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Current Affairs Date: 17 August 2022

National

Prime Minister’s Awards for Outstanding Contribution towards the Development and Promotion of Yoga- 2021

⇒ The Prime Minister’s Award for Outstanding Contribution towards the Development and Promotion of Yoga, one of the most coveted honours in the field of Yoga, has been announced for the year 2021. Two individuals and two organisations are the recipients of the awards.

Awardees of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Outstanding Contribution towards the Development and Promotion of Yoga for the Year 2021:
    • International Individual: Shri Marcus Vinicius Rojo Rodrigues, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    • International Organisation: British Wheel of Yoga, United Kingdom                   
    • National Individual: Shri Bhikkhu Sanghasena, Leh, Ladakh              
    • National Organisation: The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, Uttarkhand
About Award:
    • The awards for the Outstanding Contribution towards the Development and Promotion of Yoga was announced by the Prime Minister of India on the occasion of the 2nd International Day of Yoga celebrations at Chandigarh on 21st June, 2016.
    • The Ministry of Ayush, Government of India developed the guidelines for the awards.
    • The award comprises a Trophy, Certificate and a cash award. The value of each Cash Award is Rs.25.00 lakh.

Seismological Observatory at Udhampur

⇒ Union Minister of State (I/C) Science & Technology; Minister of State (I/C) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated a Seismological Observatory at Udhampur in J&K, an initiative of the National Centre of Seismology, Union Ministry of Earth Sciences on 21 June 2022.

Key Points:
    • While inaugurating Dr Jitendra Singh informed that during last 8 years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has installed more than 70 such observatories across the country, compared to just 80 installed in over 6 decades before.
    • Udhampur is the third place in J&K where such seismological observations will be recorded now.
    • Udhampur has emerged on the world seismological map with the installation of latest upgraded Seismological Observatory by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. It is the India’s 153rd Seismic Station.
    • Dr. Singh also informed that in next 5 years, 100 more such seismological centres will be opened across the country for improving the real time data monitoring and data collection.

Assam becomes the 36th State/UT to implement ONORC

⇒ Assam has become the 36th State/UT to implement One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC). With this, the ONORC plan is successfully implemented in all the 36 states/UTs, making food security portable throughout the country.

Objective:

The objective of this beneficiary centric high-impact program is to empower all NFSA beneficiaries to become AtmaNirbhar for their food security anywhere in the country.

    • Through portability of their existing ration cards enabling them to seamlessly lift their entitled subsidized foodgrains (in part or full) from any Fair Price Shop of their choice.
Key Points:
    • Since its inception in August 2019, about 71 Crore portable transactions (43.6 crore NFSA and 27.8 crore PM-GKAY transactions) have taken place under ONORC, delivering foodgrains equivalent to about Rs.40,000 Crore in food subsidy through portability.
    • About 64 Crore portable transactions have been recorded during COVID-19 period itself (from April 2020 till date) delivering foodgrains equivalent to about Rs.36,000 Crore in food subsidy through portability.
    • Another dimension under ONORC plan is the ‘MERA RATION’ mobile application which has been rolled out to take maximum advantage of the ONORC plan.

International

Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise “Ex Khaan Quest -2022”

⇒ The Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise “Ex Khaan Quest -2022” culminated on 20 June 2022 at the Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Ulaanbaatar at Mongolia.

Host:
    • Mongolia hosted the multinational joint exercise “Ex Khaan Quest 2022”.
    • Mr Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, the President of Mongolia inaugurated the Exercise in an impressive ceremony organised at the exercise location in Mongolia on 6 June.
Participation:
    • Military contingents from 16 countries participated in the exercise “Ex Khaan Quest 2022”.
    • The exercise conducted from 06 June to 20 June 2022 provided a platform for mutual learning and sharing best practices amongst the armies from 16 Nations.
Indian contingent:
    • Indian Army was represented by a contingent from the LADAKH SCOUTS. The Indian contingent participated in the field training as well as the Command Post exercise.
Key Points:
    • A number of training activities were organised during the course of the 14 day exercise, which included mock tactical operations as per United Nations mandate, combat discussions, training of staff & command appointments; as part of a combined UN brigade, in order to enhance multinational interoperability.
    • The exercise also enabled sharing of best practices between the Armed Forces of participating nations. The military exercise enhanced the level of defence co-operation between Indian Army and participating countries especially with the Mongolian Armed Forces.

10th edition of the 'Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water'

⇒ Indian Institute of Technology Madras Prof. Thalappil Pradeep has been selected as the laureate of the 10th edition of the prestigious ‘Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water’ (PSIPW).

    • He was selected for the award under the ‘Creativity Prize’ category given for ‘breakthrough discovery’ in any water-related field.
    • Prof. T. Pradeep’s Research Group developed environmentally friendly ‘water positive’ nanoscale materials for the affordable, sustainable, and rapid removal of arsenic from drinking water.

» Prof. Pradeep has been recognized earlier with the Padma Shri, and Nikkei Asia Prize.

About Award:
    • The bi-annual international scientific award was established on 21 October 2002 by Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
    • The prize carries a cash component of US$ 2,66,000 (Rs.2 Crore Approx) besides a gold medallion, a trophy, and a certificate.
    • The Awards Ceremony will take place on 12th September 2022 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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