Daily Analysis: 27th October 2020

Index

A) International Relations

1. UN nuclear weapons ban treaty to enter into force (TH)

B) Economy

2. Explained explained: What are sovereign bonds, and what are their risks and rewards? (IE)

C) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

3. What is this mysterious yellow dust? (IE)

4. Newly identified tectonically active zone in Himalayas could alter earthquake study & predictions (PIB)

5. Amur Falcons: ‘Birds of God’ (IE)

6. Project Snow Leopard (PSL) (PIB)

D) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

7. ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) (PIB)

E) Science and Technology/Defence/Space

8. New age sustainable disinfectants and sanitizers and NIDHI PRAYAS programme (PIB)

F) Art, Culture and History

9. History and Architecture of Bundi Rajasthan (PIB)

G) Miscellaneous

10. Mexico’s Khadi Oaxaca (IE)

A) International Relations

1. UN nuclear weapons ban treaty to enter into force (TH)

Context: The United Nations has announced that 50 countries have ratified a UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons triggering its entry into force in 90 days, a move hailed by anti-nuclear activists but strongly opposed by the United States and the other major nuclear powers.

Analysis

  • The 50th ratification from Honduras has been received.
  • This moment has been 75 years coming since the horrific attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the founding of the UN which made nuclear disarmament a cornerstone.
  • The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition’s work helped spearhead the nuclear ban treaty.
  • The 50th ratification came on the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter which officially established the United Nations and is celebrated as UN Day.
  • The United Nations was formed to promote peace with a goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons.
  • The United States had written to treaty signatories saying the Trump administration believes they made a strategic error and urging them to rescind their ratification.
  • It says the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, known as the TPNW, turns back the clock on verification and disarmament and is dangerous to the half-century-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of global nonproliferation efforts.
  • The TPNW is and will remain divisive in the international community and risk further entrenching divisions in existing nonproliferation and disarmament fora that offer the only realistic prospect for consensus-based progress, the letter said.
  • The NPT sought to prevent the spread of nuclear arms beyond the five original weapons powers (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France).
  • It requires non-nuclear signatory nations to not pursue atomic weapons in exchange for a commitment by the five powers to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee non-nuclear states’ access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing energy.
  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) – a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination – was approved by the 193-member UN General Assembly on July 7, 2017 by a vote of 122 in favour, the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining.
  • Among countries voting in favor was Iran.
  • The five nuclear powers and four other countries known or believed to possess nuclear weapons — India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — boycotted negotiations and the vote on the treaty, along with many of their allies.
  • Note: A number of multilateral treaties have been established with the aim of preventing nuclear proliferation and testing, while promoting progress in nuclear disarmament.

    These include:
  1. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
  2. The Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests In The Atmosphere, In Outer Space And Under Water, also known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT).


  3. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was signed in 1996 but has yet to enter into force.
  4. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), opened for signature in 2017 but has yet to enter into force.

B) Economy

2. Explained explained: What are sovereign bonds, and what are their risks and rewards? (IE)

Context: A proposal to go for sovereign borrowing overseas that first found mention in the 2019-20 budget is back on the table at the finance ministry.

Analysis

Bonds and Bond Yield

  • The problem large organizations and a government have is that they usually need far more money than the average bank can provide.
  • Another demanding aspect is that they need this money for a long term.
  • The solution is to raise money by issuing bonds (or other debt instruments) to a public market.

What Is a Bond?

  • A bond is a fixed income instrument that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower (typically corporate or governmental).
  • The issuer of a bond promises to pay back a fixed amount of money every year until the expiry of the term, at which point the issuer returns the principal amount to the buyer.
  • When a government issues such a bond it is called a sovereign bond.
  • Bond details include the end date when the principal of the loan is due to be paid to the bond owner and usually includes the terms for variable or fixed interest payments made by the borrower.
  • Bonds can be bought from and sold to other investors on what’s called the secondary market or stock market.
  • Bond yield is the amount of return an investor realizes on a bond.
  • Bond yield increases when investors sell them off aggressively and the issuer of bonds has to increase the amount of return to attract more investors.
  • Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
  • When interest rates are low, bond yields decline due to the increased demand for bonds. 
  • Inflation produces higher interest rates, thereby decreasing a bond’s price.
  • Bonds with a longer maturity see a more drastic lowering in price in this event because, additionally, these bonds face inflation and interest rate risks over a longer period of time.
  • Meanwhile, falling interest rates cause bond yields to also fall, thereby increasing a bond’s price.
  • When stocks are on the rise, investors generally move out of bonds and flock to the booming stock market.
  • When the stock market corrects, as it inevitably does, or when severe economic problems ensue, investors seek the safety of bonds.

