Art and Culture Current Affairs

 

Indian Art and Culture for Competitive Affairs

46th Session of World Heritage Committee in New Delhi from 21st to 31st July 2024

The 46th Session of the World Heritage Committee will be held at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi from 21st to 31st July 2024. India is hosting the event, fist time. India was elected to the 21-member World Heritage Committee in 2021 for a four-year term (2021-2025), marking its fourth term.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the session on 21st July. Attendees include UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay and senior UNESCO officials, along with high-level dignitaries such as Culture Ministers, Ambassadors, and domain experts from various countries.

India has 42 properties on the World Heritage List: 34 Cultural, 7 Natural, and one Mixed Heritage Site. In the last ten years, 12 sites have been added, including Santiniketan (West Bengal) and Sacred ensembles of the Hoysalas (Karnataka) last year. India has 57 sites on the Tentative List of the World Heritage.

Question : Where will the 46th Session of the World Heritage Committee be held from 21st to 31st July 2024?

  • A) Paris
  • B) New Delhi
  • C) Tokyo
  • D) London

Ans : B) New Delhi
The 46th Session of the World Heritage Committee will be held at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi from 21st to 31st July 2024.

Questions : How many properties does India have on the World Heritage List?

  • A) 7
  • B) 42
  • C) 34
  • D) 57

Ans : B) 42
India has 42 properties on the World Heritage List: 34 Cultural, 7 Natural, and one Mixed Heritage Site.

Amarnath Yatra: Over 2 Lakh Visit Holy Cave in last 10 Days

The annual Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage is proceeding smoothly in the south Kashmir Himalayas. The pilgrimage will conclude on Shravan Poornima, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.

By July 8, 24, a total of 207,016 pilgrims participating since the Yatra started on June 29, 2024. Pilgrims are arriving via the Baltal-Sonamarg and Nunwan-Pahalgam tracks, as well as through special helicopter services. Authorities have made all necessary arrangements for the convenience of the pilgrims.

Q: When is the Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra scheduled to conclude?

A) Diwali
B) Shravan Poornima
C) Holi
D) Makar Sankranti

Ans : B) Shravan Poornima
The annual Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage will conclude on Shravan Poornima, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.

Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra began in Puri, Orissa

The Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra began in Puri, Orissa on 7th July 2024. President Droupadi Murmu performed the parikrama of the chariots and bowed before the deities.

Thousands of people pulled the giant chariots from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple, a distance of around 2.5 kilometers. The festival symbolizes the Holy Trinity’s journey to their maternal aunt, Goddess Gundicha, and concludes with their return after eight days.

The journey began with a royal ritual called ‘Dhadi Pahandi’ accompanied by the beating of traditional instruments. Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati visited the chariots and performed Chhera Pahanra, sweeping the decks with a golden broom.

The chariots were pulled a short distance before sunset and will continue on July 8, 2024. This year’s Rath Yatra, traditionally a single-day event, is expanded to two days due to special configurations.

Q: In which city is the world-famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath held?

A) Varanasi
B) Puri
C) Haridwar
D) Rishikesh

Ans : B) Puri
The Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra, began in Puri, Orissa on 7th July 2024.

“The Golden Thread,” won the Golden Conch Award for Best Documentary in Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF)

The closing ceremony of 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) took place in Mumbai, on 21 June 2024.

  1. Best Documentary Award: “The Golden Thread,” an Indian documentary, won the Golden Conch Award for Best Documentary in the international category. Actress Poonam Dhillon presented the award to director Nishita Jain during the closing ceremony.
  2. Special Category Award: In the ‘India in Amrit Kaal’ special category, Edmond Ranson received the Best Short Film award for “Life In Loom.”
  3. Best Debut Director: Sreemoyi Singh won the Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award for Best Debut Director for her film “And, Towards Happy Alleys.”
  4. National Competition Winners:
  • “6-A Akash Ganga” won the Silver Conch Award for Best Documentary.
  • “Salt” won the Silver Conch for Best Short Fiction.
  • “Nirjara” from NID Ahmedabad won the Silver Conch for Best Animation.
  1. International Competition Winners:
  • “Zima” from Poland won the Silver Conch for Best Animation.
  • “Sour Milk” from Estonia won the Silver Conch for Best Short Fiction.

Q: Which Indian documentary won the Golden Conch Award for Best Documentary in the international category at the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival?

A) Life In Loom
B) And, Towards Happy Alleys
C) The Golden Thread
D) 6-A Akash Ganga

Ans : C) The Golden Thread
“The Golden Thread,” an Indian documentary, directed by director Nishita Jain won the Golden Conch Award for Best Documentary in the international category during closing ceremony of 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) took place in Mumbai, on 21 June 2024.

