After 120 yrs, end of Visva Bharati’s Poush Mela

  1. The century-old Poush Mela in Visva Bharati University comes to an end.
  2. The 120-year-old fair and festival (Poush Mela)  is organised for 3 to 4 days every year.
  3. In its history it has been disrupted only twice – in 1943 due to the famine and in 1945 due to the second world war.
  4. Poush Mela takes place in Santiniketan, in Birbhum District in the Indian state of West Bengal, marking the harvest season.
  5. The central university’s executive council (EC) on Friday decided to scrap the fair, which attracts over two lakh visitors.

Bengal famine of 1943

  1. The Bengal famine of 1943 was a famine in the Bengal province of British India during World War II.
  2. An estimated 2.1–3 million, out of a population of 60.3 million, died of starvation, malaria, or other diseases.

Visva-Bharati University

  1. Visva-Bharati University is a public research central university and an Institution of National Importance located in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India.
  2. It was founded by Rabindranath Tagore who called it Visva-Bharati, which means the communion of the world with India.
  3. Until independence it was a college. 

Shifted Basanta Utsav

  1. Basanta Utsav, the Tagore edition of Holi will be celebrated on a different day.
  2. If held on the same day as the festival of colours it would be tough to manage the crowd.

Fair had lost its motto

  1. According to a senior MHRD official, “Now even water purifiers, mobile phones and tractors are being sold in the fair.”
  2. According to a government source, since the state administration has a hands off approach after the fourth day leaving the university on its own to deal with the situation including law and order, the EC felt that the university should reconsider permitting the mela within its campus.

2. Centrally-protected monuments to be opened from July 6

  1. All monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would be opened from July 6.
  2. Visitors will have to wear masks, buy tickets online and not pose for any group photos.
  3. According to the Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel announced all 3,691 monuments and sites of the ASI would re-open from July 6.
  4. Last month, the ASI had re-opened 821 monuments that had places of worship after a decision by the Union Home Ministry.

Limited Entry

  1. As per the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Culture Ministry, monuments in containment zones would remain closed to the public and the decision of local administrations would apply.
  2. Entry would be restricted from a maximum of 5,000 persons a day (at the Taj Mahal) to 2,000 at the rest of the ticketed monuments like the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad,the Sun Temple in Konark and the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi.

Some SOPs

  1. Social distancing, use of masks, thermal scanning, and hand sanitisers at entry points would be mandatory.
  2. Visitors would be given limited time to spend inside the monument and “no group photography” would be allowed in the premises, the SOP said.
  3. No food would be allowed in the premises and the cafes would only sell bottled water, it said.

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