Bonds Vs Stocks

  • Bonds are debt, whereas stocks are equity. 
  • By purchasing equity (stock), an investor becomes an owner in the issuing entity.
  • Ownership comes with voting rights and the right to share in any future profits.
  • By purchasing a debt instrument like bond, an investor becomes a creditor to the corporation (or government). A bond is a financial security issued by a borrower to avail long term funds.
  • The primary advantage of being a creditor (by purchasing bonds) is that he has a higher claim on assets than shareholders do.
  • That means, in the case of bankruptcy, a bondholder will get his money back before a shareholder. However, the bondholder does not have a share in the profits of a company.

What are sovereign bonds?

  • A sovereign bond is a specific debt instrument issued by the government. They can be denominated in both foreign and domestic currency.
  • Just like other bonds, these also promise to pay the buyer a certain amount of interest for a stipulated number of years and repay the face value on maturity. They also have a rating associated with them which essentially speaks of their credit worthiness.
  • Some of the best-known sovereign bonds are the Treasuries (of the United States), the Gilts (of Britain), the OATS (of France), the Bundesanleihen or Bunds (of Germany) and the JGBs (of Japan).

And what is the controversial part?

  • The current controversy relates to India’s sovereign bonds that will be floated in foreign countries and will be denominated in foreign currencies.
  • In other words, both the initial loan amount and the final payment will be in either US dollars or some other comparable currency.
  • This would differentiate these proposed bonds from either government securities (or G-secs, wherein the Indian government raises loans within India and in Indian rupee) or Masala bonds (wherein Indian entities — not the government — raise money overseas in rupee terms).
  • The difference between issuing a bond denominated in rupees and issuing it in a foreign currency (say US dollar) is the incidence of exchange rate risk.

So, why is India borrowing in external markets in external currency?

  • There are many reasons why. Possibly the biggest of these is that the Indian government’s domestic borrowing is crowding out private investment and preventing the interest rates from falling even when inflation has cooled off and the RBI is cutting policy rates.
  • If the government was to borrow some of its loans from outside India, there will be investable money left for private companies to borrow; not to mention that interest rates could start coming down.
  • In fact, the significant decline in 10-year G-sec yields in the recent past is partially a result of this announcement.
  • Moreover, at less than 5%, India’s sovereign external debt to GDP is among the lowest globally. In other words, there is scope for the Indian government to raise funds this way without worrying too much about the possible negative effects.
  • Thirdly, a sovereign bond issue will provide a yield curve — a benchmark — for Indian corporates who wish to raise loans in foreign markets. This will help Indian businesses that have increasingly looked towards foreign economies to borrow money.
  • Lastly, the timing is great. Globally, and especially in the advanced economies where the government is likely to go to borrow, the interest rates are low and, thanks to the easy monetary policies of foreign central banks, there are a lot of surplus funds waiting for a product that pays more.
  • The government’s present liabilities extend to debt that matures in 2055 and several of the long-term borrowings are at high interest rates. A reduction in the cost of this debt would significantly lower the interest burden.
  • The country’s foreign exchange reserves came at a life’s high of $555.12 billion as of 16 October, according to RBI data. The draft argues that this is large enough to easily service a foreign borrowing of any modest size the government may have in mind.
  • In an ideal scenario, it could be win-win for all: Indian government raises loans at interest rates much cheaper than domestic interest rates, while foreign investors get a much higher return than is available in their own markets.

Then why are so many cautioning against this move?

