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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conferred with Columbia’s highest civilian award

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conferred with Columbia’s highest civilian award

The spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was conferred with the Columbia’s highest civilian award Orden de la Democracia Simon Bolivar en el grado de cruz Caballero (Order of the Democracy Simon Bolivar) by Columbia.

Sahitya Akademi announced Bhasha Samman

Sahitya Akademi on 24 June 2015 announced Bhasha Samman. Four scholars were selected for the award for their contribution to classical and medieval literature in various languages.

K Meenakshi Sundaram was selected for contributions to Classical and Medieval Literature (Southern) for year 2013. She has written scholarly essays on Tirukkural and made rich contribution to medieval Tamil literature. His work on Kambar and in Cilappatikarm minor characters has won laurels for him.

Acharya Munishwar Jha has been recognised for Classical and Medieval Literature (Eastern) for the year 2014. He has made valuable contribution in the area of Sanskrit literature for which he was honoured with the Presidential Award in 2006. His chief works include Vidyapati Vanmaya (Maithili), Tapasa Kavi Vidyapati (Maithili), Bhu-Parikramanam (Sanskrit) among others.

Charu Chandra Pande and Mathuradutt Mathpal have been jointly recognised for their work towards the enrichment of Kumauni.

Pande has worked extensively on Kumauni language and has published Sej Gumani, Eco Farms Hills (in English), Chhodo Gulami Khitab and Angwal. On the other hand, Mathpal is a poet, teacher and Kumauni scholar and published Aang-Aang Chichail Haigo (poetry), Mook Geet (a book based on famous Kumauni poet Pandit Kripal Dutt Joshi) along with translation of many poems in Hindi.

Bhasha Samman

Bhasha Samman instituted in 1996 by Sahitya Akademi is an annual award and is given to books of outstanding merit and for outstanding translations in the 24 languages recognised by it. The award is given for considerable contribution to the propagation, modernization or enrichment of the languages concerned.

Every year 3-4 persons are awarded in different languages on the basis of recommendation of experts' committees constituted for the purpose.

The Samman carries a cash prize of 1 lakh rupees, an inscribed copper plaque and a citation.

Hindi writers Babusha Kohli, Upasana won 10th Navlekhan Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith

10th Navlekhan Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith was awarded to Hindi writers Babusha Kohli and Upasana on 16 June 2015. They were awarded for poem Prem Gilhari Dil Akhrot and novel Ek Zindagi Ek Ek Script Bhar respectively.

The awards ceremony held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi saw discussion on Contemporary Modern Poetry and Fiction Writing by writers Upasana & Jitendra Biseria and poetry recital by Babusha Kohli & Dilip Shakya.

Navlekhan Award was instituted with an objective to award young authors writing in Hindi.

ISRO presented with 2015 Space Pioneer Award for Mars Orbiter Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was presented with the Space Pioneer award for the year 2015 in the Science and Engineering category during the 34th Annual International Space Development Conference held at Toronto in Canada during 20 May- 24 May 2015.

The information was published on the ISRO's website on 8 June 2015. The award was presented by National Space Society (NSS) of USA in recognition of ISRO’s efforts in accomplishing Mars Orbiter Mission in its very first attempt.

Sangeet Natak Akademi announced awardees for 2014 Akademi Awards and fellowships

The list of names selected for Sangeet Akademi Fellowships:

• R. Janakiraman (Musicologist)

• S. Sathyu (film-maker)

• Vijay Kichlu (Classical singer)

• Tulsidas Borkar (Musician)

The Fellowship of the Akademi carries a cash prize of 3 lakh rupees and is the most prestigious and rare honour which is restricted to a very limited number at a given time. Presently there are only 40 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Recipients of Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the year 2014:

• In the field of music For Hindustani vocal- Ashwini Bhide Deshpande Nath Narelkar, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan

• Hindustani instrumental music- Pandit Nayan Ghosh (tabla) and Ronu Majumdar (flute)

