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Current Affairs Awards

Current Affairs Awards


Prof CNR Rao becomes first Indian scientist elected to Chinese Academy of Science
Eminent Scientist and Bharat Ratna awardee Prof CNR Raohas become the first Indian scientist to be elected as honorary foreign member of Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). CAS consists of several Nobel laureates and eminent scientists of the world. Prof. Rao was recently awarded the Bharat Ratna. In 2012, CAS had conferred on him the prestigious Award for International Scientific Cooperation.

About C.N.R. Rao (Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao)


An Indian scientist One of the worlds foremost chemists in the field of Solid State, Structural and Materials Chemistry. His work on transition metal oxides led to basic understanding of novel phenomena and the relationship between materials properties and the structural chemistry of metal oxides. Currently, he heads the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. Authored around 1500 research papers. Authored and edited 45 books. First Indian scientist to reach the h-index of 100. One of the earliest to synthesize two-dimensional oxide materials such as La2CuO4. His findings have resulted into a systematic study of compositionally controlled metal-insulator transitions. Such findings have immensely helped in fields such as colossal magneto resistance and high temperature superconductivity. His oxide semiconductors have uncommon promise. Made significant contributions to nano materials, apart from his work on hybrid materials. Elected to almost all scientific academies of the world including The Royal Society -London, National Academy of Science USA, Pontifical Academy of Science, Japan Academy and Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences, among others. Conferred 60 Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorates) by various universities across the globe.

What is h-index (also called the Hirsch index or Hirsch number)?

h-index (also called the Hirsch index or Hirsch number) is a tool that measures the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar. Based on the set of the scientists most cited papers and the number of citations that the individual has received in other publications. Physicist Jorge Hirsch was the first one to coin it in 2005. George Whitesides of Harvard University has an h-index of 169, which makes him the highest ranked living chemist.

Waheeda Rehman to receive First Centanary Award at 44th IFFI


November 20, 2013

Legendary actress Waheeda Rehman will be conferred with the first Centanary Award for the Indian Film th Personality at the 44 International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa. The award has been instituted this year (2013) which consists of a trophy, a cash of Rs. 10 lakh and a citation. This award to Waheeda Rehman acknowledges the creative contribution of an artist who opted for roles which were much more than just the appealing shadow of the male actors of the times. About Waheeda Rehman: Born in Chengalpattu near Chennai in 1936 Started acting career with Tamil and Telugu movies. Her first film was Kaalam Maari Pochu along with Gemini Ganesan. Guru Dutt, her mentor, introduced her in Hindi movies as he offered her a role in film C.I.D. Waheeda Rehman & Guru Dutt served the audience with such marvels as Pyasa. Kaghaz Ke Phool, Saheb Bibi aur Ghulam and Chudhvin ka Chaand. Preformed impressively with the other megastars like Dilip Kumar (Ram aur Shayam, Dil Diya Dard Liya), Raj Kapoor (Teesri Kasam) and Dev Anand (Guide).

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Gathered laurels for her roles in Reshma aur Shera, Kabhie Kabhie, Khamoshi, Delhi-6and Rang De Basanti. Became famous in media as the Quintessential Beauty of Bollywood Won the National Award for the Best Actor in 1971 for Reshma Aur Shera and Filmfare Awards in 1966 for Guide and in 1968 forNeel Kamal. Honoured with Padma Shri in 1972 and with Padma Bhushan in 2011.

International Indian of the Decade award to Lord Swaraj Paul


November 17, 2013

Eminent NRI industrialist and educationist, Lord Swraj Paul was conferred with the International Indian of the Decade award on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the publication of India Link International, a monthly magazine published from London. He was presented this award for his outstanding achievements in the fields of industry, education and philanthropy. Who is Lord Swaraj Paul? Swraj Paul (82) is an India-born, UK-based business baron, philanthropist, and Labour politician. Founded UK-based steel and engineering multinational companyCaparo which employs around 10,000 people worldwide principally in the UK, USA and India. In 1996, became a life peer, a member of the House of Lords, as a Labour memberwith the title Baron Paul, of Marylebone in the City of Westminster. 1983: Awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India 1999: Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton 2000-2008: Member of the London Development Agency 2005-2008: Chaired the LDA Olympics Delivery Committee responsible for delivering the land and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games. 2006: Chancellor of the University of Westminster 2008: Became first Indian-born Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords 2009: Appointed to the Privy Council. Awarded with 15 honorary degrees by universities in the UK, India, USA and Switzerland including the Corporate Leadership Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bharat Ratna for scientist Prof. C.N.R.Rao


Prof. C.N.R. Rao, the man behind Indias maiden Mars mission, to be conferred with the prestigious Bharat Ratna Award, Indias highest civilian award.

