GK Snapshots on 10 July 2021
Syed Osman Azhar Maqsusi wins United Kingdoms Commonwealth Points of Light award
Syed Osman Azhar Maqsusi(41), a hunger activist from Hyderabad has been awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Points of Light award by the United Kingdom(UK) Government. He had launched the #HungerHasNoReligion initiative through his NGO ‘Sani Welfare Foundation’, which has helped to feed over 1,500 people a day.
• The Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community.
• This award was first established by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.
ICC CEO Manu Sawhney resigns over abrasive conduct
Manu Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has resigned from his post with immediate effect following the report against his “abrasive behaviour” with his colleagues. Geoff Allardice will continue as the acting CEO of ICC.
i.In March 2021, Manu Sawhney was sent on leave after the allegations against him emerged during the internal investigation conducted by the audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
ii.In the absence of Manu Sawhney, Geoff Allardice was appointed as the acting CEO.
Former West Indies Cricketer Daren Sammy named Brand Ambassador of Fun88
Fun88, a leading online gaming operator, has named Saint Lucian cricketer and Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy as its brand ambassador. Fun88 is a renowned brand in the sports sector that offers real-time news and analysis on various sports like cricket, kabaddi, football and others. Daren Sammy’s Role as
i.As the brand ambassador of Fun88, Daren Sammy will feature in the series of Fun88’s brand films targeting sports fans in India.
ii.This series will be a part of Fun88’s integrated branding and marketing campaign #LagiShart.
• The number 88 has been his jersey number for around 20 years.
Satish Agnihotri Appointed as new MD of NHSRCL
Satish Agnihotri, retired Indian Railways Service of Engineers (IRSE) officer(1982 batch), has been appointed as the new Managing Director(MD) of the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd(NHSRCL). He succeeds Achal Khare, the first MD of NHSRCL(2017 to 2021).
• He has served as the Chairman and MD of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited(RVNL), schedule A Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) under the Ministry of Railways.
• He has also served as the Chairman, High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (HSRC), a fully owned subsidiary of RVNL. NHSRCL was incorporated on 12th February 2016 with an aim to finance, construct, maintain and manage the high-speed rail corridor in India.
France Tests ‘HELMA-P’ Laser-Powered Anti-Drone System
The French Armed Forces used ‘HELMA-P (High-energy Laser for Multiple Application – Power)’, a Laser-Powered Anti-Drone System to destroy a drone during a test of technology conducted near the Atlantic coast in Southwestern part of France.
• HELMA-P which is manufactured by a French startup ‘CILAS’ is capable of detecting lightweight commercial drones from a distance of up to 3 Km (1.8 miles). It can track & destroy drones once they are within 1 Km radius of the system.
• The laser ray produced by the prototype is one million times more powerful than the one used by QR code readers.
• The system can be used to protect military bases and nuclear plants, as well as major events, against small low-flying drones that can escape radar detection.
• France is aiming to use the technology to protect the Paris 2024 Olympic games.
Indian Chess Grandmaster Nihal Sarin wins Serbia Open
On 8th July 2021, Indian Chess Grandmaster Nihal Sarin won the Serbia Open Chess Championship in Belgrade, Serbia. This is the 2nd consecutive win for the 16-year-old from Kerala, after he won the Silver Lake Open Chess Tournament in June 2021. i.In the Serbian Open, he secured top position with 7.5 points out of 9, which is 0.5 points higher than his nearest competition. ii.He won the Tournament without a single loss and a draw in the finals, which led him to break into the World’s Top 100 ranking (88th position). Other
• Arjun Erigaisi finished in 7th position with 7 points
• Aditya Mittal, ended at 10th position with 7 points, earning his maiden Grandmaster (GM) norms
• V Pranav, earned his 1st GM norm and became an International Master (IM).
Germany’s Toni Kroos announces retirement from International football
Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has announced his retirement from international football after the European Championship 2020 (due to pandemic it postponed to 2021) but he will continue his club career with Real Madrid. He made his international debut in January 2010 against Argentina, Kroos was an integral part of the German team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Shivam Shankar Singh & Anand Venkatanarayanan Authored a New Book “The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities”
Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan have co-authored a new book titled “The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World”. The book explains how the art of perception management is used to shape reality. The book is published by HarperCollins India.
About the book:
i.The book explains the operation of political parties, cyber-criminals, godmen, nation-states and intelligence agencies across the globe in order to explain how the power to manipulate people’s thoughts are being used, and the role of information warfare in shaping life and the world.
ii.The book also explains the use of Indian epics and pop culture in explaining the information warfare concepts like reflexive control, cybercriminal psychology and others.