• Carnatic instrumental music- Neyveli Santhanagopalan (Carnatic vocal), TA Kaliyamurthy (Thavil), Sukanya Ramgopal (Ghatam) and Dwaram Durga Prasad Rao (violin)

• In the field of dance- Adayar Janardanan, Amusana Devi, Uma Dogra, Sudhakar Sahoo, Vedantam Radhesyam, Jagru Mahto, Anita Sharma, Varanasi Vishnu Namboothiri and Navtej Singh Johar

• In the field of drama- Asgar Wajahat, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha, Chidambar Rao Jambe, Debshankar Haldar, Ramdas Kamath, Amod Bhatt, Manjunath Bhagwat Hostota and Amardas Manikpuri.

• In the field of Traditional/tribal music/folk/theatre/dance and puppetry- Puran Shah Koti, KKalamandalam Ram Mohan, Kesavasamy, Abdul Rashid Hafiz, Reba Kanta Mohanta, Ramdayal Sharma, K. Shanathoiba Sharma and Thanga Darlong

The award recognizes sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through award prize of 100000 rupees along with Tamrapatra and Angavastram.

About Sangeet Natak Akademi

• Established in 1953, the Akademi is responsible for preservation and promotion of the performing arts in India.

• It recognizes the contribution of outstanding musicians, dancers and theatre artists by bestowing them the Fellowships and Awards on yearly basis. Its aim is to create benchmarks in the practice of the performing arts.

• It has been bestowing Akademi Fellowship since 1954 and Akademi Award since 1952.

Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai won the 2015 Man Booker International Prize

Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai on 19 May 2015 won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for 2015. His name was announced as the sixth winner of the award at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
With this award, Krasznahorkai born in 1954 received a cash prize of 60000 pound. He joined the league of other awardees, namely Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare (2005), Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe (2007), Canadian author Alice Munro (2009), and American writer Philip Roth (2011) and American writer Lydia Davis (2013).

About Man Booker International Prize

Man Booker International Prize is an international literary award given every two years to a living author of any nationality for a body of work published in English or generally available in English translation.

The Man Booker International Prize is sponsored by Man Group plc, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Indian-American boy Karan Menon won 2015 National Geographic Bee Championship

Karan Menon, a 14-year-old Indian-American student, on 13 May 2015 won the 2015 National Geographic Bee championship. Menon answered all questions correctly related to places like Tashkent, Telangana and the Oresund Strait.

In addition to winning the title of National Geographic Bee champion, Menon received a 50000 US dollars college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an expedition for two to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Lindblad ship National Geographic Endeavour.

Ananda Kumar, Pramod Patil won Whitley Awards for wildlife conservation

Two Indians namely Dr Ananda Kumar and Dr Pramod Patil on 29 April 2015 won the prestigious Whitley Awards (also known as Green Oscar) for their contribution to wildlife conservation.

The awards were presented at a ceremony in Royal Geographical Society, London. The winners of the award received a Whitley prize worth 35000 pound.

Kumar was honoured for his work of using innovative communication systems to enable human-elephant co-existence in Southern India. Patil, on the other hand, was honoured for his work to protect the iconic great Indian bustard in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan.

Prime Minister conferred 50th Jnanpith Award on Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 April 2015 conferred the 50th Jnanpith Award on eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade in Parliament House Complex, New Delhi.

Nemade received the country’s highest literary award for his outstanding contribution towards Indian literature.

His novel, Kosala (Cocoon), written in 1963 was considered as a path breaking in Marathi literature. His other novels include Bidhar, Hool, Jarila and Jhool. He composed various poems which are compiled up in his collections named Melody and Dekhani.

He is the leader of the post-1960s Little Magazine movement and was given Sahitya Akademi Award (1990) for his critical work Teeka Svayanwar.

About Jnanpith Award

Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary awards in India. The name of award is taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat. It was instituted in 1961 and is presented by Bharatiya Jnanpith, a trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family.

