People in the News 2018
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
People in the News January 01st to January 7th 2018
- Mamta Kalia -the eminent Hindi writer will be honoured with literary award Vyas Samman for year 2017 for her novel 'Dukkham Sukkham'. The Vyas Samman is given to a Hindi literary work published in the past 10 years. It is awarded annually by the K.K. Birla Foundation.
- Vinay Sahasrabuddhe - he was recently appointed as the President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister. Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India's external cultural relations.
People in the News October 23rd to October 29th 2017
- Girija Devi -the eminent classical singer and Padma Vibhushan awardee who passed away recently. A legendary singer of the Benaras gharana, Girija Devi was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972, the Padma Bhushan in 1989 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016.
- Dineshwar Sharma - the former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief was recently appointed as Representative of Government of India to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with the elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. He will have rank equivalent to a Cabinet Secretary and complete independence in deciding who to hold talks with. He is likely to hold talks with mainstream local political workers of the PDP, National Conference and Congress, heads of various religious seminaries in the Valley, local student unions etc.
- Suresh Sethi –he was appointed as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). Mr Sethi was the former MD of Vodafone M-Pesa Ltd. Aapka bank, aapke dwaar is the tagline of IPPB headquartered in New Delhi.
People in the News October 1st to October 22nd 2017
- George Saunders –he won the Man Booker prize for his novel Lincoln in the Bardo. The book tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s grief after the death of his young son, and his visits to his tomb. The leading literary award in English, The Man Booker Prize was launched in 1969. It aims to promote the ‘finest in fiction’ and is awarded each year to the book adjudged as the best novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom.
People in the News September 8st to September 14th 2017
Mother Teresa - she was recently declared as the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Calcutta at a Mass in the city recently where she dedicated her life to the poorest of the poor. The honour came 16 months after Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint.
AB Pandey - he is the UIDAI chief who was recently appointed interim chairman of Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)-the firm providing the IT backbone and portal for registration and tax returns under the GST regime after GSTN’s first chairman Navin Kumar completed his term recently.
Tarun Ramadorai - from Imperial College, London, he is the chairman RBI's Household Finance Committee which published its report on household finances recently. As per the report Indian families borrow and invest in very different ways than families in the US, UK or Germany, and even those in China. It shows that a major proportion of household wealth in Indian families is kept as real estate or gold, even among younger families, and even by the poorest 40 per cent of population. This is not the case in other countries. Institutional borrowings by Indian families are low in early life and go on increasing leaving many retired persons with a debt overhang, unlike advanced countries where mortgages reduce after retirement. And, pensions are virtually absent in India while in most Western countries they are a major asset in old age. More than three quarters of family wealth is invested in real estate (land and dwelling units) by an average Indian family compared to just 44 per cent in the US, and 37 per cent in UK and Germany. In China, about 62 per cent of wealth goes into real estate. Even among the poorest 20 per cent of the population, 59 per cent have some land or dwelling unit in India, while in China, the similar proportion is 61 per cent. But in the rich countries a minuscule share of the poorest quintile has real estate — 4 per cent in US, and less than 1 per cent in UK and Germany. The average value of the main residence in the poorest Indian households is Rs 22,000, while it is Rs 15 lakh in Germany and Rs 3.7 lakh in the US. The RBI report is talking of proportion of different types of family wealth. Their absolute values are obviously very different. Besides real estate, the other main target of investment in India is gold. About 11 per cent of family wealth goes into buying gold. Families in other countries spend virtually nothing on this, with the Chinese spending a mere 0.4 per cent of their wealth on gold. Indian families also have gold loans amounting to about 8 per cent of their total liabilities, again a feature not found anywhere else.
People in the News September 1st to September 7th 2017
- Arun Jaitley - the Finance minister recently said India is within the reach of '1 billion-1 billion-1 billion' vision of financial inclusion, recounting the success of three-year old plan that began with an ambitious attempt to bring formal banking to every household. "That is 1 billion unique Aadhaar numbers linked to 1 billion bank accounts and 1 billion mobile phones. These views were expressed by Finance minister Arun Jaitley on the third anniversary of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). The scheme targets a bank account for all those who are financially excluded. He said that while the scheme aimed at providing financial services to the poor — bank accounts, electronic means of payment (via RUPAY cards), and ability to avail credit and insurance - the underlying vision was much broader. JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile) is nothing short of a social revolution because it has brought together financial inclusion (PMJDY), biometric identification (Aadhaar) and mobile telecommunications, finance minister said. About 52.4 crore unique Aadhaar numbers are linked to 73.62 crore accounts in India. This has allowed the poor to make payments electronically. Every month now, about 7 crore successful payments are made by the poor using their Aadhaar identification. Besides, the government now makes direct transfer of Rs 74,000 crore to the financial accounts of 35 crore beneficiaries annually, at more than Rs 6,000 crore per month for the various government anti-poverty and support schemes such as PAHAL, MNREGA, old age pensions, student scholarships, etc. He also said that now with the BHIM app and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), JAM can become fully operational and added that it will allow poor to become part of digital mainstream through this secure and seamless payments infrastructure.
- Tarun Ramadorai - the chairman of an RBI-constituted committee on household finances. He was in the news recently after he said that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to consider linking lending rates to the repo rate. He further said that lack of inter-regulatory coordination is the biggest roadblock to implementing the panel's recommendations.
People in the News August 21th to August 27th 2017
- Andrew Nuss and Dennis Mathew- they are the insect specialists to whom US defence department has awarded a grant of $1 million to create genetically engineered mosquitoes that are not attracted to people. The technique involves identifying the smell receptors that mosquitoes use to detect human flesh, and switching them off, or replacing them with other smell receptors that make them attract to other animals.
- Justice Dipak Misra –he was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India recently.
He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind. He is succeeding Justice JS Khehar, who retired recently. He will be the third person from Odisha to be appointed the Chief Justice of India, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik. Article 124 of the Constitution of India provides for the manner of appointing judges to the Supreme Court. Though no specific provision exists in the Constitution for appointing the Chief Justice, who, as a result, is appointed like the other judges conventionally, the outgoing CJI recommends the name of the senior-most judge (i.e. by date of appointment to the Supreme Court) for appointment by the President of India, as his successor.
Raguram Rajan -the ex-governor of Reserve Bank of India is the author of the book’ I Do What I Do’ which has been published by Harper Collins. The books talks about commentary and speeches of Dr. Rajan when he was at the helm of central bank and the turbulent and exciting times during that period. Rajan was governor of Reserve Bank of India between 2013 and 2016. He has previously co-authored savings capitalism from Capitalists with Luigi Zingales.
Rishang Keishing – he was India’s oldest parliamentarian who passed away recently at Imphal. Born in 1920 in Manipur, Rishang contested the first assembly elections from his home constituency Phungyar in 1972. He won the seat seven times and served as the chief minister from 1980 to 1988 and 1994 to 1997. At 87, he was the oldest MP and the last link to the country’s first Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha member from Manipur.
People in the News August 14th to August 20th 2017
- Shwetak Patel -the Indian origin professor of University of Washington whose start up Senosis Health was recently bought by Google. The startup turns smart phones into medical devices and collects health stats. Using accelerometer, microphone, flash and camera, the Senosis apps can monitor lung health and hemoglobin counts, among other things.
- Barack Obama- the former US President anti-racism tweet recently became the most-liked twee in history gaining over 3.5 million likes and 1.3 million retweets. White nationalist rally in Charlottesville was the subject of the tweet.
- Akshay Kumar - the hero of the film ‘Toilet -Ek Prem Katha’ which became the first big Bollywood release to be made Tax-free in GST regime. UP government waived the state GST share on the movie’s tickets. State governments could earlier waive off ‘entertainment tax’ on movies. But with GST coming into effect from July1, 2017 the state entertainment tax was subsumed into GST and ceased to exist. Air-conditioned cinema halls fall under the 28% GST-with Central GST share being 14% of the net ticket price and the state GST share being equal to 14%.
People in the News August 07th to August 13th 2017
- G Sekar - the Chennai-based chartered accountant, is the first Indian to be selected into the Consultative Advisory Group (CAG) of International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB). He will hold office for a period of 3 years. CAG is an advisory body of IEAESB, a body that develops guidance to improve the standards of education in accountancy. 55 year old Sekar will join the CAG through The Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), which has 33 accounting bodies including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India as members. He has been a central council member of the ICAI since 2013
- Dr Rajiv Kumar - the economist who was named as the new Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, after the incumbent Arvind Panagariya announced that he would quit to return to academics. The government also appointed Dr Vinod Paul, a pediatrician at the AIIMS, as a member of the NITI Aayog, Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University, is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. Earlier, he was Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and had also served as Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008. He has also served as the chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries and held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank, the Indian ministry of industries, and the ministry of finance. Kumar is also a member of boards of several international and national institutions, including the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and Asia in Jakarta, the State Bank of India, and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
- Bibek Debroy - he headed the government committee for implementation of the Socio Economic Survey. This was in the news as it has recommended that those having a four-room set or four-wheeler or an air conditioner will be automatically excluded from being eligible for social benefits in urban areas. Households owning all of three items -refrigerator, washing machine and a two-wheeler -will also be automatically excluded. The report also specifies who will be automatically included in the list of beneficiaries based on the parameters set for residential, occupational and social deprivation. Those who are houseless or have a house with polythene wall or roof, no income or households without adult male or headed by a child will be included. About six in every 10 households in urban areas will be eligible for assessment for identifying whether they are entitled for government's social welfare schemes, according to the recommendation of a government panel. According to the report, the rest of the households will be assessed to find whether they can also be included in the list of beneficiaries. They will be ranked on the basis of an index score on a scale of zero to 12. The parameters will be residential, social and occupational deprivation. Earlier, the S R Hashim Committee had submitted its report on urban poor in December 2012, but the government never accepted it. Going by the recommendation of Hashim panel, 41% households in urban areas could have been included for assessment to find whether they are eligible for getting benefits from government schemes. But the Debroy panel recommendations will make 59% households eligible for this assessment. The panel has said categorising of households’ population as BPL or above poverty line would be a misnomer.
- Navin Kumar - the chairman of the GSTN(Goods and Services Tax Network) ,the Company which has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the Central and State Governments, tax payers and other stakeholders for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). It is a Section 8 (under new companies Act, not for profit companies are governed under section 8), non-Government, private limited company. It was incorporated on March 28, 2013. The Government of India holds 24.5% equity in GSTN and all States of the Indian Union, including NCT of Delhi and Puducherry, and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers (EC), together hold another 24.5%. Balance 51% equity is with non-Government financial institutions. The Authorised Capital of the company is Rs. 10, 00, 00,000 (Rupees ten crore only). The Government of India approved the proposal for setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle to be called Goods and Services Tax Network on the lines mentioned above on 12th April 2012The major chunk of expenses to be incurred by GSTN consists of payment to Managed Service Provider M/S Infosys for design and development of GST Systems, supply of all underlying infrastructure, software licenses, bandwidth and operation and maintenance of GST systems for five years from the go-live date. In compliance of the above decision, GST Network was registered as a non-government, not-for-profit, private limited company under section 8 (under new companies Act, not for profit companies are governed under section 8) of the Companies Act 1956 with the Central Government having 24.5%, State Government & EC having 24.5%, HDFC having 10%, HDFC Bank having 10% , ICICI Bank having 10%, NSE Strategic Investment Co having 10% and LIC Housing Finance Ltd. having 11% of the holding in the company.
People in the News August 01th to August 06th 2017
- Sindhushree Khullar - he led task force on restructuring NITI Aayog secretariat had in 2015 suggested three divisions under the Aayog’s chief executive. These include the Team India Hub (TIH), Knowledge and Innovation Hub (KIH) and a flexi pool of officers. While the Aayog constituted the TIH and the KIH through an order dated August 14,2015 there has been no progress in constituting the flexi pool since then because the recruitment rules have not been finalised, thus limiting the institution’s capacity to take on new assignments owing to the paucity of workers. The Aayog will now create a flexi pool of 100 experts at the rank of advisors, deputy advisors, joint advisors, senior advisors, senior research officers and economic officers who can either be hired on deputation or can be a direct recruitment on contract.
- Justice B N Srikrishna - the former SC judge will head the government panel on data protection. The 10 member committee constituted by government will deliberate on data protection framework for the country. The move assumes significance on account of growing digital transactions and also the rising concerns around safety of personal data of citizens. The panel will make specific suggestions to the government on principles to be considered for data protection and also suggest a draft data protection bill.
- Daniel Roche–the famous climber who has spent years combing the Bossons Glacier in the Alps was in the news recently for discovering the remains of plane on Mount Blanc in the French Alps. This remain is believed to be of Air India plane that crashed in 1966 containing Homi Bhabha, the father of the Indian nuclear programme.
People in the News July 17th to July 23th 2017
- Arvind Panagariya -the vice-chairman of Niti Aayog is the head of the task force on improving employment data. It was in the news recently after its suggested frequent surveys, extensive use of GSTN data and a dedicated central facility to improve India's job statistics. The task force further suggested that Annual Survey of Industries should be discontinued and replaced by annual enterprise survey using enterprise registered with the Goods and Services Network (GSTN).
- Shankar Acharya- the former Chief Economic Advisor was the head of the expert panel set up by government to study the feasibility to move to a new financial year. The committee is understood to have recommended moving to a new fiscal year cycle of January to December. The Centre had also urged States to do so and Madhya Pradesh has already announced switching to the new fiscal year cycle. International agencies and many other countries also follow the January to December financial year, and it is felt that it helps to improve the flow of expenditure starts before the monsoon sets in. To improve efficacy of its spending, the Centre had last year also advanced the Budget timeline to ensure it is passed by March 31 and had also scrapped the distinction of Plan and Non-Plan expenditure.
People in the News July 01th to July 16th 2017
- Raja Chari- the only Indian American among the 12 new astronauts chosen by NASA for missions to deep space. Lt Col Chari is a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The seven men and five women selected by NASA were culled from a record 18,300 applicants during an open astronaut call. After completing two years of training, the new astronaut candidates could be assigned to missions on the International Space Station and flying on deep space missions on NASA's new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket
- Domingos-Antonio Gomes–the Portuguese-American musician who set a new Guinness World Record for the most piano key hits in a minute. He played the key 824 times in 60 seconds on an unmodified concert grand piano-Yamaha CFX concert grand piano-in a music store in Lisbon. His technique involved using two alternate fingers to hit the key. The previous record was of 765 hits in 60 seconds which was achieved by Bence Peter from Hungary in 2012.
People in the News June 17th to June 25th 2017
- David Grossman - the Israeli author who won the Man Booker International Prize recently for his book ‘ A Horse walks Into a Bar'. He shared the 50,000 pound award with translator Jessica Cohen. Grossman is the first Israeli writer to win the prize. Since he started writing in the 1970s, Grossman has won numerous Israeli and international awards.
- Katy Perry, Justin Beiber, Barack Obama -they respectively are the top three ranked persons in the world in terms of Twitter followers. US singer Katy Perry recently became the first person to have 100 million Twitter followers. Singer Justin Beiber(96.7m) and ex-US president Barack Obama(91m) follow her. Among Indians, PM Narendra Modi(30m) is No.1.
People in the News June 05th to June 11th 2017
- Raja Chari- the only Indian American among the 12 new astronauts chosen by NASA for missions to deep space. Lt Col Chari is a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The seven men and five women selected by NASA were culled from a record 18,300 applicants during an open astronaut call. After completing two years of training, the new astronaut candidates could be assigned to missions on the International Space Station and flying on deep space missions on NASA's new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket
- Domingos-Antonio Gomes–the Portuguese-American musician who set a new Guinness World Record for the most piano key hits in a minute. He played the key 824 times in 60 seconds on an unmodified concert grand piano-Yamaha CFX concert grand piano-in a music store in Lisbon. His technique involved using two alternate fingers to hit the key. The previous record was of 765 hits in 60 seconds which was achieved by Bence Peter from Hungary in 2012.
People in the News May 29th to June 04th 2017
- Anjuly Chib Duggal-the Secretary, Department of Financial Services, she will head the panel to select CEOs for financial institutions for now which are lying vacant. With this decision the government has taken away the task of selecting candidates to state run financial institutions from the Banks Board Bureau, narrowing the mandate of the independent body set up a year ago primarily help reform struggling banks. The bureau, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, was established in April 2016 with an aim to free the government of the administrative task of appointing top executives and overseeing their governance standards at state-run banks and financial institutions
People in the News May 22th to May 28th 2017
- AnshuJamsenpa–this lady of Bomdilla in Arunachal Pradeshbecame the first woman to claim “dual ascent” of Mount Everest twice within a span of five days. The 37-year-old is also the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest for the fifth time. She broke the previous record of Nepal's Chhurim Sherpa, who had climbed Mt Everest twice in a week in 2012.
- Tapan Ray–he will be the next Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, under the Ministry of Finance from June 1, 2017.The competent authority approved assignment of additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, to Tapan Ray, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, on superannuation of Shaktikanta Das, IAS, with effect from 01.06.2017
- Hassan Rouhani–he was re-elected as the President of Iran. The re-election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a decisive electoral victory is a welcome development for Iran, India and the world in general. Rouhani secured 57 per cent of the vote against the 38.5 per cent garnered by his opponent, the hardline cleric, EbrahimRaisi, who had the backing of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Much like the French in their presidential elections, Iranians voted decisively against inward-looking politics. Though Raisi campaigned on a populist platform — tackling corruption, alleviating poverty, larger hand-outs for the poor — voters preferred Rouhani's record with the nuclear deal and promise of increased engagement with the world, ensuring accountability and domestic reform, and greater personal freedoms.
People in the News May 15th to May 21th 2017
- A P J Abdul Kalam –the former President of India after which the scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have named a new organism discovered by them. Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the foremost lab of NASA for work on inter-planetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president, who was a renowned aerospace scientist. Kalam had his early training at NASA in 1963 before he set up India's first rocket-launching facility in the fishing village of Thumba in Kerala
- Emmanuel Macron–he was recently elected as the new President of France. He polled 66.1% votes against 33.9% polled by the right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen. The result bolstered the European Union as the new President is a supporter of EU.
People in the News May 01th to May 07th 2017
- K Viswanath- the celebrated multilingual film director and actor who won the DadasahebPhalke award for 2016, India's highest recognition for cinema. Viswanath, who hails from Gudivada in Andhra Pradesh, has been making films since 1965, but rose to stardom with the 1980 superhit 'Shankarabharanam'.
- Akshay Kumar-the actor who was recently conferred with his "first ever" National Award for the movie 'Rustom'. He received the award in the Best Actor category from President Pranab Mukherjee during the 64th National Film Awards ceremony recently. Sonam Kapoor who won a Special Mention for her role in "Neerja", which was named the Best Hindi Film. Malayalam actress Surabhi C.M. received the Best Actress award for "Minnaminungu - the Firefly". Marathi film "Kasaav" won the Best Feature Film; filmmaker Rajesh Mapuskar was named as the Best Director for "Ventilator" and the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment Award was given to Telugu film "SathamanamBhavathi". The Best Film on Social Issues was given to Bollywood film "Pink", while NageshKukunoor collected the Best Children's Film honour for "Dhanak". The Supporting Actors category saw Kashmiri girl ZairaWasim and Manoj Joshi winning for their performances in "Dangal" and "Dashakriya" respectively.
- Simon Armitage-the author of famous poem 'In Praise of Air' which is regarded as the world's first air-cleansing poem which has removed more than two tons of pollution from the environment. Printed on a specially treated material developed by Sheffield scientists, the poem is capable of purifying its surroundings through catalytic oxidation
People in the News April 24th to April 30th 2017
- Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar-he has been appointed as the new chief of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Bhatnagar, a 1983-batch Indian Police Service officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, was appointed nearly two months after the retirement of previous chief K. Durga Prasad on February 28. Bhatnagar is currently serving as Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau -- an ADGP-rank post temporarily upgraded to a Special Director General of Police rank. He has been appointed till December 31, 2019, the date of his superannuation or till further orders.
- Peggy Whitson- the commander of International Space Station's Expedition 51 crew, set the US record for most cumulative days in space, surpassing NASA astronaut Jeff Williams's record of 534 days recently. Additionally, she is the first woman to command the space station twice and holds the record for most space walks conducted by a female astronaut. Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has spent 879 days on orbit in total, currently holds the world record for the number of cumulative days in space.
People in the News April 17th to April 23th 2017
- Narendra Modi- the Prime Minister of India with 7 million followers, has emerged on top of list of 325 Instagram accounts run by heads of states and ministers in the last year. He is followed by US President Donald Trump with 6.4 million followers. Former US President Barack Obama was previously the most popular political leader. He currently has 13.9 million followers.
- General H R McMaster-the National Security Adviser of United States who reaffirmed the Major Defence Partner status granted to India during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi recently. During the meeting between Modi and General McMaster, views were exchanged on how India and the US can work together to effectively address the challenge of terrorism and to advance regional peace, security and stability. General H R McMaster,whose trip marks the first visit by a top official of the Trump administration, shared his perspective with the prime minister on the security situation in the extended region, including Afghanistan, West Asia and North Korea.
- Shraddha Mengshette- the 21-year old girl from Latur district of Maharashtra who won the first prize of Rs.1.00 crore in the Lucky GrahakYojana draw for consumers launched by the government to boost digital payment after it decided to ban Rs.500 and Rs.1000 current notes. The second prize of Rs.50 lakh was bagged by 29-year old primary school teacher Hardik Kumar from Khambhat in Gujarat and third prize of Rs. 25 lakh was won by Bharat Singh from Sherpur village in Uttarakhand.
- AnandAnanthapadmanabhan–the person from Tambaram in Tamil Nadu who won the first prize of Rs.50 lakh under the Digi-DhanVyaparYojana, the incentive scheme announced by government for traders and merchants boost digital payment after it decided to ban Rs.500 and Rs.1000 current notes. RaginiRajendraUttekar of Thane won the second prize of Rs. 25 lakhs and third prize of Rs.12 lakh was won by Shaik Rafi of Telangana.
People in the News April 10th to April 16th 2017
- Akshay Kumar -the famous Bollywood superstar who came up with the idea of a mechanism for the general public to donate money to families of martyrs of central paramilitary forces who get killed in the line of duty. Taking this further a website 'bharatkeveer.gov.in' was launched by home minister Rajnath Singh recently in Akshay Kumar's presence. Through the portal, people can donate up to Rs 15 lakh to the families of martyred jawans and officers of central armed police forces (CAPFs).
- Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik, Alia Bhatt –they are among Forbes' list of super achievers from Asia under the age of 30 who are "pushing boundaries of innovation". The second Forbes '30 Under 30' Asia list 2017 features 300 impressive young entrepreneurs -- 30 in 10 categories, including entertainment, finance and venture capital, retail, social entrepreneurs and enterprise technology, under the age of 30 years who are pushing the boundaries of innovation. India has 53 achievers on the list, second only to China which has 76 honorees. The list also features Sharath Gayakwad, 25, India's first Paralympic swimmer, coach and Arjuna award winner who has won 96 medals. The youngest Indians on the list are brothers Sanjay, 15, and Shravan Kumaran, 17, who founded GoDimensions, a mobile app developed five years ago. To date, they've built a total of seven apps for the App Store and three for Google Play, including goDonate, a platform for sharing excess food, clothes and furniture with those in need.
- Anil Ambani-the Reliance Group Chairman, who has been inducted into the international advisory board of global think-tank The Atlantic Council. Other notable members of the board include Dr Zbigniew K Brzezinski, former US national security advisor; P.M. Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden; Lord Robertson, former secretary general of NATO. The business leaders include Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, SAAB; Stephen A Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group and Marillyn A Hewson, Chairman, Lockheed Martin Corporation. The Atlantic Council is a foreign policy think-tank headquartered in Washington, DC. Through the work of its 10 programmes and centres, the Atlantic Council promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in the world based on the central role of the Atlantic community, working with its allies and partners, to meet global challenges. The Atlantic Council aims to shape policy choices and strategies and provide an essential forum for navigating the dramatic, economic and political changes that define the 21st century.
- Malala Yousafzai -the Nobel Peace laureate who has been newly designated as a UN Messenger of Peace. The New UN peace messenger Malala said that she will promote girls' education. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres officially bestowed on her the highest honor the UN chief can give a global citizen, calling her "a hero."
People in the News April 03th to April 09th 2017
- Justice Indira Banerjee –she was recently appointed as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court which led to the creation of history of women heading all the major four historical HCs of India for the first time. Justice Manjular Chellar is the CJ of Bombay HC, Justice G Rohini heads the Delhi HC and Justice Nishita Mhatre heads the Calcutta HC.
People in the News March 27th to April 02th 2017
- Carrie Lam- the Beijing backed representative, won the triangular contest to become the first woman chief executive of Hong Kong recently amid pro-democracy protests and unease about Beijing's increasing influence on the financial hub. Hong Kong is a special administration region of China, which rules it under 'the one country, two systems' principle. Under the system, Hong Kong enjoys a degree of autonomy and rights not seen in the mainland'. The Hong Kong election is not a direct one; candidates are voted by an election committee.
People in the News March 20th to March 26th 2017
- Hindujas - NRI businessmen who have retained their position as the richest Asians in the UK in 2017 with an estimated wealth of 19 billion pounds, an increase of 2.5 billion pounds over last year, according to an annual ranking of the richest Asians in Britain. Steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal secured the second place with a fortune of 12.6 billion pounds - up from 6.4 billion pounds last year - in the Eastern Eye Asian Rich List, Britain's 101 Wealthiest Asians 2017, released last night. According to the list, the Hinduja brothers - Srichand and Gopi in London, Prakash in Geneva and Ashok in Mumbai - have seen sharp increases in profitability in Ashok Leyland, IndusInd bank, Gulf Oil, energy and real-estate.
- Bill Gates - the Microsoft founder topped the list of the Forbes magazine list of the world's richest billionaires. Gates, whose wealth is estimated at $86 billion, led the list for the fourth straight year. As many as 101 Indian made it to the list. With a net worth of $23.2 billion, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani was ranked the richest Indian on the list, globally at No.33.
- Hosni Mubarak -the former Egyptian President, toppled during the 2011 Arab Spring, who was recently freed from jail after six years in jail. Mubarak was accused of inciting the deaths of protesters during the 18-day revolt, in which about 850 people were killed as police clashed with demonstrators. He was sentenced to life in jail in 2012, but an appeals court later dismissed the charges. His successor Mohamed Morsi ruled for only a year before the military under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew him, prompted by massive protests against his Muslim Brotherhood group.
- Trivendra Singh Rawat- he was recently sworn in as the new and the ninth Chief Minister of Uttrakhand.
- Yogi Adityanath – the 44-year-old priest of Gorakhnath temple and five times MP, was recently sworn in as the 32nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
- Manohar Parrikar – the chief of Indian Bank, was recently made the chief of IDBI Bank. The move was proposed by the RBI after its annual inspection as the regulator as well as after the government was not satisfied with the steps taken by K P Kharat to step up recovery.
People in the News March 13th to March 19th 2017
- Derek Walcott - the Nobel laureate Caribbean poet who died recently at his St. Lucia home. The prolific and versatile writer received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1992 after being shortlisted for the honour for many years.
- Arun Jaitley - Union Finance minister who was given the additional charge of the defence ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigned to take on the new role of Goa chief minister. This is the second time that he is holding the additional portfolio of Defence Ministry during the present NDA government. He was incharge of the ministry earlier from May 26 to November 9 in 2014.
- Captain Amarinder Singh – he was sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of Punjab. CM and nine-member council of ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor VP Singh at Raj Bhavan recently.
- Manohar Parrikar –he was recently sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Goa. The 61-year old BJP leader, who quit as the defence minister, will head a coalition government after the party finished second in the assembly elections with 13 seats in a 40-member house.
- Nongthombam Biren Singh – he was sworn in as the state's chief minister of Manipur recently. Y Joykumar Singh of the National People's Party was sworn in as the deputy chief minister. This is the first time the BJP has come to power in the north-eastern state. Manipur threw up a hung verdict in the state assembly election. While Congress emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, the BJP came in at second place with 21 seats.
People in the News March 06th to March 12th 2017
- Gina Miller - the Indian origin activist whose legal action seeking parliamentary approval for triggering Brexit was upheld by Britain's high court and supreme court was presented the 'campaigner of the year' award in the 11th version of the Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards, instituted by Asian Voice newspaper.
- Tarak Mehta - the eminent humorist and playwright, best known for his Guajarati column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chasma' who died recently. His columns, which first appeared in Gujarati weekly magazine “Chitralekha” in 1971 were adapted into a television serial “Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma” in 2008, making him a household name.
People in the News February 20th to February 26th 2017
- Abraham Lincoln - he was voted the best President of US in a survey of US presidents conducted by C-SPAN recently. The list, compiled by 91 historians, was the third such survey. Presidents were rated on a scale of 1-10 on ten attributes, including crisis leadership, economic management and vision. Barack Obama was ranked as the 12th best President in the survey.
- Shurhozelie Liezietsu - he took oath as the new chief minister of Nagaland heading a 12-member Democratic Alliance of Nagaland ministry. Liezietsu, who succeeded T R Zeliang, was administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor P B Acharya at a function in Raj Bhavan in Kohima recently. Liezietsu is not a member of the Nagaland Legislative assembly and he will have to get elected within six months from taking office.
People in the News February 13th to February 19th 2017
- Frank-Walter Steinmeier - he was recently elected as the new President of Germany. The 61-year old, who regularly polls as Germany's most popular politician will represent EU's top economy abroad and act as a kind of moral arbiter for the nation.
- Michael Flynn - he was the US National Security Advisor who quit recently over his unauthorized contacts with Russian officials which were seen to have the potential to compromise US security. His stint for 24 days is the shortest ever for an NSA in Us history.
- Sandeep Das - the Indian table player who recently won a Grammy-the music industry's most coveted award- along with Yo- Yo Ma in the World music category.
- Dev Patel - the actor from India who won the best supporting actor award in the 70th British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) for his role in 'Lion'. The Slumdog Millionaire actor plays a man who was adopted as a child and is trying to find his family in India through Google Maps in Lion.
- E Palaniswami - he was recently sworn in as the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu. He was sworn in as the 22nd CM of Tamil Nadu by governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
People in the News February 06th to February 12th 2017
- Ashok Chawla - the former competition regulator is heading the committee formed by the government to give report on the viability of simultaneously engaging two auditors to examine company books. The Ashok Chawla headed committee recommendations to the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) would likely hasten a decision on the subject that involves many stake holders: chief financial officers of India, local audit firms. The other members of the committee are industrialist Hari Bhartia and RBI deputy governor NS Vishwanathan.
- Shawna Pandya -the third woman of Indian origin after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams to fly to space. Born in Canada, the 32-year-old was one of the two candidates shortlisted from 3,200 people after topping the Citizen Science Astronauat (CSA) program. She will fly with eight other astronauts in space mission slated to take off by 2018. She is a neurosurgeon working as a general physician at Canada's Alberta University Hospital. She also has master's degree in space studies from International Space University and has been a research fellow at NASA's Johnson Space Centre, Houston. Her family lives in Mumbai.
- Ajay Tyagi - he was recently appointed as the new Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). He will take over from U K Sinha on March 1, 2017 and has been given a five-year term. The 1984-batch IAS officer from Himachal Pradesh is currently handling matters related to the capital markets in the finance ministry.
- Rajiv Kumar, Ashok Gulati and Manish Sabarwal - they were recently nominated as directors on the board of Reserve Bank of India for a period of four years with effect from 9th February, 2017. Ashok Gulati is an agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). Manish Sabarwal is the co founder and chairman of Team Lease Services Private and also co-founder at Hewitt Outsourcing services India. Rajiv Kumar is an economist and senior fellow at Centre for Policy research and the author of several books.
People in the News January 30th to February 05th 2017
- Iris Mittenaere of France - she was adjudged the Miss Universe pageant 2016. In the 65th edition of the Miss Universe beauty pageant held in Manila, Philippines she outperformed 85 other contestants to be crowned as the new Miss Universe 2016. Raquel Pelissier from Haiti bagged the 1st runner up spot and Andrea Tovar from Colombia won the 2nd runner up spot respectively.
- Vikram Limaye - he will be the new managing director and chief executive officer (MD and CEO) of National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE). Limaye , the present CEO and MD of IDFC will succeed Chitra Ramkrishna, who left NSE owing to personal reasons in December 2016.
- Sanjeev Sanyal - he was recently appointed principal adviser in the Department of Economic Affairs. The appointments committee of cabinet has approved Sanyal's appointment for three years on contract basis. Sanyal, a bestselling author, has made his mark in diverse areas such as environment and sustainable development, urban issues, microfinance as well as foreign investment.
People in the News January 23rd to January 29th 2017
- Nikki Haley - she was sworn-in as America's ambassador to the United Nations. He scripted history by becoming the first from the Indian American community to serve on a Cabinet rank position in any US presidential administration.
- Genabhai Patel - the pomegranate farmer from Sarkari Goliya village in Lakhani taluka of the Banaskantha district of Gujarat district is the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award this year. A differently-abled farmer from Gujarat's arid Banaskantha district has inspired several others to make the best use of their farm land by planting pomegranate. He bought pomegranate plants from Maharashtra and planted them over 20 hectare land, and used drip irrigation to save water usage in the arid region. Genabhai has received several recognitions for his inspiring farming, including Gujarat and Rajasthan state awards for farmers, Shristi Samman award from the President, and several other awards from corporates.
- Sharad Pawar - he along with MM Joshi, P. A. Sangma and Sunder Lal Patwa has been awarded Padma Vibhushan for Public affairs. All chosen are political heavy weights-Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party and Murli Manohar Joshi of BJP. Two more politicians-former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Sundar Lal Patwa and former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma have been chosen posthumously.
People in the News January 16th to January 22nd 2017
- Joe Biden - the ex-Vice-President of United States who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour. The then President Barack Obama described the former Delaware Senator as "the best vice-president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history", during an emotional ceremony to honour the 74 year old at the White House recently. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is the highest civilian award of the United States. It recognizes those people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors". The award is not limited to U.S. citizens and, while it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel and worn on the uniform. It was established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, superseding the Medal of Freedom that was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 to honor civilian service during World War II.
- Mike Pence - he took over as the new Vice President of United States of America. Rex Tillerson took over as the new Secretary of State while Jeff Sessions took over as the new Attorney General of United States.
- Shashi Kant Sharma is the Comptroller and Auditor General of India who recently took over the chairmanship of the UN's Board of Auditor's from January 1, 2017 for two years. The CAG of India is the lead auditor for the UN headquarters and other agencies including the UN Children's Fund, UN Pension Fund, the UN compensation commission besides auditing six missions of UN peace keeping operations across the world.
- Chandu Babulal Chavan - the Indian soldier who strayed across LoC but was recently freed by Pakistan. Posted with 37 Rashtriya Rifles he had mistakenly crossed the Line of control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir hours after India's surgical strikes on terrorist bases across the LoC in September 2016.
- Dipa Karmakar - the Indian Olympian who was in the news recently after The Department of Post unveiled a special cover on her at philatelic exhibition organised in Agartala. She had scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to bag a bronze at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
- Ranvir Singh - the Indian-origin broadcast journalist who was recently appointed the chancellor of the University of Central Lanchashire (UCLan) in England. He will be the third chancellor of the university.
- Alok Kumar Verma - the IPS officer of the 1979 batch who was recently selected as the new Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Presently he is working as the chief of Delhi Police. His name was cleared by a three-member selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
People in the News January 09th to January 15th 2017
- Om Puri - the famous Bollywood actor who passed away recently. Apart from winning several accolades, including two National Awards, Om Puri was honoured with PadmaShri in 1990.
- Kalyan Krishnamurthy - he was recently made the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Flipkart replacing co-founder Binny Bansal who has been named as the group executive of India's largest online market place.
- Parag Havaldar - the IIT Kharagpur alumnus who recently won the prestigious Technical Achievement Award (the Scientific & Technical Awards prize), popularly called the `Technical Oscar', awarded by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. He has been awarded for "the development of expression-based facial performance-capture technology at Sony Pictures Imageworks". The Scientific & Technical Awards were first presented at the 4th Academy Awards ceremony in November 1931. The Academy's webpage says they are "conferred in recognition of original developments that result in significant improvements in motion picture production and exhibition".
- N Chandrasekaran – he was recently named as the new Chairman of Tata Sons. He was presently working as Tata Consultancy Services chief executive officer and managing director. Popularly known as 'Chandra', the 54-year-old was chosen to step into the shoes of interim chairman Ratan Tata, who took over on October 24, 2016.The decision followed a five-member search committee comprising Ratan Tata, TVS Group head Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra of Bain Capital, former diplomat Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharya zeroing in on Chandrasekaran.Chandrasekaran has been heading the Tata group's 'crown jewel', software firm TCS, since 2009. He was appointed as a director on the board of Tata Sons on October 25, 2016.At TCS, Chandrasekaran would be succeeded by Rajesh Gopinathan, currently the company's chief financial officer.
People in the News January 02nd to January 08th 2017
- Jagdish Singh Khehar - he was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Pranab Mukerjee recently. He becomes the first Sikh Chief Justice of India after taking over from former Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur who completed his 13-month tenure on January 3.An administrative and Constitutional law expert, Justice Khehar has already made his mark on Indian jurisprudence with several landmark judgments, including the striking down of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC Act) which gave rise to the much spoken about rift between the Centre and the judiciary in recent times.
People in the News December 25th 2016 to January 01st 2017
- George Michael - the famous pop star singer who died recently. He rose to fame with the band Wham! which sold more than 100 million albums in his career. Michael was best known for his 1980's hits "Last Christmas", "Freedom", "Careless Whisper" but his career spanned more than three decades. He won a string of awards, including two Grammies and three Brits.
- Thomas Coville - the sailor of France who recently smashed the world record for a single-handed non-stop sailing circumnavigation of the globe. He crossed the finish line after a voyage of 49 days, 3 hours, 7minutes and 30 seconds in his 30-metre trimaran. It was Coville's fifth attempt over 10 years to beat a record set in 2008 by Francis Joyon, another Frenchman, who sailed around the world in 57 days and 13 hours.
- Viral Acharya – he has been appointed as one of the Reserve Bank of India's four deputy governors for a term of three years by government recently. Viral V. Acharya is a professor of economics at New York University. Patel had headed the prestigious monetary policy. He has research interests in regulation of banks, corporate finance, credit risk and asset pricing.
- Anil Baijal - he replaced Najeeb Jung as the Lt Governor of Delhi. Baijal will be the 21st Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Jung's nearly three-and-a-half-year tenure was marked by frequent run-ins with the AAP government. Baijal served as Home Secretary in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.
- Shankar Acharya - the former chief economic adviser headed the government-appointed panel, which recently recommended changing the financial year from the current April to March to the calendar year. The report was submitted to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently.
- Admiral Sunil Lanba - he was recently appointed as the chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee. Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba took over the ceremonial baton of the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) from outgoing IAF chief Marshal Arup Raha.
- Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat - he took over as the 27th chief of the Indian Army, succeeding Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who retired after 42 years of service. Gen Rawat was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles in December 1978 from IMA, Dehradun. He was awarded the 'Sword of Honour' at the academy. Gen Rawat has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations.
- Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa - he took charge as the 25th Air Force Chief replacing Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. The new IAF chief, Air Marshal Dhanoa, had developed the country's aerial targeting philosophy against potential adversaries and transformed the concept of air operations of the air force into contemporary war fighting practices.
People in the News December 19th to December 25th 2016
- Air Marshal B S Dhanoa - he was recently named as the new chief of the Indian Air Force. He will take over from IAF chief Arup Raha.
- Shankha Ghosh - eminent Bengali poet who has been chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2016. Instituted in 1961, the award by Bharatiya Jnanpith recognizes Indian litterateurs who write in one of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule Eight of the Indian Constitution.
- Lt Gen Bipin Rawat - he was recently named as the new Chief of Army Staff. Rawat will replace General Dalbir Singh. He has handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the LoC with Pakistan, the Line of Actual Control with China and in the North-East. He is known for his balanced approach towards soldiering, compassion, and connect with civil society.
- Anupam Mishra - the environmentalist whose seminal work on water conservation, Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab (roughly, the ponds are still good as gold), fired the imagination of common people and ecology warriors alike and gave wings to India's indigenous wisdom on the subject, passed away recently. He believed that India was a water-literate society in the past and sought to harness traditional knowledge to improve the present. Born out of his involvement with the drought in Rajasthan in 1987, Aaj Bhi... demonstrated how ponds nourished people living in the hinterland and towns for centuries and explained why their preservation, maintenance and regeneration were imperative. By any standards, Aaj Bhi... is an unusual book. There is no author's name on the cover and no copyright. Anybody could publish it for free. First published in 1993, the book, at a wiry 120 pages, has seen 40 editions in about 10 languages, including a Braille edition, says a long-time associate.
People in the News December 12th to December 18th 2016
- Juan Manuel Santos - the President of Columbia who received the Nobel Peace Prize recently. He received this prize for his resolute efforts to end five decades of war in his country as enshrined in a historic peace accord signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia.
- Paolo Gentiloni – he has been named as the new Prime Minister of Italy after the exit of Italian reformist leader Matteo Renzi after a defeat in referendum. He will form a new centre-left government that will guide Italy to polls due by February 2018.
- Antonio Guterres – the former Portuguese Prime Minister, was recently sworn in as the ninth United Nations Secretary-General, succeeding Ban Ki-moon as the chief of the 71-year-old world body. President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson administered the Oath of Office to Guterres at a special plenary meeting of the 193-member General Assembly. Guterres, 67, was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly as the successor to Ban, after the 15-nation Security Council had in October decided by acclamation to send his name to the assembly for final approval. The former UN refugee chief takes over from Ban on January 1.
- Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico - she was recently crowned Miss World 2016, edging out runners-up from the Dominican Republic and Indonesia, and beauties from around the globe. Del Valle, 19, is a brown-eyed brunette student who speaks Spanish, English and French, and hopes to get into the entertainment industry. She was crowned by Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna of Spain. First runner-up was Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez of the Dominican Republic, followed by Miss World Indonesia Natasha Mannuela.
People in the News December 05th to December 11th 2016
- Matteo Renzi - the premier of Italy who recently announced his decision to retire after a stunning defeat on a constitutional reforms referendum. Renzi conceded defeat after exit polls showed his proposal losing by a margin of about 60 percent to 40 percent in Sunday's referendum. Renzi said the reforms would have cut Italy's bureaucracy and made the country more competitive. His opponents were hoping to tap into the populist sentiment that has been gaining ground in Europe and the US.
- Kehkashan Basu - the UAE-based Indian school girl who was recently won this year's prestigious International Children's Peace Prize for her fight to save the planet. Basu is an environmental activist fighting against climate justice and combating environmental degradation through her child-run organization Green Hope, which now has more than 1,000 volunteers in 10 countries.
- John Glenn -the former United States senator and astronaut, who became the first American to orbit the earth, died recently in Ohio. Glenn, who circled the earth three times, was the third US astronaut in space. He was the first to get into orbit. Known for his small-town decency and calm heroics, Glenn was the last survivor of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. He later served for nine years as a Democratic senator from Ohio. On February 20, 1962, when Glenn rocketed into space, it was momentous and nerve-racking. Space travel was in its infancy. Every launch and mission captivated the imagination of America. He made history a second time in 1998, when he returned to space decades later at the age of 77 only to become the oldest person sent into space.
- O Panneerselvam - he was recently sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the third time after the death of Jayalalithaa. With Paneerselvam, Jaya's all ministers took the oath again.
- Srinidhi Shetty - the Indian girl from Mangaluru who was recently crowned Miss Supranational 2016-among the top three beauty pageants in the world-in Poland recently. The 23-year old engineer is the second Indian to win the title after Asha Bhatt in 2014.
- Afroz Shah - the Mumbai based lawyer and environmentalist who was recently awarded the United Nations (UN) top environmental accolade-Champions of the Earth Award-for his efforts in launching the world's largest beach cleaning at Versova. It is the first time an Indian has won the award. For the past 12 years, the annual Champions of the Earth Award is given to outstanding leaders from the government, civil society and the private sector whose actions had a positive impact on environment.
- Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar - his name was recently recommended as the 44th Chief Justice of India. Chief Justice of India T S Thakur recently wrote a letter recommending the name of Justice Khehar, who is the senior most judge of the Supreme Court to be his successor. He will be the first Chief Justice from the Sikh community and he will succeed CJI Thakur who will be demitting office on January 3, 2017. Justice Khehar, who will be sworn in on January 4, will hold the tenure for over seven months till August 27, 2017.
- Srinivasa Iyer Ramaswamy - popularly known as Cho Ramaswamy is the senior political satirist who died following a cardiac arrest in Chennai recently. Cho was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1999 to 2005. Cho scripted nearly 23 stage plays, including "Mohammed Bin Thuglaq," where he resurrected Sultan Thuglaq from his grave to become the prime minister of India. He acted in 200 films, directed four and scripted another 14. He got the name "Cho" from a character he enlivened on the stage in a play called "Thenmozhiyal." He scripted and directed TV serials and acted in them.
People in the News November 28th to December 04th 2016
- Ivan Mikoyan - Russian aircraft designer and co-creator of the MiG-29 fighter jet Ivan Mikoyan passed away recently. He was 89. He had the majority of his career as a leading engineer at the 'MiG' Aircraft Corporation's design bureau, which was founded by his uncle Artyom Mikoyan.
