UPSC Prelims News of 19 October 2022
Context: Kati Bihu is being observed across the state in Assam on October 18, 2022.
About Bihu Festivals
Bihu is a set of three important Assamese festivals in the Indian state of Assam. They include the following:
- Rongali or Bohag Bihu:
- Also called Xaat Bihu is a traditional ethnic festival observed in the month of April.
- It marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year.
- The Rongali Bihu coincides with Sikh New Year- Baisakhi.
- Kati or Kongali Bihu:
- It marks the beginning of the harvest season. The word “Kati” means “cut”, which signifies the time when the relocation of rice saplings takes place.
- It is celebrated on the first day of the Kati month in the Assamese calendar, which usually falls during mid-October.
- During the Kati Bihu, lamps or saaki (candles) are lit outside homes as well as in paddy fields in the evenings to pray for better cropping returns in the next season.
- Bhogali or Magh Bihu:
- It is a harvest festival which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Magh (January–February).
- A bonfire (Meji) is lit for the ceremonial conclusion and prayer to the God of Fire.
Aluminium Freight Rake
Context: Indian Railways’ first indigenously manufactured aluminium goods train rake was flagged off.
About Aluminium Freight Rakes
- Design: Manufacturing is based on RDSO-approved designs, and is made from high-strength aluminium alloy plates and extrusions.
- Technology: The wagons were made using lock-bolted construction with no welding on the superstructure.
- Lighter: The train rake is lighter than existing steel rakes, resulting in increased speed and lower power consumption for the same distance.
- Lower carbon emissions: The train rakes have a lower carbon footprint for every 100 kg of weight reduction in wagons. The lifetime carbon saving can be eight to 10 tonnes.
- Lower import: The iron and steel industry consume high amount of imported nickel and cadmium. Using aluminum wagons would result in less import.
- Other benefits: They have higher capacity, high corrosion-resistance, longer lifeline and low maintenance. They are 100% recyclable.
- Concerns: Higher manufacturing cost: The manufacturing cost of aluminium rakes is 35% higher as the superstructure is all aluminium.
GI Tag for Nihonshu
Context: Embassy of Japan has sought GI tag for alcoholic beverage Nihonshu.
- It is also known as Japanese Sake, and is made from fermenting rice. The process originated and developed in Japan.
- Making: The beverage is made using three raw materials—sakamai rice, water and koji-kin (fungal spore).
- The brew uses water from springs or underground sources and make sure that there is no iron or manganese in it.
- Kojiis the yellow mould that converts starch to sugar. Earlier, it was collected from the wild.
- The production follows a fermentation method called parallel multiple fermentation. It involves raw material treatment, koiji making, starting culture, mash making, pressing heat sterilization and finally bottling.
- Ranking: Sake is ranked based on how well the rice is polished, called seimai-buai. There is a minimum of 70%, which can go upto 30%, but the rice should not break.
- Consumption: The drink has a history of about 2,000 years old and is usually consumed during festivals, wedding and funerals. It is even offered to the gods during the Shinto festival.
- Geographical Indication (GI) is a name or sign given to a certain product that have specific geographical location or origins like a region, town or country.
The India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD)
Context: The India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) was held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
About The India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD)
- Theme of the dialogue: Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation.
- Key outcomes of the dialogue:
- The Gandhinagar Declaration was adopted to enhance cooperation in the fields of training & military exercises and humanitarian assistance during natural disasters.
- India offered fellowship for experts from African countries through Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis.
About the DefExpo 2022
- It is a flagship biennial event of the Ministry of Defence, showcasing the land, naval, air as well as homeland security systems.
- It is currently being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.