State In News Uttar Pradesh

‘Major Dhyan Chand Vijaypath Yojana’


  • The Uttar Pradesh Govt. has launched ‘Major Dhyan Chand Vijaypath Yojana’ under which 19 International Players will get road connectivity to their homes.
  • The initial list includes 19 International Players from the state, and later on more players are expected to be added to the list.
  • The list includes Indian Cricketers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Mohammad Kaif.
  • The UP State Govt. has also declared to name a road after Late Cricketer and Former Cabinet Minister Chetan Chauhan who passed away recently.

Current News Ecology & Environment

World's Largest Wetland Is Ablaze, But The Fire Is Often Invisible


  • Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland is burning with the worst fires in the last 15 years.
  • It sprawls across three South American countries—Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay.
  • The region is a vast flood plain that normally fills with water during the rainy season, roughly from November to March. But the floods were lower than normal this year and a subsequent drought has left the area dangerously susceptible to fire.
  • In Brazil's Pantanal, the vegetation compacted under the marshy flood water during the wet season dries out as ponds and lagoons evaporate, leaving flammable deposits underground that can continue to smolder long after visible flames die down.
  • Firefighters across Brazil are battling raging towers of flames from the Amazon rainforest to the Cerrado savannah, but the fires beneath their feet are a particular challenge in the Pantanal.
  • The Pantanal in Brazil is a UNESCO World Heritage Siterenowned for its unique biodiversity.

News Crux Obituary

Former President Pranab Mukherjee Passes Away


  • Former President Pranab Mukherjee has passed away.
  • Mr Mukherjee served as 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017. 
  • He also served as Union Minister of Finance, Defence, External Affairs and Commerce. 
  • He was also Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission.
  • He was elected to Rajya Sabha five times and twice to Lok Sabha. He served as Leader of both houses of Parliament. 
  • He was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 2019. Earlier he was awarded with Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award in 2008.
  • ‘The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years’, ‘The Turbulent Years: 1980–1996’, ‘The Coalition Years: 1996–2012’ are some of the books penned by Pranab Mukharjee.

Sports In News Tennis

Bryan Brothers, Successful Doubles Pair In Tennis Retired


  • The Bryan Brothers - identical twins Robert Charles “Bob” Bryan and Michael Carl “Mike” Bryan, the most successful American doubles tennis players announced their retirement.
  • They won 16 Grand Slams, the 2012 Olympic gold medal and 2007 Davis Cup triumph among others.
  • They secured and held the top position of Men’s doubles pair for a total of 438 weeks and 10 seasons (2003, 2005-2007, 2009-2014) as the No.1 team.

PIB News National Science & Technology

One-Step Laser-Based Fabrication To Prevent Rusting


  • Scientists from International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) have brought out a single-step method to develop super-hydrophobic functional surfaces that have ability to repel water. Such surfaces do not allow water to cling long enough to evaporate and leave behind residue.
  • This indigenous laser processing allows the fabrication of fast and flexible super-hydrophobic surfaces on a wide range of materials.

What is New?

  • By adjusting the laser processing parameters, in this method, it is possible to accurately control the structure pattern and precisely tailor the contact angle and the wetting properties of a variety of substrates. It is a robust, simple, fast, precise, and eco-friendly process and can be used to effectively fabricate robust super-hydrophobic surfaces and has high potential for large-scale application.

The Technique

  • In the single-step process developed by ARCI scientists, comprises surface modification using a femtosecond laser (lasers emitting light pulses with durations between a few femtosecondsand hundreds of femtoseconds, i.e. 10-15 of a second), non-thermal, and eco-friendly.

What is the Current Practice?

  • Currently, super-hydrophobic properties are achieved by developing rough surfaces and low surface free energy chemical coatings which are mostly two-step processes. The first step is to construct a rough surface by physical or chemical methods, and the second step involves chemical coatings of low surface free energy chemicals.
  • Drawbacks: However, these super-hydrophobic coating surfaces have many limitations, such as the use of fluorinated toxic reagent and poor mechanical stability.

