People in the News
Welcome to a new section which is especially created for the people in the current news. Here you'll find a list of popular personalities from all over the world. Each personality has own specialty. To view about the personalities click on the appropriate links provided.
People in the News
Sachin Is Hygiene Champion For Unicef
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has taken over as Unicef ambassador for South Asia to support the organisation's work in promoting hygiene and sanitation in the region, an official said here Thursday.
"I look forward to working with children and communities in the region, urging them to use toilets and wash their hands. Following simple practices can contribute to a hygienic lifestyle which is important for the good health of children and women across the world," Tendulkar said at a ceremony where he signed himself into the programme.
Unicef South Asia Regional Director Karin Hulshof said that using a toilet and washing hands with soap means living healthy lives with dignity and helps all children thrive.
"Sachin will lend his voice to reach everybody in all villages and communities in South Asia with hygiene and sanitation messages," Hulshof said.
He explained that sanitation is strongly connected not only to personal hygiene but also to human dignity, well being, public health, nutrition and education.
Children under five years of age are the most vulnerable to the effects of poor sanitation and annually more than half a million children in South Asia die of diarrhoea caused by unsafe drinking water, poor hygiene and lack of sanitation.
After sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia is the region with the highest number of under-five deaths, accounting for 2.3 million in 2011.
Around 39 percent of children under five are stunted in this region which is also the worst in terms of lack of toilets; over 680 million people do not use toilets.
Unicef ambassadors, who are celebrities with a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of children, help highlight children's issues, galvanise public support, lead decision makers and help raise urgently needed funds for vital programmes.
Arundhati Bhattacharya is new chief of SBI
Arundhati Bhattacharya Monday took over as the new chairperson of the State Bank of India (SBI). She is the first woman to be appointed to the top job at the country’s largest lender.
Prior to her elevation to the top job, 57-year-old Bhattacharya was managing director and chief financial officer of SBI. She succeeds Pratip Chaudhuri who retired Sep 30.
“Arundhati Bhattacharya assumed charge as chairperson of State Bank of India on Oct 7, 2013,” SBI said in a statement.
Bhattacharya joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1977. During her 36-year tenure at the bank she has held a number of important positions, including those of deputy managing director and corporate development officer, chief general manager (Bangalore Circle) and chief general manager (New Businesses).
She also headed SBI Capital Markets Ltd, a subsidiary of State Bank of India and had a stint in the Bank’s New York office where she was in charge of monitoring branch performance, overseeing external audit and correspondent relations, SBI statement said.
“She has also played a pivotal role in setting up three of the latest subsidiaries of the Bank viz. the General Insurance Subsidiary, the Custodial Subsidiary and the SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund,” it said.
UPSC to be more transparent; chairman DP Agrawal
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is treading a steady path towards increased transparency, according to its chairman DP Agrawal. Addressing the probationers at city-based National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) on Tuesday, Agrawal said the commission was continuously striving to put in place mechanisms that make it more interactive with all stakeholders.
“Over the years various steps have been taken to ensure you do not suffer because of the system. We will bring in more transparency so that everybody is treated at par,” said Agrawal.
His statements came in connection to part of his speech where he talked about civil servants suffering because of delays in bringing a closure to departmental inquiries. “It has taken seven to 13 years for cases of inquiry against officers to be brought to final stage. In these years you lose out on two or maybe three promotions.
Every year, I get 700 cases and these are all Class-I officers. We now make it a point the committee meets within a month of the official’s file being sent to us and try to reach a decision within six to seven months if all the paperwork is in order. Of course, we are trying to better that performance as well,” said Agrawal.
The UPSC also revamped its exam from this year and Agrawal added this was related to the transparency push. “The principle is that everyone must be tested on the same level.
The optional subjects were causing a bit of issue here as someone would choose the language Pali as it was high scoring. We want to test candidates on subjects that are relevant and not because it happens to an option in the exam. Hence we have changed the format and will try to make it a more even playing field for everybody,” he added.