- Diana Eck - the writer of the book "Banaras City of Light". It is about the spiritual and historical aspects of the city.
- Prof. Yu Long Yu of China - he was awarded the second Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Ideologist Award for the year 2016.He was presented with this award by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. He is Professor and Director at the Centre for Indian Studies, Shenzhen University. He has studied Indology for half a century and is the pioneer for Indology in South China. He has set up the Centre for Indian Studies and Tan Yunshan Sino-Indian Friendship Museum in Shenzhen University. About ICCR Ideologist Award It is an annual award instituted by ICCR. It carries prize amount of US$ 20000.
- Amitabh Kant - the CEO of Niti Aayog who has been appointed as chairman of a recently appointed committee to form a strategy to expedite the process of transforming India into a cashless economy. It has been tasked with identifying various bottlenecks affecting access of digital payments. The committee was set up following a directive from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to back up the demonetisation move. The Union Government is working towards moving all government transactions to the cashless mode, through a new single window e-payment system that businesses or individuals can use to make payments to any central or state department.
- Lt General A K Bhatt – he has been appointed as new Director General of Military Operations (DGMO). He belongs to the Gorkha Rifles. Earlier he had served in the military operations directorate as a brigadier. Prior to this appointment he was posted as the additional director general of the complaints and advisory board at the Army HQ. Earlier he had commanded the 21 Division in Assam.
People in the News November 21st to November 27th 2016
- Nikki Haley - she has been appointed as US ambassador to the United Nations by President elect Donald Trump. She is currently serving her second term as Governor of South Carolina State. She holds the distinction of being the youngest current governor in the US. She is also the second Indian-American after Bobby Jindal to serve as governor of a state in the US. She is one among the six Asian-American governors of the US. Prior to becoming governor, she represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011.
- Maha Chakri Sirindhorn - Thailand's Princess who was presented with the first 'World Sanskrit Award' for her exemplary contribution for the promotion of the language for the year 2015. Besides, American linguist and Indologist Prof. George Cardona was also presented with this award for the year 2016. They were bestowed with the award by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function held in New Delhi. She is noted educator and scholar of Sanskrit and Pali. She has been awarded with several awards and Honorary Doctorates including Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature (Sanskrit) from Delhi University in 1987. She also won Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development Award from the Union Government in 2004; and Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1991.
- António Costa - the Indian origin Prime Minister of Portugal will be the chief guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention. The PBD Convention is scheduled to be held from January 7 to 9, 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Mr. Costa will participate in the inaugural session of the PBD Convention on January 8 and address the delegates. Besides, Surinam Vice president Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held in Bengaluru on January 7, 2017. The PBD is celebrated every year on January 9 to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India. It is celebrated every year since 2003. It provides a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. Thus, this event marks the importance of arrival of India's greatest Pravasi who led India's freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
- Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - noted flautist (78) was conferred 2016 Sumitra Charat Ram Award for lifetime achievement in the field of Indian classical music. The prestigious award has been named after Sumitra Charat Ram who had played a key role in revival of the performing arts traditions, specially kathak and Hindustani music in north India. It is bestowed upon individuals who have excelled in field of Indian classical dance and music or other disciplines of Indian art and culture. He had started learning vocal music at the tender age of 15 from his neighbour Pandit Rajaram.
- Malini Subramaniam - he won the International Press Freedom Awards given by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Along with Subramaniam, three other journalists won the prestigious award. They are Mahmoud Abou Zeid from Egypt, Can Dündar from Turkey and Oscar Martinez from El Salvador. The CPJ chose these four journalists as "they have risked their freedom – and their lives – to report to their societies and the global community about critical news events."
- Yudhvir Singh Malik - he was appointed the new Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Malik, who worked as the Special Secretary with NITI Aayog, will replace Raghav Chandra. He is an 83 batch Haryana cadre IAS officer. Before joining the NITI Aayog, he worked as the CEO of FSSAI from 20 October 2014 to 23 September 2015. It was during his tenure that Maggi noodle was banned.
- Upma Chowdhary – she has been appointed as new Director of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Mussoorie. She will be the 23rd director and first woman director of LBSNAA. She will replace Rajeev Kapoor. Upma Chowdhary is a 1983 batch IAS officer of Himachal cadre. Currently, she is posted as Additional Chief Secretary in Himachal Pradesh. During her 33 years' service as an IAS officer, she had served in several positions in the state and at the centre.
- Dilip Padgaonkar - he passed recently was related to print media. Mr. Padgaonkar along with Prof. Radha Kumar and Information Commissioner Prof. M Ansari were part of the three-member interlocutor's team chosen by the Union Government in 2010 to design a road map for peace in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir. He joined Times of India as its Paris correspondent. Since then had served paper in various capacities before he was appointed its Editor in 1988. He held the post for six years.
- Captain Radhika Menon – she was awarded with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. It is an annual Award established by IMO. It seeks to provide international recognition for those who perform acts of exceptional bravery at the risk of losing their own life. With this, she became the first woman in the world to receive the Award. She was presented with this award for saving lives of seven fishermen from sinking fishing boat in Bay of Bengal. Besides, B M Das operator and diver of a rescue helicopter at Indian Coast Guard air station Daman was also presented with this award. He was bestowed with this award for rescuing all 14 crew members of the merchant ship Coastal Pride, which capsized and eventually sank.
- M. Balmuralikrishna - the legendary vocalist, playback singer and composer passed away due to age-related geriatric problems in Chennai. He was 86. He was considered as doyen of classical music. During his long musical career he had excelled as a prominent Carnatic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer, composer and actor. Balamuralikrishna was born on 6 July 1930 in Sankaraguptam, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. He had started his musical journey as a child prodigy at a tender age of 8. Since then, he has performed in over 25 thousand concerts. He had innovated the whole Carnatic music system by keeping its rich tradition untouched. The ragas like Ganapathi, Sarvashri, Mahati, Lavangi etc. were credited to him.
- Pankaj Patel – he was elected as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for the year 2017. He will take over after incumbent Ambuja Neotia Group Chairman Harshavardhan Neotia completes his term in December 2016. At present Pankaj Patel is Chief Managing Director of Zydus Cadila. He is actively involved in various educational institutions and is on advisory committees and academic councils of several educational institutions such as IISER (Kolkata), IIM Ahmedabad etc. He is also the Vice President, Executive Chairman and Trustee of the Gujarat Cancer Society and Chairman of the Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, one of the largest of its kind regional Cancer Centre in India.
People in the News November 14th to November 20th 2016
- Meng Hongwei - the high-level police official from China who has been elected as the new President of International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).He becomes first Chinese citizen to hold the four-year post. He was elected at the INTERPOL's 85th annual general assembly held in Bali, Indonesia and succeeds Mireille "Ballen" Ballestrazzi. Prior to this appointment, Meng Hongwei was Vice Minister of Public Security in China.
- Interpol - the global police co-operation agency and a non-governmental organization (NGO) which focuses on public safety and battling terrorism, crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, environmental crime etc. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) in 1923. Its headquartered is located at Lyon, France. It is the 2nd-largest international organization after the United Nations in terms of international representation with 190 member countries.
- Maria Sharapova - she will once again be a UN goodwill ambassador when her doping ban expires in April 2017 and she returns to international tennis competition, a UN statement said on Thursday. The United Nations had suspended Sharapova's role as goodwill ambassador in March after she failed a drug test, putting a hold on a nine-year partnership with the UN Development Programme.
- Mike Pence - he has been appointed as Vice President-elect of US by President-elect Donald Trump.
- Jackie Chan - the popular Chinese actor, has been bestowed with the honorary Academy Award (or Oscar) by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the 8th Annual Governors Awards at the Hollywood for his extraordinary achievements in the movies.
- Prof. Raj Bisaria-the renowned theatre personality who has been selected for the prestigious "Kalidas Samman" national award for 2015-16. He is director, producer, actor and educationalist. He is best known for blending artistic concepts of the East and the West and the traditional and the modern. Kalidas Samman is an annual award constituted by Madhya Pradesh in 1980. It is bestowed upon personalities in the four fields of classical music, classical dance, theatre and arts.
- S S Mundra - the Deputy Governor of RBI who will head the Special Task Force to speed up the process of recalibration of automated teller machines (ATM) to dispense the new denomination notes. Representatives from the Union Finance and Home ministries, RBI, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will be its members. Besides, representative from each of ATM original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), cash in transit (CIT) companies and white label ATM (WLA) operators will be invited to the Task Force's deliberation.
- Narinder Batra - the chief of Hockey India who was recently elected as the new president of International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 12 November 2016 at the 45th FIH Congress held in Dubai. Among 118 voters, only 110 voted while eight chose not to vote. He will be the 12th president of FIH and the first non-European to take over the post in the International body's 92-year-old history. He became the president of Hockey India in 2014.
- Padmini Rout - the International Chess who won the National Women Premier Chess Championship for the third time. Rout played out a draw with Eesha Karavade that made her achieve the hat-trick of title wins. The triumph also ensured that Rout will be a part of the Indian women team in the next World team chess championship. Padmini Rout holds the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster.
People in the News November 07th to November 13th 2016
- Donald J. Trump - he will be the 45th President of the United States. The Republican nominee's victory over Hillary Clinton marks a stunning upset that neither the polls nor the pundits saw coming.
- Guy Rider - from United Kingdom who has been re-elected Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for a second five-year term. He was elected by the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Ryder is the 10th DG of ILO and was elected for the first time in May 2012.
- Narendra Modi - the Indian Prime Minister who has been made the new mascot of the 'Incredible India' by the tourism ministry. The role was lying vacant after the controversial ouster of Aamir Khan earlier this year.
- Shashi Tharoor - author of the book 'An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India' is an Indian Politician and former Diplomat of India. He is currently serving as Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha. He also currently serves as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. The above book offers an insight on the ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drain of national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making and shipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture.
- Sri M Rajeshwar Rao - he has been appointed as new ED of RBI who will look after Deptt of Statistics and Information Management, Financial Market Operations Deptt and International Deptt. Prior to this, he was CGM of Financial Market Operations Deptt.
People in the News October 31st to November 06th 2016
- Kate Rubins - the US astronaut who along with Anatoly Ivanishin of Russia and Takuya Onishi of Japan landed safely recently in Kazakhstan following a 114-day mission abroad the International Space Station (ISS). Kate is the first person to sequence DNA in space. She is also the first woman aboard the ISS since Italian Samantha Cristoforetti who returned to earth with the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman (199 days) in June 2015. ISS is the space laboratory that has been orbiting the Earth at about 28,000km an hour since 1998.
- Pen Sovann - the former Prime Minister of Cambodia who died recently. He was the country's first post-Khmer Rouge prime minister holding the office from June to December 1981 when it was known as People's Republic of Kampuchea.
- Paul Beatty - the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize-the world's most prestigious English language literary award-for his novel "The Sellout" recently. "The Sellout" is Beatty's fourth novel and earlier this year it won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States. The Man Booker was launched in 1969 has been traditionally won by writers from Commonwealth states, but was opened for authors from other English speaking countries including the United States in 2013.
- Sharbat Gula - the famed green-eyed 'Afghan girl' who was immortalised in 1985 when the National Geographic magazine published her haunting picture on its cover, was arrested in Peshawar recently for staying in Pakistan with fake identity documents. Dubbed as 'Mona Lisa of Afghan war', Sharbat catapulted into global prominence after National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry captured her iconic photograph when she was a 12-year-old girl at the Nisar Bagh refugee camp on the edge of Peshawar in 1984.
- John Key - the Prime Minister of New Zealand who visited India recently. India and New Zealand charted a new path to step up bilateral trade and signed four pacts. New Zealand said it would continue to contribute to the process currently underway in the NSG to consider India's membership.
- Karnal Singh - the senior IPS officer who was recently appointed as the chief of Enforcement Directorate(ED), the agency entrusted with probing money laundering cases.
People in the News October 24th to October 30th 2016
- Kunal Mankodiya - the Indian-origin scientist at the University of Rhode Island whose research has shown that clothes and other wearable items could possibly sense illness and transmit data to a doctor in a distant clinic to monitor health and prescribe drugs. Mankodiya's research focuses on smart textiles - wearable items embedded with sensors, electronics and software that can collect data from patients, even though they are at home, and deliver it to doctors.
- Lynda Carter - also famous as 'Wonder Woman' due to her character from the famous 1975 TV series show was recently appointed as UN ambassador for women's empowerment.
- Junko Tabei - the Japanese mountaineer who was the first woman to climb Mount Everest died recently. She has reached the summit of Everest on May 16, 1975. She devoted her life to scaling peaks, climbing the mountains in more than 70 countries.
- Cyrus Mistry - he was recently sacked as the chairman of the Tata Group. Former chairman Ratan Tata returned as interim chairman and a five-member selection committee was set up to bring on board a new chairman within four months. Earlier, on December 28, 2012, Cyrus Mistry had succeeded Ratan Tata as the chief of India's more than a century old multinational company, which had begun its operations in 1868.Cyrus Mistry's stint as chairman is the shortest ever at Tata group. Of the six chairmen that Tata group has had in its 148 years, the longest serving was Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy.
- A P Hota - the MD & CEO of National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) who was in the news recently after NPCI data showed that 641 customers of 19 banks reported fraud while the total amount involved is Rs.1.03 cr and most complaints are for debit cards having been used in China and few in the US.
- C Vijayakumar – he was recently made the new President and CEO of HCL Technologies. He replaced Anant Gupta who recently launched a technology investment firm Techcelx.
- Yashwant Sinha - the former finance minister who recently led the five-member delegation to Kashmir and met separatist leaders in Srinagar in an effort to find a solution to the state's three-month unrest. The team comprised of Wajahat Habibullah, the former chairperson of the National commission for Minorities, former Air vice Marshall Kapil Kak, journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushobha Barve, the executive director of the centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.
People in the News October 17th to October 23rd 2016
- Antonio Guterres - he will take over as the new UN Secretary-General. His taking over will be with tremendous goodwill as the process of his election was without the usual horse trading and compromises.His Socialist International credentials and his impeccable record as Portugal's prime minister and the European Council president, who led the adoption of the Lisbon Agenda gave him an advantage over all others, who resorted to the projection of gender and geography.
- Michel Temer - the President of Brazil who visited India recently. He visited India to participate in the BRICS Summit 2016 at Benaulim, Goa recently. Other foreign dignitaries who attended the meeting included Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma.
- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - India's second President is having the distinction of receiving the highest nominations among Indians for the Nobel Prize. He received nominations 18 times (including multiple nominations in the same year) in the Literature/Peace category and was followed by Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi.
- Navdeep Singh Suri - the senior diplomat who was recently appointed Ambassador to United Arab Emirates, a strategically important nation country which is major supplier of oil to India and is home to around 2.6 million-strong Indians.UAE is a strategically important country for India in the Gulf region.
- Ravindra Dholakia - the member of the newly constituted Monetary Policy Committee who is the head of the committee on financial sector statistics appointed by government. The Ravindra Dholakia committee has been entrusted with the responsibility of reviewing the existing system of data collection and suggests measures for an integrated system to capture granular data and a mechanism to provide estimates at the state level.
- Salman Khan - the Bollywood superstar who was recently dropped by beverages major Coca Cola India for its soft drink 'Thums Up' after four years of association.Khan has been among the top celebrity endorsers reportedly charging Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) per year per brand. Coca-Cola India had roped in Khan as its brand ambassador for the second time to endorse its Thums Up brand in October 2012 replacing another Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. He had earlier endorsed the brand in early 2000s.At that time, Coca-Cola India had also signed an agreement with Being Human - The Salman Khan Foundation – to jointly promote, conceive and execute charitable and social activities.
People in the News September 05th to September 11th 2016
- Michel Temer – he took over as the new President of Brazil after the ouster of Dilma Rousseff.
- Islam Karimov - the President of Uzbekistan, who died recently. The veteran leader,78, whose death was officially announced several days after he suffered a stroke, played Russia, China and the West off against one another to avoid total isolation as he steered his strategic state out of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
- Deep Kumar Upadhyay – he was recently reappointed as the Nepal's new ambassador to India. He was serving as Nepal's ambassador to India since April 2015 was recalled by erstwhile KP Sharma Oli-led government in May 206.
- Shankar Acharya - the former chief economic advisor is the head of committee set up government to examine whether the April-to-March financial year could be replaced with a new one. At present, the Budget is usually presented on the last day of February. The idea behind having the Budget in early February is that Parliament approval can come by March end, ahead of the new financial year starting April 1. According to the terms of reference, the Acharya panel has time till December to submit its report on the feasibility of a new financial year. Other members of the committee are former Cabinet secretary, K M Chandrasekhar, former finance secretary of Tamil Nadu, P V Rajaraman, and a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, Rajiv Kumar.
- Rajnath Singh - the Union Home Minister who led an all-party delegation of 26 MPs from 20 parties which made a two day visit to Jammu & Kashmir in an effort seeking to end turbulence in Kashmir. More than 30 delegations comprising 300 members from political parties, civil society, University teachers, fruit growers, students and intellectuals presented their view before the delegation. Apart from the home minister, the delegation also included Finance Minister ArunJaitley, Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, his Lok Sabha colleague Mallikarjun Kharge among others.
- Indra Nooyi - the PepsiCo CEO and chairman , who is the only Indian origin woman in Fortune's 51 Most Powerful Women list 2016 that is topped by Mary Barra, CEO and chairman of General Motors. Nooyi was ranked second on the list, same as 2015. In 2014, she was ranked third. The list comprises 22 CEOs of major companies and many more corner office contenders across industries. The 2016 list has nine newcomers and one return candidate.
- Arun Jaitley the Finance Minister of India who will head the GST Council formed recently which will decide on the rate of tax under the new indirect taxation regime. The Council will comprise of representative of all 29 states and two union territories will have to be set up by November 11. It will decide on the tax rate, exemptions and threshold limits in the new indirect tax regime, which is expected to kick in from April 1, 2017. The government has notified September 12, as the date from which the procedure for setting up of the GST Council+ will be initiated and which will be completed within 60 days.
- Kunwar Bai - the 105-year-old woman of Kotabharri village of Dhamtari in Chhattisgarh has been chosen as the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' mascot for her efforts in building toilet by selling off her goats. Subsequently, she started showing other villagers the toilets at her home while informing them about its importance.
- Ashraf Ghani - the President of Afghanistan who visited India recently to have 'close consultations' on key issues with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Afghanistan has been demanding increased defence supplies, including lethal weapons from India, which for the first time gave four Mi-25 attack helicopters to the war-torn country last year. Apart from holding discussions with Modi, who will also host a lunch in his honour, Ghani during his working visit will also interact with business community and deliver an address at a prominent think tank in New Delhi.
People in the News August 29th to September 04th 2016
- Rodolfo Illanes - the deputy interior minister of Bolivia who was recently killed by miners. He had gone to negotiate with protesting miners over their demands for mining concessions and the right to work for private firms.
- Lachlan Smart - the Australian who at the age of 18years, 7 days and 21 days became the youngest person to carry out solo circumnavigation of the world in a single aircraft. He is year younger than the previous record holder. The teenager stopped in 24 locations and 15 countries during his seven week trip.
- Youssef Chahed – he took over as the new Prime Minister of Tunisia. Chahed, at 40, is the country's youngest PM since independence from France in 1956. He is the seventh premier in less than six years since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Zine El Abinine Ben Ali.
- Mbah Gotho – the Indonesian who is 145 years old has claimed to be the world's oldest man with documentation that says he was born in 1870. If this is correct, this would earn him the title of oldest person ever, a title currently held by French centenarian Jeanne Calment who was 122 when she died-23 years younger than Gotho.
- Beyonce - the famous singer-songwriter who won eight awards at the MTV VMA awards recently. With 21 awards so far, Beyonce broke Madonna's record of 20 to become the most decorated VMA winner of all time.
- Dilma Rousseff - the leftist President of Brazil who was recently impeached by Brazil's Senate for breaking budgetary laws. She was convicted for illegally using money from state banks to boost public spending.
- Ratan P Watal - the former finance secretary who has been made the head of the 11-member committee formed by the government to suggest steps to promote card payments through incentives like tax rebates and cash backs. The panel has been asked to submit its report in one year. It will also study global best practices in payments.
- Htin Kyaw - the President of Myanmar who visited India recently and held wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently in order to bring a new momentum in bilateral ties between the two neighbours. Four agreements related to infrastructure, renewable energy and traditional systems of medicine were signed at the bilateral meet.
- Major (Retd) Narindar Saroop - the former Indian-origin soldier-turned-politician in the UK who returned his Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in protest against what he feels is the misuse of the honour system by former Prime Minister David Cameron. Major (Retd) Narindar Saroop, who was born in India and went on to serve in the British Indian Army before moving to the UK, was awarded the CBE in 1982 by Queen Elizabeth II on the recommendation of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The 87-year-old has the distinction of being the very first South Asian origin Conservative party candidate to contest a general election back in 1979.
- John Kerry - the US Secretary of State who visited India recently to participate in the 2nd Indo-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.
- Padma Sachdeva - the famous Dogri writer who was recently awarded the 25th Sarswati Samman for 2015. Sachdeva was awarded for her famous autobiography, Chitt Chiite, written in Dogri and published in 2007. Instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991, the award is given annually for outstanding literary works in any Indian language.
People in the News August 22nd to August 28th 2016
- Dr. Donald "D.A." Henderson - the researcher who led fight to eradicate smallpox died recently. The American epidemiologist whose unwavering leadership resulted in the eradication nearly 40 years ago of smallpox, one of the world's most feared contagious diseases. Henderson was a former dean of the school's Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was most recently employed as a distinguished scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Health Security in Baltimore. Henderson was working on smallpox eradication at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1966 when the World Health Organization chose him to lead the global eradication effort.
- Antony Jay - the co-writer of the evergreen political satires "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" that delighted generations of people in Britain, India and elsewhere died recently. Cambridge-educated Jay co-wrote the series with Jonathan Lynn.
- Urjit Patel – he was named as the 24th governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to take over from the present incumbent Raghuram Rajan. He is presently working as the Deputy Governor of RBI. Patel has been involved with all crucial decisions at the central bank--from reworking the way key policy rates are decided to modernising the way RBI functions. He is also a member of the panel to review the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.
- C D Deshmukh - an ICS member, he was the first Indian Governor of Reserve Bank of India from August 1943 to June 1949. He represented India at the Bretton Woods negotiations in 1944 and saw the transition to independence and partition of the country. The RBI has seen total of 24 governors since 1935 starting with Sir Osborne Smith.
