News: June 23, 2020

Sub: History
Topic: Art & Culture Language, Religion, and Culture
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 1/8

Styles of temple architecture

Nagara style / North Indian temple style

From fifth century A.D. onwards, a distinct style of temple architecture developed in the northern part of India, known as the Nagara style of architecture. Some of the features of Nagara style are:

  • The temples generally followed the Panchayatan style of temple making, which consisted of subsidiary shrines laid out in a crucified ground plan with respect to the principal shrine
  • Presence of assembly halls or mandaps in front of the principal shrine. There were no water tanks or reservoirs present in the temple premises
  • The temples were generally built on upraised platforms. The ambulatory passageway or the pradakshina path around the sanctum sanctorum was covered.
  • The entrance would usually have sculptures of mithunas and the river goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna
  • Generally, the temple premises did not have elaborate boundary walls or gateways.
  • While the earliest temples had just one tower, or shikhara, later temples had several. The garbhagriha is always located directly under the tallest tower.
  • There are many subdivisions of nagara temples depending on the shape of the shikhara:
    • Latina or rekha-prasad: Square at the base and whose walls curve or slope inward to a point on top is called the 'latina'
    • Phamsana: Phamsana buildings tend to be broader and shorter than latina ones. Their roofs are composed of several slabs that gently rise to a single point over the centre of the building, unlike the latina ones which look like sharply rising tall towers. Phamsana roofs do not curve inward, instead they slope upwards on a straight incline.
    • Valabhi: These are rectangular buildings with a roof that rises into a vaulted chamber.

Under Nagara school , following three schools emerged

  1. Odisha School
    • The exterior walls were lavishly decorated with intricate carvings, but interior walls were plain.
    • There was no use of pillars in the porch. Iron girders were used instead to support the roof.
    • The shikharas in the Odisha school were known as rekhadeuls
    • The mandap was known as jagmohan
    • Temples were surrounded by a boundary wall as in Dravidian style of temple architecture.
  2. Khajuraho school
  3. Solanki school / Maru-Gurjara
    • Developed during 11-13th century in western India
    • The influence of the woodcarving tradition of Gujarat is evident in the lavish carving and sculpture work. However, the walls of the central small shrine are devoid of carving and are left plain
    • The temple were east facing, and had step water tank, known as surya-kund nearby.
    • Eg: Modhera Sun temple

Gurjara-Pratihara style

  • Gurjara/Pratihara dynasty was an imperial power in west and north India 8th to the 11th century.
  • Somnath Temple, Naresaar and Batesar group of temple, Baroli group of temples were some fine examples of Parithara style
  • The Nagara style received a big boost under their rule, and later temples adopted their ornamentation style and rafter end designs. In some cases false balconies were created to give double storey effect.

Dravidan style / South Indian temple style

  • Unlike the nagara temple, the dravida temple is enclosed within a compound wall. The front wall has an entrance gateway in its centre, which is known as a gopuram.
  • The shape of the main temple tower known as vimana in Tamil Nadu is like a stepped pyramid that rises up geometrically rather than the curving shikhara of North India.
  • In the South Indian temple, the word ‘shikhara’ is used only for the crowning element at the top of the temple which is usually shaped like a small stupika or an octagonal cupola - this is equivalent to the amlak and kalasha of North Indian temples.
  • Entrances have sculptures of dvarapalas or the door-keeper. It is common to find a large water reservoir, or a temple tank
  • Kerala style / Chera style: Very large temples are rare, and sloping roofs with projecting eaves dominate the outline, often arranged in a number of tiers, to fend off heavy monsoon in region

Vesara style / Karnataka school of architecture

Vesara style was conceptualised under the later Chalukya rulers in the mid-seventh century A.D. It combined features of both Nagara school and Dravidian school and resulted in a hybridized style

  • Emphasis on vimana and mandapa
  • Open ambulatory passageway
  • The pillars, doorways and the ceilings were decorated with intricate carvings.

Three prominent dynasties who made Vesara style temples are:

  • Chalukyas - temples in Badami and Kalyani
    • Present Somnath temple is built in Chalukya style
  • Rashtrakutas - Kailashnath temple in Ellora, etc
  • Hoysala Dynasty - temples at Halebid, Belur etc.

