art and culture

JUNE - 2020

Raja Parba Festival

About Raja Parba Festival

  • Raja Parba is Odisha’s three-day unique festival celebrating the onset of monsoon and the earth’s womanhood.
  • As a mark of respect towards the earth during her menstruation days, all agricultural works, like ploughing, sowing is suspended for the three days.
  • Raja Sankranti is the first day of the Ashara month.
  • It is celebrated on the day prior to the Sankranti, (Pahili Raja), the day of Sankranti, and the day after, known as Bhu Daha or ‘Basi Raja.
  • The festival is essentially the celebration of the earth’s womanhood.
  • It is believed that during this time the Mother Earth or Bhudevi undergoes menstruation.
  • The fourth day is the day of the ‘purification bath’.
  • As it is a celebration of womanhood, a lot of the focus is on young women, who wear new clothes, apply ‘Alata’ on their feet and enjoy folk songs while swinging on decorated rope swings.

Tribes story: Changpa Tribe

Changpa Tribes

  • The Changpa of Ladakh is high altitude pastoralists, raising mainly yaks and goats.
  • Among the Ladakh Changpa, those who are still nomadic are known as Phalpa, and they take their herds from in the Hanley Valley to the village of Lato.
  • Hanley is home to six isolated settlements, where the sedentary Changpa, the Fangpa reside.
  • Despite their different lifestyles, both these groups intermarry.
  • The Changpa speak Changskhat, a dialect of Tibetan, and practice Tibetan Buddhism.


What is the issue?

  • The Chinese Army has taken over 16 kanals (two acres) of cultivable land in Chumur and advanced around 15 km inside Demchok, taking over traditional grazing pastures and cultivable lowlands.
  • In a cascading effect, this has resulted in a sharp rise in deaths of young Pashmina goats this year in the Korzok-Chumur belt of Changthang plateau in Ladakh.
  • This incursion has destabilized the annual seasonal migration of livestocks, including yaks and Pashmina goats.


What is Pashmina:

  • The Changthangi or Ladakh Pashmina is a breed of Cashmere goat native to the high plateau of Ladakh.
  • The much-valued wool from the Ladakh herds is essential for the prized Pashmina shawls woven in Kashmir and famous for their intricate handwork.
  • They survive on the grass in Ladakh, where temperatures plunge to as low as −20 °C.
  • These goats provide the wool for Kashmir’s famous pashmina shawls. Shawls made from Pashmina wool are considered very fine and are exported worldwide.
  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has recently published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity.

Art and Culture Syllabus

Indian Art and Culture

Salient aspects of Art Forms:

  • Indian Paintings
  • Classical Dance Forms
  • Folk Dance Forms
  • Classical Music
  • Puppetry
  • Pottery
  • Drama/Theatre
  • Martial Arts



  • Ancient Indian Literature
  • Classical Sanskrit Literature
  • Literature in Pali and Prakrit
  • Early Dravidian Literature
  • Medieval Literature
  • Women Poets of Bhakti
  • Trends in Medieval Literature
  • Modern Indian Literature



  • Harappan Architecture
  • Temple Architecture
  • Cave Architecture
  • Indo-Islamic Architecture
  • Medieval Architecture
  • Modern Architecture
  • Contribution of Buddhism & Jainism to the Development of Indian Architecture
  • Rock Cut Architecture
  • Colonial Architecture & the Modern Period


Indian History

Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

  • Socio-economic Condition of People
  • European Penetration of India
  • British Conquest of India
  • British Policies & Their Impact – Economic, Administrative & Socio-cultural
  • Socio-cultural Reform Movements
  • Uprisings Against British Pre-1857


The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

  • Political, Economic & Administrative Unification of the Country
  • Role of Western Education
  • Role of Press
  • Rediscovery of India’s Past
  • Early Political Movements
  • Formation of INC
  • Era of Moderates
  • Swadeshi & Boycott Movement
  • Surat Split
  • International Influence
  • Morley – Minto Reforms
  • Growth of Communalism
  • Mahatma Gandhi – His Ideas & Leadership
  • Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms
  • Rowlatt Act, Satyagrah and Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
  • Non-cooperation & Khilafat Movement
  • Swarajists & No-Changers
  • Emergence of New Forces – Socialistic Ideas, Youth & Trade Unionism
  • Revolutionary Activity
  • Simon Commission & Nehru Report
  • Civil Disobedience Movement
  • Round Table Conferences
  • Communal Award & Poona Pact


Participation in Elections to Central Legislature (1934) & Provincial Assemblies (1937)

  • Government of India Act, 1935
  • National Movement During World War II
  • August Offer
  • Individual Satyagraha
  • Growth of Communalism
  • Peasant Movements
  • State People’s Struggle
  • Cripps Mission
  • Quit India Movement
  • Wavell Plan
  • INA & Subhash Chandra Bose
  • Cabinet Mission
  • Nationalist Upsurge Post-World War II
  • Independence with Partition


Post-independence Consolidation and Reorganization within the country.

  • Partition and Its Aftermath
  • Integration of Princely States
  • Reorganisation of States
  • Issue of Official Language
  • Tribal Consolidation
  • Regional Aspirations


Foreign Policy

  • Non-Aligned Movement
  • Panchsheel
  • Wars with Pakistan & China
  • Nuclear Policy



  • Planned Development
  • Green Revolution, Operation Flood & Cooperatives
  • Agrarian & Land Reforms
  • Industrial Reforms
  • LPG Reforms


World History

  • History of the World will include events from 18th century such as Industrial Revolution, world wars, Redrawal of National Boundaries, Colonization, Decolonization, political philosophies like Communism, Capitalism, Socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
  • Renaissance
  • Discovery of Sea Routes
  • Reformation
  • Counter Reformation
  • European Nations Settle North America
  • Rise of Slave Trade
  • American War of Independence
  • French Revolution
  • Nationalism in Europe
  • Rise of Capitalism, Colonialism & Imperialism



Indian Society

Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

  • Diversity (Types – caste, linguistic, social and religious, race, tribe and ethnicity, culture)
  • Challenges posed by Diversity
  • Unity
  • Pluralism
  • Unity in Diversity
  • Inequality and Exclusion
  • Family System
  • Examples of above.


Role of Women and Women’s Organization, Population and Associated Issues, Poverty and Developmental issues, Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

  • Women’s Organisations – Empowerment through Action
  • 19th Century Social Reform Movements and Early Women’s Organisations – (1) Agrarian Struggles and Revolt, (2) Participation in Freedom Struggle
  • Women’s Organisations Post – 1947
  • Resurgence of Women’s Movement in the 70s: (1) Emergence of New Organisations, (2) Approaches and Issues
  • Contemporary Women’s Issues & Organisation Response
  • Women’s Organisations and SHGs
  • Challenges faced by Women’s Organisations
  • Effects of Globalization on Indian society.
  • Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism & Secularism.