Nawab Wajid Ali Shah


Syllabus: GS1/ Personalities 

In News

  • An exhibition, a walk and a talk to be held in Kolkata will mark the bicentenary year of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last king of Awadh.

 About Nawab Wajid Ali Shah

  • Wajid Ali Shah (30 July 1822 – 1 September 1887) was the eleventh and last King of Awadh, holding the position for 9 years, from 13 February 1847 to 11 February 1856.
  • His kingdom, long protected by the East India Company (EIC), was annexed under the tenure of the Governor-General Lord Dalhousie on 11 February 1856 under the pretext of “maladministration” and “lawlessness” . 
  • The Nawab was exiled to Garden Reach in Metiabruz, then a suburb of Kolkata, where he lived out the rest of his life on a pension. 

His Contribution:

  • He was a poet, playwright, dancer and great patron of the arts. He is widely credited with the revival of Kathak as a major form of classical Indian dance.  
  • Contribution to Administration:
    • He was generous, kind and compassionate towards his subjects. 
    • He took keen interest in the administration of justice, introduced reforms, and reorganised the military.
  • Contributions to music:
  • A large number of composers, including Wajid Ali Shah himself, enriched the light classical form of thumri.
  • Although Wajid Ali Shah’s pen-name was “Qaisar”, he used pseudonym “Akhtarpiya” for his numerous compositions. Diwan-i-Akhtar, Husn-i-Akhtar contain his ghazals.
  • He is said to have composed many new ragas and named them Jogi, Juhi, Shah-Pasand, etc. 
  • The source for much information on music in Nawabi Lucknow comes from the text Ma’danul Moosiqui (‘The Mine of Music’) of Hakim Mohammed Karam Imam, courtier of Wajid Ali Shah.
  • Contributions to dance: Kathak 
  • Under Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, Kathak achieved greater dimensions. He gave a definite form, made it more artistic, and gave to it an aesthetic touch, he enriched it with rasa and bhava, and he added literature to it.
  • During this period, Kathak was also extensively performed by tawaifs. They frequently performed on lighter classical music such as dadra, kajri and tappa as well as thumri.
  • Wajid Ali Shah started two distinct forms one is Rahas and the other one is called Raas
  • Rahas was a dramatic form of theatre including acting, dancing, and music while Raas was purely a religious form. Primarily Dhrupad was sung in Raas and the performance began with its singing. Raas was a circular form of dance where many gopis danced with one Krishna.
  • He himself choreographed a dance based on the moves of Kathak called, Rahas, that he danced himself with the ladies of his court. 
  • It was at his reign that Lucknow Gharana came into existence. The Lucknow style of Kathak dance is characterized by graceful movements, elegance and natural poise with dance. 
  • Contributions to Hindustani theatre 
  • He established the famous Parikhaana (abode of fairies) in which hundreds of beautiful and talented girls were taught music and dancing by expert-teachers engaged by the royal patron.
  • He used to organise a spectacular pageant or Mela known as Jogia Jashan, in which all citizens of Lucknow could participate, dressed as Yogis, irrespective of caste and creed. 
  • Later, when his favourite venue, the Qaisarbagh Baradari was built, he began to stage his magnificent Rahas (a Personalised name for Rasleela) full of sensuous poetry, his own lyrical compositions and glamorous Kathak dances. 
  • Contributions to literature 
  • He also patronised literature and several poets and writers. Notable among them were ‘Barq’, ‘Ahmad Mirza Sabir’, ‘Mufti Munshi’, and ‘Aamir Ahmad Amir’, Irshad-us-Sultan and Hidayat-us-Sultan, Amanat the famous author of Indra Sabha and Bekhud, who wrote Jalwa-Akhatar, Hajjo Sharaf and Afsana-in-Lucknow. 
  • The famous poet Mirza Ghalib also received the gracious patronage of Wajid Ali Shah, who granted him a pension of Rupees five hundred per year in 1854.


