Czech tennis player Jana Novotna, a Wimbledon champion in 1998 and 16-time Grand Slam winner in doubles and mixed doubles died at the age of 49 after a long battle with cancer.
Novotna entered the tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
Novotna was a three-time Olympic medalist and a member of Czechoslovakia's 1988 Fed Cup championship team.
Eminent Hindi poet and Jnanpith awardee Kunwar Narayan passed away in New Delhi.
He was 90.
He was Born on 9 September 1927 in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad, Kunwar Narayan was known for his poetry, stories, and critiques.
His first poetry collection was "Chakravyuh".
Veteran director Kundan Shah, best known for the dark comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, passed away at the age of 69.
He was one of the 24 directors who returned their National Awards in 2015 in support of protesting FTII students and against the growing environment of intolerance in the country.
Veteran film, television and theatre actor and Padma Shri Tom Alter died at aged 67.
Alter acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s.
In addition to acting, Alter also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the 80s and 90s.
Alter has written three books, one non-fiction, and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.
French businesswoman and heiress of cosmetics giant L'Oreal Liliane Bettencourt, 94, has died.
In March 2017, Forbes ranked Bettencourt the world's richest woman, putting her net worth at $39.5 billion.
India’s most celebrated soldier, Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh (98 years old) passed away.
During 1965 war with Pakistan, Arjan Singh became the chief of IAF when he was just 44.
During World War II, Singh flew close support missions during the Imphal Campaign and also was part of the team that assisted the advance of allied forces into Rangoon.
The fighter aircraft base at Panagarh in West Bengal was named in his honour on his birthday (April 15) last year.
India's two-time Olympic footballer and East Bengal legend Ahmed Khan passed away at the age of 90.
He played in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, was one of the most famous of the legendary quintet of forwards called the "Five Pandavas" who played for East Bengal in an India that had just become an independent nation.
Former Manipur Chief Minister and a member of the first Lok Sabha Rishang Keishing passed away following a brief illness.
He served as the Chief Minister of Manipur from 1980 to 1988 and from 1994 to 1997.
The veteran Congress leader was 96.
He had also represented Manipur in Rajya Sabha.
Dr. Ruth Pfau (aged 87), a German doctor popularly known as Pakistan’s ‘Mother Teresa’ for dedicating her life to eradicate leprosy in Pakistan, died in Karachi.
She was born in 1929 in Germany.
She was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz - Pakistan’s second highest civilian award in 1979, the Hilal-e-Pakistan in 1989 and the Staufer Medal at the German consulate Karachi in 2015.
World's oldest man, Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal (aged 113) who was recognised by Guinness World Records last year (on March 11, 2016) as the world's oldest living man, died in Israel.
Mr Kristal was born in Poland on September 15, 1903 and later moved to Israel in 1950.
Globally renowned physicist, academic and higher education reformer Professor Yash Pal passed away in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
He was known for his contributions to the study of cosmic rays, as well as for being an institution-builder.
Yash Pal was born in 1926 in Jhang in then British India (now in Pakistan). He had graduated with a master’s degree in physics from Panjab University in 1949 and earned PhD degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958.
He was awarded the Padma Bhusan (1976), Padma Vibhushan (2013). He also has received the Kalinga Prize (2009,), awarded by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the Popularisation of science.
Internationally-renowned space scientist and former chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru.
Prof Rao is credited with having played an instrumental role in building up Indian satellite programmes right from nation’s first satellite Aryabhatta.
He served as Chairman of ISRO from 1984 to 1994.
He has published more than 350 scientific and technical papers in various journals covering topics like cosmic rays, high energy astronomy, interplanetary physics, space applications and satellite and rocket technology and also authored many books.
Nar Bahadur Bhandari, one of the longest-serving chief ministers of Sikkim died recently.
He became the Chief Minister of Sikkim for the first time in 1979 on a Janata Parishad ticket and then again in 1984 and 1989 on a Sikkim Sangram Parishad ticket.
Former Indian Ambassador to the United States of America Naresh Chandra (82) died at Manipal hospital at Dona Paula near Panaji.
