1. Purana Quila

Why in News?
  • The Government/Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will set up a museum at Purana Quila to house objects excavated from across India which have been lying in the Central Antiquities Collection (CAC).
Highlights:
  • The proposed museum will open in April 2020.
  • The museum will be housed in the arched cells of Purana Quila.
  • The objective to open a new museum is to display antiquities such as tools, potteries, terracotta, beads of semi-precious stones, sculptures, architectural fragments, etc. for the general public, students and research scholars.
  • The objects to be displayed date from the pre-historic period to the medieval era such as Harappan seals, pre-historic animal and human figurines, coins and pottery from the Mughal period among several others.
  • This is the third such museum at the Purana Qila.
Central Antiquities Collection (CAC):
  • The Central Antiquity Collection Section is a centre for housing the collection of antiquities explored and excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India.
  • The CAC is under the ASI and the artefacts stored here are accessible only to researchers.
  • The Collection includes samples of pottery and artefacts of different periods from all major sites from across the country.
  • Over 2 lakh excavated antiquities are stored in the CAC. Out of this, about 1000 artefacts will be displayed in the new museum.
Purana Qila:
  • Purana Qila is one of the oldest forts belonging to the Mughal era.
  • The massive gateway and walls of the Qila were built by Mughal ruler Humayun and the foundation was laid for the new capital, Dinpanah.
  • The construction was taken forward by Sher Shah Suri, who displaced Humayun.
  • The walls of the Purana Quila are made of enormous red stones having minimal ornamentation and decoration.
  • The Major Attractions inside the fort are the Qila-i-Kuhna mosque (an example of Indo-Islamic architecture) of Sher Shah Suri, Sher Mandal (a tower, which is traditionally associated with the death of Humayun), a stepwell and the remains of the extensive rampart, which has three gates.
  • The unique features of Indo-Islamic architecture like horseshoe-shaped arches, bracketed openings, marble inlay, carving, etc. are very prominent in the structure.
  • Excavations have revealed that the Purana Quila stands at the site of Indraprastha, the capital of the Pandavas.Excavations near one of the walls of the fort show that the site had been occupied since 1000 B.C. The PGW (Painted Gray Ware Pottery) recovered from the site date back to around 1000 B.C.

2.National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self-Employed Persons

Why in News?
  • Recently Prime Minister of India has launched National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self-Employed Persons.
About the scheme:
  • It is a pension scheme for the Vyaparis that includes shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons with annual turnover not exceeding Rs 1.5 crore.
  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme.
  • The enrolment under the scheme is free of cost for the beneficiaries.
  • The enrolment is based upon self-certification.
  • It has a provision for minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000/- monthly on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The Central Government shall give 50 % share of the monthly contribution and remaining 50% contribution shall be made by the beneficiary.
  • The Beneficiary is required to have an Aadhaar card and a saving bank/ Jan-dhan Account passbook only.He/ She should be within 18 to 40 years of age group. GSTIN is required only for those with turnover above Rs. 40 lakhs.
  • The beneficiary should not be income tax payer and also not a member of Employees Provident Fund Organisation, Employees State Corporation, National Pension System, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan

3.Exercise Hand-in-Hand-2019

Why in News?
  • The 8thIndia-China joint training exercise ‘HAND-IN-HAND 2019’ with the theme counter-terrorism under the United Nations mandate is scheduled to be conducted at Umroi, Meghalaya in December 2019.
Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2019:
  • The Chinese contingent from the Tibet Military command comprising of 130 personal and the Indian Contingent of similar strength will participate in the 14-day long training exercise.The exercise is planned at the company level with the respective Battalion Headquarters controlling the training. The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct of counter-terrorist operations in semi-urban terrain. The exercise schedule is focused upon training on various lectures & drills associated with counter-terrorist handling & firing with each other’s weapons, special heliborne operations and case studies of various operations carried out in counter-terrorist environment.
  • Two tactical exercises are scheduled during the training; one on counter-terrorism scenario and the other on Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
  • The exercise was suspended in 2017 amid strained bilateral ties after the Doklam standoff.
  • In 2018, the exercise was held in China.

