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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Historic statue of Mahatma Gandhi unveiled at Parliament Square in London

A historic bronze statue of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled at the Parliament Square in London. It was unveiled jointly by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

M K Gandhi is the first Indian and the only person who had never held a public office to be honoured with a statue at the Parliament Square.

The statue is placed adjacent to the statues of iconic leaders like Britain’s former Prime Minister Winston Churchill and anti-apartheid icon and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.

Key features of statue

  • It is 9 foot long statue made up of bronze.
  • Crafted by British sculptor Philip Jackson.
  • It is based on a number of photographs of Mahatma Gandhi and particularly on photograph of him standing outside the London offices of the British prime minister in 1931.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the restored North-South Rail link of Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 March 2015 flagged off the first train from Thalaimannar to Madhu Road in North Sri Lanka.

It marks the completion and restoration of the prestigious project of Indian Railways to restore the North-South Rail link of Sri Lanka after decades of civil war. The North-South Rail link was completely destroyed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militants during the civil war in 1980s.

Key facts

  • The rail project connects the Sri Lanka’s Jaffna province to capital Colombo and a branch line connects Thalaimannar to the main rail line.
  • The project has been implemented by Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON) International, a subsidiary of Indian Railways.
  • Indian Government had provided line of credit to this project as part of India’s bid to establish better connectivity between SAARC nations.

This project will also play significant role in establishing connectivity between both nations as ferry service soon will be started from north-western Sri Lankan town of Talaimannar (the closest point to India) and Rameshwaram.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Anuradhapura shrine

  • Prior to inaugurating this rail service, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the sacred Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura shrine.
  • This is first time that an Indian Prime Minister is visiting Anuradhapura.
  • The sacred Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura shrine was planted as a sapling of the original Bodhi tree, under which Lord Gautam Buddha had achieved enlightenment.
  • It was planted 2000 years ago in Anuradhapura shrine which is considered as one of the most sacred places in Buddhism.

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