Historical Monuments Current Affairs - 2020

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GoI nominates 2 sites to be included in World Heritage Sites List

The Government of India submitted two nomination dossiers for their inclusion in World Heritage List for the year 2020. They are as follows

  • Dholavira: A Harappan City
  • Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate

Dholavira

The dholavira is an archaeological site in Gujarat. It consists of ruins of ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It is located in Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest wildlife sanctuary in India area wise. The site is located on the Tropic of Cancer.

The city of Dholavira is estimated to be older than Lothal. The unique feature of Dholavira is its water conservation system. It had massive water storage reservoirs.

Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary

It is a saline wetland. The land has an average depth of 0.5 metres to 1.5 metres. It dries up and turns into a saline desert in the months of October and November. Also, it supports variety of water birds and mammals.

Deccan Sultanate

The Deccan Sultanates were 5 major kingdoms. They ruled between Vindhya Range and Krishna river in the Deccan Plateau. Their architecture was Indo-Islamic and greatly influenced by the Mughal architecture. There are 4 major places that are addressed as Deccan Sultanate Monuments and Forts. They are

  • Bidar Fort
  • Bijapur Monuments-It consists of second largest dome in the world that was constructed before modern age.
  • Golconda Fort-The Fort is famous for its water management. The Golconda rose to prominence under Bahamani Sultanate
  • Gulbarga fort-It was the initial capital of the Bahamani Sultanate.

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Lok Sabha passes Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Lok Sabha has passed The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to allow government to take up infrastructure projects within prohibited areas around protected monuments. The Bill amends the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958.

AMASR Act, 1958

The AMASR Act provides for preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance. It provides for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects. It was passed in 1958. The Archaeological Survey of India functions under the provisions of this act.

The Act prohibits construction in ‘prohibited area’, an area of 100 meters around protected monument. It does not permit construction in such prohibited areas even if it is for public purposes, except under certain conditions. The central government can extend the prohibited area beyond 100 meters.

Key Features of Bill

The Bill amends provision related construction in ‘prohibited areas’ in the parent bill to permit construction of public works in ‘prohibited areas’ for public purposes. It introduces definition for ‘public works’, which includes construction of any infrastructure that is financed and carried out by central government for public purposes.

The Bill empowers central government to allow public works based on recommendation of National Monuments Authority (NMA) on application forwarded by relevant central government department, that seeks to carry out construction for public purposes in a prohibited area.

The Bill empowers NMA to consider an impact assessment of proposed public works in prohibited area, including its archaeological impact, visual impact and heritage impact. NMA will make a recommendation, for construction of public works to the central government, only if it is satisfied that there is no reasonable possibility of moving the construction outside the prohibited area.

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