Vinod Ganatra receive the ‘Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contribution to films

Vinod Ganatra has become the first Indian to receive the prestigious ‘Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award’ from South Africa for his contribution to films. He was honored with the award at the 7th Nelson Mandela Children’s Film Festival for his contributions to children’s cinema.

Ganatra has won 36 national and international awards, including the ‘Janakinath Gaur Award’ from Doordarshan for his children’s program ‘Baingan Raja.’ He is the only Indian filmmaker to receive the ‘Liv Ullmann Peace Prize’ in Chicago for his Gujarati film ‘Harun-Arun.’

Ganatra has served on the jury of over 100 national, regional, and international film festivals in the past three decades. He has edited and directed more than 400 documentaries and newsreels. He has produced 25 multilingual television programs for children and youth.

Q: Who is the first Indian to receive the prestigious ‘Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award’ from South Africa for his contribution to films?

a) Satyajit Ray
b) Vinod Ganatra
c) Mira Nair
d) Shyam Benegal

Ans : b) Vinod Ganatra
He was honored with the award at the 7th Nelson Mandela Children’s Film Festival for his contributions to children’s cinema.

Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) on 15 June 2024

The 18th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) was inaugurated in Mumbai with a grand opening ceremony on 15 June 2024.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan, and film celebrities Randeep Hooda, Madhur Bhandarkar, Sonali Kulkarni, and Divya Dutta attended the inauguration.

The FTII student short film “Sunflowers were the first ones to know,” which won the La Cinef Award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, was screened at the opening ceremony.

The V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award for 2024 was presented to Subbiah Nallamuthu, an award-winning wildlife filmmaker.

MIFF 2024 will screen a total of 314 films from 59 countries in 61 languages. The festival will feature 8 world premieres, 5 international premieres, 18 Asia premieres, and 21 India premieres. For the first time, a documentary Film Bazaar is being organized this year.

A record 1,018 films were submitted for the competition sections, with 102 films selected by three Selection Committees of eminent film experts for the International and National competition sections.

MIFF screenings are being held not only in Mumbai but also in Delhi (Sirifort Auditorium), Chennai (Tagore Film Centre), Pune (NFAI auditorium), and Kolkata (SRFTI Auditorium).

Q: Which cities, apart from Mumbai, are hosting MIFF screenings this year?

A) Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur
B) Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata
C) Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, and Chennai
D) Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and Ahmedabad

Ans : B) Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata
The 18th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) was inaugurated in Mumbai on 15 June 2024.

Q: Who received the V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award for 2024?

A) Madhur Bhandarkar
B) Randeep Hooda
C) Subbiah Nallamuthu
D) Divya Dutta

Ans : C) Subbiah Nallamuthu
Subbiah Nallamuthu, is an award-winning wildlife filmmaker.

18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) from June 15 to 21, 2024.

The 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) will be held in Mumbai from June 15 to 21, 2024.

  • Screenings will also take place in Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata.
  • 314 films from 59 countries will be showcased.
  • Special theme: India in Amrit Kaal.
  • 17 films from Japan, Russia, Belarus, Iran, Italy, Vietnam, and Mali will be featured.
  • There will be 8 world premieres, 6 international premieres, 17 Asia premieres, and 15 India premieres.
  • Special curated packages include award-winning films from the Oscars and Berlinale.
  • The opening film will be “Billy and Molly, an Otter Love Story”.
  • MIFF has received corporate collaborations from over 20 brands for the first time.

Q: Which film will be the opening film of the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF)?

A) “The Journey of a Lifetime”
B) “Tales of the Heart”
C) “Billy and Molly, an Otter Love Story”
D) “Echoes of the Past”

Ans : C) “Billy and Molly, an Otter Love Story”

Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine As Light” wins Grand Prix Award at Cannes Film Festival 2024

Filmmaker Payal Kapadia became the first Indian filmmaker to win the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival 2024. Kapadia’s film “All We Imagine as Light” won the Grand Prix, the second-most prestigious prize after the Palme d’Or, which was awarded to American director Sean Baker for “Anora”.

  1. All We Imagine as Light” was screened is the first Indian film in 30 years, and the first ever by an Indian female director, to be showcased in the main competition at Cannes.
  2. “All We Imagine as Light” is Kapadia’s first feature film and an Indo-French production, telling the story of a nurse named Prabha who receives an unexpected gift from her estranged husband, causing disruption in her life.
  3. Other Indian films previously selected for the Cannes competition section include works by Chetan Anand, V Shantaram, Raj Kapoor, Satyajit Ray, MS Sathyu, and Mrinal Sen. “Neecha Nagar” is the only Indian film to have won a Palme d’Or.

Q: Who became the first Indian filmmaker to win the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival?

A) Mira Nair
B) Payal Kapadia
C) Anurag Kashyap
D) Satyajit Ray

Answer: B) Payal Kapadia

Q: For which film did Payal Kapadia win the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival?

