Current Affairs May 2019 - Awards


1 - AIFF recommends names of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Jeje Lalpekhlua for Arjuna award 2019

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

All India Football Federation (AIFF) recommended the names of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Jeje Lalpekhlua for the prestigious Arjuna award this year.

The federation had been pushing the cases of the two footballers since 2017 but the Arjuna award committee continued to ignore their claims.

In 2017, the AIFF recommended the two footballers along with then Indian women`s team captain Bembem Devi but only the last named was conferred with the award.

Sandhu and Jeje`s names were sent again last year but they did not receive the approval.

2 - Nileena M S won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism

Nileena M S

The article titled 'Coalgate 2.0' authored by Nileena M S and published in The Caravan magazine in March 2018 has won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018. The award, which comprises a trophy, a citation, and Rs. 2,00,000 cash prize. It was presented to the winner by John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News, who was the chief guest at the journalism school's annual convocation ceremony.

Jury's Verdict

On 3rd May, the final jury comprising Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Nilita Vachani and Dr A R Venkatachalapathy unanimously decided on Nileena's work as the winner. The article is has been recognised for its detailed, exhaustive and persuasive investigation and its clear exposition. It also met the criteria of what comprises a solid work of investigative journalism, combining extensive research uncovering new evidence to reveal a truth, hitherto unknown to most, and of essential public interest.

Other awardees

Other stories that were considered as final nominations and have been awarded special mentions by the jury are −

The Chronicle of Crime Fiction That is Adityanath's Encounter Raj authored by Neha Dixit and published by The Wire

The Death of Judge Loya written by Nikita Saxena for The Caravan magazine.

Coalgate 2.0

Coalgate 2.0 investigates the allotment of captive coal blocks in Chhattisgarh to the Rajasthan. Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam in a joint venture with a subsidiary of the Adani Group despite a landmark Supreme Court judgement from September 2014. The court had cancelled permissions for captive mining of coal blocks and was considered to have put a halt on the Coalgate scam.

3 - Ex-ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar received France's highest civilian award

Ex-ISRO Chief Kiran Kumar

Former ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar was conferred with France's highest civilian award 'Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur' for his contribution to India-France space cooperation.

About AS Kiran Kumar

He served as the ISRO chief from 2015 to 2018 and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014.

He has contributed to projects like India's first experimental remote sensing satellite, Bhaskara-1, launched in 1979 and even Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan.

About Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur

Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Ordre national de la Lgion d'Honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honour) is the highest civilian award given by the French for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipient.

The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Ordre national de la Lgion d'Honneur.

About France

President: Emmanuel Macron

Prime minister: Edouard Philippe

Capital: Paris

Currencies: Euro, CFP franc

4 - World Press Freedom Prize 2019 awarded to Myanmar Journalists

Myanmar Journalists

The World Press Freedom Prize also known as UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2019 is formally conferred every year by Director-General of UNESCO, on occasion of World Press Freedom Day observed on 3 May. In 2019 award would be shared by two jailed Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who reported on alleged human rights violations in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar. The Reuters reporters are serving a seven-year prison sentence in Myanmar. They are charged with breaking the country's secrets law for their journalistic investigation on the military's brutal crackdown and killings of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

Recognised for

The award recognises their exceptional courage in reporting on alleged human rights violations in the Myanmar's state of Rakhine. Both Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo's documentary on the taboo topic regarding crimes committed against Rohingyas landed them behind the bars. The award paid a tribute to their courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize

The award was established in 1997. The Prize is named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, the Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogota, Colombia, on 17 December 1986.

It is an initiative of UNESCO's Executive Board. It honours a person, organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and, or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world in the face of danger.

5 - Bandana sets Guinness World Records on Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual


An 18-year old girl from Nepal named Bandana set a Guinness World Records on 'Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual'. She danced exclusively to Nepalese music continuously for 126 hours (over five days).

She broke the record set by India's Kalamandalam Hemlatha, who danced continuously for 123 hours and 15 minutes in 2011.

She performed classical dance form Mohiniyattam and set the record at age of 37.

About Guinness World Records

Since its inception from 1933 to 2000, it was known as 'The Guinness Book of Records', later it was renamed Guinness World Records. It is a reference book which lists record-breaking achievements. It is published annually.