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • Puri Jagannath temple
    • Somnath temple
  • July, 20
    • Padmanabha Swamy temple, Kerala - Supreme court ruling over authority of temple trust. (Temple was built in Chera style and dravidan style)
    • Stolen sculpture of Shiva (Natesa), a rare sandstone idol in the 9th century Prathihara style of Rajasthan is being returned to India by UK

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Policies and Welfare schemes
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 2/8

Northern States Policies And Schemes In Focus


  • Godhan Nyay Yojana: To protect crops from open grazing, prevent straying of animals on roads, procuring cow dung for composting and eco friendly activities


  • Electric Vehicle Policy:
    • To boost the city’s economy, reduce pollution levels and generate employment in the transport sector. It also includes incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.
    • To seek rapid adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) so that they contribute to 25% of all new vehicle registrations by 2024
    • A State EV Fund’, to be created which will be funded through the air ambience fund, levy of additional taxes, cess on inefficient or polluting vehicles
    • Shall remain valid for a period of three years i.e. till 2023


  • Parivar Pehchan Patra - PPP is an e-governance initiative that will enable the citizens to get the benefit of various Centre and State government schemes at their door-step in a fair and transparent manner. a separate Citizen Resources Information Department (CRID) has been established to give further momentum to the PPP programme.

Jammu and Kashmir

  • Jammu and Kashmir Grant Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules
    • Individuals who have resided in J&K for 15 years or have studied for seven years or appeared in examinations for class 10th or 12th can be eligible for the grant of a domicile certificate.
    • The eligibility also extends to West Pakistan refugees registered as migrants under the erstwhile state’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.
    • Tehsildar  (Executive Magistrate) can issue domicile certificate in most cases, and Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner can issue certificattes for migrants. 

Madhya Pradesh

  • Satna-Bansagar Multi-Village Rural Water Supply Scheme: To bring treated water from the Bansagar Dam on the Son river to 1,019 villages in six blocks of the districts


  • Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 - To draw investment to state
  • BMC-Mpower 1on1 - 24x7 helpline to address mental health concerns of citizens in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic
  • Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) - Non-Profit government company for research, policy advocacy, and training for socio-economic and education development of Maratha and Kunbi community


  • Digital Punjab - To create a single interface for all grievances with government


  • Indira Rasoi Yojana - for providing nutritious food to the poor and needy twice a day at concessional rates

[In News: Latest]

  • July, 20
    • Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday announced a financial aid of ₹8 crore to SARTHI
  • Aug, 20
    • Haryana to link welfare schemes through ‘Parivar Pehchan Patra’
    • Delhi government launches Electric Vehicle Policy

Sub: Society
Topic: Human Development Poverty and Employment
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 3/8

Poverty upliftment initiatives

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PM-GKP)

* Not to be confused with Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), which was launched in 2016, and it allowed citizens to declare black money at 50% tax rate.

Announced in March, 2020, finance minister announced Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Following are the components of scheme:

  • Insurance
    • Scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19 in Government Hospitals and Health Care Centres.
    • Compensation of 50 lakh to any health professional who meets an accident while treating a COVID patient
  • PM Garib Kalyan Ann (अन्न) Yojana
    • 5kg of food grains per person, and 1 kg of pulse and chana per family for free to anyone till NOvember.
      • Initially it was limited to those who were beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) .
    • 80 crore individuals would get double their entitlement for free of cost till August. Extended till November
    • The scheme will not be replacing any other food scheme.
  • Cash transfer
    • PMJDY women account holders to get 500 for next 3 months
    • Free gas cylinders to 8 crore poor families till September months under Ujjwala
    • 24% contribution to EPFO for 3 months for those earning less than 15000
    • EPF accounts to allow non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower
  • Divyang
    • Rs 1000 to divyangs, senior citizens, aged widows under National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
  • Agriculture
    • Payment of 2000 to farmers under PM-KISAN
    • Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 , and additional Rs 2,000 benefit annually to a worker

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Extension of PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, and free gas cylinder till November
  • Aug, 20
    • As many as 11 States and Union Territories did not carry out any distribution at all under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) in July, the first month of the extended scheme

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Ecosystem Vegetation and Wildlife
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 4/8

Reserves in focus

National Park

  • Assam
    • Kaziranga National Park
  • Kerala
    • Mukkuruthi National Park 
    • Silent Valley National Park
  • Rajasthan
    • Ranthambhore National Park
  • Tamil Nadu
    • Nagarahole National Park
  • Uttar Pradesh
    • Dudhwa National Park 

Elephant Reserves

  •  Assam
    • Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve

Tiger Reserves

Of the 3,980 tigers left in the world, India, with 2,226, accounts for 75%.

