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PIB Summaries 16 October 2023


  1. Saraswati Samman Award
  2. INS Sagardhwani

Saraswati Samman Award


Recently, Tamil writer Sivasankari was presented with the ‘Saraswati Samman’ 2022 for her book of memoirs Surya Vamsam.


Facts for Prelims

About the Saraswati Samman Award:

The Saraswati Samman Award is a prestigious literary honor in India, recognizing outstanding literary works in various Indian languages. Here are some key details about this award:

  • Annual Award: The Saraswati Samman is awarded annually to authors for their literary contributions over the past ten years. The award considers works in 22 different Indian languages.
  • Significance: It is regarded as one of the highest honors in the field of Indian literature and holds great importance in the literary community.
  • Selection Process: The selection of the award recipients follows a rigorous three-tier process, culminating in a final decision by Chayan Parishad, the governing body responsible for conferring the award.
  • Foundation: The Saraswati Samman Award was instituted by the K. Birla Foundation. This foundation is also associated with other notable literary awards, including the Vyas Samman and the Bihari Puraskar.
  • Prize: The award includes a citation, a plaque, and a cash prize of 15 lakh rupees, making it a substantial recognition for the honored authors.

Other Works of Sivasankari:

Sivasankari, the recipient of the 2020 Saraswati Samman Award, boasts a prolific literary career spanning over five decades. Her body of work is extensive and includes a wide range of literary forms. Here are some details about her literary output:

  • Versatility: Sivasankari has written 36 novels, 48 novellas, 150 short stories, 15 travelogues, seven collections of essays, and three biographies.
  • Memoir: In 2019, she penned a memoir titled “Surya Vamsam,” which is presented in two volumes. The first volume delves into her transformation from childhood to a young writer, while the second volume explores her life and experiences as an acclaimed author, as she spreads her literary wings.

INS Sagardhwani


Recently, INS Sagardhwani, an oceanographic research vessel embarked on a two-month long Sagar Maitri (SM) Mission-4 from South Jetty, Southern Naval Command (SNC), Kochi.


GS III: Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. INS Sagardhwani
  2. Sagar Maitri Initiative

INS Sagardhwani:

  • Origin: INS Sagardhwani is a marine acoustic research ship developed by the Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO, based in Kochi. It was constructed indigenously by GRSE Ltd.
  • Launch Date: The ship was launched in July 1994, marking the beginning of its operational life.
  • Mission: NPOL is actively engaged in studying the ocean environment and related fields. INS Sagardhwani serves as a vital platform for conducting extensive oceanic observing missions and research.

Sagar Maitri Initiative:

  • DRDO’s Initiative: Sagar Maitri is an initiative by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India.
  • Policy Objective: This initiative aligns with the broader objective of India’s policy declaration known as ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).’ It aims to foster closer cooperation in socio-economic aspects and promote more significant scientific interaction, particularly in ocean research, among the countries in the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR).
  • MAITRI Component: Within the framework of the Sagar Maitri initiative, DRDO introduced a scientific component called ‘MAITRI’ (Marine and Allied Interdisciplinary Training and Research Initiative). This component is dedicated to establishing long-term collaboration with IOR countries in the field of Ocean Research and Development.
  • Mission Scope: The missions under Sagar Maitri focus on establishing sustained scientific partnerships and collaborations with eight IOR countries, including Oman, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Myanmar.
  • Current Mission (SM-4): The ongoing mission, SM-4, plans to involve scientific deployments onboard INS Sagardhwani in the Northern Arabian Sea. It also aims to initiate collaborative research programs with the Department of Marine Sciences & Fisheries at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman.

December 2023