19 April, 2020

46 Min Read

GS-I : Art and Culture World heritage site
World Heritage Day-UNESCO-World Heritage site of India

World Heritage Day-UNESCO-World Heritage site of India


  • Every year 18th April is celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites or the World Heritage Day. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) established the day in 1982 and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved it in 1983.
  • Since then, it has been a day to celebrate and promote cultural heritage, and an opportunity to raise awareness about its diversity, its relevance, how vulnerable it can be and what the needs and benefits of its conservation are.
  • Theme for 2020: Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility. It is an important expression of global unity in the face of the on-going worldwide health crisis (Covid-19 pandemic).

International Council on Monuments and Sites- PT SHOTS

  • It is a global non-governmental organization associated with UNESCO.
  • Its mission is to promote the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, building complexes and sites.
  • It is an Advisory Body of the World Heritage Committee for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO.
    • As such, it reviews the nominations of cultural world heritage and ensures the conservation status of properties.
      • India has 38 world heritage sites that include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.
  • Its creation in 1965 is the logical outcome of initial conversations between architects, historians and international experts that began in the early twentieth century and that materialized in the adoption of the Venice Charter in 1964.


What are the objectives of UNESCO?

The UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. The Organization also serves as a clearinghouse – for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge – while helping Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields.

UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty and sustainable development.

UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.

What global role does UNESCO play?

The role of UNESCO is critical, particularly in the face of terrorism, which constitutes an attack against humanity. The world urgently requires global visions of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which lie at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities. Through its strategies and activities, UNESCO is actively pursuing the Millennium Development Goals (succeeded by Sustainable Development Goals), especially those aiming to:

  • Reduce the proportion of people living in extreme poverty to half in developing countries
  • Achieve the goal of universal primary education in all countries
  • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education
  • Help countries implement a national strategy for sustainable development to reverse current trends in the loss of environmental resources.
  • Combat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Malaria
  • Making efforts to reduce child mortality rates.

International Days observed at UNESCO

Through the UNESCO, the United Nations designates specific days, as occasions to mark particular events or topics in order to promote, through awareness and action, the objectives of the Organization.

International Days observed at UNESCO



27 January

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

13 February

World Radio Day

8 March

International Women’s Day

22 March

World Water Day

23 April

World Book and Copyright Day

3 May

World Press Freedom Day

25 May

Africa Day/ Africa Week

5 June

World Environment Day

12 August

International Youth Day

15 September

International Day of Democracy

5 October

World Teachers Day

16 November

International Day for Tolerance

1 December

World AIDS Day

World Heritage Sites in India

A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by UNESCO for its special cultural or physical significance. The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the international 'World Heritage Programme', administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seek to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972. India has 38 world heritage sites that include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.

Cultural Sites in India (30)

