Arts & Culture Current Affairs 2017 - Current Affairs Today

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  • US Author George Saunders Wins 2017 Man Booker Prize

    US author George Saunders won the 2017 Man Booker Prize. He became only the second American writer to win Britain’s renowned Prize, which was awarded for his first full-length novel “Lincoln in the Bardo”.  The 2016 Man Booker Prize went to 'The Sellout' by Paul Beatty.

    Singer T M Krishna wins Indira Gandhi National Integration

    Singer T M Krishna won 30th Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the year 2015 and 2016. He is a pre-eminent vocalist in the Carnatic tradition of Indian classical music and has been an activist who has worked to break down caste-barriers in the society. The award is conferred for promoting national integration and strengthening nation’s sense of solidarity. It carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh.

    First ASEAN India Music Festival to be held at Purana Qila,New Delhi

    The first-ever The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) India Music Festival will be held at Purana Quila in New Delhi. The 3 day festival is being organized by External Affairs Ministry in collaboration with Culture Ministry to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations.  The main aim is to boost cultural influences among the peoples of the ASEAN member states and India. Famous Indian bands like the Raghu Dixit Project, Avial, Papon LIVE, Bipul Chettri and the Travelling Band, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy will also participate in the festival. 

    Veteran actor Tom Alter dies at 67

    Veteran film, television and theatre actor and Padma Shri Tom Alter died at aged 67. Alter acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s. In addition to acting, Alter also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the 80s and 90s. Alter has written three books, one non-fiction, and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.

    Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurates “Hunar Haat” in Puducherry

    Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is working to establish “Hunar Hub” across the country to provide a platform to master artisans and craftsmen to display as well sell their products. The 'Hunar Haat' is being organised at Craft Bazaar, Gandhi Thidal Beach, Goubert Avenue and will continue till September 30 in which master artisans from 16 states including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal,  New Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh will be showcasing their traditional talent. They prepared an E-Portal to provide national as well as international markers to artisans and craftsmen from across the country. A data bank of artisans and craftsmen will be prepared by this year-end, thousands of artisans from various parts of the country have already been registered.

    69th Primetime Emmy Awards 2017

    The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced at the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, U.S. The Handmaid's Tale became the first web television series to win the award for Outstanding Drama Series. Westworld and Saturday Night Live were the most nominated programs, each with 22 nominations.  Stephen Colbert was the Host of 69th Emmy Awards. The important awards are listed below Outstanding Comedy Series -Veep Outstanding Drama Series - The Handmaid's Tale Outstanding Variety Talk Series- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Outstanding Variety Sketch Series -Saturday Night Live Outstanding Limited Series -Big Little Lies Outstanding Television Movie -Black Mirror: "San Junipero" Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series -Donald Glover as Earnest "Earn" Marks on Atlanta Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series-Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on Veep. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series -Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson on This Is Us Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series -Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne / Offered on The Handmaid's Tale Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series -Atlanta (Episode: "B.A.N."), Directed by Donald Glover Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series -The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Offred"), Directed by Reed Morano Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series -Master of None (Episode: "Thanksgiving"), Written by Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe.

    Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail receives 2016 Saraswati Samman

    Eminent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail (74) was bestowed with prestigious Saraswati Samman 2016. He was awarded for his novel “Hawthan" portraits about cultural lives of traditional pottery community in Goa. The award comprises of plaque and a cash purse of Rs.15 lakh by Union minister for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman an event held in New Delhi.

    World's Highest-Paid Actors 2017 Forbes List

    According to the Forbes List, Rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg is Hollywood's highest-paid leading man, earning $68 million pretax in 12 month scoring period. From India, Shahrukh Khan is the highest paid actor (Rank 8) followed by Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. Wahlberg replaced out last year's top-ranked star, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.The top people in the list are Mark Wahlberg ($68 million) Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ($65 million) Vin Diesel ($54.5 million) Adam Sandler ($50.5 million) Jackie Chan ($49 million) Robert Downey, Jr. ($48 million) Tom Cruise ($43 million) Shah Rukh Khan ($38 million) Salman Khan ($37 million)  Akshay Kumar ($35.5 million).

    Information and Broadcasting Ministry Constituted 40-Member Preview Panel for IFFI

    The Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I and B) constituted a 40-member 'Preview committee’ for the International Film Festival of India 2017. Vivek Agnihotri has been chosen as the convenor of the committee. The I and B Ministry constituted a new 13-member steering committee and a 12-member technical committee headed by Jahnu Barua and Nagesh Kukunoor respectively. International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is scheduled to be held in Goa from 20 to 28 November 2017.

