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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 26-May-2020

Topic Covered :

1. Ramkinkar Baij

2. Heatwave intensifies in northern India, Churu hottest at 47.5 deg C

3. Armies of India, China appear heading towards biggest face-off after Doklam

4. Maharashtra Governor vs CM standoff

5. Cicadas



Why in news?

  • Ministry of Culture’s National Gallery of Modern Art will organise virtual tour titled “Ramkinkar Baij | Journey through silent transformation and expressions” to commemorate the 115th Birth Anniversary of Ramkinkar Baij on 26th May 2020.


1. The iconic artist created 639 works of art.

2. The virtual tour is being launched to pay tribute to the one of the greatest sculptor, painter – an iconic artist of modern India, especially for the young artists to know the kind of restless experiment that the artist had one with forms – figurative and abstractive both.

3. About Ramkinkar Baij

a. Ramkinkar Baij, one of the most seminal artists of modern India, was an iconic sculptor, painter and graphic artist.

b. In 1925, he made his way to Kala Bhavana, the art school at Santiniketan and was under the guidance of Nandalal Bose. Encouraged by the liberating, intellectual environment of Santiniketan, his artistic skills and intellectual horizons blossomed, thus acquiring greater depth and complexity.

c. He assimilated the idioms of the European modern visual language and yet was rooted in his own Indian ethos.

d. His use of unconventional material, for the time, such as cement concrete for

his monumental public sculptures set a new precedent for art practices.

e. The use of cement, laterite and mortar to model the figures, and the use of a

personal style in which modern western and Indian pre-classical sculptural

values were brought together was equally radical.

f. In 1970, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan for

his irrefutable contribution to Indian art. In 1976 he was made a Fellow of the

Lalit Kala Akademi. In 1976, he was conferred the honorary Doctoral Degree

of ‘Desikottama’ by Visva Bharati, and in 1979 an honorary D.Litt by Rabindra

Bharati University.

Source : PIB ( )



Why in news?

Heatwave conditions intensified in most of the northern states of India on Monday, with Churu in Rajasthan scorching at 47.5 degrees Celsius and the mercury breaching the 46- degree mark in parts of the national capital.


1. Definition : A heat wave, or heatwave, is a period of excessively hot weather, which

may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climate countries. While

definitions vary, a heat wave is usually measured relative to the usual weather in the

area and relative to normal temperatures for the season.

2. IMD colour codes –

a. The IMD has four colour-coded messages -- green, yellow, amber and red.

Green indicates normal conditions while red denotes extreme weather


3. A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is at least 40 degrees

Celsius and the departure from normal temperature is 4.5 degrees Celsius to 6.4

degrees Celsius.

4. For the plains, a heatwave is declared when the actual maximum temperature is 45

degrees Celsius and severe heatwave when it is 47 degrees Celsius or above.

Source : TOI ( india-churu-hottest-at-47-5-deg-c/articleshow/75978879.cms )


Why in news?

Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017.


1. Top military sources said India has further increased its strength in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley - the two contentious areas where Chinese army is learnt to have

been deploying around 2,000 to 2,500 troops besides gradually enhancing temporary infrastructure.

2. The biggest concern for Indian military has been the presence of Chinese troops

around several key points including Indian Post KM120 along the Darbuk-Shayok-

Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.

3. Chinese transgression into areas like Galwan was worrying as there was no dispute

between the two sides in the area.

4. The Chinese side has particularly strengthened its presence in the Galwan Valley,

erecting around 100 tents in the last two weeks and bringing in heavy equipment for

construction of bunkers.

5. India last week said the Chinese military was hindering normal patrolling by its

troops and asserted that India has always taken a very responsible approach towards

border management.

6. The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam trijunction

in 2017 which even triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed


7. China has been critical of India's reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, and has

particularly criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim over several parts of Ladakh.

Source : TOI ( )



Why in news?

The relationship between the Uddhav Thackeray-led Mahavikas Aghadi and Raj Bhavan has been tense for a while but Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s proposal, that Raj Bhavan be made an independent establishment on the lines of the judiciary, has escalated matters further.


1. Demands of Governor :

a. On the lines of the Indian judiciary and the legislature, the Maharashtra

Governor wants the administration of the Raj Bhavan to be under his control.

b. In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Governor Koshyari

has basically proposed that Raj Bhavan be deemed to be an independent

establishment with his office enjoying sole powers to decide on all matters

related to appointments, transfers and other service-related matters of the

staff deployed at the Raj Bhavan.

2. Current Established Norms :

a. Just like in other states, the Maharashtra Governor, as the figurative head of

the state, has powers to choose his team of officers and staff.

b. The established procedure is that when there is a staff requirement for the

governor’s office, he is sent a list of eligible candidates from which he can

choose. Normally, the Governor’s preference of the choice of candidates is


c. In many ways, the staff at Raj Bhavan are meant to serve as a bridge between

the state administration and the Governor’s office.

3. Views from CM office :

a. It holds a view that the proposal is not in keeping with established

recruitment rules.

b. The government’s side also pointed out that even the Rashtrapati Bhavan is

not an independent establishment.

c. Senior bureaucrats also argue that while the judiciary and the legislative wing

are independent arms in three-tier governance set up, the Raj Bhavan,

essentially, is an extension of the government.

4. Implication :

a. For the time being, it has only escalated the standoff between the Raj Bhavan

and the ruling coalition in Maharashtra. According to officials, a bigger

implication will be seen in the unlikely event of the state government

accepting the Governor’s proposal. Would this then lead to similar demands

being raised from other Raj Bhavans across the country?

Source : Indian Express ( )


Why in news?

  • A brood of periodical cicadas, noisy insects that breed underground for as long as 13-17 years are expected to emerge into some states on the east coast of the US this year.


1. The emergence of over 1.5 million cicadas per acre is expected.

2. According to Virginia Tech, people living in these areas will experience a “unique

natural” phenomenon that has not occurred in most of the area since 2003.

3. Cicadas are insects that spend most of their lives underground and emerge from the

soil mainly to mate. Once out of the ground, their life span is fairly short, somewhere

between two-four weeks.

4. There are three species of 17-year cicadas and three species of 13-year cicadas.

5. The insects are found in the America’s as well as New Zealand and Australia.

6. After emerging from the ground in billions, the cicadas shed their exoskeletons or

outer skins to take their winged form.

7. After mating, the females lay their eggs in twigs that are ½ to ¼ in diameter. One

female is capable of laying over 400 eggs in 40-50 different sites.

8. The eggs remain in the twigs for six to ten weeks before they hatch and after

hatching the nymphs fall to the ground where they burrow 6-18 inches underground

to feed and emerge 13 or 17 years later, depending on their grouping.

Source : Indian Express ( )

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