Current Affairs – November 2012 Persons
- Balmiki Prasad Singh – Governor of Sikkim Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh called on the President on November 29, 2012 and presented a copy of the book titled “Our India” written by him for school children. The book portrays his appreciation of India’s experience as a civilization and as a nation.
- Lieutenant General AT Parnaik– Mr Patnaik has taken over as the 22nd Director General Border Roads (DGBR) in New Delhi on 30 November. Lt. Gen Parnaik was commissioned into Corps of Engineers on 22 Dec 1974 and has held various staff, instructional and command appointments. He has commanded a Border Road Task Force and served as Senior Military Observer of United Nations Mission in Congo. He has been a Chief Engineer with a Strike Corps and served as Brigadier Administration in the Valley. After serving as the Chief Engineer of a Command, he was posted as General Officer Commanding of an Area in the East. Later he served as Additional Director General Personal Services in the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army). Before taking over as Director General Border Roads, the General Officer was holding the appointment of Director General Planning at the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army), New Delhi.
- Sif Ibrahim to be the next chief of Intelligence Bureau and Alok Joshi for RAW
Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Alok Joshi will be the new chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Syed Asif Ibrahim the next Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Mr Ibrahim will be the first Muslim to head IB with four officers senior to him having been shifted out. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the name of Joshi, a 1976 batch officer from Haryana cadre, to succeed Sajeev Tripathi as chief of RAW, an organisation entrusted with the task of gathering external intelligence. Joshi has served in IB and the Haryana Police with key operations in Nepal and Pakistan to his credit. Another contender for the RAW post was Amitabh Mathur, a 1977 batch IPS officer, who has been moved to Aviation Research Centre (ARC), an organisation which forms part of RAW and is entrusted with gathering of imagery intelligence, Aerial surveillance, monitoring of borders and photo reconnaissance flights. 59-year-old Ibrahim, a 1977 batch IPS officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre, will take over as officer on special duty on December one, a procedure for smooth transition of power from the incumbent Director to the new one, official sources said. The name of Ibrahim was cleared by the ACC and a formal order is expected to be out in a day or two, the sources said. He will be taking over from Nehchal Sandhu who retires on December 31. Ibrahim will have a fixed tenure of two years beginning from January one, 2013. The second in command at present in the organisation is R N Gupta, a 1976 batch IPS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, has been shifted as Officer on Special Duty to the Cabinet Secretariat while V Rajagopal of the same batch from UT cadre, has moved to Joint Intelligence Committee.
- Ernest Bai Koroma re-elected as the President of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone, the incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma, leader of the All People’s Congress was re-elected as the President of the nation on 23 November 2012 after the electoral body declared results of the elections that took place in the country in third week of November. He had sworn in as the President of Sierra Leone on the same day, when the results were declared. He won the Presidential elections by securing 58.7 percent votes in his favour. Julius Maada Bio, the top rival of Koroma won 37.4 percent votes. The incumbent President managed to save himself from the second round of voting by securing more than 55 percent votes in his support. To support the growth of the country and make it one of the fastest growing economies of the world, the President of the war-scarred nation asked all the opposition parties that included Sierra Leone People’s Party’s (SLPP) to unite with each other and work for the cause of overall development of the nation. Christiana Thorpe, the Chief of the National Elections Commission on 23 November 2012 declared that any citizen of the nation can challenge the validity of the Presidential Elections by filing a petition in the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone within seven days of result declaration.
- Dr. Joseph Edward Murray, the Man behind First Kidney Transplant Died At 93 Dr. Joseph Edward Murray, the first doctor to perform kidney transplant successfully died on 26 November 2012. The 93 year old doctor had received a Nobel Prize for the work. Murray had stroke at the suburban home in Boston on 22 November 2012 and eventually he died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After he performed the first kidney transplant on the identical twins, various other transplants on different organs of the body were performed. Murray also shared Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1990 along with Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who performed various bone marrow transplants. Earlier in 1950s human organ transplants were never successful. But Murray along with the associates in Boston’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital which is now called Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed the surgical methods by transplanting the kidneys in dogs. First kidney transplant was performed in December 1954 on 23-year old Richard Herrick as well as his identical twin Ronald Herrick. After operation, Richard got the functioning kidney transplantation from Ronald.