    Shri Prasoon Joshi appointed Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification

    Shri Prasoon Joshi is appointed as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification. He will serve for a period of three years. He replaces Pahlaj Nihalani. He is the Winner of two National Awards and three Filmfare Awards, Prasoon Joshi is also the CEO of McCann World group India and Chairman (Asia Pacific).

    Dev Patel to be honoured with Asia Society Game Changers Award

    Dev Anand Indian-origin actor Dev Patel is to be honored by a leading educational organization for making a “transformative and positive” difference for the future of Asia and the world won the Asia Society Game Changers Award. His “#lionheart” campaign raised over USD 2,50,000 in support of India’s millions of homeless children. He became popular with his debut film Slumdog Millionaire, will be felicitated with the Asia Society 2017 Asia Game Changers Award at a ceremony to be held at the United Nations, New York, in November 2017.

    India to host 8th Edition of Theatre Olympics ‘The Biggest Theatre Celebration of the World’

    India will host the 8th edition of Theatre Olympics in 2018, the biggest theatre celebration of the world. The eight edition of the greatest carnival will start from February 17-April 08, 2018. The Theatre Olympics will take place simultaneously in various cities across the country. There will be five hundred plays and seven hundred ambience performances from across the world.

    President of India inaugurates an exhibition of art works at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata

    The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an exhibition of artworks at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. He also received the first copies of two Coffee Table books ‘Images and Impressions' Profile and Persona of Pranab Mukherjee’ and ‘Pranab Mukherjee 100 Frames’ from the Governor of West Bengal, Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi who formally released these books. 

    Sahapedia - UNESCO Fellowships in Indian cultural heritage launched

    Sahapedia, an open online resource on Indian arts in partnership jointly launched a fellowship programme partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The fellowships, available in two variants namely the Sahapedia Project Fellowship (SPF) and the Sahapedia Research Fellowship (SRF) gives the applicants the option of participating either at the level of primary documentation or in the content curation process. The aim of Sahapedia is to provide as much of the vast and diverse body of cultural knowledge in India as possible, especially about the lesser known practices and traditions in India.

    Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar Make It to Forbes World's Highest-Paid Celebrities List

    Popular Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar are among the ‘World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities’ list. Salman Khan at the 71st spot with $37 million earned in 2016-2017. Akshay Kumar is at 80th position with $35.5 million. Top three names in the list are-  Sean Combs with the pay of $130 Million (Musicians), Beyonce Knowles with the pay of $105 Million (Musicians), J.K. Rowling with the pay of $95 Million (Authors).

    Poet Haraprasad Das gets Kalinga Literary Award

    Poet and essayist Haraprasad Das conferred with Kalinga Literary Award for his work and contribution to literature at the fourth edition of Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF). This year the KLF introduced two new awards namely the Kalinga International Literary Award,  Kalinga Karubaki Award. The Kalinga International Literary Award was received by Anand Neelakantan for his contribution towards literature, and the Kalinga Karubaki Award was given to Paramita Satpathy for her contribution to Odia poetry.

    Jnanpith Award winner C Narayana Reddy passes away

    Telugu poet and writer Cingireddi Narayana Reddy passed away. He is Jnanpith awardee and also the country’s third-highest civilian honor, Padma Vibhushan. He also served as Vice-Chancellor of Telugu University and held important academic and administrative positions in the state.

    Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee selected for Legion of Honour Award

    Bengali actor, Soumitra Chatterjee conferred with the France's highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honour. The award will be presented by the Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler. After 30 years of Satyajit Ray got the same honor by the French President Francois Mitterrand in 1987. 

    Ministry of 'Utmost Happiness' launched by Arundhati Roy

    The book “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” authored by Arundhati Roy released recently. It is fiction-based novel and will be published by Hamish Hamilton from the United Kingdom and Penguin India. Roy became the first Indian woman to win the prestigious Booker Prize with her 1997 work.

    Panchayati Raj Secretary J S Mathur releases Handbook on Safe Child Program

    The Panchayati Raj Secretary J S Mathur released a handbook and module on safe child program at a function in New Delhi. The book contains child rights and the role of panchayat members. Fifty percent village panchayats are headed by women in the country and therefore it should be easy for them to prevent abuse of children.

    Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2016 for 3 Odias

    Three well-known artists from Odisha to get Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards in their respective fields.  Odissi dance Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, playwright and director Prof. Satyabrata Rout and Pala artist Laxmidhar Rout have been selected for the prestigious Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the year 2016. The selected artist will be conferred the award by President of India at a function in New Delhi. Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar (Akademi Award) is an award given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama. The award consists of Rs. 50,000, a citation, an angavastram (a shawl), and a Tamra Patra (a brass plaque).

    India organized festival in Egypt to mark Tagore’s birth anniversary

    India will organise Tagore cultural Festival in Egypt to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore from May 8-12. Tagore Festival will be organised by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), which is the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo. As a part of the festival, a dance drama based on Tagore’s work called Chitrangada will be performed by the Kolkata-based Dancers Guild. Chitrangada is the warrior princess in the epic, Mahabharata.

    Indian cultural center in Egypt holds seminar to deepen ties

    Indian cultural center in Egypt, serving as India's window to reach out to Egyptians, has organized a seminar aimed at maintaining and strengthening bilateral relations.  The function is organized by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC). The seminar titled as 'Cultural Festivals - Bridge between India and Egypt'. It was a part of MACIC's monthly seminar series involving youth, academicians, culture lovers, civil society to discuss the issue of bilateral interest.

    International Conference on Dara Shikoh

    The International conference on “Dara Shikoh - Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India will be held on April 27 and 28. The conference will be organised by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR). The conference will see the participation of eminent scholars from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India. The objective of the conference is to highlight Dara Shikoh’s contributions to bring about spiritual homogenisation of Hinduism and Islam and his initiatives in building a cohesive social and cultural edifice in India. More about Dara Shikok Dara Sikoh was an intellectual, wise and a paragon of harmonious coexistence of various religions like hindu, Muslims etc. Dara Shikoh dedicated himself to create a bridge of Hindu-Muslim Unity and was so learned that translated 50 Upanishads from Sanskrit to Persian for the Muslim Scholars.

    Taj Mahal saffron scarf row - Government denies involvement of CISF, ASI

    The government on Sunday denied any involvement of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) or the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in restricting foreign models from entering Taj Mahal wearing saffron scarves inscribed with name of Lord Ram. A couple of international models, sporting such scarves, were reportedly asked to remove them when they were about to enter the 17th century monument last week. The ministry clarified that no such action was taken by any employee of the CISF and the ASI.  The officials informed that there is no restriction on colour, religious design or inscriptions on the scarves or dresses of visitors coming to see the Tajmahal.

    National Children’s Film Festival 2017 in Visakhapatnam

    Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu will host a three-day National Children’s Film Festival (NCFF) in Visakhapatnam on 7 April, 2017. It is the largest film festival for children in the country giving the audience quality and wholesome entertainment. The aim of the film festival is to expose children to quality cinema and to introduce novel elements beyond films. Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) is set to host National Childrens Film Festival (NCFF).

    'Poorna' Film on youngest girl to climb Everest made tax-free in Maharashtra, Bangalore, Hyderabad

    After getting tax exemption from Telangana, Karnataka and Delhi, Rahul Bose’s directorial venture Poorna got tax exemption from Maharashtra. The film is based on a true story of Poorna Malavath, the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest. Featuring Aditi Inamdar, Rahul and Heeba Shah, Poorna hit the screens. About Malavath Purna:- Poorna Malavath, is an Indian mountaineer from Nizamabad district, Telangana. On 25 May 2014, Poorna scaled the highest peak of Mount Everest and, aged 13 years and 11 months, became the youngest girl to have reached the summit of Everest.

    India's largest river festival 'Namami Brahmaputra' - President inaugurated

    The biggest river festival of India, Namami Brahmaputra, begins in 21 districts of Assam. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the festival on the banks of the river, which is considered the country's only male river. The Prime Minister of Bhutan, the Governor of Assam and Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh also attended the inaugural ceremony. Spiritual leader Dalai Lama and several Union ministers also attended the five day festival. The main purpose of the 5 day festival (31st March to 4th April) is to give a boost to the investment and tourism prospect in the state.