He served as the Cabinet Secretary from 1990-92 and was the Indian Ambassador to the US from 1996 to 2001.
He was conferred with Padma Vibhushan in 2007.
Former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, died at his house in Ludwigshafen, in the Western State of Germany.
He was centre-right Christian Democrats, was the longest-serving German chancellor of the 20th Century.
Former Chief Justice of India Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati who is considered as a pioneer of Judicial Activism has passed away.
He was a former chief justice of the Gujarat High Court and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in July 1973.
He served as the 17th Chief Justice of India from July 1985 to December 1986.
Telugu poet and writer Cingireddi Narayana Reddy passed away.
He is Jnanpith awardee and also the country’s third-highest civilian honor, Padma Vibhushan.
He also served as Vice-Chancellor of Telugu University and held important academic and administrative positions in the state.
Constantine Mitsotakis, a former Prime Minister of Greece died.
In liberal Governments, He served in several Cabinet posts, including finance minister of Greece.
The Present Prime Minister of Greece is Alexis Tsipras.
Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave has passed away.
He was 60. He was born in Barnagar in Madhya Pradesh.
Last year, he was sworn in as a minister with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change.
Veteran actor and politician Vinod Khanna has expired at the age of 70.
His famous films are Mere Apne, Insaaf and Amar, Akbar, Anthony. He was last seen in 2015 in Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale.
In 1999, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
He served as the Union minister for culture and tourism in 2002 . Later, he also became a minister of state in the Ministry of External Affair.
Senior National Conference (NC) leader and former speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Ali Mohammad Naik, passed away.
He was 87. Naik, a resident of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, was suffering from chest disease .
He had served as general secretary of Plebiscite Front under NC founder and former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. The Plebiscite Front advocated holding of a referendum in the state for deciding its future.
Britain's Olympic high jump silver medallist Germaine Mason died after a motorcyle crash in Jamaica
Mason was born in Jamaica but represented Britain in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing.
He won a silver medal in the high jump, with a personal best of 2.34 meters.
Padma Vibhushan recipient classical singer Kishori Amonkar passed away at the age of 84 at her house in Mumbai.
In her career spanning seven decades, she was revered as ‘Gaan-Saraswati’.
The singer has been awarded the Padma Bhushan (1987) and the Padma Vibhushan (2002) for an exemplary career. She was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1985 and the SNA Fellowship for 2009. In 1991, she was awarded the prestigious Dr TMA Pai Outstanding Konkani Award.
Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco-based activist and artist best known for creating the rainbow flag representing gay rights, has died at the age of 65.
Gilbert Baker came up with the eight-coloured banner for San Francisco’s 1978 gay freedom day, which later became the Pride festival.
Mr Baker's original flag had eight colours, each representing a different aspect of humanity:
1) Pink - sexuality
2) Red - life
3) Orange - healing
4) Yellow- sunlight
5) Green - nature
6) Turquoise - art
7) Indigo - harmony
8) Violet - human spirit
It would later be reduced to six stripes, removing pink and indigo, and swapping blue for turquoise.
In 2015, New York's Museum of Modern Art acquired the flag for its design collection, calling it a "powerful design milestone".
Veteran Indian-origin South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, who was one of Nelson Mandela's closest aides, died at a hospital in Johannesburg, at the age of 87.
Kathrada was among those tried and jailed alongside Mandela in the Rivonia trial in 1964, which drew worldwide attention and highlighted the brutal legal system under the apartheid regime.
Kathrada spent 26 years and three months in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island.
After the end of apartheid, he served from 1994 to 1999 as parliamentary counsellor to President Mandela in the first African National Congress (ANC) government.
Apartheid:- Apartheid was a legalised system of discrimination against non-white people introduced in South Africa in 1948.
Eminent jurist and senior advocate T. R. Andhyarujina passed away in Mumbai.
Andhyarujina, 84, also served as Solicitor General during 1996-98. Prior to that he was the Advocate General of Maharashtra from 1993 to 1995. He specialized in the field of constitutional law, human rights, public law and commercial law. He was the chairman of the committee on Banking Laws appointed by Govt of India in 1998.
