Tuesday, 2nd May 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day

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Roadmap to energy justice - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Daily Current Affairs

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National Medical Device Policy

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PCPNDT Act, 1994 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

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Tea Fortification - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Millets Experience Centre - Edukemy Current Affairs

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ECUADOR, NIGERIA, PANAMA TAP INDIA FOR GENERIC MEDICINE Scheme

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Future of Job Report – WEF - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Decarbonise steel making - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Painted Storks - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Achanakmar Tiger Reserve (ATR)

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Hydrogen Sulfide - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Rang Ghar - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Editorial of the day

Roadmap to energy justice - Edukemy Current Affairs


Exam View: Energy Justice, India’s balanced and pragmatic energy strategy, strategy to ensure energy security and achieving energy independence

Context: India’s pragmatic and balanced strategy has helped to keep prices of petrol, diesel and gas under check and ensure energy justice to its citizens.

Background: Energy Justice:

  • As the world’s fastest-growing major economy, India will account for around 25% of global energy demand growth between 2020-2040 and ensuring energy access, availability and affordability for a large population is an imperative.
  • Energy justice refers to the pursuit of social and economic fairness in the energy sector and the alleviation of the economic, social, and health burdens experienced by those disproportionately affected by it. It aims to ensure that all communities have access to inexpensive, clean, and democratically-managed energy. It comprises of three tenets:

India’s pragmatic and balanced energy strategy:

  • Stable oil prices amidst global volatility: Despite global fuel price volatility, India’s oil prices remained stable due to massive cuts in excise duty and VAT rates. Oil PSUs also absorbed huge losses to ensure that fuel and gas price hikes were not passed on to Indian consumers.
  • Increase in subsidised gas distribution: Administered Price Mechanism price for gases were used. City gas distribution was increased even at the cost of cutting down the captive use of domestic gas by the PSUs.
  • Imposition of export cess on petrol, diesel and ATF and windfall tax on domestically produced petroleum products to prevent refiners and producers from profiteering at the cost of domestic consumers.
  • Diversification of network of crude oil suppliers from 27 nations to 39 nations. India further strengthened its ties with the US and Russia to ensure a reliable supply of crude oil for the world’s third largest importer.
  • Stabilising global crude oil prices: India’s purchase of petroleum products has kept the global demand and supply of around 98-100 million barrels/day balanced, thereby keeping oil prices in check for the global value chain.

Strategy to ensure energy security and achieving energy independence:

  • Expansion of traditional fuels exploration as well as energy transition: By 2025, India aims to boost its net geographic area under exploration from 8% to 15% and has reduced the prohibited areas in Exclusive Economic Zone by 99%, releasing nearly 1 million sq km for exploration.
  • Expansion of Petrochemical Production. India has the fourth largest refining capacity in the world. Efforts are underway to further enhance this capacity to 450 MMT by 2040 as expanding refining capacity also ensures fuel price stability.
  • Shift towards gas-based economy: India is accelerating its efforts to move towards a gas-based economy by increasing the share of gas from the current 6.3% to 15% by 2030.
    • More than 9.5 crores families have been connected with clean cooking fuel in past 9 years.
    • PNG connections have increased from 22.28 lakh in 2014 to over 1 crore in 2023.
    • Number of CNG stations has gone up from 938 in 2014 to 4,900 in 2023.
    • Since 2014, the length of its gas pipeline network has increased from 14,700 kms to 22,000 kms in 2023.
  • Biofuel Revolution: India recently launched E20 fuel, i.e. 20% ethanol blended gasoline which will be rolled out in 15 cities and expanded across the country in the next two years.
    • India’s ethanol blending gasoline has grown from 1.53% in 2013-14 to 10.17% in 2023.
    • India is also setting up five second generation ethanol plants, which can convert agricultural waste into biofuel, further reducing pollution due to stubble burning and generating income for farmers.
  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission has been launched with an outlay of Rs 19,744 crores to develop the entire green hydrogen ecosystem in the country and accelerate India’s efforts towards 4 MT of annual green hydrogen production.
  • Integrated path for transitioning India’s future mobility pathways by supporting electric vehicles through a production linked incentive scheme to make advanced chemistry cells of 50 GW hours and has announced viability gap funding and customs duty exemptions for the sector.

