Persons Current Affairs 2017 - Current Affairs Today

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  • UNO ropes in Satinder Sartaaj for campaign against trafficking

    Folk singer from Punjab Satinder Sartaaj (34) has been selected for the awareness project against human trafficking “Blue Heart Campaign” by the United Nations Office onDrugs and Crime (UNODC). Sartaaj will works with Indian musicians like AR Rahman and Sonu Nigam to spread awareness about the illegal practice through Music to Inspire album. The album also includes songs by famous artistes such as Ozark Henry, Karmin, Joss Stone, Jack Atlantis, Tisha Campbell, Steve London and Lee England. UNODC : United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a United Nations office that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program(UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna. In 2016 – 2017 it has an estimated biannual budget of US$700 million.

    Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi appointed as SEBI Chairman

    The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior bureaucrat Ajay Tyagi (58) as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).  Mr. Tyagi will have tenure of 5 years or till the age of 65 years or until further orders. He will succeed UK Sinha whose term ends on March 1, 2017.  His name was recommended by the search-cum-selection panel headed by the cabinet secretary along with some other candidates. Ajay Tyagi Ajay Tyagi is 1984 batch IAS (Indian Administrative Services) officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre. Prior to this appointment, he was Additional secretary (investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, handling the capital market division.  He had served as the chairman of the finance ministry-appointed panel which monitored the merger of the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with the SEBI. He had represented India at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body set up to combat money laundering, terror financing and other related threats.  Currently he is also representing India at the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body to monitor global financial systems. He also had led the initiatives on corporate bonds markets. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) SEBI is the statutory regulator for the securities market in India established in 1988. It was given statutory powers through the SEBI Act, 1992. Protect the interests of investors in securities, promote the development of securities market and to regulate the securities market. SEBI has is responsive to needs of three groups, which constitute the market, issuers of securities, investors and market intermediaries.

    Indian-origin neurosurgeon Shawna Pandya shortlisted for NASA 2018 space mission

    An Indian-origin neurosurgeon Dr Shawna Pandya (32) has been shortlisted by NASA for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme. She was shortlisted after securing top score in the CSA programme. If everything goes as per plan, she may join the league of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.  Dr Shawna Pandya Currently she is based and was born in Canada. She is general physician with the Alberta University Hospital. She has her roots in Mumbai, where her grandmother currently lives.  Dr Pandya had completed her B.Sc in neuroscience at University of Alberta, followed by M.Sc. in space sciences at International Space University (ISU). Thereafter, she did her MD in Medicine from University of Alberta.  She then had applied for medical school as well as for the space programme at the same time. She is also an opera singer, an international champion in taekwon-do and has also done her training in Muay Thai with a Navy SEAL.  She is also member of team working for a project called Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), which will study the effects of climate change.  

    Somalia's Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo chosen as new President

    The Parliament of Somalia elected former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, as the country's new president on 8 February 2017. Farmajo was chosen after two rounds of voting, after which he immediately took the oath of the office. The large consensus for Farmajo led current President Hassan Sheikh, who was elected to the office in 2012, to concede defeat and withdraw himself from the contest. Highlights : Due to rising security threats from Islamic militants, the voting was conducted at a heavily guarded airport complex in its capital city, Mogadishu. To ensure further safety, a no-fly zone was imposed over the city and traffic was also banned. From the 328 votes cast, 184 were won by Farmajo and remaining 97 by Mohamud. Mohamed's election is part of a lengthy process initiated to rebuild the nation’s democracy and achieve stability. Farmajo's victory was welcomed by several senior-level ministers including the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdusalam H. Omer. His victory was also greeted by celebratory gunfire in all government-controlled areas of the country. Challenges Ahead : Somalia is one of the seven Muslim-majority countries that face an immigration ban in the US, according to US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order. The country is also one of the poorest in the world. Due to a long-drawn civil war, the country’s governance structure, economic infrastructure and institutions are in complete shambles and need complete revival. It hosts various extremists groups such as Al-Shabaab that pose a danger to its peace and security.

    ED Director Karnal Singh gets two-year fixed term

    Karnal Singh, Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED), on 7 February 2017 was given a fixed two-year tenure to head the anti-money laundering investigation agency. The move came following a recent Supreme Court directive. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) also approved a two-year fixed term for Singh effective from 27 October 2016. In October 2016, the ACC had approved the name of Singh as ED chief until 31 August 2017. Singh, a Union Territories cadre officer, had held the additional charge of the post of ED chief since August 19, 2015, until the time he was elevated as the Director.  The Supreme Court recently ordered that Singh's appointment as ED Director would be for two years from 27 October 2016. The apex court’s directive came following a PIL petition filed in 2016 by Mumbai-based former Indian Revenue Service officer Uday Babu Khalwadekar. The SC had noted that, as per the appointment letter issued to Singh, he would cease to hold office the day he superannuates in August 2017, which was a violation of Section 25(d) of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act. The top court directed the Union Government to issue a fresh notification within a week on the appointment of Singh as the ED Director for two years, in line with the provisions of the CVC Act. The government's move came considering Singh's retirement due in August 2017 and following the recent direction by the apex court to the government.  

    Salman Rushdie's novel 'The Golden House' announced

    Author Salman Rushdie’s new novel titled 'The Golden House' is slated to release in September 2017. The announcement was made by Penguin Random House on 7 February 2017. The book will be published in India by Penguin Random House, which acquired the subcontinent rights from the Wylie Agency. Rushdie’s forthcoming novel is a modern-day thriller, which tells a story of a mysteriously wealthy family from Bombay that is desperately seeking to forget the tragedy they left behind as they settled in New York City. Salman Rushdie  : Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist. He was born in Bombay (British India) into a Muslim family of Kashmiri descent. His second novel, Midnight's Children, won the Booker Prize in 1981. It was also deemed to be "the best novel of all winners" on two separate occasions. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, was the subject of a major controversy. It provoked protests from Muslims in several countries. In 1983, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the United Kingdom’s senior literary organisation. In 2008, The Times ranked him 13th on its list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

    Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos wins Senate confirmation vote

    In United States, Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's controversial nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos by the slenderest possible margin. US Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to secure her cabinet role, splitting the chamber 50-50. It was the first time ever that a vice-president has interceded in such a way for a cabinet secretary. Betsy DeVos : Betsy DeVos is the 11th United States Secretary of Education.  Her background includes experience as a businesswoman, philanthropist and noted political campaign contributor DeVos is a member of the Republican Party known for her advocacy of school choice, voucher programs, and ties to the Reformed Christian community.  

