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Current Affairs – August 18, 2023
1. Eminent educationist & social activist Prof Deven Dutta passes away
Consumer rights activist and former vice-principal of Cotton University, Deven Dutta passed away at the age of 81.
Born on April 5, 1944, at Nazira in Sivasagar, Deven Dutta was residing in Guwahati’s Sundarpur area.
He completed his post-graduation in English in the year 1965 and started his career as a professor of English at Cotton College. He was also a renowned litterateur and columnist.
Prof Dutta was a prolific writer and published several books and articles on a variety of topics, including literature, education, and social issues. He was also a regular columnist in several newspapers and magazines.
2. AFI chief Adille Sumariwalla elected to World Athletics Executive Board
Adille Sumariwalla has been elected as one of the four vice presidents of World Athletics, the highest post ever held by an Indian in the global track and field governing body.
The 65-year-old Sumariwalla, who is the president of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), received the third-highest number of votes cast during the WA elections held on Thursday in Budapest, Hungary. He will serve a four-year term.
In his new role as vice president, Sumariwalla will be responsible for helping to shape the future of athletics at the global level.
He will also be involved in decision-making on a range of issues, including the development of the sport, anti-doping, and the World Championships. The other three vice presidents elected were Ximena Restrepo (Colombia), Raul Chapado (Spain), and Jackson Tuwei (Kenya).
3. Kamlesh Varshney, Amarjeet Singh appointed SEBI whole-time members
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Kamlesh Varshney and Amarjeet Singh as SEBI Whole-Time Members.
While Varshney, a 1990-batch officer of the Indian Revenue Service, is a joint secretary at the revenue department in the Finance Ministry, Singh is an executive director at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Both Varshney and Singh have been appointed for three years from the date of assumption of charge or until further orders, whichever is earlier, according to an order issued by the Secretariat of the ACC.
At SEBI, Varshney and Singh will fill in the vacancies created by the retirement of S K Mohanty and Ananta Barua.
4. Army 2023: 9th International Military-Technical Forum
India, China, and Iran have established pavilions at the ongoing Army 2023, the 9th International Military-Technical Forum hosted by Russia.
The Indian pavilion features stalls from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and three Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
This pavilion was inaugurated by India’s Ambassador to Russia, Pavan Kapoor, and garnered attention from Russian government officials, including Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu.
The DPSUs present are Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), and Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). BrahMos Corporation, a joint venture between India and Russia, is also part of the expo.
China and Iran have set up substantial pavilions displaying their locally developed military equipment. The forum offers a platform for showcasing advanced military technologies, fostering international partnerships, and discussing global security concerns.
5. Water Crisis in Afghanistan
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that a staggering 79% of Afghans lack sufficient access to clean water for essential needs, exacerbated by the worst drought in 30 years, economic instability, and decades of conflict.
The dire situation has led to half of the population facing acute hunger, with six million people on the brink of famine.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has requested $33 million in funding to offer water, sanitation, and hygiene support to 2.3 million Afghan citizens throughout the year 2023.
With 25 of 34 provinces experiencing severe or catastrophic drought conditions, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) emphasizes the need for urgent international attention to address the crisis.
Despite the extensive challenges, only 23% of the required $3.23 billion in funding for humanitarian assistance has been received, further endangering vulnerable Afghans.