Daily Current Affairs May 23

Mains Topic – GS Paper I – Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Why in News?

The central government has launched a program for the solarization of Odisha’s Konark Sun Temple and the surrounding Konark town.

More in News

Under this program, the government plans to set up a 10 MW grid-connected solar project and various solar off-grid applications such as solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks, and off-grid solar power projects with battery storage. 

The government would provide 100% central financial assistance (CFA) and the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) will be the implementing agency for the project.

Government of India launched the program with an objective to take forward the Prime Minister’s vision to develop the historical Sun Temple town of Konark in Odisha as ‘Surya Nagri,’ to convey a message of synergy between the modern use of solar energy and the ancient Sun Temple, and the importance of promoting solar energy.

About Konark Sun Temple

Konark Sun Temple is located in the East Odisha near the sacred city of Puri. The temple is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot. It is dedicated to the sun God and thus it is directly and materially linked to Brahmanism and tantric belief systems. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.

The temple was built in 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1238-1264). Its scale, refinement and conception represent the strength and stability of the Ganga Empire as well as the value systems of the historic milieu.

The Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work. It marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture depicting the grace, the joy and the rhythm of life all its wondrous variety.

There are two rows of 12 wheels on each side of the Konark sun temple. Some say the wheels represent the 24 hours in a day and others say the 12 months. The seven horses are said to symbolize the seven days of the week. Sailors once called this Sun Temple of Konark, the Black Pagoda because it was supposed to draw ships into the shore and cause shipwrecks.


Mains Topic – GS Paper II – Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


Why in News?

The US will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, a major accord that permits unarmed aerial surveillance flights over 34 participating countries, citing repeated Russian violations of its terms.

About Treaty on Open Skies

The Treaty on Open Skies establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. 

The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them. Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities.

The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002. It currently has 35 party states. The treaty was eventually signed as an initiative of the former U.S. President George H. W. Bush in 1989. Negotiated by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the agreement was signed in Helsinki, Finland, on March 24, 1992.

Signatory Countries 

The signatory countries of the treaty include UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, Belgium, Belarus, Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, Georgia, Finland, Russia, Iceland, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Slovenia. 

Most of the participating countries are in North America Europe and Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is the only country that has not ratified the treaty. India is not a member of this treaty. 

Why does the US want to withdraw?

Moscow and Washington have long accused the other of breaching its terms. The US has in the past accused Moscow of imposing restrictions on flights near its exclave of Kaliningrad, an area between Poland and Lithuania where the Russian military maintains a robust presence.


Mains Topic – GS Paper III – Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.


Why in news?

India has become the world’s second largest manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE) body coveralls within a short span of two months. China is the world’s leading producer of PPE body coveralls, crucial to safeguard against the COVID-19.

About Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter. 

PPE is part of a larger infection prevention and control bundle of measures and is implemented as part of a multimodal strategy of management of COVID-19 patients. The WHO recommended PPE for the care of COVID patients, for contact and droplet precautions, with the exception of aerosol producing procedures, which require contact and airborne.

PPE Manufacturing in India

The manufacturing capacity of PPE for medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients in India is estimated to have a requirement of about 2 crores.  The PPE kits being manufactured are procured are being sent to the states by the health ministry as per requirements for use by medical personnel involved in COVID-19 treatment.

Around 400 manufactures have been certified so far out of which 100 are supplying to HLL Lifecare Ltd., the designated single window procurement agency for hospitals and healthcare organizations under the Health Ministry.

Way Forward

With the manufacturing capacities expected to grow further, the Ministry of Textiles sees a possibility for India to step in with PPEs in the international market once exports open up.