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UPSC Prelims News 12 November 2022

Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

Context: The Prime Minister of India has inaugurated 108 ft tall statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, known as ‘Statue of Prosperity’.

About the Statue:

  • The statue has been erected outside Terminal 2 of the Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru.
  • The structure has been termed as the “first and tallest bronze statue of a founder of a city” by the World Book of Records.

About Nadaprabhu Kempegowda:

  • Nadaprabhu Kempegowda was a 16th century chieftain belonging to the Vijayanagara Empire. He is credited to be the founder of Bengaluru City.
  • Kempegowda was a descendant of Morasu Gowda lineage and is considered one of the most educated and successful rulers of his time.
  • He is also known to have constructed around 1,000 lakes in the city to cater to drinking and agricultural needs.
  • Kempegowda is known to have abolished the practice of cutting the fingers of the left hand of an unmarried woman during a custom known as Bandi Devaru.
  • Besides Kannada, Kempegowda knew other languages, and even authored a Yakshagana play in Telugu named Gangagaurivilasa.


Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC)

Context: Union Minister of state for Science and Technology has dedicated India’s first national repository for life science data called ‘Indian Biological Data Center’ (IBDC).


  • Aim: As per the Biotech-Pride guidelines of the Government of India, IBDC is mandated to archive all life science data generated from publicly-funded research in India.
  • It is supported by the Government of India (GOI) through the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • It has a data storage capacity of about 4 petabytes and houses the ‘Brahm’ High Performance Computing (HPC) facility.
  • Location: IBDC is established at Regional Centre of Biotechnology (RCB), Faridabad with a data ‘Disaster Recovery’ site at National Informatics Centre (NIC), Bhubaneshwar.
  • It hosts an online ‘Dashboard’ for the genomic surveillance data generated by the INSACOG labs.
    • The dashboard provides customized data submission, access, data analysis services, and real-time SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring across India.
  • IBDC is committed to the spirit of data sharing as per FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles.
    • It is being developed in a modular fashion wherein different sections would typically deal with particular type/s of life science data.


Pashmina Wool

Context: Traders of Pashmina shawls complained that “obsolete testing methods” used by customs authorities have led to cancellation of their export consignments for the presence of ‘Shahtoosh’ guard hair, which is obtained from endangered Tibetan antelopes.

About the Pashmina Shawls:

  • Pashmina Shawls are a fine variant of shawls spun from Pashmina wool.
  • Pashmina is Geographical Indication (GI) certified wool obtained from breeds of mountain goats (Capra Hircus) found in the Changthang Plateau in Tibet and parts of Ladakh, in the Himalayan region of India.
  • The term ‘Pashmina’ has been derived from a Persian word “Pashm” meaning a weavable fiber precisely wool.
  • The raw Pashmina is harvested by the Changpa tribes of Ladakh who herd the Changthangi goats.
  • Features:
    • It is well known for its warmth, lightweight, and softness in addition to its characteristic dye absorbing property.
    • Pashmina has been accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the costliest cloth in the world.
    • Pashmina wool is the finest version of cashmere and it is thinner than human hair and highly prized in the international market.
  • Manufacture of Pashmina is a largely unorganized cottage/handicraft industry providing employment and livelihood to approximately 6 lakh people, most notably to local skilled villagers and artisans in Kashmir.

About the Shahtoosh:

  • It is the fine undercoat fibre obtained from the Tibetan Antelope, known locally as ‘Chiru’, a species living mainly in the northern parts of the Changthang Plateau in Tibet.
  • As they offer high levels of smoothness and warmth, Shahtoosh shawls became a highly expensive commodity.
  • Unfortunately, due to commercial poaching of the animal, their population declined dramatically.
  • CITES included the Tibetan Antelope in 1979 leading to prohibition in sale and trade of Shahtoosh shawls and scarves.


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