What are Swachh Survekshan awards?

Indore in the State of Madhya Pradesh has been ranked India's cleanest city for the fifth year in a row by the Centre. President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Swachh Surveleshan Awards 2021 at New Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan on November 20. But what are Swachh Survekshan Awards? What's the objective of the awards? Let's find out.

Annual cleanliness survey

The first Swachh Survekshan was conducted in 2016 among 73 cities. This year being the survey's sixth edition, as many as 4,320 cities have been surveyed. The national-level rankings are based on feedback on garbage disposal from residents, assessment by field officers, certifications, functionality and maintenance of community toilets and service-level progress.

First, second and third

Classification of a city as major or smaller based on the population size. Those with a population of over 10 lakh are considered major cities, whereas those with a population between 1 lakh and 10 lakh are considered smaller. While Indore has been adjudged India's cleanest city for the fifth time in a row in this year's cleanliness survey, the second and third positions are secured by surat and Vijayawada respectively in the category of cities with over 10 lakh population. With regard to smaller cities, New Delhi ranks first, followed by Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

Cleanest State

Chhattisgarh has won the award for the 'Cleanest State' for the third consecutive year. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, having more than 100 urban local bodies, have been adjudged the second and third cleanest State in the country. In the category of States with less than 100 urban local bodies, Jharkhand has been ranked first, followed by Haryana and Goa.

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What is the JCB Literature Prize?

Literary awards seek to bestow honour and recognition on outstanding pieces of literature. Over the years, Booker and Nobel have emerged as prestigious prizes internationally.

India too has its own brand of literary awards, which have gained international fame and recognition such as the Jnanpith, Sahitya Akademi, and the JCB Prize for Literature. Earlier this month, the long list of the 2021 JCB Prize for Literature was announced. The 10 novels on the long list were selected by a jury comprising author and literary translator Sara Rai, designer and art historian Annapuma Garimella, author and translator Shahnaz Habib, writer podcaster Amit Varma and journalist-editor Prem Panicker.

What is the JCB Prize?

India's richest literary prize, it was established in 2018 by the JCB Literature Foundation, which is run by the global manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment. The winner of the coveted award will receive Rs 25 lakh, and if it happens to be a translated work, the translator will get 10 lakh. The shortlisted authors also get Rs 1 lakh each and translators Rs 50,000.

Beginner's luck

This year’s long list consists majorly of debutant works such as "What We Know About Her by Krupa Ge and "Anti-Clock" by VI James. Malayalam writer S Hareesh had won the prize in 2020 for the translation of his novel "Moustache". In 2019, author Madhuri Vijay won for her debut novel The Far Field", while in 2018 the award went to Benyamin for his "Jasmine Days", a novel translated from Malayalam to English.

What's next?

The shortlist of the JCB Prize will be announced on October 4, while the winner will be declared on November 13.


  • What We Know About Her by Krupa Ge
  • "Anti-Clock" by VJ James (English translation by Ministry S)
  • "Name Place Animal Thing" by Daribha Lyndem
  • "A Death in Sonagachhi" by Rijula Das
  • The Plague Upon Us" by Shabir Ahmed Mir
  • "Gods and Ends" by Lindsay Pereira
  • The Dharma Forest" by Keerthik Sasidharan
  • "Asoca" by Invin Allan Sealy
  • "A Soliloquy" by M Mukunda  translated from Malayalam by Fathima EV and Nandakumar K)
  • “The Man Who Learnt to Fly but Could Not Land" by Thachom Poyil Rajeevan (translated from Malayalam by PJ Mathew).

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What are the Pulitzer prizes?

Two Indian-origin journalists were among the winners of the Pulitzer Prize announced on June 11. While Megha Ragapalan bagged the award for her investigative reporting in China's mass detention camps, Neil Bedi won for local reporting along with Kathleen McGrory. Here are some Indians and people of Indian origin who have won the prize in the past:


In 2018, Adnan Abidi and Danish Siddiqui became the first Indians to win a Pulitzer for feature photography. The two photojournalists at Reuters were given the award for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In March 2020, Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand were bestowed the honour for capturing life in Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370 and the communication clampdown.


Gobind Behari Lal was the first Indian to win the Pulitzer in 1937. Along with four others, he won in the reporting category for his coverage of science. One of the earliest science writers, Gobind Lal had interviewed Albert Einstein, among others. In 2003, Geeta Anand, of Indian origin bagged the award was part of a team at the Wall Street Journal for a series on the impact of corporate scandals in the U.S. Another Indian origin journalist Sanghamitra Kalita, former managing editor of Los Angeles Times won in 2015.


Author Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies" won in the fiction category in 2000.

In 2011, Indian-American cancer physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee was awarded the general nonfiction prize for his book - "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer". Poet Vijay Seshadri won for his collection of poems '3 Sections, which examined human consciousness from birth to dementia.