Source: 

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/hardeep-s-puri-writes-roadmap-to-energy-justice-8586248/

Keywords: GS-3 Infrastructure: Energy, Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
Daily Current Affairs

National Medical Device Policy


In News: The Union Cabinet approved the National Medical Devices Policy, 2023, which is expected to facilitate an orderly growth of the medical device sector to meet the public health objectives of access, affordability, quality and innovation.

Need for a National Medical Devices Policy:

  • Sunrise sector: The medical devices sector in India is a sunrise sector which is growing at a fast pace. Market size of the medical devices sector in India is estimated to be $11 billion in 2020 and its share in the global medical device market is estimated to be 1.5%.
  • Essential for ensuring directed growth of the Indian Healthcare system which has potential to become self-reliant and to contribute towards universal health care, thus ensuring right to health.
  • Increasing contribution of Indian medical devices sector especially after COVID-19 pandemic where it assisted through the large scale production of medical devices & diagnostic kits, such as Ventilators, Rapid Antigen Test kits, RT-PCR kits, IR Thermometers, PPE Kits & N-95 masks.
  • Need for a holistic policy framework to accelerate growth in the sector and put in place a comprehensive set of focus areas for growth of the sector in a coordinated manner.
  • Convergence of interventions of several departments at state and central level in a coherent manner that would facilitate focused and efficient support and facilitation for the sector by the respective agencies.

Salient Features of National Medical Devices Policy, 2023:

  • Strategic Objectives: To accelerate the growth path of the medical devices sector while ensuring access, equality & universality in healthcare, affordability, patient centred & quality care, preventive & promotive health along with security in terms of lesser dependence on imports.
  • Key Features of the policy: Medical devices sector will be facilitated and guided through a set of strategies that will be cover six broad areas of policy interventions:
    • Regulatory Streamlining through creation of a Single Window Clearance System for Licensing of Medical Devices; coordination between all the stakeholder departments/ organisations such as AERB, MeitY, DAHD, etc.
    • Enabling Infrastructure: Developing medical device parks and clusters in line with the National Industrial Corridor Program and the proposed National Logistics Policy 2021 under the ambit of PM Gati Shakti.
    • Facilitating R&D and Innovation through the establishment of Centres of Excellence in academic and research institutions, innovation hubs, ‘plug and play’ infrastructures and start-ups.
    • Attracting Investments in the Sector: The policy encourages private investments, series of funding from Venture Capitalists and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) through schemes and interventions like Ayushman Bharat, Heal in India etc.
    • Human Resources Development through skilling, reskilling, and upskilling of professionals in the medical device sector, supporting dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices in existing institutions and partnerships with foreign academic/industry organisations.
    • Brand Positioning and Awareness Creation: The policy envisages the creation of a dedicated Export Promotion Council for the sector under the Department which will be an enabler to deal with various market access issues.

Various Schemes Initiated by Government:

  • Scheme for Promotion of Medical Device Parks and setting up of 4 Medical devices Parks in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh
  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Promoting Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices which is applicable only to the Greenfield projects and intends to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the Medical Devices Sector.
  • PLI scheme for Pharmaceuticals to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities by increasing investment and production in the sector.
  • Public Procurement Order which prescribes that domestically sourced components must contribute to 25-50% of the cost of medical devices to qualify for public tenders.
  • Government has allowed 100% foreign direct investments (FDI) in medical devices sector.

 

Source:

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1919984

Keywords: GS-2 Services relating to Health
Daily Current Affairs

PCPNDT Act, 1994 - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently, Delhi High Court has remarked that certain aspects of the Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) (PC & PNDT) Act need reconsideration for effective implementation of the Act.

About

The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 is an Indian legislation enacted to prevent the misuse of diagnostic techniques for sex determination, leading to female feticide and sex-selective abortions.

The primary objective of the PCPNDT Act is to regulate and control the use of prenatal diagnostic techniques to prevent the sex determination of the fetus, thereby addressing the issue of gender-based discrimination and female foeticide.

