General knowledge of india

Republic Day Awards, 2011
Thirteen people were awarded the Padma Vibhushan for ‘exceptional and distinguished services’ while thirty one were conferred the Padma Bhushan for ‘distinguished service of a high order’ and 84 were shortlisted for the Padma Shri, given for distinguished service in various fields.

Padma Vibhushan:
Kapila Vatsyayan (Art), Homai Vyarawalla (Art), A. Nageshwara Rao (Art), Parasaran Kesava Iyengar (Public Affairs), Akhlaq-ur-Rehman Kidwai (Public Affairs), Vijay Kelkar (Public Affairs), Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Public Affairs), Palle Rama Rao (Science and Engineering), Azim Premji (Trade and Industry), Brajesh Mishra (Civil Services), Ottaplakkal N.V. Kurup (Literature and Education), Sitakant Mahapatra (Literature and Education), and Late L.C. Jain (Public Affairs).

Padma Bhushan:
Satyadev Dubey (Art), M. Zahur Khayyam alias Khayyam (Music), Shashi Kapoor (Cinema), Krishen Khanna (Painting), Madavur Vasudevan Nair (Dance), Waheeda Rehman (Cinema), SP Balasubrahmanyam (Playback singing), C.V. Chandrasekhar (Classical dance), Yogesh Chander Deveshwar (Trade and Industry), Chanda Kochhar (Trade and Industry), K. Anji Reddy (Trade and Industry), Analjit Singh (Trade and Industry), Shyam Saran (Civil Services), Thayil Jacob Sony George (Literature), Ramdas Madhava Pai (Literature), Sankha Ghosh (Literature) were among the awardees.

Padma Shri:
Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry (Art), Makar Dhwaja Darogha (Art), Tabassum H. Khan alias Tabu (Cinema), Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty (Music), S.R. Janakiraman (Carnatic vocal music), Dadi Dorab Pudumjee (Art), Prahlad Singh Tipaniya (Folk music), Usha Uthup (Music), Kajol (Cinema), Irfan Khan (Cinema), Kunjarani Devi (Sports), Sushil Kumar (Sports), V.V.S. Laxman (Sports), Gagan Narang (Sports), Krishna Poonia (Sports), Harbhajan Singh (Sports-Mountaineering), Mahim Bora (Literature), Pullella Srirama Chandrudu (Literature), Pravin Darji (Literature), Chandra Prakash Deval (Literature), Balraj Komal (Literature), Rajni Kumar (Literature), Devanooru Mahadeva (Literature), Barun Mazumder (Literature), Avvai Natarajan (Literature), Bhalchandra Nemade (Literature), Riyaz Punjabi (Literature), Koneru Ramakrishna Rao (Literature), Buangi Sailo (Literature), Om Prakash Agrawal (Heritage Conservation) were among the awardees.

Gallantry Awards, 2011

Ashok Chakra: Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, an unarmed army doctor serving in Kabul, who took on a suicide bomber and killed him, has posthumously been awarded the highest peacetime gallantry award, Ashoka Chakra. On February 16, 2010, suicide attackers stormed an Indian residential complex in the heart of the Afghan capital, housing mostly army officials. One of the terrorists blew himself up at the gates of the complex, killing three guards, as others made their way inside.

Kirti Chakra:
Captain Davinder Singh Juss of the Parachute Regiment and Vinod Kumar Choubey who was Superintendent of Police, Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, have been awarded the second highest peacetime gallantry award, Kirti Chakra.

Juss killed a foreign terrorist in February 2010 during an encounter in J&K and saved two colleagues. Choubey fought against more than 300 Naxalites who had attacked an outpost in Rajnandangaon district in July 2009. He saved scores of policemen.

Jawaharlal Nehru Award

Tata group chairman Ratan Tata has been honoured with the award for “his contributions to Indian society and development of the Nano car.” The award comprises of a gold medal and a citation.