- N Ramachandran - the President of Indian Olympic Association was awarded the Olympic Order for outstanding service to the Olympic movement recently. Instituted in May 1975, the Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement and is awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, that is, recognition of efforts worthy of merit in the cause of sport. The President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, formally presented the award to Ramachandran which was in recognition of his contribution to the Indian Olympic Movement.
- Kamal Hassan - the maverick actor and filmmaker was recently conferred the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight in the National Order Arts and Letters) by the French Government. The Order is part of France's premier award, the Legion of Honor. Kamal is the second Tamil actor after Sivaji Ganesan to be awarded this honour. The latter received the award in 1995.
- Bardish Chagger - the Indo-Canadian Sikh MP who has been named as the new leader of the government in Canada's House of Commons, becoming the first woman to hold the post in the country's history.
Mevlut Cavusoglu-the foreign minister of Turkey who visited India recently and held bilateral talks with Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi. He requested India to stop the activities of Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (Feto) which has infiltrated India through associations and schools.
People in the News August 15th to August 21st 2016
- Kenny Baker - he is the British actor who played robot R2-D2 in six "Star Wars" films died recently. He also appeared in a number of much-loved films in the 1980s including "The Elephant Man", "Time Bandits" and "Flash Gordon".
- Omran Daqneesh - the 5yr. old young Syrian boy whose videos and photos sitting dazed and bloodied in an ambulance went viral recently. It is believed that the boy was rescued from a destroyed building after an air strike on the city of Aleppo.
- Hav Hangpan Dada – he was posthumously awarded the highest gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra on Independence Day 2016.
- V P Singh Badnore - the ex-Rajya Sabha MP who was recently made the Governor of Punjab. 68-year-old Badnore, hails from Rajasthan. Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki was holding additional charge of Punjab, which goes to polls next year, after Shivraj Patil's term ended last year.
- Banwarilal Purohit - a three-time former member of Lok Sabha from Nagpur and Managing Editor of Central India's daily 'The Hitavada', will be the Governor of Assam. Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya was holding additional charge as Assam Governor, a post which will now be assumed by 76-year-old Purohit.
- Prof Jagdish Mukhi - a Delhi-based BJP leader and former MLA, who was recently made Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 73-year-old Mukhi has been appointed in place of Lt General (Retd) A K Singh.
- Najma Heptulla - the former Union Minister was recently made Governor of Manipur. Heptulla, 76, had last month resigned as minority affairs minister from the Union cabinet. Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan was holding the additional charge as Manipur governor.
- AR Rahman - he is the Indian musician who performed at the UN General Assembly hall at a concert to mark India's 70th Independence Day in New York. Rahman is the second Indian artist after Carnatic singer MS Subbulakshmi to perform in the General Assembly hall. The highlight of the nearly three-hour concert was performances by the Sunshine Orchestra, an initiative by the AR Rahman Foundation that teaches music to underprivileged youngsters. Rahman's sisters also performed on stage along with singer Javed Ali and percussionist Sivamani. The maestro performed some of his popular songs as well, from movies like Dil Se, Bombay andJodha Akbar. He ended it with his Oscar-winning song Jai Ho from the film Slum dog Millionaire.
People in the News August 08th to August 14th 2016
- Kalikho Pul –the former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh who stepped down from the post after the Supreme Court ordered removal of his government committed suicide recently. He had the distinction of being the longest serving finance minister of the state under various chief ministers, including Gegong Apang, Mukut Mithi and late Dorjee Khandu.
- Irom Sharmila- also known as Iron Lady is the lady from Manipur who ended her fast recently after 16-year fast. Her fast was against removal of AFSPA from Manipur. Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA), are Acts of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in what each act terms 'disturbed areas'.
- Amitabh Kant- the CEO of NITI Aayog who will head the committee set up by government to look into all issues including foreign direct investment norms pertaining to the fast-growing e-commerce industry in the country. It will look at all the issues including FDI pertaining to the e-commerce sector. The committee would suggest ways to further promote the growth of the sector.
- Azim Premji- the Wipro chairman who along with HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar are the only two billionaires from India in Forbes' list of the world's 100 richest people in technology, ranking in the top 20 ahead of Google boss Eric Schmidt and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. The '100 Richest Tech Billionaires in the World 2016' list is topped by Microsoft founder Bill Gates (bottom) with an estimated fortune of $78 billion. Premji ranks 13th on the list with a net worth of $16 billion and Nadar comes in at the 17th spot with $11.6 billion of net worth.
People in the News August 01st to August 07th 2016
- Sushma Swaraj - India's External Affairs Minister who will lead the Indian delegation for the General Debate of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly which will open on September 13, 2016. The General Debate will open on the theme of 'The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world,' as announced by President-elect Peter Thomson last month.
- Vijay Rupani – he took over as the new chief minister of Gujarat. He took over after the resignation of Anandiben Patel. Nitin Patel took over as the deputy CM of Gujarat. Governor O P Kohli administered the oath of office and secrecy to the chief minister and his ministers.
- Shubha Mudgal - the noted classical singer has been nominated to receive the 23rd Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna award for her outstanding contribution for promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill. Earlier recipients include mother Teresa, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar and Dilip Kumar.
- Tashi Malik and Nungshi Malik - the two sisters from Uttarakhand who recently received the official certification from the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first siblings in the world to climb Mount Everest and scale the Seven Summits. The twins climbed Everest in May 2013 and the Seven Summits in December 2014.
People in the News July 25th to July 31st 2016
- Hillary Clinton – she made history by becoming the first woman to win a win a major US political party's White House nomination, earning the backing of convention Demorcats and prime-time plaudits. She was the US First lady and also US secretary of State.
- Luke Aikins – he made history when he became the first person to leap without a parachute and land in a net instead. A skydiver with more than 18,000 jumps jumped from an altitude of 25,000 ft. and landed in the 100-by-100 foot net recently at the Big Sky movie ranch on the outskirts of Simi Valley, California.
- J K Rowling - the author of famous Harry Porter series. He was in the news recently after the release of the new book in the series titled 'Harry Porter and the Cursed Child'.
- Yuriko Koike – she was recently elected as the Tokyo's first woman governor. She is the former TV anchorwoman, defence minister and environment minister.
- Arundhati Ghose - the former diplomat and Ambassador who died recently. Ghose had earned the sobriquet 'Iron Lady' when she brilliantly led India's charge against the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva in 1996, earning the respect of her peers and opponents.
- Bezwada Wilson and T M Krishna - the two Indians selected for the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award 2016 along with four others. Bezwada Wilson is a tireless crusader against the evil practice of manual scavenging and T M Krishna is a renowned Carnatic singer, who questioned the caste system in music. Others Magsaysay awardees for 2016 are Conchita Carpio-Morales of the Philippines, Dompet Dhuafa of Indonesia, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and 'Vientiane Rescue' of Laos.
- Mahasweta Devi - the eminent author and social activist whose writings focused on the marginalised communities in the country and served as the voice of the oppressed, died recently. Awarded the SahityaAkademi and Jnanpith awards for literary excellence, Devi helped tribals and the rural dispossessed in organising themselves in groups so that they could take up development activities in their own areas. She founded several grassroots level societies for the welfare of tribals.
- A R Rahman - the famous Indian singer who will sing at the United Nations on 15th August 2016. Rahman, the winner of two academy awards, two Grammys, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe will kick off the global splash of India's 70th anniversary celebrations appropriately at the UN, with 193 countries swinging to 'Jai Ho!' Rahman's performance will also come 50 years after another Indian music legend MS Subbulakshmi sang at the UN in October 1966.
People in the News July 18th to July 24th 2016
- Garry Marshall - the veteran filmmaker, the man behind some of the best Hollywood romantic comedies like "Pretty Woman", "Runaway Bride" and "Valentine's Day", died recently at the age of 81. He died from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, California, recently.
- Fedor Konyukhov - the 65- year-old Russian Orthodox priest who recently set a world record of flying solo around the world non- stop in 11 days and 6 hours. He travelled a distance of 34,000km in his helium and hot air balloon. The earlier record of covering 33,000 km in 13 days and 8 hours was set by American businessman Steve Fossett in 2002.
- K P Oli - Nepal's Prime Minister who resigned recently ahead of a no-confidence vote, plunging the country into a fresh political turmoil after last year's crippling Mashes protests against the new Constitution. Oli, who became prime minister last October heading Nepal's eighth government in the past 10 years, has been facing a no-trust motion after the Maoists withdrew support from the coalition government.
- Mubarak Begum - the legendary singer passed away recently after a prolonged illness. Mubarak Begum is remembered for singing scores of songs, duets and ghazals for Bollywood, mainly during the 1950s-1970s.Begum sang the evergreen song Kabhi tanhaiyon mein hamari yaad ayegifrom the 1961 movie Hamari Yaad Aayegi.
- Rohit Khandelwal - the first Indian to win the title of Mr. World 2016 at the Mr. World competition held in Southport, UK recently. The 26-year-old model-actor from Hyderabad defeated 46 contestants from across the globe to be crowned the first Indian winner. Fernando Alvarez, 21, from Puerto Rico and Aldo Esparza Ramirez, 26, from Mexico were the first and second runner respectively.
- Syed Haider Raza - the legendary painter who popularized globally Indian concepts and iconography and built a towering legacy of modern art passed away recently, leaving a huge void in the artistic world. He was awarded the Padma Shri and Fellowship of Lalit Kala Akademi in 1981, the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2013.
- Salman Khan - the Bollywood actor who was recently acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in two cases related to poaching of Chinkaras in Jodhpur in 1998.
- Bhagwant Mann - the Member of Parliament of AAP's was recently suspended from Lok Sabha for security breach videos. The Speaker also sat up a 9-member panel to probe Mann's video which put Parliament security "in peril". The panel, chaired by Bharatiya Janata Party member Kirit Somaiya, has been asked to submit its report by August 3.
People in the News July 11th to July 17th 2016
- Sushila Karki – she was recently sworn in as the first woman Chief Justice of Nepal's Supreme Court. With her appointment Nepal has three women in prominent position including her-Bindhya Devi Bhandari is the first woman President of Nepal while Onsari Gharti Magar is the first woman speaker of Nepal's Parliament.
- Taylor Swift - the pop star topped this year's list of the world's highest-paid celebrities, earning $170 million (Rs.1140 crore). This earning is between June 2015 and June 2016. Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar are the only Indians on the list-Shah Rukh at 86th rank with earnings of $33 million (Rs.221 crore) and Akshay at 94th rank with earnings of $31.5 million (Rs.211 crore).
- Theresa May - she took over as the new Prime Minister of Britain. She is the second woman PM in British history after Margaret Thatcher.
- Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari – he was recently honoured with the 51st Bhartiya Jnanpith Award for the year 2015 by President Pranab Mukherjee. He is one of the most prolific writers on the contemporary Gujarati literary scene and has written or compiled over 100 books in Gujarati and Hindi.
- Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi – he is the new Union Minority Affairs Minister. He was recently given the charge of the minority affairs after the resignation of incumbent minister Najma Heptullah.
- Pradeep Kumar - the former chief vigilance commissioner (CVC) who will head the committee set up by the government to work with banks on settlement of non-performing assets (NPAs) so as to place an action plan to clean up the books of lenders and comfort them through an oversight mechanism. Janki Ballabh, former SBI chairman will be the other member of the committee for now.
- Pema Khandu – he was sworn in as the new chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh recently. Son of late Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, Pema, 37, who became the youngest chief minister in the country and the ninth in the tiny northeastern state was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Tathagata Roy at the Rajbhavan in Itanagar. Dorjee Khandu had died in an air crash in 2011.
- Gen Nakatani – the Japan's defence minister who visited India recently and met India's defence minister Manohar Parrikar after which the India-Japan joint statement on South China Sea was issued which said that there should be peaceful settlement of the disputes without any threat or use of force and of ensuring freedom and safety of navigation and over-flight as well as unimpeded lawful commerce in international waters.
- Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi - the IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister. CBSE has been without chairperson since December 2014.
- D Subbarao - the former governor of Reserve bank of India is the author of the book 'Who moved my interest rate?' The book is replete with instances of the UPA government's interferences since as early as mid-October 2008 when the RBI was 'dousing the system with rupee and forex liquidity' to fight the crisis.
- Arvind Subramanian - the chief economic adviser who will lead the panel formed for the first time to take call on minimum support prices (MSP) for pulses. MSPs are usually decided by the farm ministry-headed commission for agriculture costs and prices.
People in the News July 04th to July 10th 2016
- Kanak Jha - the Indian origin boy recently became the youngest male to qualify for Table tennis in Olympics. He was just 15 years when he qualified for Rio Olympics to represent US.
- Yves Bonnefoy - the France's most famous contemporary poet and celebrated translator of Shakespeare whose works were translated into 30 languages, died recently at the age of 93.
- Filipe Jacinto Nyusi - the President of Mozambique who met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Maputo during his visit to that country.
- Rodrigo Duterte – he was recently sworn in as the new President of Philippines. In his speech after taking the pledge at the presidential palace in Manila he promised a 'relentless' and 'sustained' fight against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.
- Prakash Javadekar - he was recently appointed as the new Human Resources Development (HRD) minister in the cabinet reshuffle carried out recently. The incumbent HRD minister Smriti Irani was appointed as the new Textile Minister.
- Shankar Acharya - the former economic adviser who has been appointed as the head of the committee to study the desirability and feasibility of moving to a new financial year cycle, replacing the April-March period. Besides Acharya, the members of the committee are former Cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar, former Tamil Nadu finance secretary PV Rajaraman and Centre for Policy Research senior fellow Rajiv Kumar. The committee, which will submit its report by December 2016, will examine the merits and demerits of different financial year cycles. Different countries follow different financial years- US follows October 1- September30; Australia follows July 1- June 30; China follows January1 –December 31. Countries like Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan follow an April 1-March 31 financial year like India. One main argument in favour of moving away from the existing cycle is that the June-September monsoon-often called the Indian economy's lifeblood-sets in barely two months into the financial year, making policy making difficult.
- Radhika Menon – she became the first woman in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for saving the lives of seven fishermen, whose hopes of survival were all but over. Five years ago she became the first woman to become the first woman to become captain of Indian Merchant Navy.
People in the News June 27th to July 03rd 2016
- Kartik Sawhney - one of the two Indian among the 60 people across the globe who were recently presented with medals for exemplary works in their respective fields by Queen Elizabeth at the Buckingham Palace. The other Indian is Neha Swain. Sawhney who was born blind is passionate about universal access to education. He founded project STEM Access, which offers hands-on science workshops in India, as well as virtual training sessions.
- Alvin Toffler - also regarded as guru of post industrial age, is the writer of the famous book "Future Shock" which anticipated the transformation brought about by rise of digital technology. He was in the news as he died recently.
- Jim Yong Kim - the President of World Bank who visited India recently to review the priority areas that the bank has been working on. He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance minister Arun Jaitley besides other senior leaders.
- Isak Chishi Swu - the 87 year old chairman of Nationalist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) who died recently. He was the main architect of the ongoing Naga accord with the government. He was the Nagaland's face of the NSCN-IM while Thuingaleng Muviah is its Manipur face. The NSCN-IM has been demanding merger of all Naga majority area under Greater Nagaland, a proposal opposed by Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur as these states will lose substantial territory if the Centre yield's to the outfit's demand.
- NS Vishwanathan - he was recently appointed as the new Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India. He was chosen by a search committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary, the first appointment to be done through this panel after which it was approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He replaced H R Khan who retired recently.
People in the News June 20th to June 26th 2016
- Tim Peake (Russia) - he along with Yuri Malenchenko (Russia),Tim Kopra (US) are the three astronauts to returned back to Earth after a 7-hour return journey upon completing a historic six-month mission on the International Space Station(ISS). The Soyuz capsule bringing back the three astronauts made a safe parachute landing on the steppe near the Kazakh city of Zhezkazgan recently. The next launch of astronauts from the Baikonur cosmodrome is scheduled on July 7this year. It will take Anatoly Ivanishin of Russia, Kate Rubins of United States and Takuya Onishi of Japan to the ISS.
- Amjad Sabri - one of Pakistan's finest qawwals and known for his soul-stirring renditions of mystic poetry, was on Wednesday killed by unidentified gunmen who shot him in the head in a targeted attack. Amjad Sabri was the son of renowned Qawwal Ghulam Farid Sabri whose family is famous in the subcontinent for their contribution to this sufi art and mystic poetry. Sabri was one of Pakistan's finest qawwals, known for his soul-stirring renditions of mystic poetry. Some of the most memorable and famous qawwalis of the Sabris were 'Bhar Do Jholi Meri', 'Tajdar-i-Haram' and 'Mera Koi Nahin Hai Teray Siwa'.
- Avani Chaturvedi - she along with Bhawana Kanth & Mohana Singh were recently commissioned as India's first three women fighter pilots of Indian Air Force. The three will now be stationed in Bidar, Karnataka for their next round of training, including flying fighter jets such as Hawk, Sukhoi and Tejas.
- Sanjay Mittal - the Professor of Aerospace Engineering at IIT, Kanpur who was recently awarded the 25th G D Birla Award for Scientific Research for the year 2015. Mittal's work focuses on Bluff Body Flows (flows past blunt bodies associated with large unsteady separation and leading to large fluid forces. The award, which carries a reward of Rs.2.5 lakhs is given to eminent Indian scientists below the age of 50 years for their original and outstanding contributions to any branch of science or technology.
People in the News June 13th to June 19th 2016
- Wesley Korir – M.P from Kenya who is the first ever sitting MP anywhere in the world to get the opportunity to run at the Olympics. Former Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir, who is also the Cherangany MP, has been named in the marathon team to represent Kenya in the coming Rio Olympic Games.
- Umesh Sachdev - the co-founder and chief executive officer(CEO) of Uniphone Software systems Pvt.Ltd. who was recently featured in Time magazine's 2016 list of '10 millennials who are changing the world' for building a phone that can understand almost any language. Uniphone products, include a virtual assistant that processes more than 25 global languages and 150 dialects and are currently used by over five million people mostly in India.
- Anders Kompass - the UN whistleblower who exposed UN report on child abuse by peacekeepers in Central African Republic and who resigned recently from the post of director of field operations for UN human rights claiming that UN was taking too long to act on his report.
- Jo Cox - the British MP of Labour Party who was killed recently after being reportedly shot and stabbed in her constituency in northern England, a week before the crucial referendum on UK's EU membership. The 41-year old made finding a solution to the Syrian civil war a top priority and was critical of Britain's reluctance to deepen its military involvement against IS extremists as part of that effort.
- Prayut Chan-o-cha - the Prime Minister of Thailand who visited India recently. He met Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and signed two agreements with India- Executive Programme of Cultural Exchange (extension of CEP) for 2016-19 and a MoU between Nagaland University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
- Shyam Benegal - the head of censor board revamp committee which recently has submitted some recommendations to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry regarding censorship in films. The Benegal panel, in its first report submitted on April 26, had urged the government to lay down a "holistic framework for certification of films." Other members of the committee include Goutom Ghosh, actor Kamal Haasan, filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, ad-man Piyush Pandey, film critic Bhawana Somaaya and NFDC Managing Director Nina Lath Gupta.
People in the News June 06th to June 12th 2016
- Kalpana Chawla - the late Indian-American astronaut on whose tomb Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his recent U.S visit laid a wreath including the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified.
- Hillary Clinton – she clinched the Democratic Party nomination for the United States presidential elections after reaching the required number of delegates, putting her on course to become the first woman to head a major US party ticket.
- AR Rahman - India's music maestro and India's Test cricket captain Virat Kohli will join forces to compose the official anthem for the inaugural season of the star-studded Premier Futsal League. This will be for the first time that the Oscar Award-winning composer is lending his musical genius to a franchise-based sport league in the country.
- Arundhati Bhattacharya - the first woman chairperson of the nation's largest bank SBI, has been ranked among the top five most powerful women in finance by the Forbes magazine. Bhattacharya has moved up five spots from the previous year to 5th this year. She is also ranked 25th in Forbes' list of 'The World's 100 Most Powerful Women', which features top female leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs.
People in the News May 30th to June 05th 2016
- Xi Jinping - the President of China who recently met India's President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to China. The two sides agreed to carry forward the traditions, deepen practical cooperation and alleviate bilateral relations.
- Bed Bahadur Sunuwar - the Nepali soldier who won the world's highest marathon in the snow-covered foothills of Mount Everest. The annual Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon which was initiated in 2003, is meant to mark the anniversary of the first summit of the peak by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953.
- Neerja Sethi - the India-born CEO who co-founded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai, is ranked 16th on the Forbes' annual list of America's 60 wealthiest and most successful self-made women entrepreneurs. President and CEO of Arista Networks Jayshree Ullal (55) is ranked 30th. According to Forbes, the richest self-made woman in America is Diane Hendricks, the owner of ABC Supply, the largest wholesale distributor of roofing and siding in the country.
- Mamta Banerjee - she was sworn in as the chief minister of West Bengal for the second time when she was sworn in recently after her party's thumping victory in the recently concluded Assembly Elections.
- V Narayanasamy - former Union Minister was recently sworn in as the tenth chief minister of Puducherry. Lt Governor Kiran Bedi administered the oath of office and secrecy to Narayanasamy and five other ministers.
- Ashok Lavasa - he was recently appointed as the new Finance Secretary of India. He will replace Ratan Watal who retired in April 2016. Presently he was the Expenditure Secretary of India.
- Admiral Sunil Lanbawas – he was recently appointed as the 23rdChief of the Naval Staff. A Navigation and Direction Specialist, Admiral Lanba has served as the Navigation and Operations Officer on board numerous ships in both the Eastern and Western Fleets in his nearly four decades-long career. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh was also appointed as the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff recently.
People in the News May 23rd to May 29th 2016
- Rishi Nair- the sixth grader Indian-American from Florida took top honours at the 28th annual National Geographic Bee held at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C. Indian-American students have swept the prestigious Nat Geo Bee competition, securing the first three positions for this year's National Geographic Bee championship finals. As National Geographic Bee champion, Rishi received a USD 50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. This is the fifth consecutive year that an Indian-American has won the prestigious national tournament.
- Pinarayi Vijayan – he recently took over as the new chief minister of Kerala after the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was elected to power in the recent assembly elections.
- Sarbananda Sonowal – he was sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Assam. He heads 11 member ministry that includes in addition to his BJP party ministers from allies AGP and Bodo's People Front.
People in the News May 16th to May 22nd 2016
- Andre Brahic - the French astrophysicist, the discoverer of rings around the gaseous planet Neptune who died recently. An expert on the solar system, in 1984 he launched a programme which led to the discovery, with US astronomer William Hubbard, of the Neptune rings. Neptune outermost ring is divided into three arcs to which Brahic gave the names Liberte, Fraternite and Egalite.
- Syamantak Payra – the Texas resident is the Indian-American teenager who recently won the prestigious 'Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award' for developing a low-cost electronically aided knee brace that allows a person with a weakened leg to walk more naturally.
