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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 19 March 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 19 March 2018


Paper 1:

Topic: Indian art and culture.


Nabakalebar festival

Context: Commemorative coins in denominations of ₹10 and ₹1000 have been released on Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebar festival.


About Nabakalebar festival:

  • The Nabakalebara is an ancient ritual associated with most of the Jagannath Temples when the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by a new set of Idols.
  • A year with an extra Ashadha masa/month as per Hindu Calendar is considered auspicious for conducting the ceremony. This usually occurs every twelve to nineteen years.
  • The Deities are made from a special type of Neem wood known as Daru Bramha.
  • The most recent ceremony was in 2015, following the 1996 ceremony.
  • This festival is celebrated at the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa.


What’s important?

For Prelims: Nabakalebar festival, Daru Bramha.


Sources: the hindu.

Paper 2:

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Festival Of Innovation And Entrepreneurship

Context: The Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship was recently inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. It is being organised by Rashtrapati Bhavan in association with the Department of Science and Technology and the National Innovation Foundation-India.


About the Festival Of Innovation And Entrepreneurship:

It is a celebration of country’s Innovation potential, particularly those ideas which stem from grassroots level including the citizen at the last mile and also a reflection of power of children’s creativity. It is an initiative to recognise, respect, showcase, reward innovations and to foster a supportive ecosystem for innovators.


Significance of the Festival:

  • FINE would provide an excellent platform to the innovators for building the linkages with potential stakeholders whose support can improve their prospects in coming years for the larger social good.
  • It will also help in promoting lateral learning and linkages among the innovators to enrich the ecosystem for new India.
  • It would also be a great opportunity to create awareness about the importance of various Ministries of Government of India attaches to their effort and participation in the FINE.


What’s important?

  • For Prelims: FINE.
  • For Mains: Need for innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


International Competition Network 2018

Context: India is hosting the 17th Annual Conference of International Competition Network 2018 (ICN2018) in New Delhi.


About the 2018 ICN conference:

  • The ICN holds an Annual Conference which is hosted by a member competition agency. The last such Conference was hosted by Portuguese Competition Authority in 2017 at Porto, Portugal.
  • This is the first time India is hosting the ICN2018 Annual Conference since it joined International Competition Network (ICN) in 2009.
  • The conference will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and strategies for effective enforcement of competition law and for strengthening cooperation amongst the competition authorities as they strive to promote and sustain competition in rapidly changing markets.


About ICN:

ICN is an international body comprising 132 members from 120 competition jurisdictions exclusively devoted to international competition enforcement. The ICN’s main goal is to improve and advocate for sound competition policy and its enforcement across the global antitrust community.

  • The ICN is a voluntary, consensus-based organisation. The ICN is not a rule-making organisation and its work products are not legally binding instruments.
  • ICN provides competition authorities with a specialised yet informal platform for addressing practical competition concerns, sharing experiences and adopting international best practices.
  • Members: Its members are national competition authorities and NGA (Non-governmental Advisers) which include reputed law firms, eminent persons, and think tanks of international repute.


Why have the ICN?

Economic globalisation has resulted in an increasing number of investigations and reviews of mergers, cartels and unilateral conduct that transcend jurisdictional boundaries. Agencies need to cooperate with each other on cross-border cases in order to reduce the risk of: (i) sub-optimal enforcement if an agency only has a partial picture of the situation; and (ii) inconsistent outcomes if different jurisdictions reach different conclusions about the same practice. The ICN helps facilitate cooperation and convergence, where appropriate. This is good for competition agencies, governments, businesses, and ultimately consumers.


What’s important?

For Prelims: ICN, CCI.

For Mains: ICN- need and significance.


Sources: pib.


Paper 3:

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Indian Science Congress In Manipur

Context: 105th Indian Science Congress was recently held in Manipur. It focussed on translational science for promoting affordable sustainable innovation.

  • Indian Science Congress was organized by the Indian Science Congress Association.
  • Theme: “Reaching the Unreached Through Science & Technology”.


Women Science Congress:

7th Women Science Congress was also held at the 105th session of Indian Science Congress in Imphal. The first Women Science Congress was held in 2012.


About Indian Science Congress Association:

Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) is a premier scientific organisation started in the year 1914 in Kolkata. It has a membership of more than 30,000 scientists.

Origin: It owes its origin to the foresight and initiative of two British chemists, namely, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P. S. MacMahon. It occurred to them that scientific research in India might be stimulated if an annual meeting of research workers somewhat on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science could be arranged.



  • To advance and promote the cause of science in India.
  • To hold an annual congress at a suitable place in India.
  • To publish such proceedings, journals, transactions and other publications as may be considered desirable.
  • To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science including the rights of disposing of or selling all or any portion of the properties of the Association.
  • To do and perform any or all other acts, matters and things as are conductive to, or incidental to, or necessary for, the above objects.