The PCPNDT Act aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Prohibition of sex determination: The act prohibits the use of any technique, including ultrasound, for determining the sex of the fetus during pre-conception and pre-natal stages. It recognizes that sex determination and subsequent sex-selective abortions have contributed to the declining sex ratio in India, particularly affecting the female population.
  • Regulation of diagnostic techniques: The act provides for the regulation and supervision of all diagnostic techniques used in determining genetic abnormalities, congenital anomalies, or other conditions affecting the health of the fetus. It sets guidelines and standards for the operation of diagnostic centers, registration of ultrasound machines, and qualifications of medical professionals involved in such procedures.
  • Prevention of misuse: The act aims to prevent the misuse of diagnostic techniques by unscrupulous medical practitioners and individuals who engage in sex determination for the purpose of selective abortion. It seeks to create a deterrent by imposing stringent penalties on those involved in such practices, including imprisonment and cancellation of medical licenses.
  • Promotion of safe and ethical practices: The act promotes safe and ethical practices in the field of prenatal diagnosis. It encourages the use of diagnostic techniques for legitimate medical purposes, such as identifying genetic disorders and providing appropriate counseling and care to expectant parents.

Provisions of the PCPNDT Act:

  • Registration of diagnostic centers: The act requires all diagnostic centers, including those performing ultrasound procedures, to register themselves with the appropriate authority. The registration process includes submitting necessary documents, maintaining records, and complying with the prescribed standards and guidelines.
  • Regulation of ultrasound machines: The act mandates the registration and maintenance of records for all ultrasound machines. It prohibits the sale or purchase of ultrasound machines to unauthorized persons or entities.
  • Prohibition of sex selection: The act explicitly prohibits the communication of the sex of the fetus to the expectant parents or any other person. It is an offense to conduct or solicit sex determination procedures, and any person found guilty can face imprisonment and/or fines.
  • Inspection and monitoring: The act empowers the appropriate authority to conduct regular inspections of diagnostic centers, review their records, and take necessary actions against violators. It also allows for the seizure and sealing of ultrasound machines in case of non-compliance.
  • Penal provisions: Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities in the form of a notice, circular, label, wrapper or any document, or advertises through interior or other media in electronic or print form or engages in any visible representation made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/grey-areas-in-law-banning-prenatal-sex-determination-need-fixing-says-hc/article66796959.ece

 

Keywords: GS-2 Government policies and Intervention
Daily Current Affairs

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)


In News: India's indigenous bio-jet fuel from cooking oil and seeds of oil-bearing plants is set to be certified internationally this year.

About Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF):

  • SAF is a type of fuel that can power aircraft and has significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional jet fuel.
  • It can be produced from a variety of feedstocks, including used cooking oil, agricultural waste, and municipal solid waste and can be blended with conventional jet fuel.
  • It has sulphur content is much lower, which can help reduce air pollution and contribute to India's Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions targets.
  • The use of SAF is a key part of many airlines' plans to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Currently, SAF makes up a small percentage of the total fuel used by the aviation industry, but its use is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
  • The European Union (EU) has proposed to start blending of SAF with conventional jet fuel at 2% in 2025 and increases it through five-year intervals to reach 63% in 2050.
  • However, there are still challenges to the widespread adoption of SAF, including the high cost of production and limited availability of feedstocks.

 

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/energy/india-s-sustainable-jet-fuel-may-get-internationally-certified-in-2023-88994

 

Keywords: GS-III: Environment, Clean Energy
Daily Current Affairs

Tea Fortification - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Major flaws in Tea Fortification Study conducted in Sangli, Maharashtra to address Anaemia in Women

About Tea Fortification:

  • It is a process in which tea is fortified with folate and vitamin B12 to help tackle health issues in women with chronic nutritional deficiencies especially anaemia.
  • Most women of childbearing age in India have a poorly balanced diet, resulting in chronic folate and vitamin B12
  • Tea being the most common beverage drunk in India and is grown and processed in only 4 states, making it an ideal vehicle for fortification.
  • Fortified tea increases the serum folate levels and serum vitamin B12 levels among the groups that drank fortified tea.
  • This tea could also be potentially used in India as a daily therapeutic dose of folate and vitamin B12 or as a lower maintenance dose.
  • Critiques have however argued that fortification using only folate and vitamin B12 may not be sufficient as anaemia can occur due to deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, and/or folic acid.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/anaemia-major-flaws-in-a-tea-fortification-study/article66790924.ece

 

Keywords: GS-III: Health, Government Schemes
Daily Current Affairs

Millets Experience Centre - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare launches Millets Experience Centre (MEC)

