Table of Contents
- Using Buddhism as a tool of soft power
Facts for Prelims
- Mettur Dam
- Offer For Sale
- Himalayan Brown Bear
Using Buddhism as a tool of soft power
India’s cultural and historical ties with Buddhism can help strengthen its soft power diplomacy with neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, China etc and other Southeast Asian countries.
About Soft Power:
- Soft power refers to the ability to achieve desired outcomes through attraction rather than coercion or payment.
- It involves influencing the attitudes and behaviors of other countries through cultural, social, and economic means, rather than relying solely on military or economic force.
Soft Power Diplomacy:
- Soft power diplomacy is the use of cultural, social, and economic tools to influence other countries.
- It complements traditional diplomacy and emphasizes building relationships and shaping perceptions.
- Importance of Buddhism for India’s Soft Power Diplomacy:
- Buddhism provides an identity of peace and tranquility for India.
- It helps to counter religious tensions and divisions.
- India actively invests in Buddhist diplomacy and promotes tourism through the development of the “Buddhist tourist circuit.”
- Hosting high-profile events showcases India’s commitment to preserving and promoting Buddhist culture and heritage.
- Strengthening ties with the global Buddhist community is a key objective.
- Buddhist diplomacy has the potential to promote regional cohesion, as the majority of the global Buddhist population resides in Asia.
Challenges for India’s Buddhist Diplomacy:
- Despite key Buddhist sites, India struggles to attract Buddhist tourists compared to countries like Thailand and Cambodia.
China’s Buddhist Diplomacy:
- China, with a large Buddhist population, sees Buddhism as an important soft power tool.
- China promotes Chinese Buddhism abroad through various approaches tailored to different target countries.
Buddhism as a Bridge between ASEAN and South-East Asia:
- India’s historical link with Buddhism and shared cultural experiences form a basis for diplomatic, economic, and cultural associations.
- India’s Buddhist sites and protection of the Tibetan Buddhist community contribute to cultural bonds.
- By promoting Buddhism, India can reinforce its image as a responsible global power committed to peace and cooperation.
Embracing Buddha’s teachings of peace can guide Indian diplomacy on the world stage and strengthen international relationships.
As the release of Cauvery water from the Mettur dam is imminent, farmers in the district are actively preparing themselves to initiate kuruvai cultivation promptly upon the arrival of the river water in their fields.
About Mettur Dam:
- Mettur, Salem District, Tamil Nadu.
- Situated in a gorge where the Kaveri River enters the plains.
- Provides irrigation facilities to parts of Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruchirappali, and Thanjavur districts for farmland spanning 271,000 acres (110,000 ha).
- One of the largest dams in India, built in 1934.
- Total length of the dam is 1700 m with a maximum level of 120 feet and a capacity of 93.4 tmc ft.
- Creates Stanley Reservoir.
- Mettur hydroelectric and thermal power plant is located at the foot of the dam, generating 32 MW of hydroelectric power.
- Adjoining the dam is a park with lawns, fountains, and the Muniappan/Aiyanar statue.
Key Facts about Kaveri River:
- Rises on Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in southwestern Karnataka state.
- Flows southeast for 765 km through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
- Descends the Eastern Ghats in a series of great falls.
- Extends over the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
- Drains into the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar in the Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu.
Major Left Bank Tributaries:
Major Right Bank Tributaries:
Offer For Sale (OFS)
The Union government proposes to sell up to 3% stake in state-owned coal India through an offer for sale (OFS).
About Offer For Sale (OFS):
- OFS is a simpler method of selling shares through the exchange platform for listed companies.
- Introduced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2012 to assist listed companies’ promoters in reducing their stake and meeting minimum public shareholding requirements by June 2013.
- Widely adopted by both state-run and private listed companies to comply with SEBI regulations.
- The government also utilizes this method to divest its shareholding in public sector enterprises.
- Unlike a follow-on public offering (FPO), OFS is used only for the sale of existing shares.
- Promoters or shareholders holding more than 10% of the share capital can initiate an OFS.
- Available for the top 200 companies based on market capitalization.
- 25% of the shares offered are reserved for mutual funds and insurance companies, while no single bidder other than these categories can be allocated more than 25% of the offering.
- A minimum of 10% of the offer size is reserved for retail investors.
- Sellers can offer discounts to retail investors on the bid price or final allotment price.
- Companies must notify the stock exchanges about their intention to conduct an OFS at least two banking days in advance.
- Shares in an OFS can be bid on by foreign institutional investors, retail investors, or companies.
Himalayan Brown Bear
Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Department successfully captured a Himalayan brown bear in Rajwara, located in the Handwara district of North Kashmir.
About Himalayan Brown Bear:
- Found in the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas.
- Distribution includes North-western and central Himalaya, including Pakistan, India, Nepal, the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, and Bhutan.
- Habitat ranges between 3,000 and 5,500 meters (9,800 and 18,000 feet) above sea level.
- In India, small isolated populations exist in alpine and subalpine habitats of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
- Largest mammal in the region, with males reaching up to 2.2 m (7 ft) in length.
- Omnivorous diet and hibernates in dens during winter.
- Thick fur, usually sandy or reddish-brown in color.
- IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered.
- Protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972: Schedule I.
Listed under CITES – Appendix I.