Previse 2024: Geography: Places in News

Previse 2024: Geography: Places in News

Geographically Significant Locations | Current Affairs

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The UPSC Prelims not only tests your knowledge of core subjects, but also your understanding of current affairs with a geographical context.

Knowing where things are happening and why their location matters is crucial for acing this section.

This article will explore some of the most geographically significant places that have been in the news recently, highlighting their importance and potential UPSC Prelims relevance.

Silkyara Tunnel


Silkyara tunnel is constructed in Uttarakhand to reduce travel time.

  • The 4.5-km tunnel is being constructed between Silkyara and Dandalgaon as part of the Char Dham project.
  • It will connect Dharasu on the south end to Yamunotri on the north end.
  • Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna is a central government scheme to improve the connectivity between Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

Subansiri River 


A hydroelectric project in the Subansiri River flowing through Arunachal Pradesh was hit by a landslide.

  • Subansiri River, which means the "Gold River", is a tributary of the Upper Brahmaputra River.
  • Originating in the Tibetan Himalayas, it enters India via the Miri Hills of Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • It meets the Brahmaputra River in the Lakhimpur district of Assam, where Majuli Island is situated.

Sukapaika River


It is a distributary of the Mahanadi River, which will be rejuvenated by the Odisha government.

  • Sukapaika River was declared a dead river by the National Green Tribunal.
  • It started drying up due to construction of embankments, Hirakud Dam and Naraj barrage in the 1950s.
  • After 70 years since it started drying up, the government has made plans to rejuvenate it, following orders from the National Green Tribunal.
  • Sukapaika is vital for controlling floodwater and maintaining the flow in the Mahanadi River. 

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South Lhonak Lake 


Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) from South Lhonak Lake in Sikkim caused massive devastation.

  • When a glacier erodes the land and the resultant depression is filled by glacial water, a glacial lake is formed.
  • As glacial lakes grow, danger increases because they are dammed by unstable ice.
    • If the boundary around them breaks, huge amounts of water are released, causing floods.
  • South Lhonak Lake is situated in Sikkim’s far northwestern region.
  • This flooding also resulted in a breach of the Chungthang Hydro-Dam on the Teesta River.

Kawah Ijen Crater 


Kawah Ijen crater lake is the world's largest acidic lake with volcanic origin. 

  • It is located in East Java, Indonesia with pH as low as 0.5 due to sulphuric and hydrochloric acids.
  • Its optical images were captured by the Copernicus Sentinel 2 mission.
  • It is a UNESCO Global Geopark having unique biological, cultural and geological features.
  • This area is known for sulfur mining.



Dominica will create the world's first sperm whale reserve.

  • Dominica is an island country of the Lesser Antilles group in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
  • Sperm whales fertilize surface waters with buoyant feces fostering plankton blooms which help capture atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  • When these blooms die, carbon sinks to the ocean depths, helping in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation
  • They are the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator.



Burtse in Ladakh is a place where coral reef fossils were unearthed at 18,000 feet above sea level.

  • These fossils give insights into ancient coral colonies and the geological past of the region
  • This is evidence of a diverse marine ecosystem and supports the idea of the Himalayas formation from the Tethys Sea.
  • It will also help decipher the impact of tectonic activity and ancient climate conditions of this high-altitude desert.

Mount Ulawun


India provided $1 million for the damages caused by the volcanic eruption in Mount Ulawun in Papua New Guinea.

  • Papua New Guinea is situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire", which has many seismic faults, resulting in many earthquakes and volcanic activities.
  • Recent studies have shown that Ulawun alone releases about 7 kg/s of SO2, which is about 2% of the total global SO2 emissions. 
  • This activity is because of the subduction of the Solomon Sea plate under the South Bismarck plate. 

Gevra Mine


Gevra mine of Korba, Chhattisgarh, is set to become the largest coal mine in Asia.

  • It is operated by the South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL).
  • The mine utilizes eco-friendly mining technologies such as Surface Mining and Ripper Mining.
  • The focus is on promoting advanced mining technologies, sustainable practices, and employment for local communities.
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