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Important Current Affairs 16th September 2021

NATIONAL

PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University in Aligarh

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University at Aligarh, in Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh government is establishing the university in memory and honour of noted Jat figure, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, the great freedom fighter, educationist and social reformer.

• The University will be spread over an area of over 92 acres at Lodha village and Musepur Kareem Jarouli village of Kol tehsil in Aligarh and will provide affiliation to 395 colleges of the Aligarh division.

India to hold Global Buddhist Conference in November 2021

• India is set to host the first-ever Global Buddhist Conference on November 19 and 20, 2021, in Nava Nalanda Mahavihara campus, in Nalanda, Bihar. The academic conference, being organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), will become an annual feature. Four regional conferences in India (Telangana, Saranath, Gangtok and Dharamshala) and abroad (Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Cambodia) will be organised, in the run-up to the conference. The reports of these regional conferences will be presented at the inaugural Global Buddhist Conference.

• Global Buddhist Conference focuses on making India the center of Buddhism, by promoting Buddhist activities, like academic, cultural, seminars, people travelling for festivals like Buddha Purnima, Vesak.

• As a part of the event, an award for the promotion of Buddhist studies, which will be given on November 21 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, carrying a cash reward of $20,000 (around Rs 14.7 lakh), a plaque, and a gold-plated medallion.

IIT Bombay launched AI-based translation 'Project Udaan'

• The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has launched ‘Project Udaan’, a language translator, to break the language barrier in education, which hampers the flow of messages. The Project Udaan, a donation-based project, is an end-to-end ecosystem, which can translate scientific and technical content from English to Hindi and all other Indian languages.

• Project Udaan uses an AI-based translation software ecosystem, to translate engineering textbooks and learning materials, and all main streams of higher learning, in the desired language, in one-sixth of the time taken by a team of domain and linguistic experts working manually on it.

India to hold biennial defence dialogue with African nations

• The Government of India has proposed to institutionalise the India-Africa Defence Dialogue, as a regular event, to be held on the sidelines of the biennial DefExpo military exhibition. The first India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave (IADMC) was held at DefExpo in February 2020 in Lucknow.

• Following this, second India – Africa Defence Dialogue will be held on the sidelines of the DefExpo, scheduled to be held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in March 2022. The theme of the 2nd India Africa Defence Dialogue will be ‘India – Africa: Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation.

Peace Mission-2021: India takes part in SCO joint military exercise in Russia

• The Indian military contingent comprising of an all arms combined force of 200 personnel is participating in the Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION -2021, a Joint Counter Terrorism Exercise between Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states. The Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION- 2021 is being hosted by Russia in the Orenburg Region of South-West Russia from September 13 to 25, 2021. In 2021, the 6th edition of the biennial multilateral Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION is being undertaken.

• The aim of the exercise is to foster close relations between SCO member states and to enhance the abilities of the military leaders to command multi-national military contingents. The exercise will enable sharing of best practices between the Armed Forces of SCO nations. The exercise will also provide an opportunity to the Armed Forces of SCO Nations to train in Counter-Terrorism Operations in an urban scenario in a multinational and joint environment.

SPORTS

Zimbabwe’s wicket-keeper batsman Brendan Taylor announced retirement from International Cricket

• Former Zimbabwe skipper and wicket-keeper batsman, Brendan Taylor has announced his retirement from international cricket.

• He made the announcement while playing the third final ODI match on September 13, 2021, against Ireland. The 34-year batsman made his ODI debut for Zimbabwe in 2004 against Sri Lanka. He has scored 6677 runs from 204 ODI matches in his 17-year ODI career.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Former Olympic shooter R. R. Singh appointed acting president of Olympic Council of Asia

• India’s Raja Randhir Singh has taken over as acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia as Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah appeals a guilty verdict in a Swiss forgery trial. A five-time Olympic shooter and an Asian Games gold medallist in 1978, Singh was promoted to the role from his position as an honorary life vice president.

• During the interim period, Raja Randhir Singh will carry out the duties and responsibilities of the OCA President, starting with the OCA Executive Board Meeting scheduled to be held on 13th September 2021.” Singh had been part of OCA as secretary-general for 24 years since 1991 and is the longest-serving executive board member. He is also an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2021 :16th September

• The International Day for the preservation for the Ozone layer (World Ozone Day) is observed annually on September 16 to spread awareness of the depletion of the Ozone Layer and search for solutions to preserve it. The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.

• The theme for 2021 World Ozone Day: ‘Montreal Protocol – keeping us, our food and vaccines cool.’

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Unesco awards NIOS for innovation in education

• National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), run by the education ministry, has bagged global recognition from UNESCO for its innovative approach towards education. The recognition is for educating differently-abled people through technology-enabled inclusive learning material. The NIOS move has a specific focus on Indian sign language-based content.

• By awarding NIOS the King Sejong Literacy Prize, the jury has recognized the value of providing for the unique educational and language needs of PwD learners by developing teaching content in sign language through digital mode. The award-winning programme focuses on the use of digital tools and local language to help persons with disabilities the option to access Indian Sign Language (ISL)-based content.

Florence Nightingale Award will be given to a nurse, Bhanumati Gheewala, from Sir Sayajirao General Hospital

• The Florence Nightingale Award will be given to a nurse, Bhanumati Gheewala, from Sir Sayajirao General Hospital, Gujarat. She has been in charge of C-19 positive pregnant women’s deliveries as well as infant care. She worked in the gynaecology department as well in the paediatric ward. In 2019, when the wards of the hospital were waterlogged due to flood. She carried her duty in the gynaecology department and the pediatric ward.

• The Florence Nightingale Award is given by the Indian Nursing Council. This is a statutory agency under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to recognise the contributions of healthcare workers.