World Toilet Day – November 19
- World Toilet Day is celebrated on November 19 every year to raise awareness about people living without access to safely managed sanitation and initiate action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
- The United Nations aims to explore how poor sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, polluting underground water resources.
- The UN General Assembly declared World Toilet Day an official UN day in 2013 after Singapore had tabled the resolution.
- It is the same day the World Toilet Organization came into existence in 2001.
- Under PM Modi’s flagship program “Swachh Bharat Mission” the nation saw an acceleration in the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation.
- Under the mission, by 2 October 2019, all villages, gram panchayats, districts, states, and union territories in India declared themselves “open-defecation free” (ODF).
Rani Lakshmibai (November 1835 – June1858)
- Maharani Laxmibai is regarded as one of the leading figures of India’s rebellion in 1857 against the British, which is also referred to as the first war of independence.
- She was also known to have fiercely guarded Jhansi against the British till her death in 1858.
About her life
- She was born in 1835 in Varanasi. She was initially named Manikarnika Tambe.
- She was married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, the Maharaja of Jhansi, in 1842.
- The East India Company took advantage of the Maharaja’s death and applied the Doctrine of Lapse.
- As per Doctrine of Lapse, any princely state under the direct or indirect control of the East India Company where the ruler did not have a legal male heir would be annexed by the company.
- She was determined to not give up on the Dominion of Jhansi and started assembling an army of rebellions, including women.
- She was supported by Tantia Tope and Nana Sahib.
- After a fierce war, when the British army entered Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai tied her son Damodar Rao to her back and fought bravely using two swords in both her hands.
- She died on June 17, 1958, martyring her life for India’s freedom.
- Rani Lakshmibai’s tomb is situated in the Phool Bagh area of Gwalior.
Awards and Honour
Gandhi Mandela Award
- The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was conferred the Gandhi Mandela Award 2022, the peace prize from the New Delhi-based Gandhi Mandela Foundation at Thekchen Choeling in Dharamshala’s McleodGanj by Himachal Pradesh governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar.
- A government of India registered Trust, the Gandhi Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation, formed with the motive to promote Mahatma Gandhi’s and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela’s values of non-violence. It has constituted an international prize, the Gandhi Mandela Award.
- The foundation instituted the award on the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, MK Gandhi.
- The award is given to personalities who have carried forward the legacies of Gandhi and Mandela by making significant contributions in the fields of Peace, Social Welfare, Culture, Environment, Education, Healthcare, Sports and Innovation.
Appointments – Who is who?
Arun Goel appointed as Election Commissioner
- Former secretary of the Ministry of Heavy Industries Arun Goel has been appointed as the New Election Commissioner of India.
- The post of one Election Commissioner in the three-member Commission has been vacant since May 15, 2022, when the former Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar took charge as the Chief Election Commissioner upon the retirement of Sushil Chandra from the post.
- Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of the president of India, and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
- The Election Commissioner Amendment Act, 1989 was adopted on 1 January 1990 which turned the commission into a three members body.