  • Agra Fort (1983)
    • 16th-century Mughal monument
    • Fortress of red sandstone
    • It comprises the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas
  • Ajanta Caves (1983)
  • Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)
    • Remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE.
    • Includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important artworks in stucco, stone and metal.
    • Considered to be the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent.
  • Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
    • It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century A.D.
    • Consists of monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries) all in different states of conservation most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.
  • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
    • Prehistoric (chalcolithic) sites, a hill fortress of early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat.
    • Also includes, among other vestiges, fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts, agricultural structures and water installations, from the 8th to 14th centuries.
    • The Kalikamata Temple on top of Pavagadh Hill is considered to be an important shrine, attracting large numbers of pilgrims throughout the year.
    • The site is the only complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
    • Example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building, designed by the British architect F. W. Stevens, became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ and the major international mercantile port of India. The terminal was built over 10 years, starting in 1878, according to a High Victorian Gothic design based on late medieval Italian models. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture.
  • Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
    • The churches and convents of Goa, particularly the Basilica of Bom Jesus indicate commencement of evangelization in Asia.
    • The Basilica of Bom Jesus also houses the sacred tomb of St. Francis Xavier.
    • These monuments are well known for spreading- Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art in major parts of Asia.
  • Elephanta Caves (1987)
    • Located at Elephanta island or island of Gharapuri(literally- ‘City of Caves’) in the Sea of Oman, close to Mumbai.
    • Contains a collection of rock art connected to the Shaivite cult.
    • It is a vital symbol of the greatness of Indian art, especially the huge high reliefs in the main cave.
    • They were constructed around the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD.
  • Ellora Caves
  • Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
    • Built during the second half of the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri or ‘The City of Victory,’ also served as the capital of the Mughal empire for a short time period.
    • It contains an array of monuments and temples, including one of the largest mosques in India- the Jama Masjid.
  • Great Living Chola Temples (1987, 2004)
    • Built by kings of the Chola empire, these temples manifest the precision and perfection of the Cholas in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.
    • This site includes three 11th and 12th- century temples: Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.
    • The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram built by Rajendra the First in 1035 and the Airavatesvara Temple built by Rajaraja the Second, feature vimana (sanctum tower) of 53m and 24m respectively.
    • Brihadisvara and Airavatesvara temple
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
    • This site was the last capital of the kingdom of Vijaynagar.
    • These Dravidian temples and palaces were built by rulers of Vijaynagar between the 14th and 16th centuries.
    • In 1565, the city was captured by Deccan Muslim Confederacy and pillaged for a period of 6 months, before being abandoned.
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
    • This group of monuments was founded by Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries along the Coromandel coast of Bay of Bengal.
    • These temples boast of intricate and unique architectural styles in the form of- rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries) and giant open-air reliefs such as- ‘Descent of the Ganges.’
    • It also encloses the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures dedicated to the glory of Shiva.
  • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
    • Pattadakal in Karnataka showcases a unique blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India, achieved under the Chalukya dynasty during the 7th and 8th centuries.
    • It comprises nine Hindu temples as well as a Jain sanctuary including the Temple of Virupaksha, a masterpiece built in c.740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband’s victory.
  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
    • This site includes six majestic forts situated in Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Jhalawar, all situated in the state of Rajasthan.
    • The magnificent and stalwart exterior of the forts manifests the lifestyle and nature of the Rajput rule over this land from 8th to 18th centuries.
    • These fortifications enclose urban centres, palaces, trading centres and temples, where various forms of art and culture flourished.
    • Some of the urban centres, as well as most of the temples and other sacred places, have survived as the forts used natural resources such as- hills, deserts, forests etc for protection.
  • Historic City of Ahmedabad (2017)
    • Located on the eastern bank of Sabarmati river, this city was founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century. It also served as the capital of the state of Gujarat for centuries.
    • This city is a testimony to the harmonious existence of diverse religions on this land, exhibited by its architecture which includes the famous Bhadra citadel accompanied by various mosques, tombs as well as numerous Hindu and Jain temples.
    • The urban fabric consists of densely- packed traditional houses (pols) in gated traditional streets (puras).
  • Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
    • Built-in 1570, it has long-standing cultural significance because it was the first garden-tomb to be constructed in India.
    • This tomb was the inspiration behind several architectural innovations including the Taj Mahal.
  • Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019)
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
    • These temples were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached at its pinnacle between 950 and 1050.
    • Only 20 temples remain, belonging to two different religions namely-Hinduism and Jainism, including the famous Temple of Kandariya decorated with intricately and beautifully carved sculptures.
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
    • This temple was earlier built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C.However, the present structure dates back to the 5th or 6th centuries.
    • It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick and considered to be one of the four sacred sites associated with the life of Gautama Buddha.
  • Mountain Railways of India (1999, 2005, 2008)
    • This site includes three railways:
    • Darjeeling railway
    • Nilgiri Mountain Railway: This line, started in 1891 and completed till 1908, is a 46-km long metre-gauge single-track railway in Tamil Nadu.
    • Kalka Shimla Railway
  • Qutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
    • Qutub Minar was built in red sandstone in the early 13th century, in Delhi.
    • It is 72.5 m high, with diameters of 14.32 m and 2.75 m at its base and peak respectively.
    • The tower is surrounded by various aesthetically-pleasing treasures, for instance- the Alai Darwaza built-in 1311 as well as two mosques including the Quwwatu’l-Islam, the oldest mosque in northern India.
  • Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)
    • Situated on the banks of Saraswati river, this stepwell was built as a memorial to a king.
    • Stepwells are considered to be easily accessible underground water resources and storage systems, which have been constructed in the Indian subcontinent since the 3rd millennium B.C.
    • This stepwell flaunts the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, designed in the form of an inverted temple to emphasize the sanctity of water and is endowed with more than thousand sculptures depicting a combination of religious, mythological and secular imagery.
  • Red Fort Complex (2007)
    • This was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad, the capital of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and is named after its immense walls of red sandstone.
    • The Red Fort Complex in entirety, includes the Red Fort as well as Salimgarh fort built-in 1546 by Islam Shah Suri.
    • Red Fort is a reflection of the acme of Mughal architectural innovation and craftsmanship. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each structure mirrors architectural elements derived from a combination of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions.
    • The row of pavilions are connected by a continuous water channel known as Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise).
  • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
    • These shelters are located within the foothills of Vindhya range, on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau.
    • Unearthed in the form of five clusters of natural rock shelters exhibiting paintings that date back to the Mesolithic, and other periods succeeding it.
    • The cultural traditions of the inhabitants in surrounding areas are very similar to those displayed in the paintings.
  • Sun Temple, Konarak (1984)
  • Taj Mahal (1983)
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier (2016)
    • This transnational serial property includes 17 sites spread across 7 countries stands as a testimony of a new form of architectural expression weaved with modern traditions.
    • These sites, in totality, propagate ideals of the Modern movement and are also considered as a significant response to fundamental issues of architecture and society in the 20th century.
    • Complexe du Capitole, Chandigarh, The Museum of Western Art in Tokyo (Japan), the House of Dr Curutchet in La Plata (Argentina), Unité d’habitation in Marseille (France) etc, are some of the well-known sites included in this property.
  • The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
    • Built in the early 18th century, Jantar Mantar is designed to observe astronomical positions with the naked eye. A set of 20 main instruments are installed in this site to make accurate observations.
    • It is a manifestation of astronomical skills and knowledge, dating back to the Mughal times.
  • Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)
    • This site includes a collection of public buildings designed in Victorian Neo-Gothic style in the 19th century and Art Deco style in the 20th century.
    • Both the styles are intermingled with Indian architectural elements. For instance- The buildings designed in Victorian Neo-Gothic styles are endowed with balconies and verandas. Similarly, the Indo- Deco is a term used to describe the style emerged after adding Indian elements to Art Deco imagery and architecture.

