GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

Chennai In UNESCO’s Creative Cities List.

Background-

  • Chennai has been included in the list of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9th November, 2017 hailed the inclusion of the Tamil Nadu capital which is steeped in multi-layered history.
  • As many as 64 cities from 44 countries have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by its Director General Irina Bokova.
  • They join a network at the frontline of UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for a more sustainable and inclusive urban development.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • The UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 180 cities in 72 countries.
  • Some of the other cities included along with Chennai are Alba (Italy) for gastronomy, Almaty (Kazakhstan) for music and Auckland (New Zealand) for music, according to UNESCO.
  • These new designations showcase an enhanced diversity in city profiles and geographical balance, with 19 cities from countries not previously represented in the Network.
  • The cooperation framework proposed to foster candidate cities from the Africa region–a UNESCO Global Priority–has been a true success with nine African cities now joining the network.
  • While differing geographically, demographically or economically, all creative cities commit to develop and exchange innovative best practices to promote creative industries, strengthen participation in cultural life, and integrate culture into sustainable urban development policies, the statement said.
  • Within the framework of the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, the Network provides a platform for cities to demonstrate culture’s role as an enabler for building sustainable cities.

Sources- The New Indian Express.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Railways Launches Main Arch Of Chenab: World’s Highest Rail Bridge.

Background

  • Work on erecting the foundation pillars of the Chenab Bridge – designed as the world’s tallest rail bridge connecting the critical Katra-Banihal section of the Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Rail Line (USBRL) project – has been completed.
  • In the presence of new Railway Board (Engineering) member MK Gupta on 5th November, 2017, the challenging task of putting up the steel arch was inaugurated.
  • At three-hundred-fifty-nine metres above the river bed, the Chenab Bridge will approximately be five times higher than Delhi’s Qutub Minar and 35 metres higher than the Eiffel tower.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Once complete, the all-weather train journey from Jammu to Srinagar will be completed in approximately five and a half hours – dashing across the Chenab River at a design speed of 100 kilometres/hour. The torturous and bone-jangling road journey between the two cities takes an excruciating 12 hours.
  • Since the award of the contract in July 2004, stipulating a 30-month deadline to complete construction, four extensions have been sought and granted. A fifth such request is said to be currently under process. The construction costs, meanwhile, have climbed from the originally allocated Rs 550 crore to Rs 1,198 crore.
  • Even after 14 years of non-stop activity, the bridge is far from completion. This ‘achievement’ of Indian rail engineers compares unfavourably with global benchmarks. For instance, the Sydney Harbor Bridge – with a bigger span length of 503 metres – was built in less than four years. Eighty years back, the Bayonne Bridge in New York – having a span length of 504 metres – was completed in flat 38 months. The New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia was built in 40 months in 1977.
  • The two committees of experts that evaluated this prestigious national project have, in the past, flagged serious concerns about the safety and stability of the line and the bridge. In its report of June 2009, the Ravindran Committee accorded “conditional clearance” on bridge construction, “subject to further examination and detailed analysis”.
  • Based on the recommendations of the Ravindran Committee, the Railways had to abandon 93 out of the total 125 kilometres – approximately 75 percent of the alignment on the Katra-Banihal section.
  • Details of the Chenab Bridge project: It is 1,315 metres long and 359 metres above the river bed. Designed to run trains at a top speed of 100 Kmph, having a design life of 120 years.Designed to cope with a wind velocity of 266 Kmph at deck level.Designed by Ms WSP (Finland), Ms Leonhart Andra and Partners (Germany) and IIS Bangalore.

Sources- Firstpost.

GS Paper III- Environment.

Nagaland Aims To Promote ‘Plastic Free’ Motive Through ‘Hornbill Festival’.

Background

  • Nagaland is set to host ‘Hornbill Festival’ with a main motive to promote the ‘plastic-free’ mission all around. ‘Hornbill Festival’ will go on for 10 days from December 1 to 10, 2017 at the Naga Heritage village Kisama, a tourism official informed.
  • The Tourism Joint Secretary, M Shayung Phom said this during a coordination meeting with the concerned departments and representatives of Tribal Hohos.
  • He also urged the Hohos to give their best effort towards making the festival a grand success. Phom further informed that picturesque Kisama have been declared as a ‘Plastic Free Zone’ during the festival and asked the Hohos to propagate and ensure that no plastic is used throughout ten days festival.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Joint Secretary also claimed that the inflow of both international and domestic tourists to Nagaland has increased drastically since the introduction of Hornbill festival.
  • Akhale Vizol, Joint Director Tourism asked the respective Hohos to keep their respective morungs neat and tidy to the delight of the tourists. Also called further to ensure that the waiters in the respective morungs are polite and preferably in traditional dress to give good impression of the visitors.
  • The Hohos were also requested to decorate their respective morungs with traditional touch by using eco- friendly materials. Focus on traditional music instead of using others to popularize the traditional songs as well as to give taste to the tourists, Vizol said.
  • Touching on the plastic-free zone, she said that the use of plastic/polythene will be strictly prohibited adding, even mineral water bottle will be restricted. Visitors were urged to bring their own water bottle for their own use. She also called for using paper cup, banana leaf, bamboo cup, paper bag, and eco-friendly plate.
  • Programme Officer from Art & Culture department said that 600 artists from 17 tribes will be involved in daily cultural performance. Apart from cultural activities, the department will go ahead with artist’s corner, archive week. Other attraction for tourists will be a visit to 2nd World War Museum at Kisama and State Museum, Kohima.

Sources- Newsbharati.