A) A Night of Knowing Nothing
B) The Lunchbox
C) All We Imagine as Light
D) Masaan

Answer: C) All We Imagine as Light

Anasuya Sengupta become the first Indian to win the Best Actress Award at the Cannes film Festival

Actor Anasuya Sengupta become the first Indian to win the Best Actress Award at the 77th Cannes film Festival in France on 26 May 2024. She bagged the award for her captivating performance in ‘The Shameless’, written and directed by the Bulgarian filmmaker Constantin Bojanov, in the Un Certain Regard section of the 77th edition of the festival.

MCQs

Q: Who became the first Indian to win the Best Actress Award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival?

A) Priyanka Chopra
B) Deepika Padukone
C) Anasuya Sengupta
D) Alia Bhatt

Answer: C) Anasuya Sengupta

Q: For which film did Anasuya Sengupta win the Best Actress Award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival?

A) The Beautiful
B) The Shameless
C) The Fearless
D) The Graceful

Answer: B) The Shameless

” Sunflowers were the first ones to know”, won the La Cinef Award at for Best Short at the 77th Cannes Film Festival

“SUNFLOWERS WERE THE FIRST ONES TO KNOW,” directed by Chidanand Naik, won the Cannes’ La Cinef Award for Best Short at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. The award was announced on May 23, 2024, and Naik received it at the festival.

  1. Collaborative Effort: The film is a collaborative project by students from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII): Naik (Direction), Suraj Thakur (Cinematography), Manoj V (Editing), and Abhishek Kadam (Sound).
  2. Film Storyline: The short film narrates the story of an elderly woman who steals the village’s rooster, causing chaos, and leading to her family’s exile due to a prophecy.
  3. About La Cinef: La Cinef is a section of the Cannes Film Festival that encourages new talents and recognizes films from film schools globally.
  4. Selection and Competition: Naik’s film was one of 18 shorts selected from 2,263 submissions by 555 film schools worldwide.

Q: Which prestigious award did “SUNFLOWERS WERE THE FIRST ONES TO KNOW” win at the 77th Cannes Film Festival?

A) Palme d’Or
B) La Cinef Award for Best Short
C) Best Director Award
D) Jury Prize

Ans : B) La Cinef Award for Best Short

Shyam Benegal’s film ‘Manthan’ to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival

Director Shyam Benegal’s film ‘Manthan,’ inspired by the milk cooperative movement of Verghese Kurien, will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival on 18 May 2024.

  • The 1976 film, restored in 4K, is the only Indian film to be featured in the Cannes Classic section this year.
  • The restoration was carried out by the Film Heritage Foundation, led by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.
  • The premiere will be attended by actor Naseeruddin Shah, family members of the late actress Smita Patil, the film’s producers, and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.

Q: Which director’s film ‘Manthan’ is set to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival on 18 May 2024?

A) Satyajit Ray
B) Shyam Benegal
C) Rajkumar Hirani
D) Mira Nair

Answer: B) Shyam Benegal

Q: What is the theme of the film ‘Manthan’?

A) Indian independence movement
B) Milk cooperative movement
C) Industrial revolution
D) Space exploration

Answer: B) Milk cooperative movement

Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register

UNESCO Recognition: The Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana have been included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register, affirming India’s rich literary and cultural heritage.

Significance: This recognition by UNESCO is a source of pride for India and emphasizes the importance of preserving diverse narratives and artistic expressions globally.

Literary Impact: These works, authored by Goswami Tulsidas, Pandit Vishnu Sharma, and Acharya Anandvardhan respectively, have deeply influenced Indian literature and culture, shaping moral values and artistic expressions.

Timelessness: The timeless nature of these literary masterpieces transcends geographical and temporal boundaries, leaving a lasting impact on readers and artists worldwide.

Role of IGNCA: The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts played a crucial role in securing this recognition during the 10th meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific in Ulaanbaatar.

Q: Which organization included the Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana in its Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register?

a) UNICEF
b) UNESCO
c) WHO
d) World Bank

Ans : b) UNESCO

Q: Who authored the Ramcharitmanas?

a) Acharya Anandvardhan
b) Goswami Tulsidas
c) Pandit Vishnu Sharma
d) Ramesh Chandra Gaur

Ans : b) Goswami Tulsidas

Cannes Film Festival from May 14 to May 25, 2024

The 77th Cannes Film Festival, an esteemed international film festival, is held annually in Cannes, France.

  1. Dates and Venue: Scheduled from May 14 to May 25, 2024, the festival will take place at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, a renowned gathering spot for filmmakers, celebrities, and industry insiders.
  2. Opening Film: “The Second Act,” a French comedy directed by Quentin Dupieux, marks the festival’s opening.
  3. Indian Participation: India is actively participating in the 12-day event, with representatives from the Government of India, State Governments, and the film industry. This year, India will host a Bharat Parv at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time.

