HCS 2020 Yearly Current Affairs: Awards & Recognitions-III
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HCS 2020 Yearly Current Affairs: Awards & Recognitions-III

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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: Awards & Recognitions Part-III

Haryana Civil Services Exam

CURRENT AFFAIRS YEARLY 2020

Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: Awards & Recognitions Part-III

1. Renjith Kumar, Engineer from Kerala an Indian Entrepreneur based in Virginia is honoured with NASA’s highest form of recognition for a non-governmental individual “NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal” 

  • He has received this honour for his service to NASA through executive leadership, engineering contribution, technical excellence and customer satisfaction.
  • RK Chetty Pandipati was the First Indian to win this award in 2002.
  • He worked in association with NASA for more than 30 years and contributed in redesigning the International Space Stations(ISS). 
  • He is CEO Emeritus of the Virginia based Analytical Mechanics Associates(AMA).

2. The Ramon Magsaysay awards, regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize, have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • This is the only third time the annual awards were disrupted in six decades.
  • The Manila-based foundation that hands out the awards has no choice but to cancel the awards this year .
  • The awards were also cancelled due to a financial crisis in 1970 and a disastrous earthquake that hit the Philippines in 1990.
  • The awards are named after a popular Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash and honor “greatness of spirit in selfless service to the peoples of Asia.”

3. Kritika Pandey has won the regional award for Asia in 2020 Commonwealth short story prize for her story “The Great Indian Tee and Snakes”.

  • The award is awarded to the five regional winners and the overall winner is selected among them. The overall winner for the 2020 Commonwealth short story will be announced on June 30.
  • The story about a Hindu girl falling in love with a Muslim man.
  • Set up in 2012, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth.
  •  It is administered by the Commonwealth Foundation, through its cultural initiative Commonwealth Writers.

4. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the year 2020.

  • She was selected among 46 other entrepreneurs from 41 countries.
  • Kiran is the second woman to win the award after Olivia Lum of Hyflux, Singapore.
  •  She is also the third Indian to win the award after Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra in 2014 and Narayana Murthy of Infosys in 2005.
  • Kiran founded Biocon in 1978. It is a bio-enzymes company. 
  • She is being presented with the award for her contribution in improving universal access to affordable life saving medicines.
  • The company has in the last 15 years supplied more than 2 billion affordable doses of insulins (biosimilar insulins).

5. Bollywood writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar has become the first Indian to win the Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for critical thinking, advancing human progress and humanist values.

  • The award, which is named after English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, has been presented since 2003.
  • The renowned personality is conferred with the award for his "critical thinking, holding religious dogma upto scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values."
  • He was awarded Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2007.
  • He also has five National Awards for Best Lyricist to his name and even the Sahitya Akademi Award.

6. An Indian Army officer and woman peacekeeper, who has served with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and a Brazilian woman commander have been selected for the prestigious United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award (2019)

  • Major Suman Gawani and Brazilian Naval Officer Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo will receive the award during an online ceremony presided over by United Nations Secretary-General Guterres on May 29, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
  • Major Gawani is the first Indian peacekeeper to win the award 
  • She is a Military Observer, formerly deployed to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where she mentored over 230 UN Military Observers on conflict-related sexual violence, and ensured the presence of women military observers in each of the Mission’s team sites.

7. India’s chief Hydrographer Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar, has been honoured with the 2019 Alexander Dalrymple Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Indian hydrography and across the wider Indian Ocean region.

  • The award, first presented by the UK Ministry of Defence-sponsored UKHO in 2006, is named after the first Hydrographer of the Admiralty, Alexander Dalrymple.
  • Recipients of the award are selected by the Executive Committee of the UKHO for their efforts in raising the standards of hydrography, cartography and navigation around the world.

8. Pakistan’s first Sikh female journalist Manmeet Kaur has been nominated for a prestigious award in the UK, the media reported.

  • Manmeet, 25, has been selected as one of the 100 most influential Sikh personalities under 30 years of age around the world by the UK-based “The Sikh Group”, The Express Tribune

  • The Sikh Group is a global organisation which awards people belonging to the community from different parts of the world who serve the people in different ways.

9. Indian tennis player Sania Mirza has brought home country's first-ever Fed Cup Heart Award in Asia/Oceania category after getting more than 10,000 votes out of the total 16,985 votes cast for this year's three regional Group I nominees.

  • The Fed Cup Heart Award winners were determined through online voting by fans which went on for a week starting from May 1. The winners from each category were also awarded prize money of USD 2,000.
  • Sania's return to Fed Cup action for the first time since 2016 saw India book their place in the Fed Cup Play-offs.
  • She  pledged to donate the prize money to Telangana Chief Minister's Relief Fund to aid the fight against coronavirus.
  • The Fed Cup Heart Award is an International Tennis Federation (ITF) initiative that was established in 2009 to recognise those Fed Cup players who represent their countries with distinction.

