Sojourn to odyssey

VERY CURRENT EVENTS 

  July 2010

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

Dr S.Y. Quraishi: He has been appointed as the 17th Chief Election Commissioner of India. He is the first Muslim to head the panel.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

David Cameron: Prime Minister of Britain.
General Than Shwe: Military ruler of Myanmar.
Seyed Shamsodin Hosseini: Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, Iran.


DIED

Ravi Baswani: Hindi film actor who won acclaim for his comic roles in films like “Jane Bhi Do Yaro” and “Chashme Buddoor”. He was 64.

David Warren: A pioneering Australian scientist who invented the ‘black box’ after investigating the world’s first jet airliner crash in 1953. He was 85. The challenges of determining the causes of an air crash led him to the idea of a recording device that could withstand a crash where there were no survivors and no witnesses.


EVENTS

JULY
1--More than 45 people are killed as terrorists strike at Sufi shrine of Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore.

11--Spain creates history by winning its first Football World Cup title.

12--ISRO-built Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launches five satellites from Sriharikota.

13--The lower House of the Parliament of France approves a ban on burqa-like Islamic veils.

19--More than 63 people are killed in a train collision at Sainthia station of Birbhum district of West Bengal. Speeding Uttarbanga Express overshoots signal and ploughs into Vanachal Express.

28--A passenger jet crashes into the hills surrounding Islamabad in Pakistan, amid poor weather, killing all 152 people on board.


 

 

June 2010

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

Naoto Kan: He has been elected as the Prime Minister of Japan. He has become the fifth Prime Minister of Japan in three years, taking the helm as the country struggles to rein in a huge public debt, engineer growth in an aging society, and manage ties with security ally USA and a rising China.
Julia Gillard: She scripted history when she was elected as the first woman Prime Minister of Australia. She succeeded Kevin Rudd, who stepped down following revolt against him within the Labour party. The rebellion had been spearheaded by Ms Gillard, opposing his policies on health, education and climate change.
Roza Otunbayeva: She has been elected as the first woman President of Kyrgystan. She claimed victory in a referendum in Kyrgyzstan, making her the interim President till 2011, a vote held to decide the legitimacy of her rule after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev regime was ousted in April 2010.
Benigno Aquino: He has been elected as the President of Philippines.
Justice (Retd) K.G. Balakrishnan: Former Chief Justice of India, he has been appointed as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission.
Sharad Pawar: He has taken over as the President of International Cricket Council (ICC).


RESIGNED

Madhav Kumar Nepal: Prime Minister of Nepal.
Shibu Soren: Chief Minister of Jharkhand.


DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Mahinda Rajapaksa: President of Sri Lanka.
Jacob Zuma: President of South Africa.


MILESTONES

Nitin Noharia: An Indian-American he has taken over as the Dean of Harvard Business School. He is the first person of Indian origin to occupy the prestigious and high profile post.

EVENTS

JUNE
11--The first World Cup football tournament in Africa kicks-off with a feast of song and dance in Johannesburg, South Africa.
14--The 64-day-old blockade of the two crucial highways leading to Manipur is suspended by the Naga Student Federation following talks with the Union government. The organisation had launched the blockade protesting elections to Autonomous District Councils in Manipur hills and Manipur government’s decision to ban entry of NSCN leader T. Muivah to the State.
26--The Union government finally lifts government control and allows oil companies to fix prices of petrol on the basis of market forces.
29--Masoists kill 26 CRPF personnel in a remote area of Chattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.




May 2010

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

David Cameron: He has been elected as the Prime Minister of UK.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar: A 58-year-old woman of Indian origin, she has been elected as the first woman Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago. Her party, People’s Partnership, won 29 of the 41 parliamentary seats to end the 43-yeaqr-old rule of the ruling party.
Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia: He has been appointed as the 38th Chief Justice of India. He is an expert in taxation and commercial laws.
Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha: He has been appointed as the new Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). He is closely associated with the design and development of India’s first Thorium-based advanced Heavy Water reactor.