- Former Prime Minister IK Gujral passes away
-Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral passed away on 29 November after prolonged illness. The 92-year-old Gujral was admitted to the Medicity Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon on November 19 with a lung infection. Gujral was twice foreign minister under Prime Minister VP Singh and Deve Gauda. He became the 12th Prime Minister of India and was in office for almost a year.
- Lalit Bhanot elected Secretary General of Indian Olympic Association, Abhay Singh Chautala named President
-Abhay Singh Chautala has been elected as the President of the Indian Olympic Association while Lalit Bhanot has been elected as the Secretary General on 30 November. Bhanot, who was jailed along with former IOA president Suresh Kalmadi and VK Verma in connection with the Commonwealth Games corruption scam, was elected unopposed despite serious objections from International Olympic Committee. The Indian Olympic Association may have elected its new office bearers, but the threat of them being banned by the International Olympic committee still exists. The IOC Ethics Commission’s recommendations state that tainted officials like Kalmadi, Bhanot and Verma, who all were jailed in connection with the Commonwealth Games corruption scam, cannot be part of the Olympic movement.
- Jeff Zucker named CNN’s New Chief Executive .
-The former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker has been named president of CNN Worldwide on 29 November 2012. Jeff Zucker is going to lead a large and profitable news organization with 23 separate businesses worldwide that has come to be defined by problems at the flagship U.S. network, particularly in prime time. He will succeed outgoing CNN chief Jim Walton starting in January 2013. Zucker started his 25-year career with NBC as a researcher for NBC Sports’ coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games and rose to president and chief executive officer of NBC Universal. He was named executive producer of Today in January 1992; under his eight-year leadership, the program was the most-watched morning news show and the most profitable program on television.
- Ranjit Sinha – The competent authority has appointed Ranjit Sinha, IPS as Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a period of two years with effect from the date of assumption of charge. He will succeed A.P. Singh, IPS (JH-1974) on his retirement on 30th November 2012.
- Tony Hall – Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall on 22 November 2012 wasappointed as director general of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).
Tony Hall is replacing George Entwistle, who resigned on 10 November 2012 over the corporation’s reporting of child sex abuse.
Tony Hall who is 61 years old, was director of BBC news, and was a candidate for the top job in 1999 when Greg Dyke secured the position. Hall is a former BBC employee, having worked there for 28 years. He was head of BBC News and Current Affairs between 1996 and 2001.
- Joaquim Barbosa was sworn-in as Brazil’s Supreme Court’s first non-White President on 23 November 2012 at a ceremony in the capital Brazilia. Barbosa became famous in Brazil after overseeing one of the country’s biggest corruption trials involving key members of the former President Lula Da Silva’s government. Barbosa is famous for his tough stand against political corruption. Brazil has the second largest non-White population in the world after Nigeria, but few of them achieve high office.
- Anil Dev Singh, the former Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court on 19 November 2012 was appointed as the new Chairperson of the Election Commission of The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after S.Y. Quraishi resigned from his post on 17 November 2012. This appointment was done by Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the Acting President of IOA at present.
With this appointment, the former Chief Justice would be heading the Election Commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Two other members of the election commission panel would be are Justice V.K. Bali (retd.) and Justice J.D. Kapur (retd.). The Acting President of Indian Olympics Association, Vijay Kumar Malhotra in his communication with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) explained that in selecting the Chairperson for the IOA he followed the Court Directives that was against the Sports Code of the Government of India. Whereas, the IOC in its communication on 18 November 2012 asked the Election Commission members and Vijay Kumar Malhotra to follow the Olympic Charter and the constitution of Indian Olympic Association to conduct the elections.
- Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the Pakistani National and the lone surviving terrorist of 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks, was hanged on 21 November 2012 at Pune’s Yerwada Jail at 7:30 am. The Maharashtra Government confirmed that Kasab was hanged. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee rejected the mercy plea of Kasab. He was hanged five days before the fourth anniversary of the brutal terror attack on Mumbai that claimed 166 lives and sieged Mumbai for continuous three days.