About Millet Experience Centre (MEC):

  • Union government has recently launched of the first-of-its-kind ‘Millets Experience Centre’ (MEC) at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi.
  • It has been established in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED).
  • It aims to promote dietary benefits of the ancient grain and popularizes millets or Shree Anna as a nutritional powerhouse.
  • It also offers unique dining experience and avenue where customers can purchase a variety of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products from local millet start-ups.
  • The centre will help in the recognition of the immense potential of millets (Shree Anna) as a versatile and healthy grain.
  • India is gearing towards becoming a ‘Global Hub’ for Millets and had previously promoted millets in the United Nations (UN) which had declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023).

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1920622

 

Keywords: GS-III: Government Schemes
Daily Current Affairs

ECUADOR, NIGERIA, PANAMA TAP INDIA FOR GENERIC MEDICINE Scheme


In News: Nigeria, Ecuador, and Panama seek India’s help to replicate the Jan Aushadhi Kendra model

About Generic Medicine Scheme:

  • Generic medicines are copies of branded drugs that are made after the patent of the original drug expires.
  • They contain the same active ingredient as the branded drug and are used to treat the same condition in the same way.
  • Jan Aushadhi Kendras are stores which makes quality generic medicines, consumables, and surgical items available at affordable prices for all.
  • India is the largest supplier of generic drugs to the world, exporting $19.02 billion worth of generics in FY22.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana:

  • The PMBJP was launched by the department of pharmaceuticals in 2008 with the objective of making quality generic medicines available at affordable prices to the people.
  • Under the scheme, the Jan Aushadhi Kendra stores make available quality medicines which are priced 50-90% less than branded medicines.
  • In the past eight years, the estimated amount saved by citizens increased to ₹20,000 crore, with more than 10 lakh people visiting the Kendras every day.
  • At present, there are more than 9,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras functional across the country, and the Union government aims to increase the number to 10,000 by March 2024.

 

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-in-talks-with-ecuador-panama-and-nigeria-for-affordable-generic-medicines-through-jan-aushadhi-kendras-scheme-11682876468416.

 

Keywords: GS-III: Internationa Relations, Soft Power
Daily Current Affairs

Future of Job Report – WEF - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The World Economic Forum published their Future of Jobs report in Geneva.

About:

  • According to the study ‘almost a quarter of jobs (23 per cent) are expected to change in the next five years through growth of 10.2 per cent and decline of 12.3 per cent (globally)’.
  • Fourth edition (first edition in 2016) of this bi-annual series explores how jobs and skills will evolve over next five years (2023-2027).
  • It tracks labour-market impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution, green energy transitions, supply-chain shifts etc.

  • Key findings
    • Key drivers of business transformation include technology adoption, followed by rising cost of living, slow economic growth, and green transition.
    • 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in next five years.
    • The report suggests that around 69 million jobs will be created, and 83 million positions will be eliminated by 2027.
    • This will result in a net loss of 14 million jobs, equivalent to 2% of current employment.
    • The fastest declining roles will be secretarial and clerical roles such as bank tellers and cashiers which can be automated while demand for AI machine learning specialists and cybersecurity experts is expected to grow significantly.
    • Labour markets in India over the next five years are expected to witness a “Labour market churn” lower than the global average.
    • The employment of data analysts and scientists, big data specialists, AI machine learning specialists and cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow on average by 30 per cent by 2027.
    • On the other hand, labour-intensive sectors like accountants and auditors, operations managers and factory workers are expected to witness the least job growth.

 

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/wef-report-says-not-technology-but-these-factors-threaten-your-jobs-in-the-short-term-11682947150900.html

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Decarbonise steel making - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Decarbonisation of steel sector is an integral part of the India’s ability to achieve its climate goal. A recent study has tried to minimize use of carbon in steel making.

About:

  • India is the world’s second-largest steelmaker, making the sector’s decarbonisation plans integral to India’s climate commitments.
  • In steelmaking industry, hydrogen can be used instead of carbon in an important chemical reaction that contributes to 5-7% of the global greenhouse-gas emissions and 11% of carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Strong steel consists of a tiny amount – less than 1% – of carbon.
    • To achieve this mix, iron oxide is heated with coke (form of coal with high carbon content) at 1,700 degree C inside a blast furnace.
  • In this reaction, carbon reacts with oxygen to release carbon dioxide.