RESIGNED

Horst Koehler: President of Germany. He resigned following criticism over his comments about Germany’s military engagement in Afghanistan. He is  the first President in Germany’s post-war history to resign before completing his term.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Jacob Zuma: President of South Africa.

DIED

Bhairon Singh Shekhawat: Former Vice President of India. He was 86. A senior BJP leader, he had also held the post of Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
Mac Mohan: Veteran character actor of Hindi film industry, he immortalised in the role of Gabbar Singh’s sidekick “Sambha” in blockbuster “Sholay”. He was 71.


MILESTONES

Nitin Nohria: India-born American, he has been named the 10th Dean of Harvard Business School. He is the first person of Indian origin to achieve this honour.
Mamta Sodha: 30-year-old Dalit girl from Kaithal, Haryana, she has achieved the distinction of climbing Mount Everest. She was part of the Mission Mount Everest 2010 expedition.
Jordan: A 13-year-old American boy from California, he has become youngest person to climb Mount Everest. He achieved the feat on May 22, 2010.
Arjun Bajpayee: 16-year-old resident of Uttar Pradesh's Noida city, he has become the youngest Indian to climb the Mount Everest. He broke the record of Krushnaa Patil,18, from Maharashtra who became the youngest Indian to reach the highest peak in 2009.
Commander Dilip Donde: He has become the first Indian to sail solo around the world.
Shah Faesal: An MBBS degree holder from Srinagar, he has topped the Civil Services Exam 2009.
Gita Gopinath: She is the first Indian woman in the history of Harvard University to be appointed a full time professor at the University. She is a professor in Economics Department of Harvard University.


EVENTS

MAY
1--The police in New York foil a major terror attack by defusing a crude car bomb in the heart of city’s famous tourist hub of Times Square.
17--Maoists blow up a passenger bus in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, killing more than 36 people.
17--The Strategic Forces Command, with logistics support from DRDO, successfully launches the Agni-II surface-to-surface, intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM).
22--In one of the worst air tragedies in India, Air India flight from Dubai overshoots runway at Mangalore airport and bursts into flames, killing 158 passengers and crew on board.
28--More than 80 people are killed as a goods train rams into already derailed Gyaneshwari Express near Kharagpur, West Bengal. The Maoists are blamed for the derailment of the passenger train.


 

 

April 2010

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

Justice S.H. Kapadia:He has become the 38th Chief Justice of India.
D.M. Jayaratne: He has been appointed Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
Mukul M. Sangma:He has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
Gen V.K. Singh: He has taken over as the Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army.
Chirayu Amin: He has been appointed as the interim chairman of Indian Premier League (IPL) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).


RESIGNED

D.D. Lapang: Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
Shashi Tharor: Minister of State for External Affairs in the Union Cabinet.


DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Admiral Dary Roughead: Chief of the US Navy.

DIED

Lech Kaczynski: President of Poland.
Prabha Rau: Governor of Rajasthan.
C. K. Prahalad: Globally known influential management thinker.


MILESTONES

Manasvi Magmai: Delhi girl, she has been crowned Femina Miss India World. Nicole Faria from Bangalore has won the Miss India Earth title and Neha Hinge has won Miss India International title.
Prasun Chatterjee: An Indian environmental engineering student whose research has contributed to a new way of detecting toxic lead and copper in water, has won one of the highest US research honours. Chatterjee, a research student at the University of Lehigh, Pennsylvania, received the 2010 C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Environmental Chemistry Division.


EVENTS

APRIL
1--The exercise to conduct the 15th Census of India begins.
6--Seventy three security personnel are killed in the deadliest Naxal strike in the restive Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
6--Prime Minister Gordan Brown of UK announces General Elections on May 6; the Parliament is dissolved.
7--Thailand’s embattled Prime Minister declares a state of emergency in Bangkok after protesters storm Parliament in a dramatic escalation of their bid to topple the government.
10--Polish President Lech Kacznski and his wife are among 97 people killed in air crash in western Russia.
14--More than 400 people die as a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hits China’s Qinghai province on the Tibetan plateau.
15--After 18 years of research and testing, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) first attempt to put a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine ends in failure.
19--The Supreme Court upholds the conviction and life sentence to Manu Sharma for the 1999 murder of model Jessica Lall.


