National union Government declared nscn-k as terrorist organization under uapa, 1967

Indian boxer won four Gold Medals at Doha International Boxing tournament 20105

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Indian boxer won four Gold Medals at Doha International Boxing tournament 20105

Indian boxer on 23 May 2015 won four Gold Medals, One Silver and two bronze medals at Doha International Boxing Tournament 2015. Commonwealth Games silver medallist L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Manish Kaushik (60kg), and Manoj Kumar (64kg) won the gold medals.

The silver medal went to Gaurav Bidhuri (52kg), while Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Vikas Krishan (75kg) bagged bronze medals.

In the finals, Devendro defeated Philippines Aldren Moreno by 3:0. This was followed by Gaurav defeating Montassar Bouali by 2:1.

Former Asian gold medalist Shiva defeated Egypt's HYM Abdelaal 2:1. Manish beat Moroccan Rabi Hamza 3:0, while Manoj thrashed Filipino Magliquian Nicole by a similar margin.

Mumbai Indians won IPL 2015 title by defeating Chennai Super kings

Mumbai Indians (MI) on 24 May 2015 won the eighth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the final clash played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 41-runs.

This was the second title triumph for Mumbai Indians after their maiden win back in 2013.

Mumbai Indians after being invited to bat first posted a score of 202 for five, while batting second, Chennai Super Kings were able to score just 161 for eight.

With this win, Mumbai Indians joined Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Rider, as a team that has claimed two IPL trophies. Mumbai had won their first title in 2013 at the Eden Gardens, by defeating the Chennai Super Kings. With this defeat, Chennai has lost four finals of 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 in six appearances.

• Man of the Match: Rohit Sharma for his match winning score of 50 in 26 balls

• Player of the Tournament: Andre Russell

• Orange Cap awarded to: David Warner

• Purple Cap awarded to: Dwayne Bravo

• Emerging Player of the Season: Shreyas Iyer

• Most Valuable Player: Andre Russell

Rohan Bopanna, Florin Mergea won Men’s Doubles title of Madrid Tennis Open

Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea, the Indo-Romanian pair, on 10 May 2015 won the men’s doubles title of the Madrid Tennis Open.
In the summit clash played in Madrid, Spain, the duo defeated the Serbian-Polish pair of Nenand Zimonjic and Martin Matkowski  6-2, 6-7(5), 11-9.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Manny Pacquiao to win Fight of the Century of Boxing

American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. on 3 May 2015 defeated Manny Pacquiao from Philippines to win the unified World Welterweight title. The match termed as Fight of the Century was held at iconic MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Novak Djokovic won Monte Carlo Masters title of Tennis

Novak Djokovic of Serbia on 20 April 2015 won his second Monte-Carlo Masters title of Tennis. In the final clash played at Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Djokovic defeated Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
With this win, 27-year-old Djokovic also became the first player to sweep the opening three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events of a season. The previous two titles were won at Indian Wells and Miami.

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won WTA Family Circle Cup

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair of Tennis on 12 April 2015 won the 731000 US dollar WTA Family Circle Cup doubles title. In the title clash played at Charleston in the United States, the duo defeated Australian-Croatian pair of Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak 6-0, 6-4.

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams won the 2015 Miami Open Tennis Singles titles

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams won the 2015 Miami Open Men’s and women’s singles titles of the respectively at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami, Florida.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia on 5 April 2015 beat the third seeded Andy Murray of Britain 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-0 to win his fifth Miami Open title.

In doing so, Djokovic became the first player to win at Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back for three consecutive years.

With this win, Djokovic and Murray have combined to win eight of the past ten Miami Open men’s titles.

Serene Williams of the US on 4 April 2015 defeated the twelfth seed Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-0 to secure the title for eighth time.

With this win, Williams has won 66 singles titles, one behind Billie Jean King of the US.

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won 2015 Miami Open Women's Doubles title

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the Indo-Swiss women pair of Tennis, on 5 April 2015 won the Miami Open Tennis women's doubles title. In the title clash played in Miami, Florida, the duo defeated the Russian pair of Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova, 7-5, 6-1.
This was second consecutive team title for the Indo-Swiss pair. Earlier on 21 March 2015, Mirza and Hingis had won the Indian Wells Open.

Australia defeated New Zealand to win ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Australia on 29 March 2015 won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. In the final, Australia defeated New Zealand by seven wickets at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia.

New Zealand batting first was bowled out at a score of 183 in 45 over and in reply to the target Australia scored 186 at the loss of 3 wickets in 33.1 over.

With this, Australia won the prize money of 3975000 US dollars while New Zealand as Runners-up won 1750000 US dollars as prize money.

This was the Fifth Cricket World Cup for Australian cricket team. Its previous wins came in the years 1987, 1999, 2003, and 2007. With this win, Australia also became the second host country to win the title. India in 2011 had become the first host country to win the title.

• Man of the Match: James Faulkner

• Man of the Series: Mitchell Starc

Captains of the two teams

• New Zealand: Brendon McCullum

• Australia: Michael Clarke

Some Important facts of 2015 Cricket World Cup

• Martin Guptill of New Zealand was the highest scorer of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He scored 547 runs in 9 matches at an average of 69.37. His 547 runs included the highest-ever score of 237 not out in any Cricket World Cup which he scored against West Indies in the third quarter-final.

• Mitchell Starc of Australia was the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. He took 22 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 10.18.

• This World Cup also saw scoring of two double hundreds, firstly by Chris Gayle of West Indies who scored 215 runs against Zimbabwe in the league matches and secondly by Martin Guptill.

• This World Cup also saw the retirement of seven cricketers from the One Day Internationals. These are: Michael Clarke (Australia), Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan), Mahela Jayawadene and Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Khurram Khan (UAE) and Brendon Taylor (Zimbabwe).

• This World Cup also saw the scoring of highest ever centuries in any World Cup. In all 37 centuries were scored in the 2015 Cricket World Cup with Kumar Sangakkara scoring the maximum number of 5 centuries

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won the women doubles title of BNP Paribas Tennis Open

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the Indo-Swiss women pair of Tennis, on 21 March 2015 won the women doubles title of BNP Paribas Open. In the title clash played at Indian Wells, USA, the duo defeated the Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-4.

Saina, Srikant won India Open Super Series Badminton Women's & Men's Singles titles

Indian shuttlers, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth on 29 March 2015 won the women’s and men's singles titles of the 275000 dollar India Open Super Series badminton tournament.

In the final clash played at the Siri Fort Indoor Complex in New Delhi, Saina defeated former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-16, 21-14.

Later in the title clash of the men’s section, World Number Four and second seed Srikanth defeated sixth seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 18-21, 21-13, 21-12. It is second Super Series title of his career.

This was their maiden women and men's singles titles at the India Open Super Series badminton tournament.

Earlier on 28 March 2015, Saina Nehwal became the first woman badminton player from India to be ranked number one in the world. She is the second Indian player to achieve this feat, after Prakash Padukone.

Australian Open 2015

Australian Open 2015 came to an end on 1 February 2015 at Melbourne, Australia. Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Serena Williams of the US won the men’s and women’s single title, respectively.

In the final clash for the title, Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title by defeating Andy Murray of Britain 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0. On the other hand, Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova (Russia) 6-3, 7-6(5) to claim her sixth Australian Open and 19th Grand Slam title.

With this win, World Number 1 Djokovic became the most decorated Australian Open champion of the Open era, surpassing Andre Agassi and Roger Federer’s quartet of titles. Now only Roy Emerson, with six, stands above him in the men’s all-time records.

Results of other categories at Australian Open

• Men’s Doubles title: Italian pair Simone Boleli and Fabio Fogini defeated French pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4. Boleli and Fogini is the first all-Italian team to win a Grand Slam Men's Doubles title in more than 50 years. The last Italians to win a men's doubles title at a major were Nicola Pietrangeli and Orlando Sirola at the 1959 French Open.

• Women’s Doubles title: American-Czech pair Bethanie Mattek-Sands (the US) and Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) defeated Chinese-Taiwan pair Zheng Jie (China) and Chan Yung-jan (Taiwan) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). This was the first grand slam women’s title for Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova and was the first new pairing to win the women’s doubles title at Melbourne Park since 2005

• Mixed Doubles title: Indo-Swiss pair Leander Paes (India) and Martina Hingis (Switzerland) defeated Canadian-French team of Daniel Nestor (Canada) and Kristina Mladenovic (France), in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. This was Leander’s third Mixed Doubles title at the Australian Open and 15th overall. For Martina, it was the ninth title at Melbourne.