Natural Sites in India (7)

  • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)
    • Located in western part of Himalayan mountains in the state of Himachal Pradesh, this Park is well known for its high alpine peaks, alpine meadows and riverine forests.
    • It also encloses glacial and snow meltwater sources of several rivers as well as the catchment area.
    • It is a biodiversity hotspot with 25 types of forests inhabited by myriads of faunal species, several of which are threatened.
  • Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  • Keoladeo National Park (1985)
    • This wetland is located in the state of Rajasthan and served as a duck shooting reserve till the end of 19th century. However, soon enough the hunting ceased and the area was declared a national park in 1982.
    • This National Park is home to 375 bird species and various other life forms. It also serves as a wintering ground to Palaearctic migratory waterfowl, critically endangered Siberian Crane as well as to globally threatened- Greater Spotted Eagle and Imperial Eagle.
    • It is acclaimed for its resident population of non-migratory breeding birds.
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
    • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a biodiversity hotspot located in Assam. It is a part of Manas Tiger Reserve and sprawls alongside Manas river.
    • A range of forested hills, alluvial grasslands and tropical evergreen forests are responsible for the breathtaking beauty and serene environment of the site.
    • It also provides a habitable environment to a range of endangered species such as- tiger, greater one-horned rhino, swamp deer, pygmy hog and Bengal florican.
  • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005)
    • Both of these National Parks are exceptionally beautiful high-altitude West Himalayan landscapes and fall within the boundaries of the state of Uttarakhand.
    • Nanda Devi National Park boasts rugged and high-mountain wilderness and is dominated by India’s second-highest mountain-the peak of Nanda Devi. The Valley of Flowers, in contrast, flaunts aesthetically pleasing meadows of alpine flowers.
    • Numerous kinds of floral and faunal species reside in these parks, along with a significant population of globally threatened species including- Snow leopard, Himalayan Musk Deer etc.
  • Sundarban National Park (1987)
  • Western Ghats (2012)
    • Western Ghats consist of a chain of mountains running parallel to India’s Western Coast and passing from the states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
    • They cover an immense area in a 1600 km long stretch and are interrupted only once by a 30km Palghat gap at around 11 degrees North.
    • They also influence the Indian monsoon weather patterns that mediate the warm tropical climate of the region and act as a barrier to rain-laden monsoon winds that sweep in from the south-west.
    • Western Ghats are also home to tropical evergreen forests, as well as to 325 globally threatened species.