 

 

March 2010

APPOINTED; ELECTED Etc.

Sonia Gandhi: UPA chairperson and Congress President, she has been appointed as the head of National Advisory Council (NAC), four years after quitting the post over an office-of-profit controversy. She will hold the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister.
S. Ramadorai: He has been appointed as the Chairman of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).


DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Vladmir Putin: Prime Minister of Russia.
Stephen Smith: Foreign Minister of Australia.
General Mohammad Abdul Mubeen: Army chief of Bangladesh.
Nelson Jobin: Defence Minister of Brazil.


DIED

Girija Prasad Koirala: Five-time Prime Minister of Nepal and architect of the landmark peace deal with the Maoists that ended a decade-long insurgency in Nepal.
G.P. Birla: Noted industrialist and second most eldest member of the Birla clan. He was 86.


MILESTONES

Capt Tejdeep Singh Rattan: A 31-year-old Dentist, he has become the first Sikh in over 25 years to be allowed to complete US Army officer basic training without giving up his turban or shaving his full beard.

EVENTS

MARCH
7--Explosions rock Iraq as the country votes to elect a new government, leading to 36 people getting killed.
29--Two female suicide bombers blow themselves up on two packed metro trains, near iconic Gorky Park in Moscow, killing more than 40 people.


  February 2010

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


S.C. Sinha:
Haryana cadre IPS officer, he has been appointed as the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Salil Shetty:
He has been appointed as the Secretary-General of Amnesty International. He is the first Indian to be appointed to the job and will succeed Irene Khan in June 2010.
RESIGNED


Shyam Saran:
Prime Minister’s special envoy on climate change.DISTINGUISHED VISITORS


Abdullah Gul:
President of Turkey.

Horst Koehler:
President of Germany.

Salman Bashir:
Foreign Secretary of Pakistan.DIED


Fred Morrison:
Inventor of the Frisbee, a flying-saucer shaped toy. He was 90.

Nanaji Deshmukh:
One of the founder members of Bhartiya Jan Sangh, social worker and former member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sbha. He was 93.

Kakkadah Nandanath Raj:
Leading economist of India who made a significant contribution in preparation of India’s first five-year Plan (1951-56). He was 85.

Nirmal Pandey:
Hindi films actor. He was 46. A graduate rom National School of Drama, he is best known for his roles in “Bandit Queen”, “Iss raat kee subha nahin” and “Pyar Kiya to darna kya”.

Tahir Hussain:
Well-known Hindi film-maker and father of film star Amir Khan. He is known for producing hits like “Hum hain rahi pyar ke”, “Zakhmee”, “Anamika” and “Caravan”.

EVENTS


FEBRUARY 2010
5--Twin blasts in Karachi claim 25 lives. Terrorists target a Shia religious procession and a hospital.

7--
India successfully test-fires its indigenous, nuclear-capable Agni-III missile, with a range of over 3,000 km.

13--
More than 11 people are killed in a high-intensity bomb explosion at the German bakery at Koregaon Park, Pune. This is the first major terror strike in India after 26/11 strikes in Mumbai.

15--
Maoists kill 24 jawans during s daring attack at a police camp at Simplipal in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

18--
Naxals gun down 11 persons in a village under Jamui district of Bihar.

21--
Taliban behead a Sikh in Pakistan for refusing to pay ‘jazia’ (money to protect a non-Muslim community).

24--
Railways Budget is presented in the Lok Sabha by Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee.

24--
Sachin Tendulkar becomes the first cricketer in the world to hit a double century in One-Day format (in ODI against South Africa, played in Gwalior).

26--
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents his fifth Union Budget in the Lok Sabha.

26--
Nine Indians are among 18 people killed in a series of attacks by militants in central Kabul, Afghanistan.

27--
Earthquake measuring 8.8 on Richter scale hits areas around Santiago, Chile, killing more than 500 people and destroying property worth billions of dollars.

27--
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh becomes the first Prime Minister in 28 years to visit Saudi Arabia.