  • As we live in polarised times, it’s inspirational to look back at personalities, especially artists, who were more liberal in their approach and had to tackle and overcome boundaries and restrictions in their own times. 
  • Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was definitely one such artist and personality and there’s something so charming and fascinating in not only the way he made art himself, but the way in which he facilitated and paved the way for other artists around him.

Source: TH

Global Debt Crisis Report

Syllabus: GS3/ Economy

In News

  • UN secretary general Antonio Guterres recently launched a report titled “A World of Debt: A growing burden to global prosperity”.

India Specific Findings

  • In 2022, global public debt reached a record $92 trillion with developing countries owed almost 30% of the total debt, of which roughly 70% is attributable to China, India and Brazil.
  • According to the report, India is shouldering a debt burden of $2.8 trillion. In comparison, China has a debt of nearly $14 trillion, and that of the United States has a debt of $30 trillion. 

Other Findings of the Report

  • 3.3 billion people live in countries that spend more on debt interest payments than on education or health. Thus, interest payments are outweighing development spending in many countries.
  • The report noted that public debt has increased faster in developing countries compared to developed countries over the last decade. Consequently, the number of countries facing high levels of debt has increased sharply from only 22 countries in 2011 to 59 countries in 2022.
  • A total of 52 developing countries have public debt exceeding 60% of GDP. Developing countries rely more on private creditors now, making credit more expensive and debt restructuring more complex.
  • Developing countries pay much more for their borrowing. While Germany and US pay 1.5% and 3.1% as interest, respectively; Asia is charged 6.5%, Latin America 7.7, and Africa a whopping 11.6%
  • A rising number of countries are using more public revenues for interest payments. Interest payments are growing faster than other public expenditures with some regions, especially Africa, spending more on servicing debt than serving their people. 

Roadmap to solve crisis

  • The United Nations has a road map of multilateral actions to address the global debt burden, which focuses on three areas of action:
    • Tackling the high cost of debt and rising risks of debt distress.
    • Massively scaling up affordable long-term financing for development.
    • Expanding contingency financing to countries in need.

Way Ahead

  • The implementation of the above mentioned roadmap is crucial to unleash the resources needed to build a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable world.
  • Debt is an important financial tool that can drive development and enable governments to protect and invest in their people, but when countries are forced to borrow for their economic survival, debt becomes a trap that simply generates more debt.

Source: TH

Declare Floods as National Calamity

Syllabus: GS1/ Physical Geography, GS3/ Disaster Management

In News

  • The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) urged the Union government to declare the floods and landslides in north Indian States as a national calamity.

Implications of Declaration 

  • When a calamity is declared to be of “rare severity”/”severe nature”, support to the state government is provided at the national level.
  •  The Centre also considers additional assistance from the NDRF. 
  • Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) is set up, with the corpus shared 3:1 between Centre and state.
    • When resources in the CRF are inadequate, additional assistance is considered from the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF), funded 100% by the Centre. 
  • Relief in repayment of loans or for grant of fresh loans to the persons affected on concessional terms, too, are considered once a calamity is declared “severe”.

Provisions to  Classify a National Calamity

  • There is no provision, executive or legal, to declare a natural calamity as a national calamity.
    • The existing guidelines of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)/ National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), do not contemplate declaring a disaster as a ‘National Calamity.”
  • The 10th Finance Commission (1995-2000) examined a proposal that a disaster is termed “a national calamity of rarest severity” if it affects one-third of the population of a state.
  • The panel did not define a “calamity of rare severity” but stated that a calamity of rare severity would necessarily have to be adjudged on a case-to-case basis taking into account.
    • The intensity and magnitude of the calamity
    • Level of assistance needed
    • The capacity of the state to tackle the problem
    • The alternatives and flexibility were available within the plans to provide succour and relief, etc. 
  • In 2001, the National Committee on Disaster Management under the chairmanship of the then Prime Minister was mandated to look into the parameters that should define a national calamity. 
How does the Law define a Disaster? Disaster Management Act, 2005 defines a ‘disaster’ as a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area – arising from natural or man-made causes, or by accident or negligence. A natural disaster includes earthquake, flood, landslide, cyclone, tsunami, urban flood, heatwave; a man-made disaster can be nuclear, biological and chemical.It results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area. National Disaster Response FundThe National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), constituted under Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, supplements the SDRF of a State, in case of a disaster of severe nature, provided adequate funds are not available in SDRF.

