Current Affairs "Award & Prizes"
- The former President, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, presented the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar-2008 to Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation, during World Environment Day function in New Delhi.
Orange for Kingsolver
- A novelist, regarded as a “traitor” by the American right for her criticism of the country’s foreign policy and her outspoken comments after the 9/11 attacks, is the surprise winner of this year’s Orange Prize for fiction, Britain’s highly-regarded literary honour for women writers .
- Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna, the story of an American writer who becomes a victim of anti-communist McCarthyist witch-hunt, won the £30,000 prize beating six contenders including Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed Booker prize-winner Wolf Hall.
- Ms. Kingsolver (55), a strong critic of colonialism and evangelism, was attacked by the American Right for opposing the Iraq invasion and the post-9/11 “jingoistic” mood in her country. She was branded a “traitor” after she reportedly said the American flag had come to symbolise “intimidation, violence, bigotry”.
Indian-origin boy wins BBC contest
- Indian-origin maths whizz Arjun Rajyagor has been adjudged the first winner of BBC’s Junior Apprentice, a show in which contestants compete in tasks to prove themselves worthy of a prize that will help them up the career ladder.
- Mr. Rajyagor (17) beat finalists Zoe Plummer, Tim Ankers and Kirsty Cleaver after a final task to market bottled water. Mr. Rajyagor won £25,000 to launch his business career.
- Cambridge honour for Ratan Tata
- Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group of Companies, has been made an Honorary Doctor of Law by the University of Cambridge in recognition of his business achievements and philanthropic work.
- The degree was conferred on him at a traditional, formal ceremony presided over by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who is also the Chancellor of the university.
Sachin Tendulkar get honorary Group Captain rank of IAF
- Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was conferred with the honorary rank of Group Captain of the Indian Air Force, in pursuance of a provision in the armed forces to grant such ranks to eminent personalities.
- The Air Force feels that Tendulkar’s association with it will motivate the younger generation to join it and serve the country. Till date the Air Force has granted honorary ranks to 21 persons, including noted industrialists and aviation enthusiasts such as J.R.D. Tata and Vijaipat Singhania.
- As per the IAF records, the former ruler of Jawhar, a princely state in Bombay presidency, Yashwant Rao Patangshah Vikramshah Mukane, was the first person to be granted the honorary rank of Flight Lieutenant on September 30, 1944.
- The list includes rulers of a number of erstwhile princely states. J.R.D. Tata was first made an honorary Group Captain in 1948. He was later promoted as Air Commodore in October 1966 and finally made the honorary Air Vice Marshal in 1974.
- Singhania was the last to be granted the honorary rank in October 1990 after having flown solo in a micro-light aircraft from London to Ahmedabad for 22 days in 1988.
Perelman rejects award
- After taking a three-month timeout, Russia’s math whizz Grigori Perelman has finally turned down a $1,000,000 prize he won for having solved a century-old puzzle.
- The Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) in March awarded its Millennium Prize of $1 million to the reclusive mathematician for proving the 106-year-old Poincaré conjecture, a theorem about the nature of multidimensional space.
- The eccentric Russian genius said the decision to give him the prize was unfair, as U.S. mathematician Richard Hamilton of Columbia University equally contributed to the proof. Dr. Perelman used a technique developed by Dr. Hamilton, to solve the Poincare conjecture.
- In 2006, Dr. Perelman refused to accept the Fields Medal, which is considered equal to the Nobel Prize.
Sangeet Natak Akademi announces Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars for 2009
- The Sangeet Natak Akademi has announced the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars for 2009.
- These are awarded to artistes “who have shown/demonstrated conspicuous talent in the fields of music, dance and drama.”
Young outstanding practitioners up to the age of 35 are eligible for the annual Puraskar. the following are the recipients of the Puraskar for 2009:
Omkar Shrikant Dadarkar – Hindustani vocal;
Murad Ali – Hindustani instrumental – sarangi;
Sanjeev Shankar and Ashwani Shankar (joint award)
– Hindustani instrumental – shehnai; C.S. Sajeev –
Carnatic vocal; Mysore A. Chandan Kumar – Carnatic
instrumental – flute; V. Balaji – Carnatic
instrumental – mridangam; Anil Srinivasan –
creative and experimental music; and
Moirangthem Meina Singh other major traditions of
music – Nata Sankirtana of Manipur.
Ragini Chander Shekar – Bharatanatyam; Monisa Nayak – Kathak; Hanglem Indu Devi – Manipuri; Chinta Ravi Balakrishna – Kuchipudi; Lingaraj Pradhan – Odissi; Menaka P.P. Bora – Sattriya; Manjula B. Murthy – Mohiniattam; Swamimalai K. Suresh (music for dance) – Bharatanatyam nattuvangam and vocal.
Abanti Chakraborty and Sukracharya Rabha – direction; Mukta Vasant Barve, Palani Murugan and Teekam Chandra Joshi – acting; Milind Srivastava – allied theatre arts – lighting; Juhi Babbar – allied theatre arts – costumes; and S. Gobi – (major traditions of theatre) – Bhagavata Mela of Tamil Nadu.
