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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 04-11-2020

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November 04, 2020

Ganga Utsav 2020

  • Recently, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has inaugurated Ganga Utsav 2020.
  • It is a three-day festival aims to promote stakeholder engagement and ensure public participation.
  • It celebrates mystical and cultural river Ganga through
  1. Storytelling,
  2. Folklores, and dialogues with eminent personalities,
  3. Displaying traditional art forms, dance and music performance by renowned artists,
  • Ganga Task Force (GTF) conducted an afforestation drive with National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets and educational tour for youth.

River Ganga

  • It is the longest river of India flowing over 2,510 km of mountains, valleys and plains and is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth.
  • It originates in the snowfields of the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas as the Bhagirathi River and is joined by other rivers such as the Alaknanda, Yamuna, Son, Gumti, Kosi and Ghagra.
  • The Ganga river basin is one of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the world and covers an area of 1,000,000 sq. km.
  • The Ganges River Dolphin is an endangered animal that specifically habitats this river.
  • The Ganga widens out into the Ganges Delta in the Sundarbans swamp of Bangladesh, before it ends its journey by emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Ganga was declared as the National River of India on 4th November 2008.


  • Mallakhamb is one of the few ancient games that is played against gravity.
  • The origin of this ancient Indian sport can be traced to earlier part of the 12th century.
  • A mention of wrestlers exercising on wooden poles is found in the Manasholas, written by Chalukya, in 1153 AD.
  • It was revived late in the 19th century by Balambhatta Dada Deodhar, physical instructor to Bajirao Peshwa II.
  • The word malla means a wrestler or an athlete in Sanskrit and can also indicate a verb, such as strong or good.
  • Khamb or kham, in spoken Marathi, means a pole.
  • Therefore, Mallakhamb has come to be known as wrestling against a pole.
  • It functions on a synergy of mind and body, employing every muscle in a way that enables a person to develop speed, stamina and better health.
  • In recent times Mallakhamb has developed an identity that is separate from wrestling or kushti.
  • There are two other Mallakhamb styles such as ‘rope mallakhamb’ and ‘hanging mallakhamb’.
  • PM has recently mentioned about this game in his “Mann Ki Baat” Program.  

Rise in PMI

  • Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is an indicator of business activity - both in the manufacturing and services sectors.
  • It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is also constructed.
  • The PMI summarizes whether market conditions as viewed by purchasing managers are expanding, neutral, or contracting.
  • PMI Data means the following
  1. The headline PMI is a number from 0 to 100.
  2. PMI above 50 represents an expansion when compared to the previous month;
  3. PMI under 50 represents a contraction, and
  4. A reading at 50 indicates no change.
  • The PMI is usually released at the start of every month.
  • Recently India’s PMI rose from 56.8 in September to 58.9 in October 2020.
  • PMI is compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide.
  • IHS Markit is a global leader in information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide.

Nomura India Business Resumption Index

  • Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) is Japanese brokerage’s weekly tracker of the pace of normalisation of economic activity.
  • Recently India’s NIBRI improved to 82.4 in October, a rise of 2.1 points from 80.3 in September and 73.6 in August.


  • Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) was launched in 2015.
  • It is India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Mission Sagar-II, follows the first ‘Mission Sagar’ undertaken in 2020.
  • As part of Mission Sagar-II, Indian Naval Ship Airavat will deliver food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea.
  • Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles along with La Réunion are part of Indian Ocean Commission.
  • The assistance is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The strategic importance of these island nations is highlighted by their location along key Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs).
  • Earlier, India had sent Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kesari, carrying food items and medical assistance teams, to countries in the southern Indian Ocean to deal with Covid-19 pandemic as part of a "Mission Sagar" initiative.

Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC)

  • Sea lines of communication (SLOC) is a term describing the primary maritime routes between ports, used for trade, logistics and naval forces.
  • It is generally used in reference to naval operations to ensure that SLOCs are open, or in times of war, to close them.
  • Sea lines of communication comprise the umbilical cord of a state's economy and the arteries of a region's economic health.
  • During times of peace, they serve as commercial trade routes but during war, these routes are considered strategic pathways to keep the war machine fully oiled

Important groupings associated with IOR


Source: PIB, Indian Express, the Hindu

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