Global Buddhist Summit

In News

PM inaugurated the First Global Buddhist Summit hosted by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation.

About the Summit

  • Theme: “Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Praxis”.
  • Aim: The Summit is an effort towards engaging the global Buddhist Dhamma leadership and scholars on matters of Buddhist and universal concerns, and to come up with policy inputs to address them collectively. 
  • Highlights: 
    • The Summit witnessed the participation of eminent scholars, Sangha leaders and Dharma practitioners from all over the world.
    • PM also offered monk robes (Chivar Dana) to nineteen eminent monks. 
    • The discussions were held under four themes:
      • Buddha Dhamma and Peace; 
      • Buddha Dhamma: Environmental Crisis, Health and Sustainability;
      • Preservation of Nalanda Buddhist Tradition; 
      • Buddha Dhamma Pilgrimage, Living Heritage and Buddha Relics: a resilient foundation to India’s centuries-old cultural links to countries in South, South-East and East Asia.
    • The Prime Minister gave the example of Mission LiFE, an initiative by India which he said was influenced by the inspirations of Buddha.
    • On the occasion, an exhibition, the Panch Pradarshanwas was organised depicting the rich cultural legacy of Buddha manifesting in the heritage of Vadnagar city, Gujarat, travel accounts of Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang, work of Buddhist religious leader and master Atisa Dipankara Srijana, and Digital Restoration of Ajanta Paintings.


  • Siddhartha, also known as Gautama was  the founder of Buddhism
    • Born: 563 BC in Lumbini (modern-day Nepal).
  • He  belonged to a small gana known as the Sakya gana, and was a kshatriya.
  • He left his worldly possessions and princedom in search of knowledge. He wandered for several years, meeting and holding discussions with other thinkers. 
  • He attained enlightenment under the peepal tree in Bodh Gaya in Bihar and gave his first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi which is known as Dharma-Chakra-Pravartana (turning of the wheel of law).
  • He spent the rest of his life travelling on foot, going from place to place, teaching people, till he passed away at Kusinara.


  • Buddhism also spread to western and southern India, where dozens of caves were hollowed out of hills for monks to live in
  • Buddhism also spread south eastwards, to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and other parts of Southeast Asia including Indonesia. 


  • The Buddha taught that life is full of suffering and unhappiness .
    • This is caused because we have cravings and desires (which often cannot be fulfilled).
  • He also taught people to be kind, and to respect the lives of others, including animals. 
  • He believed that the results of our actions (called karma), whether good or bad, affect us both in this life and the next.
  • The Buddha taught in the language of the ordinary people, Prakrit, so that everybody could understand his message .

Its Relevance  for Peace in World

  • The concept of peace is central to Buddhism. Therefore, the Buddha is called the “Santiraja” ‘king of peace. 
  • Leading a Buddhist way of life, is to maintain harmonious, untroubled good life, which consists of “samacariya”, which literally means, a harmonious life or a peaceful way of living with one’s fellow beings. 
  • The Buddha, with great compassion for the world, required his followers to practice the four boundless states (appamanna) of loving kindness (metta), of compassion (karuna), of sympathetic joy (mudita), and of equanimity (upekkha). 
  • This practice of ‘metta’ or universal love, begins by suffusing ones own mind with universal love (metta) and then pervading it to one’s family, then to the neighbors, then to the village, country and the four corners of the Universe.

India’s soft power diplomacy through Buddhism

  • Buddhism’s potential utility in foreign policy is derived to a large extent from the manner in which the faith was revived in the aftermath of the Second World War. 
  • The revival of the faith had a decidedly internationalist outlook to it, and focused on transgressing extant sectarian and geographical boundaries. 
  • The Buddhist faith, due to its emphasis on peaceful co-existence and its wide pan-Asian presence, lends itself well to soft-power diplomacy. 
  • In speeches made on official international visits such as to Sri Lanka and China, among others, India’s Prime Minister has made a conscious effort to emphasise shared Buddhist heritage. 
Additional Information Monk RobesThe tradition of wearing monastic robes is common for Buddhist monks and nuns and this tradition may date back to time of Lord Buddha himself, almost 2500 years ago. The monastic robes are known as Kasaya and are usually named after saffron dye. During the time of Buddha, monks used to wear robes that were patched together from the rags. In Sanskrit and Pali, the monastic robe is also called “ civara ” which means the robe without any regard to colors.International Buddhist ConfederationIn 2011, a working sub-committee met at the India International Centre in New Delhi to prepare the ground for the formation of the international Buddhist body.It represents the rich diversity of Buddhism and provides a platform for the global Buddhist community to share its wisdom and meaningfully participate in the ongoing global social and political discourse, while at the same time preserving and promoting its shared heritage.