10. Ross Taylor was awarded New Zealand cricket's top honour - Sir Richard Hadlee Medal.

  • The awards were presented online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ross Taylor and White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine took home the men's and women's T20 Player of the Year award respectively.
  • Skipper Kane Willamson has been named the men's ODI Player of the Year at the annual New Zealand Cricket awards.
  • Suzie Bates was rewarded for her consistency with the bat as she claimed the women's ODI player of the year.

11. Indian journalist and the founding editor of ‘The Wire’, Siddharth Varadarajan has been named one of the 17 recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award presented by German public international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle also called DW.

  • In 2020, in the midst of the Corona crisis, DW has decided to honor 17 journalists from 14 countries. 
  • The award is conferred on journalists who show outstanding commitment to human rights and freedom of expression in the media.
  • The Freedom of Speech Award 2020 is dedicated to all courageous journalists worldwide who are suffering repressions because of their reporting on the pandemic.

12. Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un a commemorative war medal marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi German

  • The medal was awarded to the North Korean leader for his role in preserving the memory of Soviet soldiers who died on North Korean territory.
  • Russia’s ambassador in North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, presented the award to the country’s Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon.
  • The ceremony took place at the Mansudae Assembly Hall, where Kim reshuffled Kim was awarded for his great personal contribution to the commemoration of dead and buried Soviet citizens on the territory of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and showing concern about the safety of the Soviet soldiers’ graves and memorial sites.

13. BSNL chairman and managing director P K Purwar has taken over additional charge of  MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited).

  • The appointment of Purwar comes at a time when both the PSU are reeling under heavy debt despite the government offering them a relief package.
  • Accordingly, Purwar has taken over charge of CMD MTNL from April 15, 2020.
  • Purwar’s appointment seems to be a step towards the eventual merger of MTNL and BSNL, announced in October 2019.
  • This isn’t Purwar’s first time heading MTNL — he was appointed thrice as the telco’s CMD on a temporary basis in 2014, 2016, and 2017.
  •  Purwar was appointed for a five year term in 2017, but gave up the post in 2019 after being appointed as BSNL’s CMD.

14. The Windham Campbell prizes, which is one of the world's richest literary awards, were announced on March 19 by a live stream. 

  • In its eighth year, the $1.32m award is shared by eight writers in four categories from across the world. Interestingly, seven out of the eight winners are women!
  • For poetry, British-Indian poet Bhanu Kapil, who writes about immigration, trauma and healing, shares the award with Jonah Mixon-Webster, whose works are about the public health issues in his hometown in Michigan.
  • Meanwhile, Chinese-born author Yiyun Li’s writing was praised by judges for its “formal beauty and imaginative daring. 
  • The other winners include debut Zambian novelist Namwali Serpell, whose novel The Old Drift was published last year, and Anne Boyer, the author of a “searingly honest” memoir about her cancer diagnosis, The Undying.
  • In the drama category, the prize this year has been given to 'The Aubergine' writers Julia Cho and Aleshea Harris. Together, their works highlight the issues of misogyny and racism.
  • And in the non-fiction category, the award has been given to Australian writer Maria Tumarkin.

15. Mathematicians Hillel Furstenberg and Gregory Margulis have jointly won the 2020 Abel prize for their pioneering use of methods from probability and dynamics in other mathematical fields such as group theory, number theory and combinatorics.

  • Furstenberg, at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, and Margulis, at Yale University, have never formally collaborated, but both invented similar “random walk” techniques to study various mathematical objects. 
  • They share a 7.5 million Norwegian kroner (£595,000) prize
  • The Abel Prize is equivalent to the Nobel Prize in Mathematics. 

16. Arfa Khanum Sherwani of The Wire and Bengaluru-based freelancer Rohini Mohan have been jointly given this year's Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding woman journalist. 

  • The annual award which recognises social concern, dedication, courage and compassion received over 40 entries from all over India. Last year's recipient was Priyanka Dubey of the BBC.
  • The jury comprised political scientist Zoya Hasan and journalists Sreenivasan Jain and Manoj Mitta.
  • While Sherwani was chosen for her reporting from conflict situations in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, the jury felt that Mohan's reportage on the NRC exercise in Assam set a new benchmark for investigative journalism.
  • The Media Foundation instituted the Chameli Devi Jain Award in 1980, named after Chameli Devi Jain, a legendary freedom fighter and community reformer who went to jail for her beliefs.
  • Harish Khare is current chairperson of the foundation.

17. Indian journalist Rana Ayyub has been awarded the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage for the year 2020.

  • Ayyub is presently associated with The Washington Post as Global Opinions Writer and will collect the award at The Grady College Of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia on 22 April.
  • Ayyub was formerly an investigative reporter with The Tehelka and is best known for her work on the Gujarat riots of 2002. She wrote a book called Gujarat Files: Anatomy Of A Cover-Up that questions the role of now Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah in the riots.
  • In 2019, she was named by Time magazine as one of the ten global journalists who face the maximum threat to their lives.

18. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has received the prestigious Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee award 2020 for Politics at the 6th India Ideas Conclave in Gujarat. 