Q: Where does the Cannes Film Festival take place annually?

a) Paris
b) Cannes
c) London
d) New York

Ans : b) Cannes

Baba Kedarnath Dham portals reopen on May 10, 2024

Baba Kedarnath Dham portals reopening on May 10, 2024, after six months closure during winter.

  • Devotees gathering at Sonprayag and Gaurikund, last halt before Kedarnath.
  • Pilgrims booking rides on horses/mules or trekking on foot to reach the shrine.
  • Lord Kedarnath’s Panchmukhi Doli arrived at Gaurikund after stopovers at Guptkashi and Ukhimath.
  • Char Dham Yatra starting on May 10 with opening of Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Kedarnath shrines.
  • Badrinath Dham portals to open on May 12.
  • Char Dham Yatra significant for Hindus, taking place from April-May to October-November.

Q: Which of the following shrines are part of the Char Dham Yatra mentioned in the passage?

a) Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath
b) Rameswaram, Dwarka, Puri, and Kedarnath
c) Tirupati, Vaishno Devi, Shirdi, and Kedarnath
d) Mahabalipuram, Amarnath, Somnath, and Badrinath

Ans : a) Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath

“Sunflowers Were The First Ones To Know,” selected for 77th Cannes Film Festival

Chidanand Naik, a student at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), has achieved recognition as his film “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know” has been selected for the competitive section of the 77th Cannes Film Festival in France.

  1. The festival, scheduled from May 15th to May 24th, 2024, will showcase Naik’s film in the ‘La Cinef’ section, which promotes emerging talents and films from film schools worldwide.
  2. Naik’s film is one of the 18 shorts (14 live-action and 4 animated) selected from 2,263 submissions globally, making it the sole Indian film in the ‘La Cinef’ section.
  3. The film tells the story of an elderly woman causing upheaval in her village by stealing the community’s rooster, leading to chaos and the invocation of a prophecy resulting in her family’s exile.
  4. This selection marks the first time a film by a student from FTII’s one-year television course has been featured at Cannes.
  5. FTII’s teaching methodology, focusing on practice-based co-learning in cinema and television, has consistently produced students and alumni acclaimed at national and international film festivals.

Question : Which Indian film has been selected for the Cannes Film Festival in the ‘La Cinef’ category?

a) “The Rooster’s Prophecy”
b) “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Bloom”
c) “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know”
d) “The Elderly Woman’s Tale”

Correct answer: c) “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know”

Question: Who directed the film “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know”?

a) Suraj Thakur
b) Manoj V
c) Chidananda S Naik
d) Abhishek Kadam

Ans : c) Chidananda S Naik

Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated on April 11, 2024

Eid-ul-Fitr is a significant festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide, marking the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. In 2024, Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated on April 11 in India.

  1. Ramadan involves fasting from dawn to dusk, and Eid-ul-Fitr signifies the culmination of this month-long spiritual practice.
  2. Celebrations include breaking the fast joyfully, performing special prayers, expressing gratitude to Allah, seeking forgiveness, and gathering with family.

Q: When does Eid-ul-Fitr occur?

A) At the beginning of Ramadan
B) In the third week of Ramadan
C) At the end of Ramadan
D) Last Friday of Ramadan

Ans : C) At the end of Ramadan

Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba

Chaitra Sukladi: Beginning of Vikram samvat 2081. Chaitra Sukladi marks the New Year’s Day according to the Hindu calendar in parts of North India. It falls on the first day of the Chaitra month, which is the first month of the Hindu calendar.

Ugadi: Ugadi is celebrated as the New Year’s Day in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. On this day, people clean their homes, decorate doorways with mango leaves, and prepare a special dish called “Ugadi Pachadi,” which symbolizes the various flavors of life.

Gudi Padwa: Gudi Padwa is the New Year celebration in the state of Maharashtra. People raise a “Gudi” (a decorated pole) outside their homes, signifying victory and good fortune.

Cheti Chand: Cheti Chand is the New Year for the Sindhi community. People visit temples, offer prayers, and partake in community feasts. It celebrates the birth anniversary of the Sindhi patron saint, Jhulelal.

Navreh: Navreh is the Kashmiri Hindu New Year. People observe fasting, visit temples, and seek blessings for the year ahead. It signifies the renewal of life and the awakening of nature after winter.

Sajibu Cheiraoba: Sajibu Cheiraoba is the Manipuri New Year. People clean their homes, light lamps, and offer prayers. It’s a time for cultural performances, traditional dances, and feasting.