  • The volatility in India’s exchange rate is far more than the volatility in the yields of India’s G-secs (the yields are the interest rate that the government pays when it borrows domestically).
  • This means that although the government would be borrowing at “cheaper” rates than domestically, the eventual rates (after incorporating the possible weakening of rupee against the dollar) might make the deal costlier.
  • A former Governor of the RBI has also questioned the assumption that borrowing outside would necessarily reduce the number of government bonds the domestic market will have to absorb.
  • That’s because if fresh foreign currency comes into the economy, the RBI would have to “neutralise” it by sucking the exact amount out of the money supply.
  • This, in turn, will require selling more bonds. If the RBI doesn’t do it then the excess money supply will create inflation and push up the interest rates, thus disincentivising private investments.

C) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

3. What is this mysterious yellow dust? (IE)

Context: North Korean authorities have urged citizens to remain indoors to avoid contact with a mysterious cloud of ‘yellow dust’ blowing in from China, which they have warned could bring Covid-19 with it.

Analysis

  • Yellow dust is actually sand from deserts in China and Mongolia that high speed surface winds carry into both North and South Korea during specific periods every year.
  • The sand particles tend to mix with other toxic substances such as industrial pollutants, as a result of which the ‘yellow dust’ is known to cause a number of respiratory ailments.
  • While the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has said the virus can remain airborne for hours, it has also maintained that it is highly unlikely for the Covid-19 infection to spread in this way, particularly outdoors.

4. Newly identified tectonically active zone in Himalayas could alter earthquake study & predictions (PIB)

Context: The suture zone of the Himalayas or the Indus Suture Zone (ISZ) in the Ladakh region where Indian and Asian Plates are joined has been found to be tectonically active, as against current understanding that it is a locked zone.

Analysis

  • The geologists observed that sedimentary beds are tilted and thrust broken, the rivers are associated with uplifted terraces, and the bedrock shows brittle deformation that occurred at much shallower depths.
  • These deformed geological features were then dated in the laboratory using a technique called Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) (method for carrying Luminescence dating of geological sediments).
  • Luminescence dating refers to a group of methods of determining how long ago mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight or sufficient heating.
  • It is useful to geologists and archaeologists who want to know when such an event occurred. It uses various methods to stimulate and measure luminescence.
  • It includes techniques such as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL), and thermoluminescence dating (TL). “Optical dating” typically refers to OSL and IRSL, but not TL.
  • The combination of field and lab data suggested the region of the Indus Suture Zone (ISZ) has been neo-tectonically active since the last 78000 — 58000 years.
  • Himalaya were known to be made up of north dipping thrusts like the Main Central Thrust (MCT), the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), and the Main Frontal Thrust (MFT).
  • thrust is a fault/break in the Earth’s crust, across which older rocks are pushed above younger rocks.
  • As per the established models, all of these thrusts except MFT are locked, and overall deformation in Himalaya is being accommodated only along with the MFT.
  • The new findings, which suggest a more remote fault at the suture zone being neo-tectonically active, could call for a serious relook into the existing evolutionary models using new techniques and a larger geological database.

Understanding Continent-Continent Convergence is important to understand the Formation of the Himalayas, the Alps, the Urals and the Atlas Mountains (All fold mountains)

  • In ocean-ocean convergence and continent-ocean convergence, at least one of the plates is denser and hence the subduction zone is quite deep (few hundred kilometres).
  • In Continent-Continent Convergence, at continent-continent convergent margins, due to lower density, both of the continental crustal plates are too light (buoyant) to be carried downward (subduct) into a trench.
  • In most cases, neither plate subducts or even if one of the plates subducts, the subduction zone will not go deeper than 40 – 50 km. The two plates converge, buckle up (suture zone), fold, and fault.
  1. Suture zone: The subduction of the continental crust is not possible beyond 40 km because of the normal buoyancy of the continental crust.
  2. Thus, the fragments of oceanic crust are plastered against the plates causing welding of two plates known as suture zone.
  3. Example: The Tuting-Tidding Suture Zone (TTSZ) is a major part of the Eastern Himalaya, where the Himalaya takes a sharp southward bend and connects with the Indo-Burma Range.
  • As the continental plates converge, the ocean basic or a sedimentary basin (geoclinal or geosynclinal sediments found along the continental margins) is squeezed between the two converging plates.
  • Huge slivers of rock, many kilometres wide are thrust on top of one another, forming a towering mountain range.
  • With the building up of resistance, convergence comes to an end. The mountain belt erodes, and this is followed by isostatic adjustment.
  • As two massive continents weld, a single large continental mass joined by a mountain range is produced.