  • The award, instituted by India Foundation, was presented to Chief Minister Sonowal by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Speaker of People’s Majlis of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, which carries a citation, a specially designed trophy and a cheque worth Rs. one lakh.
  • Apart from Dr SP Mukherjee Award for Politics, India Foundation Awards 2020 was also presented in three other categories of public life, which include Dr BR Shenoy Award for Economy, which was given to NK Singh; Sree Narayana Guru Award for Social Work, which was given to K Parasaran and Ustad Bismillah Khan Award for Culture, which went to Shri Bharatbala.

19. Padma Shri Jadav Payeng has been conferred with the Swami Vivekananda Karmayogi Award in New Delhi at a function instituted by My Home India.

  •  He was awarded the 6th Karmayogi Award for his consistent efforts in creating a real man-made forest through massive reforestation. 
  • The award is composed of a trophy, a recitation and a reward of Rs 1 lakh.
  • Jadav Payeng is famously known as the Forest Man of India.
  •  He is an environmental activist and forest worker from Jorhat. In the past several years, he has planted and tended trees on a sandbar of the river Brahmaputra turning it into a forest reserve.

20. Assam’s environmental activist Jadav Payeng has been named as the 128th Commonwealth Points of Light Award winner.Called the “Forest Man of India”,

  • Queen Elizabeth II has honoured Payeng for his exceptional voluntary service to environmental conservation.
  • The British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata Nick Low would felicitate Payeng on March 11.
  • Earlier, Padma Shri Jadav Payeng was conferred with the prestigious Swami Vivekananda Karmayogi Award on February 29 in New Delhi.
  • Padma Shri Jadav 'Molai' Payeng is an environment activist and forest worker from Jorhat. Over the course of past several years, he planted and tended trees on a sandbar of the river Brahmaputra turning it into a forest reserve.

21. Indian-origin American author Ruchika Tomar wins 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award in US for her debut novel ‘A Prayer for Travelers’.

  • She is currently teaching at Stanford University.
  •  Tomar will receive $25,000 and a month-long residency at the Ucross Foundation writers retreat in Wyoming.
  • PEN/Hemingway judges on Monday called Tomar's narrative of the friendship between two women in a small Nevada town “a remarkable piece of writing, astute in style and structure and also in the story that it tells.”

22. President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the Nari Shakti Puraskar to 15 women in Rashtrapati Bhawan on the occasion of International Women's Day.

  • The awardees are 103 year old athlete Mann Kaur, Indian Air Force’s first women fighter pilots Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvedi, Farmers Padala Bhudevi and Bina Devi, Artisan Arifa Jaan, Environmentalist Chami Murmu, Entrepreneur Nilza Wangmo, Automotive research professional Rashmi Urdhwardeshe, Lady Mason Kalavati Devi, Twin Mountaineers Tashi and Nungshi Malik classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakroborty and 98 year old Karthyayini Amma who topped the literacy exam in 2018. Another awardee 105 year old Bhageerathi Amma could not travel to Delhi to receive the award.    
  • The National Award is given annually to individuals, groups, institutions in recognition of their exceptional work towards the cause of women empowerment, especially for vulnerable and marginalized women.

23. Sahitya Akademi’s Translation Prize for 2019 in the category of translation into English has been awarded to Kannada novel Kusumabale by Padma Shri Devanur Mahadeva, rendered into English by Susan Daniel.

  • The akademi announced a total of 23 awards in various Indian languages.
  • Kusumabale, published in 1988, is a classic in Kannada literature. 
  • Written in a dialect typically spoken in Chamarajnagar district in Southern Karnataka, it combines prose and poetry, mythology and realism to weave a tapestry of Dalit life. 
  • The translated version of the novel was released by the Oxford University Publication in 2015 and it was received well.

24. India’s pioneering feminist scholar and activist Gita Sen, has won the prestigious Dan David Prize.

  • The prize is for her expansive work in the fields of population policies, reproductive and sexual health, women’s rights, poverty, labour markets and global governance.
  • The internationally renowned Dan David Prize annually awards three prizes of $1 million each to globally inspiring individuals and organisations, honouring outstanding contributions that expand knowledge of the past, enrich society in the present, and promise to improve the future of our world.
  • The total purse of $3 million makes it one of the highest-value prizes internationally.
  • The fields chosen for honouring contributions in the three categories this year are cultural preservation and revival (past category), gender equality (present category), and artificial intelligence (future category).
  • Ms. Sen will be splitting the $1 million prize in the present category for this year with Debora Diniz who is the deputy director of the rights and justice unit for the International Planned Parenthood Federation-Western Hemisphere Region.

25. Waheeda Rehman will be conferred the Madhya Pradesh government’s National Kishore Kumar Samman.

  • Rehman, one of Hindi film industry’s most successful leading ladies with a string of box office hits and several awards.
  • The award, which carries a Rs 2 lakh cash prize and citation, could not be given to Rehman during a function held in October last year as the actor was unwell.