- An Indian American professor of mechanical engineering and IIT alumni has been appointed as the first director of digital learning of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In his new capacity, Sanjay Sarma, the Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will work closely with the Institute’s faculty, staff and students to assess how new models of online instruction might become integral parts of MIT students’ on-campus education. 1989 IIT alumni, he has long worked to develop new instructional techniques for mechanical engineering students. “As director of digital learning, Professor Sarma will serve as a convener and synthesiser,” Reif wrote in his letter to the MIT community. The announcement of his appointment was made by MIT’s President L Rafael Reif.
- Keith Vaz, the Indian-origin Labour MP, has emerged as Britain’s most influential Asian in a list of 101 powerful people from the region, which includes the likes of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, the billionaire Hinduja Brothers and leading NRI industrialist Lord Swaraj Paul. According to the GG2 Power 101, brought out by the Garavi Gujarat Publications here listing the 101 most influential Asians in the UK, has 56-year-old Vaz, Labour MP from Leicester East and chairman of the powerful Home Affairs Select Committee, placed at No 1. Vaz has been a parliamentarian for over 25 years and was among the original modern gang of four ethnic path-breaking politicians, including the late Bernie Grant, Paul Boateng and Dianne Abbott, who made it into the House of Commons in 1987. He has been put in the category of ‘Politics’. Indian-origin steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal takes the second position, he is in the category of ‘Industry’. The Billionaire Hinduja Brothers, S P Hinduja and Gopi Hinduja, Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, come third on he list, while leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul is listed at the 22nd position, included in the category of ‘Business’. Reputed author Salman Rushdie is 24th (Writing) and Dr Kartar Lalvani, founder of Vitabiotics, the market leader in the UK is 30th (Pharmacy) on the list.
- K.C. Pant(81)- The ex-Defence Minister of India and former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman died on 15 November 2012.Krishna Chandra Pant was the son of the Bharat Ratna and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Govind Ballabh Pant. Being a Member of Parliament for about 26 years, K.C. Pant held different key positions of Government of India like Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry, Atomic Energy and Science and Technology, Steel Ministry, Home Ministry and many more. Pant served Indian National Congress till 1998 and after that joined Bhartiya Janta Party.
- Kamala Sadagopan (77)- Tamil writer and novelist, died in Chennai on 14 November. Kamala worked in Jaganmohini, a journal run by novelist Vai Mu Kothainayaki Ammal.She attended the Avadi session of the All India Congress Committee as a delegate in 1955 and shot to fame with her novel “Kadhavu” , which secured the Narayanasamy Iyer Award from Kalaimagal magazine.Another of her novels, “Padigal”, won the State Government’s prize and was honoured by the then Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran in 1981. She worked as a deputy editor of women’s magazine Mangayar Malar and her novels were made into films and TV serials.
- Savita Halappanavar– A woman of Indian Origin and dentist by profession died on 28 October 2012 in Ireland after doctors refused to perform an abortion. The doctors denied the abortion with a claim that Ireland was a Catholic Country. Savita the Indian dentist was suffering from miscarriage when she was 17 weeks pregnant and the Irish law at the University College Hospital Galway denied abortion to her. This led to septicemia (blood poisoning), multiple organ failure leading to her death.According to the Person Act 1861 of Irish Law on abortion and offences, abortion has is considered illegal in the country. This denial on abortion that took life of Savita created a widespread outrage, to make the Irish Government take a clear stand on Irish Laws on Abortion.
- Balasaheb Keshav Thackeray — Shiv Sena supreme leader, died on 17 November 2012 at the age of 86. He died of the cardio-respiratory arrest after suffering a long illness at his residence Matoshree, in Mumbai. Thackeray was an Indian Politician, who founded Shiv Sena a Political Party based in Mumbai, Maharashtra in the year 19 June 1966.Before turning up to politics, he was a cartoonist by profession with an English daily newspaper in Mumbai, named the Free Press Journal. He resigned from the Free Press Journal in 1960 and founded his own political weekly, named Marmik. He also founded Samana, the Marathi language newspaper and the Dophar ka Samna a Hindi newspaper. His house at Bandra, Mumbai is famous with the name Matoshree. Balasaheb was a leading face in the fight named Samyukta Maharashtra movement (United Maharashtra movement); to make Mumbai a place for Maharastrians that was witnessing the influence of South Indians, Gujaratis and Marwaris.