India, Gambia sign MoU to Strengthen Cooperation in Governance Reforms
On July 8, 2021, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Gambia to strengthen and promote bilateral cooperation in personnel administration and governance reforms. The information for the same was provided by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
• As a part of MoU, both nations’ personnel administration will share best practices in improving performance management system in government, implementation of contributory pension schemes and e-recruitment in government.
• For the formation of a work plan, a meeting of the joint working group (JWG) will be held.
Google India becomes 1st SSMI to publish Transparency report under New IT rules
Google India became the 1st technology company which is qualified as ‘Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs)’ to publish a Transparency report under the new ‘Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021’.
• Transparency report includes details of complaints received from users in India and the action taken across Google’s platform between April 1-30, 2021.
• SSMIs are technology platforms which have more than 5 million users.
New IT Rules
The ‘Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021’ has been framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011. It was released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
CII, MEA Organize 1st edition of Indo-Pacific Business Summit 2021
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) organised the 1st edition of Indo Pacific Business Summit from 6-8 July, 2021, over a virtual platform.
• Theme of the Summit – ‘Developing a Road Map for Shared Prosperity’
• Objective – To discuss how India & other countries in the Indo Pacific Region can enhance economic partnership and collaborate for future economic development.
• MEA Secretary (East), Riva Ganguly Das addressed the Special Session of the Summit. Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries across the Indo Pacific region participated in the summit.
• The Topics of discussion were Physical and digital connectivity, development of supply chains, start-ups, healthcare, investment opportunities in the region, climate change, blue economy and others.
India to promote ‘Green Hydrogen’ strategies in International Climate Summit 2021
India will host the International Climate Summit 2021 (ICS) on 3rd September in New Delhi, with key focus on ‘Green Hydrogen’ and making India as a Global hub for Hydrogen production. The event was organised in partnership with the Government of Norway, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the delegates.
i.The Summit is being organised jointly by NITI Aayog, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, CSIR, and the Department of Science & Technology.
ii.It includes India-centric discussions with a special focus on ‘Powering India’s Hydrogen Ecosystem’. Innovative ideas on storing and transportation of liquefied hydrogen are the key agenda of the Summit.
Note – India announced the “National Hydrogen Energy Mission” in the Union Budget of India 2021-22, with targets to build hydrogen energy capacity by 2050.
iii.The Summit also plans on the formation of an ‘International Hydrogen Alliance’ and setting up of ‘Centres of Excellence’ in select Universities across India.
COAS MM Naravane holds High-level meeting in UK & Italy
India’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General MM Naravane conducted high-level meetings with his counterparts & senior military leaders in the United Kingdom (UK) and Italy as a part of his European Tour between 5th to 8th July 2021.
COAS visit to UK
i.COAS Gen. MM Naravane made his 2-day visit to the United Kingdom on July 5 & 6, where he conducted high level talks on Defence Cooperation with UK’s CODS Gen. Nicholas Carter.
ii.He also held meetings with the U.K. Secretary of State for Defence – Ben Wallace and Chief of General Staff – General Mark Carleton-Smith, where they exchanged views on bilateral defence cooperation.
COAS visit to Italy
i.COAS Gen. MM Naravan visited Italy on July 7 & 8, where he inaugurated an ‘Indian Army Memorial’ at Cassino, Italy. The memorial acts as a respect for the sacrifice made by Indian forces during World War II.
ii.He also held meetings with his Italian counterpart Lt. Gem Pietro Serino and Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini at Rome.
iii.They discussed various modes of strengthening bilateral defence cooperation between India & Italy. They also discussed Co-developing Military hardwares.
iv.Notably, his visit comes days after the 2-day maritime exercise between Indian Navy & Italian Navy in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
World’s Tallest Sandcastle Build in Blokhus, Denmark
The sandcastle created by the Dutch Designers team led by Wilfred Stijger, which stands around 69 feet tall (more than 21 meters) becomes the world’s tallest sandcastle. The sandcastle made of around 5000 tons of sand was created as a part of the sandcastle festival in Blokhus, Denmark.
• The sandcastle has broken the previous record held by the 17.658 metres sandcastle built by Skulptura Projects GmbH in 2019 in Germany by around 3.5 metres.
• The Blokhus sandcastle, with a replica of the coronavirus at the top, represents the power the coronavirus has held over the world.
LAST MONTHS G.K.