Mixed Site in India (1)

  • Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)
    • Located in Sikkim, this National Park is dominated by the world's third-highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga.
    • The Park comprises steep-sided valleys, snow-
    • clad mountains and various lakes and glaciers including the 26km long Zemu glacier, located around the base of Mount Khangchendzonga.
    • It covers almost 25% of the state of Sikkim and ensures a habitable environment to various endemic as well as threatened, plant and animal species.

Source: TH/Web

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GS-I : Human Geography
Covid-19 tests among the tribal population living along the Godavari river valley area

Covid-19 tests among the tribal population living along the Godavari river valley area


Recently, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court for directing the Andhra Pradesh government to conduct Covid-19 tests among the tribal population living along the Godavari river valley area.

Lack of awareness among the tribal people, who live in dense forest and other scheduled areas of the river valley, made them more prone to Covid-19 infections. Konda reddis, Koyas and Kolam are the popular tribes living in godavari valley. Konda reddis and Kolam are part of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG).

Polavaram Irrigation Project

  • Polavaram Project is located in Andhra Pradesh on the river Godavari, near Polavaram village.
  • It is a multi-purpose irrigation project as the project once completed will provide Irrigation benefits and will generate HydroElectric Power. In addition, this project will also supply drinking water.
  • It will facilitate an inter-basin transfer to the Krishna river basin through its Right canal.
  • It will also provide indirect benefits such as development of Pisciculture (breeding and rearing of fish), tourism and urbanisation.
  • The Project has been accorded national project status by the union government in 2014 (under Section-90 of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014).

Godavari River

  • Source: Godavari river rises from Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in Maharashtra and flows for a length of about 1465 km before outfalling into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Drainage Basin: The Godavari basin extends over states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in addition to smaller parts in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry.
  • Tributaries: Pravara, Purna, Manjra, Penganga, Wardha, Wainganga, Pranhita (combined flow of Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha), Indravati, Maner and the Sabri.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

  • In India, tribal population makes up for 8.6% of the total population.
  • PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups. Due to this factor, more developed and assertive tribal groups take a major chunk of the tribal development funds because of which PVTGs need more funds directed for their development.
  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups. In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as PVTGs.
  • In this context, in 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups, while in 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes.
  • PVTGs have some basic characteristics - they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc.

Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha.

Source: TH

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GS-I : Human Geography Contemporary climate and other issues
Safe drinking water supply and management – Water crisis and management

Safe drinking water supply and management – Water crisis and management

Part of: GS-I- Geography and climate change (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has issued an advisory to state governments asking them to ensure safe drinking water supply and management during the nationwide lockdown that has been extended to 3rd May, 2020.

Imp Points

  • Advisory: State governments need to assess the requirements of water purifying chemicals, including chlorine tablets, bleaching powder, sodium hypochlorite solution and alum and use them wherever necessary. These purifying products are classified under the list of essential commodities (Essential Commodities Act, 1955). For ensuring social distancing, states are recommended to increase water supply hours if demand goes up and people come to fetch water from the public stand post.
  • Reasons Behind the Advisory: The urgent need to ensure the availability of safe potable water to all citizens, mainly in the rural areas where medical sanitisers may not be available, has been highlighted in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the list of preventive measures for controlling the spread of coronavirus, frequent washing of hands with frothing soaps is the most efficient and effective measure.