India to host ICC Twenty20 World Cup in 2016

International Cricket Council (ICC) in its board meeting in Dubai on 29 January 2015 announced that India will host the Twenty20 World Cup in 2016. The Twenty20 World Cup will be held in India from 11 March 2016 to 3 April 2016.

Bhakti set world record by swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in the Antarctic Ocean

Indian open water swimmer Bhakti Sharma on 14 January 2015 set a world record by swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature in the Antarctic Ocean. She is the first Indian women as well as to achieve this feat.

She broke the record of British open water swimming champion Lewis Pugh and American swimmer Lynne Cox.

The 24-year old is now the first Asian girl and youngest in the world to have achieved this feat and now has conquered all the five oceans of the world.

Bhakti’s quest was sponsored by Hindustan Zinc.

Cristiano Ronaldo won the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or Award

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo on 12 January 2015 won the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best footballer of the year in the world. It is the third time that Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or award following the previous triumphs in the years 2008 and 2013.

Other Awardees
1. Nadine Kessler won the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award 2014.
2. Joachim Low won the FIFA World Coach of the Year 2014 for Men’s Football award.
3. Ralf Kellermann won the FIFA World Coach of the Year 2014 for Women’s Football award.
4. James Rodriguez won the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of the year.
5. FIFA Team of the Year 2014: FIFPro World XI includes Manuel Neuer, David Luiz, Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva in defence; Angel Di Maria, Andres Iniesta and Toni Kroos in midfield and Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben in attack.

FIFA Ballon d'Or Award
• The FIFA Ballon d'Or award is an annual association football award given by FIFA to the male player who has performed the best in the previous calendar year.
• It is awarded based on the votes from national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the world.
• The award began in 2010 after France Football's Ballon d'Or and the men's FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged.
• The winner of the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or was Lionel Messi who then won the title for the following two years 2011 and 2012.

Kiren Rijiju conferred with Disaster Risk Reduction Asia Champion honour by UN

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, was on 17 November 2015 designated as the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champion for the Asia Region by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Rijiju also became the first Indian to be conferred with this honour.

The honour was conferred Margarete Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, during the inaugural session of the Asia Leaders’ Meeting towards Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR in Asia.

Rijiju is the first regional champion for DRR after the Sendai Agreement, giving an impetus to Union Government efforts to facilitate regional support towards enabling community resilience in the Asia-Pacific region.

Disaster Risk Reduction Champions

• UNISDR recognizes individuals as Disaster Risk Reduction Champions for using their political influence to lobby for disaster risk reduction in their country, region and beyond.

• This is a non-remunerated honorary position.

• Only the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of UNISDR may designate a Disaster Risk Reduction Champion by issuing a letter of designation.

• It advocates and promotes the goals and priorities of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Abraham M Keita from Liberia won the 2015 International Children's Peace Prize

Liberian teenager Abraham M Keita was on 10 November 2015 awarded with the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize 2015. He was awarded for his extraordinary and peaceful fight for justice for child victims of physical or sexual violence, and for successfully campaigning for the Liberian parliament to adopt the Children’s Law.

Seventeen-year-old Keita received the prize from Nobel Peace Laureate and his countrywoman Leymah Gbowee in The Hague. Gbowee in 2011 became the first Liberian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in Liberia’s peace-building process.

About International Children’s Peace Prize

International Children’s Peace Prize is awarded annually to child from across the world for his or her dedication to children’s rights. The prize is an initiative of Marc Dullaert, Chairman and Founder of the Dutch KidsRights Foundation.

The prize was launched by KidsRights during the 2005 Nobel Peace Laureates’ Summit chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then, the prize has been presented every year by a Nobel Peace Laureate.

Neha Gupta, an 18-year-old Indian American from Philadelphia, was awarded with the 2014 International Children’s Peace Prize for her work to help orphans in India and other vulnerable children. Neha was the first ever American to be awarded with the prize.

Santoor maestro Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma honoured with Kala Shikhar award

Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma on 7 November 2015 was honoured with the Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Shikhar Award for lifetime achievement.

The governor of Maharashtra C Vidyasagar Rao presented the award to the 77-year old Santoor player in Mumbai.

On the other hand, Murad Ali Khan (Sarangi) and Satyajit Talwalkar (Tabla) were awarded with the Kala Kiran Awards. Special Jury Award was given to Shehnai players Sanjeev and Ashwani Shankar.

After starting his career as a vocalist, Pandit Sharma emerged out as the master instrumentalist of the Santoor. He is credited with making Santoor a popular Classical Instrument.

The Santoor maestro is also the recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Vibhushan.

About Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Shikhar Puraskaar

The Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Shikhar Puraskaar was instituted by the Sangit Kala Kendra in the memory of Aditya Vikram Birla.

The award is conferred on a distinguished artist for his/her lifetime achievement in the chosen field of the performing and visual arts.

The award comprises a cash award of 2 lakh rupees, a memento and a scroll of honour.

Activist Bindeshwar Pathak selected for New York Global Leaders Dialogue Humanitarian Award

Sociologist and founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak on 29 October 2015 was selected for the prestigious New York Global Leaders Dialogue Humanitarian Award for his contribution to sanitation and improving the quality of life for millions of manual scavengers.

Pathak will be presented with the award on 12 April 2016 in New York, US.

The activist first understood the plight of manual scavengers in 1968 when he joined the Bhangi-Mukti (scavengers’ liberation) Cell of the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebrations Committee.

He founded the Sulabh International Social Service Organization in 1970, combining technical innovation with humanitarian principles.

Born on 2 April 1943, Pathak obtained his bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1964. He completed his post graduation in 1980 from the University of Patna. He earned his PhD in 1985.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi awarded 2015 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi on 29 October 2015 awarded Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for the year 2015.

An announcement in this regard was made by the President of European Parliament Martin Schulz at European Parliament assembly in Strasbourg, France; Subsequently, Schulz appealed to Saudi King Salman to free him, so he can accept the prize.

Badawi was one of three nominees for the prize along with assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the Venezuelan opposition movement Mesa de la Unidad Democratica.

Badawi, author of the website Free Saudi Liberals, was convicted of insulting Islam in 2012 and was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes.

He received the first 50 lashes of his sentence in January 2015, but subsequent floggings have been postponed.

In early October 2015, he also won the Pen Pinter Prize for championing free speech in honour of the late Nobel Literature Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter.

About Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

• It has been awarded by the European Parliament since 1988 to individuals or organisations for their contribution to the fight for human rights and democracy.

• It is named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

• While the prize in 2014 was conferred on Denis Mukwege of DR Congo for treating gang rape victims, Nelson Mandela (1988), Aung San Suu Kyi (1990) and Malala Yousafzai (2013) were the previous winners.

Angry Indian Goddesses bagged People’s Choice Award at Rome Film Festival

Director Pan Nalin’s film, Angry Indian Goddesses, on 25 October 2015 was awarded with BNL People’s Choice Award at the 10th Rome Film Festival held in Rome, Italy.

The award was presented by the BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas. The winner was selected through an online voting system by the audience.

The movie also received an eight-minute-long standing ovation at the festival.

Earlier, the movie was also screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it came second to Lenny Abrahamson’s Room in the voting for the People's Choice Award.

Angry Indian Goddesses is a 2015 Hindi drama film, which stars Sandhya Mridul, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande and Pavleen Gujral playing lead roles with Adil Hussain.

The movie narrates the tale of a girl who invited her closest girlfriends to Goa to announce her wedding, and how it all turned into a wild bachelorette party.

AR Rahman received Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award

Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman was on 26 October 2015 conferred with Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award in Mumbai. He won the award for his contribution to the Indian music.

Veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai presented the fifth Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award to Rahman on the 78th birthday of Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Mangeskar was a well-known composer and the younger brother of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

About Hridaynath Mangeskar Award

It was instituted by Hridayesh Art, a Mumbai- based socio-cultural organisation in honour of music composer and singer Hridaynath Mangeskar.

• Hridaynath is the son of noted musician Deenanath Mangeshkar and younger brother of Indian music legends Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

• The annual award is given since 2011 in recognition of contributions to Indian music.

