UNESCO in News Current Affairs 2023: Explore the Latest UNESCO-related Updates

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Explore the latest UNESCO-related updates that made headlines recently, which may be important for those preparing for competitive exams. Stay updated with the latest developments in education, science, culture, and communication as they unfold.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has played an instrumental role in promoting peace, international cooperation, and sustainable development.

From recognizing living heritage universities to awarding individuals for their contribution to linguistic and cultural diversity, UNESCO is active in a variety of fields. Keep an eye out for UNESCO initiatives, especially in the field of education, as they may prove beneficial in various competitive exams.

About UNESCO

UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) whose mission is to promote world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, science, and culture.

▪ It has 193 member states and 12 associate members, as well as private, intergovernmental, and private sector partners.

▪ Headquartered at the World Heritage Centre in Paris, France.

Read Also Category-wise Latest Current Affairs 2023

LAST UPDATE – March 2023

UNESCO in News (January to December 2023)

▪ Visva-Bharati University, situated in West Bengal, has recently been granted a “heritage” designation by UNESCO, becoming the first-ever living heritage university in the world.

▪ Angela Merkel, the former Chancellor of Germany, has been awarded the prestigious Felix Houphouet-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize for the year 2022.

▪ Dr. Mahendra Kumar Mishra, hailing from India, has been selected to receive the UNESCO International Mother Language Award 2023.

▪ This prestigious award is given to individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions towards the promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity. 

▪ The award ceremony will take place on the occasion of the 24th edition of International Mother Language Day, which is celebrated every year on 21st February. 

▪ The theme for this year's celebration is "Multilingual Education - a Necessity to Transform Education".

▪ The central government has decided to nominate Charaideo moidams (located in Assam) for addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

▪ Recently, UNESCO has decided to dedicate the International Day of Education 2023 to Afghan girls and women, celebrated on January 24 every year.

▪ UNESCO has designated “Odesa” as a World Heritage in Danger site, located in Ukraine.

UNESCO in News (January to December 2022)

Baguette bread of France was added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.

Rock cut Relie Sculptures of the Unakoti in Tripura have been added to the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

• Three new cultural sites in India, including the iconic Sun Temple at Modhera, historic Vadnagar town in Gujarat, and rock-cut relief sculptures of Unakoti in Tripura, have been added to the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

• Recently, Mawmluh Cave of Meghalaya has been listed as UNESCO’s one of the ‘First 100 IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences) Geological Sites’ in the world.

• Recently, UNESCO released a survey of 18,600 glaciers at 50 World Heritage Sites.

• Recently, Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong won the 2022 edition of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize.

• Recently, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the UNESCO-India-Africa Hackathon 2022 at Gautam Buddha University in Greater Noida.

• Recently, Mumbai’s Byculla station received the Merit Award at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Asia-Pacific Awards 2022 for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

• Recently, the UNESCO-MONDIACULT 2022 World Conference was held in Mexico City, Mexico.

UNESCO has released a list of 50 exclusive and iconic heritage textile crafts of India under the title “Handmade for the 21st Century: Safeguarding Traditional Indian Textile”

• The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has underlined some green norms for the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Living Root Bridge’ in Meghalaya.

• Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has partnered with UNESCO to preserve the intangible cultural heritage of India.

• UNESCO has adopted March 21 as World Poetry Day which is now observed annually.

• On the occasion of World Water Day (22nd March), National Mission for Clean Ganga, UNESCO released three animation films under its initiative “H2Ooooh! – Water Wise program for the Children of India”.

• The Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) has named the city of Kozhikode as a ‘City of Literature under a UNESCO program.

• The Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple and the Monolithic Bull (Nandi) of Andhra Pradesh have been included in UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites in India for 2022.

Geoglyphs from the Konkan region of India are part of India’s provisional list to qualify for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

• UNESCO commemorates April 7 as the International Day of Remembrance of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Bihar has sent a fresh proposal seeking UNESCO’s heritage tag for the 2,500-yr-old ‘Cyclopean wall’.

• The Khuvsgul Lake National Park of Mongolia has been added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO.

e- Vidya scheme has been awarded UNESCO’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize, for the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education for the year 2021.

• India has been selected as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the 2022-2026 cycle.

• Recently, the 106-year-old astronomical observatory of Bihar‘s Langat Singh College was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Observatories.

• India has nominated the Garba dance form of Gujarat to be inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

• So far, 14 elements from India have been inscribed on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Humanity.
•  Kolkata's Durga Puja is the latest addition to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

• UNESCO and Royal Enfield join hands to promote and protect India’s cultural heritage from the Himalayas.

• Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been awarded the UNESCO Peace Prize 2022.

• Recently, 3 Indian cities have joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).

The Three Indian Cities are:
1. Warangal (Telangana)
2. Nilambur (Kerala)
3. Thrissur (Kerala)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. Which Indian festival has recently been added to the UNESCO list?

Answer: Kolkata’s Durga Puja

Q2. UNESCO has adopted which date as World Poetry Day which is now observed annually?

Answer: March 21

Q3. Which city in Kerala has been named as ‘City of Literature’ under the UNESCO programme?

Answer: Kozhikode

Q4. Which Indian state is known for its living root bridge, which is under UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Answer: Meghalaya

Q5. Which scheme of India has been awarded UNESCO’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize, for the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education for the year 2021?

Answer: e- Vidya scheme

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