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May 2017 Persons in News

  • Anshu Namsenpa: India’s Anshu Jamsenpa has become first woman to conquer Mount Everest twice within five days. Earlier, the Arunachal Pradesh mountaineer stood atop of world’s highest mountain on May 16. Jamsenpa set the world record becoming the first woman climber to make double ascent in five days time, Lama said, adding that she is also the first Indian woman to scale Mt Everest for the fifth time. 

  • Indian peace keepers: Two Indian peacekeepers will be among 117 military, police and civilian personnel to be honored with a prestigious UN medal awarded posthumously for their courage and sacrifice in the line of duty. 

    Rifleman Brijesh Thapa who served with the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Private Ravi Kumar who was deployed with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon will be honoured with the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers to be observed on 24th May. 

    India is the largest cumulative troop contributor, having provided almost 200,000 troops in nearly 50 of the 71 peacekeeping missions mandated over the past six decades, including 13 of the current 16 missions. So far, about 168 Indian troops have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty under the UN Flag. 

    India currently deploys more than 7,600 military and police personnel to UN peace operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, the Middle East, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara. Permanent Representatives to the UN will collect the medals on behalf of the fallen peacekeepers. 

  • Harsh Vardhan: Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on 22nd May took additional charge as Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Anil Madhav Dave, who had held the post earlier, passed away 

    Vardhan had been Health Minister for five months in 2014, before he was replaced by JP Nadda. 

    Additional Charge for Radha Mohan Singh: Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has gone to London for treatment of heart-related ailment and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has been given additional charge of the portfolio held by his colleague. 

    President Pranab Mukherjee has directed that Paswan shall be designated as a minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, a communique issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said. Mukherjee has given additional charge of Paswan's portfolio to the agriculture minister, it said. Officials said 70-year-old Paswan will be in London till June 14 for treatment of heart-related ailment. 

  • Anurag Tripathy: Senior bureaucrat Anurag Tripathy was appointed as the secretary of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Tripathy, a 1998 batch officer of Indian Railway personnel Service (IRPS), has been appointed to the post for a period of five years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. The CBSE is a national school education board. 

  • Lenin Moreno: He is elected as President of Ecuador in Ecuador Presidential Elections 2017. Earlier, he served as United Nations(UN)Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility. 

  • Rajan Anandan: Google's vice-president for South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan appointed as new chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). He replaces Kunal Shah FreeCharge's co-founder and chief executive officer. 

  • KPS Gill: Former Punjab Police chief, KPS Gill, who tackled militancy in the state, died of cardiac arrest. KPS Gill, known as a Supercop, had played a key role in ending the terrorism in Punjab. An IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre of the 1958 batch, during his two tenures as the Punjab DGP, Gill led from the front the fight against militancy. 

    In May 1988, he conducted the Operation Black Thunder-II with precision and transparency, without evoking public protest. Determined not to repeat the mistakes of June 1984,i nstead of sending the security forces in the Golden Temple complex, Gill laid a siege to the Golden Temple, positioned snipers on surrounding rooftops and literally starved out the militants by cutting away their electricity supply and refusing them even a drop of water from the Temple’s ‘sarovar’. 

    The operation culminated in the surrender by terrorists in the presence of media 10 days later on May 16, 1988. He was an author too. The Punjab Story and “Punjab, the Knights and Falsehood” were the popular books authored by him. 

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: The Member States of WHO elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of WHO. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017. 

    Prior to his election as WHO’s next Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012. He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board; and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. 

    As Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus led a comprehensive reform effort of the country's health system, including the expansion of the country’s health infrastructure, creating 3500 health centres and 16 000 health posts; expanded the health workforce by 38 000 health extension workers; and initiated financing mechanisms to expand health insurance coverage. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, he led the effort to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

    As Chair of the Global Fund and of RBM, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus secured record funding for the two organizations and created the Global Malaria Action Plan, which expanded RBM’s reach beyond Africa to Asia and Latin America. 

    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s Director-General since 1 January 2007.

  • Emmanuel Macron: President Emmanuel Macron has chosen centre-right mayor Edouard Philippe as France's new Prime Minister. 

  • Prashant Ranganathan: An Indian boy has won the world's largest pre-college science competition in the US in the environmental engineering category for his project on biodegradation of pesticides. Prashant Ranganathan, a 12th grader from Jamshedpur, alongwith over 20 high school students from various parts of India, participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. 

    He said, his project will actually help farmers in biodegrading the pesticide which is plaguing the country. Four Indian-Americans received top awards in various categories. 

  • Hassan Rouhani: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani handily won re-election in what amounts to a victory for the Shiite nation's reformist camp and a sign that citizens favor fruitful engagement with the outside world. 

    Rouhani, a moderate, was a key architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with the United States, the European Union and other partners, and his first term was marked by an emergent international outreach. The agreement has been controversial in both the United States and Iran, and it emerged as a top campaign issue, with the election seen in part as a referendum on the deal. 

    Under the nuclear deal, Iran would reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98% and significantly scale back its number of installed centrifuges. In exchange, the United States and the European Union would lift sanctions that have crippled the country's economy

  • PN Pradhan: Air Marshal PN Pradhan appointed as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) (Operations). He was closely associated with the induction and operationalisation of Embraer-135 and C-130 fleets in the Indian Air Force (IAF). 

  • Stanley Greene: Stanley Greene, an award-winning American photographer of conflict, disasters and humanitarian crises across the globe, died on 19th May. Greene was recognised in the World Press Photo awards, in 1994, 2001, 2004 and 2008. He had been ill for a long time.

  • Usha Anantha subrahmanyam: 
    Usha Ananthasubramanian has taken over as MD & CEO of Allahabad Bank from May 06, 2017. She succeeds Rakesh Sethi. Before joining Allahabad Bank, she was the MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank. 

  • Sushil Chandra: 
    Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra, whose current term was until June 1, has been given a one-year extension, a cabinet communique said on 8th May. Chandra, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of the 1980 batch, had taken over as CBDT Chairman on November 1, 2016. 

  • Indian Scientists: 
    Three Indian Scientists Krishna Chatterjee, Subhash Khot, Yadvinder Malhi elected as the Fellows of The Royal Society, a premier scientific academy of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, for their outstanding contributions to science. 

    The Royal Society is a self-governing fellowship society of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering. 

    Krishna Chatterjee from Cambridge University recognised for discoveries of genetic disorders of thyroid gland formation. 

    Subhash Khot from New York University is a theoretical computer scientist who is known for his definition of the “Unique Games” problem. 

    Yadvinder Malhi from Oxford University is an ecosystem ecologist who is recognised for his works on understanding the functioning of a terrestrial ecosystem. 

  • VK Saraswat: Eminent scientist and former Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO, V K Saraswat has been appointed as the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University. He succeeds former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan, who completed his term on 30th March. Mr Saraswat has been appointed for a term of five years. He is currently serving as the Member of NITI Aayog. 

  • Neil Chatterjee: US President Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American Neil Chatterjee to a key administration position in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Commission is charged with overseeing America's power grid and deciding on multi-billion dollar energy projects. 

    The While House said, Mr Chatterjee will be made a member of FERC for the term expiring 30th June, 2021. The Indian-American, however, needs to be confirmed by the Senate before he can be sworn-in. Mr Chatterjee has played an integral role in the passage of major energy, highway and farm legislation in the United States. 

  • Amitabh Bachchan: Big B Amitabh Bachchan, a Hepatitis B conqueror, was appointed as the WHO (World Health Organisation) Goodwill Ambassador for the Hepatitis awareness programme in southeast Asia region. Amitabh had earlier served as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the polio eradication campaign in India

    Ram Mohan Rao: Former Principal Information Officer of Press Information Bureau I Rammohan Rao passed away. An officer of the Indian Information Service, Mr Rao had the distinction of working with four Prime Ministers - Rajiv Gandhi, V.P.Singh, Chandrashekhar and Narasimha Rao. 

    He also served as the head of the News Services Division of the All India Radio. He also served with the United Nations Emergency Force in the Gaza Strip and edited the "Sand Dune", the Weekly Magazine of the Force.

  • Bihari Kumar: The HRD Ministry appointed Braj Bihari Kumar as the new chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). He has been appointed for a term of three years. Kumar replaces S.K Thorat. Braj Bihari Kumar is an editor of quarterly journals Dialogue and Chintan Srijan. 

  • Leila Seth: Eminent jurist and the first woman chief justice of a state high court in the country Justice (retd) Leila Seth passed away. Justice Leila Seth was an eminent jurist and made immense contribution to the development of jurisprudence. 

    Justice Seth, who broke many a glass ceiling in the legal field, was the first woman to have topped the London Bar exam, first woman judge of the Delhi High Court and also the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court. 

    She was also one of the three members of the Justice Verma Committee which was constituted in 2012 to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women, post the gruesome December 16 gangrape in Delhi. 

    She was also part of the Law Commission of India till 2000, and was responsible for the amendments to the Hindu Succession Act which gave equal rights to daughters in joint family property. Justice Seth was the mother of eminent author Vikram Seth.
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