The award is given to any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India. Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But since 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature. The award includes cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati.

Yashwant Sinha honoured with Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by French Government

Former Union Finance Minister and veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was on 25 April 2015 conferred with the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer of the Legion of Honour) in recognition of his valuable contribution to thought on international issues.

This highest French civilian distinction was presented by the French Ambassador François Richier on behalf of the President of the French Republic

As a Minister of External Affairs and Chairman of the Indo-French Parliamentary Friendship Group since its very inception (2009-2014), Yashwant Sinha contributed to the deepening of the Indo-French strategic partnership launched during the visit of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Paris in 1998.

Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honour 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.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank won the Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015

Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) Ltd on 23 April 2015 won the Asian Banker Achievement Award 2015. It was awarded for Technology Implementation in the category of Best Outsourcing Project (New Bank).

The award was received by Usha Ananthasubramanian, the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of BMB at a function held in Hong Kong during the Asian Banker Summit 2015.

Sangeeta Bhatia, Indian-origin scientist at MIT, won the 2015 Heinz Award

Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-origin scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), on 26 April 2015 won the prestigious 2015 Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy, and Employment category. This was the 20th Heinz Award which is given annually since 1993.

Bhatia who developed artificial human microlivers for drug testing was awarded for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection. Microliver is a miniature model organ that makes it possible to test drug reactions efficiently and predictively, and could eventually lead to an artificial human liver.

Shah Rukh Khan honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was on 21 April 2015 honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015 for his performance in the movie Happy New Year. The award ceremony was held in Mumbai.

IT Department awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration

The Income Tax (IT) Department on 21 April 2015 was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for easy tax compliance through quality service. The award was presented at a function at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on occasion of Civil Services Day.

The Prime Minister Award for excellence in public administration to the Income Tax Department demonstrates the commitment of the Department towards achieving Minimum Government and Maximum Governance in tax administration.

The award was conferred to the Income Tax Department for successful implementation of end to end solution of core services including integrated e-governance initiatives viz:

• Tax Information Network (TIN)

• E-filing portal

• Centralized Processing Cell (CPC-TDS) for processing of TDS statements

• Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) for processing of Income Tax Returns

The projects have been conceptualized based on principles of USAGE- Uniform interpretation of tax laws, Simplification of forms, Easy Accessibility of services, Good tax governance and Empowerment of taxpayer with information.

New York Times won prestigious Pulitzer prizes for West Africa Ebola coverage

The New York Times on 20 April 2015 won two prestigious Pulitzer prizes for coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The coverage is described by the Pulitzer board as courageous and vivid journalism that engaged the public and held authorities accountable.

For its Ebola coverage, The New York Times staff won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and freelancer Daniel Berehulak won Pulitzer Prize for the feature photography.

The Pulitzer Prize honours the extraordinary work in US journalism, literature, drama and other areas and brings welcome attention and recognition to newspapers and websites.

Chemical scientists Susanta Lahiri and Kattesh V Katti received Hevesy Medal Award 2015

Professors Susanta Lahiri and Kattesh V. Katti received Hevesy Medal Award 2015 for their outstanding contributions in the fields of radio and nuclear chemistry.

The awards were presented to them on 12 April 2015 at the Tenth International Conference on Methods and Applications of Radio-analytical Chemistry held in USA.

Susanta Lahiri is a Professor at Chemical Sciences Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kolkata. He won the award for his contributions to heavy ion induced radioisotope production, converter targets, green chemistry and tracer packet technique. He is also credited with co-creating Ununseptium chemical element (atomic number 117) in collaboration with other national and international scientists.

Kattesh V. Katti is a professor at the Cedntre for Radiological Research, University of Missouri in Columbia, the US. His research interests in the domain of Nano Science and Technology include exploring chemical, biophysical, magnetic and photo physical properties, which are unique to specific nanoparticulates, toward the design and development of sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

The Hevesy Medal Award 2014 was presented to Heino Nitsche of University of California in recognition of his international contributions to heavy element chemistry and actinide environmental chemistry.