Assam and Arunachal Pradesh boundary dispute

In News: 

Chief Ministers of the Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the presence of Union Home Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding over disputed areas along the roughly 800-km shared boundary.

Major Highlights of MoU

  • The two states share a roughly 800-kilometer-long border and the disputed areas the MoU deals with are 123 border villages, which span 12 districts of Arunachal Pradesh and 8 districts of Assam.
  • The state governments agree that no new claim area or village will be added in future beyond these 123 villages.
  • It also states that both governments “agree to effectively prevent any new encroachment in the border areas”
    • MoU is “full and final” in respect to the 123 villages.

Genesis and Evolution of the dispute

  • The Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary is the longest inter-state border in the Northeast
    • The issue started with a 1951 report which transferred 3,648 sq. km of the “plain” area of Balipara and Sadiya foothills to the Darrang and Lakhimpur districts of Assam.
      • The disputes cropped up in the 1970s and intensified in the 1990s with frequent flare-ups along the border. 
  • Arunachal Pradesh was made a Union territory in 1972 carved out of Assam.
    •  It contended that several forested tracts in the plains that had traditionally belonged to hill tribal chiefs and communities were unilaterally transferred to Assam.
  • After Arunachal Pradesh achieved statehood in 1987, a tripartite committee was appointed, which recommended that certain territories be transferred from Assam to Arunachal.
    • Assam contested this and the matter went to the Supreme Court

Efforts to resolve this issue

  • In April 1979, a high-powered tripartite committee was constituted to delineate the boundary on the basis of Survey of India maps, as well as discussions with both sides.
    • around 489 km of the 800 km were demarcated by 1983-84, futher demarcation could not take place because Arunachal did not accept the recommendations and claimed several kilometers of the 3,648 sq km, which was transferred to Assam in line with the 1951 report.
  • Assam objected to this and filed a case in the Supreme Court in 1989, highlighting an “encroachment” made by Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The apex court appointed a local boundary commission in 2006, headed by a retired SC judge to resolve the dispute between the states.
  • In September 2014, the local commission submitted its report.
    • Several recommendations were made (some of which suggested Arunachal Pradesh get back some of the territory which was transferred in 1951), and it was suggested that both states should arrive at a consensus through discussions. However, nothing came of it.
  • Namsai Declaration: The Namsai Declaration, which aims to reduce the inter-State border dispute affecting 123 villages, was signed by Assam and Arunachal Pradesh chief ministers in July 2022.
    • The Namsai district in southern Arunachal Pradesh is headquartered in Namsai.

Importance of Recent MoU

  •  MoU was signed on basis of a ‘give and take’ policy where Assam gave some disputed areas to Arunachal Pradesh and vice versa
  • It’s a historic day for Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It will end the border dispute between both states which had been pending for more than 50 years.
  • The boundary settlement would usher in all-around development and peace in the Northeast.
  • It will strengthen our federal structure as it brings a new paradigm to resolve differences between states 
Other Inter-state border disputes in IndiaKarnataka-MaharashtraThe dispute is over the Belgaum district. The area came under Karnataka in 1956 when states were reorganized and till then it was under the Bombay presidency.Assam-MizoramThe border dispute between Assam and Mizoram is a legacy of two British-era notifications of 1875 and 1933.The 1875 notification differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar and the other demarcated boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.Assam, on the other hand, wants the boundary demarcated in 1986 (based on the 1933 notification).Haryana-Himachal PradeshThe Parwanoo region has had the spotlight over the border dispute between the two states.·It is next to the Panchkula district of Haryana and the state has claimed parts of the land in Himachal Pradesh as its own.Himachal Pradesh-LadakhHimachal and Ladakh lay claim to Sarchu, an area on the route between Leh and Manali.Sarchu is in between Himachal’s Lahul and Spiti district and Leh district in Ladakh.