What are Floods?

  • Floods are the most frequent type of natural disaster and occur when an overflow of water submerges land that is usually dry. 

Types of Floods

  • Flash floods are caused by rapid and excessive rainfall that raises water heights quickly, and rivers, streams, channels or roads may be overtaken.
  • River floods are caused when consistent rain or snow melt forces a river to exceed capacity. 
  • Coastal floods are caused by storm surges associated with tropical cyclones and tsunamis.
  • Urban flooding occurs as a result of land development. Permeable soil layers are being replaced by impermeable paved surfaces, through which water cannot infiltrate.
    • This leads to greater runoff being generated, which can make rivers out of roadways and ponds out of car parks.

What Causes Floods?

  • Natural Causes:
    • Prolonged rainfall: When rain falls for a prolonged period of time, the soil can become saturated. When water is unable to infiltrate into the saturated soil, it is forced to flow over the soil, thus increasing surface runoff.
    • Intense/Heavy rainfall: When rain falls heavily; the raindrops hit the ground with a force. This can cause the rain drops to bounce off the soil instead of infiltrating into the soil. The water from the rain is then forced to flow over the surface instead, thus increasing the surface runoff.
    • Relief refers to the difference in height between the highest point and the lowest point on land. When rain falls, the surface runoff can move very quickly from mountainous or hilly areas to low lying areas making these low lying areas more prone to flooding.
  • Anthropogenic Causes
    • Deforestation: The lack of vegetation encourages water to flow over the surface rather than infiltrate into the soil thus increasing surface runoff.
    • Poor land use practices: Slash and burn agriculture, over-cultivation and overgrazing eventually cause the soil to become infertile and unable to sustain vegetative growth. Consequently, the lack of green cover encourages water to flow over the surface rather than infiltrate into the soil thus increasing surface runoff.
    • Urbanization leads to the replacement of permeable soil with that of an impervious layer of pitch and concrete, through which water cannot infiltrate. 
    • Improper waste disposal: Oftentimes, garbage that is not properly disposed enters into drainage systems and clogs drains. 
    • Quarrying is the clearing of land for the removal of aggregates (mainly sand and gravel) which is to be utilized in the construction industry. The action of quarrying leaves land bare and devoid of any trees and shrubs hence increasing surface runoff produced.
    • Collapsed Dams: If the dams begin to collapse, they will discharge more water downstream, resulting in flooding. 
    • Climate change: Uncontrolled human activities can contribute to climatic changes, which are responsible for flooding in most regions.


  • Drowning accounts for 75% of deaths in flood disasters. Flood disasters are becoming more frequent and this trend is expected to continue. 
  • Drowning risks increase with floods particularly in low- and middle-income countries where people live in flood prone areas and the ability to warn, evacuate, or protect communities from floods is weak or only just developing. 
  • Deaths also result from physical trauma, heart attacks, electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning or fire associated with flooding. Often, only immediate traumatic deaths from flooding are recorded. 
  • Floods can also have medium- and long-term health impacts, including:
    • water- and vector-borne diseases, such as cholera, typhoid or malaria 
    • injuries, such as lacerations or punctures from evacuations and disaster cleanup chemical hazards, 
    • mental health effects associated with emergency situations, 
    • disrupted health systems, facilities and services, leaving communities without access to health care,  
    • damaged basic infrastructure, such as food and water supplies, and safe shelter.
    • Economic losses to the State and individuals are also major concerns of the flooding.


