Imp: Prelims 2022 || Must Read Locations for Prelims 2022 Part-II

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  1. ‘Sankalp Smarak’ dedicated to the nation by CINCAN: Recently, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) has inaugurated Sankalp Smarak at Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    What is Sankalp Smarak?
    • Sankalp Smarak is a monument dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
    • It is a tribute not only to the resolve of the soldiers of the Indian National Army and their innumerable sacrifices but also reminds us of the values enshrined by Netaji himself.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose & Andaman and Nicobar Islands

•During World War II (1942–45), Japan had conquered the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the
•British and handed it over to Netaji and his army, the Azad Hind Fauj.
• Netaji then arrived at Andaman and Nicobar Island on 29th December 1943 and declared the island
•free from British rule, much before India got its Independence in 1947.
• On the next day,Netaji hoisted the national flag for the first time on Indian soil, at Port Blair.
• During his visit, he also visited the Cellular Jail and met the freedom fighters lodged there.
• Before his departure, he renamed Andaman as Shaheed (“Martyrs”) Island, and Nicobar as Swaraj (“Freedom”) Island.

2. ‘Askot wildlife sanctuary declared eco-sensitive zone: Askot Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh has been finally declared as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).

About Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
• The Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, established in 1986, was established to protect the endangered Musk Deer and its habitat.
• The sanctuary area is known as ‘Green Paradise on the Earth’.
• It is located in Askot, a small hamlet in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
• In the sanctuary there are 2600 plants, 250 birds and 37 mammal species like snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, serow besides musk deer.
•Among the fauna are species like loong, monal, kalij pheasant and cheer pheasant.
• The sanctuary also has rare varieties of 2,600 Himalayan herbs and 250 varieties of birds and 37 varieties of reptiles.

What Are Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ)?
• Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) is a buffer or transition zone around highly-protected areas such as National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
• The purpose of declaring ESZs is to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.

3. : Srinagar is now a part of UNESCO ‘Creative Cities Network: Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Srinagar as a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

About the designation
• The Srinagar city has been designated the creative city in the field of Crafts and Folk Arts – the only second city in India in this category after
• It will not only provide international recognition for the city of Srinagar but also help it with international funding, networking and vocational
universities and pitching arts as a product.
• With this, Srinagar (the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir) has entered the club of 295 creative cities network across the world.
• Every year, UNESCO seeks applications for various cities across the globe for putting them under its UCCN project.
• In India, the applications are routed through the Ministry of Culture. Indian Cities on UCCN.

4. 39th World Heritage Site of India declared:

Rudreswara Temple, (also known as the Ramappa Temple), Telangana has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It was the only nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage site tag for the year 2019.

• A brief description of Rudreswara (Ramappa)Temple
• The Rudreswara temple was constructed in 1213 AD.
• It is also known as ‘Thousand Pillar Temple’.
• It was constructed under the reign of the Kakatiya Empire by RecharlaRudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva.
• The Ramappa temple is named after its architect, Ramappa who executed the work in the temple for 40 years.
• The presiding deity here is RamalingeswaraSwamy.
• The triple shrine (Trikutalayam) is dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, and Surya.
• The temple stands on a 6 feet high star-shaped platform.
• The walls, pillars, and ceilings adorned with intricate carvings attest to the unique skill of the Kakatiyan sculptors.
• The temple was called the “brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples of the Deccan” by European travelers.

5. Kuril Islands:

•Kuril Islands are stretched from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the southern tip of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula separating Okhotsk Sea from the North Pacific ocean.
•It consists of 56 islands and minor rocks.
•The chain is part of the belt of geologic instability circling the Pacific and contains at least 100 volcanoes, of which 35 are still active, and many hot springs.
•Earthquakes and tidal waves are common phenomena over these islands.

6. China constructing bridge to connect Pangong Tso lake:

China is constructing a bridge in eastern Ladakh connecting the north and south banks of Pangong Tso (lake), which will significantly bring down the time for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to move troops and equipment between the two sectors.

About the lake
• Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake spanning eastern Ladakh and West Tibet.
• It is divided into five sublakes, called
Pangong Tso
Tso Nyak
Rum Tso (twin lakes)
Nyak Tso
• Approximately 50% of the length of the overall lake lies within Tibet China, 40% in Ladakh India and the rest is disputed and is a de-facto buffer zone between India and China.
• During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
• It has a land-locked basin separated from the Indus River basin by a small elevated ridge, but is believed to have been part of the latter in
prehistoric times.

7. Razzaza Lake, Iraq’s second largest lake drying up:

Iraq’s Razzaza Lake was once a tourist attraction known for its beautiful scenery and an abundance of fish that locals depended on. Now, dead fish litter its shores and the once-fertile lands around it have turned into a barren desert.

About the lake
• Razzaza Lake, also known as Lake Milh, Arabic for Salt Lake, is located between Iraq’s governorates of Anbar and Karbala.
• It’s the second largest lake in Iraq and is part of a wide valley that includes the lakes of Habbaniyah, Tharthar and Bahr al-Najaf.
• The lake was constructed as a measure to control floods in the Euphrates and to be used as huge reservoir for irrigation purposes. Iraqis and tourists frequented the lake as a recreational spot to cool down during Iraq’s hot summers.
• Razzaza Lake is the latest victim of a water crisis in Iraq, known as the “Land Between the Two Rivers”, the Tigris and the Euphrates.
• Upstream dams in Turkey, Syria and Iran have shrunk the rivers and their tributaries, seasonal rainfall has dropped and infrastructure has fallen into disrepair.

8. The Crisis in Ukraine’s Donbass Region: President Vladimir Putin recently told his Security Council that Russia should consider
recognising the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic in Donbass as independent.

About the crisis:
• The Donbass region, comprising the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
of Ukraine, has been at the centre of the conflict since March
2014 when Moscow invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
• In April 2014, pro-Russia rebels began seizing territory (with
Russia supporting them through hybrid warfare) in Eastern
Ukraine and in May 2014, the rebels in the Donetsk and Luhansk
regions held a referendum to declare independence from Ukraine.
• Since then, these predominantly Russian speaking regions (more
than 70% speak Russian) within Ukraine have been witnessing
shelling and skirmishes between the rebels and Ukrainian forces.

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