2. History & Culture in News
  3. National Philosopher: Adi Shankaracharya
  4. Jyotiba Phule: 125th Birth Anniversary
  5. Komagta Maru: 102 years & Canadian Apology
  6. Nirankari sect
  7. Dead in News
  8. Books in New: Economy related
  9. Music Movies
  10. States in News
  11. Gujarat for GPSC
  12. Other States in News


So far, we’ve covered polity, environment, diplomacy, International relations related current affairs from May-2016, now comes history-art and culture, places and dead in news during that month.

History & Culture in News

Relevance: UPSC Prelim exam MCQs. Although, straight forward questions from following notes, are unlikely. You’ve to augment them with backend information of parallel historic people, places, event from the text-books.

National Philosopher: Adi Shankaracharya

Adi Shankaracharya

Classification Based on this Indian-Express Article

  • Born 11th May 788 AD, at Kaladi near Kochi, Kerala. Took Samadhi at the age of 33, at Kedar tirth.
  • Father: Shivguru, Mother: Aryamba.
  • He is associated with Maya Theory, Advaita Vedanata (Non-Dualism), Tarak Brahma
  • He established four Math (Monastery) at Shingeri, Puri, Dwaraka and Badrinath– for propagation of Sanathana Dharma.
  • His Books: Bhashya- commentaries on Gita and other texts; Prakaran Granths.
  • Government wants to declare his birthday 11th  May as National Philosopher’s day and Adi Sankaracharya as “National Philosopher”.
  • But, Adi Shankaracharya was opposed to Buddhist philosophers. Therefore, theHindu columnists criticizing Modi for this idea.

Further Self-Study: NIOS Culture PDF, Chapter 8 on six schools of Indian Philosophy- page 117 onwards. Free Download

Jyotiba Phule: 125th DEATH Anniversary

Jyotiba Phule

Map is taken from same Tamilnadu Class-12 History Textbook

  • Born in Mali caste in Satara,  Maharastra on 11th April 1827. His family was in business of selling vegetables and flowers, hence the surname “Phule”.
  • Founded- Satyasodhak samaj for  1. social service 2. spread of education among women and lower caste 3. widow remarriage
  • He opened first girls’ school at Poona. (1851)
  • Published: Tritiya Ratna, sarvajanik satyadharma, gulamgin etc.
  • He was against casteism and Sanskritik Hinduism. He used symbol of Raja Bali as opposed to the Brahmins symbol of Rama.
  • Why in news? 125th Anniversary in 2016. Maharashtra government to make a Rs.10 crore movie on his life.

Further Self-Study: Tamilnadu Class12 History book Ch.13. Free Download

Komagta Maru: 102 years & Canadian Apology

Komagata Maru

  • 18th May 1914: Indian migrants, mostly Sikhs had boarded Japanese Ship Komagata Maru to reach Vancouver, Canada.
  • But they were not allowed to land, when the ship returned to Calcutta but British forces opened fire killing 19 of them.
  • 102 years of the Komagta Maru incident, the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau officially apologize for it in the Canadian Lok Sabha (House of Commons.)

Nirankari sect

  • Founder: Dayal Das and his disciples Darbara Singh, Ratta Ji.
  • They accept authority of a living Guru. [Other Sikh sects believe that after 10th Guru Gobind Singh- no more living Gurus, only Adi Granth Sahib ji is the eternal Guru of all Sikhs.]
  • They believe god is formless (Nirankari)
  • They disapprove militant brotherhood of Khalsa. They aim for standardized birth-death-marriage-rituals based on Sikh scripture, but free of cost.
  • They advocate against meat, liquor and drugs.

Sant Nirankari Mission & Savinder Kaur

  • It was Established in 1929 by Buta Singh, a member of Nirankari sect. It’s separate from the original Nirankari sect..
  • Savinder Kaur becomes the first woman to head this sect/mission, after sudden death of her husband Baba Harvdev Singh in a plane crash in 2016.
History: misc days
21st  May 1991 Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Day.
9th May 1945 WW2-Victory day parade to commemorate Soviet Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Dead in News

Alex Lowe and David Bridges
  • Famed American Mountaineers, who died in Avalanche in 1999 in Himalayas. Now their bodies found.
Balraj Madhok
  • Founding member of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, associated with Arya Samaj and RSS movement. Died in Delhi.
Rajdev Ranjan
  • Siwan Bureau chief of Hindustan Daily.
  • Allegedly murdered by the goons of Shahabuddin- the ex-MP from Siwan
  • Sahara Chief Subrato Roy got 4 weeks parole to attend ceremonies mother’s death.
  • CM Akhilesh Yadav, Bollywood Star Amitabh and many other big-wigs came to attend.