Decarbonization

  • It is a process of sustainably reducing and compensating the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂).

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/hydrogen-direct-reduction-water-pore-formation-mystery/article66781330.ece

 

Keywords: General Studies –2 Government Policies & Interventions, General Studies –3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Painted Storks - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? One of the largest flock of painted storks ( Mycteria leucocephala), approximately 4,000 birds, have made tall trees in Veepapuram and Venkatapuram villages in Andhra Pradesh.

About:

  • Painted Storks belong to Ciconiidae family.
  • These birds are widely distributed over plains of Asia.
  • The painted storks are usually seen in the freshwater wetlands and occasionally in the coastal regions.
  • They are found in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • These storks feed in groups, wading in shallow waters and avoiding deeper waters. They feed on small fish, frogs and reptiles.
  • Its breeding season extends from July to October in North India and November to March in South India.
  • They have a long heavy yellow beak with a down curved tip. Bare head is reddish or orange in color.
  • IUCN Status: 'Near Threatened'.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/veerapuram-painted-storks-multiply-post-copious-rain/article66793508.ece 

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Achanakmar Tiger Reserve (ATR)


Why in news? Recently, A tigress that had been captured in Chhattisgarh’s Surajpur district was released into Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Bilaspur district.

About:

  • Achanakmar Tiger Reserve is located in Chhattisgarh’s eastern aspect of Maikala hills.
  • It was established in 1975, under the provisions of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, and declared as a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger, in 2009.
  • It is a part of huge Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve.
  • The sanctuary is close to Amarkantak, the source of the Son River and Narmada River.
  • Maniyari river flows right through the heart of the reserve.
  • Vegetation: Tropical moist deciduous forest.
  • Flora: Forest vegetation mainly comprises Sal, Saja, Bija, Haldu, Teak, Tinsa and Bamboo.
  • Fauna: Tiger, Leopard, Bison, Flying Squirrel, Wild Dog, Hyena etc.

 

 

 

https://www.deccanherald.com/national/north-and-central/chhattisgarh-big-cat-captured-in-surajpur-district-released-into-achanakmar-tiger-reserve-1214230.html

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Hydrogen Sulfide - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, eleven people, died after allegedly inhaling toxic gas in Ludhiana.

About:

  • Hydrogen sulfide is a chemical compound with the formula H2S.
  • It is a colorless chalcogen-hydride gas.
  • It is poisonous, corrosive, and flammable, with trace amounts in ambient atmosphere having a characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs.
  • Because it is heavier than air, it tends to accumulate at the bottom of poorly ventilated spaces.
  • It is a central participant in sulfur cycle, the biogeochemical cycle of sulfur on Earth.
  • It occurs naturally in crude petroleum, natural gas, and hot springs.
  • Exposure to hydrogen sulfide may cause irritation to eyes and respiratory system.
  • It can also cause apnea, coma, dizziness, headache, insomnia, etc.
  • Hydrogen Sulfide concentration above 50 ppm is life-threatening, and above 700 ppm, it can be fatal.

 

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/pollution/ludhiana-ineffective-manhole-cleanup-chemicals-disposed-in-sewers-emerge-as-theories-for-giaspura-tragedy-89052

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Science & Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Rang Ghar - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Ministry of Culture picked 13 top edifices, including some Archeological Survey of India (ASI) protected ones, to be part of the government’s massive public outreach to mark the 100th episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

About:

  • Rang Ghar is a two-storied building located in the northeastern state of Assam.
  • It was built during the reign of Swargadeo Pramatta Singha during 1744-1751 AD.
  • It served as a royal amphitheater during the reign of Ahom kings.
  • Its shape is octagonal at base.
  • It was built specially for enjoyment of recreational/sports activities by royal families and public of Ahom dynasty.
  • Roof over the two-storey building is shaped like an inverted royal Ahom boat, topped with carved stone crocodiles.
  • The building epitomizes the rich heritage of Assamese culture and architecture due to its architectural features and unique construction technique.

 

https://thewire.in/government/protests-in-assam-over-religious-symbols-at-18th-c-monument-for-mann-ki-baat-outreach

 

Keywords: General Studies –1 Art & Culture
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