Persons in News – August 2017

Yuriko Koike – First Female Governor of Tokyo

Yuriko Koike has been elected as the first female governor of Tokyo. Her election comes at a time when the city is preparing to host the 2020 Olympics.

Luke Aikins – First person to jump from 25000ft without parachute

Skydiver Luke Aikins from United States created history by becoming the first person in the world to jump from 25,000 feet (mid-tropospheric altitude) without a parachute and landing safely in a net. He achieved this feat after successfully falling safely into the 100x100ft net in Simi Valley, southern California after the two-minute fall from aeroplane without a parachute or wing suit. With this he also set a personal and world record for the highest jump without a parachute or wing suit.

Rani Nair – New Chairperson of CBDT

Rani Singh Nair, a 1979-batch IRS officer of the income-tax cadre, has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). She succeeded Atulesh Jindal and will be in office till October 31, 2016. Earlier, she was a member of legislation and computerization department in the CBDT.

Malayalam film ‘Ka Bodyscapes’

Within months after the controversy around the film Udta Punjab has subsided, a new controversy has emerged after the censor board denied clearance to a Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes directed by Jayan K Cherian. The film was denied clearance for ridiculing, insulting, and humiliating Hindu religion as well as for offending human sensibilities. However, the film has been screened in numerous film festivals such as the BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival.

Anurag Kashyap and Deepak Sampat

Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 has bagged the best Asian genre film at the 20th edition of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival held in South Korea. In the same film festival, Deepak Sampat has won the best actor award for the film Auto Head.

“Learn-Earn-Return Fund” scheme of IIT-Kgp

Faced with budgetary cuts, IIT-Kharagpur has come up with a new scheme called “Learn-Earn-Return Fund” to raise funds. As per this new scheme, students will get a fee waiver if they pledge to donate money after getting a job. This scheme has been launched from this academic session. The scholarship or fee waiver would be offered to the students based on their merit and financial background. Similar model is followed by Harvard University, which gets 60% of its budget from alumni.

Ravi Velloor

Ravi Velloor has recently authored a book titled “India Rising: Fresh Hope, New Fears”. He is an associate editor of Singapore newspaper The Straits Times. His book chronicles India’s journey in the decade before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rise. The book captures the notable events of the years under former India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and examines how the country dealt with those issues.

Bhaskar Khulbe

Bhaskar Khulbe, a 1983 batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, has been appointed as the new Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Previously, he was the additional secretary in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Dilip Rath

Dilip Rath is the newly appointed chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). He will be on the post until the appointment of a regular incumbent. He succeeded T Nandakumar, who recently resigned before his 5-year term ended. Currently, Rath is the managing director of NDDB.

Ahmed Zewail

The Egyptian-born Nobel-winning scientist Ahmed Zewail passed away in the United States. He was 70. Mr Zewail had won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999 for his pioneering work in femtochemistry. He was the first Arab Scientist to win the Nobel Prize.

Mahim Bora

Eminent Assamese litterateur Mahim Bora died due to old age problems in Guwahati, Assam. He was 92. He was a prolific short story writer and a poet. He had received the Sahitya Akademi award for his most popular work Edhani Mahir Hanhi in 2001. He was also a recipient of Padma Shri in 2011 and Assam Valley Literary award in 1998.

Takehiko Nakao re-elected as President of the Asian Development Bank

Takehiko Nakao has been re-elected for a 2nd term as the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), beginning from November 2016. He was unanimously elected by the ADB’s Governors. He is the ninth president of ADB and was the sole nominee to make nomination for the organisation’s presidency. Nakao will have tenure of five years and shall remain head of the ADB till 2021. He was first elected in 2013 to serve the remaining three and a half years term of his predecessor, Haruhiko Kuroda.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is based in Manila, Philippines. It is owned by 67 members including India. It is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Anant Maheshwari appointed as President of Microsoft India

Technocrat Anant Maheshwari was appointed as the President of Microsoft India, a subsidiary of US based software giant Microsoft Inc. He will join Microsoft India in September 2016 and will take over operations of the company from January 2017. He will succeed Bhaskar Pramanik who retires in March 2017. In his new role in Microsoft India, Maheshwari will be responsible for Microsoft’s product, service and support offerings across India.

Nita Ambani becomes first Indian woman member of IOC

Noted sports promoter and founder chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani was elected as an individual member of International Olympic Committee (IOC). With this, she becomes the first Indian woman to join the prestigious body which governs Olympic sports in the world. Nita Ambani is only current active individual member of the IOC from India and shall serve at the high-profile world body until she attains the age of 70.
International Olympic Committee (IOC)

The IOC is the supreme authority of the Olympic Movement headquartered at Lausanne, Switzerland. It ensures the regular celebration of the Olympic Games and supports all affiliated member organisations of the Olympic Movement. It also strives to strongly encourage the promotion of the Olympic values.