5. Amur Falcons: ‘Birds of God’ (IE)

Context: Exactly eight years ago, reports of around 1 lakh Amur Falcons being hunted every day in Nagaland’s Wokha district, to be sold for their meat, had created a flutter across the world.

  • The mass harvesting of the bird — with one of the longest migratory routes (22,000 km journey – longest sea crossing of any raptor), from Siberia to Africa — prompted the central and state governments, and wildlife experts, to launch a desperate conservation project.
  • The hunting has stopped completely, say experts. So much so, that the Union Environment Ministry has decided to extend the project from Nagaland and Manipur to neighbouring southern Assam, Mizoram and Tripura, where the birds are known to roost.

Analysis

  • From breeding grounds in Siberia and northern China, Amur Falcons migrate west, across the Arabian Sea, to Southern Africa, where they spend the winters. 
  • They feed on dragonflies that follow a similar migration path over Arabian Sea.
  • The falcons usually start arriving mid-October in a tiny village called Pangti, near the Doyang reservoir, in Wokha district of Nagaland and leave by November-end.
  • In all probability, the Doyang reservoir, surrounded by hills, hosts the single largest congregation of Amur falcons anywhere in the world.
  • The abundance of water and insects to feed on is a magnet for the birds.
  • IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern
  • The falcon is protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Main Threats
  1. Over harvesting from trapping
  2. Habitat loss from grassland degradation

Convention on Migratory Species

  • As an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, CMS provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
  • It is the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.
  • Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention.
  • Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.
  • Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.
  • India is a party to this Convention.
  • As of 1st November 2019 the Convention on Migratory Species has 130 Parties.
  • Two countries signed the original Convention but have yet to ratify it so are not a Party (Jamaica and the Central African Republic.

6. Project Snow Leopard (PSL) (PIB)

Context: India has identified three large landscapes, namely, Hemis-Spiti across Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh; Nanda Devi – Gangotri in Uttarakhand; and Khangchendzonga – Tawang across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh for snow leopard habitat conservation.

  • Community volunteer programme “Himal Sanrakshak” was also launched to preserve and protect wildlife and to assist in combatting illegal trade in wildlife.
  • The Government of India has identified the snow leopard as a flagship species for the high-altitude Himalayas and is committed to landscape restoration for snow leopard habitat conservation.
  • It has been conserving snow leopard and its habitat through the Project Snow Leopard (PSL).
  • India is also party to the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) Programme since 2013.

Analysis     

What is a flagship species?

  • The Government of India has identified the snow leopard as a flagship species for the high-altitude Himalayas.
  • A flagship species is a species selected to act as an ambassador, icon or symbol for a defined habitat, issue, campaign or environmental cause.
  • By focusing on, and achieving conservation of that species, the status of many other species which share its habitat – or are vulnerable to the same threats – may also be improved.
  • Flagship species are usually relatively large, and considered to be ‘charismatic’ in western cultures.
  • Flagship species may or may not be keystone species and may or may not be good indicators of biological process.

Project Snow Leopard (PSL)

  • In India, snow leopard’s geographical range encompasses a large part of the western Himalayas including the States and UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • Protecting the snow leopard and its habitat ensures protection of the major Himalayan rivers that support the teeming millions downstream. 
  • It also ensures that the ecological balance is maintained in these fragile ecosystems.
  • Government of India has developed a centrally-supported programme called Project Snow Leopard.
  • The goal of PSL is to safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high altitude wildlife populations and their habitats by promoting conservation through participatory policies and actions.
  • Project Snow Leopard is designed for all biologically important habitats within the snow leopard’s range, irrespective of their ownership (e.g. Protected Areas, common land, etc.).
  • PSL was launched in 2009. 

