Current Affairs May 2016 - Awards


News 1 - Three Indian names on the list of 50 Scientists elected as Fellows of the Royal Society

The Royal Society

Physicist Sriram Ramaswamy, Director of the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Hyderabad; Biochemist Ramanujan Hegde, MRC Laboratory of Microbiology, U.K. and Applied Mathematician Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, Harvard University are three Indians on the list of fifty scientists elected as Fellows of the Royal Society, a premier Scientific Academy of the U.K. and the Commonwealth.

Ardaseer Cursetjee, an engineer was the first Indian to be inducted in 1841. Srinivasa Ramanujan was the second Indian to be inducted, in 1918. Sriram has received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (2000) and the Infosys Prize (2011) for his research.

News 2 - Edgar A. Poe award by US President given to an Indo-American Journalist

Edgar A Poe

Neela Banerjee, an Indian-American journalist and three of her colleagues from Inside Climate News — John Cushman Jr, David Hasemyer and Lisa Song were all together presented with the prestigious Edgar A. Poe award by the U.S. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. The award was shared by Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post.

Previously, Banerjee was an energy and environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times' Washington bureau. She covered global energy, the Iraq War and other issues with the New York Times. Misha Euceph, a Pakistani radio journalist from Rawalpindi was among the 18 budding journalists selected for WHCA annual scholarship. She was also felicitated by the US President and the First Lady.

News 3 - Indian Cricket players Virat Kohli recommended for Khel Ratna and Ajinkya Rahane for Arjuna Award by BCCI

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane

The BCCI has nominated Indian cricket player Virat Kohli for the esteemed Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and Ajinkya Rahane for the Arjuna Award. The BCCI had earlier nominated Rahul Dravid for the award four years ago in 2012.

Kohli was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2013 and has been nominated for the Khel Ratna after his heroics in the recent World T20. So far, the only cricketers to have been honoured with the Khel Ratna are legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98) and India's ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007). For the Arjuna award, apart from Rahane, athletes Lalita Babar and OP Jaisha, shooters PN Prakash and Apurvi Chandela and archer Laxmirani Majhi have been nominated.

News 4 - The 63rd National Film Awards presented by President Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee presented the 63rd National film awards for different categories at an event held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

The 2015 Dada Saheb Phalke Award ceremony was also held at the same event by presenting this award to veteran actor Manoj Kumar. The major category award for best actor and best actress was honored to Amitabh Bachchan and Kangana Ranaut respectively.

Other Major Recipients:

Best Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani
Best feature film SS Rajamouli for Bahubali
Best children's film Duronto
Best Child Artist Gaurav Menon for Malaylam movie ‘Ben’
Best Music Direction M Jayachandran

News 5 - Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics announced

Breakthrough Prize

The Selection Committee of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics announced a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics recognizing scientists and engineers contributing to the momentous detection of gravitational waves. The $3 million prize will be shared between LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) founders Ronald W. P. Drever, Kip S. Thorne and Rainer Weiss and 1012 contributors to the discovery.

The Special Breakthrough Prize can be conferred at any time in recognition of an extraordinary scientific achievement.

News 6 - President of India confers the Niryat Shree and Niryat Bandhu Awards

Niryat Shree and Niryat Bandhu Awards

The Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the 15th Set of FIEO “Niryat Shree” and “Niryat Bandhu” Awards to companies from various sectors of exports during the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) here at New Delhi.

Reliance Industry was adjudged as the top foreign exchange earner and leading exporter of last 50 years. TCS bagged the Gold Award in IT services. Amongst the supporting institutions, State Bank of India got the Gold award followed by Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank.

News 7 - Parashar Kulkarni won 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia Region

Parashar Kulkarni

Parashar Kulkarni, an assistant professor in Social Sciences at Yale NUS College Singapore, won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for 2016, for the Asia region for his unpublished short fiction 'Cow and Company'. He will receive a cash prize of 2500 pounds.

The winners from other four regions are:

Faraaz Mahomed ‘The Pigeon’ with its playful tone and unreliable narrator.
Stefanie Seddon Eel, a simply told and moving story of childhood.
Lance Dowrich comedic ‘Ethelbert and the Free Cheese’.
Tina Makereti ‘Black Milk’, which impressed with a lyricism that takes the reader into another world while keeping them always on earth.