    Alastair Cook resigns as England Test captain

    Alastair Cook on 6 Februray 2017 resigned as the captain of the England test cricket team. Cook submitted his resignation to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves. However, Cook has stated his willingness to continue playing on as a batsman in the longest format of the game. Highlights of Alastair Cook’s career : Statistics: A left-handed opening batsman, Cook started his international career with a test match against India in March 2006. He played his first one day international (ODI) against Sri Lanka at Old Trafford, England in June 2006. So far, Alastair Cook played 140 matches and scored 11,057 runs from 253 innings. His test career includes 53 half-centuries, 30 centuries and 3 double centuries.  So far, he scored 3204 runs in 92 ODIs. The score includes 19 half-centuries and 5 centuries. He has led England in a record 69 one-day internationals between 2010 and 2014. So far, he played four T20 International (T20I) matches and scored 61 runs with a strike rate of 112.96.

    Neeti Mohan to collaborate with UN for a music album

    Neeti Mohan has become the first Indian female singer to collaborate with the United Nations on a project aimed at empowering women, ending human trafficking and promoting gender equality. The singer’s composition called ‘Udne de’, which was created as a tribute to all women and in support of gender equality, has been selected to be a part of an album for the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund project. Highlights : The project titled ‘Music to Inspire-Artists united against Human Trafficking’ aims to make a social statement on ending human trafficking. The project has witnessed participation from over 60 renowned artists and dignities from countries world over in its triple albums. Some of the names include Nicholas Cage, Tatyana Ali, Ashton Kutcher, Ellis Hall, Ashley Judd, Demi Moore and Gillian Anderson. The unique collection will be officially launched at an event that will be organized at the headquarters of the United Nation in New York City later this week. The proceeds from the project will benefit the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, which is managed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Neeti commented on her collaboration by saying that she had written her track ‘Udne de’ after the shocking and unfortunate Nirbhaya incident in 2012. She added by saying that crime against women has become a global issue now and so, she wanted to take a stand on the matter on a global level. Apart from Neeti, Oscar-winning Indian Composer and Music Director A R Rahman has also contributed to the UN’s charitable music album and so has the prominent Indian sitar player, Anoushka Shankar.

    Priyanka Chopra among 150 most fashionable women

    Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who has been turning heads on the red carpet with her elegant choice of outfits, has made it to the list of Harper's Bazaar's 150 most fashionable women.  The 34-year-old "Quantico" star features on the list under the section of "New Guard. Thx u @harpersbazaarus for including me as one of ur 150 Most Fashionable Women, among such an extraordinary group!" Priyanka posted on Twitter alongside the link to the list.  Other stars on the list include Brie Larson, Dakota Johnson, Emilia Clarke, Margot Robbie, Gal Gadot, Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning.  

    Hafiz Saeed placed under house arrest

    Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba has been placed under house arrest along with four others by Pakistani authorities. The order of detention was issued by Punjab Province’s Interior Ministry under Anti-Terrorism Act in accordance with a directive issued by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on 27 January 2017. In the directive, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry had stated that the government had reasons to believe that JuD is engaged in activities that could pose a threat to peace and security and violate Pakistan’s obligations towards the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution No 1267. The directive further ordered the Punjab government to put JuD under Watch List. A similar order was also issued for Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) for a period of 6 months, which may be extended later.  Highlights : The order called for preventive detention of Saeed, mastermind behind 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and four others including Zafar Iqbal, Abdullah Ubaid, Qazi Kashif Niaz and Abdur Rehman Abid. Saeed was arrested from Masjid-e-Qudsia Chauburji, the JuD headquarters in Lahore. He will be shifted to his residence in Jauhar Town, where he will be put under house arrest. His residence has been declared as a sub-jail. All party flags at the JuD offices were replaced with National flags on the directive of the provincial home department. The provincial authorities have also started removing JuD banners from the roads of Lahore.  Hafiz Saeed : Hafiz Saeed is an internationally designated terrorist and his organisation JuD has been declared as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and the United States of America. Saeed is one of the most wanted terrorists in India due to his involvement in three major terror attacks in India- 2008 Mumbai attacks, 2006 Mumbai train bombings and 2001 Indian Parliament attack. In April 2012, a $10 million bounty was placed on him by the United States of America for his alleged connection with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which lead to the killing of around 200 civilians.   According to reports, the current crackdown is a result of immense pressure from the administration of the newly-elected President of the United States, Donald Trump.

    Trump appoints Indian-American attorney to key White House post

    US President Donald Trump has appointed prominent Indian-American attorney Uttam Dhillon to a key White House position to assist him on ethics and compliance matters. Dhillon, who served as chief oversight counsel for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, has been appointed as special assistant to the President. He previously worked as an associate deputy attorney general for the Department of Justice, Chief Counsel for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, Policy Director for the US House of Representatives Policy Committee, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles. Other members of the team are Stefan C Passantino who has been commissioned to serve as deputy assistant to the President and deputy counsel to the President along with Scott Gast and James D Schultz who have been commissioned to serve as special assistants to the President and associate counsel to the President.