MILESTONES

Sanjiv Mehta: He is the new owner of East India Company, the world’s first multinational whose forces once ruled much of the globe, including India.

 

 

January 2010

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


Mahinda Rajapaksa:
He has been re-elected as the President of Sri Lanka,

E.S.L. Narasimhan:
He has been appointed as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

Shivraj Patil:
He has been appointed as the Governor of Punjab and Chief Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh.

M.K. Narayanan:
He has been appointed as the Governor of West Bengal.

Prabha Rau:
She has been appointed as the Governor of Rajasthan.

Sekhar Dutt:
He has been appointed as the Governor of Chattisgarh.

M.O.H. Farooq:
He has been appointed as the Governor of Jharkhand.

K. Sankaranarayanan:
He has been appointed as the Governor of Maharashtra.

Urmila Singh:
She has been appointed as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh.

Gen Vijay Kumar Singh:
He has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army.

Shiv Shankar Menon:
He has been appointed as the National Security Advisor.

S. Sundareshan:
He has been appointed as the Petroleum Secretary in the Union government.

Vikram Srivastava:
He has been appointed as the Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Raman Srivastava:
He has taken over as the Chief of Border Security Force (BSF).

Ranjeet Kumar Bhatia:
He has taken over as the Chief of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Mrinal Pandey:
She has been appointed as the Chairperson of Prasar Bharti.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS


Lee Myung-bak:
President of South Korea. He was the Chief Guest on occasion of the Republic Day 2010.

Sheikh Hasina:
Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Uzi Arad:
National Security Adviser of Israel.

Vice-Admiral
Elizer Marom: Commander-in Chief of Israeli Navy.

Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak:
Prime Minister of Malaysia.DIED


Jyoti Basu:
CPM patriarch and former Chief Minister of West Bengal. He was 95.

Billy Arjan Singh:
Pioneering wildlife activist and author. He was 94.

Erich Segal:
Author of the tear-jerking novel Love Story and screenwriter of the Oscar-winning film version. He was 72.

EVENTS


JANUARY 2010
1--India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) comes into effect with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand implementing it with immediate effect.

1--
A suicide bomber blows up a car packed with explosives killing 70 people during a volleyball game in a village in north-west Pakistan.

4--
Blazing fireworks and dazzling lights mark the opening of the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai).

14--
The first holy bath of century’s and Uttarkhand’s first Maha Kumbh starts at Haridwar.

15--
Century’s longest annular solar eclipse takes place.

18--
Taliban attack heart of Kabul by targeting key government buildings.

13--
More than three lakh people are killed as an earthquake with 7.0 magnitude hits Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti.

25--
Ninety persons die in Ethiopian airlines crash into Mediterranean sea, shortly after take-off from Beirut.

26--
Sri Lanka goes to polls to elect new President.

27--
Bangladesh hangs five ex-Army officers convicted for assassinating country’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, almost three decades after he was killed in a military coup.

MILESTONES

Asma Parween: Her story features on the 2010 UN Population Fund calendar. A native of an obscure village, Sakri Saraiya in Bihar’s Muzzafarpur district, this 19 year-old girl defied her orthodox father to join an education-cum-vocational centre in her village. Today she is a history honours student as also a karate trainer.

                                                                                                                    

 

 

  December 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


Shibhu Soren:
JMM chief, he has been elected as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

Sushma Swaraj:
BJP leader, she is the new leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Nitin Gadkari:
He has been elected as the President of BJP.

Kaushik Basu:
He has been appointed Chief Economic Advisor in the Finance Ministry in place of Arvind Virmani, who has joined the International Monetary Fund as an Executive Director.

RESIGNED


N.D. Tiwari:
Governor of Andhra Pradesh, a day after his pictures in a sex romp were flashed in the media.

Lal Krishan Advani:
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS


Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck:
King of Bhutan.

Yukio Hatoyama:
Prime Minister of Japan.

Herve Morin:
Defence Minister of France.

Robert Zoellick:
President of World Bank.

DIED


Bina Rai:
Legendary actress who charmed Indian audiences with her performance in ‘Anarkali’ and ‘Taj Mahal’. She was 78.

