3 May | UPSC Current Affairs | GS 1: Patachitra Painting and Essential Programme on Immunization

Essential Programme on Immunization (EPI)

News: 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of WHO’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), highlighting a pivotal moment in global and Indian immunization efforts.

Launch: Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was launched in 1974 by the WHO. It was earlier known as the Essential Programme on Immunization.

Aim: To ensure that all children, in all countries, benefited from life-saving vaccines.

Expansion of Disease Coverage: Initially this programme focused on protection against six childhood vaccine-preventable diseases that are:

    • Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)
    • Diphtheria
    • Pertussis
    • Tetanus
    • Polio

Later on WHO added 7 more disease under this programme:

    • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
    • Hepatitis B (HepB)
    • Rubella
    • Pneumococcal disease (PNC)
    • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
    • Rotavirus (Rota)
    • COVID-19 (for adults)


  • EPI remains dedicated to its objective of ensuring universal access to pertinent vaccines for all vulnerable populations.
  • EPI collaborates harmoniously with other public health initiatives to combat infectious diseases and enhance overall health outcomes globally.
  • The program strives for equitable distribution and utilization of vaccines to attain better health outcomes across diverse populations worldwide.

Patachitra Painting

News: Patachitra (scroll paintings) are gaining popularity worldwide.

Meaning and Origins:

  • “Pata” derives from Sanskrit, meaning ‘cloth’, while “chitra” translates to ‘picture’ or ‘painting’.
  • Patachitra refers to traditional cloth-based scroll paintings primarily found in eastern Indian states such as West Bengal and Odisha.

Patachitra Painting


Historical Significance:

  • Pattachitra’s origins trace back to the 12th century, associated with the Jagannath Rath Yatra festival.

Themes: The Patuas paint and sing on various themes like:

  • Mythological tales (Ramayana, Mahabharata, Mangalkabya)
  • Historical and contemporary themes (biographies of great personalities, nuclear warfare) and
  • Social issues (women empowerment, child right, health, literacy).

Artists and Techniques:

  • Bengal Patachitra artists, known as Patuas, particularly in Naya, Medinipur, carry the occupational surname of ‘Chitrakar’.
  • Patachitra is distinguished by its bold colors, intricate lines, and distinct strokes.
  • Artists utilize natural colors sourced from local elements like fruits and flowers.
  • Patuas engage in painting and singing, covering diverse themes including mythology, historical events, contemporary issues, and social causes.
  • During the presentation, the Patuas unfurl the scrolls while singing songs called Pater Gaan, synchronizing the storytelling with their music.

Materials and Process:

  • Traditionally, cotton canvas was the primary medium; nowadays, both cotton and silk canvases are utilized.
  • The canvas is prepared and reinforced before colors are applied directly without preliminary sketches.
  • It’s customary to begin by completing the borders of the painting.


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