22nd January,2021 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs  Date : 22nd January,2021

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • A) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments
  • Formation of States and UTs in Chronology (PIB)
  • B) Science and Technology, Defence, Space
  • What are Deep Techs and Why do India Need Them? (PIB)
  • Blue Economy and Deep Ocean Mission (PIB)
  • Space Debris (TH, pg 11)
  • C) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues
  • What is the Open Network for Digital Commerce? (PIB)
  • D) Indices, Reports, Surveys, Committees and Organisations
  • Global Tiger Forum (GTF) (PIB)
  • E) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity
  • All-India Tiger and Mega Herbivore Estimation (TH, pg 5)
  • Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya (TH, pg 8)
  • F) Art, Culture and History
  • The `Lost Saraswati River’ (TH, pg 5)
  • G) Clever Picks (Miscellaneous)
  • Koyla Darpan Portal (PIB)


A) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments

  1. Formation of States and UTs in Chronology (PIB)
  • Context:The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has greeted the people of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura on their Statehood Days.


  • In 1950, the Constitution contained a four-fold classification ofthe states and territories of the Indian Union–Part A, Part B andPart C states and Part D territories. In all, they numbered 29.
  • PartA states comprised nine erstwhile governor’s provinces of BritishIndia.
  • Part B states consisted of nine erstwhile princely states withlegislatures (Hyderabad, Jammuand Kashmir, MadhyaBharat, Mysore, Patiala and East Punjab, Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Travancore-Cochin, VindhyaPradesh).
  • Part C states consisted of erstwhile chiefcommissioner’s provinces of British India and some of theerstwhile princely states. These Part C states (in all 10 in number)were centrally administered.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islandswere kept as the solitary Part D territories.
  • Both Linguistic Provinces Commission (Dhar Commission), June1948 andLinguistic Provinces Committee (consisting ofJawaharlal Nehru, Vallahbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya andhence, was popularly known as JVP Committee), December 1948, rejected language as the basis for reorganisation of states.
  • However, in October, 1953, the Government of India was forcedto create the first linguistic state, known as Andhra state, byseparating the Telugu speaking areas from the Madras state.

Fazl Ali Commission

  • The creation of Andhra state intensified the demand from otherregions for creation of states on linguistic basis.
  • This forced theGovernment of India to appoint (in December, 1953) a three-memberStates Reorganisation Commission under thechairmanship of Fazl Ali to re-examine the whole question.
  • Itsother two members were K.M. Panikkar and H.N. Kunzru.
  • Itbroadly acceptedlanguage as the basis of reorganisation of states.
  • But, it rejectedthe theory of ‘one language-one state’.
  • The Government of India accepted theserecommendations with certain minor modifications. By the StatesReorganisation Act (1956) and the 7th Constitutional AmendmentAct (1956), 14 states and 6 union territories were created on November 1, 1956.

New States and Union Territories Created After 1956

  • Even after the large-scale reorganisation of the states in 1956, thepolitical map of India underwent continuous changes due to thepressure of popular agitations and political conditions.

Maharashtra and Gujarat

  • In 1960, the bilingual state of Bombay was divided into twoseparate states–Maharashtra for Marathispeaking people andGujarat for Gujaratispeaking people. Gujarat was established asthe 15th state of the Indian Union.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

  • The Portuguese ruled this territory until its liberation in 1954.
  • It was convertedinto a union territory of India by the 10th ConstitutionalAmendment Act,

Goa, Daman and Diu

  • India acquired these three territories from the Portuguese bymeans of a police action in 1961.
  • They were constituted as aunion territory in
  • Later, in 1987, Goa was conferred a statehood.Consequently,Daman and Diu was made a separate union territory.


  • The territory of Puducherry comprises the former Frenchestablishments in India known as Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe andYanam.
  • The French handed over this territory to India in 1954.
  • Subsequently, it was administered as an ‘acquired territory’, till1962 when it was made a union territory by a ConstitutionalAmendment Act.


  • In 1963, the State of Nagaland was formedby taking the NagaHills and Tuensang area out of the state of Assam.

Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh

  • In 1966, the State of Punjab was bifurcated to create the State of Haryana, and the union territory ofChandigarh.
  • This followed the demand for a separate ‘Sikh

Himachal Pradesh

  • In 1971, the union territory of Himachal Pradesh waselevatedto the status of a state (18th state of the Indian Union).

Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya

  • In 1972, the two union territories of Manipur and Tripuraand the sub-state of Meghalaya got statehood and the two unionterritories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh (originally known asNorth-East Frontier Agency–NEFA) came into being.
  • With this,thenumber of states of the Indian Union increased to 21 (Manipur19th, Tripura 20th and Meghalaya 21st).


  • Till 1947, Sikkim was an Indian princely state ruled by Chogyal.
  • In1947, after the lapse of British paramountcy, Sikkim became a‘protectorate’ of India, whereby the Indian Government assumedresponsibility for the defence, external affairs and communicationsof Sikkim.
  • In 1974, the 35th ConstitutionalAmendment Act (1974), introduced a new class of statehood under theconstitution by conferring on Sikkim the status of an ‘associatestate’ of the Indian Union.
  • For this purpose, a new Article 2-A anda new schedule (10th Schedule containing the terms andconditions of association) were inserted in the Constitution.
  • Thisexperiment, however, did not last long as it could not fully satisfythe aspirations of the people of Sikkim.
  • In a referendumheld in1975, they voted for the abolition of the institution of Chogyal andSikkim becoming an integral part of India.
  • Consequently, the 36thConstitutional Amendment Act (1975) was enacted to makeSikkim a full-fledged state of the Indian Union (the 22nd state).
  • It also repealed Article 2-A and the 10th Schedule thatwere added by the 35th Amendment Act of 1974.

Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa

  • In 1987, three new States of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradeshand Goa came into being as the 23rd, 24th and 25th states ofthe Indian Union respectively.

Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand

  • In 2000, three more new States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhandand Jharkhand were created out of the territories of MadhyaPradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively.
  • These becamethe 26th, 27th and 28th states of the Indian Union, respectively.


  • In 2014, the new state of Telangana came into existence as the29th state of the Indian Union. It was carved out of the territoriesof Andhra Pradesh.

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019,bifurcated the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into twoseparate union territories, namely, the union territory of Jammu &Kashmir and the union territory of Ladakh.
  • Thus, the number of states and union territories increased from14 and 6 in 1956 to 28 and 9 in 2019, respectively.


B) Science and Technology, Defence, Space

  1. What are Deep Techs and Why do India Need Them? (PIB)
  • Context: The term was used in an article in PIB.


  • Deep tech, or deep technology, refers to those startups whose business model is based on high tech innovation in engineering, or significant scientific advances.
  • Deep tech startups are likely to be based on artificial intelligence or machine learning, or other innovative applications to new or existing emerging technologies like block-chain, computer imaging, and VR.
  • Examples of deep tech might include AI applied to predict natural disasters or molecular imaging technologies that identify disease or predisposition to disease far before any other existing test possible could.

Why India needs deep-tech start-ups

  • There are three key reasons why India desperately needs these deep-tech start-ups to grow, not only in numbers but also in terms of size and valuation.
  • First, solutions based on deep tech solve real-life problems in areas like healthcare, fintech, agriculture, and water management.
  • India also has its share of challenges when it comes to food, energy, water and national security.
  • Then there are issues related to affordability and access to utility services, which may not be clearly understood by a multinational giant.
  • A number of Indian start-ups are now beginning to focus on creating solutions using deep tech such as artificial intelligence, analytics, augmented reality/virtual reality and the Internet of Things, among others.
  • Second, deep-tech companies can offer alternative job opportunities to our engineers who were sought after by multinational tech companies but are now finding it difficult to move to research labs located out of the country due to tough visa norms.
  • Finally, Indian deep-tech companies will help secure the country’s data sovereignty.


  1. Blue Economy and Deep Ocean Mission (PIB)
  • Context: Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R. Hari Kumar called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences, Dr Jitendra Singh and discussed the modalities to deepen cooperation in “Deep Ocean Mission.”


