Art & Culture - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   UNESCO has added which heritage activities/products to its list of intangible heritage in Nov 2016?
- Published on 02 Dec 16

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

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.

2)   Scientists have made a new discovery In the innermost chamber of the site, said to be the tomb of Jesus. What is the chamber known as?
- Published on 01 Nov 16

a. Ediciule
b. Holy Sepulchre
c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ediciule

In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time to reach out the original rock surface where the body of Jesus Christ was laid.

  • Many historians hold that the original cave identified a few centuries after Jesus’s death as his tomb was obliterated ages ago.
  • The archeologist accompanying the restoration team indicated that ground penetrating radar tests determined the cave walls are standing- at a height of six feet and connected to bedick- behind the marbled panels of the chamber at the core of the Jerusalem’s Church of Holy Sepulchre.
  • Work is part of a historic renovation project to reinforce and preserve the Edicule, a chamber housing the cave where Jesus is said to have been entombed and resurrected.
  • It is the centrepiece of the oldest churches of Christian faith and one of the most important shrines.
  • National Geographic is collaborating with Greek restoration experts for documenting the work.
  • The 12th century building is sitting on 4th century remains.
  • The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the only place where 6 Christian denominations practice their faith at the same site.
  • The Edicule was last restored in 1810 after a fire and is in need of reinforcement following years of exposure to humidity and candle smoke.
  • A massive iron cage is built around the Edicule by British authorities in 1947 for support; it still stands, but is not enough to support the chamber’s weight.
  • Renovations at the holiest spots requires require mutual agreements by church’s various custodians and is hard to secure.
  • The denominations guard different pats of the site and object to the slightest of changes.
  • Israeli police shut down the building after Israel’s Antiquities Authority deemed it unsafe.
  • It prompted Christian denominations to start the repairs.
  • Pilgrims lined throughout the day for chance to crouch the tiny room in Edicule.
  • They also kneel before a white marble encasing, said to cover the surface hewn from the side of the limestone cave where Jesus’s body was laid prior to his resurrection.
  • Church officials closed the Edicule to pilgrims commencing 27th Oct evening and workers used a pulley to slide open the marble slab, in hopes of reaching the burial surface.
  • The slab has not been removed since 1550.
  • Church officials found a layer of debris encasing another marble slab.
  • Main Christian communities that govern the church have allowed a work crew only 60 hours to excavate the inner sanctum.
  • Work is on to reach the tomb’s core and analyse it.
  • The restoration team wants to seal the core of the tomb before injecting parts of the shrine with mortar for reinforcement so material does not seep inside what is considered to be a holy rock.
  • The Edicule’s marble walls had a rectangular window cut into it, as the part of the limestone wall had the tomb of Jesus cut into it.

3)   Which site has been inscribed as India’s first Mixed World Heritage Site on UNESCO World Heritage List?
- Published on 20 Jul 16

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

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

4)   Research of prehistoric megaliths and tools show Khasi tribe has lived in this state since ______ BCE.
- Published on 13 Jul 16

a. 1200
b. 1240
c. 1230
d. 1250
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1200

A new study of pre-historic megaliths and tools indicate that Meghalaya’s Khasi drive has been residing in the state since 1200 BCE.

  • The study was conducted on the megaliths and tools discovered in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district.
  • A megalith is a large stone that forms part of a prehistoric monument.
  • The excavation at Lummawbuh is the first one of a Neolithic site in Meghalaya.

5)   Signet created out of clay with ornamental design was among how many artefacts found by ASI from the Sankkala Tamil civilisation?
- Published on 30 May 16

a. 2000
b. 2500
c. 3000
d. 3500
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 3000

A signet made of clay with ornamental design was among the about 3,000 ancient artefacts found at the Keezhadi Pallai Sandhaipudur village in Sivangaga district during an excavation conducted by a team of experts from the Archaeological Survey of India ( ASI ).

  • According to ASI officials, the ancient settlement at the village, which was on the highway travelled by traders all over the world once, had an underground drainage system which was on par with the Harappan system.
  • The sewage drains had been laid with "baked clay pipe lines”.
  • "The drainage system is similar to what was found in Harappan civilisation site" they said.
  • They claimed that the settlement was more than 2,500 years old, belonging to the ancient Pandiya era.
  • Apart from signets, arrows, iron and copper weapons, rare ornaments and scribbling nail, had been found, Amarnath Ramakrishna said.

