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Prelim Bits 02-05-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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May 02, 2023

Bihan Mela

A seed festival aims to help tribal Kondh farmers in Odisha return to their agricultural traditions


  • Bihan Mela, literally the seed festival, participated by farmers from as many as 40 villages in members of the Kondh tribe in Odisha’s Nayagarh district.
  • Preparations begin as soon as farmers have harvested kharif crops, which includes both hybrid and indigenous varieties of paddy, millets, maize and sorghum.
  • Women, who are at the helm of this festival, carefully collect seeds of the indigenous varieties and store them in earthen pots.
  • Then, on a designated day in December, they decorate the pots with red and white motifs, place them in a bamboo basket and carry it on head to the village where the fair is being organised.
  • The fair mimics a traditional market where farmers used to exchange seeds.
  • Even in dongars or hilltops, where families used to practice mixed cropping until recently, have shifted to monoculture cash crops like cashew.
  • This has not only affected their food and nutritional security, but also degraded the soil and made the farmers more vulnerable to crop loss.
  • “The seed festival was thus introduced to help farmers return to their traditional ways of farming like mixed-cropping.


  1. Down To Earth | Bihan Mela

Laundromat countries

India leads five countries named as the “Laundromat” countries that buy Russian oil and sell processed products to European countries, sidestepping European sanctions against Russia.


  • The five countries are responsible for 70 per cent of Russia’s crude oil exports.
  • They are India, China, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Turkey
  • Price cap coalition countries have increased imports of refined oil products from countries that have become the largest importers of Russian crude.
  • The Price Cap Coalition comprising Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • India emerged as the leading exporter of refined oil products at 3.7 million tonnes to Price Cap Coalition countries in 2022.
  • Among laundromat countries, India, which in April remained the highest global consumer of seaborne Russian crude.
  • The EU was the largest importer of oil products from these laundromat countries worth €17.7 billion, despite partially banning crude oil imports from Russia last year.


  1. The Hindu | Laundormat Countries

ASEAN India maritime exercise (AIME-2023)

Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Delhi arrived at Singapore to participate in the Inaugural ASEAN India Maritime Exercise (AIME-2023)

Salient features

  • The AIME-2023, scheduled to be held in two phases.
  • The Harbor Phase of the exercise is scheduled to be held at Changi Naval Base and the Sea Phase will be conducted in the South China Sea.
  • The exercise will provide an opportunity for Indian Navy and ASEAN navies to work closely and conduct seamless operations in the maritime domain.
  • The ships, during their port call at Singapore, will also participate in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX-23) and International Maritime Security Conference being hosted by Singapore.
  • INS Delhi, India’s first indigenously-built guided missile destroyer.
  • INS Satpura, an indigenously-built guided missile stealth frigate are a part of Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam.


  1. The New Indian Express | AIME-2023

Sonorous submarine

Researchers have recorded the bustling sounds of marine organisms in coral reefs off the coast of south Goa to understand their behavior.

  • The researchers from the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) used hydrophones to eavesdrop on underwater organisms in a reef in the Arabian Sea.
  • Hydrophones are a low-cost means of monitoring species.
  • If the coral reef system is healthy, fish will be there and the presence of soniferous (sound-producing) fish will generate sound.
  • The technology can help researchers to study the abundance, diversity and behaviour of organisms.
  • It can also reveal how they respond to climate change and anthropogenic disturbances.
  • Soniferous fish represent a group of vocal vertebrates that produce sounds during various social interactions.
  • Hydrophones also pick up the sounds of wind (50-20,000 Hz) and oceanic traffic (10-10,000 Hz).
  • The technology compares the recorded sounds with archival information to distinguish calls coming from fish species or families.
  • Fish communication is more active in the pre-monsoon than in the post-monsoon season.
  • Hydrophones help in examining how marine life responds to climate change and anthropogenic activities.


  1. Down To Earth | Sonorous Submarine

YUVA tourism club

Tourism Ministry to undertake special initiative of 100 Episodes of Mann ki Baat-100 days of Action through the Yuva Tourism Clubs

About the club

  • The vision of YUVA Tourism Clubs is to nurture and develop young ambassadors of Indian tourism, appreciate our rich cultural heritage and develop an interest and passion for tourism.
  • These young ambassadors would be catalysts for promoting tourism in India.
  • Participation in Tourism Clubs is also expected to facilitate development of soft skills like teamwork, management, leadership.
  • It also encourages adoption of responsible tourism practices and concern for sustainable tourism.
  • The establishment of Yuva Tourism Clubs was initiated in schools, colleges and Indian Hotel Management institutions in connection with the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations.


  1. PIB | Yuva Tourism Club
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