Q: Which event marks the beginning of Vikram Samvat 2081?

a) Ugadi
b) Gudi Padwa
c) Chaitra Sukladi
d) Cheti Chand

Correct answer: c) Chaitra Sukladi

Q: In which states is Ugadi celebrated as the New Year’s Day?

a) Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka
b) Maharashtra
c) Punjab
d) Manipur

Correct answer: a) Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka

Q: What is raised outside homes during Gudi Padwa celebrations?

a) A decorated pole
b) A rangoli design
c) A traditional flag
d) A garland of mango leaves

Correct answer: a) A decorated pole

Q: Which community celebrates Cheti Chand as their New Year?

a) Bengali
b) Sindhi
c) Punjabi
d) Gujarati

Correct answer: b) Sindhi

Ponkaliamman Festival in Tamil Nadu

The Sri Ponkaliamman temple in Tamil Nadu’s Erode district radiated with the enthusiasm of over 50,000 devotees during the revered Ponkaliamman festival. Thousands of worshippers took part in a magnificent procession on 3 April 2024 (Wednesday) evening, carrying fire torches as a symbol of their unwavering faith.

Important Facts about the Ponkaliamman Festival

  • Celebrated: In honor of Goddess Ponkaliamman (Parvati/Mariamman)
  • Location: Primarily in rural Tamil Nadu
  • Time: Tamil month of Panguni (March-April), lasting 2-3 days
  • Purpose: To seek blessings for health, prosperity, and protection
  • Key Activities:
    • Procession with fire torches (symbol of devotion)
    • Bathing the idol with holy offerings
    • Cultural events, music, dance
    • Food offerings (Pongal, fruits, flowers)
  • Highlights of Sri Ponkaliamman Temple Festival (Erode):
    • Over 50,000 devotees participated in a fire torch procession on April 3, 2024.
    • Devotees believe walking on burning pits during the festival brings blessings.
    • The temple is associated with the legendary Vel Pari, a patron known for his generosity.

Q: In which Tamil month is the Ponkaliamman festival typically celebrated?

a) Masi (February-March)
b) Panguni (March-April)
c) Vaikasi (May-June)
d) Aadi (July-August)

Ans : b) Panguni (March-April)

Prabha Varma Selected For Saraswati Samman For The Year 2023 for his Malayalam language poetry work, Roudra Sathwikam

Prabha Varma, the celebrated poet and litterateur, has been honored with the prestigious Saraswati Samman for 2023 for his Malayalam language poetry work, Roudra Sathwikam and also for his contribution to the literature during the period 2013 to 2022.

About Prabha Varma

Born in Thiruvalla, Kerala, in 1959, Prabha Varma has made significant contributions as a bilingual writer, excelling in both Malayalam and English literature. His work beautifully weaves together tradition and modernity, making him one of the most influential voices in contemporary Malayalam literature.

Prabha Varma has authored more than 30 books, including collections of poems, novels in verse, sociopolitical commentaries, and essays. His literary prowess has garnered him over 70 awards, including the National Sahitya Akademi Award and the National Film Award.

About Roudra Sathwikam

His novel “Roudra Sathwikam”, published in 2022, delves into the intricate conflict between power, politics, and individual morality. Written in poetic verse, it transcends time and space, addressing the eternal struggle of dharma (righteousness) versus adharma (wrongdoing) in a creatively philosophical manner.

About Saraswati Samman

The Saraswati Samman, instituted in 1991, recognizes outstanding literary works written in any Indian language by Indian citizens and published within the last 10 years. Prabha Varma’s achievement is marked by a citation, a plaque, and a cash prize of ₹15 lakh. The selection committee, currently led by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, carefully chooses the recipient each year.

Q: What prestigious award was Prabha Varma honored ?

A) Jnanpith Award
B) Saraswati Samman
C) Sahitya Akademi Award
D) Padma Bhushan

Answer: B) Saraswati Samman

Q: Which novel by Prabha Varma received the Saraswati Samman?

A) “Roudra Sathwikam”
B) “Malayalam Musings”
C) “Verse Chronicles”
D) “Eternal Echoes”

Answer: A) “Roudra Sathwikam”

Oscar Awards: “Oppenheimer” bags six awards including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director

96th Oscar Awards was held on March 10, 2024 at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

  • Best Picture: “Oppenheimer” won the award.
  • Best Actor: Cillian Murphy received the trophy.
  • Best Director: Christopher Nolan won for his work on “Oppenheimer.”
  • Emma Stone won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “Poor Things,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.
  • “Oppenheimer” won a total of six awards, including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr.
  • The film also won awards for Best Film Editing, Cinematography, and Original Score.
  • “Oppenheimer” had 13 nominations, indicating its significant presence and recognition at the Oscars.

Q: Who won the Best Actor Oscar award at the 96th Academy Awards?

A) Cillian Murphy
B) Robert Downey Jr.
C) Christopher Nolan
D) Emma Stone

Answer: A) Cillian Murphy

Q: Which film received the Best Oscar Picture award?

