When was the Sahitya Academy founded?

The Sahitya Akademi, also called ‘India’s National Academy of Letters’ was founded on 12 March 1954. It was formed as a cultural collaboration of all those interested in creative and critical literature and is dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages of India. Its office is located in Rabindra Bhavan near Mandi House in Delhi.

In his inaugural address, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan noted that, “It is the purpose of this Akademi to recognize men of achievement in letters, to encourage men of promise in letters, to educate public taste and to improve standards of literature and literary criticism”.

The Council elected Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as its president and he continued in that capacity until his death in 1964. The Council clarified that the choice of Nehru was “not because he is Prime Minister, but because he has carved out for himself a distinctive place as a writer and author.”

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How did ISRO begin?

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is India’s national space agency. ISRO began as the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) and was established by Jawaharlal Nehru under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in 1962.

The Indian Space programme was founded by Vikram Sarabhai under the aegis of Nehru who, like him, believed that modern science and technology were indispensible to the development of the country.

ISRO built India’s first satellite ‘Aryabhata’ which was launched on 19 April 1975 with Russian help. ISRO was the world’s first space agency to find water on the Moon and send a satellite to Mars orbit in its first attempt.

ISRO has the world’s largest constellation of remote-sensing satellites and is one of six government space agencies in the world which possess full launch capabilities. Over the years, ISRO has played a significant role in the socio-economic development of India and established India’s place in the elite space club with its successful Mars Mission. It has always believed in greater self-reliance in space technology and envisions manned landings on the Moon and other planets in the future.

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When did Indira Gandhi become the prime minister of India?

Indira Gandhi was the prime minister of India between 1966 and 1977 and from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. The only child of Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru, she remains till date, the only female Prime Minister of India.

She was educated at the University of Oxford, where she studied history, political science and economics. Post India’s independence, Indira Gandhi managed the official residence of her father and accompanied him on numerous foreign trips.

After her father’s death she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha and became the Minister of information and Broadcasting in Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Cabinet. She later defeated her rival Morarji Desai and succeeded Shastri as the Prime Minister of India.

In 2020, Time Magazine named Indira Gandhi among the world’s 100 most powerful women who defined the 20th Century.

She was assassinated in 1984 while in office. Her son Rajiv Gandhi also served the country as prime minister from 1984 to 1989. Sadly, he too was assassinated in 1991.

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Which are some of the awards associated with Jawaharlal Nehru?

The most prestigious award received by Jawaharlal Nehru was the ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1955 – India’s highest civilian honour. President Rajendra Prasad conferred this honour on him without consulting him, the prime minister, as was the normal constitutional procedure.

The ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding’ is an international award presented by the Government of India in honour of Nehru.

The award was established in 1965 and was first awarded to U Thant, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations. Some of the other famous recipients of the award are Martin Luther King Jr., Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.

The ‘Nehru Trophy’ is awarded to the fastest snake boat in the snake boat race or ‘VaIlam Kali’ held in Kerala’s Alappuzha district in the month of August. The race was inaugurated in 1952 by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

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What is The Discovery of India about?

Nehru wrote The Discovery of India when he was imprisoned for his participation in the Quit India movement between 1942 and 1945, at Ahmednagar Fort, Maharashtra.

It traces the transition of India from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization till the last years of the British Raj. Nehru used his knowledge of the Upanishads, Vedas and textbooks on ancient history to document changes in the socio-political scenario of India brought about by foreign invaders up till present-day conditions. In this book, Nehru makes his case for India’s independence based on her historical and cultural identity. It has 10 chapters.

Nehru attributed some of the content of the book to his fellow prisoners at Ahmednagar jail, namely Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Govind Ballabh Pant, Narendra Deva and Asaf Ali. They provided valuable historical insights and suggestions to Nehru during his work.

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