6 - PC Chandra Puraskaar 2019 conferred to Padma Bhushan Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty

Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty

India’s most reputed cardiac surgeon and humanitarian, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty were awarded 27th P.C.

Chandra Puraskaar the annual national award from the P.C. Chandra Group at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre.

General Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, Belur math, SwamiSuviranandajiMaharaj graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and gave away the award.

He is also known as ‘The Man with Divine Hands’.

About P.C. Chandra Puraskaar

This award ceremony was introduced in 1993 as a tribute to late ShriPurna Chandra.

The award has recognized people from various field and paths of life achieving great success in their respective fields.

About Ramakrishna Mission

  • Founder: Swami Vivekananda

  • Founded: 1897

  • Headquarters: Belur Math, West Bengal, India

  • Purposes: Education, Philanthropy, Religious studies, Spirituality

7 - G D Robert Govender honoured with V K Krishna Menon Award

G D Robert Govender

Indian –origin journalist G D ‘Robert’ Govender conferred with V K Krishna Menon Award 2019 in UK for his contribution as a pioneer of decolonised journalism.

The award is given to mark the 123rd birth anniversary of V K Krishna Menon, Indian diplomat and politician.

He is the first person who has been awarded the V K Krishna Menon posthumously.

He died in the UK in 2016.

Govender had written many books in the field of journalism but his one of the outstanding work was “The Martyrdom of Patrice Lumumba” which had exposed the role of western intelligence agencies in the murder of the Congolese independence leader.

8 - Israel honoured 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War hero Lt. Gen JFR Jacob

Lt. Gen JFR Jacob

Israel honoured Lt. Gen. (retd) Jack Farj Rafael (JFR) Jacob who negotiated the historic surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka after the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, with a plaque on the Wall of Honour at the Ammunition Hill.

Lt. Gen. Jacob, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 92, was one of the most prominent members of India’s relatively small Jewish community serving as a Lieutenant General in the Indian Army and later as a Governor of two Indian states-Goa and Punjab.

About Israel

Capital: Jerusalem

Currency: Israeli new shekel

President: Reuven Rivlin

Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu

9 - Tiger Woods was awarded the USs Presidential Medal of Freedom

Tiger Woods

US President Donald Trump awarded golfer Tiger Woods the US's Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honour. The award described the 43-year-old as a true legend who transformed golf and then fought through years of injury to return to the sport's summit. He was awarded after his fifth Masters' title. He became the fourth and youngest golfer to receive the prestigious award after other golfers Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Charlie Sifford.

Trump has given the award to several athletes in 2018 including former professional NFL players Roger Staubach and Alan Page, Miriam Adelson as well as posthumously to baseball great Babe Ruth.

Presidential Medal of Freedom

It was first established by President Truman to honour extraordinary civilian accomplishments related to World War II.

Later, in 1963 the medal was re-established by President Kennedy by an executive order.

It is awarded by U.S. President to any person, living or dead (i.e. posthumously).

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded annually to people who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interests of the country, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours.

About Tiger Woods

Eldrick Tont Woods, nicknamed as Tiger, is an USA's professional golf player.

He ranks second in both major championships and PGA (Professional Golfers' Association of America)

He holds numerous records in golf and is considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.

10 - IPS officer who oversaw Nirbhaya rape case receives McCain Institute Award 2019

McCain Institute Award

IPS officer Chhaya Sharma conferred with the 2019 McCain Institute Award for Courage and Leadership.

She headed the investigation team of the infamous Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case.

She has guided teams in the detection and investigation of sensitive criminal cases and protection of human rights.

In 2017, Chhaya performed a crucial role in drafting Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines to Combat Trafficking of Persons in India.

The award is granted to those who manifest courage on behalf of human rights, humanitarian compassion, justice, freedom, and human dignity.

About McCain Institute

Founded: 2012

Leader: Kurt Volker

Location: Washington, D.C.

11 - Pramod Kumar Mishra was awarded the Sasakawa Award

Pramod Kumar Mishra

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has awarded the Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Pramod Kumar Mishra. The award recognized his dedication to improving the resilience of communities most exposed to disasters. He is currently serving as Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

The theme of the 2019 Sasakawa award was Building Inclusive and Resilient Societies. He was conferred the award during ongoing 6th Session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2019 at Geneva, Switzerland.