• Recipients of the earlier awards were-Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Sulochana Tai and Asha Bhosle.

• The first Hridaynath Award was given to Lata Mangeshkar.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe awarded with 2015 Confucius Peace Prize

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was on 22 October 2015 awarded with the 2015 Confucius Peace Prize by China for supposedly injecting fresh energy into the global quest for harmony. The Prize is dubbed as Chinese equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.

He was awarded for overcoming a number of difficulties and for contributing to building the government, economy and order in the country while continuing to work at the age of 91 actively for African peace.

Mugabe is the founding leader of Zimbabwe and has ruled the country since it gained independence in 1980 from United Kingdom. He was elected as Prime Minister in 1980 and served in that office till 1987. He became Zimbabwe’s first President in December 1987 and since then he is serving in the office.

In January 2015, he was appointed as Chairman of African Union (AU). However, in his 35 years of grip on power, he has often been seen caught in controversies. He has been criticised over allegations of corruption and his poor record on human rights. He is also blamed for a series of massacres in the 1980s and 1990s in which tens of thousands of civilians and opposition soldiers were killed.

About Confucius Peace Prize

• The prize was established in 2010 by China’s Communist Government after it was angered by Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

• It is bestowed for promotion of world peace from the 21st-century interpretation of Confucianism i.e. universal harmony in the world.

• The prize comes with an award of 500000 Yuan and a gold trophy of the ancient Chinese philosopher whose name it takes.

• Previous Recipients of the award are Vladimir Putin (2011), Kofi Annan and Yuan Longping (2012) and Fidel Castro (2014).

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi conferred Harvard University’s 2015 Humanitarian of the Year Award

Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2014 Kailash Satyarthi was on 16 October 2015 conferred with the 2015 Humanitarian of the Year Award. The award is given annually by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations of the Harvard University.

He was awarded for his continuing contribution to the cause of child rights and abolition of child slavery.

Satyarthi was successful in getting the issue of child protection included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2015.

His co-sharer of the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 Malala Yousufzai of Pakistan was conferred with the Humanitarian of the Year award in 2013.

In 2014, this award was conferred on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

About the Award

Each year, the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University presents the Humanitarian Award to an individual whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of our lives and have inspired us to greater heights.

This award is given in the name of the Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor and Minister in Harvard's Memorial Church, and is authorized by the Dean of Harvard College and the President of Harvard University.

The past winners of this award include luminaries like Martin Luther King Sr, Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Javier Perez de Cuellar; Bishop Desmond Tutu and John Hume among others.

Jamaican writer Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

Jamaican writer Marlon James on 13 October 2015 won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. With this, James became the first Jamaican author to win the prize in its 47-years of history.

James was honoured with the prize money of 50000 Euros, a trophy and a designer bound edition of his book. He was also awarded with additional 2500 Euros for being shortlisted for the prize.

James’s name was shortlisted from a list of writers including Sunjeev Sahota, Chigozie Obioma, Hanya Yanagihara, Anne Tyler, Tom McCarthy and Marlon James.

About Man Booker Prize

• First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading award for high quality literary fiction written in English.

• The award promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.

• Its list of winners features many of the giants of the last four decades: from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood, Iris Murdoch to JM Coetzee.

Veteran filmmaker I.V. Sasi honoured with J.C. Daniel Award

Renowned Malayalam filmmaker I.V. Sasi on 12 October 2015 was awarded with the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for the year 2014 for his contributions towards the Malayalam entertainment industry.

Sasi has made over 150 Indian films in various languages and genres. However, he is mostly known for his South Indian films.

He started his directorial career officially with his first film Ulsavam. He has directed more than 170 films over a span of 34 years. Most of his movies came out as super hits and some of them are even classified as classics or good cinema.

In 1982, his film Aaroodam won the Nargis Dutt Award for the best feature film on National Integration.

About J.C. Daniel Award

The J.C. Daniel Award is given by the Government of Kerala annually. The award was instituted in 1992 by Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala in the honour of J. C. Daniel, an Indian filmmaker.

The award is a division of the Kerala State Film Awards which is given to honour lifetime achievements and outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema.

Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet won the Nobel Peace Prize 2015

Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet won the Nobel Peace Prize 2015. It was announced by the Kaci Kullman Five, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee on 9 October 2015.

It was awarded for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of Jasmine revolution of 2011.

The Quartet was picked from the pool of 273 nominees with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Pope Francis among the list of top contenders to win the prize.

The first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly in 1901 to Jean Henry Dunant, founder of International Committee of Red Cross and French peace activist and economist Frederic Passy.

About Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet comprised four key organizations in Tunisian civil society. These are:

• The Tunisian General Labour Union

• The Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts

• The Tunisian Human Rights League

• The Tunisian Order of Lawyers

Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature

Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich was on 8 October 2015 awarded with the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.

She will be awarded with the 8 million Swedish kronor prize money at the annual award ceremony on 10 December 2015.

Svetlana Alexiyevich is a Belarusian investigative journalist and prose writer. In 2014, she was nominated by Ural Federal University to receive the 2014 Nobel Prize in literature.

She was born on 31 May 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankovsk.

About Svetlana Alexievich's work

Svetlana Alexievich books are described as a literary chronicle of the emotional history of the Soviet and post-Soviet person. Her most notable works in English translation are about first-hand accounts from the war in Afghanistan (Zinky Boys) and a highly praised oral history of the Chernobyl disaster (Voices from Chernobyl).

Her first book War's Unwomanly Face was published in 1985. It was repeatedly reprinted and sold out in more than two million copies. This novel is made up of monologues of women in the war speaking about the aspects of World War II that had never been related before.

Another book, The Last Witnesses: the Book of Unchildlike Stories describes personal memories of children during war time. In 1993, she published Enchanted with Death, a book about real and attempted suicides due to the downfall of the Soviet Union.

Alexievich's books have been published in many countries including US, Germany, UK, Japan, Sweden, France, China, Vietnam, Bulgaria and India with a total of 19 countries in all.

Indian firm Nualgi won Popular Choice Award at Climate CoLab of MIT

Nualgi, an Indian company with entirely Indian technology in the field of nano biotechnology, on 7 October 2015 won the Popular Choice Awards at the Climate CoLab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge.

With this, Nualgi became the first Indian company to win the annual MIT contest.

The Indian company had submitted two proposals to reduce power and fuel consumption for sewage treatment and reuse of water built around their nano-scale product called Nualgi for the 2015 edition of the contest.

A panel of judges selected both of their proposals in the Top 10 category. Subsequently, both the proposals won the Popular Choice Awards in voting by general public internationally.

About Nualgi

Bengaluru’s T Sampath Kumar invented Nualgi after 15 years of research and development in nano biotechnology. It is an advanced product used to grow diatom algae in all types and volumes of water, from aquariums to oceans.

Nualgi contains trace, special and appropriate nutrients that can deliver in a biologically available form.

What is MIT’s Climate CoLab?

MIT’s Climate CoLab initiative is a budding community of 50000 people from around the globe, who work together online through a series of interrelated contests focused on different aspects of the climate change problem.

2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar

Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar were on 7 October 2015 jointly awarded with the 2015 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for having mapped how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information at a molecular level.

All the three laureates will share the prize money of 8 million Swedish kronor equally. Tomas Lindahl is from the Francis Crick Institute, UK; Paul Modrich is from Duke University School of Medicine, USA and Aziz Sancar belongs to University of North Carolina School of Medicine, USA.

Their work provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and how it is used for the development of new cancer treatments.

How cells repair damaged DNA?

Each day our DNA is damaged by UV radiation, free radicals and other carcinogenic substances, but even without such external attacks, a DNA molecule is inherently unstable. Thousands of spontaneous changes to a cell’s genome occur on a daily basis.

Defects can also arise when DNA is copied during cell division, a process that occurs several million times every day in the human body. The reason our genetic material does not disintegrate into complete chemical chaos is that a host of molecular systems continuously monitor and repair DNA.

However, these three pioneering scientists have mapped that how several repair systems function at a detailed molecular level. Tomas Lindahl demonstrated that DNA decays at a rate that ought to have made the development of life on Earth impossible. This insight led him to discover molecular machinery named Base Excision Repair which constantly counteracts the collapse of our DNA.