  • Pertinent to mention that the Indian Navy is a member of Deep Ocean Council and it will be involved in launching and recovery of Man submersible in deep water, which will be developed under the Deep Ocean Mission.
  • The Deep Ocean Mission is a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy initiatives of the Government of India.
  • The preliminary design of the manned submersible MATSYA 6000 is completed.
  • India’s First Manned Ocean Mission Samundrayaan was launched at Chennai in October 2021 and thus India joined the elite club of nations such as USA, Russia, Japan, France and China to have such underwater vehicles for carrying out subsea activities.

Deep Ocean Mission

  • Deep Ocean Mission planned by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (nodal agency) is being carried out in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO).
  • The Deep Ocean Mission is proposed to be a Central Sector Scheme and no separate allocation for States is envisaged.
  • It is proposed to collaborate with non-governmental organizations for research collaboration for various components of Deep Ocean Mission.
  • The major objectives proposed under Deep Ocean Mission are as follows:
  • Development of technologies for deep sea mining, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics;
  • Development of ocean climate change advisory services;
  • Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deepsea biodiversity;
  • Deep ocean survey and exploration;
  • Proof of concept studies on energy and freshwater from the ocean; and
  • Establishing advanced marine station for ocean biology
  • India aims to target over 100 billion “Blue Economy” through its Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) and ocean resources.

Blue Economy

  • The Blue Economy is sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.
  • The Blue Economy encompasses many activities:
  • Fisheries
  • Renewable Ocean Energy
  • Maritime Transport
  • Tourism
  • Climate Change
  • Waste Management
  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has identified the following six priority pillars in the blue economy:
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Renewable Ocean Energy
  • Seaports and Shipping
  • Offshore Hydrocarbons and Seabed Minerals
  • Marine Biotechnology, Research and Development
  • Tourism
  • Blue Economy supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14 ‘life below water.’

Do you Know?

  • Polymetallic nodules cover vast areas of the abyssal ocean floor and contain significant amounts of critical metals.
  • The chemical and mineralogical compositions of polymetallic nodules are primarily controlled by their formation process.
  • A unique characteristic of deep-ocean nodules compared to terrestrial deposits is the presence of multiple commodities in one deposit; for example, nodules from the Clarion–Clipperton Zone contain Mn, Ni, Cu and Co.
  • Deep-ocean mining might avoid some of the environmental issues associated with terrestrial mining.
  • The development of societies towards a more sustainable future cannot proceed without critical metals. Deep-ocean mining can not only deliver the metals necessary for this transition but can do so with a low carbon footprint.


  1. Space Debris (TH, pg 11)
  • Context: A Chinese satellite had a near collision with one of the many chunks of debris left by the fallout of a recent Russian anti-satellite missile test, state media reported.
  • Moscow blew up one of its old satellites in November in a missile test that sparked international anger because of the space debris it scattered around the Earth’s orbit.


  • Space debris encompasses both natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particles.
  • Because of the high speeds (up to 8 km [5 miles] per second) at which objects orbit Earth, a collision with even a small piece of space debris can damage a spacecraft.
  • Meteoroids are in orbit about the sun, while most artificial debris is in orbit about the Earth.
  • Hence, the latter is more commonly referred to as orbital debris.
  • Much of the debris is in low Earth orbit, within 2,000 km (1,200 miles) of Earth’s surface.
  • However, some debris can be found in geostationary orbit 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Equator.
  • How long a piece of space debris takes to fall back to Earth depends on its altitude.
  • Objects below 600 km (375 miles) orbit several years before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Objects above 1,000 km (600 miles) orbit for centuries.
  • Space shuttle windows often had to be replaced because of damage from collisions with man-made debris smaller than 1 mm (0.04 inch).
  • When in orbit, the space shuttle flew tail-forward to protect the forward crew compartment.
  • Any collision in space creates a cloud of debris, with each piece moving at about 17,500 mph.
  • That’s roughly the speed required to keep a satellite in low-Earth orbit and more than 10 times as fast as a bullet shot from a gun.
  • India’s anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test was done in a low orbit of less than 300 kilometres and at a particular angle to ensure that minimal debris were disbursed above into space to avoid damage to other satellites or the International Space Station (ISS).
  • All the debris created by India’s test would take about 45 days to decompose by coming under the influence of earth’s gravity.

