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Current Affairs 15 January 2022 for UPSC Exam | Legacy IAS


  1. Kathak
  2. Assam-Meghalaya boundary dispute
  3. NEAT Scheme



Recently, the famous Kathak dancer Pandit Munna Shukla died.

  • His most noted works include the dance-drama Shan-e-Mughal, Inder Sabha, Ameer Khusro, Anga Mukti, Anvesha, Bahar, Tratak, Kraunch Badh, Dhuni, among others.

GS – I, Indian Art Forms, Indian Dance Forms

  1. About Kathak
  2. Salient features of the dance form
  3. Other Classical Dances in India

About Kathak:

  • The word Kathak has been derived from the word Katha which means a story. It is primarily performed in Northern India.
  • It was primarily a temple or village performance wherein the dancers narrated stories from ancient scriptures. It is one of the classical dances of India.
  • Kathak began evolving into a distinct mode of dance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries with the spread of the Bhakti movement.
  • These are  the people who narrate stories largely based on episodes from the epics, myths and legends.
  • The Radha-Krishna theme proved immensely popular alongwith the works of Mirabai, Surdas, Nandadas and Krishnadas.
Salient features of the dance form
  • The weight of the body is equally distributed along the horizontal and vertical axis.
  • The technique is built by the use of an intricate system of foot-work.
  • As in Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Manipuri, Kathak also builds its pure dance sequences by combining units of movement. The cadences are called differently by the names tukra, tora, and parana– all indicative of the nature of rhythmic patterns used.
  • Kathak has emerged as a distinct dance form. Being the only classical dance of India having links with Muslim culture, it represents a unique synthesis of Hindu and Muslim genius in art.
  • Kathak is the only form of classical dance wedded to Hindustani or the North Indian music. Both of them have had a parallel growth, each feeding and sustaining the other. (Odissi dance uses Odissi music which is blend of Hindustani and Carnatic)

Dance Style:

  • Usually a solo performance, the dancer often pauses to recite verses followed by their execution through movement.
  • The focus is more on footwork; the movements are skillfully controlled and performed straight-legged by dancers wearing ankle-bells.
  • The tatkaar is the fundamental footwork in kathak.
  • Kathak is the only form of classical dance wedded to Hindustani or North Indian music.


  • A Kathak performance may include a dozen classical instruments depending more on the effect and depth required for a particular performance. Such as- the tabla that harmonizes well with the rhythmic foot movements of the dancer and often imitates sound of such footwork movements or vice-versa to create a brilliant jugalbandi. A manjira that is hand cymbals and sarangi or harmonium are also used most often.
  • The metrical cycle (tala) of 16, 10, 14 beats provide the foundation on which the whole edifice of dance is built.
Other Classical Dances in India
  • Bharatanatyam from Tamil Nadu
  • Kathakali, from Kerala.
  • Kuchipudi, from Andhra Pradesh.
  • Odissi, from Odisha.
  • Sattriya, from Assam.
  • Manipuri, from Manipur.
  • Mohiniyattam, from Kerala

-Source: Indian Express

Assam-Meghalaya boundary dispute


The Home Minister is expected to seal the final agreement to end the dispute in six areas of the Assam-Meghalaya boundary.


GS II- Inter-state relations

  1. About Assam-Meghalaya boundary Dispute
  2. About Assam-Arunachal border tension
  3. About Assam – Mizoram Border Dispute

About Assam-Meghalaya boundary Dispute:

  • Meghalaya shares a 884-km boundary with Assam and came into existence as an autonomous state within the state of Assam in April 1970 comprising the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills and the Garo Hills districts.
  • Meghalaya was carved out of Assam under the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, a law that it challenged, leading to disputes.
  • As per Meghalaya government statements, today there are 12 areas of dispute between the two states.
  • A major point of contention between Assam and Meghalaya is the district of Langpih in West Garo Hills bordering the Kamrup district of Assam.
  • Langpih was part of the Kamrup district during the British colonial period but post-Independence, it became part of the Garo Hills and Meghalaya.
  • Assam considers it to be part of the Mikir Hills in Assam.
  • Meghalaya has questioned Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills -now Karbi Anglong region – being part of Assam. Meghalaya says these were parts of erstwhile United Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts.

