Persons in news : October 2011

Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud: Crown Prince of Saudi Arab passes away

Saudi Crown Prince, Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud passed away. He was the heir to the Saudi throne. He died of an undisclosed illness and was in his mid 80’s. He was King Abdullah’s half brother. Saudi Arabia named a new crown prince Nayef bin Abdel-Aziz al-Saud as heir to the throne following the death of the second-in-line, Crown Prince Sultan, last week.

 

 

Rajni Palme Dutt: The Leftist Intellectual Giant comes back in lecture series

Recently, UK’s prestigious Perse School of Cambridge has instituted an annual lecture in the name of the Indo-Swedish Leftist Rajni Palme Dutt, bringing him back to fame. Rajni Palme Dutt was an intellectual giant of the 20th century Left movement and author of ‘India Today’. He was a leading journalist and theoretician in the Communist Party of Great Britain.

 

Born to an Indian father Upendra Dutt and Swedish mother Anna Palme – great aunt of Olof Palme who later became Sweden’s Prime Minister – RPD was the “ideological guru” of Communist Party of Great Britain and also played a big role through Dutt-Bradley thesis in helping Communist Party of India shed its sectarianism in the 1930s and become a national party.

Dutt’s ‘India Today’, the first Marxist work on Indian freedom struggle, analyses British imperialism in the context of Indian social and economic structure that existed from the mid-18th century. A friend of Jawaharlal Nehru, Dutt travelled to India in the 1940s, covering the Cabinet Mission for ‘Daily Worker’. Please note that CPM’s Sitaram Yechury delivered the first lecture on this annual series.

Ashfaqulla Khan: 111th birth anniversary

111th birth anniversary of freedom fighter and revolutionary martyr Ashfaqulla Khan observed. Shaheed Ashfaqulla Khan was born on October 22, 1900 in Shahjhanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Ashfaqulla Khan was charged for the Kakori train dacoity and was held guilty with several other revolutionary freedom fighters. Later he was hanged to death in Faizabad jail.

Bismil and Ashfaq:

Bismil and Ashfaq, both were good friends and Urdu poets (Shayar). Bismil was the pen name or Takhallus of Ram Prasad whereas Ashfaq used to write poetry with the pen name of ‘Hasrat’. In Indian independence movement, the sacrifice of these two has become an excellent example of religious unity for the young generations. Both were hanged on the same day, date and time but in different jails.

Admiral Dawson: Former Chief of Naval Staff died

The former Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Oscar Stanley Dawson (87), passed away. The Admiral was the Director of Naval Operations during the India-Pakistan conflict in 1971, for which he was awarded the AVSM.

Kiran Karnik: To chair policy drafting committee on private sector graft

Centre has firmed up its action plan to deal with the menace of bribe in the private sector. A Committee headed by prominent technocrat Kiran Karnik has been set up to prepare a comprehensive policy to deal with corrupt practices in the private sector. This policy will form the basis for amending laws that will treat bribery in the private sector as a criminal offence. This will include the best international practices. Govt also planning to empower serious fraud investigation office and agency mandated to probe corporate scams with a statutory status. The agency is proposed to have authority to file charge sheets against the accused and impose punitive measures and even arrest persons found guilty.

The move comes immediately after the PM Dr. Manmohan Singh held that bribery in the private sector will be treated as a crime in the private sector as is the case in public sector.

Cesar Lopez: The Musician who makes guitar of an AK 47

César López is a Colombian musician and is known as creator of the escopetarra— combining ‘escopeta’ and ‘guitarra’ (Gun and Guitar), a largely symbolic musical instrument which is an AK-47 converted into a guitar.

He recently performed in India at the India Habitat Center on November 1. This Colombian musician is the world’s only “escopetarrist” — his guitar built from an actual but defunct AK-47.

 

 

Nandan Nilekani: To head GST Network

GST Network is the name of the SPV or Special Purpose Vehicle responsible for implementing the IT infrastructure needed to roll out GST, one of the country’s most ambitious tax reforms. In a recent meeting, the empowered group of state finance ministers has approved the setting up GST Network, headed by Nandan Nilekani.

The SPV would solely be responsible for running of the GST portal. The States and Centre along with a technology company will be partners in the SPV.

Raghubir Yadav: To pay Rs. 40,000 per month as maintenance to wife

A trial court has directed actor Raghubir Yadav to pay an interim monthly maintenance of Rs 40,000 to his estranged wife. The woman had told the court that she had married Yadav in Jabalpur in June 1988 but he deserted her in 1995.

 

Saba Sultan & Saif Ali Khan: New Responsibilities

  • Late cricketer Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Patuadi’s daughter, Saba Sultan has taken over as Bhopal Auqaf-e-Shahi Mutawalli (head). The body manages Bhopal’s princely waqf properties.
  • Saif Ali Khan has been anointed the 10th Nawab of Pataudi at a ceremony in his ancestral palace Pataudi. The title is a titular one with no legal or official standing.

We should know that the Titles like Nawab / Thakur/ Sawai/ are no more recognized by the government after princely states were abolished in 1971. Mansoor Ali Khan was the last Nawab who reigned between 1952 and 1971. The people of Pataudi wanted Saif to be crowned the 10th Nawab to continue the family tradition.

Sushil Kumar : Wins Rs 5 crore on KBC

Sushil Kumar, a resident of a small town in the state of Bihar, has hit the jackpot and won 5 crore rupees on the Indian TV show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ hosted by actor Amitabh Bachchan.

 

Mohan Raghavan: Famous Film director passes away

Scriptwriter and filmmaker of the critically acclaimed film ‘T.D. Dasan Std. VI B’, Mohan Raghavan (47), passed away. He was one of the most talented contemporary filmmakers in Malayalam. Raghavan’s maiden film ‘T.D. Dasan Std. VI B’ was well-received by the audience owing to its refreshing story and out-of-the-box treatment.

 

Mukesh Ambani: Richest Indian by Forbes

Forbes annual Rich List puts Mukesh Ambani, head of the Reliance Industries Group, as the World’s richest Indian with a net worth of $22.60 billion. He is followed by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (2nd) and Azim Premji (3rd). The net worth of the top 100-billionaires drops by 20 % as inflation, corruption scandals and falling stock and currency prices diminish their wealth.

Shrilal Shukla: Jnanpith awardee, Raag Darbari Fame passes away

Leading Hindi litterateur and Jnanpith awardee Shrilal Shukla (86) passed away after a brief illness

Shukla earned huge fame for his popular ‘Rag Darbari’. Shukla joined the Provincial Civil Service shortly after independence in the late forties and was later elevated to the elite Indian Administrative Service from where he retired in 1983. He was awarded the the country’s highest literary honour Janpith Award-2009 on September 19, 2011. His works throw light on the falling moral values of society in post-Independence India.

  • Awards: Janpith Award-2009, Vyas Samman and Padma Bhushan-2008.
  • Famous Novels: Raag-Darbari, Agyatwaas, Vishrampur Ka Sant

John McCarthy: Brain behind artificial intelligence died

John McCarthy, a pioneer of artificial intelligence, has died at the age of 84. McCarthywas a professor emeritus in the department of computer science at the Palo Alto, California-based university, where he taught for nearly four decades. He is credited with coining the term “artificial intelligence in a 1955 research proposal he submitted with several other scientists while at Dartmouth College. He was the creator of the LISP programming language widely used by AI researchers. He joined the faculty of Stanford in 1962 and founded the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL), which has been credited with a number of advances in the field of making “intelligent machines”

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