PIB News Art/Culture/Heritage

Stories Of Madurai

On 30th March 2021, the Ministry of Tourism organised a webinar on “Stories of Madurai” under Dekho Apna Desh campaign. Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

About Madurai

  • Madurai, one of the oldest living cities, popularly it is called the ‘Athens of the East’, holds the soul of Tamil Nadu in its magnificent and grand temples that are among the finest and most awe-inspiring specimens of architecture in the country. The most spectacular of these is the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple, which is the heartbeat of the city and is visited by thousands of devotees.

About Sri Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple

  • One of the largest temple complexes in India, Sri Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple is the most famous spiritual site in Madurai.
  • Dravidian Architecture: This temple is an excellent example of Dravidian architecture; the temple is sprawled over a huge area, bordered by well-laid gardens and pristine fountains. Two shrines, more than 10 gateways or gopurams, several mandapas (halls) and a giant pool, make up the structure of the temple, which is adorned with beautiful carvings inside and outside.
  • "Hall of a 1,000 Pillars": One of the halls of the temple is famous as the "Hall of a 1,000 pillars" though only 985 of them exist today. It is said that whichever direction you view these pillars from - they always seem to be in a straight line.
  • Musical Pillars: The highlight of the temple is the outermost corridor that comprises musical pillars. These produce different musical notes when tapped.
  • Deity: While one of the sanctorum, Sundareswarar, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the other is devoted to Goddess Meenakshi, his consort.

Ancient Trade & Madurai

  • Madurai once traded with ancient Rome and it preserves its distinct character in various arts and textiles that have been bestowed by the Pandian kings (4th century-16th century). Madurai is also well known for its exquisite sarees to wooden toys and sculptures.


  • Legend has it that king Kulasekhara once dreamt of Lord Shiva, from whose hair, drops of sweet madhu (nectar) rolled down on earth. The point where they fell was known as Madhurapuri. Earlier known as Madhurapuri and Thoonga Nagaram, meaning a city that never sleeps, Madurai grew around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which was constructed 2,500 years ago by Pandian king, Kulasekhara.

Foreign Visitors who explored Madurai

  • Madurai was visited by Greek explorer, Megasthenes in 3rd century BC. Other famous travellers who visited this ancient south Indian city included Pliny in 77 AD, Ptolemy in 140 AD, Marco Polo in 1203 AD and Ibn Batuta (1333 AD).

News Crux National

Draft Concession Proposal For Scrapped Vehicles

Road, Transport and Highways Ministry has published the draft rules regarding concession in motor vehicle tax against scrapped vehicles and invited suggestions from various stakeholders on the draft rules within a period of 30 days. The rules are proposed to come into force from 1st of October this year.

Finer Points of the Draft

  • Centre has proposed up to 25 percent tax concession on the purchase of new vehicles on submission of scrappage certificate.
  • Under the draft rules, people will get 25 percent concession on the purchase of personal vehicles with vehicle scrappage certificate while on the purchase of commercial vehicles, the tax relief will be 15 percent.
  • In case of personal vehicles, the tax concessions will be available upto eight years while for commercial vehicles, it will be upto 15 years. The period will be reckoned from the date of first registration.

News Crux National

CBSE Launches Competency Based Education Project

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has launched a competency-based assessment framework for classes 6-10 for three subjects -- English (reading), Science, and Maths.
  • The framework is a part of the CBSE Competency Based Education Project that aims to replace the existing rote learning model as directed in the new National Education Policy (NEP) over the next 2-3 years.
  • The CBSE has had collaborated with British Council and three UK agencies, Cambridge, NARIC and Alphaplus who are helping CBSE in attaining this objective.

News Crux Awards

International Ranger Award

  • Mahinder Giri, range officer of Rajaji Tiger Reserve (Uttarakhand) is the only ranger from Asia to win the prestigious International Ranger Award for his contribution towards conservation.
  • The award has been announced for 10 professionals across the world by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN and World Commission on Protected Areas WCPA.