Sachin Tendulkar chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna


November 16, 2013

Sachin Tendulkar chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna (Indias highest civilian award). Thus Tendulkar will be the first sportsperson ever to be honoured with Bharat Ratna. Tendulkar retired from all forms of cricket as the most successful batsman with 15,921 runs in 200 Tests and 18,426 runs in 463 matches in ODIs. He was the first batsman to get a double hundred in ODIs. His career of 24 years made him an inspiration for an entire nation. The eligibility criteria of the Bharat Ratna award was revised in 2012 to accommodate sportspersons as well. This was done especially on continuous demands for Tendulkar to be conferred the honour for a long time. Tendulkar became a Rajya Sabha member in 2012. This year, Bharat Ratna is being given to Tendulkar along with Professor C.N.R.Rao, the man behind Indias maiden Mars mission.

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The Bharat Ratna is being conferred after a long gap with classical vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi being the last recipient in 2008.

Sushmita Sen conferred with Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice 2013
October 30, 2013

NGO the Harmony Foundation honored former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen with the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award 2013 for her efforts towards achieving social justice in Mumbai. Along with Sushmita Sen, seven individuals and an association, India Rescue Mission, were also awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice 2013 for their contributions in the field of human rights and community development.

List of Awardees of Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice 2013 :
Sushmita Sen: Social Activist and Bollywood actress Dr Sudarshan Hanumappa: Tribal rights activist Diep Saeeda: Lahore-based human rights activist Cedric Prakash: Social Activist Sindhutai Sapkal: Mother of Orphans Arunachalam Muruganantham: Social Activist India Rescue Mission: An association for human rights Maulana Mehmood Madani: Social activist Sam Childers: Rescuer of young boys and girls from Sudan

France confers top civilian honor on Anjali Gopalan


October 29, 2013

France conferred its highest civilian award Chevalier de la Legion dHonneuron social worker and founder of NGO Naz Foundation Anjali Gopalan for her work on transgenders and HIV positive patients.

Who is Anjali Gopalan?


Anjali Gopalan (56) is an Indian Human Rights and Animal Rights activist, founder and executive director of The Naz Foundation (India) Trust, an NGO dedicated to the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India mainly focused on women and children. She started her carrer as a social worker and worked on issues related to HIV/AIDS and marginalized communities in New York, United States. The Naz Foundation was founded by her in 1994 which has since then brought positive changes the lives of transgenders, homosexuals and those with HIV positive.

Finally Suu Kyi receives 1990 Sakharov prize


Myanmars pro-democracy activist and parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi finally collected the EU democracy prize that had been awarded 23 years ago while she was under house arrest. The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, has been awarded annually by the European Parliament since 1988.

About Aung San Suu Kyi


Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma. In 1988, she got caught up in Myanmars pro-democracy protests when she returned to care for her ailing mother after years of living and studying abroad. In 1990, she contested general election as the leader of the NLD and won 59% of the national votes and 81% (392 of 485) of the seats in Parliament. She remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989 until her most recent release in November 2010, becoming one of the worlds most prominent political prisoners. Suu Kyi was awarded the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Presently, Suu Kyi is a member of parliament after the 2010 elections brought to power pro-reforms President Thein Sein. She has expressed hopes of becoming Myanmars next president, although this would require constitutional

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changes ahead of the 2015 elections. She has urged the EU to push more strongly for amendments to the Myanmar constitution, which according to her is hindering a full democratization of the country.

The Sakharov Prize


The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought. The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandelaand Russian Anatoly Marchenko. The Sakharov Prize is usually awarded annually on or around December 10, the day on which the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, also celebrated as Human Rights Day.

First Genesis Prize Jewish Nobel Prize to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
October 24, 2013

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been selected for the inaugural Genesis Prize an award popularly dubbed the Jewish Nobel Prize given by the Government of Israel. Bloomberg has been chosen for the award in recognition to his long record of public service and philanthropy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present the prize to Bloomberg in May 2014 in Israel.

Genesis Prize The Jewish Nobel Prize


The Genesis Prize is instituted by the Government of Israel, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Genesis Philanthropy Group. It is awarded to individuals who have achieved international recognition in their professional field, the worlds of science and the arts. The award carries $1 million and presentedannually by the Prime Minister of Israel at a ceremony in Jerusalem. The award seeks to emphasize across the Jewish community and the world at large the significance of Jewish values to the fulfillment of human potential and to the betterment of the world. This way, it intends to strengthen the Jewish identity of young Jews across the world who are rapidly assimilating and losing connection to the Jewish people and their rich heritage.