Hakki Pikkis community

In News

Members of the Hakki Pikki tribal community from Karnataka are stuck in violence-hit Sudan and the government is making efforts to bring them back. 

About Hakki Pikki Tribe

  • Hakki in Kannada means ‘bird’ and Pikki means ‘catchers’, they are a semi-nomadic tribe, traditionally of bird catchers and hunters.
  • They live in several states in west and south India, especially near forest areas. 
  • According to the 2011 census, the Hakki Pikki population in Karnataka is 11,892.
  • They are believed to hail originally from the bordering districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. 
  • In different regions, they are known by different names, such as Mel-Shikari in northern Karnataka and Maharashtra.


  • They are divided into four clans, called Gujaratia, Panwar, Kaliwala and Mewaras.
    • These clans can be equated with castes in the traditional Hindu society.
    •  In the olden days, there was a hierarchy among the clans, with the Gujaratia at the top and the Mewaras at the bottom. 
  • Hakki Pikkis in Karnataka follow Hindu traditions and celebrate all Hindu festivals. They are non-vegetarians. The eldest son in a family is not supposed to cut his hair so that he can be identified easily.
  • The tribe prefers cross-cousin marriages and the usual age of marriage is 18 for women and 22 for men. The society is matriarchal, where the groom gives dowry to the bride’s family.

Reasons for Migration 

  • Traditionally, Hakki Pikkis lived in forest areas, leading a nomadic life for nine months a year and coming back to their permanent camps for three.
  • But as the wildlife protection laws became stricter, the Hakki Pikkis in Karnataka started selling spices, herbal oils, and plastic flowers in local temple fairs.
  • Hakki Pikkis in Tamil Nadu travelled to Singapore, Thailand and other places about 20-25 years ago to sell some marbles, in the process discovering there was a huge demand for Ayurvedic products in the African continent. 
  • They started selling their products in Africa, and Karnataka Hakki Pikkis followed them.

Abhilekh patal

In News 

  • The Prime Minister of India has praised  “Abhilekh patal” a portal with over 1 Crore Pages of Historical Records of the National Archives. 

About Abhilekh Patal

  • Abhilekh is a Sanskrit term used in India for records since ancient times and Patal is a Sanskrit word meaning a board, platform, or a surface.
    • A combination of both these words has been adopted as an acronym for Portal for Access to Archives and Learning.
  • It is a full-featured web portal to access the National Archives of India’s reference media and its digitized collections through the Internet. 
  • It contains the reference media of more than 2.7 million files held by the National Archives of India.

The National Archives of India

  • It is the repository of the non-current records of the Government of India and is holding them in trust for the use of record creators and general users. 
  • It is an Attached Office of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
  • Set up on 11 March 1891 in Calcutta (Kolkata) as the Imperial Record Department, it was transferred to The New Capital to New Delhi in 1911. 

SpaceX Starship

In News: 

SpaceX’s Starship, the world’s biggest rocket, exploded during its first test-flight to space.

About Starship

  • SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket – collectively referred to as Starship.
    • Super Heavy rocket:  It is the first stage, or booster, of the Starship launch system.
      • Powered by 33 Raptor engines using sub-cooled liquid methane (CH4) and liquid oxygen (LOX).
      • The Raptor engine is a reusable methane-oxygen staged-combustion engine that powers the Starship system
      • ·Super Heavy is fully reusable and will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere to land back at the launch site.
    • Starship spacecraft: It is the second stage of the Starship system.
      • It is also capable of point-to-point transport on Earth, enabling travel to anywhere in the world in one hour or less.
  • It is a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
  • It is the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, capable of carrying up to 150 metric tons fully reusable and 250 metric tons expendable.


  • the goal is to make Starship reusable and bring down the price to a few million dollars per flight.
  • The eventual objective is to establish bases on the Moon and Mars and put humans on the “path to being a multi-planet civilization

Upcoming Mission 

  • The U.S. space agency NASA has picked the Starship spacecraft to ferry astronauts to the Moon in late 2025 — a mission known as Artemis III — for the first time since the Apollo program ended in 1972.
Artemis III MissionThe Artemis III plan is to land a crew at the Moon’s south polar region. It is planned to have two astronauts on the surface of the Moon for about one week. The mission is intended to be the first to place a woman and a non-white person on the Moon.


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