Water Crisis of India

  • India has been facing the challenge of lack of access to clean water for several years.
    Falling groundwater levels, drought, increasing demand from agriculture and industry, pollution and poor water resource management are few other challenges which will intensify with the changing climate.
  • According to the data of the Ministry of Water Resources in 2017, (merged into the Ministry of Jal Shakti in 2019) average annual per capita water availability fell from 1820 cubic meters assessed in 2001 to to 1545 cubic meters in 2011. The data also highlighted the possibility of it reducing further to 1341 and 1140 in the years 2025 and 2050 respectively.
  • The ministry also held that the water availability of water stressed/water scarce regions of the country is much below the national average due to the high temporal and spatial variation of precipitation.
    • Water Stressed Condition: Where annual per-capita water availability is less than 1700 cubic meters.
    • Water Scarcity Condition: Where annual per- capita water availability is below 1000 cubic meters.
  • According to the Global Annual Report, 2018 by the WaterAid, the water and sanitation advocacy group, India ranked at the top of 10 countries with lowest access to clean water close to home, with 16.3 crore people not having such access.
  • However, the government's efforts (such as Jal Jeevan Mission) in solving the water crisis have been appreciated as well. It has been highlighted that despite facing several challenges, India is one of the world’s most-improved nations for reaching the most people with clean water.

Jal Shakti Mantralaya

National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) has been shifted from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change to Jal shakti Ministry.

Move aims at consolidating administration and bringing water-related issues like conservation, development, management, and abatement of pollution under a single ministry. National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) is responsible for implementing the centrally sponsored national river conservation plan for all rivers across the country except river Ganga and its tributaries (as issues related to Ganga and its tributaries are taken up by National Mission for Clean Ganga)

Jal Shakti Mantralay: The government has created a new Ministry called ‘Jal Shakti’ after merging Ministries of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation along with Drinking Water and Sanitation. ‘Jal Shakti’ ministry will encompass issues ranging from providing clean drinking water, international and inter-states water disputes, to the Namami Gange project aimed at cleaning Ganga and its tributaries, and sub-tributaries. The ministry will roll out the government’s ambitious plan (‘Nal se Jal’ scheme under jal jivan plan) to provide piped water connection to every household in India by 2024.

Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) envisages supply of 55 litres from 40 Liters of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
  • JJM focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.
    • Creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse, would be undertaken in convergence with other government programmes/schemes.
  • The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
  • JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
  • Funding Pattern: The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.
  • The Central government has recently released the operational guidelines for JJM.

For the implementation of JJM, following institutional arrangement has been proposed (PT SHOT)

      • National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) at the Central level
      • State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) at the State level
      • District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) at the District level
      • Village Water Sanitation Committee (VWSC) at Village level

Every village will prepare a Village Action Plan (VAP) which will have three components:

      • Water source & its maintenance
      • Water supply and
      • Greywater (domestic wastewater) management.

Water in the Constitution

  • In the Constitution, water is a matter included in Entry 17 of List-II i.e. State List. This entry is subject to the provision of Entry 56 of List-I i.e. Union List.
    • Under Article 246, the Indian Constitution allocates responsibilities of the States and the Centre into three lists– Union List, State List and Concurrent List.
  • Most of the rivers in the country give rise to inter-state differences and disputes (Article 262) on the regulation and development of waters of these rivers.

Note: For Water resource chapter: https://www.aspireias.com/pt-kunji-free-videos

Source: TH/WEB

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GS-I : Art and Culture Art and Culture
Cultural heritage list

Cultural heritage list


Draft intangible cultural heritage list released by the Union Culture Ministry.


  • 106 items have been listed as intangible cultural heritage in the draft released by the Union Culture Ministry as a part of the ministry’s Vision 2024 programme.
    • Out of these 13 traditions of Indian intangible cultural heritage are already recognised by UNESCO.
  • As per the 2003 UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the list has five broad categories — oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, knowledge and practices related to nature and traditional craftsmanship.

Some of the major mentions in the draft list:

Kalaripayuttu (martial art form)


Kolam (practice of making designs at the entrance of homes and temples)

Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Pachoti (Traditional folk festival- birth of a baby, particularly a male infant is celebrated with relatives and neighbours. Related to the birth of Krishna)


Kinnar Kanthgeet (Oral traditions of the transgender community)


Patola silk textiles (Geometric and figurative patterns)

Gujarat (Patan)

Buddhist chanting

Leh and Kargil districts

Kalam Bhat or Qalambaft gharana of Sufiana music

Jammu and Kashmir

Khor (Rice Beer by Tangkhul community)


Tying a turban or safa


Other notable mentions include:

    • Devotional music of Qawwali and the music of the oldest instrument in the country, the Veena.
    • The Kumbh Mela and Ramlila traditions of different States.
    • The compositions of Ameer Khusro.
    • The making of gourd vessels and wicker baskets in Manipur.
    • Different forms of shadow puppet theatre — Chamadyacha Bahulya in Maharashtra, Tolu Bommalatta in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Togalu Gombeyatta in Karnataka, Tolpava Kuthu in Kerala and Ravanchhaya in Odisha — have also been included.