- Hang Kang - the South Korean author won the Man Booker International Prize for fiction recently for her novel 'The Vegetarian', an unsettling novel in which a woman's decision to stop eating meat has devastating consequences. She is the first Korean to be nominated for the prize of 50,000 pounds. The award is the international counterpart to Britain's Booker Prize and is open to books published in any language that have been translated in English.
- Lhakpa Sherpa - the female climber who recently created history by scaling Mount Everest for a record seventh time. Lhakpa Sherpa was among 18 climbers who reached the peak recently from the northern side in Tibet breaking her own record as the most successful female climber of the world's highest peak. Born in Nepal, she climbed Everest six times between 2000 and 2006 before moving to the United States where she is a permanent resident.
- Tsai Ing-wen – she was recently sworn in as the first woman President of Taiwan. She took the oath of office at the presidential palace in Taipei after winning a landslide victory in January signaling the end of an eight year rapprochement with China. Tsai, who is considered China's strong critic, has pledged for democracy in Taiwan and a close ties with the US.
- Tanishq Abraham - the twelve-year-old Indian-American boy became the youngest ever to graduate from a US college and is eyeing to become a doctor by the time he turns 18. A native of Sacramento in California, he created a record of sorts, he surprised one and all by graduating from a California college with three associate degrees in Maths, Science and foreign language studies last year at the age of 11.Abraham graduated from American River College in Sacramento alongside 1,800 students last year. Abraham's parents had migrated to the US from Kerala.
- Tim Cook - the CEO of Apple who visited India recently. This is seen as a strategic move for the company to penetrate deeper into India's growing smart phone market, by piggybacking on telecoms' distribution networks. Globally, especially in the US, its key market, Apple's strategy has been to work with the telecom service providers such as Verizon, Sprint and AT&T that bundle its phones along with their services at subsidised prices to the customers.
- N.K.Singh - the bureaucrat turned politician has been appointed to head the five member committee to review the Fiscal Reforms and Budget Management (FRBM) Act and suggest possible changes. The other members include chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian, RBI deputy governor Urjit Patel, former finance secretary Sumit Bose and NIPFP director Rathin Roy. The committee will examine the need and feasibility of aligning the fiscal expansion or contraction with credit contraction or expansion in the economy.
- Kiran Bedi - she was recently appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. The LG post in the Union territory had been lying vacant after the Narendra Modi government had sacked United Progressive Alliance nominee Virendra Kataria on July 12 barely a year after he had been appointed. Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Island Lt Gen Ajay Singh had been given additional charge of Puducherry.
- J Jayalalithaa - the supremo of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was recently sworn in as Tamil Nadu chief minister for the sixth time. She was sworn-in for a second consecutive tenure along with 28 ministers by Governor K Rosaiah.
People in the News May 09th to May 15th 2016
- Mark Rylance – he won the best actor award for his role as Thomas Cromwell in the BBC Two historical drama Wolf Hall at this year Bafta TV Awards held recently at London.
- Rodrigo Duterte - he was recently elected as the President of Philippines. He defeated President Benigno Aquino in the recent concluded elections.
- Barack Obama – he will become the first serving US President to visit Hiroshima in Japan but he will not apologies for the United States dropping an atomic bomb on the city in the final days of the World War 2.
- Revathi Balakrishnan - the Indian-American woman elementary teacher from Texas who was recently honored by US President Barack Obama at the White House for her excellent work in the field of education. Revathi Balakrishnan, a gifted teacher at Patsy Sommer Elementary School, was also named 2016 'Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year'.
- Susannah Jones - the world's oldest living person and last US woman born in the 19th century who died recently. She was of 116 years and was born in Montgomery in the southern US state of Alabama on July 6, 1899. She moved north in 1922 in New Jersey and then New York according to Guinness World Records. She attributed her longevity to lots of sleep, had never smoked or drank alcohol. Her death makes Emma Morano-Martinuzzi in Italy, also 116, the oldest living person.
- Shashank Manohar – he was recently elected unopposed as the first independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Under reforms the chairman must be an independent candidate with no formal links to his home board. He resigned as the president of the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India recently, commenced his two-year term at ICC with immediate effect.
- A R Rahman - the Oscar winning music composer recently agreed to be the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian Olympic contingent, joining cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, ace shooter Abhinav Bindra and Bollywood star Salman Khan.
- Uday Kotak - the only Indian to feature in the Forbes list of 'Money Masters: The Most Powerful People in the Financial World' released recently. His net worth is estimated at $7.1 bn and he is ranked 33rd on the list which is topped by Blackstone Group's CEO Stephen Schwarzman.
People in the News May 02nd to May 08th 2016
- Sadiq Khan – he recently became the first Muslim mayor of London following a ferocious campaign that saw his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith linking him to extremism and also racially profiling. His parents moved from India to Pakistan and later to England. As a solicitor before entering politics, he successfully fought a racism case on behalf of an Indian doctor in the National Health Service in 2004.
- Ashok Dalwai - the additional secretary with the farm ministry, who will head of the committee formed by government to study the current income level of farmers and determine the growth required to double farm income by 2022.The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) says that the average farm household earns Rs.6, 426 a month.
- R M Lodha -the former Chief Justice of India has been appointed as the head of the three member panel to oversee the Medical Council of India (MCI), the regulator of medical profession and education in India. The five judge constitution bench headed by Justice AR Dave appointed the committee to oversee the MCI because the regulator is often accused of indulging in corrupt practices. Besides Lodha, the panel has former CAG Vinod Rai and Dr. S.K. Sareen as members.
- Amitabh Bachchan – he is the first actor to win 4 best actor National awards when he won the best actor award at the 63rd National Film Awards function in New Delhi recently.
- Manoj Kumar - the 78 year old veteran best known for his patriotic films 'Purab Aur Paschim', 'Upkar', and 'Kranti' was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke award at the 63rd National Awards recently. He became the 47th recipient of the award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema.
- Pankaj Parakh - the Maharashtra's well known businessman-politician who has earned a place in Guinness World records for 'the most expensive gold shirt in the world'. The Guinness World Record certificate issued recently cites him as the man with 'the most expensive gold shirt in the world' costing Rs. 98, 35,099($161,354/GBP95, 856) as on August 1, 2014.
- Dr. Pranav Pandya - the head of the All World Gayatri Pariwar, declined his nomination in the Rajya Sabha recently after watching the proceedings of the House. Dr.Pandya, an MD in medicine was nominated to the Rajya Sabha recently be President Pranab Mukherjee following a recommendation by the government. He was the seventh person to be nominated by the Modi government.
People in the News April 25th to May 01st 2016
- Narendra Modi – the Prime Minister of India took his place alongside other world leaders at Madame Tussauds in London recently. The figure is featured in the famous attraction's popular "World Leaders" enclosure alongside present day leaders Barack Obama, David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Francoise Holland, as well as political heavyweights of the past including Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill.
- Ashok Lavasa - he has been appointed as the new Expenditure Secretary of India. The challenges before him would be to rein in wasteful spending and boost the government's finances.
- N.K.Singh - the bureaucrat-turned-politician has been conferred with Japan's second highest national decoration award, the prestigious 'Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star'. A former Rajya Sabha member, he is the only Indian among the 91 foreign recipients of the awards this year.
- Ashok Chawla – he was recently nominated as the new Chairman of National Stock Exchange. The former head of the competition Commission of India will replace S B Mathur who stepped down as chairman after completion of his term.
- Bhupender Yadav - the BJP MP is the head of the Joint Committee of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill. The committee has recently recommended that a bankrupt person be disqualified from being elected to any public office. If accepted, this could see bankrupts being barred from contesting elections for municipal bodies, state assemblies and Parliament.
- Dolkun Isa - the Uyghur activist whose e-visa was issued and subsequently cancelled by Indian government. India had taken the unusual step of allowing Uyghur leaders to attend a conference by the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. The move was seen to be the India's way of upping the ante against China blocking terrorist designation of Jaish-e- Mohammad chief Masood Azhar at the U.N. However following protests by Beijing the government cancelled the visa citing reasons that the scheduled meeting has been scrapped.
People in the News April 18th to April 24th 2016
- Raghuram Rajan - he along with Sania Mirza, Priyanka Chopra and Sundar Pichai are Indians who featured in this year issue of Times magazine in its list of the '100 most Influential People in the World' which was released recently.
- Salman Khan -the Bollywood actor who was recently appointed good will ambassador of the Indian contingent for the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics. This is the first time that a Bollywood actor will be a goodwill ambassador for the Indian contingent at the Olympics.
- Navjot Singh Sidhu - the famous cricketer turned commentator who was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He is also presently BJP MP of Lok Sabha representing Amritsar. Other persons who were nominated recently include BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, erstwhile National Advisory Council member Narendra Jadhav, Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi, journalist Swapan Das Gupta and boxer Mary Kom.
- Duleep Singh - the Indian king who is believed to have presented the Kohinoor diamond to Britishers- to Queen Victoria in 1850, a year after the British annexed Punjab. The 105-carat Kohinoor-the name translates to 'Mountain of Light' is believed to have been mined in present day Andhra Pradesh in the 13th century and passed several hands before ending up with the British during their occupation of India. This is in news over petition by a NGO in Supreme Court that government should make efforts to bring it back to India.
People in the News April 11th to April 17th 2016
- John Kerry –he became the first US Secretary of State to visit Hiroshima after the nuclear holocast. Hiroshima was bombed by the US during World War 2. He visited Hiroshima to take part in a Group of Seven meeting.
- Narendra Modi -he was recently conferred with Saudi Arabia's highest civilian honour-the King Abdul-Aziz Sash. The honour was conferred upon India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi by King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz in Riyadh recently.
- Padma Sachdev - she was recently awarded the 25th Saraswati Samman for her autobiography, Chitt-Chete. Chitt-Chete, written in Dogri, was published in 2007. The award, instituted by KK Birla Foundation in 1991, is given every year for outstanding work written in any Indian language in the Schedule VII to the Constitution of India by an Indian citizen and published during the last 10 years.
- Veenu Paliwal -the leading woman Indian biker who died recently in a road accident in Madhya Pradesh. The 44 year old Jaipur resident was on a nationwide tour on her Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Known for her riding Harley-Davidson at 180 kmph, Paliwal was planning to make a documentary on her journey across India.
People in the News April 04th to April 10th 2016
- Amitabh Bachchan - the Bollywood actor, was recently named as the face of family planning programmes. He has become India's brand ambassador for promoting contraceptive use and family planning.
- Narendra Modi – he was recently conferred with Saudi Arabia's highest civilian honour-the King Abulaziz Sash. The honour was conferred upon India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi by King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh recently.
People in the News March 28th to April 03rd 2016
- Htin Kyaw – he was recently sworn in as the new President of Myanmar. He was handed over the presidential seal from outgoing President Thein Sein. He is the first President with no army ties in more than five decades. Htin Kyaw, a close friend and confidant of Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was handed picked by her to run Myanmar's government because a constitution drafted by the former junta bars the democracy champion from the top office.
- Kokilaben Ambani – she received the Padma Vibhushan on behalf of her late husband Dhirubhai Hirachand Ambani from President Pranab Mukherjee during the Civil Investiture ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi recently.
- Kangana Ranaut – she won the Best Actress award at the 63rd National Film Awards for her role in the film Tanu weds Manu, which were announced recently. Amitabh Bachchan won the Best Actor award for his role in the movie Piku.
- Ramesh Sippy - the famous filmmaker headed the 11 member jury which announced the 63rd National Film Awards. The prestigious awards-announced by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry-are given away by President. There are 30 categories in the Feature Films segment and 22 in the non-feature films one.
- Arvind Kejriwal - the Chief Minister of Delhi is the only Indian to feature in Fortune list of top 50 world leaders. He is at position 42 because of his odd-even scheme to reduce air pollution during which personal vehicles with odd numbers were allowed to ply on odd number dates while the even number vehicles were allowed to ply on even number dates.
People in the News March 21st to March 27th 2016
- Justice BS Chauhan – he was recently appointed as the Chairman of 21st Law Commission. The commission advises the government on legal issues but its recommendations are not binding.
- Bhawan Singh - the veteran photographer who was awarded the Life Time Achievement Award at the Fifth National Photography Awards in New Delhi recently. The awards were given by I & B minister Arun Jaitley.
People in the News March 14th to March 20th 2016
- Hanan al-Hroub - the primary school teacher from a refugee camp in conflict-torn Palestine recently won the $1-million Global Teacher Prize for educating her students about non-violence, beating nine other finalists at the final event held at Dubai.
- Anita Brookner - the author and art historian who won the 1984 Booker Prize for her novel Hotel du Lac died recently. Her first novel, a Start in Life, was published in 1981, and she went on to publish a book almost every year for the next three decades. Her most recent work, the novella At the Hairdresser's was published in 2011.
- Andrew Wiles - the research professor of Mathematics at Oxford has been awarded the top prize in the field of Mathematics "for his stunning proof of Fermat's Last Theorem by way of the modularity conjecture for semis table eppiptic curves, opening a new era in number theory-solving the 300 year old mystery surrounding Fermet's Last Theorem-formulated by French mathematician Pierre de Fermat in 1637.
- Sumit Bose - the former Finance Secretary headed the committee set up by Ministry of Finance to study the menace of insurance companies. The committee submitted its report in September 2015. The main recommendation is to stop upfront commissions on investments products and insurance components that intermediaries get. The suggestion is to move the commission to a trail model, based on the amount of business that an agent gets for a company. The report also calls for more transparency during selling a product by explaining how the customer's money is being split between insurance and investment.
People in the News March 7th to March 13th 2016
- Dominic Asquith–the new British high commissioner to India. He is the great-grandson of former UK Prime Minister HH Asquith and a Middle East expert who held ambassadorial posts in Iraq, Egypt and Libya. He succeeds James Bevan who was transferred to a non-governmental public body.
- Christine Lagarde-the chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF) who visited India recently. She gave the inaugural address at the Advancing Asia: Investing for the future held at New Delhi.
- Suryassangyini Chaudhary-the six year old girl from Baraut in Baghpat district made history by trekking and hoisting the Tricolour at the 16,300 foot high Kanchenchunga base camp. She is the youngest person to have trekked this high. She was accompanied by her father Sandeep Chaudhary and mother Manisha.
People in the News February 29th to March 06th 2016
- Leonardo Dicaprio - he won his long-awaited first Oscar for Best Actor in the 88th Academy Awards the revenge epic The Revenant.
- Brie Larson - she won the Oscar for the best actress in the 88th Academy Awards for Room.
- Bill Gates - the cofounder of Microsoft who continued his reign as the world's richest person with a net worth of $75 billion, according to Forbes annual ranking of billionaires with Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani leading the pack of 84 Indian billionaires in 2016.
- Scott Kelly - the US astronaut who along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko landed on Earth recently, ending their year-long study abroad NASA's orbiting laboratory.
- Alok Kumar Verma - he took over as the new commissioner of Delhi Police recently after the retirement of outgoing commissioner B S Bassi.
- HL Dattu - the former Chief Justice of India who took over as the seventh chairperson of National Human Rights Commission.
- Manoj Kumar - the veteran Bollywood star , best known for his patriotic films Purab Aur Paschim, Upkar and Kranti who was recently chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema.
- P A Sangma-former Lok Sabha speaker who was elected to the Parliament's lower house nine times and was one a presidential candidate died of heart attack recently.
- Kanhaiya Kumar - the student leader of JNU who was recently released from Tihar jail, nearly three weeks after he was arrested on controversial sedition charge that sparked major protests and nationwide debate over free speech.
People in the News February 22nd- 28th 2016
- Gianni Infantino-the 45 year old lawyer from Switzerland who was elected as the new FIFA President.
Sanjay Dutt- the actor who was released from Pune's Yerawada jail after serving a five year sentence for possessing illegal arms.
- Anshulika Dubey- the co-founder and chief operating officer of Wishberry.in who made it to the elite list of Forbes Asia 'Top 30-under 30' in the finance and venture capital segment.Wishberry.in is the country's first crowd funding platform for creative projects.
People in the News February 15th- 21st 2016
- Leonardo Dicaprio- the actor of 'The Revenant' who won the Best Actor award at Britain's Bafta film awards recently.
- Harper Lee- the author who wrote one of America's most enduring literary classics 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and surprised readers 55 years later with the publication of a second book about the same characters died recently.
- Umberto Eco- the Italian author who intrigued, puzzled and delighted readers worldwide with his best selling historical novel "The Name of the Rose" died recently.
- U K Sinha- the SEBI chief who recently was given an extension of 1 year by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. SEBI stands for Securities Exchange Board of India.
- Kalikho Pul- he was recently sworn in as the ninth chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh soon after President's rule was formally lifted from the state.
- KN Vyas- the distinguished scientist who was recently appointed as the director of Bhabha atomic Research Centre (BARC), the country's premier multi-disciplinary nuclear research centre.
- Amit Mitra- the West Bengal finance minister and member of Trinamool Congress who was recently made the Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Services (GST) following the resignation of Kerala finance minister KM Mani.
- Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli- the Prime Minister of Nepal who visited India recently. The two countries signed a range of agreements- primarily to give shape to past commitments.
People in the News February 08th- 14th 2016
- Sushil Koirala- the former Nepal Prime minister credited with promulgating the country's first democratically drafted constitution who passed away recently.
- Lance Naik Hanamanthappa-the soldier of 19 Madras Regiment who was miraculously rescued by army personnel nearly a week after a week he was buried under 35 feet of snow by deadly avalanche on Jammu and Kashmir's Siachen Glacier. He died subsequently ending a nation's hopes for the soldier miraculous recovery.
- Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan- the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy supreme Commander of UAE armed forces who visited India recently.
- Nida Fazli-renowned Urdu and Hindi poet who died recently in Mumbai. He was known to his readers for his elegant presentation and exclusive use of colloquial languages for ghazals, dohas and nazms. He also had a long association with the late ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh.
People in the News February 01st- 07th 2016
- Edgar Mitchell- the Apollo 14 astronaut who walked on the moon in 1971 died in Florida recently.
- Archana Ramasundaram- the 1980bath IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre who became the first woman police officer to lead a central police force once she takes over as the new director general of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
- RM Lodha- the former chief justice of India who was recently appointed the head of committee to oversee the refund of Rs.49, 100crore to about 55 million investors in the Pearl Group scam within six months.
People in the News January 25th- 31st 2016
- Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami-the elite commando of the Army's Special Forces who was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the highest peace-time gallantry award, for laying down his life while saving two colleagues during with an encounter with militants in Kashmir last year.
- Dhirubhai Ambani- the famous industrialist and founder of Reliance Industries who was posthumously awarded one of the Padma Vibhushan award, the second highest civilian award.
- Aparna Kumar- the IPS officer from Uttar Pradesh who scaled up Mt.Vinson Massif the highest peak of Antarctica on January 17, 2016 and became the first woman from the civil services to climb it which is regarded as one of the most dangerous mountains for climbers.
- Sanjay Mishra- the retired judge of Allahabad HC was recently appointed as the new Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh in place of Virendra Singh.
People in the News January 18th- 24th 2016
- Glenn Frey- the prolific guitarist, singer, songwriter of the Eagles who died recently.
- Francois Hollande- the President of France who was the chief guest during the 67th Republic day celebrations recently.
- Rohith Vemula- the Dalit research scholar from University of Hyderabad who recently committed suicide which triggered lots of grief and outrage.
- Guenter Butschek- the former chief operating officer of the Airbus Group who was recently appointed as the CEO and managing director of Tata Motors.
- Mrinalini Sarabhai- the renowned Bharatnatyam exponent who died recently.
People in the News January 11th- 17th 2016
- Alan Rickman- one of the best –loved and most warmly admired British actors of the past 30 years who died recently. He is known for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films.
- Tsai Ing-wen- she was recently elected as the first female president of Taiwan. She defeated he opponent and ruling party leader Eric Chu with 56% votes against 31%.
- Devender Kumar Sikri- he was recently sworn in as the third chief of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). CCI is the fair trade regulator which keeps tab on unfair business practices across sectors. He was sworn in by Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley.
People in the News January 04th- 10th 2016
- Kashmea Wahi- the eleven-year-old Indian origin girl who recently achieved the top score of 162 on a Mensa IQ test, one of the youngest to do so in the UK putting her in the league of scientists Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
- RM Lodha- the justice(retd.) who headed the Supreme court appointed panel which recently submitted his report legalizing betting and barring ministers and government officials from holding office in the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) in sweeping measures to clean up the scandal-ridden sports body.
- R K Mathur- former defence secretary, who was recently sworn in as the eighth Chief Information Commissioner of India by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
- Abidali Z Neemuchwala-he was recently named as the new CEO of India's third-largest IT services firm Wipro.
- Mufti Mohammad Sayeed- the 79 year old chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir who passed recently after cardio-respiratory failure.
- Gajendra Chauhan- actor turned politician who recently assumed charge of the chairperson of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune.
People in the News December 28th 2015 - January 03rd 2016
- Raghuveer Chaudhary- eminent Gujarati novelist, poet and critic who has been chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2015 which recognizes Indian literatteurs who write in one of the 22 Indian languages listed in Schedule Eight of the Indian Constitution.
- Adnan Sami- the famous Pakistani singer who was recently given Indian citizenship from January 1, 2016.
- Shyam Benegal- the acclaimed film maker who has been made the head of panel made to look at a possible revamping of the censor board. The panel has been asked to submit its recommendations within two months on reshaping the censor board, officially known as the Central Board of Film Certification.
- AB Bardhan- the former general secretary of the Communist Party of India and a doyen of India's leftist movement who passed away recently.
People in the News December 21st- December 27th 2015
- Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach- Miss Philippines who was recently crowned Miss Universe in Las Vegas, California recently.
People in the News December 14th- December 20th 2015
Mirela Lalaguna Royo- the beauty pageant from Spain who was crowned Miss World 2015 by former Miss World Jolene Strauss after winning the title at Sanya, China. Miss World Russia Sofia Nikitchuk was adjudged the runner up and Miss World Indonesia Maria Harafantitooj the third place.
- Sundar Pichai- the CEO of Google who visited India recently and met all important Indian dignitaries. He said that his company will equip 100 railway stations across the country with Wi-Fi by December 2016, as part of its partnership with RailTel, the telecom wing of the Indian Railways.
- A P Shah- a former chief justice of the Delhi High Court has appointed as the head of judicial commission to consider the findings of the report by a US-based consultant in the gas row between state owned ONGC and Mukesh Ambani promoted Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL).
- VS Gaitonde- the artist whose untitled work of 1995-an abstract painting in gold and ochre, one of the last works by the late artist-sold for Rs.29.30 crore after fierce bidding at the Christie's auction in Mumbai, breaking a world record held by the same artist for the highest sum paid for an Indian modern or contemporary art sold at auction.