Sources: pib.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Cold fusion

Context: India is taking tentative steps towards restarting research into Cold fusion, some 25 years after it was shut down at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) following global criticism heaped on the idea. Three research groups have taken up the theme.

What is cold fusion?

Cold fusion describes a form of energy generated when hydrogen interacts with various metals like nickel and palladium.

  • Cold fusion is a field of condensed matter nuclear science CMNS, and is also called low-energy nuclear reactions LENR, lattice-assisted nuclear reactions LANR, low energy nanoscale reactions LENR, among others.
  • Cold fusion is also referred to as the Anomalous Heat Effect AHE, reflecting the fact that there is no definitive theory of the elusive reaction.


How it works?

When hydrogen, the main element of water, is introduced to a small piece of the metal nickel or palladium, a reaction occurs that can create excess heat and transmutation products. Excess heat means more heat comes out of the system than went in to the system. The excess heat can make hot water and useful steam to turn a turbine and produce electricity.


Advantages of cold fusion:

No radioactive materials are used in cold fusion. It occurs as the tiny protons, neutrons and electrons of hydrogen interact, releasing energy slowly, through heat and photons, without the dangerous radiation associated with conventional nuclear reactions, and cold fusion makes no radioactive waste.



Cold fusion seeks to produce nuclear energy without harmful radiation, complex equipment and the application of very high temperatures and pressures. But it has no conclusive theory explaining it and flies in the face of a well-established physics law that goes against easy fusion of nuclei. There is no guarantee that every time a cold fusion or LENR experiment is done, energy will be produced, say critics.


Way ahead:

Research is underway in the U.S., Japan, China, Russia, Italy, France and Ukraine too. Given the challenge posed by the science behind LENR and its potential payoffs, the Indian government should fund academic institutions that are willing to enter the fray.


What’s important?

For Prelims: Cold fusion.

For Mains: All about cold fusion and criticisms.


Sources: the hindu.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


GI tag

Context: The Geographical Indication (GI) Registry has issued a notice to the West Bengal State Food Processing and Horticulture Development Corporation, asking why the GI recognition given to ‘Banglar Rosogolla’ not be withdrawn.



A petition was recently filed objecting to the GI status procured by West Bengal for ‘Banglar Rosogolla’ four months ago. The petitioner questioned the data and documents provided by West Bengal for getting GI tag for this famous sweet. He had also pointed out that Odisha was not given a chance to explain its stance when the West Bengal State Food Processing & Horticulture Development Corporation applied for GI status.


Evidences on the origin:

According to one of the documents submitted by West Bengal citing historical evidence, Rasogollas invented in the Nadia district of West Bengal are 60 years old (lower end time frame). Haradhan, a confectioner of village Phulia is named as the inventor. West Bengal has given half-a-dozen historical evidences to back its claim.

While Odisha says the famous sweet was part of the offering in Sri Jagannath Temple of Puri at least five centuries ago.


About GI tag:

What is it?

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.


Significance of a GI tag:

Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.



Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.


Sources: the hindu.



Facts for Prelims:


ICGS C-437:

What is it? It is the Indian Coast Guard ship commissioned recently at Porbandar.

About: The boat is capable of undertaking multifarious task such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and rendering assistance to boats and craft in distress at sea. The boat has advanced navigational and communication equipment with capability to respond to any maritime situation.


Jackfruit to be Kerala’s state fruit:

Context: Jackfruit is set to be declared as the official fruit of Kerala. The core objective of the government was to give a fillip to the production and sale of jackfruit and its value-added products.

Facts: Elephant is the state animal of Kerala, while ‘great hornbill’ is the state bird and ‘kanikkonna’, the official flower. The state had also recently declared pearl spot, popularly known as ‘karimeen’, as its official fish.


In news- Loktak lake:

Context: A floating laboratory has been introduced to save the Loktak lake. Researchers in a custom motorboat monitor levels of pollution in the 300 sq km water body.

Concerns: Rising urbanisation and land-use change over the years has seen the Loktak Lake, the largest in the northeast, become a dump-yard for the city’s municipal waste, ranging from plastic refuse to chemical runoff from farming. This worsens during years of floods.

About Loktak lake: Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, and is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it. It has first of its kind loktak floating elementary school.

Located on this phumdi, Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world. The park is the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai (state animal).


Hindu New Year:

Hindu New Year was welcomed in different parts of the country with traditional festivities and celebrations. The Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Navareh, Navroz and Chetti Chand are the same festivals in different names, marking the occasion.

  • Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: Ugadi.
  • Karnataka: Yugadi /Ugadi.
  • Maharashtra: Gudi Padwa.
  • Sindhis: Cheti Chand.
  • Manipuris: Sajibu Cheiraoba.
  • Hindus of Bali and Indonesia also celebrate their new year on the same day as Nyepi.