S.K. Singh:
Governor of Rajasthan. He was 77.

Paul Samuelson:
Nobel economics laureate whose work helped form the basis of modern economics. He was 94.

EVENTS

DECEMBER
4--Over 40 people are killed as militants storm a mosque popular with army officers in Pakistan’s garrison city of Rawalpindi.

4--
The Nepal government, headed by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, holds a historic meeting at the base camp of Mt. Everest, amid freezing temperatures, to highlight the danger posed by global warming to the Himalayas.

5—
A massive blast triggered by fireworks display causes a stampede in a packed Russian nightclub in the Ural mountain city of Perm, killing at least 109 and wounding 130 others.

7--
A landmark and largest ever UN climate summit opens at Copenhagen, Denmark.

8--
A series of five coordinated attacks strike Baghdad leaving 118 people dead.

9--
Succumbing to pressure, the Union government concedes to the demand for a separate State of Telangana for which the process will be initiated and an appropriate resolution will be moved in Andhra Assembly in due course.

15--
At least 33 persons are killed in a powerful car bomb blast outside the home of a senior PML-N leader in Punjab province of Pakistan.

21--
Snow and freezing temperatures cause transport chaos across Europe.

28--
At least 32 people are killed in a suicide attack on a Muharram procession in Karachi, Pakistan.

31--
A suicide bomber penetrates army base in Afghanistan killing seven CIA men and five Canadians.

MILESTONES

Ben Bernanke: US Federal Reserve Bank Chairman, he has been named as the “Person of the Year, 2009” by the Time magazine, for helping guide USA through financial turmoil.

Jaspinder Grewal:
Patiala engineer who now resides in Chicago he is the youngest presenter at the US National Health IT Summit 2010 and the National HIPAA Summit 2010. HIPAA is the world’s biggest event as far as Healthcare Information Technology is concerned.

Kaiane Aldorino:
Miss Gibraltar, she has won the 2009 Miss World crown in a ceremony held at Johannesburg, South Africa. Miss Mexico Perla Beltran finished second, while Miss South Africa Tatum Keshwar was third.

 

 

  November 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


Hamid Karzai:
He has been re-elected as the President of Afghanistan.

Herman Van Rompuy:
Prime Minister of Belgium, he has been appointed as the first President of European union (EU).

J. B. Patnaik:
Former Odissa (Orissa) Chief Minister, he has been appointed as the Governor of Assam.

D.Y. Patil:
Noted educationalist from Maharashtra, he has been appointed as the Governor of Tripura.

Kamla Beniwal:
She has been appointed as the Governor of Gujarat.

Subir Gokarn:
Chief economist (Asia-Pacific) of global rating agency Standard & Poor, he has been appointed as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

RESIGNED


Anil Kakodar:
Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) of India.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS


Jose Manuel Barraso:
President of European Commission.

Kevin Rudd:
Prime Minister of Australia.

Stephen Harper:
Prime Minister of Canada.

Fredrik Reinfeldt:
Prime Minister of Sweden.

Manocheher Mottaki:
Foreign Minister of Iran.

DIED


Prabhash Joshi:
Noted Hindi journalist. He founded the newspaper Jansatta and later on wrote a column Kaagad Kare for years.

EVENTS

NOVEMBER
1--Afghanistan’s Presidential challenger Abdullah Abdullah withdraws from the run-off elections as his demands for measures to prevent fraud were rejected.


2--
A Taliban suicide bomber blows himself in Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s commercial hub close to the army headquarters, killing more than 34 people.

2--
Afghanistan’s election commission proclaims Hamid Karzai as the President of the country as the run-off elections is scrapped following Abdullah Abdullah pulling out of the elections.

9--
Thirteen MLAs of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) assault Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Abu Azmi inside the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for taking oath in Hindi. The Speaker suspends four MLAs for four years.

10--A suicide car bomb attack in a busy market near Peshawar, Pakistan kills 32 persons.

13--
Suicide bombers strike Pakistan’s ISI operational headquarters in Peshawar. 12 people are killed in the attack.

14--
Eleven coaches of the Delhi-bound Mandore Express derail near Jaipur killing six passengers.

