Government institutes Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabhandhan Puraskar
The central government, in December 2018, launched Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar annual awards to recognise the excellent work done by individuals and institutions in the country in the field of disaster management. As per the statement issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) three eligible institutions and individuals will be given the ‘Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar’ every year with cash rewards ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 51 lakh. Only Indian nationals and Indian institutions are eligible for this award.
Sitar Player Manju Mehta conferred Tansen Samman
Noted sitar player Manju Mehta was, on 25 December 2018, conferred with the ‘Tansen Samman’ for 2018 by the Madhya Pradesh government for her contribution in the field of music. Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar presented the award to Mehta at the inaugural ceremony of the Tansen Music Festival in Gwalior.Meanwhile, the ‘Raja Mansingh Tomar Honour’ was given to the Sankat Mochan Pratishthan in Varanasi for 2017 and the Natrang Pratishthan of New Delhi for 2018.
Rafi Award conferred to late music composer Laxmikant and singer Usha Timothy
The Mohammed Rafi Award was, in December 2018, bestowed upon late music composer Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and playback singer Usha Timothy. Kudalkar, of the Laxmikant-Pyarelal duo, was given the Mohammed Rafi Lifetime Achievement Award consisting of 1 lakh rupees and a trophy. Timothy has sung 1,000 songs in multiple Indian languages such as Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bhojpuri and Marathi, among others.
Miss world 2018
A Mexican model and volunteer was crowned Miss World at a glitzy event on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan on December 8, 2018.
Miss Mexico Vanessa Ponce de Leon, 26, has a degree in international business, volunteers for “Migrantes en el Camino” and is on the board of directors of a rehab centre for girls. She was crowned as the 68th Miss World by the 2017 winner, Manushi Chhillar of India, in the coastal city of Sanya.
The colourful ceremony included United States group Sister Sledge performing their 1979 disco anthem “We Are Family.”
First runner up was Thailand’s Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan, a 20-year-old studying business administration. Miss Belarus Maria Vasilevich, Miss Jamaica Kadijah Robinson and Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo were among the final five.
It is the eighth time the Miss World final has been held in Sanya, which first hosted the pageant in 2003.
PM Modi announces Sardar Patel Award for National Integration
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 22 December 2018, announced the institution of a new award named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which would be given every year for “outstanding efforts” in the field of furthering national integration. The award would be given for outstanding efforts to further national integration. The countries first Home Minister Sardar Patel had devoted his life to unifying India. The award was announced by Prime Minister Modi while addressing the conference of DGPs/IGPs in Gujarat’s Kevadia.
40 workers conferred Prime Minister Shram Awards 2017
The Government of India, on 20 December 2018, decided to confer the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for the year 2017 to be awarded to 40 workers employed in the Departmental Undertakings & Public Sector Undertakings of the Central and State Governments and Private Sector Units employing 500 or more workers in recognition of their distinguished performances, innovative abilities, outstanding contribution in the field of productivity and exhibition of exceptional courage and presence of mind.
Niti Aayog presents Women Transforming India Awards
The NITI Aayog, on 16 December 2018, organised the Third Edition of the Women Transforming India Awards 2018. 15 women entrepreneurs were given awards.The 2018 theme was “Women and Entrepreneurship” and 15 winners were chosen through an extensive six-month long process to identify fascinating and inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs. The Women Entrepreneurship Platform seeks to transform the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country and will be a one-stop resource centre for future and budding women entrepreneurs.
UN honours Indian startup which recycles floral waste from temples to clean Ganga
An Indian private project, HelpUsGreen, which collects flowers from temples and mosques across many cities\towns in Uttar Pradesh and recycles them to produce natural incense, organic fertilizers and biodegradable packaging material, is one of 15 ground-breaking projects from around the world that won the 2018 UN climate action award in December 2018. The Indian initiative was honoured as winner of the United Nations Climate Action Award at a special ceremony at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland, on 11 December 2018.
Asma Jahangir posthumously awarded with 2018 UN Human Rights Prize
Late human rights activist, Asma Jahangir was on December 18, 2018 awarded with the UN Human Rights Prize 2018, posthumously. Her daughter Munizae Jahangir received the award on her behalf at the award ceremony that took place at the UN Headquarters in New York, as part of activities to celebrate Human Rights Day. With this win, Asma Jahangir became the fourth Pakistani woman to be awarded with the UN Human Rights Prize. Earlier winners were Begum Ra’Ana Liaquat Ali Khan (1978), Benazir Bhutto (2008) and Malala Yousufzai (2013).
Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018
Australian-born model Catriona Gray of the Philippines was named winner of the Miss Universe 2018 competition in Bangkok on 16 December 2018. She bested contestants from 93 other countries to claim the prize. Gray edged out first runner-up Tamaryn Green of South Africa and third-place Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela. She is the fourth Filipina to be named Miss Universe. The theme of the 67th Miss Universe pageant was “Empowered Women” and was judged by seven women including former pageant winners, businesswomen, and a fashion designer.
Amitav Ghosh honoured with Jnanpith Award 2018
Bharatiya Jnanpith, on 14 December 2018, announced that noted English writer Amitav Ghosh had been honoured with the 2018 Jnanpith Award, a literary award given to an author for “outstanding contribution towards literature”. Ghosh, one of the most prominent contemporary Indian writers, is known for a series of novels such as “Shadow Lines”, “The Glass Palace”, “The Hungry Tide”, and Ibis Trilogy — “Sea of Poppies”, “River of Smoke”, and “Flood of Fire” — chronicling the Opium trade between India and China run by the East India Company.His most recent book, “The Great Derangement; Climate Change and the Unthinkable, a work of non-fiction”, was released in 2016. Ghosh is also recipient of the Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award.
Sahitya Akademi Awards 2018 announced in 24 languages
An extensive range of works representing diversity in contemporary Indian literature, comprising seven collections of poetry, six novels, six short story collections, three works of literary criticism and two collections of essays were announced on 5 December 2018 as the winners of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award 2018 in 24 languages. Those who have won the award for their collection of poetry include Sananta Tanti in Assamese, Paresh Narendra Kamat in Konkani, S Ramesan Nair in Malayalam and Dr Rama Kant Shukla in Sanskrit.
Writers who won the awards for short stories include Sanjib Chattopadhyay in Bengali, Mushtaq Ahmed Mushtaq in Kashmiri and Prof Bina Thakur in Maithili. Inderjeet Kesar in Dogri, Anees Salim in English, Chitra Mudgal in Hindi are among the awardees in the novel category. The Akademi also announced its Bhasha Samman for the year 2017 and 2018. Yogendra Nath Sharma was awarded the Bhasha Salman for the North zone, G Venkatasubbiah for South zone, Gajendra Nath Das for the Eastern zone; and Shailaja Bapat for the Western zone.
