World Environment Day

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World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. It is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

  • It is celebrated every year on June 5th. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 on the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began.
  • Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries.
  • The theme for 2015 is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.”
  • Italy will serve as the host of the WED 2015.

Sources: The Hindu, UNEP, WED.

May Day celebrated

May Day, also known as Labour Day, was celebrated on 1 st May.

It corresponds to the International Workers’ Day that is celebrated in many countries around the world proclaiming the international labour movement.

Brief History:

  • The history of May/Labour Day goes back to 1886 in Chicago, USA, when a gathering of people during a general strike for the eight-hour workday became violent.
  • A bomb was thrown into the crowd, police began to shoot and dozens of people were killed or injured.
  • Over the next few years, an international movement began with demonstrations and riots occurring each year on May Day.
  • In 1904, the International Socialist Conference met in Amsterdam and called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the eight-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”
  • In India, the first Labour Day, or May Day, was celebrated in 1923 in Chennai.
  • 1st May is also celebrated as Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day to mark the date in 1960, when the two western states attained statehood after the erstwhile Bombay State was divided on linguistic lines.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, publicholidays.in.

Chadar Badar art

What is it?

It is a rare and obscure form of performing art. It is an ancient form of puppetry which tells stories of the  Santhal way of life, and migration.

Where is it celebrated?

It is prevalent among the Santhal tribes of Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Details:

It is performed with small puppets of dark seasoned wood and bamboo, manipulated by a combination of rods and strings to songs accompanied by Santhali or Bengali songs.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Various festivals celebrated across the country today

Maharashtra                                                  : Gudi Padwa
Sindhi Community                                          : Cheti Chand
Manipur                                                         : Sajibu Nongmapanba
Parsi                                                              : Navroz Mubarak
Mainly in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh     : Yugadi
Kashmir                                                         : Navreh

Sources: PIB.

National Science Day 2015

National Science Day will be celebrated on February 28 th every year.

  • This year’s theme: Science for Nation Building. It has been chosen for the purpose of raising public appreciation on scientific issues for the development of nation.

About National Science Day:

  • National Science Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on 28th February to mark the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’, for which a Nobel Prize winning research paper submitted by Sir C.V. Raman was accepted on that day.

What is Raman Effect?

  • Raman Effect is a phenomenon in spectroscopy discovered by the eminent physicist C.V. Raman.
  • Raman Effect, change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules.
  • When a beam of light traverses a dust-free, transparent sample of a chemical compound, a small fraction of the light emerges in directions other than that of the incident (incoming) beam. Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength. A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident
    light; its presence is a result of the Raman Effect.
  • Theme of National Science Day 2014: Fostering Scientific Temper and Energy conservation.

Sources: PIB, ncsm.gov.in.

National Voter Service Portal (NVSP)

The National Voter Service Portal (NVSP) was launched on 25th January 2015 on the occasion of National Voters’ Day. It provides single window services to electors.

Various services being offered through NVSP are:

  1. Search the name in Electoral List.
  2. Apply on line in English/ Hindi Language for new registration.
  3. Apply online for corrections, if any.
  4. User can view details of his Polling booth, Assembly Constituency and Parliamentary constituency.
  5. User can get the contact details of Booth Level officer, Electoral Registration Officer and other Election officer.
  6. Users can feed Aadhaar Number for attaching it with Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) data
  7. Users can get link to CEO offices websites
  8. Users can view audio visual short films to get educated about election processes.
  9. Audio Visual scripts are also available for getting to know about the polling processes.
  10. Users can watch a short educational film on Electronic Voting Machine(EVM)
  11. Year 2015 has been marked for “easy registration and easy correction” During this year, ECI will endeavour to put in efforts in providing all possible support services to electors with the help of IT tools. NVSP is one of them.

Sources: PIB.

Raahgiri Day

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A first of its kind event “ Raahgiri day for the persons with disabilities” was organized as a unique initiative by the Department of Empowerment of persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India recently. The concept is inspired by “Ciclovia” held weekly in Bagota, Columbia and now popular all over the world known by different names viz. Open Streets, Summer Streets, etc.

What is it about?

  1. Raahgiri Day will be a weekly road event which will start from 17th Nov 2014 and will happen on every Sunday first in Gurgaon.
  2. Raahgiri Day provides citizens with the opportunity to reclaim their streets, connect with their community, celebrate their city and therefore reclaim their lives.
  3. This year’s Raahgiri Day was special because it involved participation in cultural and sports activities predominantly by Persons with Disabilities. It was an effort to create an inclusive environment by way of showcasing the diverse range of unique abilities of the differently-abled children/ persons at the same time involving all the people witnessing the events.
  4. This event was organised keeping in mind the spirit of Prime- Minister’s initiative “Sabka saath Sabka vikas” which includes the persons with disabilities.
  5. It is a pathbreaking and colourful event of social inclusion. The Department of Empowerment of persons with disabilities in collaboration with State Government will soon be organising similar such Raahgiri for persons with disabilities events in major metro cities like Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Mumbai in near future.
  6. According to census 2011, there are 2.68 Crore persons with disabilities in India. This includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, locomotors and intellectual disabilities. India is signatory to the Declaration on the Full Participation and Equality of People with disabilities in the Asia Pacific Region. India is also signatory to the Biwako Millennium Framework for action towards an inclusive, barrier free and rights based society.

Reference : PIB.