Express: starting from New Jalpaiguri in North Bengal for Dhaka.

Bus Serice:

  • Both governments decided to launch Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka and Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka. In December 2019, the Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka trial run and the Siliguri-Darjeeling-Dhaka bus service were inaugurated to improve people-to-people ties between the two countries.
  • The Indian government has also provided grants to Bangladesh for infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Akhaura-Agartala rail link, the dredging of inland waterways in Bangladesh, and the building of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline.

Source: TH

Homi Jehangir Bhabha & Vikram Sarabhai

GS 3 Achievements of Indians in S&T

In Context

  • Rocket Boys, a SonyLiv series that focuses on the lives of Indian scientists Homi J. Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, debuted recently.
  • In a newly independent India, Homi J. Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai were instrumental in establishing landmark scientific programmes and institutions.

Homi Jehangir Bhabha 

Early life:

  • Homi Jehangir Bhabha was born in Mumbai to a wealthy Parsi family on October 30, 1909.
  • In 1927, Bhabha began studying mechanical engineering at Cambridge University; later, he studied theoretical physics and earned a doctorate in nuclear physics from Cambridge University in 1934.


  • Homi Jehangir Bhabha is primarily recognised as the nuclear program’s chief architect.
  • He was the first President of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission.
  • Before the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Bhabha had returned to India for his annual vacation. He had begun his career in nuclear physics in Britain. War compelled him to remain in India, where he accepted a position as a lecturer in physics at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, under the direction of Nobel laureate C.V. Raman.
  • In 1956, the first atomic reactor was activated in Mumbai under his leadership. In 1955, Bhabha also presided over the first United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, held in Geneva.
  • In January 1954, for the benefit of the nation, Dr. Bhabha established the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) to conduct the multidisciplinary research necessary for India’s ambitious nuclear programme. After Bhabha’s passing in 1966, the AEET was renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

Awards & Honours:

  • He was a member of several scientific organisations, including the American National Academy of Sciences.
  • He received the Adams Prize (1942)
  • In 1954, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour.
  • Additionally, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1951, 1953–1956.

About Dr. Vikram Sarabhai

  • Early Life:
  • Sarabhai, who was born in Ahmedabad in 1919, was instrumental in shaping India’s astronomical future.


  • Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is regarded as the founder of the Indian space programme.
  • He established or assisted in the establishment of a large number of institutions in a variety of fields.
  • In Ahmedabad, he was instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL).
  • He established the Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association in 1947 and oversaw its operations until 1956.
  • After the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union, he was able to convince the Indian government of the need for its own space programme. In 1962, he subsequently renamed the Indian National Committee for Space Research as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • Together with other industrialists from Ahmedabad, he was instrumental in establishing the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
  • He worked on the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata.
  • Sarabhai was appointed chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India in 1966, following the death of physicist Homi Bhabha.

Awards and Honours:

  • He was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 1962, the Padma Bhushan in 1966, and the Padma Vibhushan after his death in 1972.
  • A crater on the moon was named after him in 1973.
  • Lander of India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan 2, is named ‘Vikram’ to honour the late Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

Source: IE

Background Radiation Levels in Kerala

GS 3 Science & Technology

In News

  • Scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) discovered that background radiation levels in parts of Kerala are nearly three times higher than previously believed.
  • Scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) measured radiation levels at nearly one hundred thousand locations across India for their pan-India study.

What is Background Radiation?

Radiation emitted by natural sources such as rocks, sand, and mountains.

Two types of background radiation exist:

Natural Emissions: These are the radiations produced by the radioactive materials found on earth.

Cosmic Radiation: These are the radiations that penetrate our planet’s atmosphere and originate from the sun, stars, and other celestial bodies.

  • Radiation is caused by the disintegration of the nucleus of an unstable element, and it can come from anywhere, including our bodies and the constituents of matter.
  • Gamma rays are a type of radiation that can pass through matter unimpeded. Even though they are extremely energising, they are harmless unless present in large quantities. It is comparable to how the heat from a fire can feel pleasant until a sustained, concentrated burst causes scalding or, worse, ignition.

