UNESCO recognises Kolkata's Durga Puja as an intangible cultural heritage.

  • UNESCO has added Durga Puja in Kolkata to its list of intangible cultural heritage for 2021, giving international recognition to the 331-year-old city and the largest religious festival in the state of West Bengal.
  • The UNESCO announcement was welcomed by Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is widely recognized as the biggest patron of the festival.
  • With the inclusion of Durga Puja, the number of elements in the list of intangible cultural heritage from India has increased to 14.
  • There are 36,946 community Durga Pujas organized in Bengal. Of these, around 2,500 are held in Kolkata.
  • In recent years, several organizations have urged UNESCO to recognize the festival.

Bhutan confers PM Modi with its highest civilian award.

  • PM Narendra Modi has been honored with Bhutan's highest civilian award, Nagdag Pel Ji Khorlo, on the occasion of the country's National Day.
  • Bhutan's Prime Minister Lotay Tshering has announced PM Modi's name for Bhutan's highest honour.
  • The honor comes as an appreciation of India's friendly approach towards Bhutan under PM Modi's rule.
  • During the pandemic, India had supported the neighboring country in the form of vaccines, medicines and other emergency services.
  • In 2019, Russia conferred on him its highest civilian honour Order of St. Andrew award.
  • The UAE also conferred its highest civilian honour Order of Zayed Award on Modi in 2019.

Simone Biles has been named Athlete of the Year for 2021 by Time Magazine.

  • The world's most decorated gymnast, a four-time Olympic medalist, was honored to put her mental health first when she pulled out of four event finals at the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Despite the setbacks, the 24-year-old managed to win a team silver and bronze medals in balance beam at the Tokyo Games.
  • Biles along with hundreds of athletes accused the FBI, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for failing to stop the abuse.
  • A month after the Tokyo Olympics, Biles gave an emotional testimony at a US senate hearing into former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

India included 148 athletes in the list of TOPS athletes for 2024 Olympics.

  • A total of 148 athletes, including 20 new players in seven Olympic disciplines and six Paralympic disciplines, have been identified for support under the Lakshya Olympic Podium Scheme in a meeting of the Mission Olympic Cell of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
  • TOP scheme which is an effort to provide support to the top athletes of India.
  • This scheme was launched in 2014.
  • The Mission Olympic Cell approved the lists in cycling, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling as well as para sports (archery, athletics, badminton, shooting, swimming, table tennis).
  • Archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, horse riding, fencing, golf, gymnastics, judo, rowing and tennis will be taken up at the next meeting later this month.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur inaugurates Khelo India Women's Hockey League.

  • Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur formally inaugurated the first ever national level Khelo India Women's Hockey League at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.
  • The winner of Khelo India Women's Hockey League will get a cash prize of 30 lakhs.
  • In the first phase, a total of 14 teams will participate in the league and 42 matches will be played from December 15 to December 21.
  • The second and third phases will be held early next year.
  • Sports Authority of India and Hockey India are jointly organizing the national level Khelo India League for the first time.
  • This is the first major event to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium after 2015.

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