Current Affairs - Awards In News

J.A. Cushman Award for Excellence in Foraminiferal Research

  • Dr. Rajiv Nigam (Former Chief Scientist, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India), has been selected as 2022 recipient of J.A. Cushman Award for Excellence in Foraminiferal Research.
  • Dr. Rajiv Nigam is the first Indian Citizen who is selected for this lifetime achievement award.
  • This award, the highest honor the Cushman Foundation, recognizes Dr. Nigam's outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of foraminifera research.
  • The award will be presented at the Cushman Reception at the 2022 Geological Society of America meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA, from October 9-12-2022.

About Dr. Rajiv Nigam’s Major Contributions

  • His main findings are pollution monitoring through relative sensitivity of the benthic foraminifera; development of novel technique to decipher net sediment transport direction by comparisons of living and dead benthic foraminifera; postulating dimorphism as proxy for paleoclimatic reconstructions; development of model for the paleodepth determination in the Arabian Sea and sea level curve for the Holocene; morphogroups of benthic foraminifera as a new tool for paleomonsoonal reconstruction and discovery of 77 years cyclicity in average monsoonal rainfall which is modulated by Gleissberg solar cycle.
  • Dr. Nigam has worked extensively for application of Foraminifera in the field of Marine Archaeology [e.g. settling controversy of dockyard at Lothal (The oldest dockyard ever discovered in the world); explanation of Neolithic human settlements in Gulf of Cambay [through knowledge of sea level fluctuations] and reporting the thick wall [~18 m] at Dholavira as oldest record of tsunami protection measures in India.

About the Award

  • The Joseph A. Cushman Award was established in 1979 by USA based Cushman foundation for foraminiferal Research to honor researchers who have made outstanding contributions in the field of foraminiferology.

Sakharov Prize 2021

Alexei Navalny, currently imprisoned in Russia has been awarded Sakharov Prize 2021 by the European Union.

  • The EU's award to a member of the Russian opposition movement comes after Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov won the Nobel Peace Prize, a recognition that some of the jailed dissident's supporters described as "undeserving". Muratov himself said he would have given the prestigious honour to Navalny.

About Navalny

  • Alexei Anatolievich Navalny is a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing anti-government demonstrations and running for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, and against President Vladimir Putin and his government.
  • In August 2020, the activist was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent and was hospitalised in serious condition, with many of his supporters fearing for his life. Navalny was evacuated to a hospital in Berlin and eventually survived. He later accused the Kremlin of being behind the chemical attack.

Other Prominent Nominations

  • Along with Navalny, the most prominent nominations for this year’s award were Afghan women, whose plight has taken centre stage after the Taliban takeover, and Jeanine Áñez, a Bolivian politician who became interim president in 2019 after alleged electoral fraud by Evo Morales. Áñez was later arrested for allegedly plotting coup d’état against Morales.

About the Prize

  • The prize is the European Union's highest tribute to human rights defenders.
  • The Sakharov Prize was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • The annual award is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, an advocate of civil liberties in the former Soviet Union.
  • The first recipients were Nelson Mandela and Anatoli Marchenko.

‘Takachar’ Project from India won inaugural ‘Earthshot Prize’

  • A Delhi-based entrepreneur’s agricultural waste recycling project was named among the winners of Prince William’s inaugural Earthshot Prize, dubbed the “Eco Oscars”, at a ceremony in London on October 17.
  • Vidyut Mohan led ‘Takachar’ was named the winner of the GBP 1 million prize for its cheap technology innovation to convert crop residues into sellable bio-products in the “clean our air” category.
  • It was among five worldwide winners of the prize, created by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, to reward people trying to save the planet.

(Image Source:

About Takachar

  • Takachar has developed a cheap, small-scale, portable technology that attaches to tractors in remote farms. The machine converts crop residues into sellable bio-products like fuel and fertiliser.
  • Takachar reduces smoke emissions by up to 98%, aimed at helping improve the air quality that currently reduces the affected population’s life expectancy by up to five years.
  • If scaled, it could cut a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Other Winners in Different Categories

  • “Protect and Restore Nature”: Costa Rica - for a scheme paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems that has led to a revival of the rainforest.
  • “Revive our Oceans”: A project run by two best friends who are growing coral in the Bahamas designed to restore the world’s dying coral reefs.
  • “Build a Waste-free World”: A waste-busting initiative from Milan, Italy.
  • “Fix our Climate”: A renewable energy project to make hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen from Thailand, Germany and Italy.

Indian Army wins gold medal in the Exercise Cambrian Patrol 2021

  • Indian Army, comprising of a team from 4/5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) won the Gold Medal in the latest Cambrian Patrol Exercise.
  • The Cambrian Patrol Exercise was organized at Brecon, Wales, UK.
  • The Ex Cambrian Patrol is sometimes referred to as the Olympics of Military Patrolling among several militaries across the globe. The competition is organized by the UK army and is considered as the ultimate test of human endurance, team spirit
  • The aim of the exercise is to test their leadership, self-discipline, courage, physical endurance, and determination.