Manna Dey, the Legendary singer passed away


October 24, 2013

Prabodh Chandra Dey ( a.k.a. Manna Dey) (94) passed away. Manna Dey was a versatile Indian playback singer. Manna Dey sang mainly in Hindi and Bengali. He also recorded songs in several other Indian languages like Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Assameese, Oriya, Gujarathi, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam. Debut as a playback singer in the film Tamanna (1942) Career Recorded more than 4000 songs Some key Awards: Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2007) Padma Bhushan (2005) Padma Shri (1971) (years active) : 1942-2013

First National Yash Chopra Memorial Award presented to Lata Mangeshkar


October 22, 2013

Legendary vocalist Lata Mangeshkar was presented the first national Yash Chopra Memorial Award by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as a mark of tribute to the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra on the eve of his first death anniversary.

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The Yash Chopra Memorial Award: Instituted by the TSR Foundation of T. Subbarami Reddy. It carries a cheque of Rs 1 million and a citation. It will be presented annually to people in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the field of art and culture.

First National Yash Chopra Memorial Award presented to Lata Mangeshkar


Legendary vocalist Lata Mangeshkar was presented the first national Yash Chopra Memorial Award by the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting as a mark of tribute to the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra on the eve of his first death anniversary.

The Yash Chopra Memorial Award:


Instituted by the TSR Foundation of T. Subbarami Reddy. It carries a cheque of Rs 1 million and a citation. It will be presented annually to people in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the field of art and culture.

New Zealand author Eleanor Catton wins 2013 Booker Prize


October 18, 2013

New Zealand author Ms Eleanor Catton became the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize for fiction. She claimed the award for her novel The Luminaries. The Luminaries is the longest book ever to win the Booker Prize . Ms Eleanor Catton is the youngest author ever to win the Booker Prize.

Eugene Fama wins Nobel in Economics for his Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH)
October 17, 2013

American Economist Eugene Fama won the Nobel prize for economics for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets. He is one of the three American Economists who won Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences. He shared Nobel for Economic Sciences jointly with Robert Shiller and Lars Peter Hansen. Eugene Francis Gene Fama is known for his work on portfolio theory and asset pricing. Fama is regarded as the father of the Efficient Market Hypothesis. In 1970 issue of the Journal of Finance, entitled Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work, Fama gave the concept of EMH (Efficient Market Hypothesis).

What is EMH (Efficient Market Hypothesis)?


It is a hypothesis, which says that no person can perform better than the Market itself without taking more risk than the market, because every information is built in the market itself. In simple words we can say: Financial markets are informationally efficient i.e. that price of an asset reflects all information about an asset. Thus, it is virtually impossible to regularly predict asset prices and beat the market i.e. generate returns that are higher than overall market on average without incurring more risk than the market. As per this hypothesis, stocks on a stock exchange always trade at fair market value, thus it is impossible for any investor to purchase an undervalued stocks or sell a stock for inflated prices. The only means by which an investor can obtain higher returns is via purchasing taking more risk. Reading the market is impossible because the stocks are already accurately priced and reflect all available information. Therefore it is impossible to make profit with any trading strategy. Theoretically impossible to make profit from any trading strategy. Thus, there is no way to identify a bargain stock or use past stock price movements to predict future prices. The only way to earn higher returns than those of an index is by purchasing higher risk investments.

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So if Ramesh wants to buy a share of Infosys at Rs 3,000 per share he will not be able to make any profit because as per the EMH the intrinsic value of a share of Infosys is Rs 3,000 per share, so Ramesh will not be able to profit from a potential under-valued or over-priced share of Infosys.

3 forms of Efficiencies as per EMH (Efficient Market Hypothesis):1) Weak Form Efficiency 2) Semi-Strong Form Efficiency 3) Strong Form Efficiency In weak-form efficiency, it is said that one cant predict future prices b y analyzing prices from past i.e. historical data. Thus, one cannot earn excess return for long time by his/her strategy based on historical share prices. In semi-strong-form efficiency, it is said that a shares price adjust itself to all publicly available new information, thus one cannot earn one cannot earn excess return for long time by his/her strategy based on publicly available information. In strong-form efficiency, it is said that a shares price reflects all information, public and private , and no one can earn excess returns for long time by his/her strategy based on all publicly available information and historical data.

What do the critics say about Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH)?


EMH is highly controversial and often disputed. There are several reasons why EMH may be incorrect:1. All investors come to know of information differently and will thus have different valuations of the stock. 2. Stocks take time to respond to new information, investors who receive or act on this information first can take advantage of it 3. Stock prices can be affected by human error and emotional decision making. 4. Investors like Warren Buffet have proven that they can profit from market consistently over long periods of time 5. If EMH is true, then investors should place all their assets in index funds and thus they will earn same returns as overall market and focus on minimizing their risk.

Nobel Peace Prize 2013 goes to OPCW


October 16, 2013

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) won the Nobel Peace Prize 2013 for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. The award was announced by Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland.

What is OPCW? What are its award-winning efforts?


The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an independent, international body established in 1997 to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention. It has a working relationship with the UN. The organization is currently working in destroying Syrias chemical weapons stockpiles wh ich marks as the first time the OPCW is working in a war zone. It conducts inspections of destruction procedures, as well as evaluating members own declarations, in order to examine that the convention is being followed. Its headquarters are in The Hague, Netherland and it consists of 189 member nations, covering around 98% of the global population. These member states have agreed to work together to create a world free from chemical weapons. Current Director-General of the OPCW: Ahmet Uzumcu

Karan Thapar wins International Press Institute India award


Karan Thapar, well-known television journalist, has been honored with the International Press Institute (IPI) India Award for Excellence in Journalism. The jury for this award chose Mr. Thapar for his sharp interviews on the Devils Advocate programme on CNN IBN.

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MS Swaminathan to be honored with Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the Year 2012
October 14, 2013

Famous agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan has been selected for theIndira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the year 2012.

About MS Swaminathan

Indian geneticist and former member of Rajya Sabha. Contributed in revitalizing agricultural in the country and led the nation to achieve green revolution. Previously served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Also served as Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Agricultural Research and Education.

Malala Yousafzai wins EUs Sakharov Prize 2013


October 14, 2013

Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived bullet-injury inflicted by the Taliban for championing girls education has won the European Unions (EU) Sakharov Human Rights Prize 2013. Past winners of the Sakharov Prize include South African anti apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

The Sakharov Prize

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought. The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandelaand Russian Anatoly Marchenko. The Sakharov Prize is usually awarded annually on or around December 10, the day on which the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948,also celebrated as Human Rights Day.

Chemistry Nobel 2013 to Levitt, Karplus and Warshel


October 11, 2013

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2013 will be shared by Michael Levitt, a British and US citizen, USAustrian Martin Karplus and US-Israeli Arieh Warshel. As per Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences who announces the names for the awards, the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2013 have made it possible to map the mysterious ways of chemistry by using computers. What are the Nobel winning contributions of Levitt, Karplus and Warshel? The trio has been credited for the development of multi scale models for complex chemical systems. They devised computer simulations to understand chemical processes. Their works laid the foundations for new kinds of pharmaceuticals and contributed to exploring multiple options in cyber space.

Rothman, Schekman and Sudhof to share Nobel Prize 2013 for Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel committee has announced the winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The Prize has been awarded to three scientists, James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Sudhof, all based in the USA for working out how biological cells organize and transport the many molecules they need to function.

What were the discoveries of these scientists which won them medicine Nobel Prize?

James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Sudhof have been awarded the Prize for the discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic.

What are vesicles and how they work?

Vesicles are tiny, membrane-enclosed sacs that bud off from one membrane and fuse with another within the cell. The vesicles gather their cargo- membrane components and soluble molecules- from the donor compartment during the budding process. They deliver the cargo to the target compartment by fusing.

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Importance:
The cargo-carrying and delivery capacity of vesicles is important as molecules transported cant pass through a membrane on their own. The principle of vesicle transport and fusion is the same in organisms as different as yeast and human.

Criticality:

Vesicle transport is vital for a variety of physiological process brain signaling to release hormones.

Implications:

Defective vesicle transport occurs in a various diseases including a number of neurological and immunological disorders, as well as diabities

Nobel physics Prize 2013 goes to Englert and Higgs


October 11, 2013

The Nobel Prize in physics has been announced to be given to physicists Francois Englert of Belgium andPeter Higgs of Britain for their theoretical discoveries on how subatomic particles acquire mass.
What is the special contribution of Englert and Higgs to physics?

Both the scientists have been credited for their theoretical works on Higgs boson which they theorized in 1960s. They proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass. Their theories were confirmed last year by the discovery of the so-called Higgs particle or God-particle, also known as the Higgs boson, at the famousCERN(European Organization for Nuclear Research) laboratory in Geneva.But it would still take decades for the scientists at CERN to confirm its existence.

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