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Indian astrophysicist wins challenge on Dark matter

India’s renowned theoretical physicist Thanu Padmanabhan has won a ten-year-old challenge on dark energy. 
●    The Professor presented his idea on the dark energy to the international community of astrophysicists back in 2006 and asked everyone to prove him wrong by next decade — 2016. 
●    It is now confirmed that everyone failed to prove him wrong and he won his own challenge on the dark energy.
●    Dark matter is the most mysterious entity in our universe as no one has actually seen or experienced what dark matter is. 
●    Scientists believe that more than one-third of our universe is made up of dark matter and it is a hot topic among cosmologists and space enthusiasts.
●    Padmanabhan presented his idea on the dark matter at the 23rd Texas Symposium on December 15, 2006, and asked the attendants and physicists all around the globe to prove his idea wrong in next ten years.
●    It was Wiltshire who openly accepted the challenge and said he will prove the theory wrong. 

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Iranian film Daughter wins Golden Peacock at IFFI 2016

The 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which was inaugurated by noted filmmaker Ramesh Sippy on 20 November 2016, came to a close on 28 November in Goa, India. 
●    The festival saw the screening of over 300 films from as many as 90 countries across the globe and saw participation from several young filmmakers. 
●    It also hosted a special screening of award-winning films from the first-ever BRICS film festival and a series of 20 award-winning short films based on the ‘Swachh Bharat' campaign theme. 
●    Legendary Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-Taek was honoured with ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award’. 
●    He has a lot of acclaimed pieces of work to his name including films like Chunhyang, Chihwaseon, and Mandala.
●    Iranian drama film ‘Daughter’ directed by Reza Mirkarimi beat 21 others to claim the Golden Peacock award for ‘Best film’. 
●    Along with the trophy, the film also won a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh. 

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Manoj Bajpayee wins 10th Asia Pacific Screen Award in Best Actor Category

Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpayee on 24 November  2016 won the Best Actor Award at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, beating Nawazuddin Siddiqui who was awarded a special mention in the same category.
●    Manoj won the Best Performance award for his role as Professor Siras in "Aligarh", a powerful and personal drama based on true events. 
●    While, Nawazuddin received a Special Mention in the Best Performance category for his role in Anurag Kashyap's "Raman Raghav 2.0".
●    The winners in the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards were announced at an award ceremony in Brisbane. The event was hosted by Australian actor David Wenham and presenter Anjali Rao. 
●    The 2016 edition of the awards marked the 10th year of the awards in recognising and promoting cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world's fastest growing film region comprising of 70 countries.
●    The awards were staged for the first time in 2007.

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Infosys Prize for Vikram Sarabhai space centre - Space physics laboratory director

The director of space physics laboratory (SPL) at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Anil Bharadwaj has been chosen for the Infosys Prize 2016 in the category of physical sciences. 
●    He has been recognised for his planetary studies, including experiments on Martian atmosphere. 
●    He is one among the six recipients of the award in six categories.
●    The prize comprises a cash award of Rs 65 lakh, a 22-carat gold medallion and a citation.
●    The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is a major space research centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), focusing on rocket and space vehicles for India's satellite programme. 
●    It is located in Thiruvananthapuram, in the Indian state of Kerala.
●    Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) is the largest among the ISRO facilities. 
●    It is a centre for the design and development of satellite launch vehicles and associated technologies.

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Amitav Ghosh to be honored with Tata Literature Lifetime Achievement Award

Tata on 8 November 2016 announced that Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 will be conferred on acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh.
●    The award will be presented to Ghosh at Tata Literature Live!’s annual awards ceremony to be held on 20 November 2016 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, Mumbai.
●    Amitav Ghosh is an Indian-American author best known for his work in English fiction.
●    He was educated at the all-boys The Doon School where he edited The Doon School Weekly. His contemporaries at Doon included author Vikram Seth and Ram Guha.
●    He received degrees from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University, and Delhi School of Economics.
●    He then won the Inlaks Foundation scholarship to complete a D. Phil. in social anthropology at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, under the supervision of Peter Lienhardt.
●    In 1986, he wrote his debut novel titled The Circle of Reason.
●    His other famous works in fiction are The Shadow Lines, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, Sea of Poppies, among others.
●    His notable non-fiction writings are In an Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia and at Large in Burma, Countdown, and The Imam and the Indian.
●    His book The Circle of Reason won the Prix Medicis etranger, one of France's top literary awards.
●    The Shadow Lines won the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar.
●    Sea of Poppies was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize.
●    The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2007.