Dinesh Kumar Khara -MD SBI

Dinesh Kumar Khara was appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest lender. His appointment was confirmed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has been appointed for the period of three years.

Irom Sharmila – Ends her fast

The “Iron Lady” of Manipur, Irom Sharmila Chanu has ended her 16-year fast. She has been on hunger strike since November 2000 demanding repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA). Her protest is believed to be the longest fast in history. She has decided to enter into politics and contest elections.


AFSPA was enacted in 1958. AFSPA is a collective name of several acts passed by Indian parliament for providing special powers to the Indian Armed Forces and to provide army officers and jawans legal immunity for their actions in disturbed areas. Earlier, a five member committee headed by B.P. Jeevan Reddy which reviewed AFSPA recommended it be replaced by a more humane law.

New Chairman of Central Silk Board (CSB)

K M Hanumantharayappa has assumed charge as the new Chairman of Central Silk Board (CSB), for a period of three years. He is the 25th Chairman of the Central Silk Board and succeeds N S Bissegowda.

CSB is a statutory body established under the Central Silk Board Act, 1948. It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Textile. It is a national organization for overall development of silk sector in India.

Manjula Chellur

Justice Manjula Chellur has been selected as the new Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. Currently, she is the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. She will be second woman Chief Justice of the Bombay HC, after Sujata Manohar in 1994.

Joao Havelange

Joao Havelange, former president of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the global governing body of football passed away in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was 100. He had served as president of FIFA for two decades and had played pivotal role in transforming football’s governing body into a multibillion-dollar business.

Gurdial Singh

World famous prominent Punjabi writer, novelist and short story writer and Jnanpith awardee Gurdial Singh passed away at Bathinda, Punjab. He was 83. He was one of the greatest writers of Punjabi Literature and had focused on the economically and socially marginalised people in rural Punjab in his short stories and novels. He was the recipient of Padma Shri (1998), Jnanpith Award (2000), Sahitya Akademi Award (1975). In 2016, Sahitya Akademi had announced fellowship for him which is the highest honour of the Akademi.

Najma Heptulla

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed former Union Minister Najma Heptulla (76) as Governor of Manipur. She was the Union Minority Affairs Minister, which she recently resigned in July 2016.

VP Singh Badnore appointed as new Governor of Punjab, administrator of Chandigarh

VP Singh Badnore (69) has sworn in as the new Governor Punjab and also as Administrator of Chandigarh. He succeeds Kaptan Singh Solanki, who is the Governor of Haryana and was holding additional charge of Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh since January 2015.

SR Nathan: former longest-serving Singapore President of Indian-origin passes away

The Indian-origin former Singapore President S.R. Nathan passed away days after suffering a stroke. He was 92. He was the sixth and longest-serving President of Singapore. He was closely associated with the country’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew. S.R Nathan was born as Sellapan Ramanathan on 3 July 1924 in the family of Indian Tamil descent in Straits Settlements of Singapore. He had served as President of Singapore for two terms from 1999 to 2011.

Sakshi Malik

Wrestler Sakshi Malik was named as Haryana’s brand ambassador for Beti Bachao, Beti Padao (save daughter, educate daughter) campaign in Haryana. Sakshi Malik had won bronze medal in wrestling at 2016 Rio Olympics in the 58 kg category. She had created history by becoming first women from India to win Olympics medal in wrestling.

PV Sindhu to be brand ambassador of CRPF

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has decided to appoint Olympic silver medallist P. V. Sindhu as its honorary commandant and brand ambassador. She will be given honorary Commandant rank in the CRPF which is equivalent to the position of a Superintendent of Police (SP) and such an officer commands a battalion of about 1,000 personnel. CRPF is the largest central armed police force or paramilitary force in India. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Aishwaryaa Dhanush appointed as UN Women’s Advocate for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in India

Noted filmmaker Aishwaryaa Dhanush was appointed United Nations Women’s Advocate for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in India. In her new role she will help raise awareness of UN Women’s core message of gender equality and women’s empowerment across India. Besides she will play important role in boosting the organisation’s efforts to close the gender gap and achieve a more equal world, a Planet 50-50 by the year 2030.

Some of other celebrities who have joined hands with U.N. Women to work for gender equality and the empowerment of women are tennis star Sania Mirza, actor-director Farhan Akhtar, British actor Emma Watson, Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway and Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand.

World’s oldest living elephant

Dakshayani, an 86 year old elephant is all set to enter Guinness Records as the world’s oldest living elephant. The elephant belongs to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB). The TDB had applied to the Guiness Records claiming Dakshayani to be the world’s oldest living elephant.

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