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Independence Day Fire Service and Home Guard & Civil Defence Medals Announced

67 personnel have been awarded Fire Service Medals on the occasion of the Independence Day this year.  
•    President’s Fire Service Medal for Gallantry have been awarded to 04 personnel, Fire Service Medal for Gallantry have been awarded to 04 personnel, President’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service to 10 personnel and Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service to 49 personnel.
•    59 personnel have also been awarded Home Guard & Civil Defence Medals on the occasion of the Independence Day this year.  
•    President’s Home Guard & Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry have been awarded to 04 personnel, Home Guard & Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry has been awarded to 01 personnel, President’s Home Guard & Civil Defence Medal for Distinguished Service to 04 personnel and Home Guard & Civil Defence Medal for Meritorious Service to 50 personnel.

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Presidential Award for Certificate of Honour and Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman

The President awarded the Certificate of Honour to the following scholars of Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic and Persian:
•    Shri R.Venkatraman
•    Shri Viswanatha Gopala Krishna
•    Shri Jiya Lal Kamboj
•    Dr.  Bhavendra Jha
•    Prof.  Priyatam Chandra Shastri
•    Prof. Gurupad K.Hegde
•    Prof.  S.T. Nagaraja
•    Shri Sanatan Mishra
•    Shri Sristi Lakshmi Prasannanjaneya Sarma
•    Prof. (Mrs.) Laxmi Sharma
•    Prof.  Biswanath  Bhattacharya
•    Prof.  Ramnarayan Das
•    Dr.  Ramshanker Awasthi
•    Shri Hridaya Ranjan Sharma
•    Prof. (Dr.) Janaki Prasad Dwivedi
 Sanskrit (International)
•    Mr. Fernando Tola
•    Shri Abdul Musabbir Bhuiya
•    Shri Sayyad Asad Raza Hussaini
•    Shri Badr-E-Jamal Islahi
•    Hkm. Syed Ghulam Mehdi Raz
•    Chowdhry Wahhaj Ahmad Ashraf
•    Moulvi  H. Rehman Qabli
•    Smt. Bela Bhattacharya
•    Dr. Damodar Shastri
•    Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman
In addition, the Hon’ble President is also pleased to award the Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman to the following young scholars of Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic and Persian:
•    Dr. Mahanand Jha
•    Dr. Sundar Narayan  Jha
•    Dr. G.S.V Dattatreya  Murthy
•    Dr. Vishwanath Dhital
•    Dr.  Shankar Rajaraman
•    Dr. Md. Qutbuddin
•    Dr. Haseen Uz Zaman
•    Dr. Ujjwal Kumar
•    Dr. Yogesh Kumar Jain
The distinction is conferred once a year on the Independence Day in recognition of substantial contribution in the field of Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic and Persian.

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Rihana to receive MTV lifetime achievement award

Rihana will receive MTV's lifetime achievement award at the Aug. 28 Video Music Awards (VMA) show.
•    The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award is the highest honor in the video music industry, and reflects an artist's impact not just on music but on pop culture, fashion, film and philanthropy.
•    Rihanna, 28, has twice won the coveted video of the year at the MTV ceremony and is an eight-time Grammy winner with more than 61 million albums sold. 
•    The "Umbrella" singer also set up the Clara Lionel Foundation, which works to improve health and cultural services in her home of Barbados and beyond.
•    Rihanna will perform at the ceremony in New York, where she is nominated for four VMA's for her song "Work" with Canadian rapper Drake, and her collaboration with Calvin Harris on "This is What You Came For."
•    It was awarded to three fictional characters (Godzilla, Jason Voorhees, and Chewbacca) and Richard Roundtree's win was for his performance as John Shaft.

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Anita Gopalan awarded 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants

Translator and artist Anita Gopalan on 25 July 2016 was awarded the 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants for her English translation of Hindi novel Simsim by Geet Chaturvedi.
•    Gopalan is the second Indian translator to be selected for the grant.
•    Anita Gopalan is a translator and artist.
•    She graduated in Computer Science and Mathematics from BITS Pilani.
•    She worked in Banking Technology sector for over 14 years in India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the Middle East.
•    She has translated prose and poetry by contemporary Hindi author Geet Chaturvedi.
•    The PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants were established in 2003 by PEN American Center.
•    It was established following a gift of 730000 US dollar by Michael Henry Heim, a noted literary translator.
•    Previously known as the PEN Translation Fund Grants, the awards were renamed in honour of Heim.
•    The Grants' purpose is to promote the publication and reception of translated world literature in English.
•    Grants are awarded each year to a select number of literary translators based on quality of translation as well as the originality and importance of the original work.

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Indian Arabic Calligrapher Muqtar Ahmed won second prize at cairo International Festival

Indian Arabic calligrapher Muqtar Ahmed has won the second prize at the Cairo International Festival for Arabic Calligraphy in Egypt. 

•    Though Ahmed has been settled in Bengaluru for two decades, his calligraphic pieces are displayed in mosques and exhibitions around the world. 
•    A total of 115 calligraphers took part in the contest, which was won by Khalid Mohammad from Egypt.
•    The works that reflected the beauty of Arabic calligraphy were displayed at the Art Gallery of the Cairo Opera House, the venue of the eight-day festival which concluded on 24th July. 
•    Khalid Mohammad of Egypt bagged the first prize at the festival organized by the Egyptian government. Muqtar, whose art has been recognized at many international events, was elated over the honor.
•    His international works in collaboration with Mamoun Luthfi Sakkal of the US include calligraphic pieces for a private jet and a mosque in Canada.