Major Findings

  • The study found that the background radiation levels in the Kollam district (where Chavara is located) were approximately three times higher, at 9,562 nGy/hr.
  • This amounts to approximately 70 milliGray per year, which is slightly more than what a nuclear plant worker is exposed to.
  • The traces, however, do not represent an increased health risk, as the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) limits are extremely conservative and merely reflect an abundance of caution.
  • In light of India’s intentions to increase its reliance on nuclear energy, it was time to revise estimates of natural background radiation.
  • The last study was conducted in 1986 and determined the radiation to be 89 nGy/hr, while Chavara, Kerala, had the highest radiation exposure at 3,002 nGy/year.
  • The study also found a moderate correlation between soil classes and dose absorption:
  • For the mixed red and black soils of Maharashtra and Gujarat, low values of the airborne dose rate were recorded.
  • In the west-coastal plains of Kerala containing coastal and derived deltaic alluvial soils, high values were recorded.

What are the major implications of the Study?

  • The elevated radiation levels in Kollam are attributable to monazite sands containing a high concentration of thorium.
  • This is part of India’s long-term plan to produce nuclear fuel in a sustainable manner.
  • Due to the presence of granite and basaltic volcanic rock, the radiation levels from uranium deposits are higher in southern India.

Nuclear Energy of India

  • India is a country with vast nuclear deposits that heavily relies on nuclear energy for its power generation, and the government has taken numerous steps to maximise the use of this energy source.
  • The states of Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya are home to the majority of India’s nuclear deposits, which include uranium, thorium, and monazite.
  • Large quantities of thorium, a fertile element that can be converted into nuclear fuel, are found in the sands of Kerala’s beaches.
  • India has seven nuclear power plants with a total of 23 operational nuclear power reactors. The total installed capacity of these reactors is 7,480 megawatts (MW). The major nuclear power plants in India are: Tarapur(Maharashtra), Kakrapar(Gujarat),Kaiga(Karnataka), Narora(Uttar Pradesh) and Kudankulam(Tamil Nadu) etc.
  • India is also building a number of new nuclear power plants, including the Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) in Haryana, the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Maharashtra, and the Kovvada Nuclear Power Project in Andhra Pradesh.

Way ahead

  • The study results indicate that background radiation levels in Kerala are high, but they do not pose a significant health risk.
  • It’s important to continue monitoring radiation levels in areas with higher levels of natural background radiation, and to update estimates periodically.
  • Despite these challenges, India remains committed to developing its nuclear power industry, and the government has taken several steps to address these challenges.

Source: TH

India sees an increase in Sugar Exports

GS 3 Indian Economy & Related Issues

In News

  • India is now the largest producer and consumer of sugar in the world.


  • Sugarcane is a tall, perennial grass utilised in the production of sugar, ethanol, and paper.
  • Approximately 50 million sugarcane farmers and approximately 5 lakh workers are directly employed by the sugar industry.

Crop Conditions: 

  • Between 21 and 27 degrees Celsius, with a hot and humid climate.
  • Rainfall ranges between 75 and 100 centimetres.
  • The type of soil is a deep, loamy loam.
  • It can be grown in all types of soil, from sandy loam to clay loam, as long as the soils are well-drained.

Top Sugarcane Producing States: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar.

  • Distribution Of Industry : 
  • The sugar industry is centred on two major production regions: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab in the north, and Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh in the south.
  • South India’s tropical climate is conducive to a higher sucrose content, resulting in a higher yield per unit area compared to northern India.
    • Sugar exports have demonstrated a remarkable upward trend.
  • During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 sugar years (Oct-Sept), India shipped only 0.46 lakh tonnes (lt) and 6.2 lt of sugar, respectively. By 2021-22, they had reached 110 lt.

