IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


12th December, 2023 Geography


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  • Baku will host the next COP29.
  • The Netherlands heads a joint ministerial statement on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies; massive global build-out of liquified natural gas flagged.

About Baku

  • Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and in the Caucasus region.
  • Baku is 28 meters (92 ft) below sea level, which makes it the lowest-lying national capital in the world and also the largest city in the world below sea level.
  • Baku lies on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, on the Bay of Baku.
  • Baku's urban population was estimated at two million people as of 2009.
  • Baku is the primate city of Azerbaijan it is the sole metropolis in the country, and about 25% of all inhabitants of the country live in Baku's metropolitan area.
  • The Old City, containing the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the Maiden Tower, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
  • The city is the scientific, cultural, and industrial center of Azerbaijan.
  • Many sizeable Azerbaijani institutions have their headquarters there.
  • Baku is renowned for its harsh winds, reflected in its nickname, the "City of Winds".
  • Traces of human settlement in the region of present-day Baku date back to the Stone Age.
  • Bronze-age rock carvings have been discovered near Bayil and a bronze figure of a small fish in the territory of the Old City.


  • Baku was the realm of the Shirvanshahs during the 8th century AD.
  • The city frequently came under assault from the Khazars and (starting from the 10th century) from the Rus'.
  • Shirvanshah Akhsitan I built a navy in Baku and successfully repelled a Rus' assault in 1170.
  • After a devastating earthquake struck Shamakhi, the capital of Shirvan, Shirvanshah's court moved to Baku in 1191.


  • Baku is situated on the western coast of the Caspian Sea.
  • In the vicinity of the city, there are several mud volcanoes (Keyraki, Bogkh-bogkha, Lokbatan and others) and salt lakes (Boyukshor, Khodasan and so on).


  • Baku has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk) with hot and humid summers, cool and occasionally wet winters, and strong winds all year long.
  • However, unlike many other cities with such climate features, Baku does not see extremely hot summers and substantial sunshine hours.
  • This is largely because of its northerly latitude and the fact that it is located on a peninsula on the shore of the Caspian Sea.
  • Baku, and the Absheron Peninsula on which it is situated, is the most arid part of Azerbaijan.
  • This is largely due to the rain shadow effect from the Caucasian Mountains, with corresponding latitudes on the Black Sea on average receiving 2,300 mm (91 in) or more.
  • The majority of the light annual precipitation occurs in seasons other than summer, but none of these seasons is particularly wet.


  • Until 1988, Baku had very large Russian, Armenian, and Jewish populations which contributed to cultural diversity and added in various ways (music, literature, architecture and progressive outlook) to Baku's history.
  • With the onset of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War and the pogrom against Armenians starting in January 1990, the city's large Armenian population was expelled.
  • Under Communism, the Soviets took over the majority of Jewish property in Baku and Kuba.

Ethnic Groups

  • The vast majority of Baku's population is made up of ethnic Azerbaijanis, and the rest are Talysh, Russians, Lezgi, and others.


  • The religion with the largest community of followers is
  • The majority of the Muslims are Shia Muslims, and the Republic of Azerbaijan has the second-highest Shia population percentage in the world after Iran.
  • The city's notable mosques include Juma Mosque, Bibi-Heybat Mosque, Muhammad Mosque, and Taza Pir Mosque.
  • There are some other faiths practiced among the different ethnic groups within the country.
  • By Article 48 of its Constitution, Azerbaijan is a secular state and ensures religious freedom.
  • Religious minorities include Russian Orthodox Christians, Catholic Levantines, Georgian Orthodox Christians, Albanian-Udi Apostolic Christians, Lutherans, Ashkenazi Jews, and Sufi Muslims.
  • Baku is the seat of the Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of Azerbaijan.


  • Baku's largest industry is petroleum, and its petroleum exports make it a large contributor to Azerbaijan's balance of payments.
  • The Baku Stock Exchange is Azerbaijan's largest stock exchange, and largest in the Caucasian region by market capitalization.


Regions often mentioned in news            Reason for being in the news
I.North Kivu and Ituri War between Armenia and Azerbaijan
II.Nagorno-Karabakh Insurgency in Mozambique
III.Kherson and Zaporizhzhia dispute between Israel and Lebanon

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

A) Only one

B) Only two

C) All three

D) None

Answer: D