He was part of the team of constitutional law expert H M Seervai in his initial days as a lawyer and witnessed from close-quarters the history-defining hearings in the The Kesavananda Bharati Case.
Former Punjab minister and senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Gurdev Singh Badal passed away after prolonged illness.
He breathed his last at the DMC Hero Heart Institute at Ludhiana.
Gurdev had represented Panjgrain and Jaito assembly seats in the past.
Noted Tamil litterateur Thiagarajan, popularly known as Ashokamitran, passed away on 23 March 2017 following a brief illness in Chennai. He was 85.
A well known novelist and essayist, Ashokamitran was noted for his subtlety and refreshing creativity in expression.
Ashokamitran : Born in Secunderabad in 1931, Ashokamitran moved to Chennai in 1952.
He worked in the Tamil film production house Gemini Studios for close to a decade before taking up full time writing in 1966.Ashokamitran began his career with the award-winning play Anbin Parisu.
He quickly became one of the most influential figures in Tamil literature and published over 200 short stories and around two dozen novels. Manasarovar, Thanneer and 18-vadhu Atcha Kodu are some of his famed works.
He also edited the literary magazine Kanaiyazhi for a period of time.
Many of his works have been translated into a number of languages such as English, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and some European languages.Besides many Tamil Nadu state awards, Ashokamitran also won the Sahitya Akademi Prize in 1996 for his collection of short stories Appavin Snegidar.
Renowned Meteorologist and former director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (Pune) Dev Raj Sikka passed away. He was 85. He is famously known as Monsoon Man and the Father of Indian Meteorology. He was first proposed a link between the El Nino phenomenon and the Indian monsoon in 1982, but that time less importance was given to it.
Dev Raj Sikka He was born on March 1, 1932 in Jhang, Maghiana in Pre-partition India (now in Panjab, Pakistan) and later migrated to India after the partition. He had completed his Masters in Science (MSc) in Physical Chemistry from Agra University and joined Indian Meteorological Department (IMP) in 1954.
He joined Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune in 1964 and retired from the same as the director of the institute. He is credited with being among the pioneers of developing weather models and computer-modelling techniques to forecast the monsoon. He had actively participated in research and development of Monsoon Dynamics, , Prediction of Weather and Climatology, Tropical Meteorology, Atmospheric Chemistry and Air-Sea interaction.
He had served as Chairman of the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ Monsoon Mission, a programme to improve monsoon-related forecasts. He also had served as chairman of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) committee on Climate Change and also of Research and Advisory Council of National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast. Awards and Honours: IMD’s Lifetime time achievement award and Sir Gilbert Walker Gold Medal (2010).
El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) : It is complex climatic and weather phenomenon observed due see-sawing of temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. It is among the most significant factors that meteorologists scan to forecast the performance of the Indian monsoon. 6 out of 10 El Nino-years have been associated with below-normal rainfall over India.
Malayalam film director Diphan also known as Deepan passed away on 13 March 2017 following liver cirrhosis and kidney failure in a private hospital at Kochi. He was 47. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Diphan is known for his films namely Puthiya Mukham, Hero and SIM.
Diphan : A native of Thiruvananthapuram, Diphan was the son of dubbing artist Anandavally. Diphan worked as an assistant director for several years in the Malayalam film industry before venturing out on his own.
Diphan, in his brief career, directed six films after turning an independent director in 2003 when he directed the political thriller The King Maker: Leader.
After a gap of six years in 2009, he returned with Puthiya Mukham movie starring Prithviraj.
In a career spanning about 14 years as a director, he helmed seven films including Hero, SIM and D Company.
His last directorial venture was Dolphin Bar in 2014 which featured actor and BJP Rajya Sabha member Suresh Gopi.
His upcoming movie Sathya, which has Jayaram in the lead, was in the post production stage.
Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan passed away on 8 March 2017 of cardiac arrest. He was 49.
Arvind worked as an Executive Editor at IANS.
Arvind Padmanabhan : Arvind Padmanabhan was born in 1967 at Tirunelveli, Tamul Nadu.