Aziz Sancar mapped Nucleotide Excision Repair, the mechanism that cells use to repair UV damage to DNA. People born with defects in this repair system will develop skin cancer if they are exposed to sunlight. The cell also utilises nucleotide excision repair to correct defects.

Furthermore, Paul Modrich demonstrated how the cell corrects errors that occur when DNA is replicated during cell division. This mechanism, Mismatch Repair, reduces the error frequency during DNA replication by about a thousand fold.

Raif Badawi, James Fenton shared 2015 PEN Pinter Prize

Saudi blogger and activist Raif Badawi and British poet and critic James Fenton were on 6 October 2015 awarded with the 2015 PEN Pinter Prize. Badawi was named as the 2015 International Writer of Courage by Fenton himself during a public event held at the British Library in London.

Fenton officially accepted the 2015 PEN Pinter Prize at the event. He delivered a lecture written for the occasion, which was published in a limited edition by Faber & Faber. Fenton was selected for this prestigious award in June 2015 itself.

While, due to Badawi's imprisonment, his award was accepted by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia and campaigner for Raif Badawi.

About Raif Badawi's Incident

Raif Badawi has been a case of concern to English PEN since he was first imprisoned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2012 for setting up a website called Saudi Liberal Network challenging Saudi government. In May 2014, he received a fine of 1 million riyals along with a ten year prison sentence and was sentenced to 1000 lashes.

He was charged against violating the Islamic values and propagating liberal thought. The public flogging of Badawi in January 2015 sparked global outrage. Since then, the campaign for his case spearheaded by his wife Ensaf Haidar has gathered international support.

An anthology of his writings 1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think, was also published in the UK in September 2015 by Greystone Books.

Arthur B McDonald and Takaaki Kajita shared 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics

Japan's Takaaki Kajita and American Arthur B. McDonald on 6 October 2015 jointly won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass. Takaaki Kajita belongs to the University of Tokyo while McDonald is from Queen's University, Canada.

Both the winners will share the 8 million Swedish kronor prize money with one half going to McDonand and the other half to Kajita. Each winner will also get a diploma and a gold medal at the annual award ceremony on 10 December 2015, the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel.

The Discovery of Neutrino Oscillations

Takaaki Kajita presented the discovery that neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between two identities on their way to the Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan.

While, the research group in Canada led by Arthur B. McDonald demonstrated that the neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth. Instead they were captured with a different identity when arriving to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

Their experiments demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to view of the universe.

With this, a neutrino puzzle that physicists had wrestled with for decades, had been resolved. Compared to theoretical calculations of the number of neutrinos, up to two thirds of the neutrinos were missing in measurements performed on Earth. Now, these two experiments discovered that the neutrinos had changed identities.

The discovery led to the far-reaching conclusion that neutrinos, which for a long time were considered mass-less, must have some mass, however small.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine-2015 announced

The Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine on 5 October 2015 announced the recipients of the 2015 award.

The 2015 prize was divided, one half jointly to William C Campbell (Ireland) and Satoshi Omura (Japan) for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites and the other half to Youyou Tu (China) for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.

Contributions of Awardees

William C Campbell is an Irish biochemist, Biologist and Parasitologist known for his discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworms. Currently, he is a research fellow emeritus at Drew University, Madison in New Jersey, the USA.

Satoshi Omura is a Japanese biochemist. He is known for the discovery and development of various originally occurring microorganisms in pharmaceuticals to treat roundworm. At present, he is associated with the Kitasato University of Japan.

Youyou Tu is a Chinese medical scientist, pharmaceutical chemist, and educator best known for discovering artemisinin (also known as Qinghaosu) and dihydroartemisinin, used to treat malaria. At present, she is working at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Laureates of 2015 Right Livelihood Awards announced

Laureates of 2015 Right Livelihood Awards were announced on 1 October 2015. Tony de Brum & the People of the Marshall Islands, Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Canada), Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (Uganda) and Gino Strada & his organisation ‘Emergency’ (Italy) were chosen for the prestigious award that is also known as Alternative Nobel Prize.

While Tony de Brum & the People of the Marshall Islands is the honorary recipient, the other three awardees will share the 200000 euro prize money.

Contributions of Awardees

Tony de Brum & the People of the Marshall Islands

The award was conferred in recognition of their vision and courage to take legal action against the nuclear powers for failing to honour their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Tony de Brum, as Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, took the unprecedented step of filing lawsuits against all nine nuclear weapons states in the International Court of Justice in 2014, seeking to hold them to account for their failure to abide by the provisions of NPT.

He was also architect of the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership, adopted in September 2013, under which commitment of Pacific Island States to adopt concrete measures to combat climate change was secured.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier

The Canadian was recognised for her lifelong work to protect the Inuit of the Arctic and defend their right to maintain their livelihoods and culture, which are acutely threatened by climate change.

Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska.

As an elected representative of her people, administrator and advocate, Watt-Cloutier significantly contributed to an overhaul of the education system in Nunavik in Northern Quebec to make it more effective in meeting the needs of Inuit communities.

She was an influential force behind the adoption of the Stockholm Convention to ban persistent organic pollutants, which accumulate strongly in Arctic food chains.

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera

The Ugandan was selected for her courage and persistence, despite violence and intimidation, in working for the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people to a life free from prejudice and persecution.

Operating within a hostile and repressive environment, Nabagesera has shed light on human rights violations, and has successfully used the judicial system to advance LGBTI rights.

Gino Strada & Emergency

The Italian was selected for his great humanity and skill in providing outstanding medical and surgical services to the victims of conflict and injustice, while fearlessly addressing the causes of war.

From Afghanistan to Sudan, EMERGENCY, the organisation that he co-founded in 1994, runs over 60 hospitals, clinics and first aid posts, operating with the aim of transferring medical knowledge and expertise to local health service professionals.

He also played a leading role in the successful campaign that resulted in Italy banning the production and use of antipersonnel landmines in 1997.

About Right Livelihood Award

• It was established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, and is presented annually in early December in Swedish Parliament.

• The award was given to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.

• The prize money is shared among the winners, usually numbering four, and is 200000 euros. Very often one of the four laureates receives an honorary award, which means that the other three share the prize money.

• Though they are called as Alternative Nobel they do not have any organizational ties to the awarding institutions of the Nobel Prize or the Nobel Foundation.

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology 2015 announced

CSIR on 26 September 2015 announced Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology 2015 for eleven scientists in recognition of their work. The awardees were announced to mark the CSIR’s 73nd Foundation day.

The SSB Prize consists of a citation, a plaque and a cash prize of 5 lakh rupees. The selected awardees in different fields are

Biological Sciences: Dr Balasubramanian Gopal of Molecular Biophysics Unit Indian Institute of Science Bangalore

Dr Rajeev Kumar Varshney of Centre of Excellence in Genomics International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad

Chemical Sciences: Dr D Srinivasa Reddy Division of Organic Chemistry CSIR National Chemical Laboratory, Pune

Dr Pradyut Ghosh of Department of Inorganic Chemistry Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in Jadavapur, Kolkata

Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences: Dr Jyotiranjan Srichandan Ray of Geosciences Division Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad

Engineering Sciences: Dr Yogesh Moreshwar Joshi of Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Mathematical Sciences: Dr K Sandeep of TIFR Centre for Applicable Mathematics, Bangalore

Dr Ritabrata Munshi School of Mathematics Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

Medical Sciences: Dr Vidita Ashok Vaidya of Department of Biological Sciences Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

Physical Sciences: Dr Bedangadas Mohanty of School of Physical Sciences National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar

Dr Mandar Madhukar Deshmukh of Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

Mathematician Jacob Tsimerman won 2015 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize

Mathematician Jacob Tsimerman of the University of Toronto, Canada on 28 September 2015 was chosen for the prestigious 2015 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize.

Tsimerman is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the University of Toronto. He primarily conducts research in Number Theory.

He will be conferred with the prize during the International Conference on Number Theory at SASTRA University in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu where the prize is given annually.

About SASTRA Ramanujan Prize

Founded by Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy (SASTRA) University in 2005 after the name of the genius mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize is awarded every year to a young mathematician.

The age limit for the prize is 32 years as Ramanujan died at 32. The current prize money for the award is 10000 US Dollars.

EPFO won Skoch Award for Smart Governance Initiatives

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on 23 September 2015 won the Skoch Award for Smart Governance. It was awarded at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi for its initiatives on UAN Programme and Transformation of Social Security Agenda in India.