Agrawal also said that thought had been given to standardizing the interview questions but its implementation seemed tough. “The idea is to have the same questions asked in the interview to make it fair for all candidates. But then the risk is that the first candidate steps out and informs his friends about the questions, which defeats the competitive purpose,” said Agrawal.
He added his counterparts in US were unable to understand and comprehend why any candidate would tell the questions to his friends. “In India, we are too honest and have been brought up that way,” said Agrawal with an intended, but not visible, sarcasm. “If you come out of the interview room and your friend asks you what the questions are, chances are you will tell it to them,” he told the NADT probationers.
Lalu jailed for five years, ceases to be MP
A CBI court Thursday jailed former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad for five years and also fined him Rs.25 lakh for his involvement in the fodder scam.
With this, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) founder leader will lose his membership of the Lok Sabha in line with a Supreme Court ruling.
Lalu Prasad's lawyer pleaded for a lighter sentence as he ended arguments in the fodder scam.
The lawyer said in the court of Pravas Kumar Singh that the RJD leader should get minimum punishment as he was "a respectable person" and held a "high position in society".
Lalu Prasad, the lawyer added, also suffered from many diseases, was 67 years old and was otherwise a law abiding citizen.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, however, sought maximum punishment to show that people holding high positions cannot get away with corruption.
Lalu Prasad, former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 43 others have been convicted on charges of fradulently withdrawing Rs.37.70 crore from the Chaibasa district treasury.
After the division of Bihar, the district is now in Jharkhand.
The CBI court Sep 30 convicted all 45 in the fodder scam. Eight accused were sentenced to three years in prison and slapped with fines up to Rs.50 lakh.
Air Marshal Raha to be next IAF chief
Air Marshal Arup Raha will be the next Indian Air Force (IAF)chief, succeeding Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, who retires Dec 31 after a distinguished 41-year career during which he passionately worked for the modernisation of the force.
The appointment was cleared by the government some time back and formally announced on Wednesday.
The new air chief has had the distinction of heading the IAF’s spearhead force, the Western Air Command, as also the Central Air Command.
As is customary, he was brought to the Air Headquarters on June 30 as the vice chief in preparation for his new assignment. This brief preparatory tenure helps a new chief get familiarised with IAF’s current and future plans as also the IAF’s role in India’s strategic perspective.
Air Marshal Raha was commissioned into the IAF on December 14, 1974 as a combat pilot, flying MiG-21 and MiG-29 aircraft in the fighter stream of the flying branch.
During a career spanning nearly 39 years, Air Marshal Raha has held various command, staff and instructional appointments. He served as India’s air attache in Ukraine.
Besides various technical courses, he has done National Defence College (NDC), Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Strategic Nuclear Orientation Course and Junior Commanders’ Course (JCC).
He is a recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal, the Ati Vishist Seva Medal and the Vayu Medal for distinguished service.
The new assignment is perhaps the best new year gift the Air Chief Marshal Raha will get. As the 24th IAF chief, he will be piloting it in the most crucial phase of its transformation and ensure that its various programmes are achieved and secured on time, a defence analyst said.
Rahul Bombshell: Ordinance Wrong, Policy Nonsense
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Friday dropped a political bombshell on an unsuspecting government, saying that the ordinance that it had sent up to the president to protect convicted lawmakers from disqualification, was "wrong", should be "torn up and thrown away" and it was time to stop "this nonsense".
In what came as a major embarassment for the Manmohan Singh government, especially when the prime minister was away in the US and had a summit meeting ahead (Friday mid-morning Washington time) with President Barack Obama, Gandhi trashed the ordinance in an unexpected appearance at the Press Club of India where Congress spokesman Ajay Maken was painstakingly defending it.
"What the government has done is wrong," Gandhi told surprised journalists. He walked into the club as Maken, chairman of Congress communication department, was in the middle of his press interaction.