- Sonia Gandhi- the Congress President and vice –president Rahul Gandhi were granted bail by a Delhi court in a private criminal complaint case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleging cheating and breach of trust in taking over Associated Journals Ltd., publisher of the now defunct national Herald newspaper.
People in the News December 07th- December 13th 2015
- Angela Merkel- the German Chancellor who was recently named as Time magazine's Person of the Year for her leadership on everything from Syrian crisis to the Greek debt crisis. Merkel is the first individual woman to hold title in 29 years, although women have been honoured as part of a group.
- Katy Perry- the pop star who was recently named the world's highest paid musician in 2015 with earnings of $135million over the past year.
- Sushma Swaraj- India's external affairs minister who recently visited Pakistan and met Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan's PM adviser for foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz. India and Pakistan thereafter agreed to hold comprehensive talks on all outstanding issues including terrorism and Kashmir, a breakthrough that followed several high level meetings between the warring neighbours after a prolonged period of chill in ties.
- Salman Khan- the Bollywood actor who was recently acquitted by Bombay High Court from all charges in a 2002 hit and run case overturning a trial court verdict that held him guilty of driving over and killing a man.
- Imran Khan- the leader of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf Party who met India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi recently.
- Sharad Joshi- the founder of Shetkari Sanghatana, which launched aggressive agitations on farmer's issues passed away recently.
People in the News November 29rd- December 06th 2015
- Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan- the winner of Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 who recently took over as the President of Royal Society, one of the foremost fellowhips in science, engineering and medicine.
- Maxima- the newly born first daughter of Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan after which the Face book founder announced his decision of putting 995 of his Face book shares, currently worth $45 billion(Rs.2.99 lakh crore) into a new philanthropy project.
- Oscar Pistorius- the Paralympics' star who was recently convicted by South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal for murdering his girl friend Reeva Steenkamp.
- Y Sudershan Rao- the chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research who recently resigned from his position on personal grounds.
People in the News November 23rd- November 29th 2015
- Mauricio Macri- he was recently elected as the new president of Argentina to take the helm of Latin America's third biggest economy that has been beleaguered by years of economic stability.
- Antonio Costa- the Indian origin socialist party leader who was recently appointed as the new Prime Minister of Portugal.
- Uhuru Kenyatta- the President of Kenya who recently fired five government ministers embroiled in corruption scandals in a cabinet reshuffle.
- Y Sudershan Rao- the chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research who recently resigned from his position on personal grounds.
People in the News November 16th- November 22nd 2015
- Syed Akbaruddin- seasoned diplomat and former spokesperson of the external affairs ministry who was recently appointed as India's permanent representative to the United Nations.
- Tina Brown- the 61-year-old journalist who is the first woman editor-in-chief of the prestigious The New Yorker who visited India recently.
- Tirath Singh Thakur- he was recently appointed as the 43rd Chief Justice of India.
- A K Mathur- the retd. Justice who headed the seventh pay commission which recently submitted its report to Finance Minister in which it recommended an average 23.5% increase in their salary and allowances that will benefit 4.8million staffers and 5.5 million pensioners. The central government constitutes the commission every 10 years to revise the pay scales of its staff and often these are adopted by states after modifications.
- Nitish Kumar- he was sworn in as the chief minister of Bihar for his fifth term at the Patna's historical Gandhi Maidan.
- Francois Hollande- the President of France who has been invited to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in 2016.
- Jill Farrant- the professor of molecular and cell biology at University of Cape Town who is working on unlocking the genetic codes of Resurrection plants that are a unique group of flora that can go without water for years.
- David Beckham- the retired English footballer and an international celebrity on and off the field, was named People magazine's 'Sexiest Man Alive' recently.
People in the News November 09th- November 15th 2015
- Aung San SuuKyi- Myanmar opposition leader of National League of Democracy (NLD) party which won a massive victory in the recent general elections held in Myanmar. National League for Democracy is the party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi which attained a historic majority in Myanmar's parliament making it possible for them to form the Southeast Asian country's truly civilian government in more than half a century. The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party won just 40 seats out of 664.
- Charles Darwin- his book 'On the Origin of Species' was recently voted as the most influential academic book ever written from a short list of 20 books drawn up as a part of a new project of the British Library and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
- N Srinivasan- the former President of Indian Cricket Board who was recently sacked as the International Cricket Council chairman by BCCI and appointed Chief Shashank Manohar to take over as ICC chairman until India's term ended next June.
People in the News November 02nd- November 08th 2015
- Justine Trudeau- he was recently sworn in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada at the historic Rideau Hall in Ottawa with four MPs of the Indian origin in the new ruling Liberal Party cabinet.
- Justice Tirath Singh Thakur- he will be the new Chief Justice of India after the term of present CJI HL Dattu ends on December 2, 2015.
- TK Viswanathan- the chairman of Bankruptcy Reforms Committee which submitted its draft report of the law modeled on US regulations to expedite winding up of failed companies. The draft proposal suggested a total of 180 days to deal with insolvency that may arise due to business failures or economic downturns, early identification of financial distress to help revive ailing companies, better handling of conflicts between creditors and debtors, distinguishing willful defaulters vis-à-vis genuine business failures, an insolvency regulator to oversee insolvency professionals and agencies and induction of new "insolvency professionals" to run the resolution process.
- Nitish Kumar- he led the Grand Alliance consisting of Janata Dal-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress to a grand victory in the Bihar Assemble elections.
- Poonam Bir Kasturi- the founder of Daily Dump who was recently conferred with Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) -India 2015 award by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum and the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation. Daily Dump is a Bengaluru based company which produces composting solutions that help convert the daily waste produced in homes especially the in kitchens, in compost.
People in the News October 26th- November 01st 2015
- Jimmy Morales- television comic and self styled outsider who was recently elected as Guatemala's next President riding a wave of popular anger against the political class after the huge anti-corruption protests helped oust the last government lady Sandra Torres.
- Joko Widodo- the President of Indonesia who announced his decision to join US President Barrack Obama on the Trans-Pacific Partnership which was reached this recently by the United States and 11 other nations and must be ratified by each member. The pact would knit together a largest of its kind trading system in the Pacific.
- Bidhya Bhandhari- the vice-chairperson of ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist who was recently elected as Nepal's first woman President.
- Alassane Ouattar- he won the elections to the President of Ivory Coast for a second five year term in a vote intended to draw a line under years of turmoil and a 2011 civil war.
- Geeta- the deaf and mute Indian woman who returned to India after 14 years from Pakistan. The Indian govt. has also started the process of sending back 15 year old Pakistani boy Mohd. Ramazan stranded in India for two years.
- Bilquis Edhi- the co-founder of the humanitarian foundation of Pakistan Edhi Foundation of Pakistan which played the major role in the bringing back of Geeta to India from Pakistan.
- Amit Mishra- the Indian leg-spinner who was recently arrested for allegedly harassing a woman in Bengaluru and later was released on bail.
- Mark Zuckerberg- the CEO of Face book who visited India recently and visited the TajMahal and had an interaction with the students at IIT-Delhi. He said that more than 130 million Face book users are Indians-largest after US.
- Navtej Sarna- he was recently named as the new high commissioner to the United Kingdom.
- Brijmohan Lall Munjal- the chairman of Hero Moto Corp who passed away recently.
People in the News October 19th- October 25th 2015
- Justin Trudeau- he led the Liberal Party to victory in the 42nd Canadian Federal elections to be positioned as the Prime Minister elect of the country. His party won majority in the House of Commons defeating the ruling Conservative Party which led Canada for nearly a decade.
- Robert Mugabe- the Zimbabwe President who recently won the Confucius Peace Prize- the China's alternative to Nobel Peace Prize. The 91year old has been awarded for what the prize committee called his inspired national leadership and service to pan-Africanism.
- Ahmed Adeeb- the vice-president of Maldives who was arrested recently over last month's alleged attempt to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen in a bomb blast on board his speed boat.
- Labh Janjua- the popular Punjabi singer who was found dead at his home in Mumbai recently.
People in the News October 12th- October 18th 2015
- Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri- the former Pakistan foreign minister whose book 'NEITHER A HAWK NOR A DOVE' was launched was launched amid protests in Mumbai recently.
- Justice JS Kehar- he headed the five judge bench which declared the 99th Constitutional Amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act unconstitutional and revived the 22-year old collegium system. Collegium is a panel of top five Supreme Court judges that appoints SC and high court judges in complete secrecy. Government can return its recommendations but if sent again is bound to accept it. NJAC proposed body comprised six members-CJI, two senior SC judges, law minister, two eminent persons chosen by CJI, PM and leader of opposition/leader of largest opposition party in LS.
- Kailash Satyarthi- the Indian Nobel Peace Prize winner who was recently conferred with Harvard University's prestigious humanitarian award for this year in recognition of his continuing contribution to the cause of child rights.
- Angus Deaton-he won the Nobel Prize for Economics for 2015 for his work on consumption that's helped redefine the way poverty is measured around world, notably in India.
- Khadga Prasad Oli- he took over as the new Prime Minister of Nepal. He will be the 38th head of the Himalayan nation.
- Alexander Lukashenko- he was declared winner in the President elections in Belarus for a fifth term. He won 83.5% of the votes in the election which was boycotted by the opposition.
- Lars Sorensen- the chief executive of Denmark based pharma company Novo Nordisk who topped the list of world's best-performing CEO's list in the annual ranking released by Harvard Business Review (HBR). HBR tracked and analysed each CEO's performance starting from day one of his or her tenure, with a goal to create a list that goes beyond the most recent quarterly or even annual results and truly evaluates long term performances. The list also now includes chief executives whose tenures started before 1995. India-born Ajaypal Singh Banga, the CEO of Us-based MasterCard is the only Indian on the list at No.76.
- Marlon James- the 44-year-old Jamaican author who was adjudged the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his book 'A Brief History of Seven Killings'. He is the first Jamaican author to win the prize in its 47-year old history.
People in the News October 05 th- October 11 th 2015
- Henning Mankell- the internationally renowned Swedish crime writer whose books about the gloomy, soul searching police inspector Kurt Wallander enticed readers around the world died recently.
- KP Ole- he was recently elected as the new Prime Minister of Nepal. He is the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal.
- Angela Merkel- the German Chancellor who signed 18 agreements with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her visit to India recently agreeing to enhance ties in key areas including defence, intelligence, railways, trade and combating terrorism.
People in the News September 28 th- October 04 th 2015
- Ban Ki-moon- the Secretary-General of United Nations who during his address at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York announced over $25billion in initial commitments spanning five years to help end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents and ensure their health and well being.
- Angela Merkel- the Chancellor of Germany who visited India recently.
People in the News September 21 th- September 27 th 2015
- Alexis Tsipras- the leftist Syriza party leader who was recently reelected as the Prime Minister of Greece.
- Ahmed Mohamed- the Sudanese-American engineering enthusiast from Irving in Texas who was arrested and later freed after he made a digital clock made from pencil case which his teacher confused with a bomb. He later also addressed the Google Science Fair in Mountain View in California.
- Violoa Davis- she recently became the first African-American to win the best actress trophy when she won the Best Actress award in a Drama series at the 67th Emmy Awards for her role in 'How to get Away with Murder".
- Jon Hamm- he won the best actor award at the 67th Emmy awards for his star role in Mad Men.
- Permila Tirkey- the Jharkhand origin British citizen who was recently awarded 184000 pounds in UK's first caste bias case.
- Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai- the 13-year-old girl from Odisha Koraput district who bagged a prestigious $10,000 award at the finals of the Google Science fair in the US recently for her low-cost water purifier using corn cobs.
People in the News September 14 th- September 20 th 2015
- Ranil Wickremesinghe- the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka who visited India recently.
- Tony Abbott- the Australian Prime minister who was recently toppled as PM in the internal vote of the ruling Liberal Party. Australia will now have its fifth prime minister in eight years in form of Malcolm Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur.
- Ashok Sridharan- he was recently elected as the mayor of Bonn and became the first person of Indian-origin to occupy the mayor's office in German city.
- Aqeela Asifi- the Afghan educator of uprooted girls who was recently awarded with United Nations refugee award-the Nansen prize. The 49-year-old teacher has dedicated her life to bringing education to Afghan refugee girls in Pakistan.
- Gisele Bundchen- the Brazilian supermodel who was recently named as the world's highest paid model for the ninth consecutive year by Forbes.
- Jackie Collins- the best-selling British born author known for her vibrant novels about the extravagance and glamour of life in Hollywood died in Los Angeles recently.
- Subhash Chandra Bose- the freedom fighter whose 64 files were made public by West Bengal government recently. These declassified files reveal police
surveillance post-Independence on members of Bose family and those linked to the INA and surveillance on Kolkata's Chinese community and visiting Chinese nationals.
- Mahesh Rangarajan- the director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library who resigned recently.
- Jagmohan Dalmiya- the President of Indian cricket board who died recently.
People in the News September 07 th- September 13 th 2015
- Don Bradman- the legendary cricketer of Australia whose blazer won by him during the first series as Test captain was recently auctioned for $1, 32,000(Rs.61, 17,523). The green jacket with gold piping and the Australian crest on the breast pocket was worn by the legendary batsman when he led the Australians against the English tourists in the 1936-37 Ashes series which the home side won 3-2.
- Queen Elizabeth II- she recently became the longest reigning monarch in British history. She beats the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria-63 years and 7 months. She became the monarch in 1952and has worked with 12 British PMs.
- Anirudh Kathirvel- the Indian origin child who was recently declared as the New spelling Champion of Australia.
- Jhumpa Lahiri- the Pulitzer Prize winner who was recently presented the prestigious National Humanities Medal by US President Barack Obama in recognition of her beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging which highlighted the "Indian-American experience".
- Gennady Padalka- the Russian cosmonaut who recently returned to Earth with two other astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS) after breaking the record for the most time spent in space-879 days in space over five separate trips. He surpassed the figure of 803 days, nine hours and 41 minutes achieved by another Russian Sergei Krikalev.
- Paul Sabapathy- the Indian-origin lord lieutenant of Queen Elizabeth resigned recently after making comments seen as derogatory against Pakistanis in Britain-which they need to be taught "basic common courtesy and civility".
- Max Gesner Beauvoir- the supreme chief of Voodoo religion who died recently at Port-au-Prince. A biochemist by training he was named the spiritual guide for voodoo practitioners in 2008.
People in the News August 31 st- September 06 th 2015
- Tejinder Pal Singh- an Indian origin Sikh migrant driver in Australia who was recently name as 'Australian of the Day' for feeding the homeless in Darwin for the past three years.
- Wes Craven- the prolific writer-director also known as Horror movie master who died recently. He ushered in two distinct eras of suburban slashers, first in the 1980's with his iconic 'Nightmare on Elm Street' and again in the 1990's with the self-referential 'Scream'.
- Oliver Sacks- the neurologist and acclaimed author who explored some of the brain's strangest pathways in best selling case histories like "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" using his patient's disorders as starting points for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition.
- King Salman- the king of Saudi Arabia who met US President Barack Obama recently in United States in his efforts to seek more support in countering Iran. This was his first visit to the United States since ascending the throne in January 2015.
- Rajiv Mehrishi- he was recently appointed as the new Union home secretary. He replaced incumbent LC Goyal who took voluntary retirement.
- Sanjiv Chaturvedi- the whisteblower bureaucrat who was recently conferred with the Ramon Magsaysay award for 2015 in Manila by Philippines President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. He initiated probe into alleged scams at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi before being booted out as its chief vigilance officer.
- Anshu Gupta- the founder of NGO Goonj who was recently conferred with the Ramon Magsaysay award for 2015 in Manila by Philippines President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. He left his corporate job to start Goonj in 1999 at the age of 27.
- RP Watal- he was recently named as the new Union Expenditure Secretary. He will take over from Rajiv Mehrishi who has been appointed home secretary.
- AP Shah- the judge who headed the panel set up to look into the applicability of MAT(Minimum Alternate Tax),a kind of tax on capital gains made by FIIs. As per the panel report government recently announced that FIIs(Foreign Institutional Investors) will not have to pay any MAT for past years.
- Aadesh Shrivastava- the music director who composed music for films such as Chalte Chalte, Baabul, Baghban and Raajneeti passed away recently.
People in the News August 24 th- August 30 th 2015
- MM Kalburgi- the Kannada scholar and former vice chancellor of Hampi University who was recently shot dead in Karnataka's Dharwad city recently.
- Hardik Patel-the convenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti under whom the Patel community is demanding inclusion in the OBC category.
People in the News August 17 th- August 23 rd 2015
- Ranil Wickremesinghe –he was sworn-in as Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister recently, returning to the office for a fourth term after his party won the closely contested general election. Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) coalition won 106 seats in Monday's parliamentary election, just 7 short of a simple majority in the 225-member assembly but enough to form a government.
- Khaled-al-Assad-the 81 year old Syrian antique scholar who spent most of his life looking after the ancient ruins of Palmyra was recently beheaded by ISIS militants.
- Alexis Tsipras- the Greece's Prime Minister who announced his resignation and called for an early election. Tsipras, who was only elected in January, said he had a moral duty to go to the polls now a third bailout had been secured with European creditors.
- Jennifer Lawrence- the Oscar winning star who topped the recently released Forbes list of the world's highest paid actress in 2015.
- Ashwani Lohani- he was recently appointed as the new CMD of Air India.
- Chandra Sekhar Ghosh- the man who founded Bandhan Financial Services in 2001 and registered it as a non-banking finance company in 2009 now helped it to mature to Bandhan Bank which opened recently with 501 branches across 27 states.
- Suvra Mukherjee- the first lady, wife of President Pranab Mukherjee who died recently.
- Sanjiv Bhatt- the Gujarat cadre IPS officer who was recently sacked from Indian Police services after serving the cadre for 27 years.
People in the News August 10 th- August 16 th 2015
- Bill Gates- the co-founder of Microsoft who topped the list of 100 richest people in the world of technology according to the list release recently by Forbes magazine.
- SundarPichai-the Indian born technocrat who was recently appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Goggle.
- Azim Premji-the Wipro Chairman who along with HCL founder Shiv Nadar are the only Indian tycoons among the 100 richest people in the world of technology according to the list release recently by Forbes magazine.
- Om Prakash Munjal- the founder of Hero's Cycles, India's largest bicycle manufacturer who died recently.
People in the News August 03 rd- August 09 th 2015
- Sabrina Corgatelli- the American woman who recently ignited a firestorm of criticism from animal rights activist for flaunting online images1 of herself with the carcasses of a giraffe and other wildlife she killed during a guided hunt in South Africa.
- Les Munro- the New Zealander who was the last surviving pilot from the specialized World War II "Dambuster" misson targeting German infrastructure died recently.
- Andrzej Duda- he was recently sworn in as the new President of Poland. The Conservative leader who is now the supreme commander of Poland's armed forces said that his chief concern was the nation's security against Russia.
- Amitabh Bachchan- the Bollywood star who along with Salman Khan with estimated earnings of $33.5 million (Rs.213 crore) were placed 7th in the World's Highest -Paid Actors 2015 list compiled by Forbes magazine which for the first time included actors from outside the US.
- Ram Nath Kovind- he was recently named as the new Governor of Bihar.
Great scientist: APJ Abdul Kalam
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was a great scientist, an inspirational leader and has extraordinary quality as human being. He was popular as missile man around the world. An Indian scientist and administrator, Honourable, Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam served the nation as the 11th President of India from 2002 until 2007. He was most esteemed persona of the country and contributed greatly both as a scientist and as a president. His contribution in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was highly valued. He was responsible for numerous projects such as Project Devil and Project Valiant and launch of the Rohini-1, besides developing missiles under the missions Agni and Prithvi. For the same, he was named as the "Missile Man of India".
Kalam was honoured with great glories and awards for his work by both the Government of India and other nations. After completing his term as President, Kalam served as a visiting professor in various respected institutes and universities of India.
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 in Tamil Muslim family in small coastal town. His parents, to Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma had proud of his son and they wanted to be a good citizen of India. His family's financial condition was not strong. As a means to support his family's meagre income, Kalam took up odd jobs in his childhood but never gave up on his education.
Education and career growth:
The aerospace scientist, Dr. Abdul Kalam, had an impressive professional career. He completed his graduation from Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli in 1954 but he wanted to study at higher level. At that time, He realized that Physics was not the subject of his choice. He had a desire to study engineering to accomplish his objectives of life. He applied for admission into the engineering course in the Madras Institute of Technology. It was considered to be the best institution imparting technical education to the pupils. He left for Madras later next year to study aerospace engineering. He enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT).
After graduation from MIT, Kalam was posted as chief scientist at the Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). However, the profile did not appeal Kalam much who shifted to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first native Satellite Launch Vehicle. In the ISRO, Kalam was kept in the loop on significant projects in defence research, particularly missile development, both informally and formally. At that time he was busy in launching SLV-3 and preparing for the next generation. In ISRO, he got rich experience and this period impacted on his whole life. Kalam lead many projects and turned out to be successful each time. In the decade of 1970s, Kalam directed two projects, namely, Project Devil and Project Valiant, which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme. After success with SLV-3, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during that time took a strategic decision to shift Kalam to the DRDO to head its missile project and made him director of the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) in Hyderabad in 1982.
He got immense success in his scientific life when locally built Rohini-1 was launched into space, using the SLV rocket. Upon watching the raving success of Kalam, the government agreed for initiation of an advanced missile program under his directorship. He played a key role in developing missiles under the missions Agni and Prithvi.
Kalam was the Chief Executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (I.G.M.D.P) which researched in simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one by one.
From the period from 1992 until 1999, Kalam was appointed as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Defence Research and Development Organisation. It was during this time that Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator for Pokhran II nuclear tests, after which he was affectionately called the "Missile Man of India".
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kajam served as the 11th President of India from 2002 until 2007. With his position, Kalam became the first scientist and first ever bachelor to occupy the Rastrapati Bhawan. During his tenure as a President, Kalam was both respected and critiqued. The latter was mostly due to his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 mercy petitioners.
In his career life, besides scientific exploration, Dr Kalam wrote numerous influential and inspirational books. Amongst all his books, "India 2020" was the widely read and appreciated one. It forecasts an action plan which advocated India turning into a knowledge superpower and as one of the developed nations of the world by the year 2020. His other books include, "Ignited Minds", "Mission India", "Inspiring Thoughts" and "The Luminous Sparks".
Dr Kalam was honoured India's highest civil honours and many other awards:
- Padma Bhusham in 1981
- Padma Vibhusham in 1990
- Bharat Ratna in 1997
- Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1997
- Veer Savarkar Award in 1998
- Ramanujan Award in 2000
- Honorary Doctorate of Science by University of Wolverhampton, UK in 2007
In 2011, he launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the "What Can I Give Movement" with the main aim to defeat corruption in India.