Benefits

  • The efficient and straight forward strategy will encourage the scalability of the process both in terms of reducing the cycle time and applying the developed hierarchical micro-scale and nano-scale structures over large areas for practical applications in the prevention of corrosion, bacterial growth, and avoidance of repeated cleaning.
  • Eco-friendly self-cleaning surfaces that can protect biomedical and other applications from rusting and bacterial growth may soon be a reality with an ultrafast laser-based process that scientists have developed for fabrication of surfaces without use of coatings or additional surface treatment.

PIB News National Art/Culture/Heritage

“Hampi- Inspired By The Past; Going Into The Future”


  • The Ministry of Tourism organised their latest webinar titled ‘Hampi- Inspired by the past; Going into the future’ on 29th August 2020 under Dekho Apna DeshWebinar series.
  • Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage site, Hampi’s spectacular setting is dominated by river Tungabhadra, craggy hill ranges and open plains with widespread physical remains. 
  • The sophistication of the varied urban, royal and sacred systems is evident from the more than 1600 surviving remains that include forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, gateways, defence check posts, stables, water structures, etc.

Hampi’s History

  • Its name is derived from Pampa which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose banks the city is built.
  • Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. 
  • In 1336 CE, the Vijayanagara Empire arose from the ruins of the Kampili kingdom. It grew into one of the famed Hindu empires of South India that ruled for over 200 years.
  • The Vijayanagara rulers fostered developments in intellectual pursuits and the arts, maintained a strong military and fought many wars with sultanates to its north and east. They invested in roads, waterworks, agriculture, religious buildings and public infrastructure. 

Multi-Religious and Multi-Ethnic Site

  • The site used to be multi-religious and multi-ethnic; it included Hindu and Jain monuments next to each other. 

Style of Architecture

  • The buildings predominantly followed South Indian Hindu arts and architecture dating to the Aihole-Pattadakal styles, but the Hampi builders also used elements of Indo-Islamic architecture in the Lotus Mahal, the public bath and the elephant stables.

Trade

  • Vijayanagara Empire flourished as it controlled cotton and spice trade routes of Southern India.  Medival historians refer to Hampi as an important center of trade. 

Fall of Glory

  • However, the glory of Vijayanagara was short lived.  With the death of Krishnadevaraya, the combined armies of the five muslim kingdoms- Bidar, Golconda, Ahmednagar and Berar destroyed this might empire in 1565.

Noted Sites at Hampi

  • VirupakshaTemple: Important attractions of Hampi, include the 15th Century Virupaksha temple which is one of the oldest monuments of the town.  The main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva. 
  • Hemkunta Hill, south of the Virupaksha temple contains early ruins, Jain temples and a monolithic sculpture of Lord Narasimha, a form of Lord Vishnu.  At the eastern end, there is the large Nandi in stone; on the southern side is the larger than life Ganesha.  Large single stone carvings seem to have been the fashion of the day in Hampi, for there is a large image of Narasimha (6.7m high), the half lion half man incarnation of God, as well as a huge linga.
  • Vittal temple built in the 16th Century, and now a World Heritage monument.  The carvings on this temple give an insight into the architectural splendor achieved by the artisans of VijayanagaraEmpire. The columns of the temple are so balanced that they have a musical quality. 
  • Queen’s bath, Hazara Rama temple, Lotus Palace, Elephant quarters are other attractions.

Mythological Sites

  • Anegundi village is also believed to be part of the mythical city of Kishkinda, home to the mighty Indian monkey God Hanuman. 
  • Anjunadri, Hanuman’s birthplace lies a few kilometers away from Anegundi.
  • Matanga Hill: As Rama and Lakshman continued their search for Sita, along the way they found this Matanga Hill where Sugriva lived with his Minister Jambavan and associate Hanuman.