GPDRR is biennial multi-stakeholder forum established by UN General Assembly (UNGA) to review progress, share knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk.

United Nations Sasakawa Award

The was instituted in 1986 by Nippon Foundation. It is jointly given bg the UNDRR and the Nippon Foundation.

It is most prestigious international award in area of Disaster Risk Management.

It is awarded either to organizations or individuals in recognization of their contributions for ensuring inclusive participation in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities for all sections of society, especially the poor.

12 - Oman author Jokha Al Harthi wins Booker International Prize

Jokha Al Harthi

Oman Author Jokha Al Harthi won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for "Celestial Bodies", the story of three sisters of a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.

Jokha Alharthi, the first Arabic-language writer to take the prize, will split the 50,000 pounds or 64,000 US dollar purse with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth.

About Man Booker International Prize

Country: United Kingdom

Awarded for: Best book in English translation

Presented: by Man Group


First awarded: 2005

13 - Govt. invites nomination for Vayoshreshtha Samman for Senior Citizens 2019

Vayoshreshtha Samman

The Department of Social Justice And Empowerment had invited nominations for the Vayoshreshtha Samman awards 2019. Nominations for Vayoshreshtha Samman- National Awards for Senior Citizens 2019 for individuals/institutions should be sent by 31st May 2019.

The Ministries/Departments of Government of India and their autonomous organisations/State Govts. or UT Administration can nominate the suitable individuals/institutions for the said Awards.

About Vayoshrestha Sammans

The series of National Award-Vayoshreshtha Samman awards were instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2005. In 2013 these were elevated to the level of national awards. It is an annual award which is conferred in thirteen categories.

These are conferred to eminent senior citizens and Institutions who are involved in providing distinguished services for the cause of elderly persons.

The Department of Social Justice And Empowerment as part of the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1st October every year has been conferring National Award – Vayoshreshtha Samman to eminent senior citizens and institutions involved in rendering distinguished services for the cause of elderly persons. The President of India confers the National Awards.

14 - Shyam Saran will be conferred with Japans second highest national award

Shyam Saran

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran is to be awarded Japan's second highest national award The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. He will be awarded in 2019 Spring Imperial Decorations for his contributions to strengthen strategic ties and enhancing mutual understanding between India and Japan.

Shyam Saran

Saran was India's Foreign Secretary from 2004 to 2006. He had played an important role to elevate Japan-India relationship to a strategic partnership.

During his tenure, the then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had visited India for the first time in 5 years.

When he was Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy of India in Japan he contributed to strengthening mutual understanding between Japan and India includes India Festival, which was held in Japan in 1988.

Since 2017, he has been enhancing mutual understanding between two countries, such as by hosting an India-Japan Colloquium.

The Order of the Rising Sun

It is a Japanese government honour established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. It was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government. It is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment.

It consists of badge featuring rags of sunlight from the rising sun. Its design symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the "rising sun" concept of Japan (Land of the Rising Sun).

15 - Indra Nooyi was presented with an honorary degree by the prestigious Yale University

Indra Nooyi

Former PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi was presented with an honorary degree by the prestigious Yale University, her alma mater. The degree is to recognize her achievements in business and for being a global role model who encouraged women and girls to see themselves as top corporate executives. She is celebrated for her leadership and her commitment to helping women achieve success.

Nooyi, She received a degree in Master of Public and Private Management from the university's Yale School of Management in 1980, was presented with the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Nooyi was among 11 individuals to be presented with the honorary degrees for achieving distinction in their fields.

Others who received the honorary degrees included author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, wildlife researcher Cynthia Moss, entrepreneur and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa and Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow.

Indra Nooyi

In 2006, Nooyi became the first woman to helm the global food and beverage giant PepsiCo. She stepped down in October 2 last year as PepsiCo's CEO, after 24 years with the company, the last 12 as CEO of the global beverage giant.