His father was G. Padmanabhan, who worked for many years with the Press Institute of India and the Indian & Eastern Newspapers Society (IENS, now INS).
Arvind was widely admired in the journalistic community for the thoroughness he displayed in reporting, writing and editing.
Before joining the IANS, he worked with the PTI, The Times of India and TV18.
He joined the India Abroad Newspaper as in-charge of its Business Section in 1999.
With the news agency, he first assumed charge of the Business Bureau of the wire service and subsequently became the Business Editor of IANS and then the Bureau Chief.
Soon, he was elevated as the Executive Editor. He headed the business and economy team.
IANS : Indo-Asian News Service is a private Indian news agency.
It was founded by Indian-American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service.
Later, the agency was renamed as the Indo-Asian News Service.
Famed Bengali singer Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee passed away in a car accident on 7 March 2017 in Hooghly district's Gurap town. He was 56. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.He was on his way to a show in Birbhum, when his car was hit by a truck. Following the smash, his car fell into a ditch on Durgapur expressway at Gurap, Hooghly. Four other singers of Kalika Prasad's band Dohar were also in the car. However, driver and other three people were injured.
Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee : He was best known for popularising folk songs of rural Bengal among the present generation in the albums of his band 'Dohar'.
In 1999, he co-founded the band Dohar and was the lead singer of this Bangla band.• He had also lent his voice in films like Jaatishwar (2014), Moner Manush (2010) and Bhuban Majhi (2017).
He studied Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University.
He was born and raised in Silchar, Assam.
Dr Thomas E Starzl, a surgeon who performed the first successful liver transplant on a human patient, passed away on 4 March 2017 in Pittsburgh. He was 90.
Dr Starzl’s death was announced by the University of Pittsburgh. He had been affiliated with the university since 1981.
Thomas E Starzl : Born on 11 March 1926, Thomas Earl Starzl was an American physician and researcher. He was an expert on organ transplants.He is often referred to as "the father of modern transplantation."
He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
In 1950, he earned a Master of Science degree in anatomy from the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.In 1952, he obtained a PhD in neurophysiology and an MD with distinction.
After obtaining his medical degree, he trained in surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
He performed the first human liver transplant in 1963. He performed the first successful human liver transplant in 1967. He performed both the transplants at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
He performed the first simultaneous heart and liver transplant on six-year-old Stormie Jones in 1984.
Former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and Member of Parliament (MP) Syed Shahabuddin passed away on 4 March 2017 following a prolonged illness at a hospital in Delhi NCR. He was 82.
Syed was well known for his concern in the Shah Bano Case and antagonism to the Demolition of Babri Masjid.
Syed Shahabuddin : Shahabuddin was the former President of All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat, an umbrella organization of Indian Muslim outfits.
Born in Ranchi, Jharkhand, Shahabuddin began working as a diplomat for the Indian Foreign Services.
He later became a politician and served three terms from 1979-1996 as a Member of Parliament of India.
He edited and published a monthly journal Muslim India, a journal of research and documentation that no research scholar working on Indian Muslims can afford to ignore. It was launched in the year 1983.
It was him who in the 1980s assembled Muslim MPs from all the parties and met the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to highlight the problems being faced by Muslims in India.
He was also very eloquent on Babri Masjid issue. He created awareness about the issue among the public.
Popular Gujarati writer and noted play writer Tarak Mehta passed away on 1 March 2017 at his Ahmedabad residence. Mehta passed away at 87.
Tarak Mehta suffered from age related illness for a long time.
Tarak Mehta : Tarak Mehta was an Indian columnist, humorist, writer and playwright.
He was best known for his column “Duniya Ne Undha Chasma” in Mumbai-based Gujarati news weekly “Chitralekha”. His weekly column first featured in Chitralekha news weekly in March 1971.
He wrote around 80 books on various pressing issues.
Three books are based on the columns he wrote in Gujarati newspaper Divya Bhaskar. The remaining books were compiled from the stories in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah.
The popular comic television serial ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah' is a television adaptation of Taarak Mehta's column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chasma'.
