Places in News 2018

Places in news and current affairs for preparation of the Geography papers and map locations for UPSC Civil Services and State related examinations of 2017

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UP cabinet approves renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Allahabad as Prayagraj

Uttar Pradesh Government has approved renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively. The decision was taken at meeting of state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in state capital Lucknow. Now, the proposal will now go to Central before the city is officially renamed. Prayagraj division will comprise Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh districts. Ayodhya division will include Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Amethi and Barabanki districts, Khanna said.

Background

Government has justified the name changes across Uttar Pradesh, saying they are merely restoring older names and correcting historical distortions. Allahabad’s ancient name was ‘Prayag’, but was changed after 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar built fort near ‘Sangam’, the holy confluence of three rivers viz. Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Akbar named the fort and its neighbourhood ‘Ilahabad’. Later, Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan renamed the entire city as ‘Allahabad’. But the area near the ‘Sangam’, the site of the Kumbh Mela, continues to be known as ‘Prayag’. The reason cited for renaming Faizabad is that Ayodhya was the capital of ‘Ikshvaku dynasty’, to which the Hindu god Ram belonged, and that it is popular known as his birthplace. Ayodhya is has been capital of many estates and dynasties in different time periods.

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World’s largest dome inaugurated in Pune

The world’s largest dome was inaugurated at Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT)’s World Peace University (MIT-WPU) campus at Loni Kalbhor, Pune (Maharashtra). It was inaugurated by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu along with Peace Center on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

World Peace Monument dome

The dome has been built atop MIT World Peace Library and World Peace Prayer Hall, which are named after 13th century poet-saint and philosopher Dnyaneshwar who was pivotal figure of Bhakti movement in Maharashtra.  The dome has diameter of 160 feet, overtaking earlier record holding Vatican Dome having diameter of 139.6 feet . It stands 263 feet tall with bell hanging from centre and has prayer hall with area of around 30,000 sq ft. It is supported by 24 massive columns, each 63 feet tall. The periphery of the dome and underneath — inside and outside has bronze statues of 54 of biggest names in world history stand, irrespective of nationality or religion.

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