Delhi International Airport Limited won Golden Peacock National Quality Award 2015

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) on 5 April 2015 won the prestigious Golden Peacock National Quality Award for the year 2015.

The award will be presented to DIAL by the UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan at a ceremony to be held in Dubai on 20 April 2015.

DIAL is a joint venture consortium of GMR Group, Airports Authority of India, Fraport and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

About Golden Peacock National Award

The Golden Peacock National Awards were founded in 1991 by the Institute of Directors, India. The award is regarded as a benchmark of corporate excellence.

The National Quality Award Scheme was instituted to encourage total quality improvements in both manufacturing and service organizations in India.

Madan Mohan Malaviya posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna

Freedom fighter and educationist, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on 30 March 2015 was conferred the highest civilian award of the country Bharat Ratna (posthumous). His family members received the award from President Prabab Mukherjee at a function in the Ashoka hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The award was given to Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya or Mahamana Malaviya’s family for his outstanding work in the field of education and the country's freedom struggle.

Pandit Malaviya was born on 25 December 1861 in Allahabad. He studied at Calcutta University and became a school teacher. Later he also practiced as a lawyer and even a newspaper editor. He was the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Hindu Mahasabha.

Besides, President also presented Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards.

List of Awardees



Padma Vibhushan

  • Lal Krishna Advani (Senior BJP leader)

  • Sardar Parkash Singh Badal (Akali Dal leader and Punjab Chief Minister)

  • Jagadguru Rambhadra Acharya

Padma Bhusan

  • Dr. Swapan Dasgupata

  • David Frawley

  • Bill Gates

  • Melinda Gates

  • Needamangalam Gopalaswami

  • Saichiro Misumi

  • Sudha Rangunathan

  • Harish Narendra Salve

  • Shri Satpal

  • Dr. Ashok Seth

Padma Shri

  • Sanjay Leela Bhansali (film maker)

  • Dr Randeep Guleria (physician)

  • Prasoon Joshi (writer)

  • Pran Kumar Sharma (Posthumous) (creator of popular cartoon character Chacha Chaudhary)

  • PV Sindhu (shuttler)

  • Sardar Singh (Hockey star)

  • Arunima Sinha (amputee Everest climber)

  • Prof Alka Kripalni

  • Manjula Anagani

  • Kanyakumari Avasarala

  • Prof. Huang Baosheng

  • Naresh Bedi

  • Jean-Claude Carriere

  • Gyan Chaturvedi

  • Jaya Kumari Chikkala

  • Prof. Ashok Gulati

  • Dr. Randeep Guleria

  • George L Hart

  • Rahul Jain

  • Prafulla Kar

  • Ushakiran Khan

  • Harsh Kumar

  • N Purushothama Mallaya

  • Dr. Janak Palta McGilligan

  • Tarak Janubhai Mehta

  • Chewang Norphel

  • Dr. Tejas Madhusudan Patel

  • Dr. Raghu Rama Pillarisetti

  • Bimla Poddar

  • Dr. N Prabhakar

  • Dr. Prahalada

  • Dr. Saumitra Rawat

  • Dr. Annette Schmiedchen

  • Brahmdev Sharma ‘Bhaiji’

  • Prof. (DR.) Nikhil Tandon

Earlier on 27 March 2015, the President had awarded the Bharat Ratna to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his house in Delhi.

President presented Bharat Ratna award to Atal Bihari Vajpayee

President of India Pranab Mukherjii on 27 March 2015 presented Bharat Ratna award to Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his home. Bharat Ratna is India's highest civilian honour.

He is the seventh prime minister to receive the award after Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Gulzarilal Nanda.