News Crux Sports

First Indian TT Player To Qualify For Olympics

  • Achanta Sharath Kamal became the first Indian paddler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games after a win over Pakistan's Muhammad Rameez at the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament in Doha.
  • He is a professional table tennis player from Tamil Nadu. He holds record of nine times Senior National Champion, breaking the record of eight times National Champion Kamlesh Mehta.
  • He received the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2019.

News Crux International

'Heart Of Asia' Ministerial Conference

  • The 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) ministerial conference (which is a part of the Istanbul Process) was held at Dushanbe, capital city of Tajikistan on 30th March 2021.
  • From India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar participated in this event.
  • The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) is an initiative of the Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Turkey, which was officially launched at a conference hosted by Turkey in Istanbul on 2 November 2011.
  • The Heart of Asia provides a platform for sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region.
  • Primary Objective of the Grouping: Regional security and cooperation for a secure and stable Afghanistan and near and extended neighbors.
  • Member Countries (15): Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia,Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.
  • It is supported by 17 countries, and 12 regional and international organizations.

News Crux Defence

India To Participate In ‘La Perouse’ Exercise

  • Indian Navy will take part in French Naval Exercise in Bay of Bengal along with other QUAD member Countries
  • India will participate in France-led naval drill ‘La Perouse’ for the first time in the Bay of Bengal that is scheduled from 5 April-7 April-2021.
  • Other QUAD countries -Australia, Japan and the US - will also participate in La Perouse.

News Crux Defence

UAE To Participate Varuna Exercise

  • After La Perouse exercise among India, France, Australia, Japan and the US another important naval exercise, the India-French Varuna exercise, will also take place in April 2021.
  • This will be the first time that the UAE will join India and France in a trilateral naval exercise in the strategically important Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The drills, called Varuna, will be held between April 25 and April 27.

News Crux Defence

Vajra Prahar 2021 Concludes

  • The 11th edition of Indo-US Joint Special Forces Exercise – Vajra Prahar 2021 was conducted at Special Forces Training School located at Bakloh, HP in March 2021.
  • The joint exercise by the Special Forces of both the countries is conducted alternatively between India and the United States to share the best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics as also to improve interoperability between the Special Forces of both nations.

सामयिक खबरें आर्थिकी

बैंक आवेदन मूल्यांकन हेतु स्थायी बाहरी सलाहकार समिति

भारतीय रिजर्व बैंक (RBI) ने 22 मार्च, 2021 को सार्वभौमिक बैंकों और लघु वित्त बैंकों (SFB) के आवेदनों के मूल्यांकन हेतु एक ‘स्थायी बाह्य सलाहकार समिति’ (SEAC) का गठन किया है।

महत्वपूर्ण तथ्य: इस समिति में पाँच सदस्य शामिल हैं। इस समिति की अध्यक्षता भारतीय रिजर्व बैंक की पूर्व डिप्टी गवर्नर श्यामला गोपीनाथ करेंगी।

  • इस समिति के अन्य सदस्यों में RBI के केंद्रीय बोर्ड की निदेशक रेवती अय्यर, नेशनल पेमेंट्स कॉरपोरेशन ऑफ इंडिया के पूर्व कार्यकारी निदेशक बी. महापात्रा, केनरा बैंक के पूर्व अध्यक्ष टी.एन. मनोहरन, भारतीय स्टेट बैंक के पूर्व प्रबंध निदेशक हेमंत जी. कांट्रेक्टर शामिल हैं।
  • इस समिति का कार्यकाल तीन वर्ष का है। इस पैनल को सचिवीय समर्थन RBI के विनियमन विभाग द्वारा प्रदान किया जाएगा।
  • आरबीआई के दिशा-निर्देशों के अनुसार, सार्वभौमिक बैंकों और SFB के लिए आवेदन का मूल्यांकन सबसे पहले केंद्रीय बैंक द्वारा किया जाएगा, जो आवेदकों की प्राथमिक योग्यता को सुनिश्चित करेगा। इसके बाद, स्थायी बाहरी सलाहकार समिति आवेदनों का मूल्यांकन करेगी।
  • समिति आवेदक से अधिक जानकारी मांगने के लिए स्वतंत्र होगी और किसी भी मुद्दे पर स्पष्टीकरण के लिए किसी भी आवेदक के साथ चर्चा कर सकता है। इसके बाद, समिति शीर्ष बैंक को अपनी सिफारिशें प्रस्तुत करेगी।