The national list is an attempt to further awareness and protection to the valuable cultural heritage of India.

Source: TH

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International Monetary and Financial Committee-IMFC

International Monetary and Financial Committee-IMFC


Recently, the Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs attended the plenary meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) through video-conferencing.

Imp Points

  • This meeting’s Global Policy Agenda was “Exceptional Times – Exceptional Action”.
  • The IMFC was updated by the members on the actions and measures taken by the member countries to combat Covid-19.
  • The members remarked on IMF’s crisis-response package to address global liquidity and members’ financing needs.
  • India also highlighted that the IMF has always played a pivotal role in maintaining stability of the international monetary and financial system and that it should continue rendering this critical role to the global financial architecture.
  • Measures taken by India to respond to the health crisis and to mitigate its impact were highlighted. Few of them are:
    • India Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package: Allocation of $2 Billion (?15,000 crore) by the Government of India for strengthening the healthcare system.
    • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana: Announcement of a scheme of social support measures amounting to $23 Billion (?1.70 lakh crore) to alleviate the hardship of the poor and the vulnerable.
    • Provision of relief to firms in statutory and regulatory compliance matters.
    • Easing of monetary policy by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and three-month moratorium on loan instalments.
    • Creating a Covid-19 Emergency Fund for the SAARC region.

International Monetary and Financial Committee

  • It is the Ministerial-level committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • It meets twice a year, once during the Fund-Bank Annual Meetings in October and once during the Spring Meetings in April.
    • This year, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the meeting took place through video-conference.
  • Functions:
    • It discusses the management of the international monetary and financial system.
    • It advises the IMF on any other matters of common concern affecting the global economy.
  • IMFC has 24 members, drawn from the pool of 189 governors, and represents all member countries. India is one of the current members.
  • It operates on consensus, including on the selection of its chairman.

Source: TH/PIB

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Export curb removed from Paracetamol

Export curb removed from Paracetamol

The Centre has permitted the export of formulations (medicinal products) made from Paracetamol. However, the restriction on export of Paracetamol Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) will continue. The API is the part of any drug that produces the intended effects.


  • Paracetamol is a common fever medication globally.
  • Paracetamol is the most sought after and widely used drug ever since the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • According to sources, India is among the leading manufacturers of Paracetamol globally. The production capacity is estimated to be 5,000 tonnes a month.
  • From an export perspective, it is a low value, high volume product.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade

  • DGFT is the main governing body in matters related to Exim (Export-Import) Policy.
  • It is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • The main objective of it under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 is to provide the development and regulation of foreign trade by facilitating imports into, and augmenting exports from India.

Foreign Trade Act has replaced the earlier law known as the Imports and Exports (Control) Act 1947.

Note: ITCHS codes are better known as Indian Trade Clarification (ITC) and are based on the Harmonized System (HS) of Coding. These were adopted in India for import-export operations. Indian custom uses an eight digit ITC (HS) code to suit the national trade requirements.

Source: TH/AIR

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Kisan Rath App

Kisan Rath App


The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has launched ‘Kisan Rath’ mobile application (app) to facilitate transportation of foodgrains and perishable during lockdown.

  • The application has been developed by the National Informatics Centre -NIC (backed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
  • It will be available in eight languages initially, including english and hindi.

Imp Points

  • The app is expected to connect farmers and traders to a network of more than 5 lakh trucks and 20,000 tractors.
  • It is meant to help farmers and traders who are searching for vehicles to move produce. This includes:
    • Primary transport from the farm to the mandis, local warehouses or the collection centres of farmer producer organisations.
    • Secondary transport from the local mandis to intra-and inter-State mandis, processing units, railway stations, warehouses or wholesalers.
  • The Government has granted relaxation in the nationwide lockdown for activities related to agriculture-farming and allied activities with a view to address problems being faced by the farming community.
  • The app will be a stepping stone towards provision of timely transportation service at competitive rates for farmers and traders, besides achieving a reduction in food wastage.
    • This will help in ensuring better prices of the produce to farmers.

Source: TH

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