Donbass wins the Golden Peacock Award:The movie ‘Donbass’ directed by Sergei Loznitsa won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded in Goa on November 28, 2018.Donbass movie tells the story of a hybrid war taking place in a region of Eastern Ukraine, involving an open armed conflict alongside mass killings and robberies by separatist gangs. Donbass is also the official submission of Ukraine for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.
Mamata Banerjee awarded the Skoch CM of the Year Award
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in December 2018 conferred the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award for her contribution in the overall developement of the state and emerging as the best chief minister in the country. Banerjee has been conferred with the prestigious award on the basis of the state’s performance in the field of governance, culture, finance, urban and rural development. The state’s Kanyashree scheme for the girl child has earned Banerjee much acclaim and the highest public service honour from the United Nations.
An economist who found that poverty impairs intellect, a bio-physicist probing molecular motors inside cells and an art historian who has shown how museums highlight the social impacts of art are among six winners of the Infosys Prize 2018.
The prizes, announced by the Infosys Science Foundation on November 13, 2018, also go to an engineer who has developed ultra-precise gas sensors, an atmospheric scientist who discovered an unexpected blanket of pollution high in the sky and a mathematician exploring oddities of the laws that govern the subatomic realm.
The winners are economist Sendhil Mullainathan at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for social sciences; biophysicist Roop Mallik at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Mumbai, for life sciences; art historian Kavita Suigh at the Jawaharlal Nehru University for humanities; Navakanta Bhat at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, for engineering and computer science; atmospheric scientist SK Satheesh, also at the IISc, for physical sciences, and Nalini Anantharaman at the University of Strasbourg, France, for mathematical sciences.
Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain was awarded for banning Chinese manja- glass-coated kite strings – throughout the national capital, animal rights body PETA said.
In July, 2018 Hussain called for a complete ban on the sale, production, storage and import of Chinese ‘manja’, saying these sharp-edged threads not only hurt birds but also children.
Hussain received a ‘Hero to Animals Award’ by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for saving the lives of humans and animals by banning all forms of manja throughout the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Others who were awarded at the function included designer Purvi Doshi who received a Compassionate Designer Award for using only hand-woven fabrics made from plants and not leather, silk, or other animal-derived materials.
Jamnalal bajaj Awards
Jamnalal Bajaj awards 2018 were presented on November 15, 2018 at the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai.
Award for Constructive Work :
Shri Dhoom Singh Negi (Uttarakhand) : A Satyagrahi. who, since the Chipko Movement has been one of the pillars of the people’s environment movements. His values and actions have been revolving around community mobilization to oppose the system of illegalities and injustice for ecological conservation.
Award for Application of Science and Technology for Rural Development :
Smt. Rupal Desai & Shri Rajendra Desai (Gujarat) : They firmly believe that building local capacity for traditional building technologies with the infusion of modern science and technology; can help spread the safety net with minimal contribution to global warming, to ensure sustainability for the coming generations.
Award for Development and Welfare of Women and Children :
Smt Prasanna Bhandari (Rajasthan) : As the Convenor of Shri Karni Nagar Vikas Samiti and a role model for the society, her passion, dedication and resourcefulness has uplifted the most vulnerable, abandoned and those with little hope of survival, through a multi-dimensional and holistic developmental approach.
Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India :
Dr. Clayborne Carson (United States of America) : Founding director of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, during his student years participated in human rights and antiwar movements. His scholarly writings emphasises the importance of grassroots organizing and non-violent resistance to injustice.
In a first recognition for an English writer, Amitav Ghosh was on December 14, 2018 selected for the 2018 Jnanpith Award for “outstanding contribution towards literature”.
Amitav Ghosh is a path-breaking novelist. In his novels, Ghosh treads through historical settings to the modern era and weaves a space where the past connects with the present in relevant ways.
His fiction is endowed with extraordinary depth and substance through his academic training as a historian and a social anthropologist.
The decision was taken in a meeting of Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by eminent novelist, scholar and Jnanpith laureate Pratibha Ray.
Ghosh, one of the most prominent contemporary Indian writers, is known for a series of novels such as “Shadow Lines”, “The Glass Palace”, “The Hungry Tide”, and Ibis Trilogy — “Sea of Poppies”, “River of Smoke”, and “Flood of Fire” — chronicling the Opium trade between India and China run by the East India Company.
Born in Kolkata in 1956 to a Bengali Hindu family, the 62-year-old author currently lives in New York with his wife Deborah Baker.
Ghosh, who spent his formative years in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria.
His most recent book, “The Great Derangement; Climate Change and the Unthinkable, a work of non-fiction”, was released in 2016.
Ghosh is also recipient of the Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award.
Lokmat Parliamentary Awards
Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2018 honoured and recognised legislatures and parliamentarians in various categories who rose above the rest while serving the nation in order to encourage, motivate and inspire them on December 13, 2018 at the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, Janpath in new Delhi.
Life Time Achievement Award : Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Honourable Member of Parliament, (Lok Sabha) & Former Union Minister of Human Resources Development and Science & Technology
Best Parliamentarian Award : Shri Nishikant Dubey
Best Woman Parliamentarian Award : Smt. Rama Devi
Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian Award : Smt. Hema Malini.
Life Time Achievement Award : Shri Sharad Pawar, Honourable Member of Parliament, (Rajya Sabha) & President, Nationalist Congress Party
Best Parliamentarian Award : Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad
Best Woman Parliamentarian Award : Ms. Kanimozhi
Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian Award : Smt. Chhaya Verma
Ramnath Goenka awards
S Vijay Kumar, Senior Deputy Editor with The Hindu in Chennai was on January 4, 2019 presented the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for Investigative Reporting (Print category).
Instituted by the Ramnath Goenka Memorial Foundation, the award was presented by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a ceremony in New Delhi.
The award for Investigative Reporting in the broadcast category was won by Anand Kumar Patel of India Today TV.
The awards for Political Reporting went to Brajesh Rajput of ABP News Network and Sushant Kumar Singh of the Indian Express.
M. Gunasekaran with News18 Tamil Nadu (broad-cast)and Nishant Dattaram Sarwankar and Sandeep
Ashok Acharya both with Loksatta (print), bagged the awards in the Regional Languages category.
The award in the Environmental Reporting category were presented to Sushil Chandra Bahuguna of NDTV and Sandhya Ravishankar of the online magazine The Wire.