Satyajit Ray Award

  • Well-known Telugu filmmaker B Gopal, alias Bejawada Gopal, has been chosen for the fourth Satyajit Ray Award for his overall contribution to the Indian cinema.
  • Gopal has directed 30 films Telugu films and two Hindi moves in his decades-long career.
  • Instituted by the Satyajit Ray Film Society Kerala, a state-based organisation, the award comprises Rs 10,000 cash prize, a memento and plaque.
  • Eminent filmmaker and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, actress Madhabi Mukherjee and producer Mohan G were the earlier recipients of the honour.

Nobel Prize for Economics 2021

United States-based economists David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens were awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in economics for their pioneering the use of “natural experiments” to understand the causal effects of economic policy and other events.

  • David Card took half the prize “for his empirical contributions to labour economics”.
  • Angrist and Imbens shared the other half “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”.

The Nobel Prize for economics this year recognizes pivotal research that upended long-standing beliefs about the effects of minimum wage increases and influxes of immigrant workers.

(Image Source: Daily Mail)

What are Natural Experiments?

Natural experiments use real-life situations to work out effects on the world, an approach that has spread to other fields and revolutionised empirical research.

Some Findings of their Studies

  • An increase in the minimum wage had no effect on the number of employees.
  • An influx of immigrants into a city doesn't cost native workers jobs or lower their earnings, though earlier immigrants can be negatively affected.
  • Increased immigration can have a positive impact on income for people born in the country.

About the Prize

  • The prize, formally known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
  • Laureates in the Memorial Prize in Economics are selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
  • It was first awarded in 1969 to Dutch economist Jan Tinbergen and Norwegian economist Ragnar Frisch.

Indian to win Nobel Prize in Economics

  • Amartya Sen: In 1998, Amartya Sen became first Indian to win the Nobel "For his contributions to welfare economics".

India-born Person to win Nobel Prize in Economics

  • Abhijit Banerjee: In 2019, Abhijit Banerjee (United States) won the Economics Nobel "For their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".

Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence

  • The Vice President Shri M Venkaiah Naidu presented the 22nd Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence to eminent pulmonologist and Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr. Randeep Guleria.
  • Dr. Randeep Guleria was awarded for his stellar role in creating awareness about the pandemic in recent times.
  • The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award is an annual prestigious award instituted from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, Delhi.

Prani Mitra Awards 2021

  • The two-day National conference for zoo directors and veterinarians organized by Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and hosted by Sardar Patel Zoological Park, Kevadia, Gujarat.
  • At the conference, the CZA gave away Prani Mitra Awards - that are given every year under 4 categories.

Category & Winners

  • Outstanding Animal Keeper: Shrimati Lakhidevi, Bhagwan Birsa zoological Park, Ranchi Jharkhand.
  • Outstanding Educationist/ Biologist: Shri Harpal Singh, Educationist Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park Chatbir Punjab.
  • Outstanding Veterinarian: DrIlliyaraja Agra Bear Rescue Facility, Uttar Pradesh
  • Outstanding Director: Dr Vibhu Prakash Mathur, Director Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore Haryana.

Aryabhata Award 2021

  • The Chairman of DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy has been conferred the prestigious Aryabhata Award for his outstanding life-time contribution to the promotion of astronautics in India.
  • Dr G Satheesh Reddy is a pioneer in the area of R&D of advanced avionics, navigation and missile technologies. He has contributed immensely to strategic and tactical missile systems and helped the country become self-reliant in critical defence technologies.
  • The Aryabhata Award is an annual award, presented to individuals with notable lifetime contributions in the field of astronautics and aerospace technology in India.
  • It was instituted by the Astronautical Society of India (ASI).

(Image Source: DRDO)

Nobel Prize in Literature 2021

Tanzania’s novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah won the 2021 Nobel Prize in literature for his works exploring the effects of colonialism and the experiences of refugees.

  • The Zanzibar-born writer, who is based in the UK, is best known for his novels "Paradise" (1994), "Desertion" (2005) and "By the Sea" (2001).
  • Gurnah’s novel ‘Paradise’ was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
  • The American poet Louise Glück won the 2020 Nobel Prize in literature.
  • The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded by the Swedish Academy.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Gurnah is the fifth writer from Africa to win — joining Wole Soyinka, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee.
  • In its 120-year history, only 16 women have won the Nobel Prize in literature. Until today, the last Black person awarded the prize was Toni Morrison in 1993.
  • First Person to win Nobel in Literature: In 1901, French poet and essayist Sully Prudhomme was the first person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • First Woman to win Nobel in Literature: Selma Lagerlöf from Sweden was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1909.
  • First Indian to win Nobel in Literature: In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the first Nobel Prize for India in Literature.
  • India born Author to win Nobel in Literature: In 1907, Rudyard Kipling an India born (born in Bombay, British India) United Kingdom national won Nobel Prize in Literature.
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