- Ami Bera(47)- California-based, Indian-American has become the only 3rd of the community to win Congressional election, making it to US House of Representatives on 6 November, 2012 by defeating Republican Dan Lungren. Previously,Dalip Singh Saund created history when he became the 1st Indian-American elected to the House in 1950s. The 2nd Indian-American to be elected was Bobby Jindal in 2005 and 2008, the health-policy expert. He is now the Governor of Louisiana.
- Prominent Gandhian, freedom fighter and educationist par excellence and former Minister Chintalapati Varaprasada Murthy Raju passed away at his residence in Fathepuram in Nidamarru mandal in West Godavari district on 11 November. He was 93. He had been seriously ill for six months till his death. His wife and only son expired long back. His life is a stellar example of how a true Gandhian would lead his life, spurning all worldly pleasures and giving away all that he owned to the society at large. The very name of CHVP Murthy Raju evokes deep respect among his scores of followers across the country. A committed Gandhian, he dedicated his entire life and wealth to the service of society. He served as an MLA for six times during 1953-82 and even served as State Minister of Endowments and Marketing for 15 months during the Chief Ministership of P V Narasimha Rao. In his life, he was elected as Panchayat President six times.
- Inspired by Gandhiji, Murthy Raju gave away 1,800 acres and huge money for the cause of society and set up as many as 68 educational institutes with emphasis on girl education. He handed over their ownership to the State Government in 1977. His dream was to establish one university in each district of Andhra Pradesh.When he expired; he did not have a single acre of land with him.
- Kuchipudi exponent Vedantam Satyanarayana Sarma, who played a crucial role in taking the art form from a tiny village in Krishna district to the international stage, passed away at a private hospital in Vijayawada on 16 November. He was 77. He was suffering from a lung infection and had been in hospital for the last two weeks. Born into a traditional Kuchipudi family to Vedantam Venkataratnam and Subbamma on Sept. 9, 1935, Satyanarayana Sarma (aka Satyam) was initiated into dance early. He was the lead dancer of the Venkatarama Natya Mandali lead by Chinta Krishnamurthy and won many accolades for his female portrayals over the years. He played Usha in Usha Parinayam, Satyabhama in Bhamakalapam, Mohini in Mohini Rukmangada, Deva Devi in Vipra Narayana, Sasirekha in Sasirekha Parinayam, Gollabhama in Gollakalapam. Satyanarayana Sarma received several honours and titles including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1961 and was chosen a fellow of the academy in 1968. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1970. In addition to his performances and choreography, much of his time was devoted to training Kuchipudi disciples. His school, Nartanasala, under the aegis of the Central Sangeet Nataka Academy offers a full-fledged course in Kuchipudi dance. In 1973, the government of Andhra Pradesh commissioned and produced a film on Kuchipudi.
- Arjuna Ranatunga- Former Srilankan cricket captain, has resigned from his post of deputy leader in the Democratic Party led by Sarath Fonseka and also from the party itself.However, he further stated that he will continue to act as a member of the Democratic National Alliance.
- S.K.Behera– India’s consul general in Melbourne, S K Behera, died of a heart attack on 8 November. He was 50. Behera, a 1987 batch IFS officer, was posted in Australia more than a year back. He died after suffering a heart attack.
- Shanti Gandhi- A great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi was elected to a State Assembly in the United Stated during the general elections held on 6 November 2012.72 Years old Shanti Gandhi contested as a Republican Party candidate and had defeated his Democratic rival Theodore “Ted” Ensley for the Kansas’s 52nd Assembly District.Shanti Gandhi is son of late Saraswati Gandhi, wife of Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson – the late Kanti Lal.Shanti Gandhi, who was a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon retired in 2010 from Stormont-Vail Hospital at Topeka City in the Kansas State. Shanti Gandhi went US in the year 1967 as a medical graduate from University of Bombay.
