1) Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh to get Jnanpith award: Noted Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh was chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith award for 2013 on 20 June 2014. Singh is the 10th Hindi writer to receive the honour and joins the likes of Sumitra Nandan Pant, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar among others. He will be the recipient of 49th Jnanpith award. 80-year-old Singh, who has also written essays and stories, was born in Balia, UP, and 'Abhi bilkul abhi' and 'Yahan se dekho' are among his prominent works. The award includes Rs 11 lakh and a citation, a release from the Jnanpith award committee said.
2) Government hiked railway passenger fare by 14.2%, freight charges by 6.5%
: The government has increased railway passenger fare by 14.2 per cent and freight charges by 6.5 per cent on 20 June 2014. The increased rates will come effect from 25 June 2014. As much as 4.2 per cent of the fare hike is on account of a variable Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) approved in last year’s rail budget. The remaining 10 per cent is a flat hike across all classes. Similarly, freight rates will have a five per cent hike flat over and above a 1.4 per cent of the FAC.
3) Salman Rushdie wins PEN Pinter prize: Salman Rushdie is to receive the 2014 PEN Pinter prize, following in the footsteps of Tony Harrison, Hanif Kureishi, David Hare, Carol Ann Duffy and Tom Stoppard. The prize was established in 2009 by the campaigning group English PEN in memory of the playwright Harold Pinter. It is given annually to a writer who, in the words of Pinter's speech on receiving the Nobel prize, casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze on the world and shows a "fierce intellectual determination ... to define the real truth of our lives and societies". Rushdie will be presented with the award at the British Library on 9 October.
4) India 143rd on Global Peace Index: Ranking India among 20 most violent places in the world, a global study on 18 June 2014 said the country's economy took a hit of over Rs 1 lakh crore in containing and dealing with cases of violence last year. In the latest annual ranking of Global Peace Index, India has been ranked at 143rd position out of 162 countries surveyed.While India has slipped two positions, Iceland continues to top the list as the world's most peaceful place. However, Syria has replaced Afghanistan as the most violent place.