Current Affairs - Awards In News

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.

GHE Wins 2020 UN Global Climate Action Award

  • The Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), an Indian organisation is among the winners of the 2020 UN Global Climate Action Award.
  • GHE is one of the world's first organisations that leverage tourism and technology to help remote communities’ access solar energy.
  • GHE conducts "Impact Expeditions" to remote Himalayan villages and uses a portion of the expedition fee to fund the capital cost of the hardware, transportation, installation and training of village-scale solar micro-grids.

Nobel Prize 2020 In Economic Sciences

Noted American economists Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in economics for their contributions to ‘auction theory’.

They have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies.

Robert Wilson developed the theory for auctions of objects with a common value – a value which is uncertain beforehand but, in the end, is the same for everyone. Examples include the future value of radio frequencies or the volume of minerals in a particular area. Wilson showed why rational bidders tend to place bids below their own best estimate of the common value: they are worried about the winner’s curse – that is, about paying too much and losing out.

Paul Milgrom formulated a more general theory of auctions that not only allows common values, but also private values that vary from bidder to bidder. He analysed the bidding strategies in a number of well-known auction formats, demonstrating that a format will give the seller higher expected revenue when bidders learn more about each other’s estimated values during bidding.

  • In the 1990s, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission put this theory to work to better allocate radio frequency bands to telecom and media companies. The agency previously allocated spectrum using licence applications and random lotteries.
  • By using Milgrom and Wilson’s auction format, designed to counter the problems of uncertain values and the winner’s curse, the new FCC spectrum auctions drove billions of dollars in sales over the next twenty years.
  • The format has since been adopted by other countries—including the United Kingdom, India, and Canada—to improve their allocation of not just radio frequency bands, but also other assets like carbon emission allowances.

In 2019, the award was shared by Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. The trio was awarded for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. In 1998, Amartya Sen won Economics Nobel "For his contributions to welfare economics."

The prize for economics is officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences. It was established by Sweden's Central Bank and has been awarded since 1969 in memory of industrialist Alfred Nobel.

WFP Gets Nobel Peace Prize

  • The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2020.
  • The agency was given the prize "for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.
  • The group provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries last year who were victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

Last Year’s Winner

  • Last year it went to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, whose peace deal with Eritrea ended a 20-year military stalemate following their 1998-2000 border war.

First Nobel Peace Prize

  • The first Nobel Peace Prize was given in 1901 to Henry Dunant (Switzerland) for his role in founding the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Youngest and Oldest Winner

  • The youngest laureate is Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan), who was 17 years old when she won in 2014 and the oldest recipient was Joseph Rotblat (Poland) who was given the award at the age of 87 in 1995.

Indians to win this Award

  • Mother Teresa was the first Indian to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
  • Kailash Satyarthi along with Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Who awards the Nobel Peace Prize?

  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee (a 5-member committee appointed by the Norwegian Parliament) awards the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Berit Reiss-Andersen is the current chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

About World Food Programme

  • Established in 1961, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
  • It is a priority of the World Food Programme to accomplish Sustainable Development Goal 2, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015, which targets achieving "zero hunger" by 2030.
  • The World Food Programme was an active participant in the diplomatic process that culminated in May 2018 in the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption of Resolution 2417, which for the first time explicitly addressed the link between conflict and hunger.
  • WFP has its Headquarter at Rome, Italy and currently headed by David Beasley.

WFP initiatives in India

  • WFP has been working in India since 1963 and has transitioned from food distribution to providing technical assistance as India became self-sufficient in cereal production.
  • TPDS: At present, WFP is working to improve the government’s targeted public distribution system (TPDS) to ensure that food reaches those that need it the most.
  • Midday Meal Programme: It is also working with the government to improve the nutritional value of the Midday Meal programme and is using its own software called the Vulnerability and Analysis Mapping to identify the most food insecure groups in the country.
  • ICDS: WFP has partnered with the government of Uttar Pradesh to set up over 200 supplementary nutrition production units to support distribution under the government’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme that provides nutrition services to children below the age of six.
  • Annapurti: It is a WFP program approved by India to set up automatic grain dispensing machines at five locations across five states — Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. These machines, expected to check malpractices in PDS distribution.
  • Mobile Storage Units (MSU): A “cost-effective solution for foodgrain storage” is running as a pilot in Odisha and Uttarakhand.

Nobel Prize In Physiology Or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter (USA), Michael Houghton (UK) and Charles M. Rice (USA) "for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus."

  • Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute gives away the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • About Hepatitis C:Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus and causes Hepatitis C disease which affects the liver.
  • Types of Hepatitis:There are five types (mainly) - A, B, C, D and E

What vaccines are available?

  • Vaccines are available for A, B, D and E but not for C

How does the virus spread?

  • Hepatitis A and E: Lack of food hygiene, contaminated water and sub-standard sanitary facilities.
  • Hepatitis B, C and D:Through blood, sperm and other body fluids.

Nobel Prize In Physics

  • Three scientists have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics for their work on blackhole formation and the discovery of a supermassive blackhole at the centre of our galaxy.
  • Roger Penrose (UK): A British mathematical physicist based at the University of Oxford, won his share (1/2) of the prize for using ingenious mathematical tools to prove that the formation of black holes are predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity.
  • Reinhard Genzel (Germany) and Andrea Ghez (America):For their work in which they turned telescopes on our own galaxy and discovered there is a supermassive blackhole in the centre of the Milky Way.
  • Andrea Ghez is the fourth woman to win Nobel Prize in Physics.Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded in 1903.
  • Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry is presented by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Youngest Author To Win International Booker Prize

  • At the age of 29, Dutch Author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld became the youngest to win the 2020 International Booker Prize for her literary fiction book ‘The Discomfort of Evening’.
  • The Book was first published in Dutch in 2018 and eventually translated into English by Michele Hutchison. 
  • The International Booker prize is separate from the main Booker Prize.
  • The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for a single book, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The vital work of translators is celebrated, with the prize money divided equally between the author and translator.

Theodore Von Karman Award

  • Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chief of Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) has been selected for the most prestigious Theodore Von Karman Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Paris, for the year 2020.
  • Prior to K Sivan, two Indians namely - KrishnaswamyKasturirangan and U.R. Rao - have been recipients of the award. 
  • Von Karman Award is the highest distinction of the International Academy of Astronautics given annually to recognise outstanding lifetime achievements in any branch of science. The award was instituted in 1987 in memory of Dr Theodore Von Karman, universally respected and legendary aerospace scientist and founder and the First President of IAA.

P C Mahalanobis Award

  • Former RBI Governor C Rangarajan conferred with 1st P C Mahalanobis Award in Official Statistics for lifetime achievements for his contribution in providing solutions in the issues related to the estimation of national income.
  • The award has been instituted by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) from 2020, and will henceforth be awarded annually for the outstanding and meritorious contribution of an individual for the development and promotion of official statistics.
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