UNESCO World Heritage Site Current Affairs - 2019
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The Walled City of Jaipur, known for its iconic architectural legacy and vibrant culture, made an official entry into UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site list.
The decision was taken at 43rd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee, underway in Azerbaijan from June 20 up to July 10. During this session, in addition to Jaipur, Committee examined 36 nominations for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Founded: It was founded in 1727 CE under the patronage of Maharaj Sawai Jai Singh II. It serves as capital city of culturally-rich state of Rajasthan.
The Pink City Jaipur was nominated for its value of being an exemplary development in architecture and town planning that demonstrates an amalgamation and important exchange of ideas in late medieval period.
The city shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas in town planning that resulted in the form of city.
It is also a unique example of late medieval trade town in South Asia which defined new concepts for a thriving trade and commercial hub.
It is also associated with living traditions in form of crafts that have national as well as international recognition.
Significance: Being listed on world map as World Heritage site will give a boost to state’s tourism and local economy will benefit along with improving infrastructure.
About World Heritage Committee
It is composed of representatives of 21 States Parties to World Heritage Convention.
The representatives meet annually and the committee is in charge of implementing the Convention.
As of date total 1092 sites in 167 countries have been inscribed on UNSECO’s World Heritage List.
An 82-member Special Rhino Protection Force which is trained to combat poachers and understand animal behaviour was recently deployed in Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
About Special Rhino Protection Force
Background: The process of setting up special force was initiated in 2015. In July 2018 members recruited were given appointment letter after which they were trained at Forest Guard School in eastern Assam’s Makum. All recruits also underwent weapons training at 9th Assam Police Battalion in Nagaon district of Assam.
SRPF: Basically SRPF is a tiger protection force that was named after the rhino since threat of poaching is more for one-horned herbivore.
Raised by: This Special Force has been raised by initiative of both central as well as state governments so as to control rhino poaching in tiger reserve. The state government of Assam would be paying salaries of SRPF members and amount would be reimbursed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which recommended setting up of this special force.
Members: It consists of 82 personnel among whom eight are women. Out of 82 SRPF personnel, 60 have been assigned ranges under Eastern Assam Wildlife Division on southern bank of river Brahmaputra.
Task: SRPF personnel will be posted under 8 ranges of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) to control rhino poaching as well as protecting striped cat (tiger poaching) since Kaziranga is also a tiger reserve.
About Kaziranga National Park
Background: The 430 sq.km national park is located in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. In 1968 it was given National Park status and in 1985 it was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) for its unique natural environment.
Known for: It is home to World’s largest population of One Horned Rhinoceros i.e. about 68%. The one-horned rhinoceroses are listed as vulnerable on IUCN Red list of Threatened Species. It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species.
It encompasses 8 ranges under two wildlife divisions: (1) Eastern Assam and (2) Biswanath along the river Brahmaputra.
Tags: Birdlife International • IUCN Red list of Threatened Species • Kaziranga National Park • National Tiger Conservation Authority • One-horned rhinoceros • Special Rhino Protection Force • UNESCO World Heritage Site