After completing his term as President, Dr Kalam worked as visiting professor in various honoured institutes and universities of India, such as Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indore. He also served as Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, Aerospace Engineering at Anna University (Chennai), JSS University (Mysore).
In the field of space research, Kalam has contributed his revolutionary contribution - India 2020: A Technology Vision, co-steered by his scientist colleague YS Rajan at the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC). Under this project, a series of reports were prepared as a roadmap for technology development in different sectors like energy, food, advanced materials, strategic areas based on inputs from academic as well as industry experts. The main perspective was to put India on a trajectory to become a developed country by 2020. It was a comprehensive exercise in technology mapping and forecasting. These reports remain a great source of information and discussion in current period.
It can be said that People around the world know him through his great contribution in scientific field and political arena. He became President, Kalam chacha, missile man of India, sage-scientist, scientist-President, karm yogi, science communicator, a true Bharat Ratna. It was major loss for world when such a great scientist and former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam passed away on 27th July after suffering a massive heart attack while he was delivering a lecture at Indian Institute of Management in Shillong.
People in the News July 27 th- August 02 nd 2015
- Bobbi Kristina Brown- the only daughters of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown who died recently nearly six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub of her home.
- Nicole Barr- the teenager from UK who scored a maximum 162 in the intelligence quotient test set by Mensa. This score is two pints higher than what Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are thought to have.
- Cilla Black- the famous UK singer and 1960's pop star championed by The Beatles who became one of the Britain's best loved television presenter died recently in Spain.
- APJ Abdul Kalam- the former President of India who collapsed while delivering the lecture at Indian Institute of Management, Shillong (IIM-S) recently and died there after.
- R S Sharma- the Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology who was recently appointed as Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI).
- Sanjiv Chaturvedi- the whistle blower who had initiated a probe into alleged scams at AIIMS before booted out as its Chief Vigilance Officer along with Anshu Guota of NGO Goonj were recently chosen for the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
People in the News July 20 th- July 26 th 2015
- Bill Gates- the Microsoft founder who along with his philanthropist wife Melinda Gates recently topped the Wealth-X world's top 10 wealthiest couples list.
- Tom Moore- the "Archie" cartoonist who brought to life the escapades of the freckled-face, red hair character died recently at Texas.
- Owen Chadwick- the scholar and priest whose works explored the history of Christianity over two millennia passed away recently.
- Ajay Mathur-he was recently appointed as new director of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Earlier he was the head of the government's Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). He will replace environmentalist RK Pachauri, who is facing charges of sexually harassing a junior colleague.
- Suresh Narayanan-he was recently appointed as the India head of Swiss food major company Nestle after the removal of Etienne Benet amid the ongoing storm surrounding its popular easy-to-cook snack Maggi.
People in the News July 13 th- July 19 th 2015
- Satoru Iwata- the Japanese who the country's video game company Nintendo through years of growth with its Pokemon and Super Mario franchises died recently.
- Oskar Groening- the 94 year old book keeper of the Auschwitz camp who was recently sentenced to four years in prison for his role in murder of 3, 00,000 people between May and July 1944 when 137 trains carrying roughly 4, 25,000 Jews from Hungary arrived in Auschwitz and out of them at least 3, 00,000 of them were sent straight to the gas chambers.
- MS Vishwanathan- the veteran south Indian music compose who passed away recently. He leaves a monumental legacy of reportedly over 1,500 songs for Tamil, Malayalam, Telgu and Kannada cinema which are considered part of modern South Indian cultural identity.
- Amitabh Thakur- the Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer who was recently suspended by state government after he brought his fight against Samajwadi party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in the open.
People in the News July 06 th- July 12 th 2015
- Omar Sharif- the Egyptian born legendary Hollywood actor who captivated audiences worldwide died recently.
- Didier Esteyne- the French pilot who recently flew the first electric plane across the English Channel from the Calais Airport in France.
People in the News June 29 th- July 05 th 2015
- Anisa Rasouli- she was recently nominated as the first woman judge of Supreme Court of Afghanistan by President Ashraf Ghani.
- Andre Borschberg- the Swiss pilot who set a new world record for the longest solo flight without refueling. He is flying the Solar Impulse 2 plane and the record was set when he passed the 76 hour mark over the Pacific Ocean between Japan and Hawaii.
- Rahul Yadav- the co-founder and CEO of Housing.com who was recently sacked by its board.
- AS Dulat- the former R&AW chief whose recent book 'Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years' throws insights into the functioning of the Vajpayee government.
People in the News June 22 nd- 28 th 2015
- James Horner- the Oscar-winning music composer of several Hollywood smash-hit films such as Titanic and Avatar died in a plane crash in Santa Barbara, California recently.
- Taylor Swift- the famous pop star who along with her DJ husband Calvin Harris were crowned by Forbes as 2015's highest paid celebrity couple dethroning singer Beyonce and her rapper husband Jay Z.
- June 25, 2015- this day marked the 40th anniversary of the imposing of Emergency in India.
- Lifelines- the famous movie made on the life of Uttarakhand's Makar Singh, his economic hardships and his efforts to uplift his community has won several awards and become a teaching tool in universities across UK, US, Canada and Australia. The movie has been produced by Jane Dyson. It was awarded the Outstanding International Impact Award by Britain's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) this week.
People in the News June 15 th- 21 st 2015
- Kirk Kerkorian- the legendary tycoon who built the iconic Las Vegas resorts-the MGM died recently.
- Jeralean Talley- the world's oldest known person in the world died near Detroit at the age of 116 recently.
- Charles Correa- the famous architect of India who died recently.
People in the News June 8 th- 14 th 2015
- Christopher Lee- the tall, dark and gruesome villain known for his spine chilling performance as Dracula in the cult Hammer Horror movies and Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the 1998 film Jinnah died recently.
- Chiril Gaburici- the Prime Minister of Moldova who resigned recently over 'Fake Diploma' scandal.
- Dominique Strauss Kahn- the former head of International Monetary Fund (IMF) who was recently acquitted of aggravated pimping charges of 2012.
- Harshad Kumar Dharamshi Bhadeshia- the renowned metallurgist and the Tata Steel professor of Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge was recently honoured with Knighthood for services to Science and Technology in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for 2015.
- K V Chowdary- he was recently appointed as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner by Govt. of India.
- Vijai Sharma- he was recently appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner while Sudhir Bhargava was appointed as Information Commissioner by Govt. of India.
- Jitender Singh Tomar- the Delhi Law minister who quit recently after being arrested for allegedly using fake degrees to enroll as advocate.
- Nek Chand- the creator of Chandigarh's famous Rock Garden died recently.
- Sushma Swaraj- the external affairs minister who recently came into controversy over helping corruption charged former Indian Premier League(IPL) boss Lalit Modi to get emergency travel documents.
People in the News June 1 st- 7 th 2015
- Tony Blair- former UK Prime Minister who has been appointed as the Chairman of European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), the Brussels based organization which is dedicated to tackling racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Europe.
- James Boysen- the software developer from Austin, Houston on whom the American surgeons of MD Anderson Cancer Centre and Houston Methodist Hospital conducted the world's first skull scalp transplant recently, a major breakthrough in transplant surgery.
- Tariq Aziz- the Iraqi diplomat and the foreign minister who staunchly defended Saddam Hussein to the world during three wars died recently in Southern Iraq recently.
- Narendra Modi- the Indian Prime Minister who during his visit to Bangladesh formalized a land boundary agreement after 41 years which will allow neighbours to swap enclaves(111 to Bangladesh and 51 to India) along 4096 km border; over 51,000 residents to get citizenship if deal implemented. The other deals signed were Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati, Dhaka-Agartala bus services, $ 2 billion line of credit from India to Bangladesh, India missions in Khulna and Sylhet and Bangladesh mission in Guwahati and MoUs on prevention of human trafficking, smuggling, and circulation of fake currency notes.
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee- the former Indian Prime Minister, who was recently honoured with Bangladesh Liberation War Honour. The award by received by Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister from Bangladesh's President Md. Abdul Hamid.
People in the News May 25 th- 31 st 2015
- Andrzej Duda- the opposition candidate who was recently elected as the Polish president with 51.55 percent of votes.
- Professor Louise Richardson- she has been nominated as the first ever female vice chancellor of the UK's oldest university, the Oxford University nearly 800 years after the post was created.
- Muhammadu Buhari- he was recently sworn in as the President of Nigeria.
- Arundhati Bhattacharya- the SBI chief who along with ICICI bank head Chanda Kochhar,Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and HT media chairperson Shobhana Bhartia recently featured among the world's 100 most powerful women, according to the Forbes annual list that is topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
- Pradeep Kumar Sinha- he was recently named as the new Cabinet Secretary of India who will take on the reins from Ajit Kumar Seth.
- George Yeo- the former foreign minister of Singapore who has been made as the new Chancellor of Nalanda University.
People in the News May 18 th- 24 th 2015
- Luz- the lead cartoonist of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo who designed the Muhammad cartoon recently announced his decision to quit the magazine.
- Laszlo Krasznahorkai- the Hungarian writer who was recently announced as the winner of the sixth Man Booker International Prize.
- Barack Obama- the US President who entered the Guinness record by becoming the fastest person to garner one million followers on Twitter in less than five hours after creating @POTUS.
- J Jayalalithaa- the AIADMK chief, who recently took over as the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
People in the News May 11 th- 17 2015
- KV Kamath-the famous Indian banker who was recently appointed head of the BRICS bank-the new development bank set up by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
J.Jayalalithaa- the ex- chief minister of Tamil Nadu who was recently acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in a corruption case.
B Ramalinga Raju- the founder of Satyam Computers who was recently granted bail after being sentenced to seven years in jail for Rs.7,000 crore accounting fraud.
Seymour Hersh- the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who recently raised a controversy in an article in the London Review of Books that the US lied about how it located and assassinated Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Francois Hollande- the French President who recently became the first French leader to visit communist island nation of Cuba in more than a century and also the first western leader to travel to Cuba since the surprise announcement in December 2015 of a rapprochement between Washington and Havana.
Neel Mukherjee- the Man-Booker shortlisted author who was recently adjudged the winner of the 2014 Encore award worth 10,000 pounds for his book, "The Lives of Others" which is set in Kolkata of the 1960's when Naxalite violence was at its peak.
Hyon Yong Chol-the defence minister of North Korea who was executed by its leader Kim Jong Un for sleeping at meeting and talking back at him. Around 70 officials have been executed since Kim took over after his father's death in 2011, the most prominent being his uncle, Jang Song Thaek.
Pierre Nkurunziza- the Burundian President who was recently overthrown by his General Godefroid Niyombare.
- BB King- the legendary Blues guitarist died recently at his home in Las Vegas. He won 15 Grammy awards starting in 1970 for the crossover pop hit The Thrill is Gone, making him the biggest Grammy winner in the generation.
Mohammad Morsi- former Egyptian President who was recently sentenced to death over mass prison breaks during 2011 uprisings.
People in the News May 04- May 10th 2015
- Charlotte Elizabeth Diana- the name given to Britain's new princess who is the second child of Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. The baby will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. The Princess is fourth in line to the throne after Charles, William and her older brother Prince George.
- Shashi Kapoor- the veteran actor, who was recently presented with DadaSaheb Phalke Award 2014 by Union Minister Arun Jaitley at Mumbai's iconic Prithvi theatre.
- Juhi Khan- the member of Delhi Women Commission who resigned from the panel over AAP leader Kumar Vishwas issue.
- Salman Khan- the Bollywood actor who was recently found guilty and sentenced to five year's rigorous imprisonment by a sessions court in 2002 hit and run case.
People in the News April 27- May 03rd 2015
- Lee Joon-seok- the captain of a South Korean ferry that sank last year killing 304 people has been found guilty of homicide and sentenced to life in prison recently.
- Raja Rajeshwari- she was recently sworn in as the New York City's first Indian-born woman judge.
- Ben E King- the soul singer who's Gospel influenced "Stand by Me" became one of the most broadcast songs of the 20th century died recently.
- Fangshu Tamang- the 101 year old man and the resident of Khimtang village of Nepal who was rescued after being trapped for 168 hours in the rubble of his house after the massive earthquake.
- Ashraf Gani- the President of Afghanistan who visited India recently and met President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Narendra Modi.
People in the News April 20- 26th 2015
- Mohamed Morse- the ousted President of Egypt who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for abuses against protesters in clashes of 2012.
- Vivek Murthy- the Indian American who was sworn in as the 19th US Surgeon General. At 37, he is the youngest-ever-in-charge of the country's public health and at present the highest ranking Indian American in the Obama's administration.
- JB Patnaik- veteran Congress leader and former Odisha CM and former Assam governor who died recently.
- Gajendra Singh- a farmer from Rajasthan who committed suicide by hanging himself at a rally of AAP party at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi recently.
- Ratan Tata- Tata sons chairman emeritus who recently acquired a stake in smartphone maker Xiaomi-the first investment by an Indian in the Chinese company.
People in the News April 13- 19th 2015
- Gunter Grass- Nobel Prize winning German author of The Tin Drum, an epic account of the Nazi era died recently. He courted controversy over his own World War II past and stance on Israel.
- Alain Robert- the French urban climber who recently scaled the 75 storey Cayan Tower in Dubai which is the world's tallest twisted skyscraper in just 90minutes.
- Marzieh Afkham- she has been appointed as Iran's 1st woman ambassador since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. This would make her the second woman ambassador in Iran's history. The only other was Mehrangiz Dolatshahi who served in Denmark in the 1970's.
- Stephen Harper- the Canadian Prime minister who signed 13 MoUs in the field of education and skill development with Prime minister Narendra Modi on his recent visit to Canada recently.
- Satya Nadella- the Indian origin CEO of Microsoft who will be honoured with 'Champions of Change' award for bringing about change within his company to support working families by US President Barack Obama.
- Surya Bahadur Thapa- the former Prime Minister of Nepal who died recently.
- Ri Su-Yong- the foreign minister of North Korea, who visited India recently.
- Narendra Modi- he was one of the 3 Indians in the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the Time magazine. The list also included ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and Goa based mental health expert Vikram Patel.
- Surya Kumar Bose- the grand nephew of Subash Chandra Bose who met India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Berlin recently.
- Sitaram Yechury- he was recently elected as the new General Secretary of CPI (M).
People in the News April 5- 12th 2015
- Dr. Fredric Brandt- the celebrity dermatologist who , an early proponent of Botox in Hollywood, recently committed suicide . Probably he was unhappy about what appeared to be a satirical portrayal of him on a recently released Netflix show.
- Barack Obama- the first sitting US President who visited Jamaica recently since 1982. The visit is seen as a step to counter the growing Chinese influence in the Caribbean.
- Richie Benaud- the world famous cricket commentator from Australia who died recently. He was regarded as the most influential cricketer and cricket personality since World War II.
- Amitabh Bachchan- noted actor who was recently conferred with Padma Vibhushan by President Pranab Mukherjee recently. Prince Karim Agha Khan-the spiritual head of Ismaili Muslims, senior SC advocate Kottayan K Venugopal and D Veerendra Heggade of the Dharamsthala Jain temple in Karnataka were also conferred with Padma Vibhushan 2015.
- Ravindra Jain- the noted musician who along with hockey player Saba Anjum, women cricketer Mithali Raj, economist Bibek Debroy, IT honcho TV Mohandas Pai were given Padma Shri 2015 by President Pranab Mukherjee recently.
- Shobhaa De- the noted columnist against whom a breach of privilege motion was passed in the Maharashtra Assembly for her comments on mandatory screening of Marathi films in multiplexes during prime time.
- B. Ramalinga Raju- the former Satyam chief who was recently sentenced to seven years imprisonment after he was found guilty of fraud in the country's biggest ever corporate scandal. Rs.7855 crore is the total amount of alleged financial irregularities in Satyam Computer Services scam of 2009.
People in the News March 30- April 5th 2015
- Misao Okawa- the Japanese woman regarded as the world's oldest person who died recently at the age of 117.
- Major General Muhamadu Buhari- he defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections to become the new President of Nigeria.
- Louis Jordan- the US citizen who was miraculously rescued 300 km off the North Carolina coast after missing for 66 days. He survived by catching fish with his hands and drinking rain water.
- Owen Dunn- the 11 year old school boy from North Yorkshire in UK who got a perfect score of 162 in the IQ test of Mensa which placed his IQ higher than the physicist Albert Einstein. Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.
- Mieko Nagaoka- the 100 year old Japanese female swimmer recently finished a 1500 metre swimming in the masters swim competition in Matsuyama.
- Madan Mohan Malaviya- noted educationist and freedom fighter who was posthumously conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award by President Pranab Mukherjee recently.
- Ashok Khemka- the IAS officer of the Haryana cadre also called whistleblower bureaucrat who was in the news for his 46th transfer in 23 years.
- Rourkela- the steel plant of Steel Authority of India Limited, whose modernization and expansion, plan was inaugurated recently. Post expansion the hot metal capacity of the plant will go up to 4.5million tones/anum against the present capacity of 2million tones/anum.
- Australia- the country from which India recently bought about 80,000 tonnes of wheat-the biggest such imports by India in five years.
- Amaravati- the Andhra Pradesh government recently approved this place for its brand new capital to be constructed in Guntur district.
People in the News March 23-29th 2015
- Lee Kuan Yew- the founding father of Singapore who passed away recently. He was one of the 20th century's most remarkable leaders who almost single-handedly transformed a modest port in Malaysia to a city-state that has become a symbol of economic modernity.
- Akhil Sharma- the Indian American writer who was announced the winner of Folio Prize 2015 for his novel 'Family Life' described as a honest and darkly comic story of a boy torn between duty and survival.
- Tim Cook- the CEO of Apple who has been ranked at the top in the annual Fortune magazine list of 50 "extra ordinary men and women transforming business, government and philanthropy". India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ranked 5th and founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been ranked 28th in that list.
- Yang Jiechi- the Chinese state councilor who chaired the 18th round of the special representatives talks with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi recently in which the two sides agreed to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility along the border.
- Vikas Swarup- the author of popular book' Q & A' which was adapted into an Oscar winning Hollywood film "Slumdog Millonaire" who was recently named as the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs to replace Syed Akbaruddin who will now be the chief coordinator of the India-Africa Forum Summit.
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee- the former Prime Minister of India who was recently conferred with Bharat Ratna, India's top civilian award by President Pranab Mukherjee. Breaking from protocol this award was conferred at his residence owing to his poor health.
- Aziz Qureshi- the governor of Mizoram who was recently sacked by the government.
People in the News March 16-22nd 2015
- Benjamin Netanyahu- the PM of Israel , who recently swept to power for third straight term.
- Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan- the Indian born Nobel laureate who has been recently confirmed as president elect of Britain's prestigious Royal Society.
- Mustafa Kamal- the president of International Cricket Council (ICC) who recently accused the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) of going into the India Bangladesh quarter final match with an agenda.
- Issac Newton- the famous scientist known for path breaking discoveries was in news recently when the researchers recently found that as the Master of Mint he designed a medal to mark Queen Anne's coronation in 1702.
- Malcom Fraser- the conservative Prime Minister of Australia who came to power in 1975 after Australia's constitutional crisis died recently.
- Pharrell Williams- the pop star best known for his viral hit "Happy" addressed the UN General Assembly on the "International Day of Happiness" on 20th March 2015.
- Abil Ali Nemuchwala- he was recently appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of IT services major company Wipro.
- Christine Lagarde- the chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently visited India and met Prime minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
- Sonia Gandhi- the Congress leader who led over a hundred leaders from more than a dozen parties from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhawan on 17th March 2015 to protest against the Land Acquisition Bill.
- DK Ravi- the IAS officer who was the joint commissioner of vigilance with the commercial taxes department who died a controversial death in Bangalore recently.
- Ratan Tata- the noted industrialist who will head the new innovation council called "Kaya Kalp" set up to turn around the ailing state run rail network.
- Rajendra Singh- dubbed as the waterman of India has been recently conferred the Nobel Prize for Water 2015 for bringing water to 1,000 villages. The awards were recently announced by Stockholm International water Institute.
People in the News March 9-15th 2015
- Jean- Claude Juncker- the chief of European commission who recently called for the creation of an EU army in the wake of rising tensions with Russia.
- Sam Simson- one of the creative minds behind the popular animated series "The Simpsons" who passed away recently.
- Terry Pratchett- the British author of the popular 'Discworld" series of fantasy novels died recently.
- Prabha Arun Kumar- the 41 year old Indian IT consultant who was recently stabbed to death in Westmead, a suburb in Sydney.
- Vinod Mehta- the veteran journalist and founding editor of Outlook magazine,who died recently.
- Arun Kumar Singh- he has been named as the India's next ambassador to the United States.
- Mamta Banerjee- West Bengal's Chief minister who recently had a first exclusive meeting with PM Narendra Modi and extended her support to implement the Indo-Bangladesh Land Border agreement as well as the Teesta water pact.
- M Veerappa Moily- former cabinet minister who has been selected for the Saraswati Samman,2014 for his Kannada epic poem Sri Ramayana Maheshwaram- an annual honour instituted by the KK Birla foundation in 1991 for an outstanding literary work.
- Narendra Modi- he became the first Indian premier to set foot in this war ravaged town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka's Tamil dominated area. He also visted the North Central Province's capital city of Anuradhapura where he along with Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena offered prayers at the scared Mahabodhi tree.
People in the News March 1-8th 2015
- Prince William- the Britain's prince who recently toured the Forbidden City in Beijing recently which is the first official visit to mainland China by a senior British royal in a generation.
- Nour-Ahmad Nikbakht- the kidnapped Iranian diplomat who was recently rescued in Yemen.
- Hans Haacke- the German borned sculpture whose creation titled 'Gift Horse' which is a horse skeleton was recently unveiled at the Trafalgar Square in UK.
- Buzz Aldrin- the first 'selfie'taken in space by this NASA astronaut in 1966 fetched 5952 pounds-ten times its estimate at London's Bloomsbury Auction which was part of a collection of 700 vintage NASA photographs. The space selfie was snapped by him during the Gemini 12 mission in November 1966.
- Yasar Kemal- the celebrated Turkish novelist who died recently. His best known work is 'Memed, My Hawk' about a bandit hero who exacts revenge on a cruel overlord.
- Leslee Udwin- the British filmmaker whose documentary titled 'India's Daughter' made on 2012 Delhi gang rape came into much controversy and government accordingly put a ban on its telecast in India.
- Arun Pudur- Indian origin billionaire, CEO of Celframe Technology Group of Companies was recently ranked among the world's top 10 richest individual under 40,in a list topped by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg according to Wealth X, a global wealth intelligence and prospecting company.
- Paul Allen- the Microsoft co-founder who recently said that he has found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II.
- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar- India's foreign secretary who visited Pakistan and held high level diplomatic talks with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary.
