UNESCO - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   International Mother Language Day was observed on?

a. 19th Feb
b. 20th Feb
c. 21st Feb
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 20th Feb

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62).

On 16 May 2007 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”.

By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

Bangladesh: Know More

  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Dialling code: +880
  • Currency: Bangladeshi taka
  • Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • Population: 156.6 million (2013) World Bank
  • President: Abdul Hamid

2)   UNESCO World Heritage status was given to which site in HP?

a. Great Himalayan National Park
b. Kaziranga National Park
c. Manas National Park
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Great Himalayan National Park

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh was accorded the Unesco World Heritage Site status.

The Unesco World Heritage Site Committee at Doha in Qatar granted the status to the park under the criteria of “exceptional natural beauty and conservation of biological diversity.”

The GHNP has now come in the league of Indian World Heritage Sites (WHS) such as the Taj Mahal, Ellora, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas National Park, Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve and the Sunderbans.

UNESCO: Know More

  • Formation: 16 November 1945
  • Type: Specialized agency
  • Legal status: Active
  • Headquarters: Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France
  • Membership: 195 member states
  • Head: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

3)   Which city is called the Marvellous City?

a. Kuala Lumpur
b. Cincinnati
c. Rio de Janeiro
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro nicknamed the Marvellous City entered the UN’s list of world heritage sites in recognition of its massive granite cliffs, urban rainforest and beaches.

UNESCO, highlighted the “extraordinary fusion” of man-made and natural beauty in certifying Rio on the world heritage list during a ceremony held at the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Rio’s tourism was boosted during the 2014 football World Cup and this Aug Olympic Games.

Persistent high crime, Zika virus and political instability have hurt the image of the city.

UNESCO status was announced in 2012.

It became official after Brazil was given 4 years to report plans for protecting numerous sites like Flamingo Park, Sugarloaf Mountain, the Corcovado, Copacabana beach, the Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest.


  • Full form: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
  • A specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
  • Purpose: Bring peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights.
  • Headquarters: Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France
  • Membership: 195 member states
  • Head: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
  • Website: www.unesco.org

4)   UNESCO has added which heritage activities/products to its list of intangible heritage in Nov 2016?

a. Rumba dance from Cuba
b. Beer from Belgium
c. Portuguese pottery
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

UNESCO on 30th Nov, added Yoga to its coveted list of intangible heritage, along with Cuba’s Rumba dance and Belgian beer to its coveted list of “intangible” heritage.

The UN body also included Portuguese pottery and Ugandan traditional music in the list

List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in India:

  • Koodiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre, Kerala
  • Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras, Jandiala Guru, Punjab (Inscribed in 2014)
  • Ritual theatre Mudiyett of Kerala
  • Sankirtana: Ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur (Inscribed in 2013)
  • The Tradition of Vedic Chanting
  • Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India (Inscribed in 2012)
  • Ramlila: the Traditional Performance of the Ramayana (Inscribed in 2008)
  • Chhau dance: a tradition from eastern India (Inscribed in 2010)
  • Ramman: religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalaya
  • Kalbelia: folk songs and dances of Rajasthan
  • Yoga has now been inscribed in the UNESCO list during the 11th session in Ethiopia.
  • India’s proposal for Yoga as an intangible heritage was unanimously supported by 24 members of the UNESCO committee.
  • Yoga became the 13th intangible cultural heritage listed in India.

  • UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • Aims at ensuring better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and awareness of significance.
  • List was established in 2008.
  • This was the year 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.

5)   Magical Piano has won the UNESCO Salon Youth Video Competition 2016. Which media groups collaborated for this production?

a. Toonz, Zee
b. Toonz, Dreamworks
c. Toonz, Walt Disney
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Toonz, Walt Disney

‘Magical Piano’, a short film by the Toonz Media Group has won an award at the prestigious UNESCO Salon Youth Video Competition 2016.

In an event held in Marrakech, Morocco at the iconic COP 22 Green Zone in the UNESCO Pavilion on November 14, the award was handed over

‘Magical Piano’ was created in association with the Toonz-Disney collaborative venture ‘Kahaani Masters’;

This is a story-writing contest organised to find out the finest story masters in the country.

About Magical Piano and UNESCO Salon Youth Video Competition 2016.

  • ‘Magical Piano’ is the story of a child who receives a magical piano for his birthday.
  • Using the magic of music, the kid goes own to clean the whole planet and then the whole universe. This unique story was written by Mayul Verma.
  • Mayul is an upper primary student from Agra, India.
  • The Salon Youth Video Competition was established by Salon Films, with the support of UNESCO.
  • Its aim is to promote and encourage the next generation to take part in sustainable development.