Traditional/folk/tribal dance/music/theatre and puppetry:-
Reshma Musale – Lavani and Tamasha, Maharashtra; K. Nellai Manikandan – folk dance, Tamil Nadu; Zohmingliana – tribal dance and music, Mizoram; Takhellambam Shyamkanhai Singh – Wari Leeba, Manipur; Sooraj Nambiar – Koodiyattam, Kerala; Shahjan Ahmad Bhagat – Bhand Pather, Jammu and Kashmir; Nazia Sayeed – Odissi music, Orissa; and Lala Bhat – Kathputli, Rajasthan.
Paid news’ interferes with concept of free, fair and objective press: Pratibha Patil
- President Pratibha Patil said the recent phenomenon of ‘paid news’ could distort news and this interfered with the concept of a free, fair and objective press.
- Speaking after presenting the 4th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, the President delved into the history and relevance of the Indian media and the challenges it faced in today’s constantly changing world.
- The awards were given to 29 categories, comprising political reporting, business, sports, environmental and entertainment journalism, investigative journalism and on-the-spot reporting.
- Siddharth Varadarajan, chief of the Delhi Bureau of TheHindu, was selected for the Journalist of the Year award in the Print Category for his extensive reportage on the India-U.S. nuclear deal, the placing of India’s civil nuclear reactors under the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and the exemption granted to India by the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
- Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Times Now, was selected for Journalist of the Year in the Broadcast Category.
- Harish Damodaran of The Hindu Business Line won the award for the Best Non-Fiction Book in English for his work, “India’s New Capitalists.”
- Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta announced a new award category for “Journalism of Courage.” It was given posthumously to Indian Express correspondent Vijay Pratap Singh, who died of the injuries he sustained in a bomb blast in Allahabad on July 12.
Tilak award for Sheila Dikshit
- This year’s Lokmanya Tilak Award given to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
- This was announced by president of the Lokmanya Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust, Deepak Tilak,. The award is given every year by the trust. It consists of a gold medal, a memento, a citation and Rs.1 lakh. The ceremony will take place on August 1 at the Tilak Smarak Mandir on the occasion of the 89th death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak. The award was established in 1983.
- The award is being given to Ms. Dikshit in recognition of her contribution to politics, Mr. Tilak said.
Konkani litterateur Ravindra Kelekar presented Jnanpith Award 2006
- Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar presenting the prestigious Jnanpith Award to octogenarian Konkani litterateur Ravindra Kelekar.
- The 42nd Jnanpith Award for 2006 carried a citation, shawl, srifal, a bronze idol of Vagdevi Saraswati and a cash prize of Rs. 7 lakh.
- Ms. Kumar congratulated Mr. Kelekar and said that his literature reflected culture, principles of non-violence and Buddha’s teachings.
Pattnaik wins Sand Sculpture Championship for 5th time
- Renowned Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has won the first prize at the 8th International Sand Sculpture Championship in Berlin for his sculpture that showcased the effects of global warming.
- Pattnaik’s sculpture that had a crying tree trunk and three monkeys saying, “You don’t listen, You don’t talk, You don’t see, Don’t put heads on sand, act now,” won the maximum votes.
Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar inscribed in the World Heritage List
- The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is now a World Heritage Monument. The 34th session of the World Heritage Committee, presently underway in Brasilia, has inscribed Jantar Mantar in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s World Heritage List. Thirty-three countries across the world had submitted 32 sites for consideration this year.
- The UNESCO website observes that these structures ‘designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, embody several architectural and instrumental innovations.’
- Located outside the city palace, this large stone observatory with its many instruments was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the 18th century. It is one of the one of the four existing astronomical observatories in India. The others are located in Varanasi, Delhi and Ujjain. The fifth one built in Mathura is not extant. The Samrat Yantra in Jaipur is one of the largest sundials in the world, with its gnomon raising about 73 feet above its base.
- India had also submitted the Matheran Light Railway line for consideration as an extension of the Mountain Railways of India, which includes the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri railway and Kalka-Shimla Railway that are already inscribed as heritage sites.
- The other international sites added to the list this year include, 11 Australian convict sites, the palace ensemble at ad-Dir’iyah in Saudi Arabia, Tabriz historic bazaar complex in Iran and the natural site of the Central Highlands in Sri Lanka.
- So far, about 890 properties are included in the list for their “outstanding universal value.” The committee also oversees the disbursement of about $4 million annually from the World Heritage Fund.
KCHR, British Museum share award
- The British Museum and the Thiruvananthapuram-based Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) have been jointly awarded this year’s international partnership award by the British Academy.
- The award, which carries a grant of £30,000, is aimed at promoting research collaboration between two partner-institutions, one Indian and one British.
- The research proposal, titled “Indian Ocean Trade: the Archaeology of Technology,” by Roberta Tomber of the British Museum and P.J. Cherian of the KCHR, was based on major archaeological research work at the Pattanam site in central Kerala carried out over the last four seasons.
- Professor Cherian is the Director of the KCHR and of the Pattanam excavations, while noted historian K.N. Panikkar is the Chairman of the KCHR. The self-governing and independent British Academy is the United Kingdom’s national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. Established by Royal Charter in 1902, it has fellowship of over 800 scholars.
Leelavathi Award for Simon Lehna Singh
- Well-known physicist-turned author, journalist and television producer of Indian origin Simon Lehna Singh has been selected by the International Mathematical Union for the Leelavathi Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to public outreach in mathematics.
- Named after the immortal mathematical treatise of the great Indian mathematician Bhaskaracharya, the award carries a cash prize of Rs.10 lakh and a citation.
- It will be presented at the closing ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), which will be held in Hyderabad from August 19 to 27.