About Snow Leopard

  • It is found in the alpine zones of the Himalayas and trans-Himalayas.
  • However, the inhospitable terrain and the reclusive nature of the animal have so far made a scientific estimation impossible.
  • Snow Leopard’s status in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature has been downgraded to ‘vulnerable’ from the earlier status of ‘endangered’ as their estimated numbers have crossed the threshold for an ‘endangered’ classification, which is 2,500.
  • As a major range country, India has even launched a programme on the lines of Project Tiger for its conservation, covering 128,757 sq. km of habitat in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The snow leopard is a Schedule I animal under Wildlife Protection Act of India.

Schedule I

  • This Schedule covers endangered species.
  • These species need rigorous protection and therefore, the harshest penalties for violation of the law are under this Schedule.
  • Species under this Schedule are prohibited to be hunted throughout India, except under threat to human life.
  • Absolute protection is accorded to species on this list.
  • The Trade of these animals is prohibited.
  • Examples: tiger, blackbuck, Himalayan Brown Bear, Brow-Antlered Deer, Blue whale, Common Dolphin, Cheetah, Clouded Leopard, hornbills, Indian Gazelle, etc.
  • The animal faces many threats to its existence due to poaching and habitat destruction.

Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) programme

  • The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) seeks to address high-mountain development issues using the conservation of the endangered snow leopard as a flagship.
  • Snow Leopard cat is a good indicator species as it quickly reacts to habitat disturbance.
  • The GSLEP is an alliance of all snow leopard range countries, nongovernmental and inter-governmental organizations, local communities, and the private sector around a shared vision to conserve snow leopards and their valuable high-mountain ecosystems.
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) are key partners in the implementation of GSLEP through financial and technical support.
  • The snow leopard is found in 12 countries — India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • Secure 20 by 2020 – secure at least 20 snow leopard landscapes across the cat’s range by 2020 or, in shorthand.
  • “Secure snow leopard landscapes are defined as those that contain at least 100 breeding age snow leopards conserved with the involvement of local communities, support adequate and secure prey populations, and have functional connectivity to other snow leopard landscapes, some of which cross international boundaries.
  • SECURE HimalayaGlobal Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded the project on conservation of high altitude biodiversity and reducing the dependency of local communities on the natural ecosystem.
  • This project is now operational in four snow leopard range states, namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim.

D) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

7. ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) (PIB)

  • This topic was covered comprehensively in 10th Oct file.

E) Science and Technology/Defence/Space

8. New age sustainable disinfectants and sanitizers and NIDHI PRAYAS programme (PIB)

Context: Safe disinfection and sanitization technologies have come from a number of companies supported for disinfectants and sanitizers under the Nidhi Prayas grant from DST and the Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), an initiative by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), implemented by Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay.

Analysis

  • Oxidation, electrostatic discharge that generates ozone, and UVC light spectrum can create powerful sterilizing effects to inactivate the viruses, bacteria, and other microbial strains.
  • Micro-cavity plasma technology is an environmentally-sound technology, where the disinfectant is produced directly from air or oxygen offers a sustainable alternative to conventional chemical-based decontamination.
  • Silver nanoparticles based on non-alcoholic liquid sanitizer also inhibit the RNA replication activity – preventing spread of the virus and blocks surface glycoproteins – making the virus ineffective.
  • Microwave-assisted cold sterilisation is an advancement over the conventional Autoclave. It allows for disinfection and sterilisation of the PPE Kits and the masks in order to ensure their reusabilities,

National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) PRAYAS programme pg 14

  • NIDHI has been conceived by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) as an umbrella programme for nurturing knowledge-based and technology-driven ideas and innovations into successful startups.
  • The PRomoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring technology entrepreneurs (PRAYAS) – is a flagship programme under NIDHI, to support young innovators turn their ideas into proof-of-concepts.
  • The programme helps overcome the lack of support for early stage prototyping in the country.
  • The PRAYAS Centre will be a place where innovative ideas are supported through physical infrastructure, technical guidance, business mentorship and a prototype grant for converting them into a prototype.
  • NIDHI-PRAYAS can be considered a pre-incubation initiative and a source of pipeline for incubators.