Apparently distancing himself from his party's line on the controversial ordinance - sent by the cabinet to the president - that has evoked sharp response from sections of the opposition and the public at large, Gandhi said: "It is time to stop this nonsense.
"My opinion of the ordinance is that it is completely nonsense and should be torn up and thrown away."
The dramatic prouncements were immediately termed as "grandstanding", "a charade" and aimed at "damage control" by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, while the Left leader Gurudas Dasgupta said he was "baffled" by Rahul Gandhi's comment.
Six Seemandhra Ministers Quit Over Telangana
Six central ministers from Seemandhra region have resigned to protest the union cabinet's decision to create a separate Telangana state.
Minister of Textiles K.S. Rao and Minister of Human Resource Development Pallam Raju, who were present at Thursday's cabinet meeting, resigned later in the night. Ministers of State K. Chiranjeevi and Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy also announced their resignations.
D. Purandeswari and K. Krupa Rani Friday said they too were resigning to protest the cabinet decision to create a separate Telangana state. Suryaprakash Reddy is from Rayalaseema while the other ministers are from coastal Andhra.
Chiranjeevi faxed his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sources in the Congress party said. Other ministers said they have resigned, but there is no confirmation if they sent their resignation letters to the prime minister.
Pallam Raju called the prime minister immediately after the cabinet meeting to convey his decision to quit. Manmohan Singh advised him not to act in haste.
Four Congress MPs V. Arun Kumar, Ananta Venkatarami Reddy, A. Sai Pratap and Sabbam Hari also resigned Thursday. They also announced they are resigning from the primary membership of the party.
Three other central ministers from coastal Andhra and more MPs may resign Friday due to the mounting pressure from the people who are opposed to the state's division.
Sam Pitroda calls for educational reforms
Sam Pitroda, adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Thursday voiced concern over the quality of education in India and called for educational reforms by replacing age-old systems and changing mindsets. Some people in authority are living in the dark ages, he said.
"Leaving aside the top five percent universities, I feel the quality of education in India is pretty bad and I say it with a great deal of concern," Pitroda said at the first convocation of Presidency University.
Committed To Inflation Control As RBI Cares For Growth: Subbarao
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is concerned about price stability as well as growth, and it would be "inaccurate and unfair" to conclude that the central bank is obsessed with inflation, Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said Saturday.
"The Reserve Bank's monetary policy aims at three objectives – price stability, growth and financial stability. To contend that the Reserve Bank is obsessed with inflation, oblivious to growth concerns, I think, is both inaccurate and unfair," Subbarao said.
Former Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal appointed UPSC member
Former Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal has been appointed as member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).He was appointed on August 8 for a period of six years or until he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier, a notification issued by the Ministry of Personnel said today.
The retired Indian Railway Traffic Service officer was chairman of Railway Board for two years from June 30, 2011 to June 30.
Mehtra wins snooker gold at World Games
Asian Snooker champion Aditya Mehta toppled tournament favourite Liang Wenbo of China 3-0 to clinch the men's gold medal at the World Games here on Tuesday.
The top-ranked Indian became the first cueist from the country to become World Games champion, saod Salil Deshpande, joint secretary of the Billiards and Snooker Association of Maharashtra.
Sharad Kumar to be new NIA chief
Haryana cadre IPS officer Sharad Kumar has been appointed the new chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), officials said Tuesday.
A 1979-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, he is presently director general (Prisons) in Haryana.
Jayalalithaa requests Gogoi for rhino pair
Chennai, June 19 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa requested her Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi to spare a pair of the greater one-horned rhinoceros in exchange for a pair of Indian gaur.
In a letter to Gogoi, the text of which was released to the media here Wednesday, Jayalalithaa said the Arignar Anna Zoological Park near here has a collection of 1,400 individual animals consisting of 143 species but no rhinoceros.
Raghav Joneja, became the Youngest Indian to climb Everest
Raghav Joneja became the youngest Indian to scale the Mount Everest on 21 May 2013 when he along with his five schoolmates climbed the fifth highest peak in the world.