EPFO was also awarded two SKOCH Order-of-Merits, one for launching UAN for EPFO members and another for transformation of Social Security Agenda in India.

Skoch Smart Governance Award

Skoch Smart Governance Award is an initiative recognising top performing government organisations and organisations working with the government, operating at local, state and national level.

The award is given in the area of Health, Education, Rural Development/Panchayati Raj, Urban Development, Finance, and Security.

The award is given by the Skoch Group, which is a Gurgaon-based think tank dealing with socio-economic issues with a focus on inclusive growth since 1997. The Group was founded by Sameer Kochhar and he is the Chairman of the Group.

He is the author of acclaimed books like Defeating Poverty: Jan Dhan and Beyond (2015); ModiNomics: Inclusive Economics, Inclusive Governance (2014) and Speeding Financial Inclusion (2009).

24th Vyaas Samman conferred on eminent Hindi writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goenka

Eminent Hindi writer Dr Kamal Kishore Goenka was conferred with 24th Vyaas Samman for the year 2014 on 22 September 2015. He was awarded for his work 'Premchand ki Kahaniyon ka Kaal Kramanusaar Adhyayan'.

Goenka's work is a critical analysis of the work by Hindi literature's towering giant Munshi Premchand.

He was awarded a citation along with a cash amount of 2.5 lakh rupees by eminent Hindi writer Prof Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.

About the Vyas Samman

• The award was instituted in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation. It is presented to an outstanding literary work in Hindi published during the last 10 years.

• Ram Vilas Sharma was the first person to receive the award for his Bharat ke Pracheen bhasha parivar aur Hindi in 1991.

• Vishwanath Tripathi received the award for the year 2013 for his memoir 'Vyomkesh Darvesh' that is a biography of the noted Hindi scholar Acharya Hazari Prasad Dwivedi. While, Narendra Kohli received the award for his work 'Na Bhooto Na Bhavishyati' in 2012 and Ramdarash Misra for his collection of poems 'Aam K Patte' in 2011.

Game of Thrones won 12 awards at 67th Primetime Emmy Awards

Famous American fantasy drama television series, Game of Thrones, created for HBO won an unprecedented 12 awards at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards held on 20 September 2015. The ceremony was held at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, California.

Game of Thrones fetched 12 awards, including best drama series. It was the first time that the popular fantasy drama won the best drama series award.

Awards won by Game of Thrones

• Outstanding Drama Series

• Outstanding Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage)

• Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series

• Outstanding Direction in a Drama Series

• Outstanding Make-Up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)

• Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series

• Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)

• Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series

• Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Scripted Series

• Outstanding Special Visual Effects

• Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series

• Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series

About Game of Thrones

The famous drama was created for HBO by showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. The show is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones.

The show premiered on HBO in the United States on 17 April 2011. It completed its fifth season on 14 June 2015.

Indian-American Swetha Prabakaran chosen for Champions of Change Award in US

Swetha Prabhakaran, an Indian American teen, was on 15 September 2015 awarded with the prestigious Champions of Change Award of US at the White House. She is among eleven young women selected by the White House as Champions of Change.

Prabhakaran, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia, founded a non-profit organisation Everybody Code Now! to empower the next generation of youth to become engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs.

She was chosen for the award in recognition of her efforts for empowering the community by imparting education of Internet coding through her non-profit Organisation. This organisation has raised thousands of dollars for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) activities in schools.

She was born in Indianapolis to Indian parents who later immigrated from Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli to US in 1998.

About Champions of Change award

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

The award is given by White House to those who support working families and help make change in their companies or communities.

British-Indian Sunjeev Sahota shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 2015

British-Indian author Sunjeev Sahota was on 15 September 2015 shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2015.

Sahota's novel The Year of the Runaways, his second novel, centres around the lives of 13 Indian men who live in a house in Sheffield, each in desperate search of a new life.

Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his past in Bihar; and Avtar has a secret that binds him to protect the chaotic Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a visa-wife in a flat on the other side of town: a clever, devout woman whose cupboards are full of her husband's clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a call.

Sweeping between India and England and between childhood and the present day, The Year of the Runaways is a story of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance.

Sahota is among the six novelists short-listed for the award. The winner of the prize will be announced on 13 October 2015 and will be presented with the prize money of 50000 British pounds.

About Man Booker Prize

The prize was launched in 1969 with an aim to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom.

To maintain the consistent excellence of the Man Booker Prize, the judges are chosen from a wide range of disciplines including critics, writers, academics, poets, politicians and actors, all with a passion for quality fiction.

The winner of the Man Booker Prize is awarded with the prize money of 50000 british pounds and all the shortlisted authors are awarded with a cheque of 2500 british pounds.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina won the United Nations Champions of the Earth Award 2015

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 14 September 2015 won the United Nations Champions of the Earth Award for Policy Leadership to address the issue of climate change. She was chosen by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) for this prestigious award.

Sheikh Hasina has demonstrated leadership in making climate change an issue of national priority and advocating for an ambitious global response. UNEP noted that Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Cyclones, floods and droughts have long been part of the country's history, but they have intensified in recent years.

However, through a number of forward-looking policy initiatives and investments, Bangladesh has successfully confronted the challenge of climate change at the core of its development. The award cites the progressive Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan of 2009.

This action plan made this South Asian nation the first developing country to frame such a coordinated action plan. Bangladesh is also the first country to set up its own Climate Change Trust Fund, supported by nearly 300 million US dollars of domestic resources from 2009-2012.

Moreover, under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, the Bangladesh Constitution was amended in 2011 to include a constitutional directive to the State to protect the environment and natural resources for current and future generations.

In addition to Sheikh Hasina, the other winners announced so far are the National Geographic Society (Science and Innovation); Brazilian cosmetics firm Natura (Entrepreneurial Vision); and South Africa’s Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (Inspiration and Action).

About UNEP Champions of the Earth Award

• It is United Nation's top environmental accolade awarded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

• It recognizes visionary people and organisations all over the world that exemplify leadership and advocate action on sustainable development, climate change and a life of dignity for all.

• The annual award was established in 2004.

• The awards are conferred in four categories- Policy Leadership, Entrepreneurial Vision, Inspiration and Action and Science and Innovation.

Tambul Leaf Plates conferred with SEED Special Recognition Award

Tambul Leaf Plates was on 9 September 2015 conferred with the SEED Special Recognition Award in Nairobi, Kenya.

The onetime special award was presented to the Indian based organisation to mark the 10th anniversary of the annual SEED Awards.

About SEED

• It is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy.

• Its founding partners are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the united nations environment programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

• It supports innovative small-scale and locally driven entrepreneurs around the globe who integrate social and environmental benefits into their business model from the outset.

SEED Awards

• They were given for the first time to 5 enterprises in 2005 on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in New York.

• So far, 202 inspirational social and environmental enterprises were honoured with the awards.

• The Special Recognition Award winner -Tambul Leaf Plates- was the winner of the 2013 SEED Low Carbon Winner Award.

About Tambul Leaf Plates

• It produces and markets biodegradable disposable dinnerware from the fallen sheath of the arecanut plant.

• Its activities help in reducing plastic waste pollution and creating a value chain on the basis on an abundant natural resource.

• Since 2011, it has been able to generate sustainable livelihood for 2000+ rural youths and promote 100+ arecanut leaf plate making units.

• It played a major role the income of the producers has increased by more than 100 per cent over these years.

• It also provides entrepreneurial and production skills trainings. So far, 330 rural youths benefitted.

• Its founder is Arindam Dasgupta and it has major operations in North East India.

Acclaimed writer Jhumpa Lahiri awarded with 2014 National Humanities Medal by White House

Short story writer and novelist Jhumpa Lahiri was on 10 September 2015 awarded with the 2014 National Humanities Medal by the White House, United States. The medal was conferred onto her by President Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House.

Lahiri was among 10 recipients of the award. Other 9 awardees are:

• Annie Dillard, author

• Everett L. Fly, architect and preservationist

• Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, philosopher and novelist

• Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, historian

• Fedwa Malti-Douglas, scholar

• Larry McMurtry, novelist

• Vicki Lynn Ruiz, historian

• Alice Waters, author and food activist

About Jhumpa Lahiri

• Born in London, Lahiri holds a bachelor's degree from Barnard College at Columbia University; master's degrees in English literature, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance studies from BU.