Golden Globe Awards, 2011

Cecil B. DeMille Award: Robert DeNiro
Best Motion Picture – Drama: The Social Network.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama: Natalie Portman - Black Swan.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Colin Firth - The King's Speech.
Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical: The Kids Are All Right.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical: Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical: Paul Giamatti - Barney's Version.
Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Melissa Leo - The Fighter.
Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Christian Bale - The Fighter.
Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3.
Best Foreign Language Film: In a Better World.
Best Director - Motion Picture: David Fincher - The Social Network.
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network.
Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross - The Social Network.
Best Original Song - Motion Picture: "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" – Burlesque.


Warship design hub inaugurated in Kochi
For years India’s warship building community has urged the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to create the infrastructure needed for making India a major global hub for building warships. On January 4, 2011, as a first step towards this, Defence Minister A.K. Antony layed the foundation stone of the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (NIRDESH) at Chaliyam, in Kozhikode district of Kerala.

With the Indian Navy expanding rapidly, the workload on the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) has overwhelmed its tiny establishment. With the DND already busy with five major programmes for building surface warships—for the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier; Project 15A and 15B destroyers; Project 17A frigates; and Project 28 anti-submarine corvettes—design capacity has become a serious roadblock to further projects.

The shortage of design and construction capacity in defence shipyards had forced the Indian Navy to order warships abroad at inflated prices. Currently, three frigates are being built in Russia, while an Italian shipyard is delivering three logistic support vessels to India.

This has occurred despite the demonstrated ability of Indian defence shipyards to build quality warships competently and cheaply. Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai, is completing the INS Kolkata, a 6,800-tonne guided missile destroyer, for a cost of Rs 3,800 crore ($850 million). In contrast, Spanish shipyard, Navantia, is selling comparable destroyers to the Australian Navy—the 6250-tonne Hobart class, which Navantia calls the F-100 frigate—for Rs 11,850 crore ($2.65 billion) each, more than thrice the cost of INS Kolkata.

NIRDESH, an autonomous body under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, will function under the MoD’s Department of Defence Production. Set up with a corpus of about Rs 40 crore, NIRDESH was funded by the MoD and the four defence shipyards. Once operative, it is expected to be self-sustaining, charging both public and private sector shipyards for design and consultancy work that it provides to them.

NIRDESH would function as a “national design center”, bringing together designers from within the country and abroad, in order to take on the challenging tasks of integrating weapons systems from various global suppliers, and propulsion systems. It will also work in the futuristic area of developing advanced hull forms. It is understood that NIRDESH will have the financial autonomy to pay top dollar to its personnel, retaining them and providing continuity in design and support. In contrast, the naval designers in the DND can be paid only at mandated government rates. Therefore, they tend to move on to more lucrative jobs.

Currently, only three establishments—IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT)—run courses in naval architecture, graduating about 60 architects each year. The actual requirement is estimated at about 200 architects per year.

INS Deepak joins Indian Navy’s western fleet

On January 22, 2011, the Indian Navy got new fleet tanker INS Deepak. The ship has a capacity to carry 15,500 tonnes of liquid cargo that can be used to re-fuel warships while they are at sea—cutting down on the lengthy process for war ships to dock at a port to replenish.

A normal ‘destroyer’ class warship with the Navy can sail for two-weeks after a mid-sea re-fuel.
INS Deepak can refuel 10-12 such warships and four of them can be done simultaneously.

The 175-meter long and 25-meter wide tanker was built entirely at Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, with Bharat Electronics Limited and the Ordnance Factory Board providing some key electronics and weapon systems.

Besides fuel and water, the ship is also capable of carrying 500 tonnes of solid cargo that could be a combination of ammunition, including missiles and rockets, and dry provisions for the fleet. The tanker can also load 16 cargo containers on its upper deck, making it one of the largest in the fleet.

This is the first of the two such “
Deepak class” of tankers to be inducted. The Navy now has three fleet tankers—Russian-built INS Jyoti and indigenous INS Aditya being the other two.