Awards & Honours - Current Affairs for May,2017

Month and Year:   
▼ TM forum digital innovator award to Reliance Jio   [05-24-17]

Reliance Jio has received TM Forum’s ‘Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award’ 2017.

TM Forum is the industry association driving digital business transformation of the communications industry.

Reliance Jio got this award by acquiring 90 million customers in four months.

Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award is given to the company or organisation which has made the most significant and innovative contribution to advancing the digital revolution in society.

In the category of Smart Business Provider, Verizon and Ericsson together won the Business Transformation of the Year Award.

Verizon: Know More

  • Verizon Enterprise Solutions worked with Ericsson to provide a virtual services environment enabling the rapid launch of the new offerings targeted at enterprises across the globe.
  • The solution from Ericsson provides end-to-end service orchestration, closed-loop service assurance and virtual network function (VNF) onboarding and testing and supports self-service for Verizon’s customers.
  • It uses Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration, leveraging abstraction, model-driven configuration and automation techniques to contain underlying complexity.
  • The Ericsson VNF Factory enables efficient onboarding and validation of NFV’s into Verizon’s ecosystem - all reducing time to market for new Verizon enterprise services.

▼ Soumitra Chatterjee, YC Deveshwar are Banga Samman awardees   [05-23-17]

Thespian Soumitra Chatterjee and India’s longest serving boss Y.C. Deveshwar were conferred the Banga Samman, West Bengal’s highest civilian award, by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 20th May, 2017.

The Banga Samman awards were instituted in 2011, after Banerjee came to power. Celebrated artistes, singers, sportspersons, filmmakers, intellectuals have been honoured with these awards in the past.

Two categories of awards are presented as part of Banga Samman - Banga Bhushan and Banga Bibhushan.

Industrialist Deveshwar, pulmonologist Dhiman Ganguly, former Mizoram Governor Arun Prasad Mukherjee, veteran actor Chatterjee, and acclaimed poet Nirendranath Chakraborty were conferred the highest category of awards, the Banga Bibhushan.

Recipients of Banga Bhushan this year are Bangladeshi singer Rezwana Chowdhury Banya, folk singer Hidmat Fakir, Chapal Bhaduri, the last living female impersonator in folk theatre in India, baul exponent Lakshman Das Baul and Liver Foundation secretary and gastroenterologist Abhijit Chowdhury.

▼ Indian teen wins largest pre-college science competition   [05-22-17]

Prashant Ranganathan has emerged winner in the world’s largest pre-college science competition in the environment engineering category.

He won the award for his work on biodegradation of pesticides.

Prashant is among the 20 high schools students from various parts of the country who participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in the US.

More than 1700 students across the world had participated in the event. Prashant Ranganathan is a student of Carmel Junior College in Jamshedpur.

His project titled ‘Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos using native bacteria’ is aimed at helping farmers to biodegrade the harmful pesticides.

In all, Four Indian-Americans received top awards in various categories.

Indian American Pratik Naidu has won an award in the category of computational biology and bioinformatics.

Other Indian-American winners include Adam Nayak who has won in earth and environmental sciences, Karthik Yegnesh in Mathematics and Rahul Subramaniam in the microbiology category.

▼ Renowned wildlife biologist Purnima Burman wins award   [05-19-17]

Renowned wildlife biologist, Dr Purnima Devi Burman, in May 2017 was nominated for the prestigious Whitley Awards.

Burman has been nominated for her relentless efforts and campaigns for the conservation of the Greater Adjutant Stork locally known as Haargila in Assam.

The wildlife biologist has been working with the Dadara, Pachariya and Hingimari villages of Kamrup district to save the Greater Adjutant Stork.

She is associated with Aaranyak, a Guwahati based NGO, which works for wildlife conservation.

Whitley Awards: Know More

  • The Whitley Awards are given annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN).
  • Also known as Green Oscars, it is given to recognize and celebrate effective national and regional conservation leaders across the globe.
  • The awards are worth £ 35000 and are now amongst the most high profile of conservation prizes.
  • The awards particularly seek to recognize contributions to wildlife conservation made from outside the developed world.
  • It also aims to bring to international attention the work of deserving individuals committed to precipitating long-lasting conservation benefits on the ground.

▼ Kerala, TN score top ranks in PAI    [05-16-17]

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have secured first and second rankings for the second consecutive year in public affairs index (PAI) released by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC), Bengaluru.

Gujarat has been ranked third followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra at the fourth and fifth position respectively in governance indicators.