The award giving ceremony is usually held at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, but an exception was made keeping in mind the poor health of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Vajpayee is the first non-Congress prime minister to serve full five years in office. He held the post from 1998 to 2004. In 1996, he had held the post for 13 days. Within two weeks of assuming office for a second time, Vajpayee had ordered nuclear tests at Pokhran.

During his tenure, he is credited with taking bold initiatives, notable among them being the historic bus journey to Lahore in 1999 when he signed the landmark Lahore Declaration with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with both sides pledging to push for peace and security.

His other awards are:

• Padma Vibhushan in 1992

• Lokmanya Tilak Award in 1994 by Government of India

• Best Parliamentarian Award in 1994.

• Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award in 1994

Aditi Arya won the fbb Femina Miss India 2015 title

Aditi Arya of Delhi won the fbb Femina Miss India 2015 title on 28 March 2015 at the 52nd edition of the beauty contest held at Yash Raj Studio in Mumbai. She was crowned with the title by Koyal Rana, Femina Miss India 2014.

ISRO won Gandhi Peace Prize 2014

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 27 March 2015 won Gandhi Peace Prize 2014. The award was selected by the jury under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Besides Prime Minister, other members of the Jury that selected the ISRO for the award were Justice H L Dattu, Chief Justice of India; Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the single largest Opposition Party in the Lok Sabha; LK Advani, Member of Parliament and Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

The Indian space agency successfully launched Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and at a very cost effective price of 450 crore rupees.

The launch makes India the first Asian country to enter the Martian sphere of influence.

ISRO became the fourth space agency after National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US, Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA) and European Space Agency to have undertaken a mission to Mars.

Besides launching various research and communication satellites, the space agency through its cutting-edge technologies contributes to the nation's development through satellite based education, health care and connectivity to community activities for sustainable economic development.

About the Award

The Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation through non-violence was instituted in the year 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

It is given to individual or organisation for making social, economic and political transformation through non-violence means.

The award comprises an amount of one crore rupees and a citation.

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)

Nobel Laureate John Nash won Abel Prize 2015 for work on partial differential equations

Nobel Laureate John F Nash Jr. won the Abel Prize 2015 for his work on partial differential equations. The prize was announced on 25 March 2015 by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. They will receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty King Harald at a ceremony in Oslo on 19 May 2015.

He will share the Prize with Louis Nirenberg, Professor Emeritus at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. They both will share the prize money of 760000 US dollar.

Nash and Nirenberg won the prize for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis. Partial differential equations are important in both pure math and describing natural phenomena.

John Nash is a senior research mathematician at Princeton University. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994 for his work in game theory as dramatized in the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind in which he was portrayed by actor Russell Crowe.

About the Abel Prize

The Abel Prize is an international prize presented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The prize was named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.

The award was established in 2001 by the Government of Norway and complements the Holberg Prize in the humanities.

The Abel Prize has often been described as the mathematician's Nobel Prize, competing in that respect with the much older Fields Medal. It comes with a monetary award of 6 million Norwegian kroner (NOK).

In 2014, it was won by Yakov G Sinai, Professor at Princeton University and Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences.

The first Abel Prize was won by Jean-Pierre Serre, Professor at Collège de France, Paris in 2003.

Renowned Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj won the Rashtriya Kavi Pradeep Samman for the year 2012-13

Renowned Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj on 24 March 2015 won the Rashtriya Kavi Pradeep Samman for the year 2012-13. The award is given by the Department of Culture of Madhya Pradesh (MP) government.

90-year-old poet Neeraj won the award for his immense contribution in the field of literature.

As award he received a cash prize of two lakh rupees, a shawl and a citation by Madhya Pradesh Culture Minister Surendra Patwa at Shaheed Bhawan.

About Rashtriya Kavi Pradeep Samman

The Rashtriya Kavi Pradeep award has been introduced by the Madhya Pradesh government in the reminiscence of Kavi Pradeep, the noted poet and songwriter.

Kavi Pradeep is best known for his devoted song Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo written in respect to the soldiers who died protecting the country during the Sino-Indian War in 1962.