What are the Pulitzer prizes?

Named after the newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, the Pulitzer Prize awards newspaper, magazine and online journalism, photo journalism and literature annually. Pulitzer allocated money in his will to be donated to Columbia University for the purposes of opening a journalism school and establishing the prize. And so, the award is administered by Columbia University.

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Which award recognizes outstanding books exclusively in the science fiction genre?

The Hugo Award is an annual literary award for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year, given at the World Science Fiction Convention and chosen by its members. The Hugo is widely considered the premier award in science fiction. The award is administered by the World Science Fiction Society. It is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. Hugos were first given in 1953, at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention, and have been awarded every year since 1955.

For each category of Hugo, the voter may rank "No Award" as one of their choices. Voters are instructed that they should do so if they feel that none of the nominees are worthy of the award, or if they feel the category should be abolished entirely. A vote for "No Award" other than as one's first choice signifies that the voter believes the nominees ranked higher than "No Award" are worthy of a Hugo in that category, while those ranked lower are not.

The idea of giving out awards at Worldcons was proposed by Harold Lynch for the 1953 convention. The idea was based on the Academy Awards, with the name "Hugo" being given by Robert A. Madle. The award trophy was created by Jack McKnight and Ben Jason in 1953, based on the design of hood ornaments of 1950s cars. It consisted of a finned rocket ship on a wooden base. Each subsequent trophy, with the exception of the 1958 trophy (a plaque), has been similar to the original design. The rocket trophy was formally redesigned in 1984, and since then only the base of the trophy has changed each year. There is no monetary or other remuneration associated with the Hugo, other than the trophy.

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The Pulitzer Prize is awarded for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition. Who are the awards named after?

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher and is administered by Columbia University. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award (raised from $10,000 in 2017). The winner in the public service category is awarded a gold medal.

The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically consider all applicable works in the media, but only those that have specifically been entered. (There is a $75 entry fee, for each desired entry category.) Entries must fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance for being literary or musical. Works can also be entered only in a maximum of two categories, regardless of their properties.

Each year, 102 jurors are selected by the Pulitzer Prize Board to serve on 20 separate juries for the 21 award categories; one jury makes recommendations for both photography awards. Most juries consist of five members, except for those for Public Service, Investigative Reporting, Explanatory Reporting, Feature writing and Commentary categories, which have seven members; however, all book juries have at least three members. For each award category, a jury makes three nominations. The board selects the winner by majority vote from the nominations or bypasses the nominations and selects a different entry following a 75 percent majority vote. The board can also vote to issue no award. The board and journalism jurors are not paid for their work; however, the jurors in letters, music, and drama receive a $2,000 honorarium for the year, and each chair receives $2,500.

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Who is the first writer in English to have won the Jnanpith award?

Jnanpith Award is the oldest and the highest Indian literary award presented annually by the Bharatiya Jnanpith to an author for their "outstanding contribution towards literature". Instituted in 1961, the award is bestowed only on Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and English, with no posthumous conferral.

In a first, the prestigious literary award Jananpith has been conferred to an English writer Amitav Ghosh. The 1956, Kolkata-born author was described as a "path-breaking novelist" by Bharatiya Jnanpith. 

Born in Kolkata in 1956 to a Bengali Hindu family, the 62-year-old author currently lives in New York with his wife Deborah Baker.

Amitav Ghosh, who spent his formative years in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria.

Ghosh is also recipient of the Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award.

The winner gets a cash prize along with a citation and a bronze replica of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning.

In 1965, famous Malayalam writer G Sankara Kurup became the first winner of Jnanpith Award.

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Why haven't any of the Harry Potter books won the Newbery Award?

The Newbery Medal goes to a writer who is an American citizen or resident. The author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling, is Scottish. Many countries have national children’s book awards. The Harry Potter books are eligible for England’s Carnegie Medal, the closest award to our Newbery. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was a “Commended” Carnegie book, akin to a Newbery Honor book. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was on the Carnegie shortlist.

While the criteria state that the Newbery award is not “for popularity,” it also says “committee members must consider excellence of presentation for a child audience.” There are many recent Newbery winners that combine literary excellence with popular appeal, among them The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo, Holes by Louise Sachar, Giver by Lois Lowry, and Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Recent popular honor books include Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Dicamillo, 26 Fairmont Street by Tomie DePaola, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine and The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. Among classic honorees that kids love to read, the list is impressively long, including: Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary, Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel, Rascal by Sterling North, The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater and, no less than, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.

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Which is the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature?

Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian ever to receive a Nobel Prize. Popularly known as Gurudev, India's Poet Laureate Tagore was born on 7th May 1861, in Kolkata. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his work Geetanjali, a collection of poems, in 1913.

Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."

On March 25, 2004, Tagore's Nobel medal and the Nobel citation were stolen from the safety vault of the museum of Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, along with several other personal belongings of the poet.

In December 2004, the Swedish government presented two replicas of Tagore's Nobel Prize, one made of gold and the other made of bronze, to the Visva-Bharati University.

In November 2016, a baul singer named Pradip Bauri was arrested from Birbhum district in West Bengal for his alleged involvement in the theft. A Bangladeshi national, identified as Mohammed Hossain Shipul, was the mastermind of the plot and two Europeans were also involved in the theft.

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Who initiated the Nobel Prize in literature awards?

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and industrialist most famously known for the invention of dynamite. He died in 1896. In his will, he bequeathed all of his "remaining realisable assets" to be used to establish five prizes which became known as "Nobel Prizes." Nobel Prizes were first awarded in 1901.

Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace (Nobel characterized the Peace Prize as "to the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses"). In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Nobel Prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards available in their respective fields.

The Nobel Prizes, beginning in 1901, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, beginning in 1969, have been awarded 603 times to 962 people and 25 organizations. Four individuals have received more than one Nobel Prize.

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Who has won the Man Booker Prize for 2019?

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize after the judges broke their rules by declaring a tie.

The Booker Prize has been jointly awarded twice before, to Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton in 1974 and to Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth in 1992. In 1993, the rules were changed so that only one author could win the prize. This is the first time since then that two authors have been announced as joint-winners. The 2019 winners will share the £50,000 prize money.

It is the second time that Atwood has won the Booker Prize, having won in 2000 with The Blind Assassin. She has been shortlisted for four further books: The Handmaid’s Tale (1986), Cat’s Eye (1989), Alias Grace (1996) and Oryx and Crake (2003). 

At 79, Atwood is now the oldest-ever writer to take home the Booker. She first claimed the coveted prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin, and several of her works have made the shortlist in the past. Already a giant of contemporary literature, Atwood has enjoyed a commercial hit with The Testaments, which sold 125,000 copies in the United States during the first week after its release and boasted the best opening-day sales of any book in 2019, according to the Washington Post’s Ron Charles.

Evaristo, a 60-year-old Anglo-Nigerian author based in London, has been writing for nearly 40 years, but she is better-known in Britain than on the international stage. Speaking with the Times following her win, Evaristo said she wrote Girl, Woman, Other in response to a lack of representation in British literature: “When I started the book six years ago, I was so fed up with black British women being absent from British literature,” she explained. “So I wanted to see how many characters I could put into a novel and pull it off.”

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Which Pixar film about a jazz pianist, who has a near-death experience and gets stuck in the afterlife, bagged the award for the Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars 2021?

Pixar's "Soul" is about a jazz pianist who has a near-death experience and gets stuck in the afterlife, contemplating his choices and regretting the existence that he mostly took for granted. Pixar veteran Pete Docter is the credited co-director, alongside playwright and screenwriter Kemp Powers, who wrote Regina King's outstanding "One Night in Miami." Despite its weighty themes, the project has a light touch. A musician might liken "Soul" to an extended riff, or a five-finger exercise, which is very much in the spirit of jazz, an improvisation-centered art that's honorably and accurately depicted onscreen whenever Joe or another musician character starts to perform. 

“Soul” won the Academy Award for animated feature at the 2021 Oscars on Sunday night, making it the 11th film from the storied animation studio to take the prize since the category was created in 2002.

Directed by Pete Docter, “Soul” tells the story of Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher with aspirations to be a professional jazz musician. After his excitement at landing a gig leads to an accident, Joe’s soul is determined to figure out a way to get back to his body on Earth instead of accepting his death and heading to the great beyond.

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What is the International Booker Prize?

You may have read about David Diop becoming the first French author to win the International Booker Prize 2021, announced on June 2. The Paris-born writer bagged the prize for "At Night All Blood is Black." Originally published in French, the work was translated by Anna Moschovakis. But how much do you know about the International Booker Prize, the counterpart to the prestigious Booker Prize?

How it began

A multi-national company Booker McConnell started the tradition of the Booker Prize in 1968, as a counterpart to the Prix Goncourt in France. Initially, only English language writers from the U.K., Ireland, and the Commonwealth were eligible. P.H. Newby won the first Booker in 1969 for "Something to Answer For". Later it was renamed the Man Booker Prize and, from 2014 onwards, it was opened to English language writers from around the world.

Translated fiction

While the Booker only recognised English language works, a need to provide a similar platform for the growing body of literature translated into English soon came to light. That's how the International Booker Prize was born. A global stage

Formerly known as the Man Booker International Prize, the International Booker has been awarded since 2005, when it was won by Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. It was instated as the sister prize of the Booker.