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A kanyakumari a veteran violinist chosen for Sangita Kalanidhi Title

The Madras Music Academy on 24 July 2016 announced that it has chosen versatile violinist A. Kanyakumari for its coveted Sangita Kalanidhi Award for the year 2016.
•    Kanyakumari was unanimously named for the award by the Executive Committee of the Academy.
•    Avasarala Kanyakumari is a violinist from South India who specializes in Carnatic music.
•    She is a native of Vijayanagaram, Andhra Pradesh.
•    She has been living in Chennai for more than 40 years.
•    She had her initial training under Ivaturi Vijayeswara Rao.
•    She created seven ragas under the title Saptadri, seven names of Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati.
•    Sangita Kalanidhi is the title awarded yearly to an expert Carnatic Musician by the Madras Music Academy.
•     This honour is considered one of the highest awards in Carnatic music.
•     In 2015, vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyan was awarded with the title.

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Kerala Tourism wins Gold at PATA Awards

Kerala Tourism on 21 July 2016 won two Gold Gongs at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards.
•    Kerala Tourism bagged the award in recognition of its trend setting marketing initiatives, which have given a boost to the state's profile as a must-visit destination.
•    The awards were in the categories of Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media and E-Newsletter, which were grabbed by the successful Visit Kerala television commercial campaign and the popular Kerala Tourism E-Newsletter, respectively.
•    The awards will be presented at the PATA Gold Awards Luncheon and Presentation on 9 September 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
•    In 2015, Kerala Tourism was also awarded PATA Gold in the Heritage and Culture category for Muziris Heritage Project.
•    The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association.
•    It works to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.
•    In 2011, PATA celebrate its 60th anniversary with a series of activities and events focused around the theme Building Tourism.

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Nigerian journalist Didi Akinyelure wins BBC World News Komla Dumor Award

Nigerian journalist Didi Akinyelure on 19 July 2016 won the BBC World Service News Komla Dumor Award for 2016.
Akinyelure is the second recipient of the award, which was established to honour Ghanaian BBC World News presenter Komla Dumor.
The Award aims to celebrate African journalism and reward exceptional talent.
•    Akinyelure is a prime-time news anchor in Nigeria.
•    She presents business news for CNBC, which broadcasts across the continent.
•    She has been on the CNBC Africa team since 2013.
•    Prior to that, she worked in the asset management finance sector in Nigeria and in the UK.
•    As part of her award prize, she will start a three-month placement at the BBC in London in September 2016.
•    Komla Afeke Dumor was a Ghanaian journalist who worked for BBC World News.
•    He was the main presenter of BBC World News’ programme Focus on Africa.
•    He started as the morning show host for Joy FM in Accra, Ghana.
•    He was the 2003 winner of Journalist of the Year award given by the Ghana Journalists Association.

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President confers the 51st Jnanpith Award on Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari

President Pranab Mukherjee on 11 July 2016 conferred the 51st Jnanpith Award on renowned Gujarati writer Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari at Parliament Library Building, New Delhi. He was awarded with the India's highest literary honour for the year 2015.

•    Born in 1938, the Gujarati writer is a Gandhian and his works are largely influenced by literary figures like Kaka Kalelkar.
•    Chaudhari’s most significant contributions have been in Gujarati language but he has also written Hindi articles.
•    His most noted works include novels Amruta, Venu Vatsala and Uparvas.
•    He had also received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, for his novel trilogy Uparvas.
•    He was a teacher at the Gujarat University until his retirement in 1998 as a professor and the head of Department of Hindi.
•    Raghuveer Chaudhari started his career writing novels and poetry, and later ventured into other forms of literature.
•    He authored more than 80 books and received numerous literary awards.
•    He also served for many literary organisations.
•    He was one of the many participants of the Navnirman Movement and voiced openly against Emergency in the 1970s.
•    At present, he is a trustee of the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, a noted literary institution in the state, of which he was elected the president 2001.
•    He served for the executive council of Sahitya Akademi from 1998 to 2002.
•    He was a member of the Press Council of India from 2002 to 2004 and was also appointed as a jury member of the 25th Indian Film Festival.
•    Between 1965 and 1970, he won numerous prizes awarded annually by the Gujarat government.
•    Some of awards conferred on him include
a)    Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1975
b)    Munshi Award in 1997
c)    Sauhard Samman from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthaan in 1990
d)    Narmad Award in 2010
e)    Uma-Snehrashmi Prize in 1975
f)    Ranjitram Gold Medal in 1975
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.

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Captain Radhika Menon became the first woman in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery

Radhika Menon will become the first woman in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea for 2016, from the International Maritime Organization.
•    She will be awarded for saving the lives of seven fishermen, whose hopes of survival were all but over.
•    The Awards ceremony is set to take place at IMO Headquarters in London, on 21 November.
•    The annual Award was established by IMO to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life and perform acts of exceptional bravery.
•    Captain Menon was nominated by the Government of India, for the rescue of all seven fishermen from the fishing boat Durgamma, which was a drift following engine failure and loss of anchor in severe weather.
•    Food and water had been washed away and they were surviving on ice from the cold storage facility.
•    The IMO Council, meeting for its 116th session in London, endorsed the decision of a Panel of Judges that Captain Menon displayed great determination and courage in leading the difficult rescue operation in the Bay of Bengal in June last year.

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