Climbing at the age of 15 years and seven months Raghav Joneja broke the record set by Nameirakpam Chingkheinganba of Manipur's, who climed the everest at the age 16 years seven months and 11 days.
Sculptorer Anish Kapoor to be Honoured with Knighthood
Anish Kapoor, the Indian-origin sculptor was honoured with Knighthood, which is the highest honour of Britain. He was conferred the award by the Queen Elizabeth II in her birthday honours list 2013 for Visual Arts services.
Indian-Origin Amol Rajan Became First Non-White Editor of the Independent
Amol Rajan, the 29-year-year-old Indian origin journalist became the Editor of UK national paper, The Independent, on 17 June 2013. He became the first non-white editor of The Independent. Amol Rajan replaced Chris Blackhurst. Earlier, Amol Rajan was the comment editor of the newspaper.
Avinash Chander appointed as the New chief of DRDO
Avinash Chander, the principal architect of India's long-range missile programmes on 31 May 2013 appointed Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief and scientific advisor to defence minister.
Avinash Chander, will succeed V.K. Saraswat. He is an eminent missile scientist, who is considered the chief architect of the long-range Agni ballistic missile programme. As the Director-General of DRDO, Chander is supposed to hold the posts of Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri (SA to RM); and Secretary, Defence R&D. He was also awarded with Padma Shri in 2013.
Ranjit Rae is India's new envoy to Nepal
New Delhi/Kathmandu, June 27 (IANS) India Thursday named Ranjit Rae, an Indian Foreign Service officer from the 1980 batch, as the next ambassador to Nepal. He will succeed Jayanta Prasad, whose tenure ends in August.
Rae, 56, is expected to take up his assignment shortly, an announcement said. He is currently the Indian ambassador in Vietnam.
Sujatha Singh set to be next foreign secretary
New Delhi: A decision on India's top diplomat is imminent and the choice is likely to be Sujatha Singh, currently Indian ambassador to Germany. She is the senior-most officer in the Indian Foreign Service and will, in all likelihood, succeed Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai who retires on July 31.
Sreesanth two others arrested for spot fixing in IPL - 6
New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) India fast bowler Sreesanth as well as his Rajasthan Royals colleagues Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested in Mumbai Thursday for alleged spot fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Actor Vindu Dara Singh arrested for having links with bookies
Mumbai: In a high-profile development, Mumbai police Tuesday nabbed Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh for suspected links with the spot-fixing scam in the ongoing IPL tournament, officials said here.
According to police, Vindu has links to Ramesh Vyas, one of the bookies arrested in the scam, currently in Mumbai police custody.
With the arrest of Vindu, 49, Mumbai police have sounded the first knock on Bollywood, completing the cricket-underworld-Bollywood triumvirate in the betting and spot-fixing scam that has hit the sixth edition of Indian Premier League.
Gurunath Meiyappan arrested by Mumbai police
Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) Mumbai police late Friday night arrested Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of Indian cricket board chief N. Srinivasan, in the IPL spot fixing scam after three hours of intense interrogation, an official said.
iGate CEO Phaneesh Murthy sacked for undisclosed relationship
Washington/Bangalore, May 21 (IANS) Indian tech honcho Phaneesh Murthy was Tuesday sacked as chief executive of US-based software services company iGate Corporation "for not disclosing a relationship with a subordinate", over a decade after he was forced to quit Indian IT bellwether Infosys on similar charges of sexual misconduct.
Bihar's former RJD MP Pappu Yadav released from jail
Patna: Four days after the court acquitted former RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav on charges of killing CPI-M leader Ajit Sarkar, he was formally released from a Patna jail on Tuesday, police officials said.
Sanjay Dutt shifted to Pune jail
Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) In a surprise move, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was secretly shifted from a Mumbai prison to a Pune jail early Wednesday, official sources said.
Shashi Kant Sharma to be new CAG
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma will be the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, replacing Vinod Rai, who retires May 22, the government announced Tuesday.