India has 38 World Heritage Sites at present 

#GS1 #Art #Culture #WorldHeritage Sites #Cultural Sites 

News : 

At present, India has 38 World Heritage Sites. The world heritage sites are well conserved and in good shape. The details of World Heritage Sites are as below:- 



Under Protection of Archaeological Survey of India (22) 

  1. No


Name of Site 



Agra Fort (1983) Uttar Pradesh 
Ajanta Caves (1983) Maharashtra 
Ellora Caves (1983) Maharashtra 
Taj Mahal (1983) Uttar Pradesh 
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984) Tamil Nadu 
Sun Temple, Konarak (1984) Odisha 
Churches and Convents of Goa (1986) Goa 
Fatehpur Sikri (1986) Uttar Pradesh 
Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986) Karnataka 
Khajuraho, Group of Temples (1986) Madhya Pradesh 
Elephanta Caves ( 1987) Maharashtra 
Great Living Chola Temples at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram (1987 & 2004) Tamil Nadu 
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987) Karnataka 
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) Madhya Pradesh 
Humayun’s  Tomb, Delhi (1993) Delhi 
Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993) Delhi 
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003) Madhya Pradesh 
Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park (2004) Gujarat 
Red Fort Complex, Delhi (2007) Delhi 

Hill Forts of Rajasthan 

 (Chittaurgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisalmer and Ranthambhore, Amber and Gagron Forts)      (2013) 

(Amber and Gagron Forts are under protection of Rajasthan State Archaeology and Museums) 

Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan (2014) Gujarat 
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda (2016) Bihar 


Under Protection of Ministry of Railways (2) 

23. Mountain Railways of India ( Darjeeling,1999), Nilgiri (2005), Kalka-Shimla(2008) West Bengal,  Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh 
24. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004) Maharashtra 


Under Protection of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (1) 

25 Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, (2002) Bihar 


Under Protection of Rajasthan State Archaeology and Museums   (1)                                                                                             

26. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010) Rajasthan 


Under Protection of Chandigarh Administration (1) 

27. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016) Chandigarh 

Under Protection of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation  (1) 

28. Historic City of Ahmedabad  (2017) Gujarat 


Under Protection of Bombay Municipal Corporation (1) 

29. Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (2018) Govt of Maharashtra 


Under Protection of Jaipur Municipal Corporation (1) 

30. Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019) Govt of Rajasthan 


Under Protection of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes 

31.  Kaziranga National Park (1985) Assam 
32. Keoladeo National Park (1985) Rajasthan 
33. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985) Assam 
34. Sunderbans National Park (1987) West Bengal 
35. Nanda Devi  and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005) Uttarakhand 
36. Western Ghats (2012) Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu 
37 Great Himalayan National Park (2014) Himachal Pradesh 


Under Protection of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes 

38. Khangchendzonga National Park (2016) Sikkim 

Source : PIB 

Epidemics that have hit India since 1900 

#GS2 #Health #Diseases

What is epidemic?

The World Health Organization defines epidemics as “the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness, specific health-related behaviour, or other health-related events clearly in excess of normal expectancy. The community or region and the period in which the cases occur are specified precisely. The number of cases indicating the presence of an epidemic varies according to the agent, size, and type of population exposed, previous experience or lack of exposure to the disease, and time and place of occurrence.” 

Epidemics since 1900

1915-1926⁠ — Encephalitis lethargica 

  • ncephalitis lethargica, also known as ‘lethargic encephalitis’ was a type of epidemic encephalitis that spread around the world between 1915 and 1926.
  • The disease was characterised by increasing languor, apathy, drowsiness and lethargy and by 1919, had spread across Europe, the US, Canada, Central America and India.

1918-1920 — Spanish flu 

  • This epidemic was a viral infectious disease caused due to a deadly strain of avian influenza.
  • The spread of this virus was largely due to World War I that despite drawing to a close by the time the epidemic had peaked, has caused mass mobilisation of troops in various parts of the world, whose travels helped spread this infectious disease.

1961–1975 — Cholera pandemic 

  • Vibrio cholerae, one type of bacterium, has caused seven cholera pandemics since 1817.
  • In 1961, the El Tor strain of the Vibrio cholerae bacterium caused the seventh cholera pandemic when it was identified as having emerged in Makassar, Indonesia.
  • In a span of less than five years, the virus spread to other parts of Southeast Asia and South Asia, having reached Bangladesh in 1963 and India in 1964.

