Prelims Snippets – 04-01-2020

1. Patola Saree

Why in News?
  • In a Historic Initiative taken by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a silk processing plant has been set up in Gujarat.
Patola Silk Saree:
  • Patola, the trademark Saree of Gujarat, is considered to be very costly and worn only by the Royals or the Aristocrats. It was conferred with a GI tag in 2014.
  • Based on their origin, there are essentially two varieties of Patola sarees – the Rajkot Patola and the Patan Patola. Rajkot Patolas are single ikat weaves while Patal Patolas are double ikat weaves.
  • A double ikat weave, Patola sarees originated in the town of Patan in Gujarat and is a characteristic weave of the silk weavers of the Salvi caste of Karnataka and Maharashtra, who migrated to Gujarat.
  • After the decline of the Solanki Empire, it was a sign of social status amongst Gujarati women.
  • Traditionally, every region in India has had its own unique weave for the Silk Saree. Patola Silk Saree is amongst the top five silk weaves.
  • Patola sarees are considered sacred in a number of communities.
  • Its immense value is not just because of its intricacy but also because of the tremendous amount of skill and perseverance that goes into making it.
  • The cocoons will be brought from Karnataka and West Bengal and Silk yarn will be processed in house, thus reducing the cost of production and giving a major boost to the sale of famous Gujarati Patola Sarees.
  • The sarees are considered to be costly as the raw material silk yarn is purchased from Karnataka or West Bengal, where silk processing units are situated, thus increasing the cost of the fabric manifolds.
  • It would help cut down the cost of production of silk yarn drastically and increase the sale and availability of raw material for Gujarati Patola Sarees locally.
  • It is an effort to generate livelihood and boost sales of Patola Sarees by making silk more readily available at a low cost, for the Patola Saree manufacturers in the nearby areas.

2. Arabica Coffee

Why in News?
  • India’s Arabica production has hit an all-time low this coffee-picking season.
Coffee Production in India:
  • Coffee is grown in three regions of India with Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu forming the traditional coffee growing region.
  • It is followed by the new areas developed in the non-traditional areas of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa in the eastern coast of the country and with a third region comprising the NE states.
  • Indian coffee, grown mostly in southern states under monsoon rainfall conditions, is also termed as “Indian monsooned coffee”.
  • The two well-known species of coffee grown are the Arabica and Robusta.
Coffee in India:
  • In the Indian context, coffee growing started with a saint, Baba Budan who, while returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, smuggled seven coffee beans from Yemen to Mysore in India.
  • He planted them on the Chandragiri Hills now named after the saint as Baba Budan Giri in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka.

3. ‘MANI’ App

Why in News?
  • With an eye to aid the differently-abled, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a mobile app to identify currency notes.
  • ‘MANI’, is an acronym for Mobile Aided Note Identifier.
  • The visually challenged can identify the denomination of a note by using the application, which can also work offline once it is installed.
  • A user will have to scan the notes using the camera and it will give the audio output to give out results in Hindi and English.
  • RBI has clarified that the app does not authenticate a note as either genuine or counterfeit.

4. National Human Rights Commission

Why in News?
  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recently issued a notice to the Rajasthan government in connection with the deaths of over 100 children at the government-run J.K. Lon hospital in Kota in December.
About NHRC:
  • It was established in 1993 under a legislation enacted by the Parliament, namely, the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
  • It is a statutory body.
  • In 1993, the UN General Assembly adopted the Paris Principles on Human Rights. This led to the constitution of national human rights institutions in almost every country.
  • The commission is a multi-member body consisting of a chairman and four members.
  • The commission’s headquarters is at Delhi and it can also establish offices at other places in India.
Functions of NHRC:
  • Investigate violations of human rights committed by the government.
  • Intervene in legal proceedings related to human rights.
  • Recommend to provide relief to the victims and their families.
  • Review protection provided by Constitution.
  • Study international treaties related to human rights, etc. and recommend for effective implementation on its basis.
  • Promote research in the field of human rights.
  • Spread human rights education in different sections of the society.
Appointment Committee of NHRC:
  • Prime Minister (chairperson)
  • Home Minister
  • Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
  • Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
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