Kessler Syndrome

  • A situation in the context of space where one collision would create a cloud of debris that leads to other collisions, which in turn would generate even more debris, leading to a runaway effect called a “collision cascade” with the result that low Earth orbit would become unusable.

Steps taken to mitigate the problem of space debris

  • To forestall such a build-up in debris, space agencies have begun taking steps to mitigate the problem, such as:
  • burning up all the fuel in a rocket stage so it does not explode later or
  • saving enough fuel to de-orbit a satellite at the end of its mission.
  • The British satellite RemoveDEBRIS, which was launched in 2018 and deployed from the ISS, has tested two different technologies for removing space debris, capture with a net and capture with a harpoon, and will test a dragsail, which will slow down a piece of debris so it re-enters the atmosphere.
  • For satellites orbiting closer to Earth, operators lower the orbit of a decommissioned satellite so that it will naturally re-enter the atmosphere within 25 years (known as the “25-year Rule”).
  • As the satellite begins to fall back toward Earth, the heat from air friction will burn up the satellite, causing it to disintegrate before it ever reaches the surface.

International Treaties

  • No International treaty has been envisaged yet regarding particularly ASAT testing.
  • UN Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBMs) – It includes registering space objects with the UN register, pre-launch notifications etc. India is signatory of this treaty.
  • UN Outer Space Treaty 1967: It prohibits weapons of mass destruction in outer space but no restrainingon ordinary weapons. India ratified it in 1982.
  • Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) is an international forum for the worldwide coordination of activities concerning with issuance of man-made and natural debris in space. India participates in IADC.
  • India has supported UN resolution on No First Placement of Weapons on Outer Space.


C) Schemes, Policies, Initiatives, Awards and Social Issues

  1. What is the Open Network for Digital Commerce? (PIB)
  • Context:The Union Minister of Commerce & Industryreviewed the progress on Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT).
  • Quality Council of India(QCI)has established a team of experts for execution of the project in a mission mode.


  • The first-of-its-kind globally, ONDC will enable interoperability between eCommerce companies, providing equal opportunity to small & large players, will help control digital monopolies & make industry more inclusive for buyers & sellers alike, empowering MSMEs to unlock innovation & value.
  • The initiative is seen as a step towards ending the dominance of platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart, which have been accused of wielding monopoly power and breaking the law.
  • The ONDC project is modelled around the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) project that is seen as a success by many.
  • The UPI project allows people to send or receive money irrespective of the payments platforms on which they are registered.
  • Similarly, the government wants to ensure that buyers and sellers of goods in the e-commerce market can transact regardless of the platforms on which they are registered.
  • So, under ONDC, a buyer registered on Amazon, for example, may directly purchase goods from a seller who sells on Flipkart.


D) Indices, Reports, Surveys, Committees and Organisations

  1. Global Tiger Forum (GTF) (PIB)
  • Context:The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change while delivering the country statement congratulated the Government of Malaysia and Global Tiger Forum (GTF) for organizing the 4th Asia Ministerial Conference on tiger conservation.
  • He appreciated the efforts of the Government of Malaysia in creating a role model for mitigation measures with respect to linear infrastructure in tiger habitat, in the form of “Central Spine and landscape level planning.”


  • It is the only inter-governmental international body mandated specifically for Tiger conservation.
  • Membership includes the tiger range countries as well as the non-tiger range countries who are willing to support and/or participate in Tiger conservation programs.
  • Member of the Forum from the Tiger Range countries: India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • United Kingdomis a non-tiger range member country.
  • A Chairperson, usually a Minister from one of the Tiger Range countries heads GTF for a fixed tenure of 3 Years.
  • The Secretariat of GTF is headed by a Secretary General and is located in New Delhi, India.
  • There are 13 tiger range countries (countries where tigers still roam free) are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.