62nd National Film Awards announced

62nd National Film Awards were announced on 24 March 2015. The awards are annually presented by Directorate of Film Festivals to honour the best films of the previous in the Indian cinema. The award ceremony will be held on 3 May 2015.

The list of winners

Best Actress: Kangana Ranaut for Queen

Best Supporting Actress: Baljinder Kaur for Pagdi The Honour (Haryanavi)

Best Supporting Actor: Bobby Simhaa for Jigarthanda (Tamil)

Best Actor: Vijay for Nanu Avanalla Avalu (Kannada)

Best Direction: Srijit Mukherji for Chotushkone (Bengali)

Best Music Direction: a) Songs - Haider (Hindi); and b) Background Score - Nineteen Eighty Three (Malayalam)

Best Choreography: Bismil for Haider

Best Writing on Cinema: Silent Cinema: (1895-1930)- Pasupuleti Purnachandra Rao

Best Writing on Cinema: G. Dhananjayan for Pride of Tamil Cinema (Special Mention)

Best Costume Designer: Dolly Ahluwalia for Haider

Best Female Playback Singer: Uttara Unnikrishanan for song Azhagu in Saivam (Tamil)

Best Male Playback Singer: Sukhwinder Singh for song Bismil from Haider

Best Films in different languages

• Best Hindi Film: Queen

• Best Assamese Film: Othello

• Best Bengali Film: Nirbashito

• Best Kannada Film: Harivu

• Best Konkani Film: Nachom - IA Kumpasar

• Best Malayalam Film: Ain

• Best Marathi Film: Killa

• Best Odiya Film: Aadim Vichar

• Best Punjabi Film: Punjab 1984

• Best Tamil Film: Kuttram Kadithal

• Best Telugu Film: Chandamama Kathalu

• Best Rabha Film: Orong

• Best Haryanvi Film: Pagdi The Honour

Best Films in different categories

• Best Educational Film: Komal & Behind the Glass Wall

• Best Exploration/Adventure: Film Life Force - India's Western Ghats

• Best Investigative Film: Phum Shang

• Best Animation Film: Sound of Joy

• Best Short Fiction Film: Mitraa

• Best Film Critic: Tanul Thakur

• Best Film On Environment Conservation/ Preservation: Ottaal (Malayalam)

• Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Mary Kom

• Indira Gandhi Award For Best Debut Film Of A Director: Asha Jaoar Majhe (Bengali)

• Best Feature Film: Court (Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati & English)

Madhav Gadgil and Dr. Jane Lubchenco won Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement 2015

Indian ecologist Madhav Gadgil and US Scientist Dr. Jane Lubchenco were on 23 March 2015 named for the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement 2015.

They were named for the award for their leadership and engagement in the development of conservation and sustainability policies in the United States, India and internationally.

As the winners of the Tyler Prize, Lubchenco and Gadgil will share the 200000 US Dollar cash prize and each will receive a gold medallion at a private ceremony in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles on 24 April 2015.

Madhav Gadgil became the second Indian to receive the award after MS Swaminathan in 1991. He received the award to help dramatically improve crop yields in India.

Ecologist Madhav Gadgil was the Chairman of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP). He was awarded for his landmark report on the preservation of the unique ecosystem of the Western Ghats and the inclusion of local committees.

Shashi Kapoor selected for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2014

The Union Government on 23 March 2015 announced that Shashi Kapoor was selected for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2014. The 77-year-old the veteran film actor and producer is the 46th Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner.

The 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke award to Shashi Kapoor made him the third member of Kapoor family to receive the award after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor.

Rajendra Singh, the Water Man of India, named as the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate

The Waterman of India Rajendra Singh was named as the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate on 20 March 2015.

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.

Veerappa Moily selected for Saraswati Samman 2014

Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily on 9 March 2015 was selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman for 2014 for his Kannada poem Ramayana Mahanveshanam.