6)   ASI has received UNESCO World Heritage Status for which of the following tourist sites?
- Published on 28 Apr 16

a. Ajanta Caves
b. Ellora Caves
c. Taj Mahal
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

ASI or Archaeological Survey of India has received approval for the following sites for UNESCO World Heritage status:

  • Ajanta Caves (1983)
  • Ellora Caves (1983)
  • Agra Fort (1983)
  • Taj Mahal (1983)
  • Sun Temple, Konarak (1984)
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
  • Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
  • Group of Temples, Khajuraho (1986)
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
  • Group of Monuments, FatehpurSikri (1986)
  • Group of Temples, Pattadakal (1987)
  • Elephanta Caves ( 1987)
  • Great Living Chola temples at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram (1987 & 2004)
  • Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
  • Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
  • Qutb Minar Complex, Delhi (1993)
  • Prehistoric Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
  • Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park (2004)
  • Red Fort Complex, Delhi (2007)
  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  • Rani ki Vav (2014)
  • Mountain Railway of India ( Darjeeling,1999), Nilgiri (2005), Kalka-Shimla(2008)
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
  • Under Protection of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee
  • Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya (2002)
  • Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
  • Under Protection of Ministry of Environment & Forest
  • Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  • Manas Wild Life Sanctuary (1985)
  • Keoladeo National Park (1985)
  • Sunderban National Park (1987)
  • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005)
  • Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu
  • Great Himalayan National Park (2014)

7)   Which famous singer entered the entered the Guinness Book of Records for singing 17695 songs in 12 Indian languages?
- Published on 31 Mar 16

a. P. Susheela Mohan
b. Asha Bhosle
c. Lata Mangeshkar
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: P. Susheela Mohan

While the Guinness Book of Records officially recorded her for singing 17695 songs (solo, duet and chorus backed songs) in twelve Indian languages, Asia Book of Records provided renovation to her for singing 17330 songs.

  • Pulapaka Susheela Mohan, known as P. Susheela, is an Indian playback singer.
  • She is associated with the South Indian cinema for over 60 years.
  • She is the first playback singer to receive National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer in the 1960s and thereafter on multiple occasions
  • She was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the GoI

8)   Where has the Muziris Heritage project been implemented?
- Published on 29 Feb 16

a. Kerala
b. Karnataka
c. Tamil Nadu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kerala

This project was initiated 6 years ago. It is an important project for restoring archeological monuments through Thrissur, Enrakulam, Pattanam and Pallipuram. The project is named after Port Muziris where everything from stones to spices was traded. Large ships of ocean traders from across the world including Arabs, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese once came to this port. It is the largest conservation project in the country and the first green project in Kerala. It involves heritage, conservation and tourism. Apart from Athithi Devo Bhava, the Spice Route Initiative that will explore international linkages and collections across Malabar Coast and many parts of the world will be implemented with the support of UNESCO and United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

9)   Which film on conservation won the Golden Beaver Best Film Award in the institutional category at the 6th National Science Film Festival and Competition in Mumbai?
- Published on 16 Feb 16

a. Nagaland is changing, However…
b. Nagaland is changing, Alas…
c. Nagaland is changing, But…
d. Mizoram is changing, But…
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nagaland is changing, But…

Film has received technical excellence award for best sound design at a Vigyan Prasar festival announced by DST. The director of this movie produced by the Nagaland State Forest Department in 2015 is Gurmeet Sapal. Film was made in technical partnership with New Delhi’s TERI.

10)   Archeologists discovered which lost city in the Honduran jungle?
- Published on 25 Jan 16

a. Ciudad Blanca
b. White City
c. None of the above
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Archaeologists have commenced excavations in the legendary lost city of Liudad Blanca or White City within the Honduran jungle. Dozens of artefacts including vulture shaped handles as well as clay tray with jaguar head and stone made throne carved with jaguar which are the remains of a ceremonial temple have been discovered here. Ruins range between 1000 and 1500 AD are distinct from the ancient Mayan civilisation. This is a new or different culture. City’s name was derived from white limestone rock in the area first explored by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.

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