- Mufti Mohammed Sayeed- he took over as the new chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir as the new coalition government of PDP and BJP came to power in the state.
- Nirmal Singh- the BJP leader who was sworn in as the deputy chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir as the new coalition government of PDP and BJP came to power in the state.
- Sajad Lone- the influential separatist turned mainstream leader of the People's Conference Party of Jammu & Kashmir who was sworn in as the minister as the new coalition government of PDP and BJP came to power in the state.
- Dilip Shanghvi- the MD of Sun Pharma who recently surpassed Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani as the world's richest Indian, according to a 'real time' update from business magazine Forbes.
- Narendra Modi- India's Prime Minister, who has been named among the 30 most influential people on the Internet by the Time magazine recently.
- Kenji Goto- the second journalist of Japan who was recently beheaded by ISIS.
- Peter Greste- the Al-Jazeera journalist who was recently released from a Egyptian jail after being held there for more than 400 days.
- Paul Gaugin-the prominent French artist whose 1892 oil paintings of two Tahitian girls titled Nafea Faa Ipoipo or When Will You Marry was reportedly sold for nearly $300 million.
- Sam Smith- the British soul singer who dominated the music industry's biggest night with four Grammy awards-Best new artist award, Best record of the year and Best song of the year for Stay with Me and Best pop vocal album for In The Lonely Hour.
- Eddle Redmayne- he won the Best Actor award for The Theory of Everything while Julianne Moore won the Best Actress award for her role in Still Alice at the 68th BAFTA awards in London.
- Kenji Ekuan- the Japanese industrialist designer credited with numerous corporate logos during Japan's industrial boom era died recently at the age of 85.
- Michelle Ferrero- Italy's richest man with a confectionary empire which included popular Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, died recently.
- Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic- she was sworn in as Croatia's first woman president recently.
- Dhanurjay 'DJ' Patil- the Indian American who has been named as the first chief data scientist by the White house to shape policies and practices that will help the US remain a leader in technology and innovation.
- Robert Mugabe- the world's oldest leader, President of Zimbabwe was in news as he turned 91.
- Walter Elliot- the wood cutter in the town of Selkirk of UK who recently found a Sherlock Homes story titled Discovering the Border Burghs written by Arthur Conan Doyle for a souvenir to raise funds to repair a bridge in Scotland in 1904.
- Zekra Alwach- she recently took over as the first woman to be Baghdad mayor, first female to be given such a post in the whole country.
- Eddie Redmayne- he won the Oscar for the Best Actor for his role in The Theory of Everything at the 87th Academy Awards.
- Julianne Moore- she won the Oscar for the Best Actress for her role in Still Alice at the 87th Academy Awards.
- Bhagwan Das- the only Hindu to serve as Pakistan's former acting chief justice during the 2007 judicial crisis died recently.
- Ravi Chaudhary- Indian-American, a former US Air Force officer who has been named executive director for regions and centre operations at the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA).
- Sharbat Gula- the famous green eyed 'Afghan girl' immortalized in a 1985 national Geographic magazine cover was recently found living in Pakistan on fraudulent identity papers.
- Leonard Nimoy- the actor known and loved by generations of "Star Trek" died recently.
- Avijit Roy- a Bangladesh born US citizen and a famous blogger, who was hacked to death by fundamentalist in Dhaka recently.
- Mohamed Nasheed- ex Maldives president and the country's first democratically elected leader who was recently detained on terror charges by President Abdulla Yameen.
- Amartya Sen- eminent economist and Nobel laureate who has been named as the first winner of the newly award in the UK-Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes prize, in recognition of his work on welfare economics.
- Sureshbhai Patel- the 57 year old Indian man who has been partially paralysed in the US after being beaten up by policeman on wrong allegations.
- Arvind Kejriwal- he took oath as the new chief minister of Delhi at Ramlila Maidan ground recently.
- Maithripala Sirisena- the president of Sri Lanka who visited India recently which was his first foreign trip after assuming office.
- RR Patil- former Maharashtra home minister and senior NCP leader who passed away recently.
- Govind Pansare- senior communist leader and leader of campaign against toll tax who was shot by unidentified men outside his home in Kolhapur recently and later died in hospital.
- Rajinder Puri- noted political cartoonist who worked with leading newspaper like the Hindustan Times and the Indian Express died recently.
- Daggubati Ramanaidu- well known film producer whose name entered the Guinness Book of World Records for producing over a hundred movies died recently. He produced about 150 films in all major languages-Telgu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Marathi, Punjabi, Oriya etc under the banner Suresh Productions.
- Jitan Ram Manjhi- he resigned from the post of chief minister of Bihar before the trust vote paving the way for new chief minister in the state.
- Santanu Saikia- the former journalist who along with many persons were arrested over allegations of stealing of confidential oil ministry documents.
- Amartya Sen- the Nobel laureate who recently decided to withdraw his candidature for a second term as chancellor of the Nalanda University alleging political interference.
- Nitish Kumar- he was sworn in as the new chief minister of Bihar recently.
- Arun K Singh- he has been named as India's next ambassador to United States.
- L.C. Goyal is new home secretary
The government appointed rural development ministry Secretary L.C. Goyal as the new home secretary in place of Anil Goswami who resigned.
A home ministry release said Goyal's term will be for two years.
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of L.C. Goyal, IAS, secretary, department of rural development, ministry of rural development as home secretary, ministry of home affairs for a period of two years from the date of taking over charge as home secretary vice Anil Goswami," the release said.
- Suvarna Raju is new HAL chairman
T. Suvarna Raju took over as the 17th chairman of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Jan 31, 2015, following his predecessor R.K. Tyagi's retirement.
"My priorities will be on operational excellence, building the company as a technology powerhouse and creating a knowledge organisation," Raju said in a statement after assuming charge here.
Raju, director for design and development in the Rs.15,000-crore ($2.5 billion) defence behemoth, was selected from among five contenders to succeed Tyagi by the Public Enterprises Selection Board Sep 16 in New Delhi.
- Justice Roy Sworn In As Supreme Court Judge
Justice Amitava Roy was sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court on Feb 27, 2015.
With the elevation of Roy, who was chief justice of the Orissa High Court, the strength of the apex court has gone up to 29 against a sanctioned strength of 31 judges.
Justice Roy will have a tenure of three years.
- Six Indians in Forbes 50 Asian power businesswomen list
Six Indians, including State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharyya and Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, figure in the Forbes's 2015 list of Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen showcasing a year of accomplishments by the region's female entrepreneurs and executives.
Punctuated by the Midas touch of China's Alibaba, the list also includes two rapidly growing economies.
- Yoga teacher sets Guinness World Record
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Hong Kong-based Indian Yoga instructor Yogaraj C.P. for creating a Guinness World Record by performing Yoga continuously for 40 hours.
"Congrats to Hong Kong-based Indian Yoga teacher, Yogaraj C.P. for creating a Guinness World Record!" Modi tweeted.
Dilma Rousseff- she recently started her second term as the President of Brazil.
Maithripala Sirisena- he was sworn in as the sixth President of Sri Lanka after the defeat of long authoritarian rule of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena took the oath along with his new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Rod Taylor- the Australian born actor who starred in the "The Birds", "The Time Machine" and most recently in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" died recently.
Eddie Redmayne- he won the best actor award for the drama 'The Theory of Everything' while Julianne Moore won the best actress award for 'Still Alice' at the 72nd Golden Globes, Hollywood biggest award shows before the Oscars.
Joseph Vaz- he was canonised as Sri Lanka's first saint by Pope Francis during a public mass in Colombo recently.
Faten Hamama- the Arab film icon who died recently in Cairo.
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz-the king of Saudi Arab who died recently. King Salman was named the new king.
Arvind Panagariya- the US based economist who has been chosen as the vice-chairman of Niti Aayog.
Richard Verma- the new US envoy to India.
Azim Premji- he led the list of biggest philanthropers of India in 2014 having donated Rs.12,316 crore to his Azim Premji Foundation, according to the annual Hurun India Philanthropy List 2014.He was followed by Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Resources with Rs.1796 crore and Shiv Nadar of HCL with Rs.1136 crore.
Alok Joshi- the retired chief of RAW who was recently appointed as the new chairman of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).
NN Vohra- the governor of Jammu & Kashmir under whom the governor's rule was imposed in the state under Section 92(1) of the Jammu and Kashmir constitution recently after the failure of any political parties to form government.
Surender Mohan Pathak- the veteran Hindi crime fiction writer whose book Colaba Conspiracy was voted as the most popular book in a reader poll on Amazon India.
Pahlaj Nihalani- the famous filmmaker who was recently appointed as the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification for a period of 3 years.
Rajni Kothari- the doyen of Indian political science and founder of research institute Centre for the Study of the Developing Societies passed away recently.
Sunil Sood- he has been appointed as first Indian CEO for its India operations to replace Marten Pieter's who has been chief executive since 2009.
Vasundhara Choudhary- the 21 year old convent educated English speaking girl who was recently elected as the new sarpanch of Lilawali village in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan.
K Durga Prasad- the previously sacked director of the Special Protection Group who was recently appointed as the special director general of the Central Reserve Police Force. (CRPF).
Barrack Obama- the US President who arrived in India recently in his Air Force One plane was the chief guest of this year Republic day parade.
Wg Cdr Pooja Thakur- she became the first female commanding officer to head the inter services Guard of honour inspected by US President Barack Obama at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
RK Laxman- the legendary cartoonist, who was best known for his iconic cartoons on the experiences of the silent and Common Man, died recently.
Lieutenant Hoabam Bella Devi- the 24 year lady from Manipur who unfurled the tricolour for President Pranab Mukherjee at the Republic day function, an honour traditionally reserved for male colleagues.
Major Mukund Varadarajan- he along with Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh were posthumously awarded the country's highest peace time gallantry award, the Ashok Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee.
S.Jaishankar- India's ambassador to US who replaced Sujatha Singh as the new Foreign Secretary of India.
Colonel MN Rai- he lost his life fighting terrorists in J&K's Pulwana district, a day after being awarded the Yudh Seva medal on Republic Day.
People in the News 2014
Chennai-born Indian-American scientist to get rare honour
Chennai born Indian-American engineer and scientist Subra Suresh is set to be inducted into the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on oct 20, 2014, making him the only university president to be elected to all three national academies.
Suresh the current president of Carnegie Mellon University is one of only 16 living Americans to be elected to the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Iowa State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Suresh also served as Director of the National Science Foundation from 2010 to 2013
The Foundation is a $7-billion independent government science agency charged with advancing all fields of fundamental science, engineering research and education.
Mehrishi Named Secretary In Department Of Economic Affairs
Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978 batch Indian Administrative Service officer with Rajasthan cadre, has been named secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
His batch mate, Arvind Mayaram, also from Rajasthan, whom he replaces, has been shifted to the tourism ministry as secretary, an official communique said.
Among other secretary-level changes, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared the names of Ashok Kumar Angurana as secretary in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, and Vinod Agrawal as secretary in the scheduled caste commission.
Jajodia elected first Boxing India president
Boxing India (BI) announced Sep 11, 2014 the formation its elected federation after an International Boxing Association (AIBA) suspension of the federation for 21 months.
Thirty-three state associations and one sports board elected Sandeep Jajodia as president, Jay Kowli as secretary general and Hemant Kumar Kalita as treasurer along with 10 vice-presidents and seven Executive Council members.
"I am deeply humbled by the faith AIBA president Dr. C.K. Wu and BI members have placed in me. I am eager to restore the action in boxing," Jajodia said.
Indian Scientist Kamal Bawa Gets Midori Prize In Biodiversity
Indian scientist Kamal Bawa, a distinguished professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, has won the 2014 Midori Prize in Biodiversity for his research, including in climate change in the Himalayas.
Bawa, founder president of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) in Bangalore, will receive the prize with a cash award of $100,000 during the Oct 16-17 Conference of Parties (COP-12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in South Korea.
The prize also honours his contributions to research in ecology of tropical forests, sustainable use of tropical forests, promoting engagement of civil society in conservation efforts, and for his leadership role in setting up ATREE.
Lalitha Kumaramangalam appointed new NCW chief
Lalitha Kumaramangalam has been appointed the new chairman of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said Wednesday (sep 17, 2014).
The announcement was made by the minister at a press conference on the completion of 100 days of her ministry here.
"I am very happy to announce that the new chairman of NCW is Lalitha Kumaramangalam," she said.
Chennai-based Kumaramangalam is the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a member of the party's national executive.
Muzaffar Ali selected for Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
Indian Filmmaker Muzaffar Ali was selected for Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award on 31 July 2014 for his outstanding contribution towards the promotion of Communal harmony, peace and goodwill.
A 90 years old Muzaffer directed several movies in Bollywood like Umrao Jaan, Gaman and Khizan he got Padma Shri award in 2005.
The decision of selecting Ali for the award was taken at a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award. This will be the 22nd edition of the Sadbhawna award and will be presented at Jawahar Bhawan on 20 August 2014 at a special ceremony.
Arvind Gupta Appointed Deputy NSA
Former diplomat Arvind Gupta was Monday appointed deputy national security adviser in place of former police officer Nehchal Sandhu, who had resigned last week.
Gupta, a 1979 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, will also be secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
An official communication issued by the department of personnel and training said that Gupta, who is at present director general of Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), has been appointed for a period of three years with immediate effect on "re-employment on contract basis".
Sandhu, a former Intelligence Bureau director, had resigned due to "personal reasons".
Gupta holds a Ph.D in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Chacha Chaudhary creator Pran is dead
Pran Kumar Sharma, creator of iconic comic book characters like Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu, is dead. He was 75, his family said Wednesday.
Better known as Pran, he was suffering from colon cancer and died at 9.30 p.m. Tuesday, his daughter-in-law Jyoti Pran told IANS.
"His condition was extremely critical in the last 15-20 days and was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Gurgaon," she said.
His cremation will take place in Punjabi Bagh at 2.30 p.m.
He is survived by his wife Asha, son Nikhil Pran and daughter Shaily Pran.
Indian-Origin Mathematician Among Winners Of Maths Nobel
Two Indian-origin mathematicians have won prestigious global prizes in the field of mathematics with one of them being awarded the Fields Medal â€" known as the "Nobel Prize of mathematics".
Manjul Bhargava, a professor of mathematics at Princeton University, was Wednesday conferred the Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians 2014 hosted by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) in Seoul, a press release issued by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences said.
Also on the same occasion, another Indian-origin mathematician Subhash Khot won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, awarded by the IMU), for his "prescient definition of the 'Unique Games' problem, and leading the effort to understand its complexity and its pivotal role in the study of efficient approximation of optimisation problems".
Bhargava, born in 1974 in Canada, was awarded the Fields Medal for developing powerful new methods in the geometry of numbers, which he applied to count rings of small rank and to bound the average rank of elliptic curves.
Gandhi' director Richard Attenborough is dead
Richard Attenborough, an Oscar-winning British film director known for the monumental film 'Gandhi', died at the age of 90 Sunday, media reported Monday.
Attenborough was one of Britain's leading actors, before becoming a highly successful director, BBC reported.
In a career that spanned over six decades, he appeared in films including "Brighton Rock", "The Great Escape" and later in the dinosaur blockbuster "Jurassic Park".
As a director he was best known for "Gandhi", which won him two Oscars.
Sir Ben Kingsley, who played the title role, said he would "miss him dearly".
"Richard Attenborough trusted me with the crucial and central task of bringing to life a dream it took him 20 years to bring to fruition."
ST status of Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma to be verified
Supreme Court of India on 20 January 2014 directed the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) to verify the authenticity of ST status of Mukul Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
The direction of the Apex Court came following a challenge by political rivals.
The bench of the Court headed by Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam while hearing a PIL filed by the All North East Indigenous Garo Law Promoter Association that has challenged the ST status of Sangma refused to go into the matter. He said that it should be decided by the Commission and asked the commission to look into the complaint and take a decision within eight weeks.
The association has demanded the cancellation of the ST certificate of Sangma that has been issued to him.
Sangma had won the 2013 Assembly election from the Ampati Constituency in South Garo Hills.
Dr. Tej Vir Singh bags UNWTO Ulysses Prize
Dr. Tej Vir Singh from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh won the 2013 UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge on 22 January 2014.
The Award honors outstanding members of the academia for their significant contribution to the development of tourism education and research.
Dr.Singh is the professor and Founding Director of the Centre for Tourism Research & Development (CTRD) in India.
In 1976, he established the CTRD, a non-government organization devoted to the cause of tourism academics and research, with a special focus on India.
Dr. Singh started the first Himalayan tourism training course, as the Founding Director of the Institute of Himalayan Studies and Regional Development at the University of Garhwal.
A specialist in Himalayan tourism, Dr. Singh has produced several books on tourism and many papers on tourism development and its impacts. One of his book is Critical Debates in Tourism.
Bikram Singh takes Charge as Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman
Army chief General Bikram Singh took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) on 30 December 2013. He received the baton of Chairman, COSC from outgoing Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal N.K.Browne.
The COSC is the senior-most officer of the three Services and is in-charge for looking after the joint issues related to them. The senior-most of the three Services chiefs takes over the post.
General Singh will have a brief tenure of around seven months as the CoSC, as he is expected to retire in July 2014.
Justice Ganguly Case: President Reference to be sent to Supreme Court
The Union Government on 2 January 2014 approved a proposal for sending a Presidential reference to Supreme Court for conducting a probe in judge AK Ganguly case.
Retired apex court judge A K Ganguly is accused into an allegation of sexual harassment of a law intern.
The proposal that has been approved by the Union Cabinet was laid by the Home Ministry to send a presidential reference to the Chief Justice of India.
Apart from the allegation of the sexual harassment of a law intern, Ganguly has been alleged for violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in Pakistan. As per the Government of India, he was on a visit to Pakistan from 3 to 6 June 2013, where he was a guest of a Pakistani national and also stayed in his residence in Karachi.
The presidential reference to the Supreme Court for inquiry was necessitated under Section 23(1) of the same Act, by making other allegations of Ganguly to fall under the proven misbehavior.
People in the News 2013
As we wrap up 2013 for India, there is an incredible mix of newsmakers, from politics to sporting events, Bollywood buzz, and people who dominated the media space. In the top newsmakers list of 2013 usually those figured moved around Politics, Sports and Bollywood, though some others too hogged the limelight.
There were two distinct trends seen in 2013, one was the line between politicians and celebrities got blurred. This happened when Narendra Modi topped the list of the most searched celebrities on the internet. The other trend was the growing interest of the people in politics of the country. This was due to recently concluded Assembly elections in five states and with Aam Admi Party forming the government in Delhi. It was also due to General Election due in 2014.
Political and other Newsmakers
- Arvind Kejriwal, was biggest 'Newsmaker of the Year' when his Aam Admi Party triumphed at the Assembly election in Delhi. He has become the youngest chief ministers in India. His Aam Admi Party won 28 out of a total of 70 assembly seats.
- Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others were given clean chit in connection with a 2002 communal riots case when a magistrate court in Ahmedabad rejected Zakia Jafri's petition challenging Special Investigation Team.' Incidently, Narendra Modi also topped the list of the top ten 'Most Searched Personalities' on the internet. The other nine being Bollywood heroines
- Lalu Prasad Yadav, the founder of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) party was convicted in multi-crore fodder scam. He was sentenced to five years in jail. He is currently out on bail.
- Dr. CNR Rao, the Head of the Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Council, , was awarded Bharat Ratna along with Sachin Tendulkar. Rao is an eminent scientist and a well recognised international authority on solid state and materials chemistry. He has won all possible international awards in his field other than the Nobel Prize. He has published over 1,400 research papers and 45 books.
- Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal faced alleged sexual harassment charges from their colleagues. Tejpal is in judicial custody.
- Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh died in a Lahore hospital on May 1, 2013. He was being comatose for nearly a week following a brutal assault by fellow inmates in a high-security Pakistani jail.
- Arundhati Bhattacharya became the first woman to head the State Bank of India. She has become the chairperson of the largest public sector bank of India.
- Devyani Khobragade, the Deputy Consul General of the Consulate General of India in New York City, was arrested by U.S. authorities for allegedly committing visa fraud. She was then subjected to "strip search". Her arrest and treatment have received much media attention in India, and have led to a major diplomatic standoff between India and the United States.
- The newly appointed Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan hogged the spotlight in the economic scene of India. He not only topped the Finance Newsmakers of list, but also featured as one of the Top Newsmakers of 2013.
- Nirbhaya case â€" Out of the five accused in the 23-year-old Nirbhaya gang case, four adults were sentenced to death by hanging by a special court. The 17-year old accused was given maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment in a reform facility. The US awarded Nirbhaya the "woman of courage" award posthumously for "inspiring people to work together to end violence against women in India and around the world."
- Afzal Guru: Parliament terror attack accused Afzal Guru was hanged in Tihar Jail in New Delhi.
- Sajjan Kumar ; A Delhi court acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a case linked to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. This resulted in anguished protests and grief.
- Asaram, a spiritual guru was taken into police custody on September 1, 2013, for sexual assault and exploitation of women. His son Narayan Sai was also arrested for being accused in sexual abuse case.
- Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case: The dentist couple, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar was convicted of killing their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj. The special CBI court sentenced them to life imprisonment. This was a very high profile case that saw many twists and turns and the court order gives a glimpse of the changing India.
- Shakuntala Devi: Indian mathematical genius and astrologer Shakuntala Devi, who was known as "human computer" for her fast numerical calculation technique, passed away on April 15 at Bangalore after a brief illness.
- In 2013 the biggest sporting moment was when Sachin Tendulkar hangs up his boots after 24 years playing cricket. He also became the first sportsperson to be awarded Bharat Ratna and youngest to be chosen for the country's highest civilian award.
- Five-time title-holder Viswanathan Anand's reign as the world champion came to an end at the World Chess Championship in Chennai when Norway's Magnus Carlsen was crowned the new world chess champion.
- The shame to the game of cricket when fast bowler Sreesanth and others were found guilty of spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season Six. Sreesanth was banned for life.
- Tennis player Leander Paes won his eighth men's doubles Grand Slam title, and 14th overall.
- The Supreme Court's verdict on Sanjay Dutt and his subsequent arrest was a major development that shook the Bollywood and his fans.
- Sunny Leone continued to hold sway as the most-searched celebrity, on the internet in India. Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif followed in the ranks of the nine leading ladies of Bollywood that made into the top ten lists.
- Deepika Padukone emerged as one of the top Bollywood newsmakers of the year.
- Chennai Express created box office history becoming the biggest grosser in the history of Indian cinema in 2013.
- Bollywood's villain Pran passed away after a prolonged illness. He was feared as a villain as much adored for his supporting role as an actor. His demise was the most somber news in Bollywood.
- Bengali cinema actor, director and producer 'Rituparno Ghosh' who died on May 30, 2013, through his works had earned him a nation-wide fame.
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 â€" 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.