1. Indo-German workshop dwells on sustainable, resilient development

Why in News : The Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, in collaboration with Leibniz University, Hannover, organized a three-day workshop on ‘Engineering for sustainable and resilient development’.

Highlights :

  • The workshop was sponsored by the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre.
  • The primary objective of the workshop was to facilitate discussions on sustainable and resilient infrastructures
  • The event addressed six sub-themes, including resilient housing, green chemistry, sustainable environments, digital energy transformation, energy systems, and changing people’s attitudes towards climate change


  1. Rock- Cut Masrur Temple Kangra

Why in News : The worlds –acclaimed rock-cut temple situated at masrur village in kangra is in the state of utter Neglect

About Masrur Temple :

  • It is also known as Ellora of Himalaya
  • This architectural marvel, carved from a single sandstone rock dating back to the 8th century,
  • The 15 monolithic rock-cut temples of Masroor seamlessly blend the intricate styles of Indo-Aryan and Dravidian architecture.
  • Today, Masroor Rock Cut Temple is under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)


  • Condition of Road : Tourist coming to have a glimpse of this 8th century marvel feel disappointed with the condition of the road
  • No Tourist info Centre, guide : The Department of Tourism has failed to create a tourist information Centre or appoint a guide, who can help tourists
  • Connectivity concern: This site has been included in Swadesh Darshan, a government initiative to promote tourist destination, but connectivity seems to be serious concern.


  1. Military Exercise “Khanjar”.

Why in News : The 11th edition of the India-Kyrgyzstan joint exercise, named Khanjar, commenced at the Special Forces training School at “Bakloh”.

About the Exercise :

  • It is an annual event conducted alternatively in both the countries

About Bakhol/Balun : Bakloh Cantonment was established in the year 1866.The emergence of the Cantonment Board as a municipal body in cantonments was basically in response to the need for maintenance of proper sanitation, health and hygiene in these areas.

Bakloh Cantonment Board is categorized as Class IV Cantonment. Under the Cantonments Act, 2006, the Cantonment Board has been entrusted with several crucial municipal functions such as street lighting, regulation of building activity , water supply, sanitation, health, providing primary and middle education , general public safety and town planning.

  1. 11th National Ice Hockey Championship

Why in News : 11th National Ice Hockey Championship organised at Kaza(Lahaul-Spiti) in Himachal Pradesh.

Highlights :

  • The central ice hockey team of the ITBP representing All India Police Sports Control Board (AIPSB) won the 11th edition of the Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) National Ice Hockey Championship for men – 2022
  • Five top teams of the country, including AIPSB (ITBP), Ladakh, Army Sports Control Board (LSRC), Delhi and Himachal Pradesh participated in the tournament.
  • Ice hockey is a sport that is slowly gaining popularity in India and is played mostly in places like Ladakh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.


  1. Research in Himalayan national Park :

Why in News: A study conducted by the Great Himalayan National Park(GHNP) has revealed that religious and cultural beliefs of local communities in deities have been playing a crucial role in protecting the forest property in kullu.


  • Study Conducted in 25 villages of Seven Gram Panchayats in the eco-zone of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) to assess the status of sacred trees and groves.
  • During the Study, 21 sacred trees were found in the park, of which 17 are of tree species and four of shrub species. Due to cultural and religious beliefs, the villagers do not harm these trees.

About Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) :

  • Comprises the catchment area of Sainj , Jiva and Tirthan River
  • Area : 1,171SqKm
  • Established : 1984
  • Declare as National Park : 1999
  • As UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site : June 2014
  • The Eco-Zone : Consist of Seven Gram Panchayats(Nahonada, Pekhri, Tung, Mashiyar, Shilli, Kandi-Dhar and Shrikot) in Tirthan Valley

Note: In GHNP region had a distinct culture. Remote villages were characterized by the presence of deities. Each deity has its own temple and community ground. There is a deity called “Pehradaar” placed on the outskirt of almost every village. Locals believe that it protects the village and its inhabitants. These deities have been named as: Jal Devta , Vansheera, Kadont, Damola, Khudali veer, Laxmi Narayan, Chaterkhand, Basuki Nag and Barkhadi Jogani. The villagers believed that if they harm the sacred tree, the deity will punish them. 

  1. Annual census of Migratory Birds

Why in News: The annual census of migratory birds in the pong dam wetland in Kangra district is scheduled and the teams have arrived here.


  • Around 120 people from the Forest Department of Himachal along with the experts from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), will count the number of birds that have actually arrived at the lake in this year.
  • The wildlife wing of the state Forest Department has recorded a fall in the number of Migratory birds arriving here
  • The total count of these birds at the wetland is 83,555 of 85 different species whereas this figure was 1, 17,022 of 198 different species last year.
  • The Largest population of the Flagship dominant Species, bar – Headed Gees(37,501) ,

Eurasian Coot (10,472).

  • Most of the birds migrate from their breeding places in the Trans-Himalayan region in Tiber, Central Asia, Russia and Siberia.
Headed Gees
Eurasian Coot


Reason of fall in Number:

  • Delayed migration in the Central Asian flyway, warm winters and delayed snowfall in the upper reaches and change in weather patterns.
  • The increase in the water level of the wetland from 1,330 feet last year to 1,350 feet this year (it wipeout their feeding land , changes habitat suitability of migratory birds)


  1. Sanjay Kundu

Why in News: The state governments withdraw the transfer order of Snajay Kundu, Director General of Police, as Principle Secretary Ayush, thus reinstating him as the Director General of Police.