He had translated and adapted several comedies into Gujarati. Tarak Mehta had also served in Films Division-Mumbai as a script writer.Gujarat Sahitya Akademi awarded him Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar in 2011 and Ramanlal Nilkanth Hasya Paritoshik in 2017.
For his contribution to the literature, he was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award in 2015. Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian honour of the Union Government.
Former Union Minister P. Shiv Shankar passed away on 27 February 2017 after a prolonged illness. He was 87.
In his political career spanning over three decades, P. Shiv Shankar served as External Affairs and Human Resource Development Minister.
P. Shiv Shankar : Born on 10 August 1929, P. Shiv Shankar obtained his bachelor’s degree from Hindu College, Amritsar. He earned a degree in LL.B. Law College, Osmania University, Hyderabad.
In 1979, he was elected to 6th Lok Sabha from Secunderabad. He was elected again from the same constituency in 1980. In 1980, he was made Union Minister of Law and Justice.
In 1985, he was elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. He remained in Rajya Sabha till 1993 for two terms. He was made Union Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Human Resource Development during these terms.
From 1987 to 1988, he served as the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission.From 1988 to 1989, he became Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha.
He served as the Governor of Sikkim from 21 September 1994 to 11 November 1995.
He also served as the Governor of Kerala from 1995 to 1996.
Altamas Kabir, former Chief Justice of India (CJI), passed away on 19 February 2017 after prolonged illness in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was 68.
Kabir served as the 39th Chief Justice of India from September 2012 to July 2013.
Altamas Kabir : Altamas Kabir was born in Calcutta in 1948.He graduated in history from Presidency College.
Later, he affiliated with the University of Calcutta to study law.
He was admitted to the bar in 1973 and practiced civil and criminal law in Kolkata at the district court and the Calcutta High Court, Kolkata.
On 6 August 1990, he was made a permanent judge of Calcutta High Court.
He assumed the office of acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on 11 January 2005. On 14 January 2010, he was appointed as Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority. Under his chairmanship, a national plan of action was taken up to be executed by all State Legal Services Authorities. Also, providing legal services to Transgender people was taken up as a new project of NALSA.
On 3 January 2005, he became the Acting Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court. The elevation was made permanent on 1 March 2005.
On 9 September 2005, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of India as Justice.
On 29 September 2012, he became the 39th Chief Justice of India.
Al Jarreau, Grammy-winning pop and jazz musician passed away on 12 February 2017. He was 76.
The notification of his death was given by his manager Joe Gordon who said that the late artist had been hospitalised for exhaustion two weeks ago and it was on the advice of the doctors that Jarreau had cancelled his latest tour dates.
Al Jarreau : He was born into a musical household in Milwaukee on 12 March 1940. His mother was a piano teacher and father, a minister and singer.
He completed his masters in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Iowa and then moved to San Francisco in late 1960s.
He did not begin a full-time musical career until he was nearly 30. His first major music gig was when he was selected by Warner Bros. Records to sing in the 13th episode of NBC's new Saturday Night Live on the occasion of Valentine’s Day in 1976.
In the same year, he released his debut album ‘We Got By’ that got him international recognition. He also won the Echo award for the album (the German equivalent of the Grammy's).
He won his first Grammy award- Best Jazz Vocal Performance in 1978 for his album, ‘Look to the Rainbow’.
His other major hits include ‘We’re in This Love Together’, ‘Breakin' Away’ and the theme song of a popular TV show, ‘Moonlighting’.
He was also one of the musicians in the all-star lineup who sang ‘We Are the World’, in 1985. The song helped raise money for famine relief in Africa.Jarreau earned the nickname ‘Acrobat of Scat’ due to his innovative vocal styling.
Overall, He has released more than 20 albums and won a total of seven Grammy Awards.He remained a performer right until the end, as he retired from touring only a week before his death.
Jarreau in his last public statement, which was released through his twitter profile, stated that he was thankful for his 50 years of travelling the world through music and for everyone to share this with him including his loyal audience, dedicated musicians and all others who supported him throughout his journey.
He is survived by his wife, Susan and son Ryan.
Renowned physicist and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passed away on 8 February 2017 in London, England. He was 83.