The last four positions among the large states has been occupied by Bihar (18th), Jharkhand (17th), Odisha (16th) and Assam (15th).

Among the 12 small states which have been categorised as small as they have population less than two crore, Himachal Pradesh has been ranked first followed by Goa and Mizoram.

Delhi which occupied third position in 2016 index has slipped to ninth position in 2017.

The three last positions among small states have been occupied by Meghalaya (12th), Arunachal Pradesh (11th) and Jammu and Kashmir (10th).

The survey was carried out based on 10 themes, 26 focus subjects and 82 indicators.

In the category of essential infrastructure, Punjab has been adjudged as the best performer among all States followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

In the category of human development, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Punjab are the best performers while Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam are the worst performers.

In implementation of social protection policies, Kerala, Assam and Madhya Pradesh are the best performers while Telangana, Haryana and Punjab are the worst performers as they lagged behind other states in executing various State and Central government schemes.

In the category of women and children, Kerala has been adjudged as the best performer while Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra are poor performers. In the category of fiscal management, Telangana has been adjudged as the best performer while Andhra Pradesh has been labelled as the poor performer.

For maintaining law and order, delivery of justice and environment categories, Tamil Nadu has been adjudged as the best performer but the state has been ranked last in the parameter of transparency and accountability in the administration.

In the category of economic freedom, Gujarat has secured top rank while Bihar has secured the last rank. PAC Public Affairs Centre (PAC), Bengaluru had come up with a Public Affairs Index (PAI) to rank governance inter-state by using data available in the public domain in key areas of governance.

PAC: Know More

  • Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is a not for profit think tank.
  • It was established in 1994 with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India.
  • The genesis of PAC is attributed to Dr. Samuel Paul in the early nineties.
  • The objective of Public Affairs Index (PAI) is an attempt to bring together the states of the country which are culturally, economically and socially diverse, into a common data-driven framework in order to facilitate an interstate comparison.
  • A well-framed methodology backed by statistical data from government sources, has been included in the study to provide insights into the subject of good governance.

▼ Emma Watson receives first genderless movie award   [05-9-17]

Hollywood actor Emma Watson has received the first-ever Genderless Acting Award for the Best Actor category at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.

This is the first ever genderless award that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex.

The 2017 edition of the MTV Movie & TV Awards were held on May 7, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. It was the 26th edition of the awards.

The MTV Movie & TV Awards is a film and television awards presented annually to winners decided online by the general public.

Emma Watson is a British actress, model, and activist. She is famous for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series.

▼ Fellowship award for Sachin Tendulkar   [05-9-17]

India’s cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar plans to support charities and various initiatives to help the under-privileged people in the second innings of his life and he received the Fellowship Award at the 7th annual Asian Awards on may 8, 2017.

Sachin played for India for 24 years was a memorable journey and winning the world cup was icing on the cake.

Now in the second chapter of his life he plans to support charities and various initiatives to help the under-privileged people.

Providing solar lights to poor people in India was one of them, Tendulkar said. He called on the stage 8-year-old Hollywood star Sunny Pawar who had earlier won the Rising Star award for his role in the film ‘Lion’.

The ceremony, which celebrates excellence in the global Asian community, also paid tribute to Indian actor Om Puri.

The award for outstanding achievement in Cinema was posthumously conferred on Om Puri who died earlier this year at the age of 66.

India’s playback singer Adnan Sami won the Fellowship Award for ‘Outstanding achievement in Music.”

Other award recipients were Krishnan Guru-Murthy (Outstanding Achievement in Television), Ajay Banga (Business Leader of the Year), Masayoshi Son (Entrepreneur of the year).

Some others were Nisha Dutt (Social Entrepreneur of the year), Dr Jack Preger (Philanthropist of the year), Ding Punhui (Outstanding achievement in sport), Demis Hassabis (Outstanding achievement in Science and Technology) and Sir Harpal Kumar (Outstanding contribution to the community).

Sachin Tendulkar: Know More

  • Born: 24 April 1973 Mumbai
  • Test debut (cap 187): 15 November 1989 v Pakistan
  • ODI debut (cap 74): 18 December 1989 v Pakistan
  • Last ODI: 18 March 2012 v Pakistan

▼ 44th Daytime Emmy Awards announced   [05-4-17]

The 44th Daytime Emmy Awards was announced on 30 April 2017 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, in Pasadena, Los Angeles.

General Hospital was declared the Outstanding Drama Series at the 44th Daytime Emmy Awards, while Jeopardy! grabbed the Outstanding Game Show award.

Complete list of winners

Outstanding Entertainment News ProgramEntertainment Tonight
Outstanding Talk Show/EntertainmentThe Ellen DeGeneres Show
Outstanding Talk Show/InformativeThe Dr. Oz Show
Outstanding Morning ProgramGood Morning America
Outstanding Culinary ProgramEat the World with Emeril Lagasse
Outstanding Game ShowJeopardy!
Outstanding Drama SeriesGeneral Hospital
Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama SeriesLexi Ainsworth as Kristina Davis on General Hospital
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesSteve Burton as Dylan McAvoy on The Young and the Restless
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesKate Mansi as Abigail Deveraux on Days of Our Lives
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesScott Clifton as Liam Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesGina Tognoni as Phyllis Summers on The Young and the Restless
Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama SeriesBryan Craig as Morgan Corinthos on General Hospital
Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama SeriesJim O’Heir as Matt Cannistra on The Bold and the Beautiful
Outstanding Game Show HostSteve Harvey - Family Feud
Outstanding Informative Talk Show HostSteve Harvey - Steve Harvey
Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show HostJulie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and Sheryl Underwood - The Talk
Outstanding Drama Series Writing TeamThe Young and the Restless
Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team
General Hospital
Lifetime Achievement AwardMary Hart, former long-running host of Entertainment Tonight

▼ Social worker Padma Venkataraman wins award   [05-4-17]

The Tamil Nadu government on 2 May 2017 conferred the 2017 Avvaiyar Award to Padma Venkataraman, a social worker.

She is also the daughter of former Indian President, the late R Venkataraman.

Padma was honoured with the award for her efforts in the field of women’s welfare and the rehabilitation of leprosy-affected people since the past 30 years by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

The prize carried a cheque of Rs 1 lakh, a gold medal weighing 8 gm and a certificate.

Padma Venkataraman who is the Chairperson of Women’s Indian Association (WIA) called the award a great honour and stated that it reflects the involvement of Tamil Nadu state’s government and CM in the advancement of women, children, the differently-abled and leprosy affected people. S

He further added that the award will only strengthen her resolve to serve the society as best as possible.

Avvaiyar Award: Know More

  • The award was constituted by late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2012. It was named after the Tamil poetess Avvaiyar.
  • It aims to honour women who have done excellent service in the areas of social reform, women’s development, culture, media, inter-faith harmony, and administration, among others.
  • The award carries a cash prize of INR 1 lakh, 8 gram of gold and a certificate.
  • In 2016, the award was conferred to M Sarada Menon, founder of Schizophrenia Care and research Foundation (SCARF) for the welfare of mentally challenged.
  • Prior to that in 2015, the award was given to Shanthi Ranganathan, the founder of T. T. Ranganathan Clinical Research Foundation, for her service towards treatment and rehabilitation of drug and alcohol addicts.

▼ INSA honours 30 scientists   [05-4-17]

The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in the last week of April 2017 announced the names of the recipient of the INSA Medal for Young Scientist 2017.

A total of 30 scientists have been chosen for the prestigious award.

The award, consisting of a bronze medal and cash award of INR 25000 will be given to the recipients during INSA’s anniversary meeting scheduled in December 2017.

The INSA Young Scientists Award is considered to be the highest recognition of promise, creativity and excellence in a young scientist.

The INSA award was instituted in 1974 by the Indian National Science Academy.

List of INSA award recipients

NameAwarded For
Riddhi Datta, PhD, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Government College, KolkataElucidating the molecular mechanisms of glutathione- salicylic acid- and ethylene interactions in plant defense signalling network
Srishti Dar, PhD, TIFR, MumbaiDeveloping an elegant assay system of arrayed supported membrane tubes whose dimensions can be controlled to mimic the topology of tubular intermediates generated during membrane fission and for demonstrating the role of GTP hydrolysis and PH domain in membrane constriction and faster kinetics of dynamin catalyzed fission
Debraj Choudhury, PhD, Department of Physics, IITK, KharagpurHis insights into the physics of multi-ferroics and oxide systems, and the discovery of exceptional dielectric properties in a series of compounds
Swetaprovo Chaudhuri, PhD, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IISc, BengaluruOutstanding contributions in turbulent combustion laser diagnostics and high performance CFD computation
Kunal Chakraborty, PhD, ESSO- INCOIS, Hyderabad His outstanding contributions on modelling of marine ecosystem variability in the Indian Ocean
Anup Biswas, PhD, Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, PuneHis study of the Dirichlet problem for stable-like operators and related probabilistic representations of solutions of stochastic differential equations with jumps
Vashist Bist, PhD, Texas Instruments India Pvt. Ltd., BengaluruHis outstanding contribution in the area of DC motor drives for low power applications
Sanchari Bhattacharyya, PhD, Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, USADesigning minimal protein immunogens based on glycoprotein gp120 of HIV-1 as a potential future vaccine against HIV with reduced aggregation properties and higher stability
Priyoneel Basu, PhD, Department of Zoology, Institute of Science, BHU, VaranasiPioneering studies on the role of 5-HTP (a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin) in resetting the phase of the circadian activity-rest rhythm in mice
Md Mahiuddin Baidya, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, ChennaiHis contributions towards development of news protocols and for the synthesis of biologically important molecules
Dipak Gayen, PhD, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New DelhiCloning the rice r9- LOX1 gene and showing increased viability and storage stability of nutritional components of golden rice seeds by its down regulation through RNAi and for studying regulation of iron transport in roots by miRNA
Vikram Vishal, PhD, Department of Earth Sciences, IIT-B, MumbaiHis outstanding contributions on hydro-dynamics of fluid flow in unconventional reservoirs
Jitendra Thakur, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, Washington, USAElucidating mechanisms of centromere and kinetochore formation in Candida species
Devanjan Sinha, PhD, Department of Zoology, Institute of Science, BHU, VaranasiDelineating the complexity and substrate specificity of mitochondrial transport machines and for establishing their role in maintenance of mitochondrial function in diverse physiological states
Vikas Kumar Singh, PhD, Center of Excellence in Genomics, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, HyderabadDeveloping large scale genetic and genomic resources, including sequencing–based mapping, for fusarium wilt resistance and sterility mosaic disease resistance in pigeonpea and for contribution to development of molecular breeding lines in rice
Sunil Shetty, PhD, Biozentrum, University of Basel, SwitzerlandProviding novel insights about roles of the 3GC pairs in initiator tRNA in translation
Sahana Holla, PhD, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USAProviding novel insights into immune evasion and survival strategies of mycobacteria Dinesh Jagadeesan, PhD, Physical and Materials Chemistry Division, CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory, Pune His approaches towards development of new catalysts and activation of CO2
Smita Kumar, PhD, Centre of Biomedical Research, SGPGI Campus, LucknowSignificant contributions in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in detoxification of heavy metals like As and S in plants
Rucha Kiran Patil, PhD, Genetic Research Center, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, MumbaiIdentifying novel roles of cell derived micro particles in important clinical conditions like recurrent pregnancy loss and dengue fever complications
Ashutosh Pandey, PhD, Faculty of Biology, Chair of Genome Research & CeBiTec, University of Bielefeld, Germany Metabolic engineering of flavonoid and carotenoid biosynthesis in higher plants
Joe Philip Ninan, PhD, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, USAHis studies of outburst phenomena in young stellar objects, and development of necessary instruments
Bodhisatta Nandy, PhD, IISER, BehrampurComprehensive experimental evidence, using the Drosophila model system, for the major tenets of the theory of sexual selection and inter-sexual conflict
Kartik Prasad, PhD, Mechanical Behavior Group, Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, HyderabadHis outstanding contributions in the development of indigenous instrumentation for thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) crack growth experiments, its utilization for studying TMF in aerospace grade Ti and Ni alloys, and subsequently for using such knowledge in enhancing the remaining life of aeroengines
Arnab Sen, PhD, Department of Theoretical Physics, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, KolkataHis outstanding contributions towards developing quantum Monte Carlo methods to probe quantum critical points
Uday Kumar B Reddy, PhD, Department of Computer Science and Automation, IISc, BengaluruHis stellar work in automatic parallelization in high performance computing
Sanjay Pratihar, PhD, Department of Chemical Sciences, Tezpur University, TezpurHis outstanding contributions to multi-metal complexes, theoretical understanding, selective sensing of Hg2+ ions and important applications in agriculture
Aravind Kumar Rengan, PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IITH, HyderabadDevising a novel way of nano delivery using liposomes and gold nanoparticles, which is useful for both imaging and therapeutics

▼ USIBC award for Chandrababu Naidu   [05-3-17]

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has selected Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu for the ‘Transformative Chief Minister Award.'

This is for his role in advancing the US-India partnership at the state level.

The award will be presented to him at the USIBC West Coast Summit in the Silicon Valley on May 8th.

The USIBC West Coast Summit will see the participation of Indian government officials.

Also part of this are 150 industry leaders from sectors such as information technology, banking, food processing, healthcare, clean energy, digital payments, and manufacturing.

The organisation aims to explore the impacts of manufacturing in India, digitisation, move towards adoption of a cashless society and the future of the US-India trade relations.

The companies such as Amazon, Paypal, Deloitte, Facebook, Mastercard, Dell, TransAsia, Varian Medical and Visa will attend the summit.

In addition, the Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT Aruna Sundararajan will also be honoured with the ‘Transformative Leadership Award’ for excellence in public service and for her role in advancing US-India cooperation and Digital India.

Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog was the last year’s recipient of this award.

USIBC: Know More

  • USIBC was established in 1975 as a business advocacy organization for encouraging the private sectors in the US and India to enhance investments.
  • It acts a direct link between business and government leaders to enhance the trade and investment ties between the two nations.
  • USIBC works in partnership with major trade associations of India like The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) among others.
  • President and CEO of MasterCard Ajay Banga is the current chairman of USIBC.

▼ Indian origin SA women freedom fighters win award   [05-2-17]

Two Indian-origin women veterans of the freedom struggle in South African were conferred the highest National Order awards by President Jacob Zuma on 28th April 2017.

Fatima Meer posthumously received the Order of Luthuli in Silver; while Shantie Naidoo joined 21 others to receive the same award at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.

Meer, a lifelong friend of the late Nelson Mandela together with her husband Ismail Meer, started her activist career as a high school student aged 17 in 1945.

Meer mobilised high school students and established the Students Passive Resistance Committee to canvass and raise funds for the Passive Resistance Campaign.

Excelling as a historian and sociologist, Meer was a prolific writer, including a biography of Mandela, as well as the script for the film Taj Mahal, made by Indian filmmaker Akbar Khan.

In 1969, she published a book, Portrait of Indian South Africans, donating the total proceeds thereof to the Gandhi Settlement towards the building of the Gandhi Museum and Clinic at the Phoenix Settlement started by Gandhi.

After the advent of democracy in 1994 under President Mandela, Meer served as a member of the parliament before passing on in 2010.

Naidoo is a descendant of Thambi Naidoo, one of Gandhi's most trusted lieutenants during his tenure in South Africa at the turn of the last century.

She suffered frequent imprisonment as a member of the Transvaal Indian Congress and the African National Congress.

African National Congress: Know More

  • Abbreviation : ANC
  • President: Jacob Zuma
  • Chairman: Baleka Mbete
  • Secretary-General: Gwede Mantashe
  • Spokesperson: Zizi Kodwa
  • Deputy President: Cyril Ramaphosa
  • National Chairperson: Baleka Mbete
  • Deputy Secretary General: Jessie Duarte
  • Treasurer General: Zweli Mkhize
  • Founder: John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Sol Plaatje
  • Founded : 8 January 1912

▼ Hero MotoCorp wins Indian MNC of the Year award   [05-2-17]

Pawan Munjal-led Hero MotoCorp was conferred the ‘Indian MNC of the Year’ award by the All India Management Association (AIMA).

The award comes as the two-wheeler maker is set to enter the potentially lucrative markets of Brazil.

Brazil is Latin America’s largest two-wheeler market with annual sales in excess of two million units, and Mexico, which has a market size of more than half a million units per year.

Hero MotoCorp: Know More

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Founder: Brijmohan Lall Munjal
  • Parent organization: Hero Cycles

▼ Sportsperson Yusra Mardini is UN Goodwill ambassador   [05-2-17]

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian woman who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees, has been appointed by the UN agency for refugees as its new Goodwill Ambassador.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Mardini’s actions saved the lives of 20 refugees who were fleeing the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Mardini, 19, was also one of the 10 athletes who made up the historic Olympic Refugee Team and participated at the Rio Olympic Games last year.

Yusra Mardini: Know More

  • Yusra Mardini is a Syrian swimmer currently living in Berlin, Germany.
  • She was a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team, that competed under the Olympic flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Born: 5 March 1998, Syria
  • Height: 1.57 m
  • Nationality: Syrian

Chronology of events
Japan has selected former union minister for Law and Justice Ashwani Kumar for this year’s Spring Imperial Decorations, for his contribution to strengthening of the bilateral ties and promotion of friendship between Tokyo and New Delhi.