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

The selection for the award was made by a 13-member panel of scholars and writers headed by former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti.

Oscar Awards 2015

87th Academy Award, popularly called Oscar Awards, was conferred on 22 February 2015. The award ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The Oscar Awards for the year 2015 were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 24 categories.

The awards were produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted the ceremony for the first time.

The list of winners of 87th Academy Awards

Best Picture: Birdman

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Best Actress: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor: JK Simmons for Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

Achievement in Costume Design: Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Foreign Language Film: Ida directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

Best Live Action Short Film: The Phone Call

Best Documentary Short Subject: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Original Screenplay: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman

Achievement in Sound Mixing: Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley for Whiplash

Achievement in Sound Editing: Alan Robert Murray Bub Asman for American Sniper

Achievement in Visual Effects: Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley and Paul Franklin for Interstellar

Best Animated Short Film: Feast directed by Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed

Best Animated Movie: Big Hero Six 6

Achievement in Production Design: Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Achievement in Cinematograph: Emannuel Lubezki for Birdman

Achievement in Film Editing: Tom Cross for Whipalsh

Best Documentary Feature: Citizen Four directed by Laura Poitras

Best Original Song: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Glory

Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game

Eminent Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade chosen for Jnanpith Award 2014

Eminent Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade on 6 February 2015 was chosen for the Jnanpith Award 2014 by the Jnanpith Selection Board.

He will be the 50th recipient of Jnanpith award, the highest literary honour of India and he will receive the award in April 2015.

The decision to confer the award on Nemade was taken in a meeting of 10-member selection board chaired by Prof Namwar Singh, a scholar, writer and critic.

His novel Kosala (Cocoon) published in 1963 was not only instrumental in changing the dimensions of the Marathi novel, but also the world of Marathi fiction was transformed with its advent. Only the mega-novel Hindu published in 2010 appears to match this feat that Kosala achieved over five decades ago.

60th Filmfare Awards announced

60th Filmfare Awards were announced on 31 January 2015 at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut won the Best Actor Award for Male and Female category, respectively.

Shahid won the Best Actor (male) award for his role as Haider Meer in film Haider and Kangana Ranaut won Best Actor (female) award for her role as Rani Mehra in film Queen.

Best Film award was given to film Queen, while its Director Vikas Bahl won the Best Director award. Kamini Kaushal was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other awards declared on the occasion includes

• Best Actor (male): Shahid Kapoor for film Haider directed by Vishal Bhardwaj

• Best Actor (female): Kangana Ranaut for film Queen directed by Vikas Bahl

• Best Film: Queen directed by Vikas Bahl

• Best Director: Vikas Bahl for film Queen

• Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award: Kamini Kaushal

• Best Film (Critics): Ankhon Dekhi directed by Rajat Kapoor

• Best Male Actor (Critics): Sanjay Mishra for film Ankhon Dekhi

• Best Female Actor (Critics): Alia Bhatt for film Highway written and directed by Imtiaz Ali

• Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male): Kay Kay Menon for film Haider

• Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Tabu for film Haider

• Best Story: Rajat Kapoor for film Ankhon Dekhi

• Best Dialogue: Abhijat Joshi and Rajkumar Hirani for film PK directed by Rajkumar Hirani

• Best Screenplay: Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi for film PK

• Best Director Debut: Abhishek Varman for film 2 States directed by Bhushan Patel

• Best Actor Debut (Male): Fawad Khan for film Khoobsurat directed by Shashanka Ghosh

• Best Actor Debut (Female): Kriti Sanon for film Heropanti directed by Sabbir Khan

• Best Music Director: Shankar Ehsaan Loy for film 2 States

• Best Lyrics: Rashmi Singh for song Muskurane ki wajah of film CityLights directed by Hansal Mehta

• Best Playback (Male): Ankit Tiwari for song Galliyan of film Ek Villain directed by Mohit Suri

