Current Affairs – February 2017

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Nand Kumar Sai takes charge as Chairperson of NCST

Senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh and ex-parliamentarian Nand Kumar Sai (71) took charge as Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in Delhi.

He succeeds Rameshwar Oraon, whose tenure had ended on October 31, 2016. He will have tenure of three years and has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister.

About Nand Kumar Sai 

  • He is actively involved in spread of education in tribal areas. He was in the forefront of various movements to oppose atrocities and exploitation of tribals.
  • He was elected to Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly in 1977, 1985 and 1998. He was also elected to the Chhattisgarh legislative assembly in 2000. He was the first leader of opposition in the House.
  • He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989, 1996 and 2004 and also to Rajya Sabha in 2009 and 2010.
  • He has served as member of parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel and parliamentary consultative committee of Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

About National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) 

  • NCST is constitutional body set up under Article 338A added through Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003. It was bifurcated from erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • The First commission was constituted on 2004 with Kunwar singh as the chairperson.C
  • Composition: Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and three full-time Members (including one lady Member). All of them have tenure of three years from the date of assumption of charge.
  • Functions: Investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the STs under the Constitution or under any other law or under any order of the Government and evaluate the working of such safeguards
  • Inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of STs.
  • Participate and advise in planning process of socio-economic development of the STs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Centre and any State;
  • Present President, annually reports upon the working of those safeguards.
  • To make in such reports, recommendations as to measures to be taken by Governments for effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development STs.


89th Academy Awards (Oscar Awards)  

The 89th Academy Awards commonly referred to as Oscars was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The award presented in 24 categories by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honouring   best films of 2016.

Musical drama La La Land won the most number of awards totaling to six at the ceremony after it was nominated into 14 categories. It was followed by Moonlight and Arrival with each being nominated in eight categories.

Winners are
  • Best Picture: Moonlight.
  • Best Actres: Emma Stone (La La Land).
  • Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea).
  • Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land). At 32, he became youngest director to win oscar.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences).
  • Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight). He is first Muslim to win acting Oscar.
  • Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea).
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight).
  • Best Cinematography: Linus Sandgren (La La Land).
  • Best Original Score: Justin Hurwitz (La La Land).
  • Best Original Song: Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land).
  • Best Sound Editing: Sylvain Bellemare (Arrival).
  • Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman (Iran).
  • Best Film Editing: John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge).
  • Best Visual Effects: Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon (The Jungle Book).
  • Best Production Design: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds Wasco (La La Land).
  • Best Sound Mixing: Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace (Hacksaw Ridge).
  • Best Documentary-Feature: Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow (O.J.: Made in America).
  • Best Animated Feature Film: Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer (Zootopia).
  • Best Animated Short Film: Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer (Piper).
  • Best Documentary-Short Subject: Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara (The White Helmets).
  • Best Live Action Short Film: Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy (Sing).
  • Best Make-Up and Hairstyling: Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelso (Suicide Squad).
  • Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them).

Indian actor Om Puri, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Bill Paxton were among late stars who were remembered and honoured at the Oscars.

About Academy Awards (Oscars)

It is famously known as “Oscars”. It is a group of 24 artistic and technical honours that recognizes excellence in cinematic achievements in the US film industry. It is given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The award was first presented in 1929. The winners are awarded a copy of a statuette officially called the Academy Award of Merit (famously referred as Oscar Award).