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Current Affairs 12 March 2024 for UPSC And State PSC Exam

‘Phani Yerava’

News-“Karnataka’s ‘Phani Yerava’ tribe, residing in the Western Ghats, faces critical challenges with escalating alcohol abuse issues, urgently calling for government and policy intervention to provide much-needed support and preservation.”


  • The evergreen forests in the Karnataka part of the Western Ghats are largely untouched, home to the Yerava tribal community, including the Phani Yerava subgroup.
  • This tribal group faces economic and social crises. In Kodagu District’s Virajpet Taluka, specifically in Makuta village, there are 19 Yerava families.
  • In 2021, these families obtained land leases under the Forest Rights Act of 2006, securing leases for 135 acres of land, though it was a challenging process.
  • They have the right to collect forest products under the Forest Rights Act. It was expected that obtaining land leases would improve their economic condition.
  • Unfortunately, their situation has worsened. Cultivating the land requires significant effort and money, making labor work in cities a more viable option.
  • The community, once entirely dependent on the forest, now seldom collects forest products such as honey and Shikakai due to diminishing availability.
  • Many now migrate to Kerala’s Kasaragod district for labor work, where they find better pay and opportunities due to their familiarity with Malayalam.
  • Daily wage labor has become the primary livelihood, not just in this village but also in nearby tribal villages.
  • Substance abuse is emerging as a significant issue within the Yerava group, as identified in a study by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi.
  • The study observed widespread alcohol use among men and increasing substance abuse among young boys in the community.
  • NGOs note that substance abuse has risen since tribals began migrating to cities for daily wage labor, partly due to laborers drinking alcohol to relieve fatigue.
  • This challenge is not unique to the Yeravas but is also present in other tribal communities in the area, such as the Hasalaru, Jenu Kuruba, and Gowdalu.
  • The study found that larger communities concerned about their rights have benefited from the Forest Rights Act, but many groups within tribal communities like the Yeravas are still facing crises despite the law.

Perang Api

News- Hindu devotees participate in ‘Perang Api’, a fiery ritual aimed at purifying and warding off bad luck, in anticipation of Nyepi Day, the celebration of the Balinese Hindu New Year, in Mataram, Indonesia.

About- Perang Api,” or “Fire War,” is a traditional ritual and cultural event found in certain communities, notably within Indonesia. This unique ceremony has roots in local traditions and carries significant cultural and spiritual meaning. While specifics can vary depending on the region and the community performing it, here are some general points about Perang Api:

Historical and Cultural Context

  • Origins: Perang Api’s origins are often rooted in historical and cultural traditions of local communities, serving various purposes from spiritual cleansing to commemorating historical events.
  • Location: This event is notably practiced in parts of Indonesia, where it’s part of the rich tapestry of the country’s diverse cultural practices.

Significance and Purpose

  • Spiritual Cleansing: In some communities, Perang Api is believed to have a purifying effect, driving away evil spirits and bringing about renewal.
  • Commemoration: It can also serve to commemorate significant historical or mythological events, acting as a reminder of the community’s heritage.
  • Community Bonding: Beyond its spiritual and commemorative roles, Perang Api acts as a means of strengthening community bonds, bringing people together in a shared tradition.

The Ceremony

  • Participants: Often involves members of the community who, depending on the tradition, might be dressed in specific attire that signifies their role or the event’s significance.
  • Activities: The ritual typically involves the controlled use of fire, where participants might pass through or jump over flames. The exact nature of the activity varies, reflecting the ritual’s underlying symbolism and purpose.
  • Safety Measures: Despite the apparent danger, such events are conducted with a deep understanding of safety measures, ensuring that the spiritual and communal benefits are achieved without harm.

Modern Context

  • Cultural Preservation: In the modern era, events like Perang Api are invaluable for the preservation of cultural identity, offering insight into the traditions and values of the community.
  • Tourist Attraction: These unique cultural practices have also become attractions, drawing visitors interested in the rich cultural heritage of the area.
  • Adaptation: While maintaining its traditional roots, the way Perang Api is practiced may adapt over time, reflecting changes in societal norms and conditions.

“Perang Api” is a vivid example of how traditional ceremonies can offer a window into the spiritual beliefs, historical consciousness, and communal values of a culture. As with any cultural practice, the specifics of Perang Api can provide deep insights into the worldview of the community that upholds it, underscoring the importance of cultural preservation and respect for diverse traditions.


News-The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has successfully conducted an essential test for Samudrayaan, India’s inaugural manned submersible mission.


Samudrayaan Mission Overview

  • India’s inaugural manned mission to conduct deep-sea exploration.
  • Objective: To create a self-propelled manned submersible capable of taking three people to depths of up to 6,000 meters in the ocean.
  • Purpose: To explore deep ocean resources and perform biodiversity assessments.
  • Part of the broader Deep Ocean Mission aligning with India’s Blue Economy policy.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

About MATSYA 6000

  • A manned submersible vehicle created by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai.
  • Developed for the Samudrayaan mission to enable deep ocean exploration of mineral resources.
  • Features: 12 hours of operational capacity, with 96 hours for emergencies.
  • Goals: To allow direct observation and study of unexplored deep-sea areas, enhancing India’s capabilities in deep-sea vehicle development.
  • Launch Date: Expected in 2024-25, positioning India among the elite group of countries (US, Russia, Japan, France, China) capable of conducting crewed deep-sea expeditions beyond 5,000 meters.

Deep Ocean Mission Key Points

  • A mission-mode project supporting the Government of India’s Blue Economy Initiatives.
  • Implemented as a Central Sector Scheme by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program involving multiple ministries, aimed at enhancing the understanding of the Indian Ocean’s deep-sea resources.

Major Components

  • Development of technologies for deep-sea mining, manned submersibles, and underwater robotics.
  • Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services.
  • Innovations for the exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity.
  • Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration.
  • Harnessing energy and freshwater from the ocean.
  • Establishment of an Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology.

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