A 122-foot-tall statue of a polo player astride a Manipur Pony was inaugurated in the Marjing Polo Complex, Imphal.
- The 122-feet tall gigantic Polo statue is located above the hill top of Ebudhou Marjing hills.
- Marjing is a semi-god who started Sagol Kangjei.
- Modern polo is said to have originated from Sagol Kangjei, a sport indigenous to Manipur.
- In Sagol Kangjei players ride horses, specifically the Manipur Ponies.
- History – It is believed that the Manipur King – Kanba invented the game in the 14th century BC.
- In the 1850s, the British observed Manipuris play a sport using a pony and a hockey-like stick.
- Influenced by the game, Britishers later formed a polo club in Silchar.
- Culture – In Meitei culture, polo is a sport of the gods.
- It is played with seven players on a side. A ball made from bamboo root is used in this game.
- The Meitei deity also carries a bamboo stick in his hands just like a polo player.
- The Manipur Pony is one of 5 recognised equine breeds of India.
- The Manipur Pony has a powerful cultural significance for Manipuri society.
- The 17th Quinquennial Livestock Census 2003 had recorded 1,898 Manipur Ponies; the number fell to 1,101 in the 19th Quinquennial Livestock Census in 2012.
- The Manipur government takes efforts to conserve Manipuri pony like Manipur Pony Conservation and Development Policy 2016, the Marjing Polo Complex.
The traditional coffee farmers of Anchunad at Marayur in Idukki are reaping the benefits of organic farming.
- Keezhanthoor Coffee is an Arabica
- Keezhanthoor is a village in Idukki District, Kerala.
- This coffee beans are mainly cultivated at Kanthalloor, Keezhanthoor, Kulachivayal, and Vettukad of Idukki district.
- They are marketed as Keezhanthoor coffee.
- Speciality – Keezhanthoor Coffee is famous for its taste and aroma.
- Traditional organic farming is the speciality of the coffee.
- Organic coffee farming is followed by the tribespeople and other farmers in the Anchunad valley.
- In 2014, Chilla, an exclusive tribal market under the Marayur Forest Division was opened to sell produce cultivated by the tribespeople.
Superconductivity in Mercury
A group of researchers from Italy have published a paper to fully understand how superconductivity operates in mercury.
- Mercury (Hg) known as ‘quicksilver’, is the only elemental metal that is liquid at room temperature.
- It is used in thermometers, barometers and manometers.
- Mercury poisoning leads to Minamata disease.
- Mercury is the earliest known superconductor.
A superconductor conducts electricity with zero resistance to the flow of electrons. Generally achieved at very low temperatures.
- In 1911, Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered superconductivity in mercury.
- At a very low temperature, called the threshold temperature (around -270°C for mercury), solid mercury offers no resistance to the flow of electric current.
Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) Theory
- BCS theory was proposed by Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer in 1957 for which they received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1972.
- BCS Theory is the first theory to explain superconductivity as a microscopic theory.
- According to BCS theory, in superconductors the vibrational energy released by the grid of atoms encourages electrons to pair up, forming so-called Cooper pairs.
- One electron in each pair in mercury occupied a higher energy level than the other and reportedly lowered the Coulomb repulsion between them.
- These Cooper pairs can move without facing resistance to their flow, below a threshold temperature.
Coulomb Repulsion is the repulsive force between 2 positive or negative charges, as described by Coulomb’s law.
Living Root Bridges
A farmer takes forward the traditional practice of building root bridges and connects two areas across Umkar River in Cherrapunjee.
- A farmer from War tribe (sub-tribe of Khasi) in Meghalaya created a root bridge over Umkar River in Siej village near Cherrapunjee (Sohra).
- The bridge is located in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya.
- The roots of the rubber fig (Ficus elastica) was used to build the bridge.
- Traditional techniques were used to mould and model the roots into a bridge with the help of bamboo.
- Jingkieng jri – Meghalaya is known for its ROOT BRIDGES locally known as jingkieng jri.
- They are on the tentative list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.
- Jaintia tribes are known for this bio-engineering wonder.
- Many bridges across the State are over a century old.
- At present, there are about 100 known living root bridges spread across 72 villages in the state.
- These living root bridges naturally grow stronger with time, and thus do not need regular maintenance and repair work.
- The famous Umshiang Double Decker root bridge in Nongriat village near Cherrapunjee is around 200 years old.
A solid performance of the Margamkali by school girls was seen during the Kerala School Kalolsavam 2023.
- Margam Kali is a popular Christian art form in Kerala and is believed to have evolved from Kalaripayattu.
- Dancers – This dance involves 12 people and they dance around a traditional lamp (Vilakku) in a circular manner.
- The 12 members in the group are considered as the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ. The lighted lamp represents Jesus Christ.
- It demands a high sense of rhythm and agility from the performers.
- Song – The Margam Kali Pattu is written in about 4000 lines in different meters.
- The theme of the song is the miracles performed by St. Thomas at Malankara.
- The songs are believed to have been written in the 17th century by Kallissery Itti Thoman Kathanar.
- Performance – The leader of the dance group, called the Asan, sings the song and the other members in the group sing the chorus.
- Musical instruments are not used in this dance.
- It is performed mostly at Christian wedding ceremonies and often at church festivals.
- This dance is seen commonly in the districts Kottayam and Thrissur.
- Attire – The costume of the performers is a white dhoti and they wear a peacock feather on their turban.
- The women wear the traditional dress of the Christians which is the Chattayum Mundum.