• In July 2015, Lahiri joined the Princeton University faculty as a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Centre for the Arts. Prior to coming to Princeton, Lahiri was a writer in residence at John Cabot University in Rome, and she has held the same position at Vassar College and Baruch College.

• Her debut collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies came out in 1999, it probes issues of love and identity among immigrants and cultural transplants and also won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the PEN/Hemingway Award and The New Yorker Debut of the Year.

• Her 2013 novel The Lowland was a National Book Award winner. Her 2003 novel The Namesake was released as a film in 2007.

• Lahiri was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2006.

About National Humanities Medal

• The National Humanities Medal, inaugurated in 1997, is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

• The award honours individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens' engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects.

• Up to 12 medals can be awarded each year.

President conferred Gandhi Peace Prize on ISRO

President Pranab Mukherjee on 9 September 2015 conferred Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2014 on Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The award was conferred at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

On behalf of the organisation the award was received by ISRO’s Chairman AS Kiran Kumar. It was awarded for its contribution in development of space technology and satellite-based services like launch of Manglayan, PSLV, and others.

ISRO was chosen for the prestigious award on 27 March 2015 by a jury headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

About the Gandhi Peace Prize

The Gandhi Peace Prize was instituted in the year 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This annual award is given to individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.

The award carries an amount of one crore rupees, a citation and a Plaque. The Award for every year is selected by a Jury under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister.

Gandhian environmentalist and social activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt, the founder of Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh (DGSS) in Gopeshwar in 1964, which later became a mother organisation to the Chipko movement, was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2013.

Previous recipients of the award includes

• Julius K Nyerere, former Tanzanian President (he was the first recipient of the award in 1995)

• Nelson Mandela, former South African President

• AT Ariyaratne, founder President of Sarvodaya Shramadana movement in Sri Lanka

• Gerhard Fischer of Rama Krishna Mission in Germany and

• Baba Amte (Murlidhar Devidas Amte), a social worker of India who is known particularly for his work for the rehabilitation and empowerment of poor people suffering from leprosy

• Archbishop Desmond Tutu, cleric and activist of South Africa (received the award in 2005)

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit of South Africa selected for 2015 UNEP Champions of the Earth award

Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) of South Africa was on 7 September 2015 selected for the 2015 UNEP Champions of the Earth award in the inspiration and action category.

The Black Mamba APU was selected for its courage in comabatting poaching and community led initiatives in protecting wildlife in the Balule Private Game Reserve of South Africa.

The award will be conferred during the Sustainable Development Goals summit that is scheduled to be held on 27 September 2015 in New York.

About Black Mamba APU

• It is a unit of 26-members of which majority of women.

• It was founded in 2013 to protect wildlife in the Balule private game reserve. It is part of the Greater Kruger National Park that is spread over 2 million hectares of protected areas.

• The area that they protect is home to an abundance of wildlife - including not only rhino but leopards, lions, elephants, cheetahs and hippos.

• Due its efforts, not a single rhino was poached in the reserve in over ten months compared to the death of 23 rhinos in the neighbouring reserve in the same period.

Haryana bagged Skoch Order-of-Merit National award for implementing e-governance initiatives

Haryana on 3 September 2015 bagged the Skoch Order-of-Merit national award for implementation of six e-Governance and IT initiatives in the state.

The award will be presented to the state government during the 41st Skoch Summit - Transformative Governance, scheduled to be held on 22-23 September 2015 in New Delhi.

The information in regard to the award was provided by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the state assembly on the second day of the monsoon session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha.

Besides, the Chief Minister also informed that with a view to providing time-bound and hassle-free services, the state government had notified 163 services which would be delivered to the citizens at their doorsteps.

About Skoch Digital Inclusion Awards

Skoch Digital Inclusion Award is given by Skoch Consultancy Services Private Limited, a strategy and management consulting firm founded in 1997.

It is an initiative to recognise the e-Governance initiatives of the Central Government, State, Local Governments, their various departments and undertakings, and their technology and solution providers in both the government and corporate sector.

These Awards recognise the best applications of technology in the various sectors of governance.

India won UNESCO's Award of Excellence 2015 for conserving Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple

India on 1 September 2015 won the UNESCO prize Award of Excellence 2015 for the conserving the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple of Kerala. The award was given in the category of UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

While, the Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang won the UNESCO Award of Merit and became the first project in Lao PDR to receive the UNESCO Asia‐Pacific Heritage Award.

The Award of Excellence for the Conservation of Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple at Thrissur in Kerala recognizes the remarkable conservation effort undertaken at the sacred site which employed age‐old rituals and conservation techniques drawn from vastu shastra.

As such, the tangible attributes of the temple are inextricably linked with its intangible heritage which dates back to generations, thus ensuring that spirit of place resonates throughout the site.

About UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation

• The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation were established in 2000 to recognize and encourage private efforts and public-private initiatives in successfully restoring structures of heritage value in the region.

• Since 2000, UNESCO has received 562 entries from 24 countries and a total of 174 projects have received UNESCO Heritage awards for conservation till now.

• The winning projects have set high technical and social standards for conservation in the region. They have increased local preservation efforts as well.

Rajendra Singh conferred with 2015 Stockholm Water Prize

The Waterman of India Rajendra Singh on 26 August 2015 was conferred with the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize presented the prize at a Royal Award Ceremony during World Water Week in Swedish Capital Stockholm.

Singh was named for the prestigious award for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need.

Contributions of Rajendra Singh

Singh has invested several decades of his life to defeat drought and empowering communities of Rajasthan through his organisation Tarun Bharat Sangh (India Youth Association).

He addressed the problem of waters in villages of Rajasthan through building Johads or traditional earthen dams. These Johads, by now about 8600 in number, helped 1000 villages of the state in revival of water.

His efforts also helped in increasing the forest cover in the state, which helped the return of antelope and leopard in the state.

About Stockholm Water Prize

The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1991 and presented annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related achievements. The Stockholm Water Prize Laureate receives 150000 US Dollars and a specially designed sculpture. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is patron of the prize.

About Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-makers towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI organizes the World Water Week in Stockholm – the leading annual global meeting place on water and development issues – and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.

Syrian woman Journalist Zaina Erhaim awarded with Peter Mackler Award 2015

Syrian woman journalist Zaina Erhaim on 22 August 2015 won the esteemed 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. She was bestowed this award for her efforts to train citizen reporters in her war-ravaged country.

She will be presented with this award at a ceremony to be held at the National Press Club in Washington in October 2015.

Zaina Erhaim, currently, lives and works in Aleppo, Syria. Over the last two years, she has trained about 100 citizen reporters from inside Syria, approximately one third of them are women, in print and TV journalism.

Erhaim is also the Syria project coordinator for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an international organization that support journalists in countries undergoing conflict, crisis, or transition.

About the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism

• The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism was founded in June, 2008 to honor the memory of Peter Mackler, a Brooklyn-born thirty-five year veteran journalist who championed ethical journalism and freedom of expression.

• The Peter Mackler award rewards journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either not guaranteed or not recognized.

• The Award is administered by Global Media Forum, the US branch of Reporters Without Borders, and Agence France-Presse.

Union Government announced awardees for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2015 and Arjuna Awards 2015

The Union Government on 14 August 2015 announced the awardees for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and Arjuna Award for the year 2015.

The selection of awardees was based  on the recommendations of the Selection Committee headed by Justice VK Bali, former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court and consisting of eminent sportspersons and sports administrators.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ranta 2015

 S. No.

Name of the sportsperson



Ms. Sania Mirza


Arjuna Awards 2015

 S. No.

Name of the sportsperson



Naib Subedar Sandeep Kumar



MR Poovamma



Kidambi Srikanth Nammalwar



Mandeep Jangra



Rohit Sharma



Dipa Karmakar



Sreejesh PR



Manjeet Chhillar



Abhilasha Shashikant Mhatre



Sawarn Singh



Anup Kumar Yama

Roller Skating


Jitu Rai



S Sathish Kumar






Babita Kumari



Yumnam Sanathoi Devi



Sharath M Gayakwad 


These awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 29 August 2015. 
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee will receive medal, certificate and award money of 7.5 lakh rupees and Arjuna Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and award money of 5 lakh rupees each.
President Pranab Mukherjee approved 67 Gallantry Awards

The President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Pranab Mukherjee on 14 August 2015 approved 67 Gallantry Awards to armed forces personnel and members of paramilitary forces. The awards were approved on the eve of India’s 69th Independence Day celebrations.  