Awards were presented to 29 journalists across India in various categories.
IAAF world athletics heritage plaque
The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) announced on December 2, 2018 that global athletics would begin honouring its heritage with plaques at historically significant locations around the world.
American sprinter and jumper Jesse Owens is among a dozen athletes selected for the first plaques for achievements at lesser-known stadiums.
The IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque is a location-based recognition which highlights, celebrates and links together iconic and historic athletics competitions, careers, performances, cities, venues, landmarks and culture around the world.
One of those is Ferry Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Owens set four world records in the sprints, long jump and hurdles in 45 minutes on one afternoon in 1935.
Others receiving initial plaques are British distance runner Emil Voigt, Swedish javelin thrower Eric Lemming, Finish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, American hurdler and field events specialist Mildred Didrikson, Japanese long and triple jumper Chuhei Nam bu, Dutch Sprinter-Hurdler Fanny Blankers-Koen, Czech distance runner Emil Zatopek, Brazilian triple jumper Adhemar Da Silva, Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila and Polish sprinter Irena Szewinska.
Ballon d’ OR
Croatian skipper Luka Modric ended the long domination of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning the Ballon d’ Or for the first time on December 3, 2018 in Paris. Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural women’s trophy. Kylian Mbappe of France won the Best Player of the Year under the age of 21.
Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid and then guided Croatia to the World Cup final in July 2018. The midfielder was voted player of the tournament.
The prize comes after Modric claimed the Golden Ball for the best player at the 2018 World Cup before picking up UEFA’s prize for Player of the Season and FIFA’s Best Player award in September 2018.
Modric became the oldest winner of Ballon d’Or since Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, also 33, in 2006.
Modric is the first Croatian to win the Ballon d’Or. Davor Suker is the only other Croatian ever to finish in the top three – in 1998. Modric is the seventh player from Real to lift the trophy, breaking a tie with Barcelona players. Counting multiple winners, each club now has won 11 overall.
Miss Universe 2018
Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018 after a tough contest between 94 contestants in the 67th edition of the beauty pageant that was held in Bangkok on December 17, 2018.
Born in Australia, Catriona Gray, 24, entered her first pageant at the age of 5 and moved to the United States to pursue music at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts.
Becoming the fourth Filipino woman to win the crown, the 24-year old received her crown from the 2017 winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa. The Philippines previously won Miss Universe titles in 1969, 1973 and 2015. The ‘Top 5’ who proceeded to the Q&A section of the event included Catriona Gray (Miss Philippines), Kiara Ortega (Miss Puerto Rico), Tamaryn Green (Miss South Africa), Sthefany Gutierrez (Miss Venezuela) and H’Hen Nie (Miss Vietnam). The 24-year old Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green was the first runner-up followed by the 19-year old Sthefany Gutierrez, Miss Venezuela.
The winner was chosen by an all-female panel of judges which included Colombian-American CEO Liliana Gil Valletta, Janaye Ingram, fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, former Miss Universe winners Michelle McLean and Bui Simon, Iman Oubou, and Richelle Singson-Michael.
The pageant was hosted by Steve Harvey for the third straight year and model Ashley Graham at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. The global event also featured Grammy-winning RnB artist Ne-Yo performance. The 2018 pageant was praised for its inclusivity and diversity. Spain’s Angela Ponce made history as the pageant’s first openly transgender contestant, and Rosa Montezuma represented Panama as its first indigenous Miss Universe contestant.
The United Nations Environment has awarded India’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) with the Asia Environment Enforcement Award, 2018 for the excellent work done by the Bureau in combating trans-boundary environmental crime.
The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognise and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions and teams combating trans-boundary environmental crime in Asia.
The awards are given to outstanding individuals or government organisations and teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat trans-boundary environmental crime in one of the following eligibility criteria areas: collaboration, impact, innovation, integrity and gender leadership.
India’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been conferred the award in the Innovation category. The bureau has adopted innovative enforcement techniques that have dramatically increased enforcement of trans-boundary environmental crimes in India.
chevalier de la legion d’honneur
Indian business tycoon and philanthropist Azim Premji was bestowed with the highest French civilian distinction Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur Knight of the Legion of Honour) in Bengaluru on November 28, 2018.
Premji, who is the chairman of Wipro, received the honour from Alexandre Ziegler, the Ambassador of France to India. He received the award for his outstanding contribution to developing the information technology industry in India, his economic out reach in France and his laudable contribution to the society as a philanthropist through the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji University.
Un HUMAn rights prize
The United Nations has posthumously honoured one of Pakistan’s most prominent human rights activists, Asma Jahangir, with the Human Rights Award 2013.
Jahangir served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions from 1993 to 2004 and as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief from 2004 to 2010.
She also served successive terms as the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
The award coincides with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The prize to recognise individuals or organisations for outstanding achievements in the field of human rights is given out every five years. Jahangir was known for taking up court cases of victimised and marginalised sections of society.
Jahangir was announced as one of the four winners of the quinquennial prize in October 2018. Other winners included women’s rights activist in Tanzania, Rebeca Gyumi; activist for the rights of indigenous Brazilian communities Joenia Wapichana and Ireland’s human rights organisation Front Line Defenders.
The National Society of Film Critics on January 5, 2019 selected Chloe Zhao’s low-budget debut feature The Rider as best picture of 2018. Director Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white Roma period piece set in modern Mexico won the most awards as best picture runner-up, best foreign-language film and for best cinematography. Mr. Cuaron also got the award for best director.
Smriti Mandhana was on December 31, 2018 adjudged the Women’s Cricketer of the Year as well as the Women’s ODI Player of the Year by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Left-handed opener Smriti won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the Women’s Cricketer of the Year for scoring 669 runs in 12 ODIs, along with 622 runs in 25 T20Is in 2018. Her ODI runs came at 66.90 while her strike-rate for T20Is was 130.67. Smriti played a crucial role in India’s semifinal appearance at the Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, where she scored 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35.
Smriti became only the second India woman player to win an ICC award after fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who was named the ICC Player of the Year in 2007.
Australia’s Alyssa Healy, who scored 225 runs in six matches at the Women’s World T20, has been named the ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year.
England’s 19-year-old leftarm spinner Sophie Ecclestone has been voted the Emerging Player of the Year after grabbing 18 wickets in nine ODIs and 17 in 14 T20Is during the calendar year.
Harmanpreet Kaur was on named captain of the ICC Women’s T20I Team-of-the-Year, which also includes Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav.
