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October 2017 Persons in News

  • Robert Mugabe: 
    The head of the World Health Organisation on 22nd October reversed his decision to name Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador, following widespread uproar. 

    Tedros had announced the appointment earlier this week during a speech in Uruguay, where he praised Zimbabwe as "a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the centre of its policies to provide health care to all".

    But activists, public health experts and key WHO donors like Britain, Canada and the United States swiftly denounced any prospective role for Mugabe, saying Zimbabwe's healthcare system has collapsed under his 37 years of authoritarian rule. 

  • Dineshwar Sharma: The Centre has appointed former Director of Intelligence Bureau, IB, Dineshwar Sharma as its representative to hold dialogue on Kashmir issue. Announcing the decision of the government in New Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told that government wants to initiate a sustained dialogue to find a solution to the Kashmir issue. 

    Mr Sharma, a 1979-batch (retired) officer of the Indian Police Service, served as the IB director between December, 2014 and 2016. 

  • Xi Jinping: China's ruling Communist Party on 24th October endorsed to amended its Constitution to add President Xi Jinping's name and ideology, elevating him on par with party founder Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping. 

    Xi's concept of "socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era" was added to the party's Constitution at the end of the Communist Party's week-long once-in-a-five-year Congress. 

    According to a resolution of the 19th CPC National Congress, the amendment to the CPC's Constitution was approved making 64-year-old Xi's ideology as a new component of the party's guide for action. 

    The inclusion of Xi's name along with his ideology has elevated him to the same political league as Mao and Deng. Mao and Deng are the only other Chinese leaders whose names and thoughts are included in the party Constitution. 

  • Girija Devi: Eminent classical singer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Girija Devi passed away on 24th October. She was known as the “thumri queen” for popularising the genre of semi-classical Indian music. Girija Devi was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2016. Earlier, she was conferred the Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan in 1989.

  • Ranjit Kumar: Solicitor General of India Ranjit Kumar resigned. He was appointed solicitor general in June 2014 after the Modi government came to power. His second term as solicitor general was renewed recently. 

  • Anupam Kher: Veteran actor Anupam Kher has been appointed as the new chairman of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He will replace Gajendra Chauhan. 

    Mr Kher who has appeared in over 500 films is a recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts. The veteran star has won many national and international awards including the ‘Filmfare Award five times. 

    Earlier he served as the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and was the Director of National School of Drama.He is also an alumnus of NSD. 

  • Nisha Desai: Nisha Desai Biswal, former Indian-American assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia has been appointed as the new president of US India Business Council (USIBC). 

    Biswal was the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, in which capacity she spearheaded the India and South Asia policy of the previous Obama Administration. 

    As Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs in the US Department of State from 2013 to 2017, Biswal oversaw the US-India strategic partnership during a period of unprecedented cooperation, including launching the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. 

    In recognition of her efforts, Biswal was awarded the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the President in January 2017. She previously served as Assistant Administrator for Asia at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). 

  • Satish Chandra: Veteran historian of medieval India and noted educational administrator Satish Chandra passed away on 13th October. Prof. Chandra was the author of the NCERT’s medieval India textbook that was in circulation from some time in the 1970s till the early 2000s and was considered the most comprehensive textbook of the era, loaded with information. He was Chairman of the University Grants Commission from 1976 to 1981, and Vice-Chairman of the body from 1973 to 1976. 

  • Audrey Azoulay: Audrey Azoulay has been elected to become the next chief of UNESCO - the UN's education, science and culture agency. 

    Azoulay, a former French culture minister, defeated Qatar's Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari in the final 30-28 vote after she won a runoff with a third finalist from Egypt earlier on 13th October. 

    If confirmed by UNESCO's 195 member-general assembly next month, Azoulay will succeed outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria. 

    Azoulay was born in Paris to a Moroccan Jewish family from Essaouira, and is the daughter of Andre Azoulay, an adviser to king Mohammed VI of Morocco. 

  • Rajnish Kumar: Managing Director of State Bank of India (SBI), Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as the next chairman of the largest public sector bank. He will succeed Arundhati Bhattacharya, who is at present serving her one-year extension. Her term will end on 4th October. Mr. Kumar's appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for a period of three years. 

  • Soumya Swaminathan: The World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Soumya Swaminathan one of the two Deputy Directors General. This is the first time such a post has been ever created within the organization. The position is also the highest post held by an Indian in the WHO. She is currently the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 

  • Mukesh Ambani: Forbes Magazine released its India Rich List for 2017 with Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani topping the charts for the 10th consecutive year with a net worth of $38 billion. Mr. Ambani is followed by tech czar Azim Premji who jumped two places with the net worth of $19 billion. 

    According to Forbes, the combined net worth of the 100 richest Indians stood at $479 billion, a jump of 26% from $374 billion in 2016. Acharya Balkrishna, CEO of Patanjali Ayurved, figures at No. 19 with a net worth of $6.55 billion.


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