Mansfield, along with Paul Lauterbur, had won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Sir Peter Mansfield : Sir Peter Mansfield was an English physicist. He also served as a professor at the University of Nottingham. Born on 9 October 1933 in London, he developed an interest in rocketry at the age of 18.
He took up a job with the Rocket Propulsion Department of the Ministry of Supply in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. Eighteen months later, he was called up for National Service.In 1959, he earned a BSc from Queen Mary's.
In 1962, he received a PhD. His thesis was titled Proton magnetic resonance relaxation in solids by transient methods.
In 1968, he was appointed Senior Lecturer at Nottingham University. In 1970, he was appointed as a Reader. During this period, his team developed the MRI equipment with the help of grants from the Medical Research Council. In 1990, he was appointed Professor of the Department of Physics until his retirement in 1994.
He is credited with showing how the radio signals from MRI can be mathematically analysed, making interpretation of the signals into a useful image a possibility.
He is also credited with discovering how fast imaging could be possible by developing the MRI protocol called echo-planar imaging.
Racharla Samrajyam, a veteran freedom fighter, passed away on 6 February 2017 following age-related illness at Vishakhapatnam. She was 98. She is survived by her only son Saranga Rao.
She was inspired by the Quit India Movement at the time when she was undergoing Hindi Pracharak training at Anantapur in 1942. It was at this point of time, she had quit the training programme and joined the Quit India Movement.
Racharla Samrajyam : Samrajyam was born in April 1919 to Goparaju Venkata Subba Rao and Rajyalakshmi at Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. She was the younger sister of social reformer Gora.
While leading the protests during the Quit India Movement, she was arrested at Bezawada (now known as Vijayawada) and was sent to the Raya Vellore Jail for six months in 1944.
Motivated by G Durga Bai, she underwent training in rural development activities in 1945 in Kasturi Ba Smaraka Trust at Seva Gram under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
She worked in various capacities at the Kasturi Ba Gandhi Rashtriya Smaraka Trust’s Regional Office at Seethanagaram in East Godavari district, where she served the trust for 34 years, beginning from June 1946.
She received the ‘Tarmra Patra’ from the Union Government in the year 1972.
Former CBI Director Joginder Singh passed away on 3 February 2017 following a prolonged illness in Delhi. He was 77.He was the one who oversaw investigation of several high-profile cases including Bofors scam and Bihar's fodder scam.
Joginder Singh : He was an IPS officer of Karnataka cadre of 1961 batch.
He was appointed as the Director of CBI during the tenure of H D Deve Gowda as the Prime Minister of India.
He took charge of CBI in July 1996 when the agency was probing a large number of cases including Bofors, fodder scam, securities scam, Rs 133 crore urea scam, telecom deals by the then Union minister Sukh Ram, etc.
Before joining the CBI, he served on various posts including Superintendent of Police in Bihar, Inspector General in Karnataka, Director General in Narcotics Control Bureau, Director General in Indo-Tibetan Border Police among other postings.
He led a number of delegations to the UK, USA, Germany and France on behalf of the Indian Government.He was also a prolific writer and had penned over 25 books including 'Make a Way Where There is None', ‘50 Days to Top’ and ‘Inside CBI’ among others.
He also served as Inspector General in the CRPF.
Renowned Urdu novelist and short story writer Bano Qudsia passed away on 4 February 2017 in Lahore, Pakistan. She was 88.
Qudsia was the widow of admirable Urdu novelist Ashfaq Ahmed.
Bano Qudsia : Born on 28 November 1928 in Firozpur, India, Bano Qudsia was a Pakistani novelist, playwright and spiritualist. She migrated to Lahore with her family after partition.She graduated from the Kinnaird College in Lahore.
Later, she joined Lahore’s Government College University to do her Master’s in Urdu Literature.She penned several Urdu novels, dramas and short stories.
She is best known for her novel Raja Gidh (The King Buzzard), which is considered a modern Urdu classic.
The author also wrote for television and stage in both Urdu and Punjabi languages.Her play Aadhi Baat has been called a classic.
