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Statue of Unity finds place in '8 Wonders of SCO'

Published: 20th Jan, 2020


The 182-meter tall Statue of Unity in Gujarat has been included in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's '8 Wonders of SCO' list.


  • The Statue of Unity depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950), a leading figure in the nonviolent Indian Independence Movement.
  • The Statue of Unity is the world's tallest statue, with a height of 182 metres (597 feet) which is almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty, USA.
  • The height of the toe of the Statue of Unity measures 3.6 metre. It replaced the Spring temple of Buddha in China to become the tallest statue in the world.
  • It was inaugurated in October 2018 on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 143rd birth anniversary


Contribution of Sardar Vallahbhbhai Patel in India’s history:

  • Sardar Vallahbhbhai Patel, born in Nadiad, Gujarat, on October 31, 1875, was India's first Home Minister and also the first Deputy Prime Minister.
  • Today, his birth anniversary is observed as National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
  • Known as the ‘Ironman’ of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was instrumental in India’s independence struggle, and then for the integration of 562 princely states into the Union of India.
  • Removing sexual disqualification: Sardar happened to be the first to pitch for removing "sexual disqualification" in the District Municipal Act. The Act barred women from contesting elections as per Section 15(1)(C). Sardar had argued that keeping women out of the elected body was equivalent to eliminating the representation of half of the urban population. In 1926, Section 15(1)(c) was abolished.
  • Kheda Satyagraha: He lent his active co-operation to Gandhiji for the first time in the Kheda Satyagraha of 1918.
  • Agitation against Rowlatt Act: The historic agitation against Rowlatt Act initiated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1919 brought Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel into prominence as a popular leader in Western India. He led the agitation in Gujarat.
  • Sardar Patel participated in the 1930 Salt Satyagraha and for this he was sentenced to three months imprisonment.
  • In 1931, Sardar Patel headed the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress (INC).
  • During Quit India Movement (1942), he got arrested and imprisoned from 1942 to 1945 at the fort in Ahmednagar.
  • In 1937 elections, he led the Congress Party and was a major contender for the post of Congress President for 1937 but due to Gandhi's pressure, Patel withdrawn nomination and Jawaharlal Nehru was elected congress President.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
  • The SCO Charter was signed during the St.Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in 2002, and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
  • This is the fundamental statutory document which outlines the organisation's goals and principles, as well as its structure and core activities.
  • The aim of SCO is to establish cooperation between member nations on:
    • Security-related concerns
    • Resolving border issues
    • Military cooperation
    • Intelligence sharing
    • Countering terrorism
    • Countering American influence in Central Asia
  • The historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held on 8-9 June 2017 in Astana.
  • On the meeting the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • Thus, currently:
    • Member states: the SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;
    • Observer States: the SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and  the Republic of Mongolia;
    • Dialogue partners: the SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
  • The SCO included the Statue of Unity among the list of eight wonders among the member nations to promote tourism among member states.
  • The Eight Wonders of the SCO are:


Wonders of SCO




The Statue of Unity



The Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly



The Daming imperial palace complex



Lake Issyk-Kul



The Great Mughals’ heritage at Lahore



The Golden Ring cities



The Palace of Nowruz



The Poi Kalon complex


 India & SCO:

  • A platform to connect with Central Asia: SCO is a potential platform to advance India’s Connect Central Asia policy. 2020 will mark the first time India hosts the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. 
  • Economics & geopolitics benefits: The SCO’s significance for India lies in economics and geopolitics. Having begun as the Shanghai Five in 1996 and rechristened as the SCO in 2001, the member states occupy the huge landmass adjacent to India’s extended neighbourhood where India has both economic and security imperatives. 
  • Economic cooperation: The moot point for India’s strategy at the SCO, is to enhance economic cooperation with the Eurasian states and benefit from the security framework. 
  • Leverage to win big: The summit represents a structured forum where India can leverage its interests that would help it both on the domestic and the international front.

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