  • Promoting global campaigns to save the Tiger, its prey and its habitat.
  • Increasing the number of secure habitats for Tigers.
  • Promoting comprehensive legal frameworks for Tiger conservation.
  • Providing financial and infrastructural capabilities for Tiger Conservation.
  • Promoting training and research.
  • Eliciting support from Governments, Inter- governmental organizations and individuals.
  • Promoting bilateral co-operation.
  • Establishing a trust fund to enable the implementation of agreed programmes.
  • Calling upon Range Countries to prepare and update their National Action Plans for Tiger conservation.
  • To urge countries to enter into relevant conventions for conservation and elimination of illegal trade.


E) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

  1. All-India Tiger and Mega Herbivore Estimation (TH, pg 5)
  • Context:Tiger census will commence at Bandipur and at Nagarahole as part of the All-India Tiger and Mega Herbivore Estimation.


  • This is part of the nation-wide enumeration that is held once in four years and is the fifth such exercise being taken up — the earlier ones being held in 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018.
  • This year’s enumeration exercise entails the use of MSTRIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) app and apart from the tiger counts, the exercise will also throw up data on mega herbivores, including elephants and gaurs.
  • The use of apps ensures that the data is not only digitised but is uploaded on a real-time basis and is robust.

National Tiger Conservation Authority

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006.
  • The NTCA/Project Tiger also conducts the country level assessment of the status of tiger, co-predators, prey and habitat once in four years.







  1. Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya (TH, pg 8)
  • Context:Meghalaya hopes to get the UNESCO Heritage Site tag for its Jing kieng Jri, also known as the Living Root Bridge.
  • Meghalaya houses single to double-decker living root bridges that houses several critically-endangered species of flora and fauna.
  • The Zoological Survey of India has underlined some green rules for the living root bridges of Meghalaya to get the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag.


  • Khasitribals devised an ingenious way to traverse through small waterways and link isolated villages by living root bridges, locally known as jing kieng jri.
  • Tree trunks are planted on each side of the bank to create a sturdy foundation. These aerial bridges are created by weaving and manipulating the roots of the tree. These roots grow and strengthen over time.
  • Although the Living Root bridge takes around 10 to 15 years to take its shape, it can last up to 500 years.
  • Mature bridges stretch 15 to 250 feet over deep rivers and gorges.
  • The Living Root Bridges are made from rubber fig tree roots also known as Ficus elastica tree.


  • UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  • It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.
  • UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
  • Since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed.– UNESCO Constitution

World Heritage Site

  • It is any of various areas or objects inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
  • India is home to 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, out of the 1121 such spots identified around the world.
  • So far, only China, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France have more locations on the list than India.
  • India is ranked 6th in the world and 2nd in Asia in terms of number of World Heritage sites.

World Heritage Criteria

  • To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.
  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Designating World Heritage Sites

  • There are three types of sites: cultural, natural, and mixed.
  • Cultural heritage could be monuments,groups of buildings or sites (works of man or the combined works of nature and of man, and areas including archaeological sites).
  • Natural heritage sites are restricted to those natural areas that
  • (1) furnish outstanding examples of Earth’s record of life or its geologic processes,
  • (2) provide excellent examples of ongoing ecological and biological evolutionary processes,
  • (3) contain natural phenomena that are rare, unique, superlative, or of outstanding beauty, or
  • (4) furnish habitats for rare or endangered animals or plants or are sites of exceptional biodiversity.
  • Mixed heritage sites contain elements of both natural and cultural significance.
  • The ratio of cultural to natural sites on the World Heritage List is roughly 3 to 1.