4.Independent Director’s Databank

Why in News?
  • The Corporate Affairs Ministry launched ‘Independent Director’s Databank’.
Highlights:
  • The Ministry launched the databank in accordance with the Companies Act, 2013 and the rules made thereunder.
  • The databank can be accessed at the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  • It is an initiative of the Ministry to provide an easy to access & navigate platform for the registration of existing independent directors as well as individuals aspiring to become independent directors.
  • Powered by an Integrated Learning Management System, the various e-learning capsules and videos available in the system will enable individual users to easily acquire knowledge from diverse resources, develop distinct skills and assess their understanding of company operations, regulations and compliances.
  • Companies also may register themselves with the databank to search, select and connect with individuals who possess the right skills and attitude for being considered for appointment as Independent Directors.
  • The Databank is expected to become a comprehensive repository of both existing independent directors as well as individuals eligible and willing to be appointed as Independent Directors.
  • The Databank portal which has been developed and will be maintained by the Indian Institute for Corporate Affairs (IICA) is a first of its kind initiative from the Ministry.
  • It provides for a wide array of e-learning courses on various topics including the Companies Act, Securities laws, basic accountancy, board practices, board ethics and board effectiveness.As per the notified rules, all existing Independent Directors are required to register themselves in the databank within 3 months from 01 December 2019.
  • They are also required to pass a basic online proficiency self-assessment test which will available from March 2020 onwards within 12 months thereafter.
  • In order to provide sufficient practice to individuals, a number of online mock tests have also been made available in the system.

5.Gadhimai Festival

  • It is the world’s largest animal sacrifice ceremony in Nepal.
  • It is held every 5 years at the at Gadhimai Temple of Bariyarupur, in Bara District.
  • It is located near the Indo-Nepal Border, adjacent to Bihar.
  • Religious mantras are sung in the before of the sacrificial offers to Hindu Goddess Gadhimai.
  • Goat, Rat, Chicken, Pig and Peigeon are the animals slaughter in this festival.
  • A local shaman then offer blood from five points of his body.
  • The worshippers from Nepal and neighboring India has spent days sleeping out in open and offer prayers.

6.National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO)

Why in News?
  • Recently NOTTO has awarded with Cadaveric Organ Donation Award to Tamil Nadu.
  • It has to be noted that Tamil Nadu bags this award for the 5thtime consecutively.
About NOTTO:
  • It functions as the apex centre for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country.
  • It is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • It has two divisions.  They are National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network and National Biomaterial Centre.

7.Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill,2019

Why in News?
  • Recently Parliament passed an amendment to the SPG (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
About SPG (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  • It proposes to provide security to the Prime Minister and the members of his immediate family, who are residing with him at the official residence.
  • It also proposes to provide security to former prime ministers and their immediate family members residing with him at the official residence allotted to him for five years.
  • It focusses solely on the security of the Prime Minister, as ensuring the security of the head of the government is of great importance for governance and national security.
  • It provides a condition to continue the SPG cover of the PM’s immediate family members if the level of perceived threat is high in case of withdrawal of the SPG cover to the former Prime Minister.
Special Protections Group Act, 1988:
  • The act proposed to provide SPG security based on the level of threat as decided by the Union Government.
  • It states that if the SPG security cover is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, it will also be withdrawn from his immediate family members unless the threat level faced by the family member warrants such security.
  • This means that in case of death of a former Prime Minister, the SPG security would be withdrawn from his immediate family members.
  • Under the bill’s provisions, only those family members will be provided with SPG security cover, who stay with the PM or former PM at the allotted residence.
  • The Gandhi’s and the former PM are now protected under the “Z plus” security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • The government stated that the decision was taken after reviewing the threat level.
SPG:
  • It is the highest tier of security, which was set up in 1985 to protect the Prime Minister of India after the assassination of late PM Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards in October 1984.
  • It is initially constituted to provide proximate security to the PM and his immediate family members, the SPG Act was amended in 1991 to provide security cover to former PMs and their immediate families after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1992.
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