PIB Analysis Date: 25/10/2018


Topics Covered 

  1. Arya Samaj
  2. Pressurized Heavy water reactors
  4. SPARC

Facts for Prelims 

  • Arya Samaj – Dayanand Saraswati 
  • Kaiga Atomic Power Station – Karnataka

1 . President of India inaugurates International Arya Mahasammelan-2018

About Swami Dayanand Saraswati 

  • Dayanand Saraswati was born on February 12, 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat as Mool Shankar 
  • He founded the Arya Samaj that brought about changes in the religious perception of Indians.
  • He voiced his opinions against idolatry and the pointless emphasis on empty ritualism, and man-made dictates that women are not allowed to read the Vedas.
  • He brought about a complete overhaul of the education system by introducing Anglo-Vedic schools to offer Indian students an updated curriculum teaching both the knowledge of the Vedas along with contemporary English education.
  • Although he was never really involved in politics directly, his political observations were the source of inspiration for a number of political leaders during India’s struggle for independence.
  • He was given the epithet of Maharishi and is considered as one of the Makers of Modern India.
  • He was involved in following movements:- Arya Samaj, Shuddhi Movement, Back to the Vedas  

About Arya Samaj

  • Arya Samaj founded in 1875 by Dayananda Sarasvati, whose aim was to propagate true pristine knowledge enshrined in the Vedas.
  • The Arya Samaj has always had its largest following in western and northern India. It is organized in local samajas (“societies”) that send representatives to provincial samajas and to an all-India samaja. Each local samaja elects its own officers in a democratic manner.
  • The Arya Samaj opposes worship of murtis (images), animal sacrifice, shraddha (rituals on behalf of ancestors), basing caste upon birth rather than upon merit, untouchability, child marriage, pilgrimages, priestly craft, and temple offerings.
  • It upholds the infallibility of the Vedas, the doctrines of karma (the accumulated effect of past deeds) and samsara (the process of death and rebirth), the sanctity of the cow, the importance of the samskaras (individual sacraments), the efficacy of Vedic oblations to the fire, and programs of social reform.
  • It has worked to further female education and intercaste marriage; has built missions, orphanages, and homes for widows; has established a network of schools and colleges; and has undertaken famine relief and medical work.
  • From its beginning it was an important factor in the growth of Indian nationalism. It has been criticized, however, as overly dogmatic and militant and as having exhibited an aggressive intolerance toward both Christianity and Islam.

About Shuddhi Movement

  • The Shuddhi Movement was introduced by Maharishi Dayanand to bring back the individuals to Hinduism who were either voluntarily or involuntarily converted to other religions like Islam or Christianity.
  • Shuddhi or purification was imparted to those who sought their way back to Hinduism and the Samaj was able to penetrate to the various strata of society, taking back the depressed classes into the folds of Hinduism.

2 . Kaiga Atomic Power Station unit sets world record among PHWR for operating uninterrupted for 895 days

About the release 

  • Kaiga Atomic Power Station (KAPS) has set a new world record among pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) with one of its units operating uninterrupted for 895 days as of today. 

About Pressurized Heavy water reactors

  • A pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel, that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator.
  • The heavy water coolant is kept under pressure, allowing it to be heated to higher temperatures without boiling, much as in a typical pressurized water reactor.
  • While heavy water is significantly more expensive than ordinary light water, it yields greatly enhanced neutron economy, allowing the reactor to operate without fuel enrichment facilities (mitigating the additional capital cost of the heavy water) and generally enhancing the ability of the reactor to efficiently make use of alternate fuel cycles.

3 . Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS)

The broad objectives of the scheme are:

  • To identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society.
  • To focus research on (11) broad thematic areas such as : State and Democracy, Urban transformation, Media, Culture and Society, Employment, Skills and Rural transformation, Governance, Innovation and Public Policy, Growth, Macro-trade and Economic Policy, Agriculture and Rural Development, Health and Environment, Science and Education, Social Media and Technology, Politics, Law and Economics.  The Sub-Theme areas will be decided on the basis of Expert Groups’ advice before notifying the scheme and calling for applications.
  • To ensure selection of projects through a transparent, competitive process on online mode.
  • To provide opportunity for social science researchers in any institution in the country, including all Universities (Central and State), private institutions with 12(B) status conferred by UGC.
  • ICSSR funded/recognised research institutes will also be eligible to submit research proposals on the given themes and sub-themes.

4 . Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)

  • SPARC scheme aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian Institutions and the best institutions in the world

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