Opening batswoman Smriti and leg-spinner Poonam were also included in the ODI team, which has New Zealander Suzie Bates as captain.
Besides the Indians, Australia’s Alyssa Healy and Suzie Bates of New Zealand are the other players who feature in both the ODI and T20I squads.
UNITed kingdom honours
Award-winning musician and composer Nitin Sawhney leads over 30 Indian-origin high achievers across different fields named on the United Kingdom’s annual New Year’s Honours List that was released on December 29, 2018.
Mr. Sawhney, behind musical scores to films like The Namesake and Midnight’s Children, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to music.
The 54-year-old United Kingdom born artist, known for his compositions for stage and screen, is joined by Gurinder Singh Josan and Dr. Sridevi Kalindindi, who were also awarded CBEs for political service and services to Rehabilitation Psychiatry respectively.
The annual honours list recognises the achievements of a wide range of “extraordinary people” , with some of 2018 highlights including Knighthoods for record-breaking England cricketer Alastair Cook, following his retirement from international cricket, and award-winning author Philip Pullman.
Among some of the Indian-origin achievers honoured with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) are entrepreneur Vijay Patel, CEO of Waymade Pharmaceuticals, for services to Business and Philanthropy; Professor Daljit Singh Virk, senior research fellow at Bangor University in Wales, for services to Tackling Poverty Abroad and Education in Derby and Sukhjeev Sandhu, founder and CEO of Audeliss and Involve, for services to Diversity in Business.
The list of Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBEs) includes Sujata Banerjee for services to dance, Paramdeep Singh Bhatia for voluntary service to Minority Communities, Dr. Saroj Duggal for services to Asian and Ethnic Minority Women, and Gopal Krishan Gupta, Founder of the Gupta Group, for services to British Business and Philanthropy.
Former England cricket and rugby captains Alastair Cook and Bill Beaumont headlined sporting personalities in the New Year’s Honours List with both men receiving knighthoods from Queen Elizabeth II. Cook — who has more Test centuries (33) and runs (12,472) than any other England player accrued during a record 161 Tests — is the first cricketer to be knighted since legendary all-rounder Ian Botham in 2007.
England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane rewarded for the national side’s run to 2018 World Cup semifinals.
Rosie Kaur Ginday, the Founder and Director of Miss Macaroon Community Interest Company who hit the headlines in May 2018 among the few representatives of charitable organisations hand-picked by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as guests to their wedding in Windsor Castle, has also been honoured with an MBE for services to the Community in Birmingham.
Among some of the other MBEs across diverse fields are Pratap Pawar for services to Dance, Culture and Community Cohesion; Ishver Patel for services to charity in the United Kingdom and Abroad; Chandra Mohan Trikha for services to the Energy Industry; Balraj Tandon for services to Business and the Community in South London, and Surinderpal Singh (Tony) Lit for services to the British Asian Community.
Actresses Thandie Newton and Sophie Okonedo joined Michael Palin and actor-director Christopher Nolan in being awarded OBE.
Bohemian Rhapsody pulled a major upset at the close of the Golden Globes on January 6, 2019 taking home the final two top prizes.
Bohemian Rhapsody – which charts the rise of British rock group Queen – picked up best actor for Rami Malek, who plays legendary frontman Freddie Mercury.
It also bagged the biggest movie award of the night Best Picture (Drama). On a night of wins for movies representing minorities, two awards favourites about white people – Dick Cheney biopic Vice and musical romance A Star is Born — all but struck out, with each picking up just one trophy.
A Star is Born had to content itself with a statuette for best song, which went to Gaga and writing partner Mark Ronson, while Christian Bale – who played Dick Cheney in Vice — won a Golden Globe for best actor under the musical/comedy category.
Civil rights dramedy Green Book was the numerical winner — if not the prestige player — picking up awards for best comedy movie, best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali and best screenplay.
The boozy gala at the Beverly Hilton also recognised Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, a cinematic ode to his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, with best director and foreign film honours.
American actor of Korean descent, Sandra Oh, who hosted the 76th Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, made history as she became the first ever Asian actor to do so. But hosting the Golden Globes was not the only history she made. She won the award for Best Actress in a TV drama for Killing Eve, the first ever female actor of Asian descent to win the award.
She also became the first actor of an Asian descent to have won multiple Golden Globes. She had won the Best Supporting Actress award for TV Drama, Grey’s Anatomy in 2007.
Award at a Glance
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy – Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Best Motion Picture — Animated – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama – Richard Madden, Bodyguard
Best Television Series — Drama – The Americans (FX)
Best Perfomance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture made for Television – Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television – Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
Best Original Score — Motion Picture – Justin Hurwitz, First Man
Best Original Song — Motion Picture – “Shallow,” A Star Is Born
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture – Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama – Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture – Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Best Screenplay — Motion Picture – Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Green Book
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television – Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy – Christian Bale, Vice
Best Picture — Foreign Language – Roma
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television – Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace : American Crime Stroy
Best Director — Motion Picture – Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy – Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy – The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – The Assassination of Gianni Versace : American Crime Story, FX
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy – Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Best Picture — Comedy or Musical – Green Book
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama – Glenn Close, The Wife
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama – Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Picture — Drama – Bohemian Rhapsody
Union Minister of Railways & Coal Piyush Goyal was on January 30, 2019 formally conferred with the fourth annual Carnot Prize by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in New Delhi. The Minister had previously been unable to accept the award in the United States of America, due to the unfortunate train tragedy that took place in Amritsar.
ICAR Republic Day tableau ‘Kisan Gandhi’ wins first prize
Country’s premier agri-research institute ICAR has bagged first prize for its tableau on ‘Kisan Gandhi’, displayed at this year’s Republic Day parade. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the award to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) team on 28 January 2019. The ICAR tableau with the theme “Mishrit Kheti, Khushiyon Ki Kheti” portrayed Gandhi’s vision to improve agriculture and livestock for the prosperity of rural communities. It showcased the importance of dairy farming, use of indigenous breeds and livestock-based organic agriculture for rural prosperity.
In the tableau, Gandhi was shown with goats and a cow, while his wife Kasturba was also shown engaged with charkha and caring animals at ‘Bapu Kuti’ at Wardha Ashram, near Nagpur in Maharashtra. It symbolized livestock-based sustainable and climate resilient agriculture. The Gandhian philosophy included promotion of Swadeshi breeds, organic agriculture and goat milk for better health.