A) “Oppenheimer”
B) “American Fiction”
C) “How Do You Live?”
D) “Barbie”

Answer: A) “Oppenheimer”

PM Modi presented first ever “National Creators Award” in New Delhi

The National Creators Award, a prestigious recognition, was presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 8 March 2024. This inaugural award aims to celebrate excellence and impact across various domains, including storytelling, social change advocacy, environmental sustainability, education, and gaming. It serves as a launchpad for using creativity to drive positive change.

The award witnessed remarkable public engagement, with over 1.5 lakh nominations received across twenty categories. In the subsequent voting round, approximately 10 lakh votes were cast for digital creators in various award categories. The winners, including three international creators, were selected based on this overwhelming public participation, truly reflecting the people’s choice.

Here are some of the twenty award categories:

  1. Best Storyteller Award
  2. Disruptor of the Year
  3. Celebrity Creator of the Year
  4. Green Champion Award
  5. Best Creator for Social Change
  6. Most Impactful Agri Creator
  7. Cultural Ambassador of the Year
  8. International Creator Award
  9. Best Travel Creator Award
  10. Swachhta Ambassador Award
  11. The New India Champion Award
  12. Tech Creator Award
  13. Heritage Fashion Icon Award
  14. Most Creative Creator (Male & Female)
  15. Best Creator in Food Category
  16. Best Creator in Education Category
  17. Best Creator in Gaming Category
  18. Best Micro Creator
  19. Best Nano Creator
  20. Best Health and Fitness Creator

Q: Which “National Creators Award” category honors creators making a significant contribution to environmental sustainability?

a) Best Storyteller Award
b) Disruptor of the Year
c) Green Champion Award
d) Tech Creator Award

Ans : c) Green Champion Award

Sahityotsav, the world’s largest literary festival from March 11th to 16th 2024

Sahityotsav, the world’s largest literary festival organized by Sahitya Akademi, will be held from March 11th to 16th 2024.

  • Commemorating 70 years of Sahitya Akademi, the festival will feature over a hundred renowned writers and scholars.
  • More than 190 sessions will take place, representing over 175 languages of India.
  • The Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023 presentation ceremony will be a highlight on March 12th in New Delhi, with distinguished Odia writer Pratibha Rai as the Chief Guest.
  • Renowned Urdu writer and lyricist Gulzar will deliver the Samvatsar lecture on March 13th.
  • Key highlights of the festival include multilingual poetry reading, short story reading, panel discussions on various literary topics like Bhakti Literature, Children’s Literature, Tribal Poets’ and Writers’ Meet, etc.
  • Special programs include All India Differently Abled Writers’ Meet, LGBTQ Writers’ Meet, Seminar on the birth centenary of Mir Taqi Mir, and a symposium on Gopichand Narang.
  • Activities for children include painting competitions, literary quizzes, and other competitions expected to involve over a thousand participants from Delhi and NCR.

Q: What is the name of the world’s largest literary festival organized by Sahitya Akademi in March 2024 in New Delhi?

a) Sahitya Mahotsav
b) Kavyotsav
c) Sahityotsav
d) Kathautsav

Correct answer: c) Sahityotsav

President Droupadi Murmu Conferred Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards To Ninety-Four Eminent Artists

President Droupadi Murmu conferred Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the Years 2022 and 2023 to ninety-four eminent artists in New Delhi on 6 March 2024.

  • Awards were given in various fields such as music, dance, drama, folk and tribal arts, puppetry, and allied theatre art forms.
  • Seven eminent artists were bestowed with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna).
  • Union Minister for Culture G Kishan Reddy hailed the awards as an honor for the entire field of art and praised the Akademi’s efforts in promoting and protecting Indian arts.
  • Notable recipients of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship included Vinayak Khedekar, R Visweswaran, Nitu Kumari Nootan, Shailesh Shrivastava, and Maddali Usha Gayatri.
  • The fellowship is the highest honor in the performing arts field, recognizing exceptional contributions with a purse money of three lakh rupees, while the Akademi Award carries a purse money of one lakh rupees.

Q: What fields were the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards given in?

a) Music only
b) Dance only
c) Multiple fields including music, dance, drama, and folk arts
d) Literature

Ans : c) Multiple fields including music, dance, drama, and folk arts

Six eminent personalities named Akademi Fellows or Akademi Ratna by Sangeet Natak Akademi

The Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s national academy for music, dance, and drama, confers two prestigious awards to recognize and celebrate excellence in the performing arts:

  • Akademi Ratna (Akademi Fellow): This is the highest honor bestowed by the Akademi, limited to a maximum of 40 living individuals.
  • Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Award): This award recognizes outstanding contributions from artists across various performing arts disciplines.

