Daily GK Update: 26th December 2019

Earliest Sanskrit inscription in South India found in A.P.

  • The Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult.
  • It was discovered in Chebrolu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters and was issued by Satavahana king Vijaya in 207 A.D. Now this is known as Chebrolu inscription.
  • Saptamatrikas are a group of seven female deities worshipped in Hinduism as personifying the energy of their respective consorts.
  • According to studies the inscription records the construction of a prasada (temple), a mandapa and consecration of images on the southern side of the temple by a person named Kartika for the merit of the king at the temple of Bhagavathi (Goddess) Saktimatruka (Saptamatrika) at Tambrape.
  • Earlier there were references of Saptamatrika worship in the early Kadamba copper plates and the early Chalukyas and Eastern Chalukya copper plates but the new discovery predates them by almost 200 years.

After massive locust invasion from Pakistan, Centre sends 11 teams to Gujarat

  • The central government has sent 11 teams to Gujarat to tackle the problem of locusts entering various districts of the state from Pakistan side and damaging crops, an official said on Thursday.
  • Massive swarms of locusts- which are mainly tropical grasshoppers with strong powers of flight – descended on Banaskantha, Mehsana, Kutch, Patan and Sabarkantha districts in the last few days and were destroying crops like mustard, castor, fennel, cumin, cotton, potato, wheat and jatropha.

Source: India Today

FM releases stamp to commemorate DRI’s role

  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday released a postage stamp to commemorate distinguished service and glorious contribution of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in protecting the nation. After releasing the stamp, Sitharaman stressed on the critical need for training officers of DRI in using technology and data analytics to be able to inspire confidence of citizens and deter smugglers, the finance ministry said.
  • She remarked that DRI continues to play an immense role in countering smuggling as well as in preserving the cultural heritage and environment of the country.

Source: The Economic Times

NTPC to invest Rs 50,000 crore to add 10GW solar energy capacity by 2022

  • State-owned power giant NTPCNSE 0.26 % is planning to add 10GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2022, which entails an investment of around Rs 50,000 crore, to be funded mainly by green bonds, a source has said.
  • At present, NTPC has installed renewable energy capacity of 920 MW, which includes mainly solar energy. It has formulated a long term plan to become a 130 GW company by 2032 with 30 per cent non-fossil fuel or renewable energy capacity.

Source: The Economic Times

India’s first university for transgender community to come up in UP’s Kushinagar dist


  • The country’s first university for transgender community will be opened in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district to facilitate its members to study right from class one to PG and even do research and get PhD degree.
  • The university, which will come up in Fazilnagar block of Kushinagar district, is being built by the Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Siksha Seva Trust (All-India transgender education service trust).

Source: Hindustan Times

Sign boards in Chinese language put up at 5 ASI protected archaeological sites

  • Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has said that sign boards in Chinese language have been put up at five ASI protected archaeological sites located in Uttar Pradesh. They include Sarnath, the Buddhist relics at Chaukhandi Stupa, Kushinagar and the Mahaparinirvana Temple, Piparahwa and Sravasti. Mr Patel said that keeping in mind the convenience of foreign travellers, Ministry had instructed the Archaeological Survey of India that sign boards of foreign languages will be installed at all the iconic archaeological sites.
  • The sign boards of foreign languages will be installed where more than one lakh tourists from a particular country visit those places every year. A total of five such foreign country languages can be included in it. He told that in this series, the work of installing sign boards in Sinhali language has been completed last month in view of the large number of Sri Lankan tourists visiting Sanchi.

Source: News Services Division

Digital Radio to be launched in 2024: Prakash Javadekar

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that NDA government is bringing Digital Radio in 2024. Addressing the annual Akashvani awards function in New Delhi yesterday, Mr Javadekar said, the audio of digital radio will be more clear and its reach will be higher. The Minister said, All India Radio is an institution which is a part of people’s lives, be it music, news or entertainment.
  • Prasar Bharati Chairman Dr A Surya Prakash said, AIR news commands huge credibility. He said, Akashvani has one of the largest news gathering and dissemination apparatus in the world.

Source: News Services Division

Pakistan to import polio markers from India

  • The federal cabinet of Pakistan on Tuesday decided to give a one-time permission for import of polio markers from India and reduce prices of 89 medicines by 15 per cent, Pakistan media reports said.
  • The markers, which are used to mark the fingers of children after administering them polio vaccine, are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Source: Healthworld.com

Udham Singh’s birth anniversary celebrated in Uttarakhand

  • The birth anniversary of Udham Singh, the revolutionary who was hanged for killing Michael O’Dwyer in London to avenge the massacre of hundreds of Indians at Jallianwala Bagh, was celebrated on Thursday with great enthusiasm in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand.
  • Officials of the district, which is named after the revolutionary, garlanded his statue at the collectorate and paid tributes to him.
  • Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison in London on July 31, 1940, for shooting dead O’Dwyer.

Source: Business Standard

Free WiFi services will be provided to all villages till March 2020: Government

  • Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that free WiFi services will be provided to all villages across the country through Bharatnet till March next year.
  • Inaugurating Digital Village Gurawara in Rewari in Haryana, the Union Minister said, the Ministry has already connected one lakh 30 thousand gram panchayats through Bharatnet.
  • He said, the target is to take this to two lakh 50 thousand gram panchayats. Ravi Shankar Prasad also said, the target of the government is to convert at least 15 per cent of villages to the digital village in the next four years.

Source: DD News

Good Governance Index’ launched by MoS (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh

  • The MoS (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh launched the ‘Good Governance Index’ at an event organized by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, on the occasion of Good Governance Day, here today.
  • The Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On the occasion, the Minister also launched the 15th edition of Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (CSMOP). He released the Handbook for the Retiring Central Government Employees and the Smart Card facility for Department Canteen of DoPT. The MoS (PP) also released a booklet on major initiatives/achievements of DoPT and Strategic Initiatives of Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare (DoPPW).
Source: Press Information Bureau