Bharat Ratna 2019
Former president Pranab Mukherjee was on 25 January 2019 conferred with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. The award was also conferred on Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika posthumously. Born on 11 December 1935, Mukherjee served as president between 2012 and 2017. Fondly known as ‘Pranab Da’, he has been a senior leader in the Congress and had held several ministerial portfolios. He was also the finance minister from 2009-2012 under the prime Ministership of Manmohan Singh.
Deshmukh was a Sangh Parivar veteran, founder member of the Janata Party and one of the seniormost members of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A social activist, Nanaji played an important role in carrying out social restructuring programme in over 500 villages of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Hazarika (1926-2011) was a singer and filmmaker, popularly known as Sudhakantha. He was born in Sadiya, Assam. Known for his flawless baritone and his trademark Nepali cap, he was respected nationwide, as a great balladeer and also came to be known as the ‘Bard of the Brahmaputra’.
Padma Awards 2019
The government on 25 January 2019 announced names of the Padma awardees 2019 on the eve of the 70th Republic Day. The recipients include veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar (posthumous) , cricketer Gautam Gambhir, Indian choreographer Prabhu Deva, actor Kadir Khan (posthumous) among others. Teejan Bai an exponent of Pandavani was among the four Padma Vibhushan awardees, the Bachendri Pal is among the 14 Padma Bhushan recipients. Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan are the second and third highest civilian awards of the country respectively. This year 112 recipients have been selected for the prestigious awards. This includes 4 Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri awards. The Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.
For “exceptional and distinguished service”, it is the second-highest civilian award in India.
For “distinguished service of a high order”, it is the third-highest civilian award in India .
Republic Day 2019 honours
48 people conferred with Jeevan Raksha Padak awards: The President of India on January 25, 2018 approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2018 on 48 people, eight of them posthumously. The Jeevan Raksha Padak series of awards are conferred for the meritorious act of human nature in saving the life of a person. They are given under three categories: Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak and Jeevan Raksha Padak. People of all walks of life are eligible for these awards. This year, the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak was given to 8 people, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak to 15 and Jeevan Raksha Padak to 25 people. Among these, 8 awards were conferred posthumously.
Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak
Government institutes Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar
The Union Government on January 23, 2019 instituted an annual award titled ‘Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar’ to mark the 122nd birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The award scheme will recognise the efforts of organisations or individuals who work to alleviate suffering of the affected population in the aftermath of any disaster.The award will be announced every year on 23 January on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. All Indian Citizens and organizations who have excelled in areas of Disaster Management like Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Rescue, Response, Relief, Rehabilitation and Early Warning will be eligible for the award. The Award carries a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh.
Chhatra Vishwakarma, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana awards
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu presented the second Chhatra Vishwakarma Awards to students and their mentors and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) awards to institutions at an event organised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on January 21, 2019 at New Delhi. The winners are as follows:
CNR Rao chosen for first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials
Eminent scientist and recipient of Bharat Ratna C N R Rao was on 18 January 2019 chosen for the first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research, given by the Centre for Advanced Materials of the UAE. The prize committee unanimously decided to award this to Professor Rao of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. The award will be presented to Rao during the International Workshop on Advanced Materials in Ras Al Khaima,UAE, on 25 February 2019.
Gandhi Peace Prize
The Centre on 16 January 2019 announced the awardees for the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015 to 2018. While Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, won the award for 2015 for rural development and education, for 2016, the award has been jointly given to Akshaya Patra Foundation for providing mid-day meals to children across the country and Sulabh International for its work towards emancipation of manual scavengers. For 2017, the award has been given to Ekal Abhiyan Trust for its contribution to education for rural and tribal children and for 2018, to WHO Goodwill Ambassador Yohei Sasakawa for his role in leprosy eradication. The Gandhi Peace Prize, which is given to individuals and institutions for their contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods, was last conferred upon the Indian Space Research Organisation in 2014.
Philip Kotler Presidential Award
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 January 2019 became the first recipient of the prestigious Philip Kotler Presidential awardfor his “outstanding leadership for the nation”. The award focuses on the triple bottom-line of ‘people, profit and planet’. It will be offered annually to the leader of a nation, a statement from the Prime Minister’s office said.Prof. Philip Kotler is a world renowned Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. Owing to his ill-health, Jagdish Sheth of EMORY University, Georgia, US, was deputed to confer the award.
Seoul Peace Prize for 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 22, 2019 received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. The committee credited him for his efforts in promoting global peace and harmony through inclusive economic growth and improving quality of life. With this, PM Modi became the 14th recipient of the Seoul Peace Prize.
Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony
President Ram Nath Kovind on 18 February 2019 presented the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Bangladesh cultural organisation Chhayanaut and Ram Sutar Vanji for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively at a function held in Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi.The award was instituted by the Union Government in 2012 to recognise the contributions made by Rabindranath Tagore to humanity at large with his works and ideas.
Dan David Prize 2019
Indian historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam on February 10, 2019 won the prestigious Dan David Prize 2019 for his work on inter-cultural encounters between Asians, Europeans and people of North and South America during the early modern era. He won the Israel’s prestigious USD 1 million dollar award in the category of ”Past Time Dimension” for his work in macro history. He shared the award in the Past category with Professor Kenneth Pomeranz of University of Chicago.
Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for 2017
PresidentRam Nath Kovind on 6 February 2019 conferred the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the year 2017 during a special investiture ceremonyat the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. The President awarded a total of 42 artistes in five categories for the year 2017, including a joint award to Umakant and Ramakant Gundecha for their contribution in Hindustani vocal music.
FICCI CSR Award for Women Empowerment
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) was, in February 2019, honoured with the prestigious ‘FICCI CSR Award’ for Women Empowerment for its innovative and high impact women empowerment programmes, implemented by the company’s CSR Arm – JSPL Foundation, across its operational areas in the country.
Future of Nature award
Dr Divya Karnad, in February 2019, became the second Indian and the first woman to receive the ‘Global Future of Nature Award’ for her work on marine conservation. The only other Indian to receive the award is Dr Charudutt Mishra. The award is given to three people each year and this year apart from Karnad, Olivier Nsengimana and Fernanda Abra also received it.
7th National Photography Awards
The 7th National Photography Awards were presented by Union Minister of State (IC) for Information & Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore in February 2019. The winners are:
Swachhata Excellence Awards 2019
The Raigarh Municipal Corporation of Chhattisgarh in February 2019 won the “Swachhata Excellence awards 2019”. The municipal corporations of Ambikapur of Chhattisgarh and Kumbakonam of Tamil Nadu bagged the second and third prizes respectively. These Awards were given by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) as part of the Shehri Samriddhi Utsav.
