Places in News 2017

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Punjab celebrates 350th years of foundation of Sri Anandpur Sahib

Punjab state is celebrating the 350th years of foundation of holy city Sri Anandpur Sahib.

The celebrations began after Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal dedicated the 81 feet high ‘Khanda’, installed at Sri Anandpur Sahib to the humanity.

The installed Khanda symbolizes the glorious legacy and rich cultural heritage of this holy city of bliss on its 350th foundation day.

Facts about Sri Anandpur Sahib

  • The holy city Sri Anandpur Sahib was founded in 1665 by the Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, ninth Guru of Sikhs. Later in 1699, Khalsa Panth was created here by the Tenth Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh.
  • Anandpur Sahib is situated in a city in Rupnagar district (Ropar) of Punjab and located on the lower spurs of the Himalayas surrounded with the river Sutlej forming a border on the south west.
  • It is commonly known as the holy City of Bliss which is one of the most important sacred places for Sikhs. It is closely linked with their religious traditions and history of Sikhism.


Jind, Karnal and Muzaffarnagar districts added in National Capital Region

Haryana’s Jind, Karnal districts and Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district have been added into the conurbation National Capital Region (NCR).

Decision in this regard was taken at 35th meeting of National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) held New Delhi. The meeting was presided by Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu who is Chairman of the NCRPB.

The meeting was attended by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and representatives and government officials of other member states.

With this inclusion the total districts in NCR has rose to 23 (including Delhi NCT) which covers a total area of 51,109 square km.

About National Capital Region (NCR)

  • NCR is the designation for the conurbation or metropolitan area formed by National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB).
  • It encompasses the entire Delhi NCT and urban areas surrounding it in neighboring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • NCRPB is statutory body established in 1985 under the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985 to develop a planned metropolitan development NCR region.
  • It also seeks to protect Delhi’s infrastructure from excessive pressure by diverting increasing population from the region.
  • NCR is India’s largest and one of the world’s largest agglomerations in terms of population (around 54,000,000 as per 2011 Census).


ISIS militants take control of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have taken complete control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The city is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site and home to some of the world’s most magnificent ancient ruins.

With the seizure of entire ancient city, there are fears that the militants will destroy the ancient ruins as there is no presence of government troops who had entirely withdrawn from the city following an IS advance.

It should be noted that the ancient ruins are situated in a strategically important area on the road between Syria’s capital Damascus and the contested eastern city of Deir al-Zour.

From the oil and gas fields located in Deir al-Zour, Syrian government uses it to generate electricity for areas under its control in the west of the country.

Earlier in March 2015, the militants had demolished several ancient sites that pre-date Islam in Iraq, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hatra and Nimrud.

Some facts

  • Ancient ruins of Palmyra dates back to the first and second Century when it was under Roman rule.
  • Palmyra was once a Silk Road hub and one of the cultural centres of the ancient world.
  • The city occupies mythological status in Syria and is home to some of the most beautiful and well-preserved ruins of antiquity, including the Temple of Bel, built in 1st century.