1968-1969 — Flu pandemic 

  • This flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the influenza A virus and appears to have emerged in Hong Kong in July 1968. 
  • It did not take much time for the virus to spread around the world. Soon after the discovery of the presence of the virus in Hong Kong, by the end of July 1968, the outbreak spread to Vietnam and Singapore. 
  • In two months, it had spread to the Philippines, India, Australia and parts of Europe.

1974 — Smallpox epidemic 

  • According to WHO, smallpox was officially eradicated in 1980.
  • The infectious disease was caused by either of the two virus variants Variola major and Variola minor.
  • Although the origins of the disease are unknown, it appears to have existed in the 3rd century BCE.
  • This disease has a history of occurring in outbreaks around the world and it is not clear when it was first observed in India. By 1950, the World Health Organization had begun laying plans for mass-eradication campaign of smallpox around the world, and despite the costs and ambitious plans, global support for this campaign had increased.
  • According to the University of Michigan, in the early 1960s, 60% of all smallpox cases in the world were reported in India, and this strain of the virus appeared to be more virulent than that found in West Africa.

1994 — Plague in Surat 

  • In September 1994, pneumonic plague hit Surat, causing people to flee the city in large numbers.
  • Rumours and misinformation led to people hoarding essential supplies and widespread panic.
  • This mass migration contributed to the spread of the disease to other parts of the country.
  • Within weeks, reports emerged of at least 1,000 cases of patients afflicted with the disease and 50 deaths.

2002-2004 — SARS 

  • SARS was the first severe and readily transmissible new disease to have emerged in the 21st century. 
  • In April 2003, India recorded its first case of SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, that was traced to Foshan, China. 
  • The patient was a man who was believed to have contracted the disease in Singapore. 
  • Similar to COVID-19, the causative agent of SARS was a type of coronavirus, named SARS CoV, that was known for its frequent mutations and spread through close person-to-person contact and through coughing and sneezing by infected people. 
  • In the two years, in total three cases of SARS were recorded in India. The virus had managed to spread to at least 30 countries around the world.

2006 — Dengue and chikungunya outbreak 

  • Several states in India reported simultaneous outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya virus in 2006 that affected people in several states across the country, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Both are mosquito-borne tropical diseases and stagnation of water provides breeding ground for these mosquitoes that impact local communities.
  • The chikungunya outbreak impacted Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and several other states in the country.
  • That same year, New Delhi and the states of Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh reported spikes in the number of patients with dengue, with the highest number of patients in Delhi.

2009 — Gujarat hepatitis outbreak 

  • In February 2009, reports emerged that approximately 125 people in Modasa, Gujarat, were infected with hepatitis B, an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that affects the liver.
  • The disease is caused due to transmission of infected blood and other body fluids and local doctors were suspected of having administered treatments on patients with used and contaminated syringes.

2014-2015 — Odisha jaundice outbreak 

  • Several towns in Odisha witnessed an outbreak of jaundice in September 2014, with the first few cases having been reported from the town of Sambalpur.
  • Within three months, at least six people had died and more than 670 cases of jaundice had been reported in the town.
  • Investigators concluded that drain water had possibly seeped through pipe lines for drinking water, contaminating hundreds of people.
  • By February 2015, the contamination of water had reached neighbouring towns and districts like Jajpur, Khorda and Cuttack and at least 3,966 cases of jaundice had been reported from across the state.

2014-2015 — Swine flu outbreak 

  • In the last few months of 2014, reports emerged of the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, one type of influenza virus, with states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra and Telangana being the worst affected. 
  • By February 2015, India reported at least 12,963 affected cases and 31 deaths.

2017— Encephalitis outbreak 

  • Although the city of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh has had a history of being affected by encephalitis, in 2017, it witnessed an increase in numbers where several children died of encephalitis, specifically Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), caused primarily due to mosquito bites. 
  • Both are viral infections that cause inflammation of the brain leaving long-term physical disabilities and even resulting in death.

2018 — Nipah virus outbreak 

  • In May 2018, a viral infection attributed to fruit bats was traced in the state of Kerala, caused by the Nipah virus that had caused illness and deaths
  • Between May and June 2018, at least 17 people died of Nipah virus and by June, the outbreak was declared to have been completely contained.