BAFTA Film Awards 2019
The 72nd British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs, were held on 10 February 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2018. The winners were as follows:
2019 Grammy Awards
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on February 10, 2019, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, which ran from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018. Dolly Parton was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year two days prior to the Grammy Awards on February 8, 2019.
The winners are as follows:
Father Franois Laborde a 92-year-old priest from Bengal was, in February 2019, conferred with Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour) in recognition of his work for specially-abled and destitute children. He has set up an organisation called Howrah South Point which works for the development of specially-abled children, the destitute and the most deprived sections of the society.
SBI UK chief honoured
‘Freedom of the City of London’
The State Bank of India’s UK head Sanjiv Chadha was, in February 2019, honoured with the ‘Freedom of the City of London’ award in recognition of his contribution to promoting the bilateral relations.
Refugee wins Australia’s richest literary prize
Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian asylum-seeker detained in Papua New Guinea under Australian asylum laws, recently won the Victorian Prize for Literature for his work “No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison”. Boochani wrote the work on his phone and sent it to Omid Tofighian bit-by-bit in text messages who translated the work.
Oscars 2019 (Academy Awards)
The 91st Academy Awards, also known as Oscar Awards 2019, were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, on 24 February 2019. It was the first ceremony in three decades, since the 61st Academy Awards in 1989, to be conducted with no host. A 25-minute documentary set in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district won an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards. Period. End of a Sentence., directed by the Iranian-American director Rayka Zehtabchi, won the award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
Winners of the 91st Academy Awards
Laureus World Sports Awards 2019
The Laureus World Sports Awards 2019 were presented on 18 February 2019 to honour the greatest sporting achievements of 2018 and celebrate the power of sport to change the world.
The awardees are:
2018 FIH players of year awards
India continued to draw a blank as Netherlands’ Eva de Goede and Arthur Van Doren of Belgium were on 14 February 2019 named as the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Players of the Year for 2018. Since the inception of the awards in 1998, no Indian hockey player has managed to bag the coveted awards. While de Goede was named the Female Player of the Year, world champions Belgium’s Van Doren was picked up as the Male Player of the Year for a second consecutive time.
The winners were:
Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, on 19 March 2019, named U.S mathematician Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck as the winner of the 2019 Abel Prize. The Abel Committee recognized Uhlenbeck “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.” She is the first woman to be awarded this top honour in mathematics, which will be presented to her by His Majesty King Harald V at an award ceremony in Oslo, Norway on May 21, 2019.
Journalist and writer Raghu Karnad, on 14 March 2019, won the $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize in the non-fiction category for his debut book, The Farthest Field: An Indian Story Of The Second World War. The announcement was made in a ceremony in London. In terms of prize money, it is one of the richest literary awards in the world. Karnad is the second Indian to receive the prestigious prize, since Jerry Pinto won it for his novel, Em And The Big Hoom, in 2016.
Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, on 8 March 2019. won the First Prize in the category of TV Cinema Spot at the prestigious international Golden City Gate Tourism
Awards 2019 held at Berlin, Germany:
Honorary Doctorate on Vice President Naidu
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was on 7 March 2019 conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University for Peace founded by the United Nations Organisations (UNO) for his contribution “to the Rule of Law, democracy and sustainable development in India”. He received the degree of “Doctor Honoris Causa” from the Dean of the University for Peace. Naidu is the first Indian to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Peace.
President Ram Nath Kovind on February 26, 2019 conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.The 2018 Gandhi Peace Prize was conferred on Yohei Sasakawa, who is at the forefront of many philanthropic initiatives. The awardees were selected by a jury under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gandhi Peace Prize Awardees for 2015-2018
Nari Shakti Awards
President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Nari Shakti awards, 2018, the highest civilian honour for women in India, in New Delhi on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2019. Forty One individuals and three institutions were given the award. The awardees include acid attack victim and social activist Pragya Prasun, Rani Mistri Sunita Devi, first woman marine pilot of India Reshma Nilofer Naha, woman commando trainer Dr Seema Rao, spiritual and motivational speaker Brahma Kumari Shivani and wildlife conservationist Sonia Jabbar. This year, the Nari Shakti Puraskar was also awarded to One Stop Centre of Lucknow. Tamil Nadu State Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Department got the award for exceptional progress in improving child sex ratio at birth under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
Chameli Devi Jain Award
Priyanka Dubey, a bilingual correspondent with the BBC at its Delhi bureau, was in March 2019 named for the Chameli Devi Jain Award for an Outstanding Woman Journalist for the year 2018. Dubey was chosen for her multi-faceted, investigative and interrogative reportage. The Chameli Devi Jain Award has been awarded to women journalists for the past 37 years for upholding standards of excellence through a sustained body of work. Named after Chameli Devi Jain, a freedom fighter, it is perhaps the country’s longest running media award for women.
Swachh Survekshan 2019 Awards
President Ram Nath Kovind on March 6, 2019 conferred the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2019 at a ceremony in New Delhi. Indore was adjudged as India’s Cleanest City for the third consecutive year in the central government’s cleanliness survey, while Bhopal was named as the ‘Cleanest Capital’ of India. Indore reported a 70 percent drop in vector-borne ailments in 2019, which is being attributed to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Major Awardees of Swachh Survekshan 2019
Yashwantrao Chavan national Award
Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan was, on 12 March 2019, honored with the ‘Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2018’ for his contribution towards economic development. Rajan served as RBI governor between September 2013 and September 2016.
Japanese architect Arata Isozaki on 5 March 2019 received the 2019 Pritzker Prize, widely considered to be the profession’s highest honour. He is the 46th Pritzker laureate and the eighth Japanese architect to receive the honour. Isozaki will be awarded the prize of $100,000 in May at a ceremony at the Château de Versailles in France. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Palau Saint Jordi indoor sporting arena in Barcelona are among more than 100 of his major projects.
Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar
Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was, in March 2019, chosen for the first Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar constituted by the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti. Varthaman, a wing-commander in the Indian Air Force shot into limelight in the ongoing bilateral tensions between Indian and Pakistan aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.
Missile Systems Award
India’s aerospace scientist and Chief of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), G Satheesh Reddy, was recently conferred the Missile Systems Award 2019 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Satheesh is the first Indian to win the award. He will share the prize with Rondell J. Wilson, a former Principal Engineering Fellow of Raytheon Missile Systems.
Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 28 February 2019, conferred Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 in New Delhi. Eleven scientists including Dr Rishikesh Narayan of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and Dr Amalendu Krishna of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai were awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for 2016. Ten scientists including Dr Deepak Gaur of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and Dr S Suresh Babu of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre were given the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for 2017. Thirteen scientists including Dr Amit Kumar of IIT, Delhi and Dr Nitin Saxena, IIT, Kanpur were awarded Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for 2018.