  • Drainage Improvement: Ensure that there is proper drainage or expand on existing drainage systems whenever there’s new settlements or structures being constructed.
  • Diversion of Flood Water: Diverting all or a part of the discharge into a natural or artificially constructed channel, lying within or in some cases outside the flood plains is a useful means of lowering water levels in the river. 
  • Catchment Area Treatment/Afforestation: Watershed management measures such as developing the vegetative cover i.e. afforestation and conservation of soil cover in conjunction with structural works like check dams, detention basins etc. serve as an effective measure in reducing flood peaks and controlling the suddenness of the runoff.
  • Anti-erosion Works: Bank erosion can be minimized by adopting measures that aim at deflecting the current away from the river bank or which aim at reducing the current along the bank of the river and induce silt.
  • Sea Walls/Coastal Protection Works: Sea walls/coastal protection works in the form of groins etc. are constructed to prevent flooding erosion in coastal areas by sea water. 
  • Inspection, Rehabilitation and Maintenance: Structural works require a periodic and systematic inspection, rehabilitation and maintenance programme to ensure that the design capabilities are maintained. 

Source: TH

Vector-borne Disease

Syllabus :GS 2/Heath

In News

The Union health ministry has sounded the alarm on a vector-borne disease outbreak with record rainfall in North India creating a favourable breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. 

Vector-borne diseases

  • They are human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by vectors.
  • They are of six types (Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Kala-Azar). They are seasonal and outbreak prone with all except lymphatic Filariasis showing outbreak during monsoon and post-monsoon period generally. 

Emerging Challenges 

  • Changing climatic conditions, particularly temperature and moisture variations following events such as extreme rainfall in some places and drought in others, will lead to a surge in the spread of vector-borne and infectious diseases across India, say scientists.
  • As concerns mount over the recent increase in respiratory viral infections, including H2N3, adenoviruses and swine flu, in many parts of India
  • The prospect of climate change leading to an increased burden with the spread of diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria looms large

WHO response

  • The “Global Vector Control Response (GVCR) 2017–2030” was approved by the World Health Assembly in 2017.
    • It provides strategic guidance to countries and development partners for urgent strengthening of vector control as a fundamental approach to preventing disease and responding to outbreaks.

India’s Efforts 

  • Government is providing technical support through guidelines, advisories, epidemiological reports on outbreak preparedness, financial support through budget under NHM, monitoring and supervision, awareness through IEC campaigns, additional support through Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFTAM).
  • The Government of India is dedicated to curb these diseases and has the target of eliminating Malaria by 2030, Lymphatic Filariasis by 2030 and Kala-Azar by 2023.
  • Government is putting out advisories to states and Union Territories (UTs) to collaborate with the respective civic agencies and take prompt action.

 Way out

  • Modelling future scenarios using state-of-the-art techniques that allow predictive future disease patterns or hotspots can be a useful tool to aid decision-makers in planning suitable and timely interventions


Comprehensive Scheme to promote Coal Gasification

Syllabus :GS 3/Energy 

In  News 

  • The ministry of coal has set a target to gasify 100 million tonnes of coal by FY 2030 in line with its energy transition plans.
Coal gasificationIt is the process of converting coal into synthesis gas (also called syngas), which is a mixture of hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The syngas can be used in a variety of applications such as in the production of electricity and making chemical products, such as fertilisers.

About the scheme

  • The ministry is considering a comprehensive scheme, with an outlay of ₹6,000 crore, to promote coal and lignite gasification projects for both public sector undertakings (PSUs) and the private sector.
  • It has set a target to achieve coal gasification of 100 Million Tonne (MT) coal by FY 2030 to reduce India’s reliance on imports of natural gas, methanol, ammonia and other essential products.
  • The scheme will be drawn in three segments to provide budgetary support to eligible companies, both PSUs and private entities.

