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Daily Current Affairs – 2019

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Karez System

12th November 2019

Why in news?

A New York-based world monuments fund has included Suranga Bawadi, an integral part of the ancient Karez system of supplying water through subterranean tunnels in the World Monument Watch list for 2020 along with 24 other monuments from across the world.

  • World Monuments Fund is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1965 by individuals concerned about the accelerating destruction of important artistic treasures throughout the world.
  • The World Monuments Watch is a global program launched in 1995 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of World Monuments Fund, aims to identify imperiled cultural heritage sites and direct financial and technical support for their preservation.

The Karez System :

Karez’ system (also known as Qanat) which is a water harnessing technology that originated in Iran/Persia.

The karez technology basically taps into the ground water sources (or natural springs) and transports it through an underground tunnel to the settlement, ending in surface canal and/or pools in the village for various uses like drinking, washing, ablution, watering livestock, and also further used for irrigating fields, orchards and gardens.

 

History of Kariz :

  • The Karez is found in 38 countries worldwide and of course most of these are concentrated in the Middle East region. Persia is known for the earliest known and documented Karez system.
  • The Muslim dynasties with ruling class descending from Persia or having influential connections with Persian kings may have invited expert engineers from Persia.
  • The silk route may have been the information highway to transfer the cultural and traditional knowledge.

Introduction of Kariz in India :

  • Karez system was built by Bahmani kings in 15th Century by the Bahmani kings in Bidar, Gulbarg and Bijapur in Karnataka and also in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kariz is nothing but the Underground canals, built to underground water streams which are meant to provide drinking water to civilian settlements.
  • It is believed that the Muslim rulers of Bidar, under the expert advice of Persian engineers followed Karez system by laying subterranean canals in the heart of the rock by widening the natural rift.

Way forward :

  • The centuries old Kariz system should be rehabilitated and promoted as traditional means of irrigation and drinking water supply.
  • The educational value of this historic system is highly relevant in the present days of water disputes that are prevailing at local, regional, national and international level.

Facts for Prelims

Organization of American States (OAS):

  • The Organization of American States is a continental organization that was founded on 1948, for the purposes of regional solidarity and cooperation among its member states.
  • Headquartered in the United States’ capital Washington, D.C
  • The founding of the OAS was based on the general acceptance of the principles of the U.S. Monroe Doctrine by the countries of the Western Hemisphere, especially the principle that an attack upon one American state would be considered as an attack uponall.
  • OAS brings together all 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere.
  • It has granted permanent observer status to 69 states, as well as to the European Union (EU).
  • The Organization uses a four-pronged approach to effectively implement its essential purposes, based on its main pillars :
  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Security

India is a permanent observer to the organization.

 

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