News 8 - Musician Angélique Kidjo and African youth activists honoured with the Amnesty International Award

Amnesty International Award

World-renowned musician Angélique Kidjo and three inspirational African youth activist movements have been declared this year’s joint winners of the prestigious Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2016.

The award will be shared between Angélique Kidjo and the activist groups Y’en a marre from Senegal, le Balai Citoyen from Burkina Faso and Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA) from DRC. All will be honoured at the awards ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, on 28 May. The Ambassador of Conscience Award celebrates individuals and groups who have shown exceptional courage standing up to injustice, who have used their talents to inspire others and who have furthered the cause of human rights.

News 9 - President presents Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations to Defence Personnel

Gallantry Awards

President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations to Defence personnel at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Constable Gautam Koch of Assam Armed Branch who made supreme sacrifice fighting UPLA insurgents in Assam's Difu was awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. Naib Subedar Rajesh Kumar Singh who also made supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir was awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. President also conferred the Param Vishisht Seva Medal,Kirti Chakra, Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal, Atti vishisht Sewa Medal and Shaurya Chakra.

News 10 - Indian scientist Manvendra K Singh awarded SGD 3 million as grant from Singapore's NRF

Manvendra K Singh

Indian scientist, Dr. Manvendra K Singh, has been awarded a grant of SGD 3 million (about Rs 14.7 crore) by the National Research Foundation of Singapore to research in congenital and adult cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Singh belongs to Gorakhpur city of Uttar Pradesh. He is among the seven young scientists from across the world to be endowed with the Singapore NRF fellowship to carry out cutting-edge research this year. The NRF is a department within the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore.

News 11 - Commemorative Coin on Maharana Pratap released

Commemorative Coin on Maharana Pratap

As a part of the 475th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Maharana Pratap, Union Minister for Culture and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma released a Commemorative coin of Rs. 100/- and a Circulation coin of Rs. 10/- in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 475th Birth Anniversary of Maharana Pratap during the 2015-16 in association with the State Government of Rajasthan. The Government of India and the State Government of Rajasthan have decided to create a multi-purpose indoor stadium at Khel Gaon, Udaipur in his memory. The Ministry of Culture has agreed to give a sum of Rs. 9.50 crores to the State Government for this purpose.

News 12 - BAFTA TV awards 2016 has been announced


The winners of the House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards were announced at the ceremony hosted by Graham Norton at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on Sunday 8th May 2016.

The winners are:

  • Mark Rylance − Leading Actor - Wolf Hall

  • Suranne Jones − Leading Actress - Doctor Foster

  • Tom Courtenay − Supporting Actor - Unforgotten

  • Chanel Cresswell − Supporting Actress - This Is England ’90

  • Peter Kay − Male Performance in a Comedy Programme - Peter Kay’s Car Share

  • Michaela Coel − Female Performance in a Comedy Programme − Chewing Gum

  • Entertainment Performance − Leigh Francis - Celebrity Juice

  • Drama Series − Wolf Hall

  • The award for Single Drama − Don’t Take My Baby

  • Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme − Have I Got News For You

  • The award for single documentary − My Son the Jihadi

  • The Special Award in Honour of Alan Clarke − Lenny Henry

  • The Fellowship, the highest accolade the Academy bestows − Ray Galton and Alan Simpson

News 13 - Indian-American Revathi Balakrishnan honoured as the 2016 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year

Revathi Balakrishnan

An Indian-American Revathi Balakrishnan was honoured by the US President Barack Obama as the 2016 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year for her excellent work in the field of education. She will now represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Ms. Revathi Balakrishnan originally is from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She is currently teaching math classes in third through fifth grade at Sommer. The 'National Teacher of the Year Program' identifies exceptional teachers in the country. This program further empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

News 14 - N K Singh gets Japan's second highest national award

N K Singh

Mr. N K Singh was awarded with Japan’s Second Highest national award for his contribution towards the Indo-Japan economic relations in the field of trade and investment over the last few decades. The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’ award was conferred on Mr. Singh by the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a glittering ceremony at the Imperial Palace. A total of 91 eminent personalities, including eight foreign recipients have been conferred with this award.

Mr. Singh is a politician, economist and a former top bureaucrat.