Importance of the move 

  • Currently, India imports approximately 50% of its Natural Gas, over 90% of its total Methanol consumption and around 13-15% of its total ammonia consumption to cater to the domestic demand. 
  • The adoption of gasification technology in India will revolutionize the coal sector, reducing reliance on imports of natural gas, methanol, ammonia and other essential products.
  • It will contribute to India’s vision of becoming Aatmanirbhar and create a surge in employment opportunities. 
  • The implementation of coal gasification is expected to make significant contributions to the nation’s development by reducing  imports  by 2030.
  • The initiative holds the potential to alleviate the environmental burden by reducing carbon emissions and fostering sustainable practices, contributing to India’s global commitments towards a greener future.

Other related developments

  • The ministry is also considering an incentive to reimburse GST compensation cess on coal utilized in gasification projects.
  • Furthermore, the Ministry highlighted collaborative efforts in advancing Surface Coal Gasification (SCG) projects across Coal India Limited (CIL) coalfields.
  • In October 2022, strategic bilateral agreements were executed, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between BHEL & CIL, as well as an MoU between IOCL, GAIL & CIL.
    • These collaborations aim to foster cooperation and expertise in driving the implementation of SCG projects.


Chandrayaan-3 Mission

Syllabus: GS2/ Government Policies & Interventions, GS3/ Space

In News

  • India’s third moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, was successfully launched recently. 

Chandrayaan-3 Mission

  • Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third moon mission.
  • It was successfully launched onboard a Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM-3) rocket from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 14th, 2023.
  • The Chandrayaan-3 is an interplanetary mission which has three major modules:
    • The Propulsion module, 
    • Lander module, and 
    • Rover.
  • Chandrayaan-3 will next insert itself into lunar orbit, a move that will kick off the moon-centric phase (Phase 3). 
  • The mission will then orbit the moon four times, getting gradually closer to the lunar surface with each subsequent loop.
    • Thus far, only three countries, the U.S., Russia and China, have successfully soft-landed on the moon.

Mission characteristics

  • Sun on all its faces:
    • The Chandrayaan-3 Lander has solar panels on four sides, instead of only two in Chandrayaan-2. This is to ensure that the Lander continues to draw solar power, even if it lands in a wrong direction, or tumbles over. 
    • At least one or two of its sides would always be facing the Sun, and remain active.
  • More instruments:
    • Additional navigational and guidance instruments are on board Chandrayaan-3 to continuously monitor the Lander’s speed, and make the necessary corrections. 
    • This includes an instrument called Laser Doppler Velocimeter, which will fire laser beams to the lunar surface to calculate the Lander’s speed. 
    • New sensors and cameras have also been added.
Chandrayaan-2 missionLaunched on July 22, 2019, the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s Vikram lunar lander crashed on the Moon.Objective of the Chandrayaan-2 was to demonstrate the ability to soft-land a lander and rover on the unexplored south pole of the Moon, it also had other goals. The mission was designed to expand the lunar scientific knowledge through a detailed study of topography, seismography, mineral identification and distribution, surface chemical composition, thermo-physical characteristics of topsoil and composition of the tenuous lunar atmosphere, leading to a new understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon.Despite the setback, the mission wasn’t a complete failure as its Orbiter part kept on working normally and produced a handsome amount of data about the Moon. This helped in building upon existing knowledge of the celestial body in terms of its surface, sub-surface and exosphere.The lander Vikram and rover Pragyaan were carrying instruments to carry out observations on the surface. These were supposed to pick up additional information about the terrain, composition and mineralogyChandrayaan-1 missionIt was launched in October 2008 and it orbited the Moon and performed a number of scientific experiments and observations.It was India’s first lunar mission and the first to discover water on the Moon.It Involved an orbiter and an impactor, both of which were built by ISRO.It was launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and made more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon.It was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.