On February 21-22, 2024, the General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi selected six eminent personalities as Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna):

  1. Vinayak Khedekar (Hindustani classical vocalist): A renowned exponent of the Agra gharana of Hindustani classical music, known for his soulful renditions and mastery of intricate taals.
  2. R. Visweswaran (Kathakali exponent): A prolific Kathakali artist and scholar, he has significantly contributed to the preservation and propagation of this classical dance form from Kerala.
  3. Sunayana Hazarilal (Odissi dancer): A leading Odissi dancer and choreographer, known for her grace, innovative interpretations, and dedication to promoting the dance form globally.
  4. Raja & Radha Reddy (Kuchipudi dancers): This husband-and-wife duo are legendary Kuchipudi dancers and teachers who have revolutionized the art form through their innovative choreography and dedication to its propagation.
  5. Dulal Roy (Folk singer and researcher): A renowned Baul singer and researcher from West Bengal, known for his evocative renditions and commitment to preserving and promoting Baul music, a mystical Bengali folk tradition.
  6. D.P. Sinha (Scholar and administrator): A distinguished scholar and administrator who has made significant contributions to the field of Indian theatre and performing arts through research, writing, and leadership roles.

These six individuals have enriched the Indian cultural landscape through their exceptional talent, dedication, and contributions to their respective art forms. They serve as an inspiration to aspiring artists and a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of India’s performing arts tradition.

Q. What is the highest honor bestowed by the Sangeet Natak Akademi?

  • a) Sangeet Natak Ratha
  • b) Akademi Purana
  • c) Akademi Ratna (Akademi Fellow)
  • d) Natya Natak Samman

Ans : c) Akademi Ratna (Akademi Fellow)

Veteran singer Pankaj Udhas passes away

Veteran singer Pankaj Udhas passed away in Mumbai on February 26, 2024, at the age of 73, following a prolonged illness.

  • Pankaj Udhas was renowned for his ghazals, including hits like “Chitthi Aayi Hai” from Naam, “Na Kajre Ki Dhar” from Mohra, “Chandi Jaisa Rang”, “Ek Taraf Uska Ghar”, and “Ahista”.
  • Pankaj Udhas is survived by his wife Farida Udhas, daughters Nayaab and Reva Udhas, and brothers Nirmal and Manhar Udhas, both of whom are also singers.

Q: What was Pankaj Udhas famous for?

a) Pop music
b) Bollywood item songs
c) Ghazals
d) Classical music

Ans : c) Ghazals

Jnanpith Award for Gulzar and Jagadguru Rambhadracharya

The prestigious 58th Jnanpith Award has been conferred upon lyricist and poet Gulzar and Sanskrit scholar Jagadguru Rambhadracharya. Here are the key details:

Gulzar:

Background: Gulzar, whose real name is Sampooran Singh Kalra, is celebrated for his contributions to Hindi cinema and is recognized as one of the finest Urdu poets of our time.

Previous Honors:

  • Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu (2002)
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2013)
  • Padma Bhushan (2004)
  • Multiple National Film Awards

Notable Works:

  • Gulzar’s poetic and lyrical genius shines through songs like “Jai Ho” from the film “Slumdog Millionaire” (which won an Oscar in 2009 and a Grammy in 2010), as well as compositions for critically acclaimed movies such as “Maachis” (1996), “Omkara” (2006), “Dil Se…” (1998), and “Guru” (2007).
  • He has also directed timeless award-winning classics like “Koshish” (1972), “Parichay” (1972), “Mausam” (1975), “Ijaazat” (1977), and the television serial “Mirza Ghalib” (1988).
  • Gulzar’s poetry includes the innovative genre called “Triveni,” a non-mukaffa poem of three lines.

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya:

Background: Jagadguru Rambhadracharya is a renowned Hindu spiritual leader, educator, and prolific writer. He is the founder and head of Tulsi Peeth in Chitrakoot.

Literary Contributions:

He has authored over 240 books and texts, including four epics, in various Indian languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Awadhi, and Maithili.

Spiritual Leadership:

Rambhadracharya holds the position of one of the present four Jagadguru Ramanandacharyas of the Ramananda sect since 1982.

About Jnanpith Award

The Jnanpith Award, established in 1944, is given annually for outstanding contributions to Indian literature. This year, it is being awarded for the second time for Sanskrit language and the fifth time for Urdu language. The award includes a prize money of Rs 21 lakh, a statue of Vagdevi, and a citation

Q: Who has been honored with the 58th Jnanpith Award?

A) Gulzar
B) Jagadguru Rambhadracharya
C) Both A and B
D) None of the above

Ans : C) Both A and B

Q: Which song from the film “Slumdog Millionaire” contributed to Gulzar’s international acclaim?

A) “Jai Ho”
B) “Tere Bina”
C) “Dil Se Re”
D) “Chaiyya Chaiyya”

Ans : A) “Jai Ho”

PM Modi inaugurates BAPS Mandir, the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi

The Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi celebrated the consecration of its idols on 14 Feb 2024, led by Mahant Swami Maharaj.

