Ministry Of Culture Current Affairs - 2019

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Somnath Temple, Charminar among new places chosen for Swachh iconic places initiative

The government has announced the names of ten new Iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative. Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission.

The ten new iconic places that will be undertaken in Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative are: Gangotri, Yamunotri. Mahakaleshwar Temple (Ujjain), Char Minar (Hyderabad), Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi (Goa), Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam, Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola, Baijnath Dham (Devghar), Gaya Tirth (Bihar) and Somnath temple in Gujarat.

The ten Iconic places that are already under implementation in Phase I are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple (Amritsar), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Maikarnika Ghat (Varanasi),  Meenakshi Temple (Madurai) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (Katra, J&K),  Shree Jagannath Temple (Puri), The Taj Mahal (Agra), Tirupati Temple (Tirumala).

The aim of this initiative is to make these places intensely clean and transform them as model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’, that will enhance the experience of visitors from India and abroad.

Background

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, a special clean-up initiative will be carried out on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country. The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on 2 October 2014 to make India clean and open defecation free by 2019 to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will be the coordinating Ministry for this initiative, in association with the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and the concerned State governments. So far, under Swachh Bharat Mission, the sanitation coverage has increased to 64% with 1.92 lakh villages becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF).

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All ASI protected historical monuments declared polythene-free zones

All Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected historical monuments and archaeological sites have declared polythene-free zones.

Union Ministry of Culture has issued an advisory to all State Governments/UTs to support ASI in keeping monuments polythene free up to 300 meters from protected boundaries.

Rani ki Vav (Gujarat), a 900-year-old World Heritage Site was declared as the cleanest iconic place (among top 25 Adarsh Monuments) in the country by the Union Ministry of Culture.It was presented with the “Cleanest Iconic Place” Award at the Indian Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) 2016.

ASI had ranked these 25 Adarsh Monuments on the basis of Cleanliness parameters such as amenities like toilets, Polythene Free Zone, green lawns, disabilities access, signage for awareness, drinking water and provision for garbage bins etc.

Rani ki Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell): It was built in the 11th century AD as a memorial to a king by Queen Udaymat. It is located in Patan district of Gujarat. It was added as part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014.

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