News 15 - The President Confers Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 Nurses

Florence Nightingale Awards

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 nurses from across the country on the occasion of International Nurses Day at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Florence Nightingale awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs. Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, Mission institutions and the private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government. The Florence Nightingale Awards carries Rs.50,000/- cash, a certificate, a citation certificate and a Medal.

News 16 - Indian artist wins an award at the UN Poster Contest on N-disarmament

UN Poster Contest

Ms. Anjali Chandrashekar, a New York-based designer and "artivist", won the third prize in the UN Poster for Peace contest presented by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) to raise awareness of the need for nuclear disarmament. The poster was titled 'Cutting Barriers through Peace', and featured a peace dove slicing through a nuclear weapon.

The first prize went to 38-year-old Ivan Ciro Palomino Huamani from Peru for his 'Spinning Peace', which features a nuclear weapon being unraveled into a string which is then used to fly kites and balloons, and to jump rope. The second placed winner, 15-year-old Michelle Li, named her poster 'Peace in our Hands', which features a shadow puppet of a peace dove above a broken nuclear weapon.

News 17 - Former ISRO Chief U R Rao to be honored with the ‘Hall of Fame’ award

U R Rao

Eminent Space Scientist Prof Udupi Ramachandra Rao will be honoured by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) with the 2016 'IAF Hall of Fame Award" for his outstanding contribution to the progress of astronautics within the framework of the IAF activities.

The IAF award is intended to reward personalities for their contributions to the progress of astronautics and the Federation. He will receive the 'IAF Hall of Fame' Award during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in September 2016.

News 18 - United Nations to honor 4 Indian Peacekeepers and a Civilian

United Nations Peacekeepers

Four Indian Peacekeepers and a Civilian will be honoured along with other 124 personnel with a prestigious U.N. Medal awarded posthumously for their courage and sacrifice. They laid down their lives while serving in the U.N. Peacekeeping Operations last year. They are to be posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold medal which is named after the second U.N. Secretary General on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

The fallen Indian peacekeepers who will be honoured are Head Constable Shubhkaran Yadav, Rifleman Manish Malik, Havildar Amal Deka, Naik Rakesh Kumar and Gagan Punjabi.

News 19 - Celina Jaitly received Harvey Milk Foundation Medal

Celina Jaitly

Bollywood actress Celina Jaitly was honoured with the Harvey Milk Foundation’s Lilla Watson Global Champion Medal for her advocacy and support for the LGBT rights movement in India. She has dedicated it to the two Bangladeshi LGBT activists who were murdered recently. She also wanted to share it with Indian LGBT activists.

The award is in the name of Harvey Bernard Milk, an American politician who became the first open gay person to be elected to public office in California.

News 20 - IIT student Nandini Bhandaru bags the Young Scientist Award by European Materials Research Society

Nandini Bhandaru

Nandini Bhandaru, a PhD student at IIT Kharagpur has been recently conferred with the European Materials Research Society’s Young Scientist Award at EMRS 2016 Spring Meeting Lille France.

She won the award based on her outstanding contribution to Material Science and Nano Technology, particularly Nano patterning of soft films and surfaces. Nandini’s area of doctoral research is on nanofabrication including Soft-Lithography, thin film dewetting, polymer blend films and self-assembly.

News 21 - The Vegetarian, authored by Han Kang, wins Man Booker International Prize

Booker International Prize

The Vegetarian, authored by Han Kang, has won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. This novel is about a woman who "wants to reject human brutality" and gives up eating meat and wants to become a tree. The book was translated by Deborah Smith, who only learned Korean three years before.

The writer and her British translator will share the award's £50,000 prize money. Han Kang is the first South Korean to win the prize.

News 22 - JK Rowling receives the highest French Civilian Honor

JK Rowling

Harry Potter Author JK Rowling has been made an Honorary Knight in the French Legion Of Honor, France's highest civilian award by President Nicolas Sarkozy at a ceremony in Paris. The title constitutes the country's elite national merit society.

The title was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th century and constitutes the country's elite national merit society.

Foreigners cannot be officially inducted. Other foreign celebrity knights include Jerry Lewis, Steven Spielberg and Barbara Streisand.

News 23 - Indian-American teenager Syamantak Payra wins the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award

Syamantak Payra

A 15-year-old Indian-American boy has won the prestigious 'Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award' for developing a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace. The knee brace allows a person with a weakened leg to be able to walk better. Payra won $50,000 award for his effort along with Kathy Liu who was awarded for developing an alternative battery component that could significantly improve battery performance and safety.

