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PIB 21st June


  1. KVIC starts reviving ancient glory of Pokhran potteries
  2. Clue to Stellar evolution in the Milky Way Galaxy


Focus: GS-II Social Justice, Prelims

Why in news?

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) distributed 80 electric potter wheels to 80 potter families in Pokhran which has a rich heritage in terracotta products.

Details about KVIC’s support

  • Pokhran has over 300 potters’ families that are engaged with pottery for several decades, but potters started looking for other avenues due to heavy drudgery in the work and no market support.
  • KVIC’s support is seeking to restore the lost glory of the once-most famous pottery of Pokhran, a small town in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan.
  • KVIC gave training for potters to make products ranging from Kulhar to decorative pieces like flower vase, sculptures and interesting traditional utensils like spherical bottles with narrow mouth, Lotas with long spouts, and other spherical utensils used for cooking as well as decorative pieces.
  • KVIC is also working to facilitate marketing and sale of the pottery products at Barmer and Jaisalmer railway stations to provide marketing support to potters.
  • The KVIC has launched Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana in several remote areas as well.

Extra bit about Pokhran

Pokhran is one of the aspirational districts identified by the Niti Ayog.

Pokhran served as the test site for India’s first underground nuclear weapon, ballistic missiles.

Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana

  • Kumbhar Sashaktikaran Program is an initiative of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for empowerment of potters’ community in the remotest of locations in the country.
  • The program reaches out to the potters in : U.P., M.P., Maharashtra, J&K, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Telangana and Bihar.

This program provides the following support to potters.

  1. Training for advanced pottery products
  2. Latest, new technology pottery equipments like the electric Chaak
  3. Market linkages and visibility through KVIC exhibitions

Aspirational Districts’ Programme

  • Aspirational Districts are those districts in India, that are affected by poor socio-economic indicators.
  • These are aspirational in the context, that improvement in these districts can lead to the overall improvement in human development in India.
  • At the Government of India level, the programme is anchored by NITI Aayog. In addition, individual Ministries have assumed responsibility to drive the progress of districts.
  • The objective of the program is to monitor the real-time progress of aspirational districts.


Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

Astronomers at the have found that stars of varied ages can co-exist in open clusters.

Background: Formation of Galaxies

  • Stars in our Galaxy are formed from the molecular clouds present in the Galaxy.
  • It is believed that the majority of stars in our Galaxy are formed in the star clusters making them important clues to understand the star formation mechanism.
  • Open star clusters are a system of stars bound by gravity in which stars are born from the same molecular clouds.
  • All the stars in a cluster follow the evolutionary sequence as per their initial masses at the time of formation of these stars.
  • Open clusters are also important in probing formation and evolution of Milky Way Galaxy as they are distributed throughout the Galactic disk.

Significance of the study

  • The study challenges earlier understanding that stars in an open cluster have the same age.
  • The study lent important insight about the stellar and dynamical evolution of these clusters.
  • The mass distributions of stars belonging to the clusters have shown the preferential distribution of massive stars in the inner part of the clusters while low mass stars are found towards outer region of the clusters.

Devasthal Observatory

  • Devasthal is an observatory in the district of Nainital in Uttarakhand state of India.
  • Devasthal peak is an emerging optical astronomical site for Indian telescopes.
  • The sites are managed by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital.

The Milky Way Galaxy: Prelims bits

  • The Milky Way is the galaxy we live in. It contains the Sun and 100 to 500 billion other stars.
  • It is a barred spiral galaxy as grouped in the Hubble tuning fork diagram.
  • It is located at the outskirts of the Virgo supercluster.
  • The Milky way galaxy spiral arms, Earth orbits the Sun, which is situated in the Orion Arm, one of the Milky Way’s spiral arms.
  • Earth (and the solar system) is moving through the Milky Way’s disk in a stable, roughly circular orbit around the galactic center.
  • Milky way galaxy is one of the 54 galaxies in the “Local Group” of galaxies.
  • The Local group itself is a part of a larger group called Virgo Supercluster.
  • Virgo super cluster itself is a part of Laniakea Supercluster.
June 2024