सामयिक खबरें सार-संक्षेप पुरस्कार/सम्मान

67वां राष्ट्रीय फिल्म पुरस्कार 2019

22 मार्च, 2021 को 67वें राष्ट्रीय फिल्म पुरस्कार 2019 की घोषणा की गई।

  • प्रियदर्शन द्वारा निर्देशित मलयालम फिल्म, ‘मरक्कर-अराबिक्काडालिन्ते-सिम्हम’ (Marakkar Arabikkadalinte Simham) को सर्वश्रेष्ठ फिल्म के लिए स्वर्ण कमल प्रदान किए जाने की घोषणा की गई।
  • गैर-फीचर फिल्म की श्रेणी में ‘एन इंजीनियर्ड ड्रीम’ को सर्वश्रेष्ठ फिल्म पुरस्कार प्रदान किए जाने की घोषणा की गई।

अन्य पुरस्कार:

  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ अभिनेता - मनोज बाजपेयी (हिंदी फिल्म-भोंसले) एवं धनुष (तमिल फिल्म-असुरन)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ अभिनेत्री - कंगना रनौत (हिंदी फिल्म-मणिकर्णिका- द क्वीन ऑफ झांसी और पंगा)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ निर्देशक - संजय पूरन सिंह चौहान (हिंदी फिल्म- बहत्तर हूरें)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ सहायक अभिनेता - विजया सेतुपथी (तमिल फिल्म- सुपर डीलक्स)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ सहायक अभिनेत्री - पल्लवी जोशी (हिंदी फिल्म- द ताशकंत फाइल्स (The Tashkent Files)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ हिंदी फिल्म - छिछोरे (निर्देशक- नितेश तिवारी)
  • सामाजिक मुद्दों पर सर्वश्रेष्ठ फिल्म - आनंदी गोपाल (मराठी)
  • भरपूर मनोरंजन के लिए सर्वश्रेष्ठ लोकप्रिय फिल्म - महर्षि (तेलुगु)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ पार्श्वगायक - बी. प्राक (गीत-तेरी मिट्टी) (हिंदी फिल्म- केसरी)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ पार्श्व गायिका - सावनी रविंद्र (गीत-रानपेटाला) (मराठी फिल्म- बारदो)
  • पर्यावरण संरक्षण पर सर्वश्रेष्ठ फिल्म - वाटर बरियल (Water Burial)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ बाल फिल्म - कस्तूरी (हिंदी)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ गीत - गीतकार प्रभा वर्मा (मलयालम फिल्म कोलांबी के गीत 'अरोडम परायुका वैय्या')
  • राष्ट्रीय अखंडता पर सर्वश्रेष्ठ फिल्म के लिए नरगिस दत्त पुरस्कार - ताजमल (मराठी)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ सिनेमैटोग्राफी - गिरीश गंगाधरन (मलयालम फिल्म- जल्लीकट्टू)
  • सर्वश्रेष्ठ कोरियोग्राफी - राजू सुंदरम (तेलुगु फिल्म- महर्षि)
  • विशेष ज्यूरी पुरस्कार- ‘ओथ्था सेरूप्पु साइज-7’ (तमिल)
  • सर्वाधिक फिल्म-अनुकूल राज्य पुरस्कार - सिक्किम
  • सिनेमा पर सर्वश्रेष्ठ पुस्तक का पुरस्कार - 'ए गांधियन अफेयर: इंडियाज क्युरियस पोर्ट्रेयल ऑफ लव इन सिनेमा' (A GANDHIAN AFFAIR: INDIA’S CURIOS PORTRAYAL OF LOVE IN CINEMA) (संजय सूरी- अंग्रेजी)