World Heritage List Nominations

  • Only countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention, pledging to protect their natural and cultural heritage, can submit nomination proposals for properties on their territory to be considered for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

World Heritage Sites in India (40)

Cultural (32)

  • Agra Fort (1983)
  • Ajanta Caves (1983)
  • Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)
  • Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
  • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
  • Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
  • Elephanta Caves (1987)
  • Ellora Caves (1983)
  • Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
  • Great Living Chola Temples (1987,2004)
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
  • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
  • Historic City of Ahmadabad (2017)
  • Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
  • Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019)
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
  • Mountain Railways of India (1999,2005,2008)
  • Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
  • Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)
  • Red Fort Complex (2007)
  • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
  • Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)
  • Taj Mahal (1983)
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)
  • The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
  • Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)
  • Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana (2021) and
  • Dholavira: A Harappan City (2021)

Natural (7)

  • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)
  • Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  • Keoladeo National Park (1985)
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
  • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988,2005)
  • Sundarbans National Park (1987)
  • Western Ghats (2012)

Mixed (1)

  • Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)

Indian side of Kailash Mansoravar has been included in Tentative List of World Heritage Sites of India

  • Proposal for ‘Sacred Mountain Landscape and Heritage Routes’ (Indian side of Kailash Mansoravar) has been included in Tentative List of World Heritage Sites of India as a Mixed site in April, 2019.
  • The site has been proposed under UNESCO criteria (iii), (vi) & (x) of Operational Guideline.
  • As per UNESCO’s Operational Guidelines 2017, a site must be on tentative list of UNESCO at least for a period of one year before proposing it for final nomination.

International Day for Monuments and Sites

  • Every year, the United Nations marks April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites, in many countries also celebrated as World Heritage Day.
  • Globally, the day is promoted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a global non-government organisation.

Indian Culture Portal

  • It is an online portal launched by the Ministry of Culture to showcase information about the rich cultural heritage of India across the globe.
  • The Indian Culture Portal is available in two languagese. Hindi and English.
  • The portal will create awareness about both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of India.




F) Art, Culture and History

  1. The `Lost Saraswati River’ (TH, pg 5)
  • Context: In an attempt to revive the Saraswati river, the Haryana and Himachal Pradesh governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a dam in Himachal Pradesh.
  • ISRO centres have been able to delineate most of the palaeochannels of Vedic Saraswati River and its linkage with the present day Himalayan Rivers.


  • The `Lost Saraswati River’ in NW India was the mightiest river of the Vedic Period (8000-5000 BP).
  • The discovery of the sites of Harappan civilization along the banks of the Saraswati River confirm its presence.
  • Saraswati River originated in the Himalayas and flowed between Indus River in the west and Ganges River in the east through Punjab, Haryana, western Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • It is finally drained into Gulf of Kachchh in Arabian Sea.
  • The Vedic Saraswati River disappeared around 5000 BP due to climatic and tectonic changes.
  • It is believed that River Saraswati is still flowing below the Thar desert and its Himalayan connectivity is alive.
  • The relict of this lost river is preserved as palaeochannels under the cover of aeolian sand / alluvium.

Reasons for its extinction

  • Natural factors comprising weakened Indian summer monsoon.
  • shrinkage of glacial cover and meltwaters
  • channel avulsion and channel capture,
  • climate change and tectonic disruption of the input channels in the lesser Himalayan terrain contributed towards the gradual decay and ultimate extinction of this mega river system

About `Lost River Saraswati’

  • Mythologically, the Saraswati was a highly venerated river in the times it watered the vast expanse of the land known as Saptasindhav (SAPTSINDHU)- the land of seven rivers -Saraswati, Sutlej (Satadru), Beas (Vipasa), Chenab (Asikani), Ravi (Parosni), Jhelum (Vitasta) and Sindhu (lndus).
  • Saraswati River in Ancient Literatures – The name ‘Saraswati’ has been used in most of the ancient literatures like Vedas, Manusmriti, Mahabharata and Puranas.

Do you know?

  • The first civilisation was formed on the banks of rivers.
  • The early civilisations began to form around the time of the Neolithic Revolution.
  • Rivers were attractive locations for the first civilisations because they provided a steady supply of drinking water and made the land fertile for growing crops.
  • Moreover, they were useful for transportation of goods from one place to another.
  • Additionally, those lost in the wilderness could return to civilisation by travelling downstream, where the major centres of human population tend to concentrate.
  • In India, early civilisation like Mohenjo-Daro and Lothal flourished on the bank of river Saraswati and has significant part in their development.


G) Miscellaneous

  1. Koyla Darpan Portal (PIB)
  • In order to share Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to the Coal Sector, a portal “Koyla Darpan” has been launched.

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