- Tulsi Gabbard(31)- America’s first ever Hindu to be elected to the House of Representatives. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, 31, defeated K. Crowley of the Republican Party by a strong margin in Hawaii’s second Congressional district. She is also the first female combat veteran to serve in Congress. Proud of her Hindu religion, she is not Indian or of Indian heritage. Ms Gabbard was born in American Samoa to a Catholic father – Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard – and a Hindu mother. She moved to Hawaii when she was two and fully embraced her religion as a teenager.
- D.Sitaram(88)-Veteran journalist, passed away in Hyderabad on 5 november.He was associated with many newspapers including The Statesman, The Economic Times and The Patriot and weeklies like Link and news-wires such as United Press of India (UPI) and United News of India (UNI).Even after five decades of service and post-retirement, he continued his association with the print media by contributing to a leading English daily and language newspapers here.He was known for fearless writing and took on the powers that be, which even led to his transfer to Kolkata in 1960s. He also had a stint in Europe and held top posts in New Delhi and Madras (Chennai) in UNI.Sitaram launched his own newspaper The Skyline in 1970s. However, financial problems led to the closure of the newspaper.Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Minister for Information and Public Relations DK Aruna condoled Sitaram’s death.
- Pavan Sukhdev- An Indian banker and long-time environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev is the latest goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).He joins noted celebrities like Brazilian super model Gisele Bundchen, French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, American actor Don Cheadle and Chinese actress Li Binging in raising awareness and support for environmental causes.UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner on 17 october, announced the name of Pavan Sukhdev, who is the Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory, a specialist consulting firm which helps governments and corporations on environmental issues, at the ongoing global summit on biodiversity here.A visiting fellow at Yale University, Pavan Sukhdev had a stint of 20 years at ANZ Bank and Deutsche Bank. He is the author of Corportion 2020.He is also the head of UNEP’s green economy initiative and lead author of their report Towards a Green Economy.
- Shri Krishna Khaitan- the chairman of Khaitan group of companies died on 4 November 2012. He was a native of Rajasthan. It was S.K. Khaitan who had incorporated the Khaitan group of companies in 1975.Khaitan Group is one of the leading fan manufacturers in the country with interests in home appliances and lightings business.S.K. Khaitan was also a philanthropist and was also involved in several philanthropic activities in the fields of education and healthcare.
- Kinjarapu Yerrannaidu(55)- Telugu Desam Politburo member and former union minister died on 2 November,in a road accident that took place near Dandanapeta of Ranasthalam mandal, 23 km away from Srikakulam, when his vehicle hit a tanker. The accident occurred at around 2 am on 2 november and immediately he was shifted to Srikakulam KIMS hospital where doctors tried in vain to save him. He joined politics in 1982 inspired by N.T. Ramarao. He was elected MLA for four times and entered Parliament by winning continuously from 1996 to 2004. For the first time, he was defeated in 2009 elections losing to the Congress candidate Killi Kruparani.
- Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam-China on 2 November 2012 invited Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President and Missile Man of India to teach at the Peking University of China. The nation also offered him the lab of his choice to work on with the students. The invitation came up during Dr. Kalam’s visit to the Beijing Forum by the Chairperson Zhu Shanlu of Peking University. Beijing Forum is the intellectual body backed by the Chinese Government, Chinese Ministry of Eductaion and the Beijing Municipal Government. It is co-sponsored by Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, Peking University, and Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies.
- Ashishkumar Chauhan was on 2 November appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Asia’s oldest stock exchange. Mr. Chauhan has been officiating as the interim chief executive since May 2012, after Madhu Kannan quit to join Tata Sons as head of business development. Mr. Chauhan, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from IIT Bombay and has also done a post-graduate diploma at IIM Calcutta, joined BSE in 2009 as deputy chief executive from Reliance Industries, where he served as president and chief information officer, it said.
- Senior Congress leader and Home Minister Gaikhangam has been designated as Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, officials said on 2 November. He is a Naga leader elected to the state Assembly for five consecutive terms from Nungba (ST) constituency in Tamenglong district, was sworn in as minister on March 16 this year and given the home portfolio after consultation with party high command so that he would not contest for the post of Chief Minister, party sources said.