Nooyi was recently elected to the board of Amazon, on whose audit compensation committee she sits. She is a member of the World Economic Forum board of trustees and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She is also an independent director of the International Cricket Council and chair of the compensation committee at Schlumberger, an oilfield services company, on whose board she serves.

One of 25 women to have led a Fortune 500 company, Nooyi has appeared frequently on the Forbes and Fortune rankings of the world's most powerful women.

16 - Prof. Bhargava awarded 2019 Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize

Prof. Bhargava

Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Professor Balram Bhargava jointly won the 2019 Dr. Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. He bagged the award for his achievements as a clinician, innovator, researcher, and trainer.

Professor (Dr) Balram Bhargava

Professor (Dr) Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Department of Health Research, (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) and Director General of ICMR joined on 16th April 2018. He is Professor of Cardiology at AIIMS, New Delhi and also serves as the Executive Director for Stanford India Biodesign Centre, School of International Biodesign (SiB). He is an outstanding cardiologist, one of the foremost leaders in biomedical innovation, public health, medical education, and medical research.

Professor Bhargava has excellent leadership qualities and has established the India-Stanford Biodesign program, a unique interdisciplinary fellowship program to foster innovation, design in low-cost implants/devices. He set up the c-GMP Centre for Excellence for Stem Cell Studies, at AIIMS which has initiated treatment of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy which has benefitted a number of no-option heart failure patients waiting on the cardiac transplant list.


He has been awarded the SN Bose Centenary award, Tata Innovation Fellowship and Vasvik Award for Biomedical Technology Innovation, Ranbaxy Award and the OP Bhasin Award in the field of Health and Medical Sciences. He has been awarded the Padma Shri high civilian award by the Honourable President of India and the UNESCO Equatorial Guinea International Prize for research in Life Sciences at Paris.

Dr. Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize

The Dr. LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health was established in 2008. It is awarded to individuals, institutions, and governmental or nongovernmental organizations who have made an outstanding contribution to public health. The Prize aims at rewarding work that has extended far beyond the call of normal duties, and it is not intended as a reward for an excellent performance of duties normally expected of an official position of a governmental or intergovernmental institution.

The prize is awarded once a year and consists of a plaque from the Founder and a sum of money which will not exceed US$ 100 000. It will be presented at a special ceremony during the World Health Assembly.

17 - Guy Gunaratne received the 2019 Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize

Guy Gunaratne

Sri Lankan writer Guy Gunaratne was announced as the winner of 2019 Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize.

He won the award for his debut novel 'In Our Mad and Furious City'. Guy Gunaratne is a 35 years old British-Sri-Lankan human rights documentary filmmaker, turned debut novelist. He won over 5 other shortlisted authors.

The other titles shortlisted for the Swansea prize were: House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Trinity by Louisa Hall, FOLK by Zoe Gilbert and Melmoth by Sarah Perry.

2018's winner Kayo Chingonyi won for his critically-acclaimed debut poetry collection, Kumukanda, which explores black masculinity.

About Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize

It is awarded every year for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.

The prize includes a prize sum of £30,000 and celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including novels, poetry, drama, and short stories.

The year 2019 marks the 11th year of worlds largest English language literary prize for young authors.

18 - Zaidi wins USD 100,000 Nine Dots Prize


Mumbai-based Writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of the $100,000 Nine Dots Prize, an award for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. She won the prize for her entry titled ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’, a piece that combined memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging.

Her proposed book, based on the prize-winning essay, will be published in May 2020 and will examine how a citizen’s sense of home might collapse, or recover. The varied themes it will address include the politics and economics of death in India, the crossing of caste and religious lines in a marriage, and the Partition of India as a great cultural and emotional sundering.

Annie Zaid

She is a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry, and plays.

She has published both fiction and non-fiction, including a collection of essays Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales and Love Stories # 1 to 14, a collection of short fiction published in 2012.

Nine Dots Prize

The Nine Dots Prize is sponsored by the Kadas Prize Foundation, a U.K.-registered charity, with support from the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Press.

It aims to promote, engage and encourage innovative thinking so as to address problems facing the modern world. The prestigious book prize is awarded for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. The winner receives US$100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas.

Entrants are asked to answer the given question in 3,000 words. All entrants with a minimum of 18 years of age can write. Responses and the resulting book will be in English.