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Swachh Bharat Women’s Conclave honours women Sanitation Champions 

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) today organized a National Conclave of Women Champions for Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM(G)) to celebrate, recognize and honor the efforts of women champions in rural sanitation. The conclave was organized with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with the aim of sharing best practices across States, and encouraging and honouring such efforts in parts of the country where women are playing a leadership role in SBM(G). The event saw a participation of nearly 300 women Sarpanches, Anganwadi workers, Block Development Officers and Assistant District Collectors from all across the country who have done noteworthy work in the field.
●    Lok Sabha Speaker, Smt Sumitra Mahajan, the Union Minister, Ministry of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and MDWS, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of State Shri Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, Ms Vrinda Sarup, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ms Navraj Sandhu, Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana, Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson and MD State Bank of India, attended the conclave and Shri Amitabh Bachchan sent a recorded video message for the women champions of SBM(G).
●    Speaking at the inaugural plenary session of the event, the Union Minister, MoDWS, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, said that women have been playing an important role in the SBM(G), including in its planning, implementation and monitoring in many parts of the country.
●    A video message from renowned actor, Shri Amitabh Bachchan, for women sanitation champions was also played at the event. In his message, Shri Bachchan spoke about the unique problems faced by women in villages where open defecation is still practiced today. 
●    Speaking at the inaugural plenary session of the event, the, Secretary, MoDWS, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, appreciated the efforts made by women who have led the construction and use of toilets, not only in their households, but also their entire villages and districts, women who have led self help groups that lent money to villagers to build toilets in their homes, women who were grassroots government officials as well as women civil society activists present at the event and across the country.
●    Ms Navraj Sandhu, Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana, who is leading the sanitation revolution in the State, spoke about the progress of SBM(G) in Haryana, which has a sanitation coverage of 88%.
●    Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson and MD State Bank of India, was also present at the plenary session. In her address to the participants, she spoke about the culture of ‘Panchayat pati’ in the country, and encouraged the sarpanches present to get directly and actively involved in the administrative activities that came with their offices. 

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Ramnath Goenka Awards Excellence in Journalism Awards 2016 given

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2 November 2016 presented the Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism at a function in New Delhi.
●    Ramnath Goenka was an Indian newspaper publisher. 
●    He launched The Indian Express and created the Indian Express Group with various English and regional language publications.
●    Award for Uncovering India Invisible: Ashwaq Masoodi of Mint.
●    Award for Reporting from J&K and the Northeast: Subhajit Sengupta of CNN-IBN, Maddipatla Rajshekar of Scroll.in and Esha Roy of The Indian Express.
●    Award for excellence in Sports Journalism: Devendra Pandey of The Indian Express.
●    Category of Environmental Reporting: Pritha Chatterjee and Aniruddha Ghosal of The Indian Express.
●    Award for Commentary and Interpretative Writing: Anna Vetticad of Blink and Pramit Bhattacharya of Mint
●    Award for Feature Writing: Shamik Bag of Mint and Sreedevi V of Malayala Manorama
●    Award for Reporting on Politics and Government: Ashutosh Bhardwaj of The Indian Express (Print); Halimabi Kureshi of IBN(Broadcast.)
●    Photo Journalism category: Burhaan Kinu of Hindustan Times.

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Nadia Murad and Lamia Haji Bashar Wins Sakharov Prize

Two Yazidi women, Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar, who escaped sexual enslavement by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq, have won Europe's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize.
●    The announcement of the year's joint laureates was made following a decision by European Parliament on 27 October 2016.
●    The Sakharov award ceremony will be held in Strasbourg on 14 December.
●    Basee and Bashar were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women abducted by ISIS militants and forced into sexual slavery in 2014. 
●    But, both survived and now campaign for the Yazidi community.
●    Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar are advocates for the Yazidi community and for women surviving sexual enslavement by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. 
●    They are both from Kocho, one of the villages near Sinjar, Iraq, which was taken over by ISIS in 2014. 

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Milan confers honorary citizenship on Dalai Lama


The Milan city council on 20 October 2016 bestowed honorary citizenship on the Dalai Lama. However, China has strongly opposed another award given to him.
●    Lamberto Bertole, Chairman of the Council of Milan, honoured the Dalai Lama with the Milan Honorary Citizenship award at a ceremony held at the Arcimboldi Theatre in Milan, Italy.
●    The 14th Dalai Lama is the current Dalai Lama.
●    Dalai Lamas are important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism, which is nominally headed by the Ganden Tripas.
●    His enthronement ceremony as the Dalai Lama was held in Lhasa on 22 February 1940.
●    He eventually assumed full temporal duties on 17 November 1950, at the age of 15, after China's invasion of Tibet.
●    During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives as a refugee.
●    The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.


 

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IRCTC's Maharajas' Express Gets Seven Star Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Award

Adding to its string of impressive awards, The Maharajas' Express, the world's most luxurious train owned and operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), received the 2016 Seven Star Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards at Marbella in Spain.
●    The award for the highly decorated train was received by IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr A K Manocha in the 'Seven Star Experience Sector'.
●    As part of the award, Maharajas' Express was presented the "Signum Virtutis", the seal of Excellence.
●    The 23-coach Maharajas' Express currently runs on five routes with choices of 7 Nights/8 Days and 3 Nights/4 Days itineraries. 
●    The itineraries cover destinations like Agra, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Balasinor, Ajanta, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Lucknow.
●    The train, which began its inaugural journey in 2010, is a winner of the coveted Leading Luxury Train of the World Award for four years on the trot.
●    It is also a notch higher in several aspects--the menus, the cabin experience, the excursions and the events organised for guests. 

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