भारत चीनी निर्यात में वृद्धि देखता है

  • Reasons for Increase in Exports:
    • Impressive Sugar Season (Sep-Oct): During the previous season, all records for sugarcane production, sugar production, sugar exports, cane purchased, cane taxes paid, and ethanol production were compiled.
    • Shift From Refined to Raw Sugar: Exporters started focussing on raw sugar .Much of the world sugar trade is in ‘raws’ that are transported in bulk vessels of 40,000-70,000 tonnes capacity.
    • Indian Government Policy Initiatives: Timely government initiatives in the last 5 years have taken the sugar industry  out of financial distress in 2018-19 to the stage of self-sufficiency in 2021-22.

Government Initiatives:

  • Encouraging Ethanol Production: The government has encouraged sugar mills to divert sugar to ethanol and export surplus sugar so that mills can continue operations under more favourable financial conditions.
  • Ethanol Blending with Petrol (EBP) Programme: The Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme has an indicative target of 20% ethanol blending under the 2018 National Policy on Biofuels.
  • Fair and remunerative price (FRP): The FRP is the minimum price sugar mills are required to pay to sugarcane farmers for sugarcane purchases. In the past eight years, the government has increased FRP by more than 34 percent.


  • Uncertain Production Output: Sugarcane is in competition with cotton, oil seeds, rice, and other food and cash crops. Being a water-hungry crop by nature, its productivity is dependent on the monsoon and varies from year to year, causing price fluctuations that result in losses during times of excess production due to low prices.
  • Low Yield of Sugarcane: India’s yield per hectare is extremely low as compared to some of the major sugarcane producing countries of the world. For example, India’s yield is only 64.5 tonnes/hectare as compared to 90 tonnes in Java and 121 tonnes in Hawaii.
  • Short Crushing Season: Sugar production is a seasonal industry with a short crushing season that typically lasts between four and seven months per year.
  •  It results in monetary loss, seasonal employment for workers, and insufficient sugar mill utilisation.
  • Low Sugar Recovery Rate: The average rate of recovery of sugar from sugarcane in India is less than 10% which is quite low as compared to other major sugar producing countries.
  • High Production Cost: The high cost of sugarcane, inefficient technology, the uneconomical production process, and hefty excise taxes all contribute to the high cost of production.


  • Sugarcane is a water-intensive crop. More Sustainability, low yield, and low sugar recovery rates can be addressed through sugarcane research and development.
  • A consistent export policy will aid in the development of supply chains, leading to increased price realisation for farmers.
  • In order to maximise price realisation, the government should encourage value addition, preferably with the assistance of cooperative enterprises.
  • India should consider producing sugar from sugar beets to conserve scarce water resources.

Source: IE

Raccoon Dogs

GS 3 Species in News

In News                     

  • A recent analysis of genetic data gathered from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China has linked coronavirus to raccoon dogs.

About Raccoon Dogs

  • The raccoon dog is neither a dog nor a raccoon. They are closely related to foxes as members of the canid family. They are the only canids to hibernate during the winter months.
  • Food habits: They are omnivores, feeding on sources of food such as rodents and berries. Although they appear slim during the summer, they pack on the pounds for winter, when their fur also thickens. They are monogamous and typically live in pairs.
  • Distribution: Originating in East Asia, raccoon dogs are commonly found in China, Korea, and Japan, where they are known as tanuki.
  • They are also found in Europe, where fur traders introduced them in the 1920s.
  •  In Europe, raccoon dogs are currently regarded as a threat to the local ecosystem, and an EU report has dubbed them “one of the most successful alien carnivores in Europe.”
  • However, tanuki are revered in Japan.

Threats: They are sold for their meat and their fur.

  • Protection Status:  According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this species is of Least Concern..
  • Research and Experiments: Laboratory experiments have shown that raccoon dogs are susceptible to and capable of transmitting the novel coronavirus. However, this does not imply that they are the natural reservoir of the virus.