Assam’s border dispute with Arunachal

  • Assam Chief Minister disclosed that the state’s boundary dispute with Arunachal Pradesh was at 1,200 places.
  • Arunachal Pradesh shares a 800-km boundary with Assam and was granted statehood by the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986 in 1987. Clashes were first reported in 1992 and since then, there have been several accusations of illegal encroachment from both sides, and intermittent clashes.
  • Cases pertaining to Assam’s boundary dispute with Nagaland and Arunachal are pending in the Supreme Court.
  • There was a clear delineation of the boundary when Uttarakhand and Jharkhand were created as states. However, when Mizoram, Arunachal, and Nagaland were created, it was left to certain situations and the ambiguity remained, leading to the disputes.
  •  Miscreants allegedly fired at Assam Forest officials in November 2021 near the Arunachal Pradesh border.
  • A few days prior to which a team of Assam Forest officials were detained by allegedly illegal settlers from Arunachal Pradesh in the forest. They were later rescued by the Assam police.
  • The firing coincided with the visit of the members of the border committees of Assam and Meghalaya to various areas of difference along the inter-State boundary.
  • There was a mixed response from the locals the committee members met. A majority in some villages wanted to be with Meghalaya while most in some other villages wanted to be with Assam.

About the Assam – Mizoram Border Dispute

  • Mizoram borders Assam’s Barak Valley and the boundary between present-day Assam and Mizoram is 165 km long. Both states border Bangladesh.
  • The boundary issue between present-day Assam and Mizoram dates back to the colonial era when inner lines were demarcated according to the administrative needs of British Raj.
  • Assam became a constituent state of India in 1950 and lost much of its territory to new states that emerged from within its borders between the early 1960s and the early 1970s.
  • Mizoram was granted statehood in 1987 by the State of Mizoram Act, 1986.
  • The Assam-Mizoram dispute stems from a notification of 1875 that differentiated Lushai Hills (During colonial times, Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills) from the plains of Cachar, and another of 1933 that demarcates a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.
  • Mizoram believes the boundary should be demarcated on the basis of the 1875 notification, which is derived from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873.
  • According to an agreement between the governments of Assam and Mizoram, the status quo should be maintained in no man’s land in the border area.
  • In the Northeast’s complex boundary equations, clashes between Assam and Mizoram residents are less frequent than they are between other neighbouring states of Assam, like with Nagaland.

Assam-Nagaland: Nagaland shares a 500-km boundary with Assam and achieved statehood in December 1963 and was formed out of the Naga Hills district of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh (then North-East Frontier Agency). Violent clashes and armed conflicts, marked by killings, have occurred on the Assam-Nagaland border since 1965.

-Source: Indian Express

NEAT Scheme


Recently, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has announced a new National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT 3.0) to use technology for better learning outcomes in Higher Education.


GS II- Education

  1. About NEAT Scheme:
  2. About AICTE

About NEAT Scheme:

  • The scheme aims to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalized and customized as per the requirements of the learner.
  • MHRD aims to recognize the development of technologies in Adaptive Learning and bring them under a common platform so that learners can access it easily.
  • It proposes to create a National Alliance with such technology developing EdTech Companies through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
  • MHRD would act as a facilitator to ensure that the Adaptive Learning Solutions are freely available to a large number of economically backward students.
  • Under the scheme, a National NEAT platform would be created to provide one-stop access to Adaptive Learning Solutions.
  • EdTech companies would be responsible for developing solutions and manage the registration of learners through the NEAT portal.
  • NEAT is aimed at taking the concept of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) platform a step ahead.
  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) would be the implementing agency for the NEAT programme.
  • It would help to certify maximum students with highly marketable skills and would also improve the employability of students.


  • The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is the statutory body (AICTE Act) and a national-level council for technical education, under Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • It was initially only an advisory body under Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, under Government of India. However, it was in 1987 that it was given a statutory status under an Act of the Parliament.
  • Objectives of AICTE
    1. To plan, formulate and maintain the norms and standards by acting as a statutory authority.
    2. To provide quality assurance through accreditation.
    3. To monitor, evaluate and provide funding for the priority areas.
    4. Maintaining parity of certification & awards.
    5. To manage and develop the technical education system of India.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023