    Indian-origin British Filmmaker Gurinder Chadha honored with the Sikh Jewel Award for 2017

    Indian-origin British Filmmaker Gurinder Chadha has been honored with the Sikh Jewel Award for 2017 for her immense contribution to British cinema. Chadha, whose films include Bhaji on the Beach, Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, received the award from UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. The event was organized by the British Sikh Association. The High Commissioner of India to the UK, Y K Sinha, who was the Guest of Honour, was also present on the dais. Chadha’s latest film, "Viceroy’s House" tells the true story of the final five months of British rule in India and coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Independence of India and the founding of Pakistan.

    Union Government launched 'E-Cinepramaan' - Online Film Certification System

    Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu launched Online Film Certification System E-Cinepramaan of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with an aim to promote transparency and ensure Clean Cinema Clean India. This online system integrated the payments made by the producers towards certification fees with Bharatkosh portal, a system for all non-tax revenue receipts. Highlights of the Online Film Certification System E-Cinepramaan:- • This online certification system will enable in making the CBFC Office paper less. • It will enable effective monitoring & real time progress in tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant.  • In the e-cinepramaan, the status of each application will be visible online in the dashboard of the producer or the concerned CBFC official. • In case of short films and trailers which are of less than 10 minutes, the producer need not visit the office or theatre. They can submit their creations online. • For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all. • The producer or applicant will be informed by SMS or e-mail of the status of their application. • The transparency in the system and elimination of middle men will mitigate chances of any corruption and will also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.   • The implementation of QR code on the certificates will eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates. • It will envisage a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting. • The system also includes inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the rules are not violated.

    China to take part in Brahmaputra festival

    China is going to participate in the five-day Brahmaputra river festival titled Namami Brahmaputra organised Assam Government.  The event is described as the “biggest river festival of India. Various other countries such as Vietnam and Singapore are also attending.  The Brahmaputra is 2,900 km long international river originating in southwestern Tibet, China.  Of its total length, 918 km flows in India, 1625 km in China and 337 km in Bangladesh.

    Tribal festival 'Bhagoria' begins in MP

    Bhagoria Festival, also known as Bhagoria Haat Festival, celebrated by the tribal people of the Indian state Madhya Pradesh began on March 6, 2017 in Jhabua district. The festival which has been organized at 34 places in the state is celebrated in the month of March before the Holi Festival by the local tribes called Bhils and Bhilalas.  The week-long festival is organized at different Bhagoria haats (local markets) in the form of Svayamvara or Marriage Ceremony located in Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Khargone and Barwani districts in western Madhya Pradesh.

    First meeting of Committee on Cultural Harmony Conclave held in New Delhi

    The first meeting of the Committee on Cultural Harmony Conclave under the HamariDharohar Scheme was held on 25 February 2017 in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. The meeting was attended by several renowned artists, musicians, writers. They discussed strategies to promote India’s rich cultural diversity of minorities. HamariDharohar Scheme Ministry of Minority Affairs launched the HamariDharohar Scheme to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the minority communities of India. The scheme has five objectives. They are – To curate rich heritage of minorities under overall concept of Indian Culture Curating iconic exhibitions  Preservation of literature and documents. Support and promotion of calligraphy. Research and Development. Activities to be covered under the scheme are – • Curating exhibitions including iconic exhibitions • Support and promotion of calligraphy • Preservation of literature, documents and manuscripts • Documentation of oral traditions and art forms • Support to ethnic museums • Support for organizing heritage related seminars and workshops • Fellowship for research in preservation of heritage and development The Knowledge Partners of the scheme are • Archeological Survey of India • National Museum, Delhi • National Archives of India, New Delhi • National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) • Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts (IGNCA) • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) • Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural heritage (INTACH) • World Monument Fund

    Assam to host river festival ‘Namami Brahmaputra’