Improvements of Chandrayaan-3 over previous mission

  • Learning from the failures of Chandrayaan-2:
    • The mission hopes to put behind the failure of Chandrayaan-2, which had crashed on the lunar surface in 2019. Important improvements have been made in the design to ensure that another accident is avoided.
    • While attempting a soft-landing on September 7, 2019, Chandrayaan-2 had failed to reduce its speed to the desired level in the final seconds of descent. 
    • Scientists later detected problems in both the software and the hardware — in consequence, the software and hardware in Chandrayaan-3 have been equipped with several additional capabilities.
  • Multiple stress tests:
    • The Lander has been subjected to multiple stress tests and experiments, including dropping it from helicopters. 
    • ISRO created several kinds of test beds at one of its facilities to simulate lunar landing conditions.
Why was Sriharikota chosen?There were two primary reasons for selecting Sriharikota as the launch site. One, it is on the east coast which facilitates the launching of the rockets in an easterly direction. Two, its proximity to the equator.By launching a rocket eastwards, one can take advantage of Earth’s rotation. For a launch site close to equator the magnitude of the velocity imparted due to Earth’s rotation is about 450 m/s, which can lead to substantial increase in the payload for a given launch vehicle. Geostationary satellites must necessarily be in the equatorial plane. So, for such satellites, the closer the launch site is to the equator the better it is.Who was Satish Dhawan?Born in Srinagar, Dhawan was an Indian rocket scientist, known as the ‘Father of Experimental Fluid Dynamics research’ in India. He is also one of the foremost researchers in the field of turbulence and boundary layers.In 1972, Dhawan succeeded Vikram Sarabhai as the Chairman of Isro. 

Source: TH

Facts In News

Namda Art

In News

  • Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and IT, flagged off the first batch of Namda Art products for export to the United Kingdom (UK).


  • The Namda craft of Kashmir is being successfully revived under a Skill India’s Pilot Project as part of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), with nearly 2,200 candidates from across six districts of the state, receiving training in the dying art form.
    • Six districts of Kashmir, namely Srinagar, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Budgam, and Anantnag.
  • The project sets a great example of the public-private partnership (PPP) model in the field of skill development, as it is being implemented in collaboration with local industry partners.

About Namda Art

  • Namdas are a kind of mattress, originally from Kashmir. 
  • The art involves felting the wool rather than weaving it. Low quality wool mixed with a small quantity of cotton is used to manufacture namdas. 
  • They are usually of two types, plain and embroidered. Formerly, woolen yarn was used for embroidery, but now acrylic yarn (cashmelon) is in use.
  • Due to low availability of raw material, lack of skilled manpower and marketing techniques, the export of this craft has declined almost 100 percent between 1998 and 2008.
  • The craft is primarily practiced by the Pinjara and Mansuri communities, Sama Muslims native to Kachchh. 
  • Namda is a craft made for all types of climates. 

Source: PIB


Syllabus: GS3/ Science & Technology

In News

  • Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India convened the 23rd Prime Minister Science, Technology & Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) meeting.


  • The meeting brought together PM-STIAC members, key government officials, and experts to discuss the contemporary priorities of science and technology ecosystem in India including high performance Biomanufacturing, the role of Empowered Technology Group (ETG), and the recently introduced National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill.
  • The PM-STIAC meeting serves as a catalyst for industry leaders, research organisations and scientific ministries to come together and find sustainable science and technology-led solutions to empower and align the missions of national importance.
  • Outcome: The session concluded with a productive discussion, exploring collaborative opportunities between different ministries, the whole of the Government approach, academic and research institutes, and industry. Potential strategies to drive Biomanufacturing excellence in the country were also discussed.

Office of PSA

  • The Government of India established the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) in 1999. 
  • Aim: The PSA’s office aims to provide pragmatic and objective advice to the Prime Minister and the cabinet in matters of Science and Technology. The Office of PSA was placed under the Cabinet Secretariat in 2018.
  • Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood is currently serving as the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.


  • The PM-STIAC is an overarching Council that facilitates the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India to assess the status in specific science and technology domains, comprehend challenges in hand, formulate specific interventions, develop a futuristic roadmap and advise the Prime Minister accordingly.
  • The PM-STIAC is assisted by the Project Management Team (PMT) at Invest India, together with the Office of the PSA. 
  • The PMT at Invest India facilitates the delivery and progress of the ‘9 National Missions’ under the PM-STIAC.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *