Current Affairs March 2019 - Awards


1 - PM Modi Confers Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes For Science & Tech

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes for Science and Technology for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 in New Delhi. There were 34 prize winners.

The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize is the most coveted national recognition bestowed upon young scientists and engineers to honour their research and developmental work in India. It was first instituted in 1957 to honour the eminent scientist Dr. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.

2 - Peter Tabichi won Global Teacher Prize 2019

Peter Tabichi

Peter Tabichi, a science teacher from rural Kenya, who gives away most of his salary to support the education of poor children, has won a $1m prize (£760,000) for the world's best teacher.

The award, in a competition run by the Varkey Foundation, has seen him beating 10,000 other nominations from 179 countries.

Andria Zafirakou, an art teacher from North London was the winner last year.

3 - Leeladhar Jagudi will be honoured with the Vyas Samman 2018

Leeladhar Jagudi

Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagudi honoured with Vyas Samman 2018 for his collection of poems ‘Jitne Log Utne Prem’.

He was awarded Padma Shri in 2004 apart from other awards, including Sahitya Akademi Award, Akashvani National Award and Uttarakhand Gaurav Samman.

Vyas Samman

The award is given annually to outstanding literary work in Hindi authored by Indian citizen which has been published in the last decade.

  • It was started in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation.

  • It carries monetary amount of Rs. 4 lakh.

4 - Irfan Ramzan Sheikh who fought against 3 terrorists as 14-yr-old awarded Shaurya Chakra

Irfan Ramzan Sheikh

Jammu and Kashmir's Irfan Ramzan Sheikh, who fought against three armed terrorists in 2017, when he was 14 years old, was awarded Shaurya Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Sheikh fought the terrorists who wanted to kill his father and didn't let them enter his house.

The terrified terrorists left one of the terrorists' body and ran away.

About Shaurya Chakra

  • Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy.

  • It comes after the Ashoka Chakra and the Kirti Chakra.

  • Category: Peacetime gallantry award

  • Established: 1952

5 - Indian writer Raghu Karnad won Windham Campbell Prize

Raghu Karnad

Indian Writer Raghu Karnad won the Windham-Campbell Prize $165,000 under the non-fiction category for his debut book, The Farthest Field: An Indian Story Of The Second World War. Raghu Karnad is the second Indian to receive the award. Earlier in 2016, Jerry Pinto had won the award for his novel, Em and the Big Hoom.

Karnad is one of the eight winners chosen across four categories: fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry. The other awardee in the non-fiction category was American writer Rebecca Solnit for the diverse body of work she has produced over her career.

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University in the US administer the Windham-Campbell Prize. It was established in 2013. The award was constituted with the generous gift from writer Donald Windham in memory of his partner Sandy Campbell. The jury selects two winners each for each of the category.

6 - Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck becomes 1st woman to win prestigious Abel Prize

Karen Uhlenbeck

Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck (76-year-old) has become the first woman to win the Abel prize, sometimes called the Nobel prize for Mathematics. She won the prize for the impact she created with her work on "analysis, geometry and mathematical physics".

She is also an advocate for gender equality in Science and Mathematics.

About Abel Prize

  • It is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel and directly modeled after the Nobel Prizes.

  • It comes with a monetary award of 6 million Norwegian Kroner.

  • Established: 23 August 2001

  • First awarded: 2003

  • Country: Norway

  • Awarded for: Outstanding scientific work in the field of Mathematics

  • Presented by: Government of Norway

7 - Business line Changemaker Awards 2019 were announced

Business Line Changemaker Awards

BusinessLine Changemaker Awards were constituted in the year 2018 to mark the completion of 25 years by the Hindu Business Line.

The winners of the BusinessLine Changemaker Award for 2019 are listed below −

  • Changemaker of the Year: Petitioners against Section 377

  • Changemaker of the Year: GST Council

  • Iconic Changemaker: Bezwada Wilson (Safai Karmachari Andolan)

  • Social Transformation: The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences

  • Digital Transformation: eNAM (Electronic National Agriculture Market)

  • Young Changemaker: Anju Verma (promoting the education of underprivileged children)

  • Young Changemaker: Kush and Arjun Pandey (developers of ScoutMe app for tapping football talent)

The awards seek to celebrate the Changemaker maker individuals, entities and organizations, who through their work, have contributed to materially improve the condition of society, economy and the planet.

8 - Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan received Padma Bhushan from President

Nambi Narayanan

President Ram Nath Kovind presented Padma Bhushan to Shri Sankaralingam Nambi Narayanan for Science & Engineering.

Shri Narayanan is an accomplished scientist with more than three decades of experience in Indian Space Research Organisation.

The scientist was instrumental in developing the Vikas engine that would be used for the first PSLV that India launched.

But, Nambi Narayanan, who was falsely implicated in the ISRO spy case, was accused of selling state secrets comprising confidential test data from rocket and satellite launches.

In 1994, Narayanan was arrested by Kerala police over espionage charges, which were dismissed by CBI in 1996.

The Supreme Court declared him not guilty in 1998 and ordered Kerala to pay ₹50-lakh compensation over "mental torture" in 2018.

9 - Manmohan Singh presented the BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year award to Arun Jaitley

Manmohan Singh and Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley received the award over successful implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The award was also presented to the petitioners against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalised homosexuality.

Mr Jaitley accepted the award from Manmohan Singh on behalf of the GST council.

10 - Three Kirti Chakras and 15 Shaurya Chakras awarded by the President to Army Personnel

Shaurya Chakras

President Ram Nath Kovind conferred 3 Kirti Chakras and 15 Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty at the Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

2 Kirti Chakras and 1 Shaurya Chakra were given posthumously.

15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 1 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal and 25 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals were also conferred on senior officers of the Armed Forces for their distinguished service by the President.

11 - Padmanaban Gopalan bagged the Commonwealth Youth Award for the Asian region

Commonwealth Youth Award

Social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu, Padmanaban Gopalan, founder of No Food Waste won the Commonwealth Youth Award for the Asian region worth 3,000 Pounds at a ceremony held at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.

He was given the honour for his work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Zero Hunger with his innovative system of recovering excess food to distribute to those in need.

12 - Vastradan Campaign has set the Guinness World Record

Vastradan Campaign

Vastradan Campaign initiated by the erstwhile royal family of Udaipur has set the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of clothes for donation.

Through the Vastradan Campaign, over 3,29,250 pieces of clothing from over 76,000 donors were collected and distributed to the needy.

The campaign reached out to over 120 schools, 15 colleges and around 30 NGOs. The certificate for the Guinness World Record was handed over to Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, a descendant of Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap. The campaign highlighted the empathy of the citizen's especially young boys and girls.

13 - Venkaiah Naidu conferred Honorary Doctorate from the University of Peace

Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was conferred Honorary Doctorate from the UN established the University of Peace. He is the first Indian to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Peace. The university has stated that the degree of "Doctor Honoris Causa" (Doctor of Philosophy) was conferred on the Indian Vice President recognising his contribution to the Rule of Law, democracy and sustainable development in India.

The University of Peace was established in accordance with the Resolution 35/55 passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1980. The main campus of the University of Peace is located in Costa Rica. It aims to be a forward-thinking, transformational and inspirational educational institution dedicated to the goals of quality teaching, research, and service for serving humanity in building a peaceful world.

14 - BIAC India won the Women on a Mission award


Brandix India Apparel City (BIAC) India’s partner P. Doraswamy was conferred with ‘The Women on A Mission Award’. It was presented to him by philanthropist Sudha Narayana Murthy at the women’s summit organized under ‘he for she’ category in Bengaluru.

The award was given to him for his contribution to the welfare of women workforce in Visakhapatnam by organizing free medical camps, cancer screening initiatives, distribution of free amenities.

15 - Abhinandan Varthaman is to be awarded the first Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar

Abhinandan Varthaman

Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been chosen for the first Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar constituted by the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.2.51 lakh, a memento, and a citation. It will be presented to Abhinandan Varthaman on April 17 the Mahavir Jayanti.

Abhinandan Varthaman, a wing-commander in the Indian Air Force shot into limelight in the ongoing bilateral tensions between Indian and Pakistan aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. In the dogfight that followed, he crossed into Pakistan territory. He was captured by the Pakistan Military and was later handed over to India as a peace gesture.

16 - Tata Steel has been recognised as one of World’s Most Ethical Companies

Tata Steel

The Ethisphere Institute has recognised Tata Steel as one of World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2019. Ethisphere Institute is a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. For the eighth time, Tata Steel won the recognition in the 'Metals, Minerals and Mining' category. Tata Steel is one of the only two honorees in the 'Metals, Minerals and Mining' industry.

128 companies are recognized for exemplifying and advancing corporate citizenship, transparency and the standards of integrity in the year 2019. The honorees are from 21 countries and 50 industries.

The companies are listed World's Most Ethical Companies based on 5 factors:

  • Leadership and Reputation

  • Ethics Compliance Programme

  • Culture of Ethics

  • Corporate Citizenship

  • Responsibility Governance

17 - CZPDC Bhopal and WZPDC Indore Honoured with Saubhagya Award

Saubhagya Award

The Central Zone Power Distribution Company (CZPDC), Bhopal and West Zone Power Distribution Company (WZPDC), Indore was conferred with the “Saubhagya Award” under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana at the National Conference of Energy Ministers by the Union Minister of State for Energy, R.K. Singh.

The award includes a cash prize of Rs 100 crore each.

18 - TVS Motor Company won the Green Era Award for Sustainability

Green Era Award

TVS Motor Company won the International Sustainability award Green Era Award for Sustainability in Lisbon, Portugal. Tata Motors also won the Quality and Business Excellence Award in acknowledgment of its endeavor to create new benchmarks in product quality.

Green Era Award for Sustainability

The Green Era Award for Sustainability was awarded at the Green Economy Forum held on 10th of February 2019 at Lisbon.

The nominees for the Green Era Award for Sustainability are based on the following criteria −

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Creativity & Innovation

  • Increase of Renewable Energy share in the energy source portfolio

  • Economic, Social & Environmental Impact

The Green Era Award for Sustainability recognizes the true global exemplars who have been innovative and creative in pursuing sustainable imperative.

19 - Sweden's 16-year-old Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize


The 16-year-old Swedish student and activist has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in climate activism and fighting global warming.

She began her weekly protest in August 2018 by riding her bicycle to the Swedish Parliament with ''School strike for climate'' sign.

The #FridaysForFuture movement went viral and spread over 80 countries.

If she were to win, she would be the youngest recipient since Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 when she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

About Nobel Peace Prize

  • Established by: Alfred Nobel

  • Established on: 1895

  • First awarded: 1901

  • Awarded for: Outstanding contributions in peace

  • Reward: 90 lakhs SEK (2017)

20 - Ved Rahi will be awarded with Kusumagraj Rashtriya Sahitya Puruskar

Ved Rahi

Famous Novelist and Film Director, Ved Rahi will be awarded prestigious Kusumagraj Rashtriya Sahitya Puruskar which carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh, a memento and a citation.

Ved Rahi was born in Jammu in 1933 and he had written seven novels in Dogri Language. He also wrote in Hindi and Urdu.

He was given Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983 for his Novel “Aale” which was written in Dogri Language.