  • The ceremony took place on the auspicious morning of Vasant Panchami, featuring the ritual for the main idol of Parabrahma Shri Swaminarayan Bhagwan and other deity figures in different sections of the temple.
  • A grand launch ceremony and public dedication assembly are planned for the evening in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the celebration expected to draw millions of Indians.
  • The temple’s construction was facilitated by the generosity of the UAE rulers, with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Nahyan contributing land for its construction during the “Year of Tolerance.”
  • The temple symbolizes interfaith understanding and cultural exchange between India and the UAE.
  • The BAPS Mandir in Abu Dhabi is the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.
  • The consecration event coincides with the 159th birth anniversary of Shastriji Maharaj, the founder of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, established in 1907.
  • The organization had envisioned the temple since 1997.

Q: What is the significance of the BAPS Mandir in Abu Dhabi?

a) It is the largest Hindu temple in the Middle East.
b) It is the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.
c) It is a modern architectural marvel.
d) It is dedicated to promoting unity in the Indian community.

Ans : b) It is the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

New Delhi World Book Fair 2024 from 10th to 18th February 2024

The New Delhi World Book Fair 2024 began on 10 February 2024 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the nine-day event. The theme of the Book Fair is Multi-Lingual India, A Living Tradition. This year, Saudi Arabia will be the guest of honour. 

The New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF), a significant event in the publishing world, is celebrating 51 years of literary excellence. NDWBF 2024 is scheduled from 10th to 18th February 2024 at the newly constructed Halls 1-5 within the centrally located Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

Q: Where is the New Delhi World Book Fair 2024 being held?

  • A) Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
  • B) India Expo Centre, Greater Noida
  • C) Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi
  • D) Thyagaraj Sports Complex, New Delhi

Ans : A) Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Aadi Mahotsav 2024 : From 10th to 18th February 2024 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi

The Aadi Mahotsav 2024, an annual National Tribal Festival, is all set to unfold its vibrant and culturally rich celebration. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Dates and Venue:
    • Dates: From 10th to 18th February 2024.
    • VenueMajor Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi.
  2. Organizers and Purpose:
    • The event is organized by TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India) under the aegis of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
    • Objective: To showcase the rich diversity of India’s tribal heritage.
  3. What to Expect:
    • 300+ Stalls: The festival will feature an expanded showcase with over 300 stalls.
    • Tribal Art and Handicrafts: Visitors can explore and purchase exquisite tribal art and handicrafts.
    • Natural Produce: Witness the display of natural produce from tribal communities.
    • Delectable Cuisine: A separate food court will offer tribal cuisines, known for their health benefits.
    • Cultural Programs: Enjoy evening performances by tribal artists from across the country.
    • Workshops: Engage in workshops such as crafts, painting displays, and industry-oriented B2B sessions.
    • Entrepreneurship: Industry leaders will participate, contributing to the scaling up of tribal products through entrepreneurial ventures.
  4. Distinguished Guests:
    • President Smt. Droupadi Murmu will inaugurate the festival.
    • Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and AgricultureShri Arjun Munda, will also be present.

Q: What is the primary objective of the Aadi Mahotsav 2024?

  • a) To promote urban art and culture
  • b) To showcase the rich diversity of India’s tribal heritage
  • c) To celebrate international cuisines
  • d) To focus on modern technological advancements

Ans : b) To showcase the rich diversity of India’s tribal heritage

Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain Bag Best Global Music Album Grammy for ‘This Moment’

  1. Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain’s fusion band Shakti won the Grammy award for Best Global Music Album for their latest release, “This Moment.”
  2. The album “This Moment,” which was released in June last year, features eight songs by John McLaughlin, Zakir Khan, Shankar Mahadevan, V Selvaganesh, and Ganesh Rajagopalan.
  3. Zakir Hussain also received a Grammy in the Best Global Music Performance category for his contribution to Pashto, alongside Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, featuring Rakesh Chaurasia.
  4. Rakesh Chaurasia, a veteran Indian classical flute artist, won dual Grammys for his collaborative album “As We Speak” in the Best Contemporary Instrumental and Best Global Music Performance categories.
  5. The 66th Annual Grammy Awards 2024 took place in Los Angeles on February 5, 2024.

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are prestigious honors bestowed by the Recording Academy, recognizing excellence in the music industry. Often called the “music Oscars,” they cover a wide range of genres and categories, from pop and rock to classical and world music.

History: Started in 1959, initially called the Gramophone Awards, and evolved into the Grammys over time.

Q: Which prominent Indian musicians, who are part of the fusion band Shakti, won the Grammy Award in the Best Global Music Album category for their latest album “This Moment”?

A) A.R. Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar
B) Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain (Correct)
C) Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy
D) Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal

Q: Which musical instrument does Rakesh Chaurasia, a veteran Indian classical musician, play?

A) Sitar
B) Tabla
C) Bansuri (Indian bamboo flute) (Correct)
D) Harmonium

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