    Assam will host its first river festival-‘Namami Brahmaputra’ at the riverfront of Brahmaputra in Guwahati from 31 March to 4 April 2017. The decision was announced by Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal himself. The state’s government has invited India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ambassadors of all the countries and all Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries to participate in the mega event. The five-day festival aims to promote the state’s economy, culture, art, tourism, skill industry, investment option, trade, commerce and heritage.  Highlights : Namami Brahmaputra, which means “Obeisance to the Brahmaputra”, will showcase the grandeur of the river and the land it flows through.  It will be spread across 21 districts of Assam. The international event would feature traditional Assamese sports, cultural performances, business meets, exhibitions, seminars and symposiums, river ecosystem and interpretation zones. It would also feature a film festival, comprising the screening of some of the best Assamese films. Other events include tea festival, river cruises, rafting, visits to tea gardens and programmes related to history, tradition and legends of Assam. A group of government officials will be visiting all the state capitals and major cities as a part of the festival to create a positive image of the state beforehand: The officials would be coordinating with local tour operators, industry bodies and the tourism departments of the respective states. They will also be organising road shows with students to generate awareness about Assam’s culture and its immense potential. They will also hold media briefings in other state capitals. Through the festival, the state government basically aims to expose the tourists from both India and abroad to Assam’s rich legacy and splendour and represent it as a viable tourist destination on the world map. Besides this, the government also hopes to create an environment that would reconnect the people with their roots and rejuvenate the Brahmaputra civilisation.

    PM Modi unveils 112 ft bust of 'Adiyogi'

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2017 unveiled the 112-foot bust of ‘Adiyogi’ or Lord Shiva at the Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore. The statue is located in the foothills of Velliangiri Mountains in the Western Ghats. The bust was unveiled on the occasion of the Maha Shivaratri, a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. The bust of the Adiyogi was built in eight months by an NGO Isha Foundation. The foundation said the iconic 112-ft face of the first yogi was consecrated in celebration of the 112 methods that Lord Shiva offered towards self-transformation. Before inaugurating the metallic statue face of Lord Shiva, Modi visited the Isha yoga centre and attended the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana function. While addressing the gathering, PM Modi lauded the practice of yoga and said that the practice has transcended from generations and is popularly known that the journey of man from soul to Shiva is Yoga. He said, it is old, yet new. Though static, it is always evolving. He called for to protect nature and mould our activities in sync with the ecological surroundings. Besides, before unveiling the Adiyogi bust, Modi released the book 'Adiyoga: The source of Yoga', which deals with yogic sciences.

    National Folk Festival of Kerala 2017 Begins in Thiruvananthapuram

    The first of its type festival, the National Folk Festival of Kerala (NFFK 2017) has been organized in Kerala starting from February 24, 2017 to be held for three days in three different locations in the capital city Thiruvananthapuram. The NFFK 2017 has been organised by the state Youth Welfare Board, in association with Bharat Bhavan and the Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan. The event will see over 500 artists showcasing the centuries old folklore culture and tradition of the country through different art forms. Some of the major performances may feature artists from Kashmir to showcase dance and music programmes, performance by noted Bengal folk music band ‘Sahajiya. Performance from Punjab to show dances like Bhangra, Giddha and Jago while those from Rajasthan would showcase ‘Kalbelia’. The performances of artists from Jaisalmer as well as artists of Kerala would showcase the state’s traditional art forms including ‘Theyyam’.

    Khajuraho Dance Festival begins in Madhya Pradesh

    In Madhya Pradesh, the world famous Khajuraho Dance Festival begins . Eminent Indian classical dancers will perform during the seven day event. This Dance Festival presents colourful and brilliant Indian dances in the backdrop of the famous Khajuraho temples.  Live performances of classical dances like Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, and Mohniattam will be major attraction this time.  

    Indian Panorama Film Festival begins in Port Blair

    The Indian Panorama Film Festival commenced on 15 February 2017 in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Festival is organised jointly by Andaman and Nicobar Administration and Directorate of Film Festivals, Government of India. The Festival was inaugurated by Anindo Majumdar, Chief Secretary of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The inauguration event was followed by the screening of Telugu film Bahubali directed by S.S. Rajamauli. The five-day festival will see screening of about 15 films of different languages and genres. The film festival will conclude on 19 February 2017. On 16 February 2017, Bengali films Bastu Shaap, directed by Kaushik Ganguly, and Sankachil, directed by Goutam Ghose, will be screened at PBMC Auditorium at 10 A.M. Tamil films titled Radiopetti, directed by Hari Vishwanath, and Irudhi Suttru, directed by Sudha Kongara, will be screened at 2 P.M. at the same venue. Hindi film Sultan, directed by Ali Abbas Jaffar, will be screened at PBMC Auditorium at 6 P.M. Directorate of Film Festivals : The Directorate of Film Festivals initiates and presents the International Film Festival of India, the National Film Awards and the Indian Panorama. However, the organisation it has no input on which films are selected for consideration and which films ultimately win awards at the various functions it initiates. It was set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, in 1973 to organise national and international film festivals in India.

