Government Schemes & Policies
- UP launches Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana on Dhanteras
Bilateral & International Relations
- India signs the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Agreement with Pakistan
- GIA delegation presents ‘Report from Ground Zero’ on Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh
Art & Culture
- President Addresses Commemoration of Golden Jubilee of Vishwa Shanti Stupa
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Government Schemes & Policies
UP launches Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana on Dhanteras
On the occasion of Dhanteras, Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana was launched in Uttar Pradesh.
MUKHYA MANTRI KANYA SUMANGALA YOJANA
- The programme aims at empowering the girl child for which an amount of 15,000 will be provided to every family in which a girl child takes birth.
- Under the scheme, the state government will direct transfer funds in the account of the registered girls in a phased manner when a girl child will complete various achievements, like vaccination, admission in class 1, 5 and 9, graduation.
- Only Uttar Pradesh girls will be given the benefit
- Daughter’s parents should not be working in government
- Girl must attend school
Bilateral & International Relations
India signs the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Agreement with Pakistan
India has signed the Agreement with Pakistan on the modalities for operationalisation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at Zero Point, International Boundary, Dera Baba Nanak.
- Pakistan also issued coins to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, marking the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor for the Sikh pilgrims from India.
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AGREEMENT ARE:
- Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor;
- The travel will be Visa Free;
- Pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport;
- Persons of Indian Origin need to carry OCI card along with the passport of their country;
- Pilgrims travelling in the morning will have to return on the same day;
- The Corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days
- India will send the list of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of travel date. Confirmation will be sent to pilgrims 4 days before the travel date;
- The Pakistan side has assured India to make sufficient provision for ‘Langar’ and distribution of ‘Prasad’.
- The Kartarpur Corridor is a border corridor between the India and Pakistan, connecting the Sikh shrines ofDera Baba Nanak Sahib (located in Punjab) and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur (in Punjab, Pakistan).
- The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of the Ravi River, near the border in Pakistan.
- It is intended to commence the pilgrimage through Kartarpur corridor on the auspicious occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev (9th November 2019).
- For decades, Sikh devotees have been demanding that India and Pakistan collaborate to build a corridor linking it with the Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district.
- Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had first suggested the corridor in 1999.
- Pilgrims would be able to visit the holy shrine throughout the year, cutting more than 200 km to just 6 km.
- It could initiate meaningful confidence-building measure (CBM).
- The initiative can also become a template for cross-border exchanges based on faith, which could provide a balm for many communities. For example, Kashmiri Pandits, who have long asked for access to visit the Sharda Peeth in the Neelum Valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Sufis in Pakistan who wish to visit the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
- More people-to-people contact can help improve ties between the two nations. History shows that religious triumphs can be a diplomatic tool to ease tension between countries.
- The main issue that has been a point of discussion is the insistence of Pakistan to levy $20 as service charge per pilgrim per visit. India has consistently urged Pakistan to not levy any fee on the pilgrim. However, India signed the agreement but keep insisting on to abolish the levy.
- In Dera Baba Nanak Sahib, Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism) assembled a Sikh community and lived there for 18 years until his death.
- Pakistan issues coin to commemorate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
GIA delegation presents ‘Report from Ground Zero’ on Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh
A delegation of Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) presented a ‘Report from Ground Zero’ on Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh after setting aside of Article 370 & 35A.
- The delegation briefed the MoS (PMO) about the findings of their observations after field study of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Founded in 2015, Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) is a group of empowered Indian women, intellectuals & academicians working together to elevate the position of women in our society, committed to work in the service of the nation.
- Aim: to become the voice of the most silent and underprivileged section of our nation with legal and academic support.
- Composition: National leaders, President Awardees, distinguished Supreme Court lawyers, industrialists, professors of prestigious institutions, principals of colleges, directors of institutes, internationally renowned artists/dancers, sportswomen, writers, poets, IT professionals and many others from various fields.
Art & Culture
President Addresses Commemoration of Golden Jubilee of Vishwa Shanti Stupa
The President of India addressed the commemoration of Golden Jubilee of Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir, Bihar.
VISHWA SHANTI STUPA
- Vishwa Shanti Stupa, located in Rajgir, Bihar, is one of the 80 Peace Pagodas (Stupas) around the world.
- It was conceptualised by renowned Buddhist monk Nipponzan Myohoji.
- Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist monk, started constructing Peace Pagodas in 1947 in many locations around the world.
- Vishwa Shanti Stupa is the tallest peace Pagoda in the world.
- Built completely with marble, the stupa comprises four golden statues of Lord Buddha with each representing his life periods of birth, enlightenment, preaching and death.
- There are 7 Peace Pagoda or Shanti Stupas in India, other Stupas are Global Vipassana Pagoda Mumbai, Deekshabhoomi Stupa Nagpur and Buddha Smriti Park Stupa Patna.
- Rajgir was the capital of the Magadh until the 5th century BC when Ajatashatru moved the capital to Pataliputra.
- Rajgir is a popular pilgrim destination for Buddhists as Lord Buddha spent 12 years over there and also preached two sermons.
- The first Buddhist Council, immediately after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha, was convened at this place which presently is called Rajgir.
- Rajgir is also known as Panchpahari as it is surrounded by five holy hills.
- The legend has it that the ancient city Rajagriha existed even before Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. It was the ancient capital city of the Magadh rulers until the 5th century BC when Ajatashatru moved the capital to Pataliputra (which is now known as Patna).
- Lord Mahavira too spent 14 years of his life at Rajgir and nearby areas.
- Rajgir has been mentioned in the epic Mahabharata
Famous Buddhist location in Rajgir
- The Gridhakuta hill is also known as the Vulture’s Peak. This is the place where Lord Buddha preached many of his teachings and sermons. Upon the attainment of enlightenment, he preached two of the most important sermons known as Lotus Sutra and the Prajnaparamita over here.
- At this Hill, Buddha made Mauryan king Bimbisara convert to Buddhism.
- There are several Jain temples on the hills surrounding Rajgir. Lord Mahavira spent 14 years of his life at Rajgir. It was the capital of his favourite shishya (follower) king Shrenik. Rajgir is, therefore, an important religious place for Jains too.
The Saptparni Cave was the cave where the first congregation of the Buddhist Council took place after Lord Buddha attained Nirvana.[Ref: PIB]