Pulitzer Prize 2019
Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy announced the Pulitzer Prize 2019 winners on April 15 at the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York City. The prestigious award is given in 21 categories in journalism, and the arts every year. Each Pulitzer Prize winner receives $15,000 (INR 1042927.50) along with the honour and the lifelong nomer of being a “Pulitzer Prize winner”. The winners in the category of Letters, Drama and Music are listed below:
Telugu poet K Siva Reddy is to be conferred the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2018, for his collection of poems titled Pakkaki Ottigilite (Turning Aside While Lying Down). The award, instituted by the KK Birla Foundation, is given annually for an outstanding literary work written in any official Indian language and published during the preceding 10 years. It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature and carries a cash purse of Rs 15 lakh, apart from a citation and a plaque.
UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize 2019
The 2019 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize was, in April 2019, awarded to Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for their exceptional courage in reporting on alleged human rights violations in the Myanmar’s state of Rakhine. Both Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had worked hard to pursue a career in journalism that was impossible in the junta era. Their documentary on the taboo topic regarding crimes committed against Rohingyas landed them behind the bars.
Narendra Modi Honoured With Order of St Andrew
Russia, on 12 April 2019, awarded Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russia’s highest state decoration, Order of St Andrew, for exceptional services in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. The Order of St Andrew the Apostle the First-Called is the highest order of the Russian Federation. Established in 1698, the honour was the first and highest order of chivalry in the Russian Empire. During the Soviet rule, the award was abolished. It was reinstated in 1998.
British-born artificial intelligence (AI) expert Geoffrey Hinto in March 2019 won the Turing Award, sometimes referred to as “the Nobel Prize of computing”. He shared the award with Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun – two other proponents of deep learning, a popular form of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The 2019 Turing Award recipients’ various engineering breakthroughs – made independently and, in some cases, together – had turned deep learning into “a critical component of computing”.
Croatia honours President Ram Nath Kovind with Highest Civilian Award
President Ram Nath Kovind was, in March 2019, honoured with Croatia’s highest civilian award — the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav. Kovind was in the European country as part of his eight-day three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile to further strengthen bilateral ties between India and the three countries. Kovind is the first-ever Indian head of state to visit Croatia.
Alice G. Vaidyan Awarded the Freedom of the City of London
Alice G. Vaidyan, Chairman and Managing Director of the General Insurance Corporation (GIC) of India, was in April 2019 awarded the Freedom of the City of London in recognition of her work to promote insurance ties between India and the UK. Vaidyan was the first lady officer to assume the post of Chairman-cum-Managing Director of General Insurance Corporation of India. She was also the first lady chairman-cum-managing director in the public-sector insurance industry (non-life).
Deepa Malik wins New Zealand PM’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship
Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was on 11 April 2019 named as the recipient of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 2019 in recognition of her “inspiring achievements”. Deepa, who won the silver medal in shot put F53 event in Rio in 2016, will work to promote sporting, cultural as well people-to-people relationship between India and New Zealand.
Namami Gange Gets Global Recognition at World Summit
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was on 9 April 2019 awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London. An integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation, the Namami Gange programme provides for a comprehensive multi-sector intervention with multi-stakeholder involvement and adopts a basin-based approach. The Global Water Awards are presented at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the water industry worldwide.
India’s Start-Up Bags Global Tech Prize
India’s education technology startup ‘Dost Education’ in April 2019 bagged a $25,000 tech prize along with two other winners from Tanzania and Egypt. The Next Billion EdTech Prize 2019, run by UK-based Varkey Foundation, recognises the most innovative technology destined to have a radical impact on education in low income and emerging world countries. Dost was awarded for its ability to empower parents to take charge of their child’s early education by creating short, friendly audio content that is sent to them via their mobile phones.
UAE Awards PM Narendra Modi With its Highest Civilian Honour
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on 4 April 2019 announced that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be honoured with the Zayed Medal, the UAE’s highest civil honour. The medal, awarded to kings presidents and heads of states, was conferred upon Modi for boosting relations between the Emirates and India. Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping have also been conferred with the honour. Some of major international awards conferred upon Prime Minister Modi in his five year term are as follows:
Indian Peacekeepers awarded UN Medal of Honour
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on April 15, 2019 honoured 150 Indian peacekeepers, serving the mission, with Medals of Honour for their supreme dedication and sacrifices in Malakal, South Sudan. Under the UNMISS, the Indian Horizontal Mobility Engineering Company had completed the renovation of 145 km of roadway connecting Bentiuand Leer in South Sudan, easing the way for the delivery humanitarian aid, trade and inter-communal dialogue.
Vikram Patel Gets Global Health Award
Vikram Patel, a psychiatrist and professor of global health at Harvard Medical School, has won the prestigious John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award. Patel has led research generating knowledge on the burden and determinants of mental health problems in low and middleincome countries and pioneered approaches which utilize community resources for the prevention and treatment of mental health problems in India with global impact.
Nine Dots Prize 2019-20
Mumbai based journalist and playwright Annie Zaidi was, in May 2019, declared the winner of the Nine Dots Prize-2019 for her essay Bread, Cement, Cactus. Her work, ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’, includes reportage and memoir to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India, where migration – within the country, especially from villages to cities – is high. Zaidi is a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry and plays.
Royal Society Fellow
The Royal Society of London in May 2019 announced a list of 51 eminent scientists elected to its fellowship in the year 2019. Among these are Gagandeep Kang, who is now with the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad. Dr. Kang is the first Indian woman to be elected to the Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). Princeton professors Manjul Bhargava and Akshay Venkatesh have also been elected to the FRS.
Dr. Kang is known for her inter-disciplinary research studying the transmission, development and prevention of enteric infections and their sequelae in children in India. She has built national rotavirus and typhoid surveillance networks and conducted phase 1-3 trials of vaccines, which has supported two WHO pre-qualified vaccines, according to a biography posted on The Royal Society website. She has won many accolades including the Infosys prize.
Sasakawa Award 2019
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) on 16 May 2019 conferred Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Dr. Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India. He received the award in recognition of his long-term dedication to improve the resilience of communities most exposed to disasters and his personal commitment to social inclusion as a critical principle to reduce inequality and poverty, enhancing the safety net of the socially and economically marginalized. The United Nations Sasakawa Award is the most prestigious international award in the area of Disaster Risk Management.