The approved awards include two Kirti Chakras, 10 Shaurya Chakras, one Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 49 Sena Medals (Gallantry), two Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and three Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).

List of Awardees

Sl. No.





IC-61357M Lieutenant Colonel Nectar Sanjenbam, Shaurya Chakra, 21ST Battalion the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces)



JC-571195H NB Sub Rajesh Kumar, Mahar,  30 RR,  (Posthumous)





IC-55822X Col Munindra Nath Rai, YSM, Gorkha RIF, 42 RR (Posthumous)



IC-69288W Maj Tanuj Grover, ARMD, 22 RR



IC-73653K Capt Varun Kumar Singh, Rajput, 44 RR



G/144175X Hav Man Bahadur Chhetri, 44, Assam Rifles (Posthumous)



9421485H Havildar Tanka Kumar Limbu

21ST Battalion the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces)



CDR Milind Mohan Mokashi (04755-F)



Wing Commander Sandeep Singh (25336) Flying (Pilot)

Air Force


Late Mohd Shafi Sheikh Head Constable J&K police,

Distt handwara(posthumous)



Late Reyaz Ahmad Lone Constable (307/H (EXK – 055949)

J&K Police, Distt Handwara (Posthumous)



LATE Hira Kumar Jha Second-In-Command

7 BN, CRPF (Posthumous)




IC-73414P MAJ Rakesh Radhakrishnan, SM, Madras, 26 Assam Rifles




Captain Rajesh Dhankhar(03587-A)



Captain Pradeep Singh (03702-N)


Air Force

Flight Lieutenant Gandikota Jagan Mohan (30835) Flying (Pilot)

Air Force

776027 SGT Mukesh Kumar Tiwari Flight Gunner

Air Force

The President also awarded 20 Mention-in-Despatches to Army & Para Military personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations which include three for ‘Operation Meghdoot’, 12 for ‘Operation Rakshak’, one for ‘Operation Orchid’, one for ‘Operation Hifazat’ and three for ‘Operation Rhino’.
Mustansir Barma won 2015 Gujar Mal Modi award for innovative science and technology

Prof. Mustansir Barma on 14 August 2015 won the prestigious Gujar Mal Modi Award for Innovative Science and Technology for the year 2015. He was awarded for his commendable contribution in the field of Science and Technology.

He received the award from Vice President of India Hamid Ansari at a ceremony in New Delhi.

Barma, a distinguished Professor and former Director of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, has made immense contribution in the field of Statistical Physics in India.

He has published numerous papers on the topic and is one of the best recognized names in the discipline internationally. His personal initiative helped in expanding the TIFR campus in Hyderabad.

About the Gujar Mal Modi Innovative Science and Technology Award

The award was instituted by the GM Modi Foundation in the memory of industrialist Gujar Mal Modi in 1988. The award is presented on 9 August every year to a scientist of eminence, who has made outstanding contribution to science & technology. The award carries a cash prize of 2.01 lakh rupees, a scroll of honour and a silver shield

Prof. Satish Dhawan was the first recipient of the award in the 1988 for his contribution in the field of space and Remote Sensing Technology.

President Pranab Mukherjee presented Saraswati Sammaan to Dr. M Veerappa Moily

President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 10 August 2015 presented the 24th Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. M Veerappa Moily, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) in New Delhi. He received the award for his epic Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam written in Kannada.

Divided into five volumes, Ramayana Mahanveshanam was first published in 2007 in Kannada. Later the poem was translated into English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.

Moily’s work was selected for the award in March 2015 by a 13-member panel of scholars and writers headed by former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti.

About Saraswati Samman

Saraswati Samman is an annual award that is given in recognition of outstanding prose or poetry literary works in Indian languages that are listed in Schedule VIII of the constitution of India.

This Samman is given for the literary works of last 10 years. The award was established in 1991 by KK Birla Foundation and carries a prize amount of 10 lakh rupees along with citation and a plaque.

The KK Birla Foundation has instituted three awards in the field of literature. These are Saraswati Samman, Vyas Samman (for Hindi) and Bihari Puraskar (for Hindi and Rajasthani writers of Rajasthan).

On 23 September 2014, the Saraswati Samman 2013 was given to Govind Mishra, the renowned Hindi author for his novel Dhool Paudhon Par that was published in 2008.
Raghavendra Gadagkar awarded with Germany's Cross of Order of the Merit

Indian sociobiologist Raghavendra Gadagkar was on 7 August 2015 awarded with the Germany's highest civilian honour Cross of Order of the Merit at the German Consulate in Bengaluru.

He was bestowed with the honour for his contribution in the field of behavioural ecology and sociobiology and for strengthening research corporation between India and Germany.

Currently, Gadagkar is a professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc). He is also the president of the Indian National Science Academy and has published more than 270 research papers and two books.

His first book, Survival Strategies, has been translated into Chinese and Korean. He was also the founding Chair person of the Centre for Contemporary Studies, established at IISc in 2004.

About Cross of Order of the Merit

• The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was instituted in 1951 by Federal President Theodor Heuss.

• This accolade is awarded by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany for outstanding achievements in political, economical, cultural, intellectual, and volunteering fields.

• The Order of Merit may be awarded to Germans as well as to foreigners. No pecuniary reward is attached with the award.
Mathematician Amalendu Krishna won 2015 Ramanujan Prize

Mathematician Doctor Amalendu Krishna on 3 August 2015 won the Ramanujan Prize for year 2015. He was bestowed with this award for his outstanding contributions in the area of algebraic cycles, algebraic K-theory and the theory of motives.

Presently, Krishna is a mathematician professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.

He hails from Bihar and had completed his early college and schooling from there itself. From 2001 til 2004, he taught mathematics as the Hedrick Assistant Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Krishna is the second Indian to win this award, first was Sujatha Ramadorai who had won the award in 2006.

About Ramanujan Prize

• Constituted in 2005, the award is named after the noted Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.

• The award recognizes a researcher from a developing country who has conducted outstanding research in a developing country and is less than 45 years of age.

• It is awarded jointly by Italy based International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Department of Science and Technology (DoST) of India and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).

• The award carries a citation and a monetary prize of 15000 US dollars.
Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh chosen for Bharat Bharti literary award 2014

Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh was on 3 August 2015 chosen for the Uttar Pradesh's highest literary award Bharat Bharti for the year 2014. The award is given by UP Hindi Sansthan every year. It carries a cash prize of 5 lakh rupees.

Singh has penned many novels and short stories. One of his most famous novel is Kashi ka Assi, which captures the vibrant hues of Banaras.

Besides Singh, several other writers were also selected in various categories by a committee set up by Hindi Sansthaan. Some of these prominent awardees were:

• Mridula Garg for Lohia Sahitya category

• Vinod Kumar Shukla for Hindi Gaurav category

• Krishna Bihari Mishra for Mahatama Gandhi Sahitya Samman

• Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra for Deendayal Upadhaya Sahitya Samman

• Ramkrishna Rajput for Avantibai Sahitya Samman
Ramon Magsaysay Awardees for the year 2015 announced; Two Indians among the awardees

The Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) on 29 July 2015 announced the Ramon Magsaysay awardees for the year 2015.

Among the five awardees who will be conferred with the so-called Asia’s Nobel Prize, there are two Indians, namely Sanjiv Chaturvedi and Anshu Gupta.

The awards will be presented on 31 August 2015 at Manila, Philippines.

List of Awardees

Sanjiv Chaturvedi, India: He was awarded for Emergent Leadership for his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office. He is an Indian Forest Service officer and currently the deputy secretary of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He also served as a Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) at AIIMS during 2012-14.

Anshu Gupta, India: He was recognized for his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India and his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor. He founded Goonj in 1999, which is a non-governmental organisation based in Delhi and works in 21 states across India in disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development.

Kommaly Chanthavong, Laos: She was recognized for her fearless, indomitable spirit to revive and develop the ancient Laotian art of silk weaving, creating livelihoods for thousands of poor, war-displaced Laotians, and thus preserving the dignity of women and her nation’s priceless silken cultural treasure.

Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa, the Philippines: She was recognized for her single-minded crusade in preserving the endangered artistic heritage of southern Philippines, and in creatively propagating a dance form that celebrates and deepens the sense of shared cultural identity among Asians.

Kyaw Thu, Myanmar: He was recognized for his generous compassion in addressing the fundamental needs of both the living and the dead in Myanmar -- regardless of their class or religion -- and his channeling personal fame and privilege to mobilize many others toward serving the greater social good.

About Ramon Magsaysay Award

The Award established in 1957 is Asia’s highest honour and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The Award honours those individuals whose lives are characterized by selfless service which impacts the lives of the greater many – the same ideals and achievement for which the Philippines third President Ramon Magsaysay is remembered.

The awardees receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize.

Till date 307 persons have received the award which was first given in 1958.
Helena Ndume, Jorge Sampaio awarded with first-ever Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize

Helena Ndume of Namibia and Jorge Sampaio of Portugal were on 24 July 2015 awarded with the first-ever Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize by the United Nations (UN) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Ndume, a female ophthalmologist, was awarded for treating blindness and eye-related illnesses in Namibia and throughout the developing world.

While Sampaio, the former president of Portugal from 1996 to 2006 and also the former mayor of Lisbon from 1989 to 1995, was awarded for his contribution to his country for his struggle for the restoration of democracy in Portugal.

The award ceremony was a part of the annual commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day, which is observed on 18 July every year.

About Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize

The prize was established in June 2014 by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to pay homage to Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary life and legacy of reconciliation, political transition and social transformation.

It also recognizes the achievements of those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity particularly in the promotion of social cohesion and community development by promoting the UN purposes and principles.
Ramachandra Guha chosen for Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize 2015

Historian Ramachandra Guha was on 24 July 2015 chosen for the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize 2015 in the Academic Category.

The prize will be conferred upon him on 17 September 2015 in Fukuoka International Congress Center in Japan, following which the awardees will be deliberating lectures at high-schools and universities across the city.

Guha, who is best known for his book India After Gandhi, will speak on Gandhi, India and the World at the event. The aim of his lecture would be to increase awareness of the value of Asian cultures as well as to establish a framework within which Asians can learn from and share with each other.

About Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize

The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, established in 1990 by the Japanese city of Fukuoaka, recognises outstanding achievements by individuals or groups in preserving and creating the unique and diverse cultures of Asia.

The Fukuoka Prize is offered in three categories viz. Grand prize, Academic prize and Arts and Culture prize.
Peter Higgs received Royal Society’s Copley Medal, the world's oldest scientific prize

Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Higgs on 20 July 2015 won the world’s oldest scientific prize, the Royal Society’s Copley Medal. With this, 86-year old Higgs joined the ranks of Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

He was awarded the medal for his fundamental contribution to particle physics and his pioneering work on the theory of the Higgs boson that explains the origin of mass in elementary particles. The presence of Higgs boson was confirmed by the experiments at Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012.

Modern physics suggests that matter consists of a set of particles that act as building blocks and that between these particles lie forces that are controlled by another set of particles. A fundamental property of the majority of particles is that they have a mass.

In 1964, Peter Higgs proposed a theory about the existence of a particle that explains why these other particles have a mass. At the same time, yet separately, François Englert and Robert Brout proposed the same theory.

The existence of the Higgs boson was confirmed by two experiments carried out at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012 with the resultant effect that the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded jointly to Peter Higgs and François Englert.

The Copley medal was first awarded by the Royal Society in 1731, 170 years before the first Nobel Prize. It is awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research.

In 2014 it was awarded to DNA fingerprinting pioneer Alec Jeffreys and Andre Geim was given the award in 2013 for his discovery of graphene.

Benoy Behl won the Best Documentary Producer award at Madrid International Film Festival

Film-maker Benoy Behl in fourth week of July 2015 won the Best Documentary Producer award at Madrid International Film Festival. He was awarded for producing and directing a documentary film titled Indian Roots of Tibetan Buddhism.

Bhel shot the documentary for XPD Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, which was released by Ministry of External Affairs in February 2014.

The film is shot extensively in Tibet, Kalmykia in European Russia, Ladakh, Spiti, Arunachal Pradesh, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Karnataka.

The film traces the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism to its roots in ancient India’s Nalanda University and the hundreds of year-old spiritual relationship that India share with Tibet.

The documentary features quotes and analogies from various Tibetan Buddhist teachers and scholars including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Prof Samdhong Rinpoche.

Indian American Sunita Viswanath honoured as Champions of Change by US White House

Indian American woman Sunita Viswanath was on 16 July 2015 honoured as Champions of Change by the White House of United States (US). She was among 12 other faith leaders who were awarded for their efforts in protecting environment and communities from the effects of climate change.

Sunita was selected for her work to encourage Hindus to take care of the environment. Sunita is co-founder and active board member of the 14-year-old front-line women's human rights organisation, Women for Afghan Women.

Born in Chennai, she has been working with women's and human rights organisations for almost three decades.

Sunita is also co-founder and board member of Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, living and building a Hinduism that prioritises social justice, and upholding the Hindu principles of ekatva (oneness), ahimsa (non-violence) and sadhana (faith in action).

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

Sayed Haider Raza honoured with highest French civilian honour Legion of Honour

Modern Indian artist Sayed Haider Raza was on 14 July 2015 conferred with the highest French civilian honour, the Commandeur de la Legion d’ Honneur (the Legion of Honour). The award was presented by French Ambassador Francois Richier on the occasion of the French National Day celebrations.

Raza was conferred with the award for his superior achievements transcending all boundaries, for the lasting ties he has forged between France and India and for his continuing artistic quest straddling nations, cultures, religions and philosophies.

About Sayed Haider Raza

• Syed Haider Raza alias SH Raza is an Indian artist who has lived and worked in France since 1950, but maintains strong ties with India.

• He became India’s priciest modern artist in June 2010 when his seminal work titled Saurashtra was sold for 16.42 crore rupees at a Christie’s auction.

• Raza’s work represents the origins of life and draws on symbols that tribal painters and highly sophisticated Indian philosophers have traced, pondered and mulled over for millennia.

About la Legion d’ Honneur

The la Legion d’ Honneur award was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.

The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.

World Food Prize 2015 to be conferred on Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh

The World Food Prize Foundation on 1 July 2015 announced to confer the 2015 World Food Prize on Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh. He will be awarded the prize in October 2015 during the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium at Des Moines in Iowa, the USA.

He was selected for the coveted award by the Selection Committee for the World Food Prize headed by eminent Indian agricultural scientist Prof MS Swaminathan.

Sir Abed has been recognized for his decades of service to human development and through building Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) that operates in 10 countries around the world.

BRAC, set up by Sir Abed is the largest non-governmental organization in the world that employs over 150000 employees and covered a vast gamut of activities related to poverty alleviation and development.

About World Food Prize

• It is the foremost international award recognizing the accomplishments of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

• It is a 250000 dollars award formally presented at the Laureate Award Ceremony in mid-October, on or around World Food Day (October 16), in conjunction with the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium.

• An individual or individuals having demonstrated exceptional achievement in any field involved in enhancing food production and distribution and increasing food availability and accessibility to those most in need are considered for this award.

• It was created in 1987 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Norman Borlaug. It was sponsored by businessman and philanthropist John Ruan who stepped forward to endow the Prize in 1990. Today John Ruan's son, John Ruan III has succeeded his father as chairman of the World Food Prize.

• M S Swaminathan was the first recipient of the award in 1987, who, incidentally, heads the present selection committee.

• The World Food Prize 2014 was awarded to Indian-born Mexican scientist Sanjaya Rajaram for his scientific research that led to a prodigious increase in world wheat production by more than 200 million tons building upon the successes of the Green Revolution.
Nadia district won the UN Public Service Award 2015 for eliminating open defecation

The district administration of Nadia, West Bengal was on 26 June 2015 conferred with the United Nations Public Service Award 2015 for eliminating open defecation in the district.

The award was presented by acting Secretary General of the UN Lenni Montiel along with Head UN Women Stefani Senese to District Magistrate of Nadia and Sabhapati of Nadia Zilla Parishad on conclusion of United Nations Day Celebrations 2015 held at Medellin, Columbia.

Nadia district could achieve this feat due to its collaborative effort with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank aimed at construction of toilets across the district.

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