Source : Indian Express 

From virtual conferencing to real leadership 


#Governance #InternationalRelations 

New Delhi has a chance to step up the SAARC video conference — as its assertive expression to stabilize the region 

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has suddenly acquired a new lease of life.
  • A dramatic counter-intuitive initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, SAARC, has become the 'virtual' platform through which leaders of the eight countries of our troubled region agreed to work together to combat unarguably the greatest immediate threat to the people: the COVID-19 health pandemic.

All eyes on India 

  • The success of the Modi-SAARC initiative will largely depend on India — the dominant power of the region, in every sense. 
  • Once New Delhi demonstrates that it has the capacity, the political willingness to institutionalize and to lead a mutually beneficial cooperative regime in the region.
  • Various international relations theorists view this as a function of “hegemonic stability”.
  • The initial steps announced by Mr. Modi are laudable, including the proposal to set up the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for SAARC countries, with India making an initial non-trivial offering of $10 million.
  • And the formation of a Rapid Response Team (of doctors, specialists, testing equipment and attendant infrastructure) to be put at the disposal of the SAARC, at this moment of grave peril.

The spark of South Asia 

  • SAARC was born at a moment of hope in the 1980s; the idea was initiated by one of the most inscrutable leaders of the region, General Zia Ur Rehman of Bangladesh, to dispatch special envoys to the capitals of the countries of the region. 
  • Dhaka’s persistence resulted in the first summit of the seven leaders of the region in 1985; Afghanistan joined in 2007.
  • South Asia is the world's least integrated region; less than 5% of the trade of SAARC countries is within.
  • Some of the questions posed in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on SAARC, suggest that Indian MPs seek answers on why India is still a member of SAARC and on the strength of other organizations such as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) that India is engaged with. 

The fadeout and a revival 

  • The reasons for the failure of SAARC have been enumerated several times as well. 
  • Most of the smaller states and external players believe that the India-Pakistan conflict has undermined SAARC. 
  • Bilateral issues cannot be discussed in SAARC but since the organization relies on the principle of unanimity for all major decisions, Pakistan has often undermined even the most laudable initiative lest it give India an advantage: relative gains by India are more important for Pakistan than the absolute gains it secures for itself. 
  • For India, Pakistan’s use of terror as an instrument of foreign policy has made normal business impossible. 

Assembly adopts Teachers’ Transfer Bill 

#GS2 #Governance 

  • The Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Monday adopted the Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) Bill, 2020, which seeks to provide for regulation of transfer of teachers.
  • The Bill piloted by Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar seeks to regulate transfer of teachers to ensure availability of sufficient number of teachers in government primary and high schools in rural areas. 
  • The Bill also seeks to bring transparency and provide equal opportunities in transfer. 
  • And to adopt a teacher-friendly approach in transfers, prescribing a minimum period of service of three years in a school for teachers to seek transfer.

West Bengal invokes Epidemic Diseases Act 

#GS2 #Governance 

  • The West Bengal government invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and also extended the closure of the educational institutions from March 31 to April 15.
  • The Centre has advised States and Union Territories to invoke provisions of the Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 so that all government advisories are enforceable. 
  • Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Act had been invoked to ensure that people with symptoms remain in isolation.

Lok Sabha passes Appropriation Bill 

#GS2 #Constitution #Governance #Polity 

₹110 lakh crore made available to govt. 

  • The Lok Sabha passed the Appropriation Bill 2020-21 that empowers the government to draw over ₹110 lakh crore from the Consolidated Fund of India for its working, as well as for the implementation of its programmes and schemes.
  • With the passage of the Appropriation Bill, two-thirds of the exercise for the approval of the 2020-21 Budget has been completed as both Houses had debated Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget proposals in the first half of the current session.
  • The Appropriation Bill, passed by by a voice vote, envisages spending of ₹110.4 lakh crore during the Financial Year 2020-21.
  • The House had discussed in detail the demands for grants for Railways, and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

No proposal to ban short selling: exchanges 

#GS3 #Economy 

Deny any such move by regulator SEBI 

  • The stock exchanges clarified that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was not considering any proposal regarding a ban on short selling to curb the ongoing volatility and equity sell-off.
  • The spokespersons for BSE and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) said 'there is no proposal on ban on short selling with SEBI'.
  • Regulators in a few countries like Spain, South Korea and Italy have banned short selling amid huge volatility and a fall in stock prices.

Traders’ bet 

  • Short selling refers to a strategy by which traders bet on a decline in prices and try to profit at a time when the markets are falling.
  • Indian indices have fallen more than 25% from their record highs reached in January.
  • In market parlance, a fall of over 20% is looked upon as a sign of the markets entering a bear market.


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