Her other prominent writings are Aatish-i-zer-i-paa, Amer Bail, Asay Pasay, Aik Din, Seharay and Khaleej, Chahar Chaman, Chhotaa Sheher Baray Log, Hasil Ghaat, Hawa Kay Naam, Tamasil and Footpath ki Ghaas.Her latest novel Haasil Ghath was published in 2005.
She was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan in 2003.
Eminent theatre personality, artist, painter and writer Asim Basu passed away on 1 February 2017 following a prolonged illness at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He was 82. He is survived by his son and two daughters.
Basu was closely associated with the art and culture of Odisha for over five decades.
Asim Basu : Born in a small village in north Balasore, Basu was famous for his beautiful and graphic stage craft direction.
Basu left his home at an very early age to learn paintings from Kolkata as his family members were against his painting career.
He started as a book cover designer when the Odia literary world was immensely active. His art-direction in films like Agni Sanketa (Odia) and Shodh (Hindi) was really commendable.
He had performed in films like Jaga Balia, Dadagiri and many others.
Besides, giving stage craft and art direction in more than 500 plays and films, Basu also directed over 200 plays.
Widely known for his impeccable set design work in Odia movies and designing Odia book covers and movie posters, Basu was awarded with Parampara Samman in 2012.
He had received the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998. Basu was chosen for Dharmapada Award for the year 2010, which he never received.
Veteran journalist Devdutt passed away. He was 88. He was Gandhian since his early days and was present at Birla House in the lawn when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948.
He was seasoned political commentator, who had brought out a journal of political opinion called Point of View.
E Ahamed, former Union Minister passed away in the early hours of 1 February 2017 after suffering from a heart attack. He was 78.
The veteran leader had collapsed yesterday during President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the joint sitting of the Parliament, following which he was rushed to Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital and was placed on artificial life support. He breathed his last at 2.15 am.
His body has been taken to his residence at 9 Trimurti Marg and in the afternoon, his remains will be flown to his hometown in Kannur, Kerala.
E Ahamed : He was born on 29 April 1938.He had graduated from Brennen College in Tellicherry in Kerala and had a law degree from the Government Law College in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
He had served as the Minister of State for External Affairs under the Manmohan Singh government during the period 2004-14. He represented the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency of Kerala.
He was also the National President of the Indian Union Muslim League.During his tenure in the Parliament, he had been associated with several parliamentary committees including External Affairs, Railways, Public Undertakings, Tourism, Science and Technology, Civil Aviation and Environment and Forests.He had also served as the Chairman of the Government Assurance Committee.
He had also represented India in the United Nations almost 10 times between 1991 and 2014.He had also written four books in Malayalam and English.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep condolences towards the late minister and stated that Ahamed had played a significant role in Kerala’s progress, in the empowerment of the Muslim community and in the deepening of ties between India and West Asia.
Alexander Kadakin, Russian ambassador to India, passed away on 26 January 2017 following a brief illness. He was 67.
Kadakin was one of the longest serving envoys as he had spent a significant part of his life working to promote Russia's ties with India.
Alexander Kadakin : He held the position of Russian ambassador to India in New Delhi from November 2009, this was his second stint as ambassador to India.
He was also in India as Deputy Chief of Mission when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 and at that time he became the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India in 1999, an assignment he held for 12 years over two postings.
He began his diplomatic career in 1971 as a Third Secretary at the Russian Embassy in India and since then, he had been closely associated with promoting Russian-Indian relations.
He first came to India just ahead of the signing of the Indo-Soviet Friendship and Cooperation Treaty.
Kadakin also stood out among the diplomatic community for his fondness for Indian culture and language.
Apart from his diplomatic career, he also authored and translated several books from English and Hindi. He published over 50 articles in scientific journals and press in Russia and India.
Renowned Urdu poet Jaswant Rai Sharma, known to the world by his pen name Naqsh Lyallpuri, passed away on 22 January 2017 following a prolonged illness. He was 89.
Naqsh Lyallpuri : Born in Llallpur in Pakistan as Jaswant Rai, Lyallpuri came to Mumbai in the late 1940s to make a career in Hindi cinema.