    Dr Vijay Bhatkar appointed new vice-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 as provided under Section 11(3) of the Nalanda University Act. He shall succeed George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, who resigned after the Board of the University was reconstituted. Dr Vijay Bhatkar  : Dr. Bhatkar is one of the acclaimed scientists and IT leaders of India. He is best known as the architect of India’s first supercomputer Param series.  He is also known as the founder executive director of C-DAC, India’s national initiative in supercomputing. He is also credited with the creation of several national institutions.  He also was member of the scientific advisory committee to the cabinet of Union Government and as also of the governing council of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).  Bhatkar studied at the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) and the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University. He has been honoured with Padma Shri, Maharashtra Bhushan, Padma Bhushan (2015) awards for his contribution to field of science and technology. Nalanda University :  Nalanda University revived version of ancient Nalanda University located at Rajgir in Nalanda District in Bihar. It is a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. Its idea was mooted by former President APJ Andul Kalam in 2006.  It was established through Nalanda University Act, 2010. It is mandated to be engaged in the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies   The ancient Nalanda University was established in 427 AD during the reign of Gupta king Sakraditya. It was one of India’s earliest university. At its peak, it had attracted scholars and students from near and far with some travelling all the way from Tibet, China, Korea, and Central Asia

    Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan resigns

    Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan resigned from his position on 27 January 2017. His resignation came following a controversy that was triggered against him, accusing him of sexual misconduct. Moreover, a letter was sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the staff of the Meghalaya Governor's House, accusing the Governor of compromising with the dignity of his office. Civil society groups in Meghalaya like the Civil Society Women's Organisation and a progressive political outfit of Meghalaya 'Thma U Rangli' launched a signature campaign following the reports of inappropriate behaviour by the Governor. The campaign was launched to demand Governor's resignation. However, Shanmuganathan, who also holds the additional charge of Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, denied such media allegations.  V Shanmuganathan : Shanmuganathan is a veteran Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist from Tamil Nadu. He was sworn in as Meghalaya Governor in May 2015.In September 2016, he was given the additional charge of Governor of Arunachal Pradesh after J P Rajkhowa was removed from the position. Shanmuganathan was also Governor in charge of Manipur from September 2015 to August 2016. Born on 21 November 1949, he hails from Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu.

    Wipro Vice-Chairman T K Kurien announced retirement

    T K Kurien, Executive Vice-Chairman and Board member of Wipro, on 24 January 2017 announced his retirement. He will retire on 31 January 2017. In 2016, Kurien was elevated to the role of Executive Vice-Chairman along with the appointment of Abidali Z Neemuchwala as Wipro's CEO and Executive Director. T K Kurien :  T K Kurien began his career with Wipro in 2000.  He held leadership positions across businesses like EcoEnergy division, Wipro Consulting Services and healthcare and life sciences unit. Before joining Wipro, he worked as the Managing Director of GE X Ray from October 1997 to January 2000.Prior to this, he served as the CFO of GE Medical Systems (South Asia). Wipro : Wipro Limited is an Indian Information Technology Services corporation. It is headquartered in Bengaluru. The company was incorporated on 29 December 1945 by Mohamed Premji as Western India Palm Refined Oil Limited, which was later abbreviated to Wipro.  The company was initially set up as a manufacturer of vegetable and refined oils in Amalner, Maharashtra under the trade names of Kisan, Sunflower and Camel. Wipro’s logo still contains a sunflower to reflect products of the original business.  In 1966, after Mohamed Premji’s death, his son Azim Premji took over Wipro as its chairman at the age of 21.  The company shifted its focus to new business opportunities in the IT and computing industry during the 1970s and 1980s. The name of the company changed from Western India Vegetable Products Limited to Wipro Products Limited on 7 June 1977. In 1982, the name was changed from Wipro Products Limited to Wipro Limited.  In 2013, Wipro demerged its non-IT businesses into a separate company to bring in more focus on independent businesses.  

    Indian-origin Mauritius PM Anerood Jugnauth resigns

    Indian-origin Prime Minister (PM) of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth resigned from his position on 23 January 2017. Anerood officially handed his resignation to Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib Fakim. He has been serving in his post since 2014. He will be succeeded by his own son Pravind Jugnauth. Pravind is the leader of the main political party of Mauritius Militant Socialist Movement (MSM). He had already formed his ministerial cabinet after receiving an appointment letter from President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. Pravind also holds the post of Finance Minister of the country. His party has the majority of seats in the National Assembly since December 2014. Anerood Jugnauth : Anerood had earlier served as the President of Mauritius and held various ministerial portfolios, including Minister of Rodrigues, Defence, Home Affairs and National Development Unit. Being a central figure of Mauritian politics in the 1980s and 1990s, he continuously held a constitutional office since 1976. He had visited India in November 2016 as Prime Minister and had expressed support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to demonetise higher value currency. Mauritius is an island of 1.3 million inhabitants. This island country regularly tops the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, and has held a series of peaceful elections and smooth handovers of power since 1968 when it got independence from Britain. Mauritius is a model of political stability in Africa. However, the handover of the post of PM from father to son has created political turbulence in the country.  

    Sushmita Sen to judge the 65th Miss Universe pageant

    Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen will be on the judges panel of the upcoming 65th edition of Miss Universe pageant. The news was announced in the third week of January 2017. The contest will take place on 30 January 2017 in Philippines. Roshmitha Harimurthy will represent India at the 65th Miss Universe pageant. Sushmita Sen : Born on 19 November 1975, Sushmita Sen is the first Indian to win the Miss Universe crown. She had won the pageant of 1994 held in Manila, Philippines.She had won the Femina Miss India in 1994. After completing her reign, she started her career with the Hindi film, Dastak. However, she rose to stardom with the Tamil musical Ratchagan opposite Nagarjuna. She earned the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for the movie Biwi No. 1.She received critical acclaim for her female-oriented roles in films such as Filhaal..., Zindaggi Rocks and others. Miss Universe 2016 : Miss Universe 2016 will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. On 3 November 2016, the Miss Universe Organization (MOU) officially announced the Philippines as the host of the pageant.The Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach of will crown her successor at the end of the event.  It will be the second time in the history of the competition that the pageant will skip the entire year, following the 2014 pageant, which was held in January 2015.  

    Donald Trump sworn-in as 45th US President

    Donald Trump was sworn-in as the 45th President of the United States on 20 January 2017. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts. In the ceremony, Trump placed his left hand on two bibles including the historic Abraham Lincoln Bible and recited the oath of the office to become the most powerful man on this Earth. With this swearing-in, Trump took over the reins from Barack Obama amid expectations of radical change in policies and apprehension at home and abroad. Apart from Trump, Mike Pence was also sworn-in as the Vice President of the United States. He took the oath of the office before Trump. The oath-taking ceremony was held in front of about 8 lakh people who visited the National Mall in the centre of the capital to celebrate the occasion. Highlights of Trump’s maiden address to the nation : Trump who addressed the nation from the US Capitol has promised to rebuild the nation. He also promised to bring back their dreams wherein America First will be the key to his governance. He also said that he will address the ills which are plaguing the nation like drugs, crime and gun violence.He said his administration will follow two simple rules - buy American and hire American. In addition to this, Trump also renewed his promise to attack the radical Islamic terrorism. He said that he will eradicate it completely from the face of Earth. He assured the world that his administration does not want to impose its governance over other countries. He said America will seek friendship with the world while recognising that countries abroad had a right to govern themselves as they see fit.

    Adama Barrow sworn in as President of Gambia in Senegal

    Adama Barrow  was sworn in as the third President of The Gambia at a ceremony in the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal. With the swearing in ceremony comes an event that marked The Gambia’s first change of presidency in 22 years. It is also the first change of presidency by democratic means since independence from Britain in 1965. Barrow had won the 2016 Gambian presidential elections that were held in The Gambia on 1 December 2016. Soon after the inauguration of Barrow in neighbouring Senegal, troops from a bloc of West African countries have entered Gambia in support of him. Adama Barrow : Adama Barrow is a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He served as the treasurer of the UDP and operated a real estate agency, before winning the presidential elections. A coalition of seven opposition parties chose him as their endorsed candidate for the 2016 presidential election. He went on to defeat the long-term incumbent, Yahya Jammeh. The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on 19 January 2017 expressing "full support" to Barrow as president.His claim to the presidency is disputed by the preceding president, Yahya Jammeh. 2016 Gambian presidential election : Presidential elections were held in The Gambia on 1 December 2016.On 2 December 2016, Jammeh conceded defeat. The final official results showed Barrow winning a 43.3 per cent plurality, achieving a 3.7 per cent margin of victory over Jammeh's 39.6 per cent. A third candidate, Mamma Kandeh, received 17.1 per cent of the votes. Jammeh, on 9 December 2016, announced that he was rejecting the results and called for a new election. The decision gave birth to a constitutional crisis.

    Kapil Dev inducted into Legends Club’s Hall of Fame

    Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev on 17 January 2017 was inducted into Legends Club 'Hall of Fame' in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Dev was inducted in presence of former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Nari Contractor and Ajit Wadekar at the Cricket Club of India. Madhav Apte, President of the Legends Club and the former Indian cricketer, presented the honour to Kapil Dev. Kapil Dev : Kapil Dev captained the Indian cricket team that won the Cricket World Cup in 1983. He is considered as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time.In 2002, Wisden named him as the Indian Cricketer of the Century. Between October 1999 and August 2000, he served as India's national cricket coach. During the 1980s, he developed a fine inswinging yorker, which he used against tail-enders.He was nicknamed as The Haryana Hurricane. He held the world record for the most number of wickets taken in Test cricket. The record was broken by Courtney Walsh in 2000. He is the only player in the history of cricket to have taken 434 wickets. He is the only player to have scored more than 5000 runs in Tests. He was also India's highest wicket taker in Tests and ODIs.He retired in 1994. After retirement from cricket, he took up golf. He was the only Asian founding member of Laureus Foundation in 2000. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on 8 March 2010.In 1979-80, he was honoured with the Arjuna Award. In 1982, he was awarded the Padma Shri. In 1991, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan.

    Antonio Tajani is new President of European Parliament

    The Italian conservative Antonio Tajani  was elected as the President of the European Parliament. To be elected for the post, Tajani defeated another Italian Gianni Pitella with 71 votes. Tajani secured 351 votes, against 282 for Pittella, a socialist. The contest ran to the maximum four rounds. With this election, Tajani succeeds Germany's Martin Schulz. In November Schulz announced that he would return to German politics. Antonio Tajani : He is a former spokesman for Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and an ex-European commissioner. Tajani, 63, is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political group of the Parliament. EPP is a party with 217 members from 27 nations. He was appointed to the European Parliament a decade ago and had served two terms there between 2008 and 2014.During his tenure at the parliament, he handled the portfolio of transport sector as well as the industry and entrepreneurship, Earlier, he had worked with the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. European Parliament : The European Parliament is the parliament of the European Union (EU) with three places of work namely Brussels (Belgium), the city of Luxembourg (Luxembourg) and Strasbourg (France). Earlier known as the European Parliamentary Assembly or Common Assembly, the parliament is the only directly elected body among the member countries of European Union. Members of the parliament are elected by EU citizens once every five years. Together with the Council of Ministers, it is the law-making branch of the institutions of the Union.

    Rajeev Singh to take charge as interim CEO of Prasar Bharti

    Rajeev Singh, Member (Finance) in Prasar Bharati Board, will take charge as interim CEO of the public broadcaster after S C Panda retires in February. The previous CEO Jawhar Sircar had quit in October last year, a few months before his tenure was due to end, following which Panda, who is Member (Personnel), was made the acting CEO. However, Panda is also due to retire in February. The issue of vacancies arising due to Panda’s retirement was discussed in a meeting headed by Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash in Hyderabad yesterday, sources said. “In a key decision, the public broadcaster decided that its Member Finance Rajeev Singh will take over as interim CEO, after the present incumbent S C Panda retires in February 

    62nd Filmfare Awards 2017 - Shatrughan Sinha honoured with the Lifetime Achievement

    Shatrughan Sinha,who completed close to five decades in the film industry, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards 2017 Shatrugan Sinha thanked everyone on stage for the award. He said, "I've received my first Filmfare today.It's late in my career, but if you have the passion and determination, nothing can stop you from achieving what you want.

    Tewari named Senior Fellow of Atlantic Council

    Former Union minister Manish Tewari has been appointed as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council, a leading US think-tank on policy matters. At the council, Tewari will focus on developing programmes aimed at strengthening US-India ties, a statement released by his office said.

    Rajesh Gopinathan appointed TCS CEO & MD, NGS named COO

    The board of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) appointed Rajesh Gopinathan as the new chief executive officer and managing director in place of N Chandrasekaran who has been appointed as the chairman of Tata Sons, effective February 21, 2017. TCS has also named N Ganapathy Subramaniam who is currently president, TCS Financial Solutions as the president and chief operating officer and appointed him as a director on the board of the company.

    Sachin Tendulkar-inspired cricket game Sachin Saga Warm Up launched

    JetSynthesys, a digital and technology company, today announced the launch of a game on cricket, ‘Sachin Saga Warm Up’ under its gaming arm Playizzon. The company is associated with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who trains the players to gain expertise in playing the game.Sachin Saga Warm Up is a batting game, where players across the globe can compete in real time. This 2 minute powerplay allows users to get assistance from Sachin himself on shot selection based on where the ball pitches and what kind of delivery it is.

    Barack Obama awards Joe Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Outgoing US President Barack Obama on 12 January 2017 awarded Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, the highest civilian honour. It was a surprise tribute at the White House.The President honoured Biden with "an additional level of veneration." With this, Biden became the fourth person in US history to receive the award, alongside Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell. About Joe Biden:Joe Biden is the 47th Vice President of the United States. He is also the first Roman Catholic and the first Delawarean to be Vice President of the United States.He is a member of the Democratic Party.He represented Delaware as a United States Senator from 1973 until becoming Vice President in 2009.He was first elected to the Senate in 1972. With this, he became the sixth youngest senator in the history of the United States of America.He chaired the Judiciary Committee during the controversial U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

    TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran appointed Tata Sons chairman

    Tata Sons on 12 January 2017 appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its Executive Chairman. With this appointment, Chandrasekaran becomes the first non-Parsi person to head Tata group. He will take charge of the company on 21 February 2017.The Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Chandrasekaran, will succeed Cyrus Mistry, who was removed as group Chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016. In absence of Cyrus Mistry, Ratan Tata was looking after the company as the interim chairman. Cyrus Mistry ousted as Tata Sons chief; Ratan Tata returns in interim. The 53-year-old 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 Chandrasekaran was as per the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Committee and was finalised at the company’s board meeting in Mumbai.An official release from the company read, “This is as per the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Committee. Chandrasekaran shall take charge from February 21, 2017”.The Board of Directors of Tata Sons believes that Chandrasekaran will inspire the entire Tata group worth of the 103-billion US dollar.

    Gionee signs up Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

    Chinese smartphone maker Gionee clocked $1.4 billion (`9,500 crore) of revenue in India last year, closing in on rival Micromax Informatics, and expects sales to grow 2.5 times this year.  The company, which entered India in 2012 and competes with Chinese rivals, including Xiaomi and Lenovo, besides market leader Samsung Electronics, has signed on Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli as a brand ambassador after bringing in Alia Bhatt last year.  Gionee plans to make all phones sold in India locally by April, Vohra said. The company makes about 600,000 phones a month in the price band of.`7,000 to .`30,000 through contract manufacturers Foxconn & Dixon.  The company has acquired 50 acres of land for its own manufacturing unit in Faridabad, Haryana, which will take around 18-24 months to come up. The plant will have a capacity of 30 million units with an investment of `500 crore.  Gionee is banking on branding and targeted distribution to increase its share of the smartphone market. Vohra expects the `7,000- 30,000 price segment to grow by 25-30%.  The Shenzhen-headquartered company will increase its marketing spend in the world's fastest growing smartphone market to `500 crore this year, up by 40% from last year.   

    NASA to send first African-American to space station in 2018

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced the assignment of veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel and first-flight astronaut Jeanette Epps to missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018. With this, Epps will become the first African-American space station crew member when she launches on her first spaceflight in May 2018. Feustel will launch in March 2018 for his first long-duration mission. He will serve as a flight engineer on Expedition 55. Later, he will be assigned as commander on Expedition 56. On the other hand, Epps will join Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56, and remain on board for Expedition 57. Jeanette Epps : Jeanette Epps was selected by NASA in 2009 as an astronaut. In 1992, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from LeMoyne College. In 1994, she obtained a master’s of science. In 2000, she earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. After completing graduate school, she worked in a research laboratory for more than two years. She co-authored several patents and was later recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. She served as a CIA technical intelligence officer for seven years before being selected as a member of the 2009 astronaut class.

    Trump appoints Indian-American to key White House position

    The United States new President-Elect Donald Trump appointed Indian- American Raj Shah in a key White House position, as his deputy assistant and Deputy Communications Director and Research Director. The announcement was made on 5 January 2017 by incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus along with other important appointments.  Raj Shah : Shah, who is in his early 30s, is born to Indian parents who immigrated to the United States from Gujarat.  He is currently serving as the head of Opposition Research in the Republican National Committee.  He had led a team of experts to research against Hillary Clinton, the Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. In fact, he was behind all the anti-Clinton campaign during the elections. Besides Shah, other appointments include Katie Walsh as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the White House, Joe Hagin as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Rick Dearborn as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative, Intergovernmental Affairs and Implementation.

    Jovenel Moise declared winner of Haiti’s Presidential elections

    Businessman Jovenel Moise was declared the official winner of Haitian Presidential Elections on 3 January 2017.   Moise, who was representing former President Michel Martelly’s the Haitian Tet Kale Party (PHTK), won a clear majority in the Presidential elections by getting 55.6% of the total votes cast, beating his closest rival Jude Celestine who received only 19.5% of the total votes cast. The elections were held on 20 November 2016. Highlights : Moise in his victory speech spoke about combating corruption and spreading national unity. Supporters of Maryse Narcisse, the candidate of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas Party and leftist candidate Moise Jean-Charles protested against Moise’s lead when the preliminary results were released, accusing him of fraud.  While Maryse Narcisse finished fourth by winning 9% of the total votes cast, Moise Jean-Charles finished third with 11% of total votes cast.  Electoral tribunal maintained its decision on Moise’s win and cleared that there was no major fraud in the election.  The results have come at a time when the impoverished Caribbean nation is still recovering from hurricane Matthew, which caused endless destruction throughout the nation in October 2016. The hurricane killed around 1000 people and left over one million displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance. Jovenel Moise : 48-year-old Moise runs a banana export company, which he sees as a model for rural development. Even in his campaign, Moise branded himself as the ‘Banana Man’.  He was chosen as a presidential candidate by former President Michel Martelly for his party the Haitian Tet Kale Party in 2015. Michel Martelly had ended his term without having an elected successor.  Moise had received 32.8% of the total votes cast in the first round of elections, held in October 2015. However, the results were declared fraud by thousands of protestors, resulting in postponing of the elections.  The new President-Elect is expected to take office by 7 February 2017, ending the term of the interim President Jocelerme Privert who had taken over when Martelly left office without a successor. In his new role, Moise would be facing the huge task of reviving the economy of Haiti and rebuilding the nation.  

    Google Doodle pays tribute to Savitribai Phule on her 186th birth anniversary

    Tech giant Google has honoured social reformer Savitribai Phule on the occasion of her 186th birth anniversary.  The colourful Doodle showcased a simple Savitribai spreading her sari 'pallu' wide to include women from all sections of society for empowerment.She was the first woman teacher of the first women’s school in India and a pioneer in modern Marathi poetry. Savitribai taught in the school which was started by her itself along with her husband Jyotirao Phule in 1848. Savitribai Phule : Born in 1831 in Maharashtra, Savitribai was married when she was just nine to Jyotirao, who was 12.She had set up a care centre for widows and even encouraged them to remarry. She also fought for the rights of the untouchables.  Savitri also opened a clinic to treat the sick when the bubonic plague spread in Pune in 1897. In 1852, the British government honoured the her and Jyotirao for their contribution to the cause of women’s education.  She was once again honoured when a stamp was released by India Post on Savitribai on 10 March 1998. Moreover, the Maharashtra Government instituted an award in her name to honour women social reformers.  In 2014, the Maharashtra government, in honour of Savitribai, renamed Pune University to Savitribai Phule University.

    SC removes BCCI President Anurag for violating the order of implementing Lodha Committee recommendations

    The Supreme Court  has removed BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on January 2, 2017, for failing to implement the reforms suggested by the RM Lodha panel to reform BCCI. Supreme Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.M.Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud has also issued a showcause notice to be replied until January 19 in regards to perjury charges and violating courts order levied against the duo. On July 18, 2016, the Supreme Court had passed its judgment and asked BCCI to implement a majority of Lodha Committee proposals within four to six months for transparent functioning of BCCI. The Lodha committee was formed in January, 2015 by the Supreme Court to suggest sweeping reformsin the structuring and governance of cricket in the country. On December 15, 2016 Supreme Court observed that the BCCI and state board officials have failed to implement its orders to bring transparency and accountability in the cricket body. Anurag Thakur was charged for committing perjury, that is he was found guilty of lying under oath in an attempt to obstruct the Lodha Committee reforms. Meanwhile, senior-most Vice President of BCCI will act as President and Joint Secretary will act as Secretary. The SC has also appointed senior advocates Fali S Nariman and Gopal Subramaniam to suggest the names capable of administering the BCCI.

    Somdev Devvarman announces retirement from professional tennis

    India’s singles player Somdev Devvarman on 1 January 2017 announced retirement from professional tennis. Devvarman was India’s star singles player since he first broke into the scene in 2008. However, his career was hampered by a recurring shoulder injury in 2012. He has featured in an ATP Tour final by reaching the championship match of the Chennai Open in 2009 and the South African Open in 2011. Somdev Devvarman : Born on 13 February 1985, Somdev Kishore Devvarman is a former professional Indian tennis player. He is the only collegiate player to have made three consecutive finals at the NCAA. He won back-to-back finals in his junior and senior years at the University of Virginia. He was the 13th player in the 124-year history of the tournament to win consecutive titles. Also, he was the fourth player to do so in the 50 years. In 2008, he won his first career title at a Futures tournament in Rochester, New York. He reached the final of the Chennai Open in 2009 as a wild card entry. He won the gold medal in the men's singles event of XIXth Commonwealth Games at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi in 2010. He grabbed both men's singles and doubles gold in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.He received the Arjuna Award from the Indian government in 2011 for his tennis successes.

    Akhilesh Yadav named Samajwadi Party's national president

    The General Secretary of Samajwadi Party, Ramgopal Yadav declared current Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as the party’s new national president on 1 January 2017, replacing his father Mulayam Singh Yadav. The announcement was made amidst party members and leaders at an emergency party meeting, held at Lucknow's Janeshwar Mishra Park.  Highlights : Akhilesh Yadav was elected Samajwadi Party’s national president with a unanimous national executive vote. He will now reconstitute all of the party’s state bodies.  Mulayam Singh Yadav was transferred to the position of supreme guide or margdarshak of the party, whose main job would be to advise the new leadership.  Shivpal Yadav, President of Samajwadi party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, was removed from his position. Naresh Uttam has been appointed in his stead. Another prominent senior party leader, Amar Singh, was also expelled from the party.  The emergency convention was attended by several party members and prominent leaders.  These announcements closely follow the recent ouster of Akhilesh Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav from the party by party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, reportedly under the influence of Shivpal and Amar Singh. Less than a day later Mulayam Singh revoked his decision, inviting both of them back into the party. Ahead of the national party meeting, Mulayam Singh Yadav sent a letter to party members, asking them not to attend the national executive meeting. He called the convention unconstitutional, undisciplined and against the party image.  Mulayam Singh also declared all the decisions taken during the meeting as invalid, as it was convened without his permission or presence. He has called for another national party convention on 5 January 2017 at the same venue   

    V K Sasikala takes charge as AIADMK General Secretary

    In Tamil Nadu, V K Sasikala has taken charge as  the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary.  She is the sixth person and the second woman to hold the post.  Sasikala Natarajan is a close confidante of Jayalalithaa, the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.  AIADMK : AIADMK is an Indian political party in the states of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. It is currently in power in Tamil Nadu and is the third largest party in the Indian Parliament. It is a Dravidian party and was founded by M. G. Ramachandran (popularly known as MGR) on 17 October 1972 as a breakaway faction of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). From 1989 to 2016, AIADMK was led by Late J. Jayalalithaa, who served as the Ex. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on several occasions.

    Anil Baijal takes oath as Delhi Lieutenant Governor

    Anil Baijal took oath as new Lieutenant Governor of Delhi on 31 December 2016. His oath of the office and secrecy was administered by President Pranab Mukherjee in a ceremony held at Raj Niwas. Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee approved his appointment. Baijal has succeeded Najeeb Jung, who earlier on 22 December resigned from the post of Delhi LG. He resigned 18 months short of his tenure. 70-year-old Baijal had served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. His appointment came after the sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung from the post. Anil Baijal : The former IAS officer of 1969 batch of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre is associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation. During his tenure as Home Secretary, Kiran Bedi was removed from her post of the head of jails. Bedi was accused of breaking jail manuals.He served Delhi Development Authority (DDA) as its Vice-Chairman. He has served Indian Airlines as its Managing Director, Chief Secretary of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, CEO of Prasar Bharati, and Development Commissioner of Goa among others.In 2006, he retired as the Secretary of the Urban Development Ministry. He was also associated with the planning and implementation of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) that was launched by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.   

    Akhilesh Yadav expelled from party for 6 years

    Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has expelled his son, Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, from the party for six years. Mulayam also said that soon a new Chief Minister will be designated to will replace Akhilesh Yadav as the next Chief Minister. This expulsion was announced by Mulayam Singh Yadav at a hurriedly called press conference in Lucknow. In addition to this, Ram Gopal Yadav, who is a cousin of Mulayam Singh Yadav, the general secretary of the party, was also expelled for six years by the party chief. He was also stripped of all posts in the party. Prior to the expulsion, both, Akhilesh and Ram Gopal were served a show cause notice asking why a disciplinary action should not be taken against them. The notice was issued for releasing the list of candidates without Mulayam Yadav’s consent. Soon after his expulsion from Samajwadi Party, Ram Gopal has called an emergency meet on 1 January 2017 at the Ram Manohar Lohia University to chalk out a path for future. However, Shivpal Yadav, the younger brother of Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav, asked the party workers not to participate in the programme called by Ram Gopal Yadav. He said that strict action would be taken against anyone who attends the meet. Besides, Mulayam termed this call of the meeting as sheer indiscipline and said that that Ram Gopal has no power to call such meeting without the consent of national president of the party. After taking the action, Mulayam said that he had taken the action against Akhilesh and Ram Gopal to save the [arty, which was built through hard efforts.  

    Rishi Kapoor's autobiography to release on 15 January 2017

    Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor's autobiography titled "Khullam Khulla" will hit the stands on January 15 next year.  The book's title has been borrowed from the 64-year-old actor's famous song "Khullam Khulla Pyar Karenge Hum Dono". The 64-year-old tweeted: “My autobiography – Rishi Kapoor-uncensored ‘Khullam Khulla’ releases 15th January. 

    Takam Pario likely to be next Arunachal Pradesh chief minister

    Peoples' Party of Arunachal (PPA) MLA Takam Pario is likely to be the next chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. The final statement is yet to come out after the PPA meeting. Khandu, who became chief minister in July after exiting from the Congress along with 42 other MLAs to join the PPA in September.  

    British cyclist Bradley Wiggins announces retirement

    Sir Bradley Wiggins, British former professional road and track racing cyclist, in the last week of December 2016 announced retirement from cycling. In his 16-year career as a professional, Wiggins won the Tour de France and a record eight Olympic medals. Bradley Wiggins : Born on 28 April 1980, Sir Bradley Marc Wiggins is a British former professional road and track racing cyclist.He competed professionally between 2001 and 2016.The cyclist has been nicknamed as Wiggo. He commenced his cycling career on the track. However, later he made the transition to road cycling. He is one of the few cyclists to gain significant success in both the forms of professional cycling. He is the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France and the time trial at the Olympic Games. He is the only cyclist to have combined winning both World and Olympic championships on both the track and the road, as well as winning the Tour de France. His first Olympic medal was a silver in the team pursuit in Sydney 2000. Later, he won three medals including the gold in the individual pursuit at the Athens 2004. At the Beijing 2008, he grabbed two golds in the individual and team pursuit. In June 2015, he set a new hour record with a distance of 54.526 km. In 2009, he was awarded a CBE, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In 2012, he was honoured with the Vélo d'Or award for best rider of the year, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.In the 2013 New Year Honours, he was awarded the knighthood.

    Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic announces retirement

    Serbian professional tennis player Ana Ivanovic on 28 December 2016 announced retirement from tennis at the age of 29. Ivanovic announced her retirement in a video in which she stated that she no longer feels fit enough to compete at the highest level. The tennis player is the first Serbian woman to win a grand slam tournament. Ana Ivanovic : Born on 6 November 1987, Ana Ivanovic is a Serbian former professional tennis player.As of 7 November 2016, she is ranked No. 65 in the world by the Women's Tennis Association. She was ranked No. 1 in the world after she defeated Dinara Safina to win the 2008 French Open. She has also qualified for the annual WTA Tour Championships three times, in 2007, 2008 and 2014. In total, she has won 15 WTA Tour singles titles, including one Grand Slam singles title. She was named one of the 30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future by Time in June 2011. Reporter Matthew Cronin also included her on the list of Top 100 Greatest Players Ever. She turned pro in 2003. Since that time, she earned USD 15.5 million in on-court prize money. At the 2004 Zürich Open, she was narrowly beaten by Venus Williams in the second round in two tiebreak sets. She was ranked 8th on Forbes' highest-paid female athletes list for 2016.  

