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PIB – 26 July 2021




Focus: GS I- Ancient History

Why in News?

India today gets its 39th World Heritage Site.

  • The Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

About the Temple:

See the source image
  • Ramappa temple, a 13th century engineering marvel named after its architect, Ramappa, was proposed by the government as its only nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage site tag for the year 2019.
  • The temple complexes of Kakatiyas have a distinct style, technology and decoration exhibiting the influence of the Kakatiyan sculptor.
  • The temple stands on a six feet high star-shaped platform with walls, pillars and ceilings.
  • Built by Racherla Senapati Rudrayya, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapatideva, in the 13th century.
  • The foundation is built with the “sandbox technique”, the flooring is granite and the pillars basalt. The lower part of the temple is red sandstone while the white gopuram is built with light bricks that reportedly float on water.
  • Some of the iconography on the temple was damaged during the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310. Treasure hunters vandalised the rest.
World Heritage Site

A World Heritage Site is a place on earth having a special cultural or physical significance and outstanding universal value to the humanity. This could be a building, a city, a complex, a desert, a forest, an island, a lake, a monument, or a mountain.

A listing on the world Heritage list means that these sites need to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites

World heritages sites of India:

Sr NoNameRegion
1Ajanta CavesMaharashtra
2Ellora CavesMaharashtra
3Agra FortUttar Pradesh, India
4Taj MahalUttar Pradesh
5Sun Temple, KonârakPuri District, Odisha
6Group of Monuments at MahabalipuramMahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
7Kaziranga National ParkAssam
8Manas Wildlife SanctuaryAssam
9Keoladeo National ParkRajasthan
10Churches and Convents of GoaVelha Goa (Old Goa), Goa
11Khajuraho Group of MonumentsMadhya Pradesh
12Group of Monuments at HampiBallari district, Karnataka, India
13Fatehpur SikriUttar Pradesh
14Group of Monuments at PattadakalBagalkot District, Karnataka, India
15Elephanta CavesMaharashtra
16Great Living Chola TemplesBrihadeeswarar Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  Airavateshwarar Temple, Darasuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
17Sundarbans National ParkWest Bengal
18Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National ParksUttarakhand
19Buddhist Monuments at SanchiMadhya Pradesh, India
20Humayun’s Tomb, DelhiDelhi
21Qutb Minar and its Monuments, DelhiDelhi
22Mountain Railways of IndiaDarjeeling Himalayan Railway (1999), Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
  Nilgiri Mountain Railway (2005) Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India
  Kalka-Shimla Railway, Himachal Pradesh (2008)
23Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh GayaBihar
24Rock Shelters of BhimbetkaMadhya Pradesh, India
25Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)Maharashtra
26Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological ParkGujarat, India
27Red Fort ComplexDelhi
28The Jantar Mantar, JaipurJaipur, Rajasthan, India
29Western GhatsAgasthyamalai Sub-Cluster
  Periyar Sub-Cluster
  Anamalai Sub-Cluster
  Nilgiri Sub-Cluster
  Talakaveri Sub-Cluster (five properties)
  Kudremukh Sub-Cluster (five properties)
  Sahyadri Sub-Cluster
30Hill Forts of RajasthanChittorgarh
  Amber Sub-Cluster
31Rani ki vav (The Queen’s Stepwell)Patan, Gujarat, India
32Great Himalayan National ParkHimachal Pradesh, India
33Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, BiharBihar
34Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim
35The Architectural Work Of Le CorbusierChandigarh, India
36Historic City of AhmedabadAhmedabad, Gujarat
37The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of MumbaiMaharashtra
38JaipurJaipur, Rajasthan
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Nodal: Ministry of Culture

  • It administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • Its activities include carrying out surveys of antiquarian remains, exploration and excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and maintenance of protected monuments etc.
  • It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham- the first Director-General of ASI. Alexander Cunningham is also known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology”.


Focus: GS III- Science and Technology

Why in News?

 I-STEM is an initiative of Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India (PSA, GOI) under the aegis of Prime Minister Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) mission.

  • I-STEM project has been accorded extension for five years, until 2026 and enters its second phase with added features.

About Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM):

  • An initiative of Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India under the PM-STIAC mission.
  • The goal is to strengthen the R&D ecosystem.
  • Done by connecting researchers with resources in part by promoting technologies and scientific equipment development indigenously.
  • Also by providing necessary supplies and supports to researchers.
  • This will enable them to access existing R&D facilities through the I-STEM web portal.
  • The portal hosts the database of facilities across India.
  • Presently, the portal lists more than 25,000 pieces of equipment from 850 institutions across the country.
  • It has more than 20,000 Indian researchers.
  • The portal also features a Digital Catalogue of indigenously developed technologies.
Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM STIAC) 
  • It is a 21 member advisory council that advises the PM on science, technology, as well as innovation. It also coordinates implementation of PMs scientific vision.
  • It aids in the formulation and timely implementation of major science and technology missions and evolves interdisciplinary technology development programmes.
  • It also advises the government on developing ‘Clusters of Excellence’ in science including city-based R&D clusters.
  • It also aims to bring together all science and technology partners from academia and institutes to industries near such centres or cities.

June 2024