News: 21st June is celebrated as International Yoga Day.
Theme for Yoga Day 2021: ‘Yoga for wellness’
About International Day of Yoga:
The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated in India.
The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his UN address in 2014, had suggested the date of 21st June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.
About Summer Solstice:
The summer solstice, occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun.
It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern and Southern). For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight.
Within the Arctic circle (for the northern hemisphere) or Antarctic circle (for the southern hemisphere), there is continuous daylight around the summer solstice.
On the summer solstice, Earth’s maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°. Likewise, the Sun’s declination from the celestial equator is 23.44°.
2. KRIVAK CLASS FRIGATE
News: Stealth ship is being built by Goa Shipyard with technology transfer from Russia
The keel of the second frigate of the additional Krivak class stealth ships being built with technology transfer from Russia by Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL).
The keel for the first ship was laid on January 29, 2021. It would be delivered in 2026 and the second ship after six months.
It was for the first time that these vessels, with such technological complexity, were being constructed indigenously at the GSL.
In October 2016, India and Russia signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for four Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates — two to be procured directly from Russia and two to be built by the GSL. Following that, India signed a $1-billion deal with Russia for the direct purchase.
The basic structures of the two frigates are already ready at the Yantar shipyard in Russia and are now being completed.
India had earlier procured six Krivak class frigates weighing around 4,000 tonnes in two different batches, the Talwar class and the upgraded Teg class. The four ships to be built will weigh 300 tonnes more than the earlier ones and will be armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
3. PACT TO SAVE RARE TURTLES
News: A major temple in Assam has signed a memorandum of understanding with two green NGOs, the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden and the Kamrup district administration for the long-term conservation of the rare freshwater black softshell turtle or the Nilssonia nigricans.
Until sightings along the Brahmaputra’s drainage in Assam, the black softshell turtle was thought to be “extinct in the wild” and confined only to ponds of temples in north-eastern India and Bangladesh.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature had in 2021 listed the turtle as “critically endangered”.
But it does not enjoy legal protection under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, although it has traditionally been hunted for its meat and cartilage, traded in regional and international markets.
Various temple ponds in Assam such as that of the Hayagriva Madhava Temple harbour various threatened species of turtles. Since the turtles are conserved in these ponds only based on religious grounds, many biological requirements for building a sustainable wild population have since long been overlooked.
About Hayagriva Madhava Temple:
Hayagriva Madhava Temple is situated on the Monikut hill.
The hill is situated in Hajo of Kamrup District in Assam, India. Which is around 30 km to west of Guwahati.
The Kalika Purana composed in the 11th century CE in Kamarupa talks about the origin of this form of Vishnu and his final establishment in the hill of Monikut, where the present temple is located.
The present temple structure was constructed by the King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583.
According to some historians the King of Pala dynasty constructed it in 10th century.
It is a stone temple and it enshrines an image of Hayagriva Madhava.
Some Buddhists believe that the Hayagriva Madhava temple, best known in the group of Hindu temples, is where the Buddha attained Nirvana.
At this imposing temple, the presiding deity is Vishnu, worshipped in the sanctum sanctorum as an idol carved of black stone. Four other stone idols are also in worship as subsidiary deities.
A most striking feature of the temple is the continuous row of elephants carved on the lowest level of the temple walls – a structure akin to the stone cut temple of Ellora.
News: With marches, music and speeches, Americans on Saturday celebrated “Juneteenth,” the newly declared national holiday that marks the end of slavery and which comes a year after George Floyd’s murder sparked anti-racism protests.
On June 19, 1865, it was in Texas coastal area that the Union army — victorious after the Civil War — announced to African Americans that, even if some in Texas were trying to ignore it, enslaved people were now free.
Juneteenth or the Black Independence Day, and Emancipation Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture.