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January 2017 Persons in News

  • Nikki Haley appointed as US Ambassador to United Nations
    The US Senate has confirmed Nikki Haley as the next Ambassador to the United Nations, making her the first Indian-American to serve on a Cabinet rank position in any presidential administration in the US. 

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee had on 24th January approved the nomination of The South Carolina Governor as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations. Haley was approved by the Senate on a 96-4 vote. Haley will replace Samantha Power at the UN, has already created history by becoming the first women Indian-American Governor of a US State. After Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, she is only the second ever Indian-American to be elected as the Governor of a State. 

  • Vijay Bhatkar appointed as chancellor of Nalanda University
    President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series, as the chancellor of Nalanda University. He will have term of three years from the date of his appointment. He shall succeed George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, who resigned after the Board of the University was reconstituted. 

  • Banwarilal Purohit appointed as interim governor of Meghalaya
    President Pranab Mukherjee has given Governor of Assam Banwarilal Purohit additional charge of Meghalaya. Besides, President also gave Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh. 

  • Veteran actress Gita Sen passed away
    Veteran film and stage actor Gita Sen, wife of film maker Mrinal Sen, died in Kolkata on 16th January. Sen had been suffering from old age-related ailments. Sen had acted in several films including 'Kolkata 71' and 'Akaler Sandhane'. She had also been part of the theatre movement. 

  • Astronaut Eugene Cernan passed away
    U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon, died on 16th January. Cernan was the spacecraft commander of Apollo 17 — his third space flight and the last U.S. manned mission to the moon — in December 1972. 

  • Antonio Tajani elected as President of European Parliament
    Italian conservative Antonio Tajani has been elected the new President of the European Parliament. Mr Tajani is a former spokesman for Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and an ex-European commissioner. He defeated another Italian, Gianni Pitella, and will take over from Germany's Martin Schulz. Mr Tajani secured 351 votes, against 282 for Mr Pittella, a socialist. The contest ran to the maximum four rounds. 

  • Alok Kumar Verma appointed as new chief of CBI
    Delhi Police Commissioner and Senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma will be the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation. He will hold the charge of the premier investigating agency for the period of two years. 

    Mr Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer was selected by a three-member committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice J. S. Khehar and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. The post of CBI Director was lying vacant for over a month following retirement of Anil Sinha. 

  • Adama Sworn in as new president of Gambia 
    After winning presidential elections in December 2016 Adama Barrow took the oath of office as Gambia's president on 19th January. He was sworn in as the third president of the Gambia at a ceremony in the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal.

  • Nana Akufo-Addo sworn in as Ghana’s new President
    Nana Akufo-Addo has been sworn in as Ghana's new president after beating John Mahama in December, 2016 election. Mr Akufo-Addo's inauguration represents the latest peaceful handover of power in Ghana.
  • Anju Mangla became first women incharge of Tihar jail
    She is the first woman incharge of a men's prison in high-security Tihar jail. Two women, Kiran Bedi and Vimla Mehra, have served as DG of Tihar but it's for the first time that a woman has been appointed as the superintendent of a men's jail here and has a one-to-one interaction with male inmates on daily basis.

  • TCS chief Chandrasekaran is the new TATA Sons Chairman
    Tata Sons have appointed TCS Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr. Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its new Chairman. Chandrasekaran will take charge on 21st February. His appointment comes after the Tata sons removed Cyrus Mistry as the Chairman. 

    The fifty-three-year old businessman is only the third non-Tata after Nowroji Saklatwala and Cyrus Mistry to be named as Tata Sons chairman. The decision to appoint Mr. Chandrasekaran was as per the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Committee and was finalised at the company’s board meeting in Mumbai.

  • First successful skydiving from world’s highest bridge
    A Chinese base jumper has successfully completed the world's first jump from the world's highest bridge in southwest China's Yunnan province. 

    The 29-year old known as Adam completed the jump from the newly-opened Beipanjiang Bridge which is 565 meters high. The whole jump took 81 seconds with Adam opening his parachute ten seconds into the jump, when he was 200 meters above the ground.

  • Surjit Singh Barnala passed away
    Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala died at PGI Chandigarh on 13th January. Barnala served as Chief Minister from 1985 to 1987, when militancy was at its peak in Punjab was a moderate leader of the Akali Dal. He became chief minister after the Rajiv-Longowal accord was signed in 1985.

    As Governor of Tamil Nadu, he had refused to recommend dismissal of the DMK government in 1991, when the late Chandrashekhar was the Prime Minister for a short time. He resigned from the post on being transferred to Bihar following his refusal. He had also served as Governor of Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh, and held additional charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 

    Barnala was Agriculture Minister at the Centre in the Moraji Desai government and Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet.

  • Sorin Grindeanu appointed as Prime Minister of Romania
    Social-democrat Sorin Grindeanu was named as the Prime Minister of Romania. Romania's President Klaus Iohannis signed the official decree naming Grindeanu as the new Prime Minister. 

  • S.P. Singh appointed as Chief Secretary of Telangana
    Senior IAS officer S.P. Singh has been appointed as the Chief Secretary of Telangana to succeed K. Pradeep Chandra, who retired on attaining the age of superannuation on 31st December, 2016. The former was Special Chief Secretary of Panchayat Raj a post that he will continue to hold as full additional charge till further orders and has 13 months of service left. 

  • Prof. David R. Syiemlieh appointed as UPSC Chairman
    President has appointed Prof. David R. Syiemlieh, Member, Union Public Service Commission, to perform the duties of the post of Chairman, Union Public Service Commission, with effect from the forenoon of January 4, 2017 till further orders. Earlier, David Reid Syiemlieh is a Professor at the Department of History in North East Hill University. 

  • Deepa Malik appointed as NDMC brand ambassador
    New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has appointed Rio Olympic medalist Deepa Malik and first female amputee to climb Mount Everest Arunima Sinha as brand ambassadors for its Swachh programme. The announcement was made by NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar at an event in New Delhi on 3rd January. 

    On the occasion Deepa Malik said, if a special-abled person like her can get acclaimed international fame by wining international awards, they can also achieve the target to make the city a clean area. 

  • UK’s ambassador to the European Union Ivan Rogers resigned
    The UK’s ambassador to the European Union, Sir Ivan Rogers, on 3rd January unexpectedly resigned from the post weeks before Brexit negotiations with the economic bloc. 

    The senior diplomat had been expected to lead the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the economic bloc but was recently in the eye of a storm following the leak of an internal memo in which he claimed leaving the EU could take up to a decade. 

  • Jagdish Singh Khehar appointed as CJI
    Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar was on 4th January sworn-in as the 44th Chief Justice of India. President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office and secrecy to Justice Khehar. He replaced Justice TS Thakur whose tenure ended on 3rd January. Justice Khehar's tenure will be till the 27th of August 2017. 

    Justice Khehar had led the five-judge constitution bench in the Supreme Court which struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act for appointment of judges. He had also headed a bench which set aside the imposition of President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh in January. Justice Khehar was also part of the bench which sent Sahara Chief Subrata Roy to jail. 

  • Jovenel Moise emerged as victorious in Haiti Presidential elections
    Haitian businessman Jovenel Moise has been officially declared winner of November's presidential election. An electoral tribunal confirmed, Mr. Moise, a 48-year-old banana exporter, was elected with 55.6 per cent of the vote, well ahead of his closest rival. 

    Officials dismissed allegations of fraud. But some protesters marched in the capital, Port-au-Prince. The president-elect, from the centre-right Haitian Tet Kale Party and backed by former President Michel Martelly, is expected to take office by 7 February. 

  • Trump appointed Raj shah to a key white house position
    US President-elect Donald Trump has appointed young Indian-American Raj Shah to a key White House position. Shah played a leading role in the Republican party's anti-Clinton campaign during polls. Shah, whose parents immigrated to the US from Gujarat, has been appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communication Director and Research Director. 

  • Veteran actor Ompuri passed away
    Veteran actor Om Puri has passed away, he was found dead on 6th January. The recipient of two National awards and two Filmfare Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award, Om Puri had an illustrious film career, spanning over four decades. 

    The Padma Shri awardee, studied at the Film and Television Institute of India and at the National School of Drama, where Naseeruddin Shah was his classmate. Born on October 18, 1950, hailing from Ambala in Haryana, Om Puri made his film debut in 1976 with the Marathi film 'Ghashiram Kotwal'. 

  • Historian Gangmumei Kamei passes away
    Historian Prof Gangmumei Kamei passed away on 5th January. Kamei was better known for his research work related to the history of northeast India. He was a member of the North Eastern Council (NEC). He wrote extensively on history, culture and contemporary issues of the north east region. 

    He was the president of the Northeast India History Association (NEIHA) at its Kohima session of 1986. He was the Coordinator of the Centre for Manipuri Studies and Tribal Research of Manipur University. He had published a large number of research papers and books. 

  • Trump appointed Dan Coats as National Intelligence officer
    US President-elect Donald Trump has named Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. The Indiana ex-senator formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr. Trump said, Mr. Coats would provide unwavering leadership and spearhead his administration's ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do them harm. Mr. Coats will need the Senate to confirm his appointment, replacing James Clapper.

  • Dinanath Bhargava passed away
    Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that sketched the national emblem 'Lion Capital of Ashoka' and decorated the pages of the Constitution's manuscript died. 

    Born on November 1, 1927 at Multai in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh, Bhargava was chosen by noted painter Nandlal Bose, then the Principal of Kala Bhavan Shanti Niketan, in the group for designing the pages of the Indian Constitution's manuscript. The national emblem of India was adapted by the Government of India on 26th January 1950. 

  • Sindhu is the most searched sports Person in 2016
    Search engine Google announced Indian ace badminton star PV Sindhu as the most searched sportsperson of the year in 2016. The Rio Olympic silver medal winning Indian shuttler PV Sindhu miffed big names like M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Sachin Tendulkar to hold the top position of the list. 

    Alongside Sindhu, India's first woman gymnast Dipa Karmakar who finished fourth in the women's vault category at the Rio Olympics 2016 and Sakshi Malik, also featured among the top 10 trending sportspersons in Google. PV Sindhu is the second on the overall list while newly elected US President Donald Trump topped the list. 

  • Sunny Leone declared as PETA Person of the year
    The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently declared that actor Sunny Leone is PETA’s Person of the Year. Leone will receive the award for her commitment for promoting the rescue of homeless dogs and cats, as well as her compassion for abused animals. Earlier in 2016, Leone featured in PETA’s ad campaign, which encouraged people to "be an angel" and adopt a homeless dog. 

  • People for Ethical Treatment of Animals is an American animal rights organization.
    It was founded in March 1980. It has more than 3 million members and supporters. It is the largest animal rights group in the world. Its slogan is "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way." 

  • Anil Baijal appointed as Lt. Governor of Delhi
    Anil Baijal was on 28th December appointed as the new Lt Governor of Delhi, a post which has fallen vacant after sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung. Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, had served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government besides holding key positions in other ministries. The President accepted the resignation of Jung and also ordered for appointment of Baijal, who will be the 21st Lt Governor of the national capital. 

    Baijal had retired from service in 2006 as Secretary, Urban Development Ministry. He is a former vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority. Baijal was actively associated with the designing and roll-out of Rs 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched by the Manmohan Singh government. 

  • V Acharya appointed as deputy governor of RBI
    The Centre has appointed US-based academic Viral V Acharya as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, for a three-year term. 

    Acharya, who is currently CV Starr Professor of Economics, Department of Finance, New York University – Stern School of Business, will join the RBI on January 20. He will look after the Monetary Policy and Research cluster, which was under Urjit Patel before his elevation as Governor. 

    As in-charge of monetary policy, he will become a part of the six-member interest-rate setting monetary policy committee. Currently, the monetary policy function is being looked after by R Gandhi, another Deputy Governor. The RBI now has three Deputy Governors: Gandhi, SS Mundra and NS Vishwanathan. 

    A BTech in Computer Science and Engineering (1991-1995) from IIT-Bombay and a PhD Finance (1996–2001), from the Stern School of Business, Acharya has written two research papers, ‘Sovereign Debt, Government Myopia and the Financial Sector’ and ‘The Internal Governance of Firms’, with ex-Governor Raghuram Rajan. 

  • Sunil Lamba to assume the charge of Chief of naval Staff Committee
    Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba will assume the charge of Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee with effect from 31st December. He received the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) baton from the outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. 

    Admiral Lanba assumed command of the Indian Navy on 31st of May 2016. He is a Navigation and Direction specialist and has served onboard numerous ships in both the Eastern and Western Fleets. During his versatile and distinguished career, he has commanded Frigates, Destroyers and was the Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier, Viraat. 

  • Shesh Pal Vaid appointed as DGP of Jammu & Kashmir
    The Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet has cleared the appointment of 1986 batch IPS officer Dr Shesh Pal Vaid, Special DG, Coordination and Law and Order, as new Director General of Police. He will succeed DGP K Rajendra, whose extended term of service ends on 31st December. 

    The Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, met in Jammu and approved the appointment. Mr Vaid will hold office till October, 2019. He is the second officer from Jammu to have risen to the post of Director General of Police after MM Khajuria who held the position in 1985. 

  • Archana Nigam appointed as Controller General of Accounts
    The Centre has appointed Archana Nigam as the next Controller General of Accounts in the Finance Ministry. Prior to this appointment, Nigam was involved in the critical task of setting up of the accounting framework for the GST regime.



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