    UNESCOs Nature Fest held in Himachal Pradesh

    France based UNESCO organised the two-day Nature Fest at the World Heritage Site Great Himalayan National Park (GNHP) at Sairopa in Kullu district from February 11, 2017. Highlights: The festival was organised in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and would be attended by prominent conservationists. A media workshop held on the sidelines and Discussion on nature conservation to discuss various aspects of environmental journalism. Great Himalayan National Park : The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), is one of India’s national parks, is located in Kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh. GHNP was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites on June 2014.

    2017 Desert Festival Begins in Jaisalmer

    The three day long International Desert Festival 2017 started with great enthusiasm on 8 February 2017 in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The festival was inaugurated by Jaisalmer MLA Chhotu Singh Bhati and district collectorMatadin Sharma by flagging-off the shobha yatra. The procession traveled from Gadisar Lake to Shaheed Poonam Singh Stadium. Famous folk artists coming from different parts of the country performed as the procession moved further. A cavalcade of 48 camels of Border Security Force (BSF) was the major attraction on first day of the festival. Thousands of Indian and foreign nationals gather to witness the festival. The major attraction of 2017 is the women wrestling which has been introduced for the first time. Other interesting events include kite flying competition, camel polo race, camel tattoo competition and the panihari matka race, camel decoration competition, shan-e-marudhara competition, tug of war, air warrior drill show by the Indian Air Force among others.

    19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav begins in New Delhi

    The 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav or International Theatre Festival of India commenced on 1 February 2017 in New Delhi. The 21-day festival will conclude on 21 February 2017. The 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav will pay special attention on the different genres of Indian theatre. The performances will be held at Abhimanch, Open Air Theatre, Bahumukh and Sammukh at the National School of Drama Campus. The performances will also be held at LTG Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium and Shri Centre for Performing Arts at Mandi House. The festival will see performances from artists belonging to 12 foreign countries including England, Russia, Israel, Turkey, Italy, Tajikistan, Romania, Afghanistan and others. The theatre festival will see 94 theatre performances and 15 foreign productions. It will also include 10 traditional folk theatre performances. Bharat Rang Mahotsav : Bharat Rang Mahotsav is the annual theatre festival of National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi.The festival was established in 1999. The festival was originally founded to show case works of Indian theatre practitioners. Gradually, the festival grew over the years to attract international performers as well. At present, it is acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia.

    First Ever Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Dance Festival concluded in Hyderabad

    The first ever Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Dance festival concluded on 15 January 2017. The festival was inaugurated by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu at the Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad. It was aimed at introducing the unique diversities of the Asia Pacific region and sharing the joys that varied communities across this region feel while they dance. The objective was to create a “bridge” between young people from different parts of the world through dance as an international language. Countries including the Maldives, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Fiji, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Malaysia and India took part in the festival. Each country was encouraged to make their selection in a manner that would help them generate local programming and an enthusiasm for the young to channelize their energy in the arts. It was hosted by the Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster. Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Dance Festival : The Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) is a professional association of broadcasters in the Asia Pacific region. The ABU was established in 1964 to assist the development of broadcasting in the region. The association promotes the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters and encourages regional and international co-operation between broadcasters.

    7 Jan 2017 : Ninth edition of JIFF begins

    The ninth edition of Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) is scheduled to begin on 7 January 2017. It is considered to be one of the world’s fastest growing festivals. The five-day event will be inaugurated by prominent South Indian celebrities such as singer Hariharan, multi-skilled veteran director Singeetam Srinivasa Rao and actress Rachana, who will also be the event’s Guests of Honour. Highlights : The festival will witness participation from about 250 filmmakers and artists. It aims to promote new and emerging directors and also encourage the exchange of dialogue, knowledge, ideas, information and culture between India and other participating nations.  It will host the screening of around 134 films, belonging to countries from across the world.  Along with two screens in Golcha, the films will be screened at the Rajasthan Adult Education Association (RAEA) and the Manipal University Jaipur.  A special screening will also be conducted for children at the same venue during the morning hours.  The festival will also host 17 workshops and seminars on different aspects of cinema, in order to encourage interaction of filmmakers with the audience and in turn help build a greater understanding of filmmaking.  The event will also see ‘co-production meets’ where leading directors and producers from across the globe will come together and discuss their next ventures and explore the possibility of co-production and sharing costs. Internationally acclaimed film producer, Ramesh Prasad has been chosen for the Life Time Achievement Award. He is the founder of Prasad Film Laboratory, which has specialised facilities and advanced equipment. Prasad was selected for the award by a committee headed by National-award winning Indian filmmaker Shaji N Karun. The event will conclude on 11 January 2017.  