19--
At least 19 persons are killed outside the district courts in Peshawar as a suicide bomber blows himself up while being frisked at the entrance gate.

22—
At least seven persons are killed and over 60 injured in twin blasts that rock Nalbari town of Lower Assam’s Nalbari district. ULFA is suspected to be behind the blasts.

22--
More than 90 people die in a massive gas explosion in China’s deadliest coal mine disaster in two years, at the Xinxing Coal mine.

25--
President Pratibha Patil creates history by becoming the first woman President to fly in a fighter jet, the Sukhoi-30MKI of the Indian Air Force.

25--
Defying boycott call by Maoists, 52% voters exercise their franchise in the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections.

28--
President of Pakistan Asif Zardari relinquishes command of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

MILESTONES

Dr Rajiv Shah: A young Indian-American doctor, he has been nominated by US President Obama as administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Satinder Sharma:
A Deputy Manager in State Bank of India, Chandigarh, he has become the first Indian hockey umpire to get Golden Whistle Award from the International Hockey Federation. Golden Whistle is given to only those umpires who have officiated in 100 or more international matches.

Pratibha Patil:
President of India, she has become the world’s first woman President to fly in a fighter aircraft. She flew in the Sukhoi-30 MKI from the Indian air Force’s Lohegaon air base in Pune.

Lata Mangeshkar:
Noted singer, she has been conferred the “Legion d’Honneur”, the French government’s highest award.

 

 

October 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


Ashok Chavan:
He has been re-elected as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda:
He has been re-elected as the Chief Minister of Haryana.

Dorjee Khandu:
He has been elected as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.

Sam Pitroda:
He has been appointed as the Advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Infrastructure, Innovation and Information. He will have the rank of a Cabinet Minister.

K. Radhakrishnan:
He has been appointed as the Chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Alok Prasad:
Senior diplomat and Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, he has been appointed as the Deputy National Security Adviser.

Kanuru Sujatha Rao:
She has been appointed as the Union Health Secretary in the Central government.DISTINGUISHED VISITORS


Stephen Smith:
Foreign Minister of Australia.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner:
President of Argentina.

Michel Sidibe:
UNAIDS Executive Director.

Gen. Ken J. Gillespie:
Chief of Army of Australia.

DIED

Inderjeet Hassanpuri: The maestro of Punjabi language who weaved words with pastoral flavour like “Sare pind ch puare paye ...”, “kurti mal mal di”.

EVENTS

OCTOBER
1--China celebrates 60 years of Mao Zedong declaring the birth of a Communist People’s Republic of China.

3--
Floods in northern and parts of coastal Karnataka leave more than 170 people dead. This is the first time in 60 years that such a deluge is experienced in Karnataka.

7--
More than 800 people are killed as a powerful earthquake rocks western Indonesia. Padang, a coastal city and capital of West Sumatra province is hit the hardest.

8--
Seventeen people are killed in a blast outside India’s Kabul Embassy. Three-ring security cordon saves Indians inside the Embassy.

8--
In yet another brazen attack on the State, Naxalites kill 17 policemen belonging to Maharashtra’s C-60 anti-Naxal force on Gadchiroli district.

9--
At least 50 people are killed in a massive car bomb blast in the busy Khyber Bazar in Peshawar, Pakistan.

10--
Taliban terrorists storm Pakistan Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi and kill a Brigadier, a Lt Col and four other army men, as also take more than 50 people as hostage.

10--
The dramatic 22-hour siege of the Pakistan Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi ends after commandos storm the premises and free 42 hostages from the terrorists.

12—
A devastating suicide bomb hits north-west Pakistan killing 41 people as a bomber, reported to be aged about 13, flings himself at a military convoy passing through a busy market in Shangla, a north-west district near Swat.

12--
Nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile test-fired successfully from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur.

12--
Forty one people are killed in a suicide attack in Shangla district in Pakistan’s Malakand division.

13--
Maharahtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh go to polls to elect new Legislative Assemblies.

15--
Terror strikes in three cities of Pakistan (suicide blast in Kohat, Car bomb in Peshawar, attack on security forces in Lahore) leaves more than 39 dead.