Books in New: Economy related

Kaushik Basu
Ruchir Sharma

Other books in news- May 2015

Anand Teltumbde Book Mahad: the making of the first dalit revolt.
Arjun Sumbramaniam Book “India’s wars: A Military history from 1947 to 1971 [icon type=”shopping-cart”]“.
Dr. K.P.Mathur Unseen Indira Gandhi- through her physician’s eyes [icon type=”shopping-cart”].
IAS autobiography Flying in high wings- S.K.Mishra. (IAS, Ex-UPSC chairman)
Indology David Shulman won Israel price for research on India. He’ll donate the money to Palestinians.
Perumal Murugan This controversial author’s Tamil novel on love, caste, intolerance has been translated in English – with title “Pyre”.

Music Movies

  • Movie directed by Tony D’Souza, this movie revolves around former Indian Cricket Captain Mohd. Azharuddin (played by Emran Hashmi) from Hyderabad and match fixing scandal.
Salma Agha Pakistan origin Bollywood singer, has sought OCI card.
AIB AIB group’s Comedian Tanmay Bhat in trouble after creating a controversial spoof video on Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar.
Veerappan Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, where Sandeep Bhardwaj plays role of the forest brigand and sandlewood smuggler Veerapan who operated in the jungles of Karnataka and Tamilnadu.
Zubin Mehta Music director, and Conductor in Orchestra- turned 80 years old. Some demanding Bharat Ratna for him.
Redink Award NDTV’s Ravish Kumar won Journalist of the year award.
Traffic Movie about organ donation- how police creates a ‘green corridor’ to transport a donated heart to patient.
Mehul Kumar Producer of noted bollywood movies such as Tiranga, Kohram, Krantiveer. He’s given 6 months imprisonment for a cheque bounce case in Gujarat.

States in News

Gujarat Current Affairs: May-2016 for GPSC

  • New Agro-Business policy launched (2016-21): firms will be given subsidy on capital investment, long term loans etc.
  • Dahod: Here BJP President Amit Shah launched PM Ujjwal Yojana for LPG connection to BPL families.
  • HRD Minister Shmriti Irani visited her adopted village Manghrol, in Anand district under Sansad Adarsh gram yojana.
  • Bal Amritam and Mission Shakti campaigns launched to address malnutrition, iron-deficiency among women and children.
  • Union transport and shipping ministry has given approval to construct sea link to Okha and Bet Dwarka in Devbhoomi Dwarka district.
  • 181: Abhayam helpline number for women.
  • Noted theatre and Gujarati film actor P.Kharsani died.
  • Gujarat Cong.leader and Rajyasabha MP Praveen Rashtrpal died.
  • Tripti Shah: Vadodara based women rights activist of “Sahiyar Stree Sangathan”. Died of lunch cancer.
  • State government to bring ordinance to merge 15% NRI quota with 10% management quota. So, effective management quota will be 25%.Main reason: found that non-Gujaratis are getting more benefit out of the NRI quota than Gujaratis,. Esp. in Medical colleges.
  • Sri Mast Ram Vinay Higher secondary school- it has lowest pass rate 19.27% in class10. This school is located in Utavali village, many students have to cross river each day to visit it.
  • Gujarat university will provide grace marks and gap years to students pursuing Startup business, says VC MN Patel.
  • Cultural Capital of Gujarat –Vadodara , didn’t get shortlisted in first round of Smart City project. So now VMC ordered all officers to wear t-shirts with smart city logo and use caller tunes – to create hype- to get Vadodara shortlisted as a smart city in second round of selection this year.
  • Vadodara to launch first “Smart police station” in Bapod area.
  • PM Modi’s mother Heeraben given “Nari Jagran Samman 2016”
  • Amul Managing director R.S.Sodhi gets extortion call from Ravi Pujari gang for Rs.25 crores.
  • Because of the low sex ratio among Patidar community, now they’ve begun marrying orphan women from other states, residing in the government shelter homes of Gujarat.

Other States in News

Jammu & Kashmir
  • Superfast train launched to connect Banihal to Baramulla.
  • Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain. Three day Samajik Samrasta Snan- tribals and dalits invited.
  • Nehru related topics deleted in the most of the new schooltext books. Indianexpress gone crazy over this story.
  • Vigilance probe against CM for illegally felling trees for Kannaur International Airtport- which is a PPP model with 25% private stakes.
  • Railway had sent Rs. 2cr bill for transporting water to Latur. But later with newspaper controversy, they took back the bill.

Next: Sport, Banking current affairs and BizGK from May-2016.