    Two-day Assam Biotech Conclave 2017 Begins in Guwahati

    The two-day Assam Biotech Conclave 2017 began in Guwahati, Assam on January 5, 2017 at a city hotel. The Conclave will have the closing ceremony on January 6, 2017. Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal was the chief guest who inaugurated the Conclave in the presence of various guests of honours including State Science and Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta among others. The Conclave has been organized by the Guwahati Biotech Park (GBP), in association with Federation of Industry & Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER), as an Industry partner. The main objective of the conclave is to bring together the policy makers, industry professionals, investment bankers, Angel Investors and academicians to deliberate the latest trends in this sector which will create business and partnering opportunities for its stakeholders and to showcase the facilities and opportunities offered by Guwahati Biotech Park. This conclave will revolve around a various sessions including technical, business tea research & biotechnology, sericulture biotechnology, entrepreneurship development, innovation & incubation, an MoU signing ceremony with various organizations, unveiling of draft state biotechnology policy for Assam and unveiling of master plan for Guwahati Biotech Park. Guwahati Biotech Park is also organizing a contest entitled ‘Talent Search Contest on Innovative Biotechnology Entrepreneurial Ideas’. The shortlisted participants will present their proposals and the best proposals will be awarded.  

    Celebrations for 350th Prakash Parv begin in Patna

    India is celebrating the 350th Prakash Parv or birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. In 2017, Patna, the birthplace of the 10th Sikh Guru, is hosting the anniversary celebrations. The main function of the celebrations was held on 5 January 2017 at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna. The celebrations in the city saw the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and several other Sikh dignitaries from India and abroad. The Patna Government had also announced a three-day holiday during the Prakash Parv at Takht Harmandir Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh. Takht Sri Patna Sahib : Takht Sri Patna Sahib is a Gurudwara in the neighborhood of Patna Sahib, Bihar. The Gurudwara was built in remembrance of the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh on 22 December 1666.It was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. The present shrine of Takht Sri Harmandirji Sahib was built in the 1950s. Gobind Singh: The 10th Sikh Guru : Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th Guru of Sikh religion.He was born as Gobind Rai on 22 December 1666. After the death of his father Guru Tegh Bahadur, the 9th Sikh Guru, who was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, nine years old Guru Gobind Singh was formally made the leader of the Sikhs. In 1699, he founded the Sikh warrior community called as Khalsa. He also introduced the Five Ks, the five articles of faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear all the times.

    Filmmaker Dasari to make biopic on Jaya

    Veteran Indian filmmaker and former Union Minister Dasari Narayana Rao has announced his intention of making a biopic on the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, who passed away on 5 December 2016. The director, who has been closely associated with the former actress for years, made the announcement on 4 January 2016.He explained his decision by saying that it was only appropriate to make a film on a person who has inspired so many people and has worked in more than 140 films in three languages, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. The film titled ‘Amma’ is still in the ideation stage and is yet to enter the scripting phase. The film is expected to cover her journey from being a popular actress to becoming ‘Amma’, a revolutionary leader in the Tamil Nadu politics.  The film will be made in Tamil and Telugu. It could also be a trilingual film, as Dasari Narayana Rao is thinking of making it in Hindi as well.  No cast has been finalised. It will be done only when the scripting process is completed. The shooting of the film is expected to start by the end of 2017 or by the beginning of 2018.  The actors who are rumoured to become a part of the project include southern actresses Ramya Krishnan, Trisha, Simran and Bollywood dream girl Hema Malini. Currently, the director is much focused on the writing part, the content and the way the story will be showcased. Besides this, Bollywood filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma has announced his next film titled 'Sasikala'. The title suggests that the film will be based on Jayalalithaa’s closest aide Sasikala Natarajan, who took charge as the General Secretary of AIADMK on 31 December 2016. According to popular opinion, Sasikala, who is also affectionately known as ‘Chinnamma’ (small mother), is slated to become the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Script work for the film is already underway.