16--
Police station in Peshawar, Pakistan, is hit by a suicide car bomb, killing more than 13 people.

18--
Pakistani jets and artillery pound Taliban bases killing 60 militants in the lawless Waziristan region.

18--
Top military brass is among 50 killed in suicide blast in the city of Pisheen in Iran, near the border with Pakistan.

20--
At least six persons are killed in twin suicide blasts on the new campus of Islamabad’s International Islamic University.

21--
Twenty two people are killed as Goa Sampoornkranti Express rams stationary Mewar Express train near Mathura.

23--
More than 26 people are killed in Pakistan as three blasts rock the country in 24 hours. Among the places targeted is Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra, in Punjab province.

25--
Twin suicide bomb blasts in Baghdad kill more than 135 people, delivering a blow to the heart of the fragile city’s government.

27--
Armed cadres of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) as well as Maoists hijack Bhubaneshwar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express near Jhargram town. The train is released after a five-hour drama.

28--
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurates Anantnag-Qazigund rail section in south Kashmir.

28--
Car bomb kills 95 people in Peshawar, Pakistan.

28--
Taliban storm UN house in Kabul and kill 10 persons, including six of UN staff.

29--
A major blaze at Jaipur IOC depot leaves more than 5 people killed.

MILESTONES

Meira Kumar: Lok Sabha Speaker, she has been chosen to head Asia-Pacific Parliamentary panel.

 

 

  September 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


K. Rosaiah:
He has taken over as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj: President of Mongolia.

Mizengo K. Pinda: Prime Minister of Tanzania.
Ms Dipu Moni:
External Affairs Minister of Bangladesh.
Mohamed El Baradei:
Director-General of International Atomic Energy Agency.

DIED

Y.S.R. Reddy: Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He died in a helicopter crash. He was 60.

Dr Norman Borlaug:
Agricultural Scientist, also known as the father of “Green Revolution”, whose high-yield crop innovations were responsible for bumper harvests in States like Punjab in the 1970s. He was 95.

Meenakshi Mukherjee: Litterateur and Sahitya Akademi winner for her book “The Perishable Empire: Essays on Indian Writing in English”.  She was a big name in English literature. She was 72.

Raj Singh Dungarpur: Former President of the Board of Control for Indian Cricket. He was 73. Born into royal family of Dungarpur, now in modern-day Rajasthan, he represented Rajasthan in the Ranji trophy from 1955 to 1971 as a medium-fast bowler.

Patrick Swayze: Hollywood actor, best-known to Indian audience for his role as the good-hearted American doctor Max Lowe in the 1992 movie ‘City of Joy’. He was 57. He came into limelight with the cult classic movie ‘Dirty Dancing’. His other known blockbuster was “Ghost”.

EVENTS

SEPTEMBER
2--32 people are killed as a powerful earthquake hits southern Indonesia.

3--Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy dies in a helicopter crash over Nalamala forest area in Kurnool district of the State.

17--A suicide car bomber kills at least 16 people, including six Italian soldiers, in an attack on a military convoy on a road in the centre of Kabul, Afghanistan.

18--At least 33 people are killed in a suicide bomb attack in north-western Pakistan. The bomber targeted the Kachcha-Pucca market of Kohat district in NWFP.

24--NASA probe on board Chandrayaan finds water on the surface of the moon.

26--At least 20 persons are killed in two back-to-back suicide bombings by Pakistani Taliban faction in Peshawar.

30--A series of tsunamis smash into the Pacific island nations of American and Western Samoa, killing more than 120 people. The tsunamis were triggered by a 8.0 magnitude earthquake south-west of American Samoa.

MILESTONES

Yugratna Srivastava: This 13-year-old girl from Lucknow spoke on behalf of the world’s three billion children during the summit on climate change. She addressed over a 100 world leaders, including US President Barack Obama.

Khagendra Thapa Magar: of Nepal, who is 20 inches tall and weighs 4.5 kg, will be declared as the world's shortest person by the Guinness Book of World Records when he turns 18 in October.