The International Booker Prize is awarded to a book translated into English and published in the U.K. or Ireland. It aims to encourage reading of international fiction.


What sets it apart from other literary prizes is that it recognises the crucial role of translators. So, the prize money is equally divided between the author and translator. The £50,000 prize is split between the winning author and translator.

This year's winner

  • Diop is a Franco Senegalese writer born in Paris. He was raised in Dakar, Senegal. His father is Senegalese, his mother French. Diop teaches 18th Century literature in France.
  • He won the award for his second novel "At Night All Blood is Black". Its tells the story of Alfa Ndiaye, a Senegalese tirailleur (infantryman) who is fighting on France's side during World War I.

Did you know?

  • In 2020, Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld became the youngest author to win the Booker International Prize at the age of 29.
  • Just a year before that in 2019, Jokha Alharthi from Oman won the Man Booker International Prize, making her the first Arabic-language writer to win the prestigious award.
  • In 2018, Olga Tokarczuk was the first author from Poland to win the prestigious literary award for her novel "Flights".
  • Other notable authors to win the award include Chinua Achebe from Nigeria and Alice Munro from Canada. However, so far none of the Indian authors have won this award.

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In 2018 Gandhi Peace Prize award went to which Japanese national for his role in leprosy eradication?

On January 16, the government of India announced that the International Gandhi Peace Prize for 2018 would go to Nippon Foundation Chairman Sasakawa Y?hei, for his efforts toward eradicating Hansen’s disease (leprosy) in India and elsewhere around the world. Mr. Sasakawa has been working for elimination of leprosy for more than 40 years. In India, which is the world's most leprosy-afflicted country, he frequently visits the colonies of leprosy patients and recovered people who have been suffering from severe discrimination, and extends support to improve their lives and retain their dignity.

Presenting the award, President Kovind recognized Mr. Sasakawa’s work, commenting, “He has been instrumental in helping us win crucial battles in the war against leprosy – to prevent and eradicate the disease, and to end stigma and discrimination,” and adding “On behalf of India, I must appreciate the services of Mr Sasakawa and his Foundation.”

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Sasakawa expressed his thanks for the prestigious award, noting, “I do not receive it alone. I receive it together with all who have worked with me over the years. This award will certainly give us renewed encouragement from Mahatma Gandhi.” He also called for continued cooperation going forward, adding “Together, we can realize a world where no one needs to suffer from leprosy nor its associated stigma and discrimination.” He also commented that he intends to donate the monetary award to leprosy elimination efforts.


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In 2000, which community development bank from Bangladesh won the Gandhi Peace Prize award?

The award was jointly given in 2000 to Nelson Mandela and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh.

Grameen Bank (GB) has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. GB provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral. At GB, credit is a cost effective weapon to fight poverty and it serves as a catalyst in the overall development of socio-economic conditions of the poor who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the ground that they are poor and hence not bankable.

Grameen Bank’s positive impact on its poor and formerly poor borrowers has been documented in many independent studies carried out by external agencies including the World Bank, the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI) and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

Muhammad Yunus, the bank’s founder, earned a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States. He was inspired during the terrible Bangladesh famine of 1974 to make a small loan of US$27.00 to a group of 42 families so that they could create small items for sale without the burdens of predatory lending. Yunus believed that making such loans available to a wide population would have a positive impact on the rampant rural poverty in Bangladesh.

The Grameen Bank believes that the best way for participants to learn about how the bank works, is through first hand exposure and observations at the field level. Through these experiences, participants are encouraged to draw their own conclusions about the effectiveness of Grameen Bank’s work and the impact it has on the poorest of the poor.


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In 2016, which is one of the two recipients of the Gandhi Peace Prize award was a non-government organization, working, among others, on access to sanitation?

For 2016 jointly to AkshayaPatra Foundation for its contribution in providing mid-day meals to millions of children across India and Sulabh International for its contribution in improving the condition of sanitation in India and emancipation of manual scavengers.

Sulabh International is an India-based social service organization that works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education. The organization counts 50,000 volunteers. Sulabh International is the largest nonprofit organization in India.

Sulabh was founded by Bindeshwar Pathak from Bihar State in 1970 .And have 50,000 volunteers Innovations include a scavenging-free two-pit pourflush toilet (Sulabh Shauchalaya); safe and hygienic on-site human waste disposal technology; a new concept of maintenance and construction of pay-&-use public toilets, popularly known as Sulabh Complexes with bath, laundry and urinal facilities being used by about ten million people every day and generates bio-gas and biofertilizer produced from excreta-based plants, low maintenance waste water treatment plants of medium capacity for institutions and industries. Other work includes setting up English-medium public school in New Delhi and also a network of centres all over the country to train boys and girls from poor families, specially scavengers, so that they can compete in open job market.


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