    11- Days Gala Festival Bargarh Dhanua Jatra Begins in Odisha

    The World famous 11-day gala festival Bargarh Dhanua Jatra began on 2 January 2017 in western Odisha. All rituals were performed before Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of the event. Dhanu Jatra is an annual drama-based open air theatrical performance celebrated in and around Bargarh city spanning over an area of 6 km radius. It is considered to be the world’s largest open air theatrical festival. The 11-day gala event showcases all mythological places related to Lord Krishna by arranging a huge stage in the city. Bargarh stages Mathuranagari and Ambapalli area is staged as Gopapur, the parenting place of Krishna. Jeera River is considered as river Yamuna and Hatapada mandap is taken as the Raj darbar of king Kansa.

    Documentary claims Titanic sunk due to uncontrollable fire

    A documentary by an Irish journalist and author Senan Molony claims that the tragic sinking of RMS Titanic was due to a massive fire in the ocean liner’s boiler room. The documentary, titled ‘Titanic: The New Evidence’, was aired on 31 December 2016 on channel 4 in the United Kingdom. Highlights : The documentary claims that a huge fire had started in the ship’s boiler room ever since it had left the shipyard in Northern Ireland’s capital city Belfast.  It revealed that enormous fire subjected the partitions in the hull to excess temperature of about 1000°C.The extremely high temperature led to the weakening of the hull, making it extremely brittle. The journalist behind the documentary, Senan Molony claims that it was the hull’s fragile state that made it unable to withstand the collision, as the iceberg struck the ship exactly at the same spot.  Molony claims that the collision could not have solely led to such a big disaster, especially since Titanic was claimed to be unsinkable. According to Molony, who has spent almost 30 years researching on the disaster, there are photographs that support the theory, as they reveal that the ship had a dark mark on her hull before she left Southampton and that too at the same spot that was struck by the iceberg. The photographs were brought to light recently at a private auction. Molony also claims that J Bruce Ismay, Managing Director of White Star Line, the company that built the ship, knew about the fire and yet hid its role in the disaster. He further added that Titanic disaster is much beyond a simple collision with an iceberg, in fact, it was a result of a combination of factors including negligence, fire and ice.  

    Anupam Kher’s film to Premiere at Sundance

    Indian actor Anupam Kher’s 500th film ‘The Big Sick’ has been selected for world premier at the Sundance Film Festival, to be held in the United States from 19 January to 29 January 2017. The Big Sick, which is an upcoming American romantic comedy film, has been directed by Michael Showalter. Apart from Kher, it stars stand-up comedians Kumail Nanjiani and Ray Romano and American actresses Holly Hunter and Zoe Kazan. The screenplay has been written by Nanjiani himself along with his wife Emily V Gordon and it is based largely on their own relationship. The film traces the challenges faced by a Pakistani-born man (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Kazan). The news of the film’s selection for world premiere was confirmed by Anupam Kher himself through a tweet on his official twitter account. Along with congratulating the film’s producers for this feat, the veteran actor also praised his co-stars and expressed his joy in being a part of such a wonderful project. The event, organised by the Sundance Institute, is an annual American festival that takes place in Park City, Utah.  It is the largest independent film festival, organised in the United States of America.It will witness over 46660 attendees.   It will serve as a platform for American and foreign independent filmmakers to showcase their new work. It will feature competitive sections for feature films, short films as well as documentary films.

    Urban planning kept peace in Harappa: Experts

    According to Indus Valley Civilisation expert Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Harappa was peaceful in comparison with all other first civilisations cities because of its urban planning. The efficient water supply, proper sewage treatment and good drainage systems in Harappa were main reason for conflict avoidance.  Experts believe that this strategy is an important lesson to be learnt from the Harappans. Thus, it suggests that Harappan concept of cleanliness and wells and drains is not so much about hygiene but also conflict avoidance. Harappa was an Indus Valley civilization’s urban centre. It lies on an old bank/bed of the River Ravi in Punjab Province of Pakistan.  It was the first site of the civilization to be excavated in 1921 led by team led by Daya Ram Sahni. The civilization had diversified social and economic system. Its main feature was town planning were it had well grid locked pattern planned straight roads and a system of drainage.  It also significant as there was use of baked as well as sundried bricks. It had a fortified citadel. Houses with kitchens and wells, tanks or water reservoirs were also found. Presence of wheel made pottery and practice of burying the dead is also seen. 

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