18 July 2016 Current Affairs: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has added Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP) and Chandigarh’ Capitol Complex in its list of World Heritage Sites. Decision in this regard was taken by the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO held in Istanbul in Turkey.
Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP) : KNP was added in the ’mixed’ heritage site category of the list i.e. it exhibits qualities of both natural and cultural significance. With this, it becomes the first ‘mixed’ heritage site from India to make it to the list. KNP covers 25% of Sikkim and is home to a significant number of endemic, rare and threatened plant and animal species including large number of bird and mammal species.
Geographically the park includes a unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests. The park combines the religious and cultural practices of Buddhism as well as the ecological significance of the region. It signifies an outstanding example of traditional knowledge and environmental preservation.
Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex : Chandigarh’s famed Capitol Complex designed by Swiss-French architecture Le Corbusier was added in the list in the Transnational category. The site was added in the list as part of the UNESCO’s recognition of Le Corbusier’s architectural works in different parts of the world.
The Capitol Complex includes the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Punjab and Haryana Secretariat and Punjab and Haryana Assembly. The complex was designed by Le Corbusier in the 1950s when the city was constructed as a symbol of independent, modern India.
India’s three sites inscribed in Word Heritage : List The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO has three sites from India were inducted in Word Heritage List. Earlier Bihar’s Nalanda University was added in the list. With this, India becomes first country to get three sites inscribed in the Word Heritage List at a single session of the committee meeting. With these additions, India now has 35 world heritage sites, including 27 cultural heritage sites, 7 natural sites and 1 mixed site.