Saturday, 31 January 2015

Daily News Mail

Advani, Amitabh and Dilip gets Padma Vibhushan

List of nine Padma Vibhushan awardees, the second highest civilian award of the country :
  1. BJP patriarch -  L.K. Advani
  2. Punjab Chief Minister -  Prakash Singh Badal
  3. Actor -  Amitabh Bachchan
  4. Actor -  Dilip Kumar
  5. Senior Advocate - K.K. Venugopal
  6. Nuclear scientist - M.R. Srinivasan
  7. Philanthropist - Veerendra Heggade
  8. Sanskrit scholar - Rambhadracharya
  9. Karim Al Hussiani Aga Khan (spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, believed to be a direct descendant of Islam’s revered Prophet Mohammed)
Among the 20 names to be awarded the Padma Bhushan are senior advocate Harish Salve, journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Rajat Sharma, former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami, constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap and Carnatic vocalist Sudha Raghunathan. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, and Fields Medal winner Manjul Bhargava have also been named for the Padma Bhushan.

Padma Vibushan : It is awarded to recognize exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in any field, including government service. The first recipients of this award were Satyendra Nath Bose, Nand Lal Bose (Nandalal Bose(3 December 1882 – 16 April 1966) was one of the pioneers of modern Indian art and a key figure of Contextual Modernism.
A pupil of Abanindranath Tagore, Bose was known for his "Indian style" of painting. He became the principal of Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan in 1922. He was influenced by the Tagore family and the murals of Ajanta; his classic works include paintings of scenes from Indian mythologies, women, and village life.), Zakir Hussain ((8 February 1897 – 3 May 1969). He was the 3rd President of India, from 13 May 1967 until his death on 3 May 1969. An educationist and intellectual, Hussain was the country's first Muslim president. He previously served as Governor of Bihar from 1957 to 1962 and as Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967.Zakir Hussain was also co-founder of Jamia Milia Islamia, serving as its Vice Chancellor from 1928. Under Hussain, Jamia became closely associated with the Indian freedom movement. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest national honour, in 1963.), Balasaheb Gangadhar Kher (Balasaheb Gangadhar Kher(August 24, 1888 – March 8, 1957) was the first chief minister (then called prime minister) of Bombay State which consisted of present day Maharastra and Gujarat States of India), Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (Jigme Dorji Wangchuck; 2 May 1929 – 21 July 1972) was the Third king of Bhutan.He began to open Bhutan to the outside world, began modernization, and took the first steps toward democratization. Upon succeeding his father, Jigme Wangchuck, on 27 October 1952, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck put an end to feudalism and slavery and released all remaining serfs.), and V. K. Krishna Menon (Statesman and diplomat V.K. Krishna Menon was a brilliant man known equally for his intelligence and arrogance.He served at several top positions as the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s close political confidante. The power he held was so immense that it is no surprise that the ‘Time’ magazine called him the second most powerful man in India, after the then Prime Minister Nehru himself.) in the year 1954.

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur makes history

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur became the first woman to lead the ceremonial tri-service guard of honour inspected by U.S. President Barack Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 25th January.

Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh will be awarded Ashok Chakra

  • Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh of the 57 Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles will be posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime military decoration.
  • The Army man, while leading a search operation at Kupwara in Jammu & Kashmir on August 24, 2014, came under heavy fire from terrorists. He rescued an injured Army person and shot dead one of the terrorists.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee will also posthumously award the Ashok Chakra to Major Mukund Varadarajan of the 44th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles, which was announced on Independence Day last year for his show of exceptional courage while leading an anti-terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • On the eve of the 66th Republic Day celebrations, the President has approved 374 awards of gallantry, including three Kirti Chakras and 12 Shaurya Chakras, and other defence decorations to the armed forces personnel and others.

Ashoka Chakra (India's highest peacetime military decoration) :
The Ashoka Chakra is India's highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for the "most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice" other than in the face of the enemy.The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel and may be awarded posthumously

Kirti Chakra:
The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battlefield. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra. It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards; it comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra.

