Places in News Current Affairs - 2020

Places in news and current affairs for preparation of the Geography papers and map locations for UPSC Civil Services and State related examinations of 2019.

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Rohtang pass tunnel named after former PM Vajpayee

On 24 December, 2019, the Union cabinet chaired by PM Modi decided that the strategic tunnel that was constructed under Rohtang Pass will be named after him. This is because the tunnel construction was started in June 2000, during his tenure.

About the tunnel

The tunnel is the world’s longest tunnel (8.8 km) at an altitude of 3,000 metres. The tunnel reduces the distance between Leh and Manali by 46 kilometres. This helps in saving crores of rupees on fuel usage. It is built under Pir Pinjal range.

It is a single tube tunnel and is 10.5-metre-wide with fire proof emergency provisions. The geological and weather challenges were overcome by the Border Road Organization. It includes the Seri Nalah fault zone.

Rohtang Pass

The pass connects Kulu valley and Lahaul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh. The three rivers in the region of the pass are chenab, Beas and Chandra rivers. The Beas river emerges from underground and flows southwards, Chandra river flows in the eastern Himalayas and Chenab river flows westward.

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Ebola emerges again in Congo

Health officials in Eastern Congo recently documented the first relapse of current Ebola epidemic. The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has so far infected more than 3,300 people and killed more than 2,200 since the middle of 2018, making it the second-worst on record.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), this recent relapse happened in Aloya district where a motorcycle taxi operator is said to have come into contact with 33 people is potentially the cause of 11 new confirmed Ebola cases in past week.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a rare but deadly virus which was first identified in 1976 by researchers sent to investigate an ailment that was killing victims in a remote part of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The researchers team named the condition after the local Ebola river.

Ebola causes Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. Ebola is triggered by a virus- probably picked up from an infected bat or non-human primate – that causes blood vessels to leak and can end in organ failure and death. Ebola has killed more than 11,000 people between 2013 and 2016.

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