  • Andhra Pradesh
    • Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve - largest tiger reserve in India 
  •  Assam
    • Orang National Park
  • Maharashtra
    • Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
  • Rajasthan 
    • Sariska Tiger Reserve 
  • Tamil Nadu
    • Nagarahole Tiger Reserve
  • Telangana
    • Amarabad Tiger Reserve 
  • Uttarakhand
    • Rajaji Tiger Reserve

Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Assam
    • Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary : To be upgraded into national park
    • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Karnataka
    • Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kerala
    • Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary
      • borders the Mukkuruthi National Park in the south and the Silent Valley National Park buffer zone in the northeast.
      • Sanctuary comprise the new Amarambalam reserve forest and Vadakkekotta vested forest
      • However, the Manjeri colony of the primitive Cholanaikar tribes has been exempted from the sanctuary. 
  • Global
    • Bhutan
      • Sakteng wildlife sanctuary

[In News: Latest]

  • June, 20
    • Floods
    • Tiger reserves in news
  • July, 20
    • Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary - inauguration of 18th wildlife sanctuary in state.
    • Sakteng wildlife sanctuary - China objecting to UNDP's Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding for park, citing boundary dispute
    • Green-lighting projects during pandemic

Sub: History
Topic: Modern India
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 5/8

Historical events in focus


  • Treaty of Sugauli in 1815-16 
    • The treaty ended the Anglo-Nepalese War
    • Nepal ceded the districts of Garhwal and Kumaon, and withdrew from Sikkim
    • It also stipulated that 'the Kali River' would mark Nepal’s western border with the British East India Company


  • Mappila Revolt / Malabar Rebellion 1921 - It started as agitation by muslim tenants (Mappilas) against hindu landlords oppression. It later merged with on going Khilafat movement, with leaders like Gandhi, Shaukat Ali and Maulana Azad addressing Mappila meetings. In August 1921, arrest of a local leader Ali Musaliar led to riots and soon the revolt became communal in nature and was finally subdued by December 1921.

[In News]

  • Controversy in Kerala over a film project about Mappila revolt.

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Research and Technology Information Technology
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 6/8

Apps And Portals In Focus



  • Aarogya Setu 
    • Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
    • Its self assessment test is based on ICMR guidelines
    • When someone is tested COVID-19 positive, the testing lab shares this information with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),  the nodal government agency for COVID-19 testing, which then shares it with the Aarogya Setu server.
    • The App screen gives color codes green, yellow, orange, or red after doing risk assessment.
    • Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for air, train travel
  • e-Choupal 4.0 - By ITC Agri, and will provide end-to-end and personalized services to farmers on weather and markets on a real-time basis.
  • SWAYAM - Online portal by UGC, providing free online courses, however fees is required for certificate.
    • App for turtle conservation. Provides a database for species identification, and location for nearest rescue centre
    • Developed by Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India


  • National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM), 2018
    • A dedicated e market, set up by Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is used for different goods & services procured by Government Organisations / Departments / PSUs.
      • Some States / UTs have signed an MoU to make procurement through GeM mandatory
      • Before GeM, Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) was used for facilitating procurement.
    • Provides online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments, State Governments and PSUs
    • "Country of origin" must on products
  • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
    • A master database of 21 databases designed to provide real-time information to fight terror and crime to Union Cabinet cleared central agencies
    • Under Ministry of Home Affairs. First conceptualised in 2009, the project aims to go live by December 31, 2020.
    • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
  • Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping’ (ASEEM) - to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities


  • Delhi
    • Assess Koro na - Collecting data with a door to door survey done by Delhi government. It is done through BLO (Booth Level Officer), municipal corporation workers, ASHA workers, and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife)
    • Rozgaar Bazaar - focusses on those who lost their jobs and businesses during pandemic
  • Maharashtra
    • Mahajobs - job portal

[In News: Latest]

  • Delhi launches Rozgaar Bazaar for helping those who lost jobs in pandemic


News: 7/8


United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

  • Adopted in 2013, ATT is the first multilateral treaty that regulates the international trade in conventional weapons.
    • It is not a disarmament treaty, nor a treaty for the reduction of arsenals.
    • It sets out global standards to conduct legal and rightful activities in a transparent manner
  • Its scope includes small arms and light weapons
  • India has not signed it, citing that it favors exporting nations
  • Under ATT, State Parties have the obligation to establish and maintain a National Control System to regulate the export of ammunitions
  • It includes a yearly reporting mechanism of authorized or actual exports and imports of conventional arms.

[In News]

  • China all set to sign ATT

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Internal Security Prevention and Security
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 8/8

Crime Control Bodies In Focus

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)

  • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is the apex intelligence and investigative agency for matters relating to violation of the Customs.
  • It functions under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance
  • DRI enforces the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • DRI and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau busts syndicate smuggling exotic macaws
  • Aug, 20
    • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and customs department busted a major international drug racket, and seized 191 kg heroin worth ₹1,000 crore from Nhava Sheva port in Navi Mumbai


Please upgrade your subscription for this section