Shaurya Chakra :
The 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 may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, sometimes posthumously. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Vir Chakra. It is generally awarded for Counter-Insurgency operations and actions against the enemy during peace-time. It is third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards and comes after the Ashoka Chakra and the Kirti Chakra.

Param Vir Chakra (military decoration):
The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military. It is the highest gallantry award of the Government of India after Ashoka Chakra.

Maha Vir Chakra :
The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India, after the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.

Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield. It is third in precedence in the war time gallantry awards and comes after the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.

Reasons for remembering King Abdullah
  • BJP-led NDA government on declared “national mourning” on 24 January as a mark of respect. According to practice, the national flag will be flown at half mast throughout the country and there will be no official entertainment during the day.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee also condoled the Saudi King’s death, remembering him as one who had “genuine warmth and affection” for India. Abdullah had once called India his “second home”, as it was under his rule that the foundation for the bilateral strategic partnership was laid and ties gained momentum. He made a historic visit to India in January 2006 as the Chief Guest of Republic Day celebrations and the trip opened a new chapter in the Indo-Saudi bilateral relations. He was the first Saudi king to visit India in 51 years.
  • At stake with the appointment of Salman as king is the future direction of the United States' most important Arab ally and self-appointed champion of Sunni Islam at a moment of unprecedented turmoil across the Middle East.
  • King Abdullah steered the ship of Saudi Arabia with a consummate hand through various storms such as the 9/11 tragedy, which was perpetrated by 19 terrorists, 15 of them Saudis. For the next five years, as the world held its breath, the al-Qaeda led by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden waged a no-holds terror campaign aimed at overthrowing the establishment in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and host of Islam’s two holiest shrines.
  • Later, when the “Arab Spring” contagion posed a different genre of threat, King Abdullah’s sagacious package of financial concessions and socio-political liberalisation avoided a catastrophe.
  • Abdullah played a guiding role in Saudi Arabia's support for Egypt's government after the military intervened in 2012, and drove his country's support for Syria's rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.
  • Abdullah pushed cautious changes in the conservative Islamic kingdom including increased women's rights and economic deregulation, but made no moves towards democracy and was a hawk on policy towards rival Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia, which holds more than a fifth of the world's crude oil, also exerts some influence over the world's 1.6 billion Muslims through its guardianship of Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest sites.

Trillion dollar baby

  • In a last ditch attempt to rescue the Eurozone from a deflationary spiral — inflation was minus 0.2 per cent in December and the unemployment rate is 11.5 per cent — the European Central Bank (ECB) announced an open-ended government bond buying programme. Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, announced on Thursday that it would buy 60 billion euros of bonds each month until September 2016. But crucially, Draghi added that the programme would remain in place “until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation which is consistent with our aim of achieving inflation rates below, but close to, 2 per cent”.
  • Draghi’s public commitment to near-2 per cent inflation is an important signal and might go some way in breaking deflationary expectations. In the coming days, the euro is likely to weaken — this is a good thing for exports and spurring inflation — and sovereign bond yields will fall further leading to an adjustment of financial portfolios towards more risky assets. Greece, whose yields have, in fact, risen due to political uncertainty, and which goes to the polls on Sunday, is the exception.
  • While the programme is bigger than expected and must have taken some nimble negotiation, the ECB’s announcement seems a few months too late. It is also complicated by involved risk-sharing across the national central banks of the Eurozone and the reliance of European firms on bank finance, rather than capital markets. While better late than never, its success compared to QE programmes in the US and the UK remains to be seen.
  • But Draghi’s announcement could be a boon for the Narendra Modi government. While the UPA had to contend with high inflation and external vulnerability due to the imminent tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s QE programme, the NDA has been lucky with global oil and commodity prices and their effect on moderating inflation. And now, with the ECB’s QE programme effectively neutralising the Fed’s bond-buying wind-down, it holds out the assurance of continuing comfortable global liquidity and money streaming into Indian capital markets. This is not just because India is not a commodity exporter but also because it seems more comfortably placed, with brighter growth prospects than its emerging market peers. But there is no room for complacency. “Sentiment” may have returned to the market but the investment cycle has not yet restarted. All eyes are on the Union budget. The Centre must start by rationalising the subsidy regime and bringing the GST.(source - Indian Express)

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