Current Affairs - Awards In News

Nikhil Srivastava Wins Michael And Sheila Held Prize

  • Nikhil Srivastava, an Indian mathematician, has been named winner of the prestigious 2021 Michael and Sheila Held Prize along with two others for solving long-standing questions on the Kadison-Singer problem and on Ramanujan graphs.
  • Srivastava from the University of California, Berkeley, Adam Marcus, the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Daniel Alan Spielman from Yale University will receive the 2021 Michael and Sheila Held Prize.
  • Srivastava, Marcus and Spielman solved long-standing questions on the Kadison-Singer problem and on Ramanujan graphs, and in the process uncovered a deep new connection between linear algebra, geometry of polynomials, and graph.
  • The Michael and Sheila Held Prize is presented annually and honours outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimisation, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory.
  • The prize was established in 2017 by the bequest of Michael and Sheila Held.
  • The award is given by National Academy of sciences, USA.

Tansen Samman

  • Renowned Indian Santoor player, Pandit Satish Vyas was conferred with the National Tansen Samman for 2020 by the Madhya Pradesh Government during the Tansen Music Festival held in Gwalior.
  • The festival is held every year to pay tributes to one of the greatest musicians in Indian history of classical music, Tansen, who was also one of the nine gems in the court of Mughal emperor Akbar.
  • Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas - Hindustani vocalist (Gwalior gharana) was given this award in 2019.

USA’s ‘Legion Of Merit’ Award For Three ‘QUAD’ Leaders

  • US President Donald Trump has mainstreamed the QUAD by awarding its original architects Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison with the prestigious Legion of Merit.
    • Narendra Modi: US President Donald Trump presented the prestigious ‘Legion of Merit’award to Prime Minister NarendraModi for his leadership in elevating strategic partnership of the two countries and emergence of India as a global power. India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, accepted the award on behalf of the prime minister from the US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien at the White House.
    • Scott Morrison: The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was also presented the ‘Legion of Merit’ award for his leadership in addressing global challenges and promoting collective security.
    • Shinzo Abe: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was awarded for his leadership and vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
  • The Legion of Merit, in the highest degree of the Chief Commander, is a prestigious award conferred by the President of the United States, typically upon Heads of State or Heads of Government of other countries.

State Honours to Narendra Modi

  • 2016: Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud (Saudi Arabia) - Member Special Class, the highest honour of Saudi Arabia awarded to non-Muslim dignitaries.
  • 2016: State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan (Afghanistan) - The highest civilian honour of Afghanistan.
  • 2018: Grand Collar of the State of Palestine (Palestine) - The highest civilian honour of Palestine.
  • 2019: Order of Zayed (United Arab Emirates) - The highest civilian honour of the United Arab Emirates.
  • 2019: Order of St. Andrew (Russia) - The highest civilian honour of Russia.
  • 2019: Order of the Distinguished Rule of Izzuddin(Maldives) - The highest honour of the Maldives awarded to foreign dignitaries.
  • 2019: King Hamad Order of the Renaissance (Bahrain) - Member First Class, the highest civilian honour of Bahrain.
  • 2020: Legion of Merit (United States) - Highest degree of Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit.

Vidyut Mohan From India Wins 'Young Champions Of The Earth' Award

  • A an Indian entrepreneur is among the seven winners of the prestigious "Young Champions of the Earth" 2020 prize given by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to global change-makers using innovative ideas and ambitious action to help solve some of the world's most pressing environmental challenges.
  • Vidyut Mohan, an engineer, is the co-founder of "Takachar", a social enterprise enabling farmers to prevent open burning of their waste farm residues and earn extra income by converting them into value-added chemicals like activated carbon on-site.

About Takachar

  • Takachar buys rice husks, straw and coconut shells from farmers and turns them into charcoal, saving the debris from the fires, which are also a driver of climate change.

About the Award

  • The Young Champions of the Earth prize is awarded every year by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to seven entrepreneurs under the age of 30 with bold ideas for sustainable environmental change.

'UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has decided to launch the 'UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize'.

  • The prize will be launched in the field of ‘creative economy’ starting from November 2021.
  • The decision came as Bangladesh is celebrating Rahman’s birth centenary, and also preparing for the country’s 50th independence anniversary.
  • Starting November 2021, the dollar 50 thousand award will be given away once in two years for global economic initiatives of the youth.
  • UNESCO has declared 2021 as ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’.