• Best Playback (Female): Kanika Kapoor for song Baby doll of film Ragini MMS 2

• Best Choreography: Ahmed Khan for Jumme ki raat of film Kick directed by Sajid Nadiadwala

• Best Background Score: Amit Trivedi for film Queen

• Best Action: Sham Kaushal for film Gunday directed by Ali Abbas Zafar

• Best Cinematography: Bobby Singh and Siddharth Diwan for film Queen

• Best Editing: Abhijit Kokate and Anurag Kashyap for film Queen

• Best Production Design: Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray for film Haider

• Best Sound Design: Anilkumar Konakandla and Prabal Pradhan for film Mardaani directed by Pradeep Sarkar

• Best Costume: Dolly Ahluwalia for film Haider

The 60th Filmfare awards ceremony was held to honor the best films of 2014 from the Hindi-language film industry. It was hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar, actress Alia Bhatt, and comedian Kapil Sharma.

In 2014, Farhaan Akhtar for his performance in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Deepika Padukone for her role in Ramleela won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the 59th Filmfare Awards.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was awarded with the Best Film award, and its director Omprakash Mehra won the award as the Best Director.

Miss Colombia Paulina Vega crowned Miss Universe 2014

Miss Colombia Paulina Vega was crowned Miss Universe 2014. She was crowned at the final of 63rd edition of Miss Universe held in Miami, US on 25 January 2015. Vega, a 22-year-old student of business administration from Barranquilla, Colombia was crowned by Miss Universe 2013 winner Gabriela Isler of Venezuela.

With this, Vega became the second beauty queen from Colombia to win the title. Luz Marina Zuluaga was the first Colombian to win the crown in 1956.

The first runner-up was Miss USA Nia Sanchez and the second runner-up was Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha. The other two finalists in the top five were Miss the Netherland Yasmin Verheijen and Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell.

The 63rd edition of Miss Universe witnessed 87 contestants 87 from across the world. The crown is valued at 300000 US dollars and is designed to resemble the skyline of New York City.

India’s Noyonita Lodh from Bengaluru, Karnataka, 21, failed to reach the top five finalists although she was one of top 15 semi-finalists. The last time an Indian won the Miss Universe title was Bollywood actress Lara Dutta in 2000. The first Indian to win the Miss Universe title was Sushmita Sen in 1994.

Xu Youyu of China won Olof Palme Human Rights Prize for the year 2014

Pro-democracy activist of China Xu Youyu won the Olof Palme Human Rights Prize for the year 2014. The award given annually by the Stockholm-based Olof Palme Memorial Fund of Sweden was announced on 16 December 2014.

He received the award for his strong-principled work for democracy, social justice, human rights and freedom of speech which has universal meaning. Through his research and dialogue-oriented debate articles, he made a great contribution to the peaceful and democratic development in China.

As a political philosopher and a committed Chinese citizen, he advocates respect for the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. In 2008, he was one of the most evident signatories of Charta 08 manifesto that urged a series of reforms in China.

He has worked consistently for a democratization of Chinese society, while condemning any form of violence as a political method.

Born in 1947 in Beijing, at present, he is a Professor of Philosophy at the Chinese Academy of Social Science. He is an expert on western social theories including Marxism and the Frankfurt School.

He is the recipient of the Olof Palme professorship and worked in this capacity at Stockholm University in 2001-02. The Olof Palme professorship is held by an internationally prominent researcher who focuses on areas of importance to the quest for peace in a broad context.

About Olof Palme Prize

The Olof Palme Prize is an annual prize worth 75000 US dollars granted by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund established by the Social Democratic Party of Sweden and Olof Palme family.

It commemorates the spirit of Olof Palme, Social Democratic Prime Minister of Nordic country. He was an outspoken international human rights advocate, who was assassinated in the Swedish capital in 1986.

In 2013, it was given to Rosa Taikon of Sweden and the first prize was won by Cyril Ramaphosa in 1987, the Secretary General of National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa.

The other awardees include Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

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