Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 20 May 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. 6 sites in India’s tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  2. Infrastructure status for convention centers
  3. FakeBuster – a new tool

1. 6 sites in India’s tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

News Summary

6 sites in India have been added to India’s tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Prelims GS – Art & Culture

6 sites in India’s tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites:
  • Iconic Riverfront of the Historic City of Varanasi (2021)
  • Temples of Kanchipuram (2021)
  • Hire Benkal, Megalithic Site (2021)
  • Bhedaghat-Lametaghat in Narmada Valley (2021)
  • Satpura Tiger Reserve (2021)
  • Serial Nomination of Maratha Military Architecture in Maharashtra (2021)
UNESCO World Heritage:
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks 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 a total of 38 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage site list.

Click here to view India’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.

World Heritage Committee:
  • The World Heritage Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund, and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
  • It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List.
  • It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed.
  • It also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
  • 194 state parties are there which have adhered to the Convention.
  • India is also a state party to the World Heritage Convention.
Criteria for selection as a UNESCO World Heritage site:

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.

Following are the selection criteria:

  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant ongoing ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Click here to view the Courtesy: WHC UNESCO Official website.

2. Infrastructure status for Convention centers

News Summary

The Finance Ministry has granted Infrastructure status for Exhibitions and Convention centers. The Department of Economic Affairs said that Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre is included in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure sub-sectors by insertion of a new item in the category of Social and Commercial Infrastructure.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development

Significance of infrastructure status:
  • Infrastructure status will help in easing bank financing for such projects.
  • It will help in the increased flow of foreign capital.
  • It will also help in the increased flow of private capital.
  • This will also lower borrowing rates and benefit the industry.

3. FakeBuster – a new tool

News Summary

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar in Punjab, and Monash University, Australia have developed a unique detector named ‘FakeBuster’ to identify imposters attending a virtual conference without anybody’s knowledge. It can also find out faces manipulated on social media to defame or make a joke of someone.

Prelims GS – Science & Technology

  • The usage of manipulated media content in spreading fake news, pornography, and other such online content has been widely observed with major repercussions. Such manipulations have recently found their way into video-calling platforms through spoofing tools based on the transfer of facial expressions. These fake facial expressions are often convincing to the human eye and can have serious implications.
  • These real-time mimicked visuals (videos) known as ‘Deepfakes’ can even be used during online examinations and job interviews.
  • These Deepfakes can be detected through the ‘FakeBuster’ tool.
  • The Deepfake detection tool-‘FakeBuster’ works in both online and offline modes.
  • FakeBuster technique will find out if some imposter is attending a Webinar or virtual meeting on behalf of one of your colleagues by morphing his image with his own.
  • This software platform ‘FakeBuster’ is one of the first tools to detect imposters during live video conferencing using DeepFake detection technology.

Click here to view the official PIB release.




Click here for Daily current affairs for the UPSC exams on other dates.