About Mujibur Rahman

  • Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the founding father and the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh (1972-75).
  • He was given the title of “Bangabandhu” (Friend of Bengal) by the people of Bangladesh.
  • His daughter Sheikh Hasina is the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

HelpAge India: 1st Indian NGO To Receive UN Population Award

For the first time, an Indian institution ‘HelpAge India’ won the prestigious ‘2020 UN Population Award’ in its ‘institutional category’for its contribution towards serving disadvantaged elderly people and raising awareness on their cause.

  • Bhutan's Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck was given the 2020 United Nations Population Award in the individual category for her work on sexual health and gender violence.
  • The last time the Award came to an Indian was in 1992, when it was awarded to Mr. J.R.D. Tata as an individual laureate.

About the Award

  • The UN Population Award, established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1981, recognises contributions in the fields of population and reproductive health. It is an annual award given to an individual and/or institution for outstanding contributions to population and reproductive health.
  • The much-coveted award consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a monetary prize.

About HelpAge India

  • HelpAge India was formed in 1978 with the founder of HelpAge International (UK), Cecil Jackson Cole as its first President.
  • HelpAge India has been working for the cause and care of disadvantaged older persons to improve their quality of life for over four decades.
  • Padma Shri awardee KiranKarnik is the Chairman of the Governing Body of HelpAge India.

Ramanujan Prize For Young Mathematicians 2020

  • The Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians 2020 was awarded to Dr. Carolina Araujo, Mathematician from the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for her outstanding work in algebraic geometry.
  • Her work area focuses on birational geometry, which aims to classify and describe the structure of algebraic varieties.
  • Dr. Araujo, who is Vice President of the Committee for Women in Mathematics at the International Mathematical Union, is the first non-Indian to receive this.

About the Award

  • The Prize, given every year to young mathematicians less than 45 years of age who have conducted outstanding research in a developing country, has been instituted by DST in the memory of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a genius in pure mathematics who was essentially self-taught and made spectacular contributions to elliptic functions, continued fractions, infinite series, and analytical theory of numbers.
  • The prize is awarded to a researcher from a developing country funded by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India in collaboration with ICTP (International Centre for Theoretical Physics), and the International Mathematical Union.

‘Invest India’ Wins Investment Promotion Award 2020

  • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) declared ‘Invest India’ as winner of the United Nations Investment Promotion Award 2020.
  • The award ceremony took place at the UNCTAD headquarters in Geneva.
  • The award recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements of the world’s investment promotion agencies.
  • The evaluation was based on UNCTAD’s assessment of work undertaken by 180 national investment promotion agencies across the world.

About Invest India

  • Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India and act as the first point of reference for investors in India.
  • Invest India, set up in 2009, is a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • Mr. Deepak Bagla is the MD & CEO of Invest India.
  • As the national investment promotion and facilitation agency, Invest India focuses on sector-specific investor targeting and development of new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India.
  • In addition to a core team that focuses on sustainable investments, Invest India also partners with substantial investment promotion agencies and multilateral organizations. Invest India also actively works with several Indian states to build capacity as well as bring in global best practices in investment targeting, promotion and facilitation areas.

National Fisheries Awards

The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying awarded best performing States, Organisations and Districts for 2019-20 for the first time on the occasion of the ‘World Fisheries Day’ (21 November).

Top States

  • Marine States: Odisha
  • Inland States: Uttar Pradesh
  • Hilly and NE States: Assam

Top Districts

  • Best Marine District: Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh
  • Best Inland District: Kalahandi, Odisha
  • Best Hilly and NE District: Nagaon, Assam

Top Organisations

  • Marine: Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Ltd.
  • Inland: Telangana State Fishermen Cooperative Societies Federation Ltd.
  • Hilly Region: Assam Apex Cooperative Fish Marketing and Processing Federation Ltd.

International Children's Peace Prize

  • The 2020 International Children's Peace Prize, organised by KidsRights, has been awarded to 17-year-old Sadat Rahman from Bangladesh for his work to stop cyber bullying of teens.
  • The prize was presented digitally by Malala Yousafzai, winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The International Children's Peace Prize is annually awarded to a child who has made a special effort to promote children's rights and better the situation of vulnerable children.
  • Last year, the prize was awarded to Greta Thunberg from Sweden and Divina Maloum from Cameroon.
  • The prize was launched by KidsRights during the 2005 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at the Capitol in Rome, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then, the prize has been presented every year by a Nobel Peace Laureate.
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