  1. Khajjiar, Rewalsar wetlands of national importance for promoting their conservation.

Why in News: Rewalsar in Mandi and Khajjiar in Chamba have been declared “National importance Wetland” by the environment Ministry for promoting their conservation.  


  • Currently there are three Ramsar sites (wetlands of international importance) – Pong Dam in Kangra, Renuka in Sirmaur and Chandrataal in lahaul- Spiti.
  • State level function would be organized at Rewalsar Wetland in Mandi on February 2, which is annually celebrated as World Wetland Day.

Wetland in Himachal: 

In Himachal there are three Ramsar Wetland sites in Himachal: Pong Dam (19th August 2002), Renuka Lake (8th November 2005), Chandratal lake (8th November 2005).

Himachal Pradesh State wetland Authority (HPSWA) is constituted in 2017 under aegis of Himachal Council for Science, Technology and environment (HIMCOSTE)-Nodal agency to coordinate the wetland conservation Programme.

  1. Report of National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) on 2023 Himachal Pradesh Flood

Why in News:  Recently NDMA published its post-disaster need assessment report on the 2023 Himachal Pradesh floods


  • The state experienced 5,748 landslides, 45 cloudburst (rainfall above 100mm in an hour), and 83 flash flood-like situation.


  • The disaster directly affected 22,879 households and claimed around 500 lives, with losses and damages amounting 8,665 crore.

Responsible Factors behind the disaster

  • Climate Change: During 7 to 11 July 2023, the state recorded 223 mm rainfall (436% above the normal amount). Torrential rain, resulting from a rare convergence of western disturbance and the southwest monsoon, caused extensive flooding and landslides in north India in July and august.
  • Unauthorized construction on unstable slopes and floodplains : The drive for urbanization and Tourism has led to rapid construction activities and these constructions ignore essential guidelines, resulting in establishment on unstable slopes or floodplains
  • Unchecked growth of settlement around riverbanks and valleys, driven by tourism and a growing population, puts many at direct risk during flash floods.


  • Road Construction and design should be reconfigured to reduce ecological impact
  • The environmental effect of various hydro projects, whether large, medium, small, or run-of-the river, need to be assessed cumulatively.
  • Construction methodologies for major projects should be contextualized to the Himalayan ecosystem
  • Himachal State Disaster Management Authority should proactively anticipate and factor in climate- related risks when planning and implementing recovery initiatives.
  • Himachal Pradesh’s weather prediction and early warning capabilities are limited, with only 31 weather stations currently operational. There should be installation of automatic weather stations in each gram panchayat and strengthening early warning system in the state.
  • There is a need to demarcate river floodplains and have appropriate policy instruments and mechanisms in place to restrict any construction in such areas.
  • Government should established Local Hill area development authorities.
  • It is important that the dams in the state function on prediction- based modeling and account for three to five days of weather data from the catchment for flood warning.

Way forward: we need to learn to live in harmony with nature and guidelines are often formulated but seldom implemented. These unauthorized construction results from government officials colluding with the public. We require new technology and policies, and it’s crucial for the general public to also become more aware.


  1. Gochi Festival

Why in News: After the end of Halda and Kuns festivals, the Gochi festival commenced in Gahar valley of tribal district Lahaul and Spiti .

About Gochi Festival:

  • This festival is celebrated in most villages of the Gahar valley to commemorate the birth of a Son.
  • In Peukar village, this festival is celebrated for the birth of Sons and daughter.
  • During the festival, a shivalinga made out of Sattu flour is worshiped called Yulla Devta in local dialects.
  • After worshipping the local deity, a game of archery is played. Villagers believed that the number of arrows that hit the target is the number of sons that the village would have.


  1. Chamba Rumal

Why in news : Dinesh Kumari, who bagged National Award for promoting Chamba Rumal needlework in November 2022 by the union Textile and commerce ministry, does not only cherishe the traditional needlework art but also propagates this skill by imparting training to young girls at her residence free of cost

About Chamba Rumal :

  • Chamba Rumal is a pictorial craft that represents unique embroidery which originated and flourished during the 17th -18th centuries in the historical chamba town.
  • Chamba Rumal is named after the chamba region where it had originated during the reign of Raja Prithvi Singh in the 17th Century and gained royal Patronage
  • 31st Oct 2008 – Declared as World heritage by UNESCO for its unique embroidery (Do Rukh Tanka ) and delicate colour combination.


  1. All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE 2021-22) report

Why in News: All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE 2021-22) by the Ministry of Education, released Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and Gender Parity Index (GPI) in higher education


  • As per the report, state has a GER of 43.1 % as against the national GER of 28 %.
  • Excluding Union Territories, Tamil Nadau is the only state having higher GER than Himachal.
  • Female enrolment is significantly more than male enrolment as reflected by the Gross Parity Index (GPI) of 1.33 i.e. for every one male student in higher education; there are 1.33 female students in the state. The state stands only behind Kerala (excluding UTs), which has GPI of 1.44. At National level, the GPI stands at 1.01.
  • The GPI among Scheduled Caste is 1.36, while among Scheduled Tribes it is 1.31, which shows an upward trend.

Reason of the Increase in the enrollment:

  • Easier access to colleges for the eligible population. As per the survey the State has 4th highest college density per lakh eligible population (18-23 age group) in the country. The state has 47 colleges per lakh eligible population as against 30 at the national level.
  • The desire among parents to give good education to their children regardless of the gender is an equally important factor.
  • Girls are doing better than boys in schools, leading to a greater enrolment of girl child for higher education.

Besides, the incentives the government is offering for girl’s education is also driving up their enrolment for higher education.