Places in News Current Affairs - 2019
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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India has sent seven entries which include six hill forts in Rajasthan and the Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh to seek World Heritage Sites status given by UNESCO. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee at its meeting in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh next month will decide on giving the status to them.
Which are the nominations from India?
The nominations include six hill forts at:
What is special about them?
These are splendid examples of Rajput military architecture, which are found in palaces, temples, memorials and even in villages. Built between 13th and 19th centuries, these forts are unique to this region and creatively use the landscape to enhance protection.
The Great Himalayan National Park:
- Spread over 75,400 hectares
- Located on the western part of the Himalayan Mountains in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh.
Specialty: It is among the most scenic sites in the country and rich in biodiversity. It is home to 25 forest types, supports 805 kinds of plants and inhabits 31 species of mammals and 209 types of birds.
Note: Among the six nominated Rajasthan forts above, five were nominated last year too, but UNESCO rejected them. This year, the government included theJaisalmer fort, reworked the documents and re-nominated the five.
Uncertainty over Himalayan Park: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which evaluates nominations for natural sites, is unlikely to confer World Heritage Site status on the Himalayan Park. IUCN is unsatisfied over the delineation of the park and says it is disjointed. It recommended that the intervening land be added to the park to create a contiguous area. It also opined that the rights of local communities be accommodated and integrated in the management plan.
Which body evaluates the cultural properties for UNESCO?
- The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) evaluates the cultural properties for UNESCO.
What is the current status of World Heritage Sites in India?
- India, currently, has 29 World Heritage Sites — 23 cultural and 6 natural properties.
Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari inaugurated the International Centre for Environment Audit and Sustainable Development (iCED) in Kant Kalwar on the outskirts of Jaipur, Rajastahan.
- It is Rs 250 crore mega project commissioned by the CAG of India, after the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) chose India as the centre for imparting environmental and sustainable development audit.
- It is amongst the first government buildings in India to have a 5 star green rating as per Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment norms.
- The project, spread over 16.5 acres, has been developed on the GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) principles and is based on the sustainable design concept.
- The Institute aims to harness India’s expertise in conducting over a 100 environment audits in the last 20 years to provide extensive training and an international forum for experience sharing in this field. iCED is also the Global Training Facility for The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions which is an organization of Supreme Audit Institutions worldwide.