6)   World Philosophy Day was first celebrated on which date and year?

a. 21 Nov 2002
b. 20 Nov 2002
c. 21 Nov 2003
d. 20 Nov 2003
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 21 Nov 2002

World Philosophy Day was conceived by UNESCO; it is celebrated every 3rd Thursday of the month of Nov

  • It was first celebrated on 21 Nov 2002
  • UNESCO underlies the enduring value of the philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and individual
  • UNESCO has been linked to philosophy in the global context
  • The objective of the day is to encourage the peoples of the world to share their philosophical heritage and to open their minds to new ideas
  • The day also aims at public debate between intellectuals and civil society on the challenges confronting society.
  • UNESCO’s World Philosophy Day falls in line with International Day for Tolerance on 16th Nov 2016

7)   Which nation suspended cooperation with UN cultural agency UNESCO in Oct 2016?

a. Palestine
b. Israel
c. Syria
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Israel

Israel in Oct 2016 suspended cooperation with UN cultural agency UNESCO, accusing it of denying Judaism’s connections to the region and religion’s holiest sites

  • The Israel National Commission of UNESCO has suspended all professional activities with international organisations
  • This comes after the UNESCO approved a draft resolution using only the Islamic name for a hilltop complex, the holiest site in Judaism
  • Draft was passed by 24 in favour, 6 against and 26 abstentions
  • Hilltop complex is called Temple Mount in Jewish and Haram al-Sharif in Islam
  • Resolution sponsored by several Arab countries refers to occupied Palestine and safeguard Palestinian cultural heritage and the distinctive character of east Jerusalem.
  • East Jerusalem, with sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, was captured by Israel during the 1967 Mideast war.

8)   International Literacy Day was celebrated on September 8, 2016 across the world. What was the theme?

a. Reading the Past, Writing the Future
b. Reading the Future, Writing the Past
c. Reading and Writing the Future
d. Reading and Writing the Past
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Reading the Past, Writing the Future

The International Literacy Day was celebrated on Sept 8, 2016 across the world.

  • The theme of the day was “Reading the Past, Writing the Future”
  • Theme was chosen to honour past 5 decades of national and international engagement efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates across the world
  • Theme also addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to further boost literacy in the future
  • Literacy is also part of the Sustainable Development Goals aiming to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Target by 2030 is that all youth and considerable number of adults achieve literacy and numeracy
  • As per the Census 2011 report, illiteracy rate in India is 22 percent
  • Kerala is the most literate state with 93.91 percent and Lakshadweep at 92.28 percent
  • Bihar and Telangana have the lowest literacy with 63.82 percent and 66.50 per cent illiterate people respectively
  • In 2014, literacy rate of India rose by 10 percent
  • India is the world’s largest population of illiterates
  • Illiteracy is high among many communities in India
  • Jains are thee most literate community above 7 years of age among religious communities, 86.73 percent of them are literate
  • Close to 61.6 percent men and 38.4 percent women have studied up to graduation or above
  • As per UNESCO new Global Education Monitoring report, India will be expected to attain universal primary education in 2050, secondary education in 2060 and upper secondary education in 2085.
  • First World Literacy Day was celebrated on 8th September 1966
  • It was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1965
  • On this day 5 Literacy Prizes are conferred namely International Reading Association Literacy Award, Noma Literacy Prize, UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize, The Malcolm Adiseshiah International Literacy Prize and UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.

9)   Jan Sikshan Sansthan Malappuram has won which prize for literacy?

a. UNICEF Confucius Prize for Literacy
b. UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literary
c. UN Confucius Prize for Literacy
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literary

Jan Sikshan Sansthan Malappuram has won the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.

  • Award has been conferred on JSS in recognition of literacy linked skill development activities among underprivileged in rural areas.
  • JSS bagged the prestigious international award for applying new technology such as Braille app and talking pen in the field of literacy
  • JSS chairman Abdul Wahab will receive the award comprising USD 20,000 a diploma and a silver medal as well as a visit to China on study tour
  • JSS has reached out to widows, Adivasis and vulnerable sections of society with its literacy program
  • More than 53,000 persons have been empowered since the project began in 2006

10)   Which site has been inscribed as India’s first Mixed World Heritage Site on UNESCO World Heritage List?

a. Kaziranga National Park
b. Khangchendzonga National Park
c. Kanchenjunga National Park
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Khangchendzonga National Park

Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim has been inscribed as India’s first Mixed World Heritage Site on UNESCO World Heritage List by fulfilling the nomination criteria under both national and cultural heritage.

  • The 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee granted approval to the inscription of this Indian site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • The IUCN and ICOMOS are two advisory have given a positive recommendation for the 21 member UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
  • KNP has one of the widest attitudinal ranges of any protected area worldwide.
  • Park has an extraordinary vertical sweep of over 7 km within the area of only 178,400 ha and comprises unique diversity of lowlands, valleys and world’s third highest peak, Mt. Khangchendzonga
  • Numerous lakes and glaciers include the 26 km long Zemu glacier dot these barren high altitudes.
  • KNP is home to numerous endemic and rare as well as threatened animal, avian and plant species
  • With this inscription, the number of Indian sites on the World Heritage List has become 35

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