Current Affairs - Awards In News

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.

Nobel Peace Prize 2021

  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Ressa (Philippines) and Dmitry Muratov (Russia) for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.
  • Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads. As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression. Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s own population. Ms Ressa and Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.
  • Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions. In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta. Since 1995 he has been the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for a total of 24 years. Novaja Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power. The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media. Since its start-up in 1993, Novaja Gazeta has published critical articles on subjects ranging from corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud and ”troll factories” to the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia.

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (SSB) for Science and Technology 2021

  • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science & Technology was announced by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on 26th September 2021.
  • Every year, CSIR presents this award to scientists below 45 years of age for their contributions in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, medicine, engineering and earth, atmosphere, ocean and planetary sciences.
  • The 2021 SSB winner list did not feature any woman scientist.

Category Winner
Biological Sciences Dr Amit Singh Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
Dr Arun Kumar Shukla Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur
Chemical Sciences Dr Kanishka Biswas International Centre of Materials Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru
Dr T Govindaraju Bio-organic Chemistry Laboratory Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru
Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences Dr Binoy Kumar Saikia Coal and Energy Research Group, CSIR North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat
Engineering Sciences Dr Debdeep Mukhopadhyay Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur
Mathematical Sciences Dr Anish Ghosh School of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
Dr Saket Saurabh The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai
Medical Sciences Dr Jeemon Panniyammakal Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies Sree Chitra Tirunal lnstitute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram
Dr Rohit Srivastava Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai
Physical Sciences Dr Kanak Saha Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune

Teesta-V Power Station, Sikkim conferred with ‘Blue Planet Prize’

  • NHPC’s 510 MW Teesta-V Power Station located in the Himalayan State of Sikkim has been conferred with the prestigious Blue Planet Prize by International Hydropower Association (IHA), a London based non-profit membership association operating in 120 countries.
  • The power station has been built, owned and being operated by NHPC.
  • The award for Teesta-V Power Station was announced on 23rd September 2021 during the World Hydropower Congress, 2021.
  • The award had been conferred to Teesta-V Power Station based on its sustainability assessment undertaken by a team of accredited lead assessors of IHA in 2019 using the Operation Stage tool of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) of IHA.
  • The IHA Blue Planet Prize is awarded to hydropower projects that demonstrate excellence in sustainable development.
  • The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) is the leading international tool for measuring the sustainability of hydropower projects.

2021 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards

  • The Goalkeepers Global Goals Award Winners are an annual recognition of remarkable individuals taking action to help achieve the Global Goals by 2030.
  • The awards are given by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.




Global Goalkeeper Award

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

(South Africa)

She is the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. Phumzile is a global champion for gender equality, human rights, and social justice.

Progress Award

Jenifer Colpas (Colombia)

For her work which centres around improving access to clean water and sanitation.

Campaign Award

Satta Sheriff (Liberia)

For her work promoting gender equality.

Changemaker Award

Fairooz Faizah (Bangladesh)

She is co-founder of Moner School - an anonymous online platform that works with youth to educate them about the importance of mental health care through training, workshops, and a 24/7 online mental health first aid service.

GeM wins CIPS Award 2021

India’s Government e Marketplace (GeM) has won the CIPS Excellence in Procurement Awards 2021 (CIPS Awards) in the "Best Use of Digital Technology" category.

About the Award

  • The CIPS Awards are one of the leading recognitions around procurement globally, which is conducted under the aegis of The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), London.

About CIPS

  • CIPS is a global not-for-profit organisation and professional body dedicated to promotinggood practices in procurement and supply management, with a community across 150 countries.

About GeM

  • Government e Marketplace is a 100% Government owned Section 8 Company setup under the aegis of Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry for procurement of goods and services by Central and State Government organizations.
  • GeM offers a cashless, contactless, and paperless experience for sellers and buyers, and serves as an end-to-end solution for procurement of common use goods and services by Government buyers.

NIOS wins UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2021

  • The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) of India won the prestigious UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2021 for 'enabling education of persons with disabilities through technology-enabled inclusive learning materials, with a specific focus on Indian Sign language-based content'.
  • Every year, the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes focus on a specific theme. This year, the spotlight was on inclusive distance and digital literacy learning.
  • Along with NIOS, this year's UNESCO International Literacy Prizes were awarded to five other outstanding literacy programmes from Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Guatemala, Mexico, and South Africa on the occasion of International Literacy Day (8 September).

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021

  • British author Susanna Clarke won the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 for her novel ‘Piranesi’.
  • The Women's Prize for Fiction is one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary prizes.
  • It is awarded annually to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year.

Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2021

Asia’s highest honour - Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2021 was announced on 31 August 2021.

  • Five persons will receive this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award — regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.

Awardees and their Contribution

  • Muhammad Amjad Saqib (Pakistan): He developed a “first-of-its-kind’ interest-and-collateral-free microfinance programme, Akhuwat, which uses places of worship to disburse zero-interest loans, recording a phenomenal loan repayment rate of 99.9 per cent. Akhuwat has taken up a vast array of social support programmes in education, health services, “clothes bank”, anti-social discrimination and Covid-19 emergency aid.
  • Firdausi Qadri (Bangladesh): A Bangladeshi scientist who has been instrumental in discovering vaccines that have saved millions of lives. She is credited with developing affordable oral cholera vaccine and the typhoid conjugate vaccine for adults, children, and infants. Most of her work is focused in congested slum areas of developing countries.
  • Steven Muncy (Southeast Asia): Steven Muncy, from the US, is being recognised for “his unshakable belief in the goodness of man that inspires in others the desire to serve; his life-long dedication to humanitarian work, refugee assistance, and peace building; and his unstinting pursuit of dignity, peace, and harmony for people in exceptionally difficult circumstances in Asia.”
  • WatchDoc (Indonesia): A production house that ingeniously combines documentary filmmaking and alternative platforms to highlight underreported issues in Indonesia.
  • Roberto Ballon (Philippines): Environmentalist from the Philippines is being recognised for “his inspiring determination in leading his fellow fisherfolk to revive a dying fishing industry by creating a sustainable marine environment for this generation and generations to come”.

About the Award

  • Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour.
  • It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the seventh Philippine president - Ramon Magsaysay - after whom the award is named, and is given every year to individuals or organisations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service and transformative influence that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.
  • The Ramon Magsaysay awardees, annually selected by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) board of trustees, are presented with a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay facing right in profile.
  • This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal presentation ceremony to be held on 28 November 2021, at the Ramon Magsaysay Center in Manila.
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