    Virat Kohli chosen Cricket Australia’s ODI Captain of Year

    India’s Test captain Virat Kohli on 27 December 2016 was named Cricket Australia’s ODI team of the year. Kohli was earlier also picked as the Captain of the ICC’s ODI team of the year. Cricket Australia stated that Kohli played only 10 one-day matches in 2016; however, he underlined his status as one of the best in the 50-over format. He scored back-to-back centuries against Australia in January 2016 and then a 154 against New Zealand, which was more than half of his team's total. At present, he averages an incredible 90.10 in 59 successful run chases for India. Cricket Australia’s ODI Team of Year: Virat Kohli (India, Captain) David Warner (Australia) Quinton de Kock (South Africa, Wicket Keeper) Steve Smith (Australia) Babar Azam (Pakistan) Mitchell Marsh (Australia) Jos Buttler (England) Jasprit Bumrah (India) Imran Tahir (South Africa)

    Shah Rukh Khan Conferred with Honorary Doctorate for promoting Urdu Language

    Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, conferred the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan with the honorary doctorate on December 26, 2016, for his contribution towards promotion of Urdu culture. Shahrukh Khan was awarded the ‘honorius causa’ (doctor of letters) at the 6th Convocation of the University by the Chancellor, Zafar Sareshwala. Besides, Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjiv Saraf founder of Rekhta Foundation was also conferred the honorary doctorate for the contribution in the promotion of Urdu language and culture. The convocation saw about 2,885 graduates and post-graduates and 276 MPhil and PhD scholars from various disciplines in regular courses to be awarded degrees. Besides, 44,235 graduates and post graduates from distance mode of learning were also given degrees in absentia. Maulana Azad National Urdu University was established in 1998 in Hyderabad. It is named after India’s first Minister of Education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a freedom fighter in India’s struggle for independence, and a scholar of Islam and Urdu literature.

    Salman Khan launches his app 'BeingInTouch' on 51st birthday

    Actor Salman Khan on Twitter announced the launch of his app, 'BeingInTouch', on his 51st birthday 27 December 2016. The app BeingInTouch gives an access to Salman’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts at one place. Also, the app will have interesting videos and never seen before photos of Dabangg Khan. And if this seems less, Bollywood’s bhaijaan’s fans can rejoice as now Salman will directly address them giving them a sneak peek into his personal life.  

    Actor Mithun Chakraborty resigns from Rajya Sabha citing health reasons

    Actor-turned politician Mithun Chakraborty has resigned from Rajya Sabha citing health reasons. Mr Chakraborty, whose alleged involvement in the Saradha Ponzi scam made news last year, had attended the Upper House for just three days. Derek O'Brien, senior leader of his party, the Trinamool Congress, said he had earlier informed Chief Minister and party chief Mamata Banerjee.  In April, Mr Chakraborty had sent a letter to Rajya Sabha deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, saying he would be unable to attend the parliament session due to ill health. His absence was questioned by the members of various parties, including the Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal United. The actor was elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2014. His term was set to expire in 2020.

    Good Governance Day being observed to mark Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Birthday

    Good Governance Day is being observed across India on 25 December 2016. The day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who has turned 92. To mark the occasion, a Good Governance campaign will be undertaken for 100 days. During this campaign, ministers and members of Parliament will travel across India and attend programmes that highlight the key initiatives of the government. Besides, six major initiatives will be launched by the  Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The initiatives include Immovable Property Return through Property Related Information System (PRISM) Recruitment Rules Formation, Amendment Monitoring System (RRFAMS) Announcement of E-Service Book Mandatory online filing of APAR by all All India Services and Central Group A Service Officers Launching of redesigned website of Department of Personnel and Training The endeavour of the government is to improve delivery systems, to promote digital transformation and take forward the connectivity revolution in all sectors. The Good Governance Day was established in 2014 with an aim to honour former PM Vajpayee by fostering awareness among Indians about the accountability of governance. The concept of the day encompasses two fundamental elements accountability and transparency.  

    Sunny Leone declared PETA's 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. In 2015, Kapil Sharma was chosen for the PETA’s Person of the Year award. Past recipient of the award include Shashi Tharoor, KS Panicker Radhakrishnan, Hema Malini, R Madhavan, Jacqueline Fernandez among others. Thical Treatment of Animals : People for the 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." It rejects speciesism and also disapprove of the use and abuse of animals in any way, be it food, clothing, entertainment or research subjects. Each year, the organisation selects a Person of the Year, who has helped promote the cause of animal rights. Previous PETA persons of the year include Bill Clinton, Russell Simmons, Oprah Winfrey, and others.  

    Salman Khan tops 2016 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List

    Popular bollywood actor Salman Khan topped the 2016 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List. As per the list released by the Forbes magazine on 23 December 2016, 50-year-old Salman Khan retained the top spot due to the commercial success of his two big releases - Sultan and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo. Salman Khan’s total earnings constituted 9.84 percent of the total wealth of all the top 100 celebrities for the year. While the top 100 celebrities cumulatively earned Rs 2745 crore, Salman earned Rs 270.33 crore in one year period. Top 10 celebrities of the list in accordance with ranks are - Salman Khan Shah Rukh Khan Virat Kohli Akshay Kumar  MS Dhoni Deepika Padukone Sachin Tendulkar Priyanka Chopra Amitabh Bachchan Hrithik Roshan The rankings are based on two parameters - Estimates of entertainment-related earnings of celebrities and estimates of their fame. The period under consideration for both was between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016. A celebrity’s earnings were calculated on the basis of independent earnings from multiple sources such as industry insiders, talent management agencies, film and TV production companies, publishers, etc. A celebrity’s fame was calculated based on media visibility of celebrities across print, television and social media reach such as Facebook and Twitter.  

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