- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
- Padma Awards
Focus: GS II- Personalities in News
Why in News?
The Prime Minister has expressed pride of every Indian on installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in Mauritius.
About Chhatrapati Shivaji
- Born on February 19, 1630, at Shivneri Fort in Pune.
- He was born to Shahaji Bhonsle, a Maratha general who ruled the Bijapur Sultanate’s jagirs of Pune and Supe. Shivaji’s mother was Jijabai, a devout woman who had a strong religious influence on him.
- Shivaji’s name was derived from the name of a provincial deity, Goddess Shivai.
- He created the Maratha Empire by carving out an enclave from the crumbling Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur.
- He was formally crowned Chhatrapati (Monarch) of his dominion in Raigad in 1674.
- Religious tolerance and functional integration of the Brahmans, Marathas, and Prabhus ensured the kingdom’s security.
- With the support of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organisations, he constructed a competent and progressive civil rule.
- He had a ministerial council (Asht Pradhan) to advise him on state problems, but he was not bound by it. He had the authority to appoint or fire them.
- He pioneered non-conventional methods (guerrilla warfare) and used strategic elements such as terrain, speed, and surprise to innovate military tactics.
- To defeat his larger and more powerful opponents, he concentrated on pinpoint attacks.
- Although the courageous warrior died in 1680, he is remembered for his bravery and intelligence.
Shivaji and the Mughals
- Shivaji’s meteoric rise posed challenges to the suzerainty of the Mughals.
- His first direct encounter with the Mughals was during Aurangzeb’s Deccan campaigns of the 1650s.
- As Aurangzeb went North to fight for the Mughal throne, Shivaji was able to seize further territory.
- His tactics against the Mughals were adapted to the specific nature of his force and the flabby Mughal armies. Using swift cavalry attacks, he would raid and pillage Mughal strongholds.
- While on the rare occasion he would engage in battle to actually capture and hold Mughal positions, most often, he would simply cause much menace, raid the treasury, and leave with the Mughals in terror and disarray.
- Famously, in 1664, he attacked the port of Surat (now in Gujarat) and plundered one of the richest and busiest commercial towns of Mughal India while the local governor hid in a nearby fort.
- As the legend of Shivaji and the physical sphere of his influence grew, Aurangzeb sent a 100,000-strong, well-equipped army under Raja Jai Singh I to subdue him in 1665.
- After putting up a valiant fight, Shivaji was besieged in the Purandar hill fort.
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in News?
Online nominations/recommendations for the Padma Awards 2024 to be announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2024 have opened on 1st May 2023.
- The last date for nominations for Padma Awards is 15th September, 2023. The nominations/recommendations for Padma Awards will be received online on the Rashtriya Puraskar Portal
The Padma Awards
- The Padma Awards are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day (26th January).
- There are 3 Padma Awards:
- Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service),
- Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and
- Padma Shri (distinguished service).
- The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
- The Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
- The total number of awards to be given in a year (excluding posthumous awards and to NRI/foreigners/OCIs) should not be more than 120.
Is it a title?
- The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name.
- Article 18 clause 1- Abolishes titles and makes four provisions in that regard: It prohibits the state from conferring any title (except a military or academic distinction) on anybody, whether a citizen or a foreigner.
- Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country.
- Bharat Ratna is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.
- Recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
- Only 3 Bharat Ratna Awards can be given in a year.
- Bharat Ratna- 1st degree of honour
- Padma Vibhushan- 2nd degree of honour
- Padma Bhushan- 3rd degree of honour
- Padma Shri- 4th degree of honour