He got his first break in 1952 in the film Jaggu with the song Agar Teri Aakhon Se Aakhein Mila Doon, while he got the real success in the 1970s.
Over the years, he collaborated with some top film directors, music directors and singers and penned various soft melodies, romantic numbers and emotional songs.
He wrote the lyrics in films like Chetna, Aahista Aahista, Tumhare Liye and Gharonda among others.
Some of his famous songs include- Main to har modh par, Na Jane kya hua, jo tune chhu liya, Do deewane shaher mein and Ulfat me zamane ki har rasm ko thukroa.
Lyallpuri retired from Bollywood in the late 1990s and began penning songs for television.
However, he made a brief comeback in 2005-06 penning songs for the films Taj Mahal with Naushad and Yatra with Khayyam.
Professor CV Vishveshwara who did pioneering work on black holes, passed away on 16 January 2017 in Bengaluru following a brief illness. He was 77. He is survived by wife and two daughters.
Popularly called Vishu, he was celebrated as the 'Black Hole Man of India'.
CV Vishveshwara : In the 1970s at the University of Maryland, he was among the first to study black holes even before they were named.
His calculations gave a graphic form to the signals emitted by two merging black holes. This was the waveform detected in 2015 by the LIGO collaboration.
This waveform also contained the quasi normal modes, a ringdown stage that sounds like a fading out ringing bell.
In February 2016, he was invited to the synchronised announcement of the first discovery of gravitational waves at IUCAA.
Vishveshwara also drew cartoons, many of which were published in physics conference proceedings. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, a German magazine, had published many of his cartoons depicting Einstein.He was also the founding director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru. He had written several books including Einstein’s Enigma and Black Holes in My Bubble Bath.
Astronaut Eugene Cernan, who was the last man to set foot on the Moon, passed away on 16 January 2017. He was 82.
Currently, there are only six people who have walked on the moon- Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Charles Duke, Harrison Schmitt, John Young and David Scott.
Eugene Cernan : Cernan began his career as a Naval Aviator flying FJ-4 Fury and A-4 Skyhawk jets.
His time at NASA started with the Gemini program, the precursor to Apollo. Gemini was geared toward working out how humans could survive in space.
Cernan was originally a backup pilot for Gemini 9, but the primary crew was tragically lost in a plane crash just four months before the launch.
Gemini missions successfully completed 47 orbits of the Earth and included a 2-hour spacewalk.
He was one of 14 astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963 for the Apollo program that was created to send humans to the moon.
His first Apollo mission was Apollo 10, which was the mission before the famous moon landing with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Apollo 10 was launched in May of 1969, just a few months before Apollo 11. It was basically a dress rehearsal for the actual moon landing that was to follow.
Cernan set the foot on the moon as commander of Apollo 17, the final manned mission to the lunar surface. The mission reached the moon’s surface on 19 December 1972.
In addition to being the last man to walk on the moon, Cernan has the distinction of being one of only three people to travel to the moon twice.
KM Philip, former whole-time director on the board of Madras Rubber Factory(MRF) Limited, passed away on 11 January 2017 following age related illness at Chennai. He was 104. He is survived by two sons.
He was known as the doyen of the rubber industry.
KM Philip : Born in May 1912, Philip served on the MRF board since its inception in 1961 and went on serving till 2015.
He was a founding member of the All India Rubber Industries Association. He played a vital role in the establishment and growth of the domestic rubber and tyre industries.
In recognition of his services, the All India Rubber Industries Association instituted the KM Philip Medal & Award on his 90th birthday. He had served on the Rubber Board of India for more than 15 years.
He was a Padma Shri Awardee and a noted philanthropist. He received the Padma Shri in 2001. He was the first Asian to become the President of the World Alliance of YMCAs by succeeding former Ethiopian Prime Minister Endelkachew Makonnen in 1974.
His work had also been recognised through a number of awards including Award of Fellowship from AIRIA and Royal Chartered Institute of Materials (UK). He was also bestowed with the Hancock Medal based on a worldwide assessment of his contributions to the development of the Rubber Industry.