Hinduja Brothers Top UK’s Rich List For Third Time
The billionaire Hinduja brothers were in May 2019 named as the wealthiest people in the UK for a third time, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their fortune increase by 1.356 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in 2018 to 22 billion pounds. Meanwhile, chemicals firm founder Jim Ratcliffe, who topped the 2018 list, slipped to third place. For the sixth year in a row, Scotland’s richest person was named as Glenn Gordon and his family, the Jersey-based tycoon behind distillers William Grant & Sons. The group produces whiskey including Grant’s, Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, as well as Hendrick’s gin. Cardiff-born venture capitalist Sir Michael Moritz remained Wales’ richest person with a 3 billion pounds fortune.
Microsoft’s Imagine Cup World Championship
An Indian student trio has emerged the first runner-up in Microsoft’s prestigious Imagine Cup World Championship final held in Seattle for their innovative smart automated anti-pollution and drug delivery mask. Aakash Bhadana and his friends Vasu Kaushik and Bharat Sundal developed “Caeli”, the world’s first smart automated anti-pollution and drug delivery mask specifically designed for asthmatic and chronic respiratory patients, which won the first position in the Asia Regional Final contest held in Sydney in February. The championship was won by the Team Easy Glucose from the United States which won USD 100,000 and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
V.K. Krishna Menon Award
G D ‘Robert’ Govender, an Indian-origin journalist in South Africa, was on 3 May 2019 honoured in the UK with 2019 V K Krishna Menon award for his outstanding contribution as a pioneer of decolonised journalism. The South Africa-born journalist was awarded posthumously during an event in London to mark the 123rd birth anniversary of Indian diplomat and politician V K Krishna Menon.
ACJ Award For Investigative Journalism
The article titled Coalgate 2.0′ authored by Nileema M S and published in The Caravan magazine in March 2018 has won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018. It received the award for its detailed, exhaustive and persuasive investigation and its clear exposition.
The 2019 Tagore Literary Prize
The second edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize was on 21 May 2019 awarded to author Rana Dasgupta for his 2010 novel “Solo”, a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence. The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for social achievement was awarded to Yohei Sasakawa, the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, for “his incredible efforts to uproot leprosy and great contribution to world peace”. The Prize was also awarded to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen as “a beacon of democracy”.
World Press Freedom Prize 2019
The World Press Freedom Prize also known as UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was on 3 May 2019 shared by two jailed Myanmar journalists ‘Wa Lone’ and ‘Kyaw Soe Oo’ who reported on alleged human rights violations in state of Rakhine, Myanmar. The Reuters reporters are serving seven year prison sentence in Myanmar. They are charged with breaking country’s secrets law for their journalistic investigation on military’s brutal crackdown and killings of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.
France’s Highest Civilian Award
Former ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar was on 2 May 2019 conferred with France’s highest civilian award – Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur – for his contribution to India-France space cooperation. Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honour) is the highest civilian award given by the French for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipient. The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur.
Goldman Environmental Prize 2019
Six grassroots environmental activists from around the world in April 2019 received prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize 2019. They were honored at award ceremony held at San Francisco Opera House in California, US where Al Gore former US Vice President and environmental activist presented keynote address. The winners are as follows:
Dr. Lee Jong-wook Prize
Professor Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in May 2019 jointly won the 2019 Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. He won the award for his achievements as an innovator, clinician, researcher and trainer.
Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize 2019
Sri Lankan writer Guy Gunaratne was in May 2019 announced as the winner of 2019’s Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize for his debut novel ‘In Our Mad and Furious City’. In Our Mad and Furious City is his debut novel and is a fictional account of 48 hours (2 days) in a North London housing estate after murder of a British soldier. The book was shortlisted for The Gordon Burn Prize, The Goldsmiths Prize and the Writers Guild Awards and also longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2019.
‘UNSDG 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award’
Patanjali Ayurved Limited’s Managing Director, Acharya Balkrishna, on 25 May 2019, received the ‘UNSDG 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award’ on behalf of Patanjali Group of Institutions in Geneva. Patanjali Ayurved is a company producing range Ayurvedic medicinal and personal care products, among other consumer items. Popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev co-founded the company along with Balakrishna.
Man Booker International Prize
Omani author Jokha Alharthi on 21 May 2019 won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for ‘Celestial Bodies’, the story of three sisters in a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world. Alharthi is the first Arabic-language writer to get the prize and the first female writer from Oman to be translated into English. She will split the 50,000 pound ($64,000) purse with her U.K.-based translator, Marilyn Booth. ‘Celestial Bodies’ confronts Oman’s history of slavery, which was abolished in the country only in 1970.
UN Medal for Peacekeeping Mission in Congo
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in May 2019 honoured an Indian police officer with a prestigious medal for sacrificing his life during the world body’s peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. Jitendra Kumar was posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold medal on 24 May 2019 at the UN headquarters during a special tea reception hosted by India’s Permanent Mission to the UN to commemorate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers and pay homage to those who couldn’t return after their service in the missions.
UN Highest Peacekeeping Award
The Malawian soldier Chancy Chitete was on 24 May 2019 honoured with the United Nation’s (UN) highest peacekeeping award, dubbed as “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage”. He was honoured for his “brave and selfless” action demonstrated in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In an operation undertaken November 2018, he sacrificed his life while saving his fellow comrade ‘blue helmet’ during operation against local armed group named Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The ADF is an armed force in DRC which had been terrorizing civilians and disrupting the UN’s ongoing efforts to halt and treat spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
Japan’s 2nd Highest National Award Conferred to Shyam Saran
Former Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran was in May 2019 selected for Japan’s Second Highest National Award called ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’. He will be conferred for his contributions in strengthening strategic ties and enhancing mutual understanding between India and Japan.
Indian Charity Sets Guinness Records For Holding Longest Iftar
PCT Humanity, a charity run by an Indian named Joginder Singh Salaria in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in May 2019, set a new Guinness World Records for ‘Longest Line of Hunger Relief Package’ in Abu Dhabi. Salaria is the founder of PCT Humanity, which set the Guinness world record with Iftar distribution. The Hunger Relief Package efforts were in continuation to vegetarian iftar which is held daily by PCT Humanity at premises of Salaria’s company Pehal International in Dubai Industrial Park, Abu Dhabi.
Nancy Pelosi Receives JFK Profile in Courage Award 2019
The USA’s House of Representatives (lower house of US) Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in May 2019 honoured with 2019 John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her efforts to pass former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law and for helping Democrats reclaim control of the U.S. House during last year’s elections.
last updated: 11.06.2019
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