The first prize, Gordon E. Moore Award of 75000 US dollars, went to Han Jie (Austin) Wang for developing microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that more efficiently convert organic waste into electricity. The award was given by Intel Corporation and the Society for Science and the Public (SSP) at the 2016 'Intel International Science and Engineering Fair' in Arizona.

News 24 - US National Medal of Science Award given to Indian-American Rakesh K Jain

Rakesh K Jain

Indian American scientist, Rakesh K Jain, will receive the prestigious ‘National Medal of Science’ award from the US President Barack Obama. An IIT-Kanpur alumnus, he is a Professor of Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard Medical School. He has received numerous awards for his work on Tumor Biology.

The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science, engineering and mathematics. The National Medal of Science is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation.

News 25 - Indian-American Rupa Iyer Awarded for Teaching in US

Rupa Iyer

Indian-American, Rupa Iyer, has received the University of Houston's highest teaching award for her sustained and significant contributions to education. A biotechnologist by profession, she has been presented the "Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award".

She is an Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Houston's College of Technology. Her research is in the area of Environmental Biotechnology. She has received many recognition, awards and grants for her outstanding contributions.

News 26 - Top Chemical Industry Award for Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani

Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, was presented with the prestigious ‘Othmer Gold Medal’ by Mr. Carsten Reinhardt, President & CEO of CHF, and Mr. Raj Gupta, Chairman of Delphi Automotive, for his entrepreneurial leadership that has resulted in the expansion of India’s petroleum refining industry, creation of the Jamnagar Refinery in Gujarat.

Mr. Ambani dedicated the award to the indomitable spirit of his father, Dhirubhai Ambani who encouraged Mr. Ambani to pursue chemical engineering at a time when Reliance only dealt in textiles. The medal is presented annually and co-sponsored by the CHF and its four affiliated organizations.

News 27 - Nepal’s prestigious literary award conferred to Sikkim’s Chief Minister

Nepal’s prestigious literary Award

The Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was honored with the 'Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award' by Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli for his commendable contributions in promoting Nepali literature in India at an award ceremony organized by Siddhicharan Shrestha Academy.

This award carries a certificate of appreciation and a sum of NRs 100,000. Pawan Chambling has been awarded twice by the Sikkim Sahitya Parishad - Chintan Puraskar in 1987 for the best poem and Bhanu Puraskar in 2010. His other works in Nepali include Prarambhik Kavita (poems, 1978), Antyaheen Sapana: Mero Bipana (poems, 1985) and Sikkim ra Nariko Maryada.

News 28 - Daniel Blake bagged the top prize ‘Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival

Daniel Blake

British film-maker Daniel Blake won the top prize, the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, which was presented by Mel Gibson. The jury prize was given to Andrea Arnold for American Honey. Sasha Lane stars alongside Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough.

Two filmmakers were given the honor of best director − Cristian Mungiu for Graduation and Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper. Jaclyn Jose, the star of Filipino auteur Brillante Mendoza's Ma' Rosa, took home best actress honors. The best actor prize was awarded to Shahab Hosseini, the star of Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’. The jury included President George Miller, Kirsten Dunst, Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Paradis and Donald Sutherland.

News 29 - US engineer Frances Arnold becomes first woman to win Millennium Technology Prize


Internationally recognized American scientist and engineer, Frances Arnold has been awarded the Millennium Technology Prize. She was honored for her "directed evolution" method, which creates new and better proteins in the laboratory using principles of evolution. The prize is worth one million euros (approximately $1.1 million).

The Millennium Technology Prize is the world's most prominent award for technological innovations that enhance the quality of people's lives and is awarded every two years by Technology Academy Finland (TAF).

News 30 - Indian-American scientist wins Springer Theses Award

Springer Theses Award

An Indian-American scientist, Arnab De, has received the prestigious Springer Theses Award. He was awarded for his outstanding research on developing transgenic mice to study a critical tumor-suppressor called A20. His thesis was nominated by New York's Columbia University.

Internationally top-ranked research institutes select their best thesis annually for publication in the book series: "Springer Theses: Recognising Outstanding PhD research". Winners get a cash prize of 500 euros. Springer is a leading global publisher of renowned scientific journals and books, to recognize outstanding PhD research.