F) Art, Culture and History

9. History and Architecture of Bundi Rajasthan (PIB)

Context: Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series titled “Bundi: Architectural Heritage of a Forgotten Rajput Capital” 

Analysis

  • Bundi, the erstwhile capital of Hada Rajput province known as Hadauti, is located in south-eastern Rajasthan.
  • Hada Rajputs were fierce, fearless warriors often laying down their life at young age, fighting on behalf of their sovereign. 
  • Owing to this several times a Hada child ascended the throne of Bundi.
     
  • Therefore, the role of the royal queen, Diwan and of Dhai ma became very important in royal administrative and political affairs of Bundi.
  • In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes, of which the Parihar Tribes, Meena was prominent.
  • Later the region was governed by Rao Deva, who took over Bundi from Jaita Meena in 1242, renaming the surrounding area as Haravati or Haroti.
  • For the next two centuries, the Hadas of Bundi were the vassals (A holder of land by feudal tenure on conditions of homage and allegiance) of the Sisodias of Mewar and ruled by the title of Rao until 1569, when Emperor Akbar conferred the title of Rao Raja upon Rao Surjan Singh after the surrender of Ranthambore Fort and his submission.
  • In 1632, Rao Raja Chattar Sal became the ruler, he was one of the most valiant, principled and just kings of Bundi.
  • He built the temple of Keshavarao at Keshoraipatan and Chathra Mahal at Bundi.

Post Mughal Period

  • In 1804 Rao Raja Bishan Singh gave valuable assistance to Colonel Monson in his disastrous retreat before Holkar, in revenge for which the Maratha Empire and Pindaris continually ravaged his state and forced the kingdom to pay tribute up to 1817.
  • Consequently, Bishan Singh made a subsidiary alliance with the British East India Company on 10 February 1818, which brought him under its protection

Temple and Water Architecture

  • Bundi is best example of medieval Indian city exhibiting water harvesting methods adopted at settlement level as well as finest examples of water architecture.
  • Bundi is also known as City of stepwells (Baoris and Kunds).
  • Bundi was also known as Chotti Kashi owing to presence of over hundred temples within and around the Hada capital.
  • Despite being a Vassal State of Mughal empire, Hada rulers not only retained their hindu religious and cultural traditions but escalated their unflinching affiliation to them manifesting it in large number of temples built during four centuries of Hada hegemony
  • Temples constructed in early phase of Bundi’s growth were is classical Nagara style, while in later phases new temple typologies emerged from amalgamation of architectural form of traditional haveli with the classical Nagara style.
  • Jain temples formed third type of temple type constructed in an introvert form, integrating typical Jain temple features like serpentine Torna gateways at entrance, large cuboid opaque mass and central courtyard and Nagara style shikars on its garbhagriha. 
  • A fourth temple type emerged in the form of raised or elevated temple.
  • Absence of monumentality in their scale is a distinctive feature of temples in Bundi. 

G) Miscellaneous

10. Mexico’s Khadi Oaxaca (IE)

  • In his recent Mann ki Baat address (October 25), Prime Minister made a reference to the region of Oaxaca (pronounced O-aa-ha-ka) in Mexico, where he said khadi was being manufactured.
  • There is a place in Mexico called Oaxaca, there are many villages in this area where local villagers weave khadi.
  • Today, the khadi of this place has gained popularity by the name Oaxaca khaadi.
  • Khadi Oaxaca is a farm-to-garment collective which comprises around 400 families, which live and work on traditional farms and homesteads in the Oaxaca region of southern Mexico.
  • It has been founded by Mark “Marcos” Brown, an American living in Mexico, and his wife, Kalindi Attar.
  • On its website, the project says it uses cotton produced and cultivated on the Oaxaca coast, and produces chemical-free clothing, relying on locally harvested plant-based dyes.
  • Before starting the project, Brown lived in India for 12 years, and was strongly influenced by Gandhi.

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