The Language Friendship Bridge Project
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has envisaged a special project called ‘The Language Friendship Bridge’ to expand India’s cultural footprint in nations with which it has historical ties.
The project aimed at creating a pool of experts in languages spoken in countries such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Indonesia to facilitate better people-to-people exchanges.
The project plans to train five to 10 people in the official languages of each of these countries, with a focus on translating Indian literature into these languages.
As of now, the ICCR has zeroed in on 10 languages: Kazakh, Uzbek, Bhutanese, Ghoti (spoken in Tibet), Burmese, Khmer (spoken in Cambodia), Thai, Sinhalese and Bahasa (spoken in both Indonesia and Malaysia).
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India, involved in India’s external cultural relations (cultural diplomacy), through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples.
It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister.
ICCR has been assigned the responsibility of facilitating the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by Indian Missions/Posts abroad since 2015.
ICCR has instituted several awards, which are conferred upon the foreign nationals for their contributions in different fields, under its mandate of promoting India’s cultural relations. Such awards include:
- Distinguished Indologist Award: Award is conferred upon a foreign scholar for his contribution in study, teaching and research in any of the fields of Indian Studies.
- World Sanskrit Award: It recognizes the contribution of foreign scholars in promoting Sanskrit studies.
- Distinguished Alumni Award: Citation and Plaque: Recognizes the achievements of foreign students who studied in India.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
TRAI has blocked 120 headers operated by a group linked to a Chinese entity.
It is a statutory body established in 1997 through the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.
Objectives: The main objective of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
Headquarters: The head office of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is located at New Delhi.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project
The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is India’s largest nuclear power plant located in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. The plant was built in collaboration with Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and was constructed in two phases.
The first phase involved the construction of Units 1 and 2, which started generating power on December 31, 2014. The current total generated power of Units 1 and 2 is 75,781 million units.
The second phase involves the construction of four additional reactors, which are currently under construction. Recently, a pressuriser was delivered for Reactor 5 of this power plant by AEM-Technologies Izhora, which is part of the machine-building division of Rosatom – Atomenergomash.
Order of the White Eagle
Poland’s highest order, the Order of the White Eagle, has a rich history dating back to its official institution on November 1, 1705, by Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. Originally bestowed on only eight of his closest diplomatic and political supporters, the order has become a symbol of prestige, honour, and service to the nation. Over the centuries, the order has been awarded to the most distinguished Poles for their merits and to the highest-ranking representatives of foreign countries.
The Order of the White Eagle is attached to a purple ribbon slung over the left shoulder to the right side, and the star of the order, once embroidered, is worn on the left side of the chest. The order has maintained its significance throughout the years, remaining one of the oldest distinctions in the world still in use.
Japan’s Overseas Security Assistance (OSA) Programme
On April 5, 2023, Japan announced its decision to provide financial support to help nations strengthen their defences. This announcement marked a radical departure from the regulations that have been preventing the use of foreign aid for military objectives. The Overseas Security Assistance (OSA) programme will be run independently from the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme, which finances civilian infrastructure.
According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, the OSA programme aims to deepen security cooperation with countries and create a desirable security environment for Japan.
The initial beneficiaries of the OSA programme may include the Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, or Fiji.
In an effort to compete with China, Japan has been expanding its relationships with developing nations. As part of the efforts to strengthen relationship with South and Southeast Asia, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a $75 billion investment across the Indo-Pacific. This investment will help to create economic growth and improve infrastructure in the region.
What are BH1 and Gaia BH2?
Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery by finding the closest black hole to Earth, located in our cosmic backyard. This discovery has opened up a new world of possibilities for studying these enigmatic cosmic objects and understanding their role in shaping the universe.
BH1 is the closest black hole ever detected till date. It is situated just 1,560 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus. It was discovered by a team of astronomers using the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia satellite, which is designed to precisely measure the positions and movements of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. In addition to BH1, Gaia also found the second closest black hole to Earth, Gaia BH2, which is 3800 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus.
The Gaia satellite is playing a crucial role in the detection of black holes. It is designed to precisely measure the positions and movements of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which helps scientists to identify any changes caused by the gravity of nearby black holes. By detecting these changes, scientists can locate and study black holes in greater detail.
Operation Cookie Monster and Genesis Market
The FBI and the Justice Department recently led a massive operation to combat illicit state-backed cybercrime. Dubbed “Operation Cookie Monster,” the effort involved an international consortium of law enforcement authorities and resulted in the seizure of Genesis Market, a Russia-linked marketplace that sold tens of millions of hacked accounts to cybercriminals around the world. The effort also included 400 law enforcement operations and 208 searches across more than a dozen countries.
Genesis Market was one of the two largest venues for the purchase and sale of hacked accounts. It had a sophisticated, globe-spanning infrastructure that compromised some 1 million devices.
Records show that Genesis domain names were linked to nameservers in Russia and China, two nations that have been named as loci for state-sponsored hacking. Treasury said it believes Genesis to be located in Russia. Genesis’ user base was spread across dozens of countries, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced sanctions against Genesis Market, along with the takedown of its domain names. The effort is a continuation of the Justice Department’s work against crypto exchange Bitzlato earlier this year. Bitzlato was described as an alleged haven for criminal activity with overt links to a Russian dark web marketplace.
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