Pragya Khanna: She learnt French for two years to undertake a research project and then she came out with a startling discovery of 14 more species of chironomus, popularly called “midge fly”, that fetched her “International Educator of the Year” award. The larvae of 14 new species, very sensitive to pollutants in water, would now be applied to study pollutants in water bodies and remedial measures would be suggested to free water bodies from contamination of all sorts, be it sewerage waste, domestic refuse or industrial effluents. The seven out of 14 species have been named after 35-year-old expert as PK1 to PK7. A lecturer of zoology at the Government College for Women here, Pragya has presented 30 research papers, five monographs, 90 popular articles and two books on the subject of her expertise. She has also attended 35 conferences in the past eight years in the country.

 

August 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


Yukio Hatoyama:
He has been elected as the Prime Minister of Japan.

C. Rangarajan: He has been appointed as the head of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC). The other members of PMEAC are: M. Govinda Rao, V.S. Vyas, Suman Bery and Saumitra Chaudhari.

Dr V.K. Saraswat: He has been appointed as the Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He will also be the new Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development, besides being the Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister.

U.D. Choubey: He has taken over as Director General of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), the apex body of public sector units.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Madhav Kumar Nepal: Prime Minister of Nepal.

Kim Jong-hoon: Trade Minister of South Korea.

Sujata Koirala: External Affairs Minister of Nepal.

DIED

Gulshan Bawra: Noted film lyricist who gave memorable songs like ‘Mere Desh ki Dharti’. He was 72.

Patwant Singh: One of the leading Sikh literary personalities and a noted writer on international issues. He was 84.

Les Paul: Legendary US guitarist and inventor who pioneered designs of electric guitars. He was 94.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy: The last surviving brother of President J.F. Kennedy and one of the most influential US Senators in history. He was 77. He was also known as the “Lion of Senate”.

EVENTS

AUGUST
3--First swine flu death in India is reported from Pune.

7--Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s most feared terrorist commander who established the Taliban as a force in huge swathes and unleashed attacks across the country, is killed in a US missile attack on the house he was hiding in.

7--Indian Coast Guard detains a “suspicious” North Korean ship for dropping anchor off Hut Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

10--Two truck bombs targeting a tiny sect in a village in northern Iraq and a spate of bloody bombings in Baghdad kill at least 47 persons.

10--Typhoon Morakot causes the worst flooding in Taiwan in half a century.

13--India and ASEAN sign a free-trade agreement to create a European Union-style single market that will boost trade by $10 billion in the very first year.

18--Taliban attacks rock Afghanistan two days before elections. Suicide bombers kill more than 12 people, including UN staff and NATO troops.

19--Series of explosions kill at least 95 people in Central Baghdad, the deadliest day in the Iraqi capital since US troops withdrew from urban centres in June 2009.

20--Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the terminally-ill Libyan who was the only person convicted for downing a US passenger jet that killed 270 people in 1988 over Lockerbie, is released by Scotland on compassionate grounds. The White House “deeply regrets” the Scottish decision and US family members of Lockerbie victims express outrage.

29--India’s first moon mission, Chandrayaan-1, looses radio contact with mission control leading to ISRO abandoning the mission.

29--Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turns the ‘wheel of fortune’—a valve—to allow first gush of oil from Cairn’s Mangala field in Barmer, Rajasthan, India’s biggest oil discovery in over two decades.

30--For only the second time in post-war history, Japan votes out Liberal Democratic Party and hands a landslide victory to the Democratic Party of Japan.

MILESTONES

Sonia Sotomayor: She is the first Hispanic to be sworn-in as the US Supreme Court judge. She also became the first high court member to have her oath-taking made available to TV cameras.

Nirmala Deshpande: The Pakistan government has decided to confer its highest civilian award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, posthumously on Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande for working towards peace, harmony and cordial relations between India and Pakistan. It is for the first time that services of any Indian woman to public life and her contribution to building amity in the region had been acknowledged by the Pakistan government.

Stefania Fernandez: She has won the Miss Universe pageant 2009. Miss Dominican Republic Ada Aimee De la Cruz was first runner-up and Miss Kosovo Gona Dragusha was second runner-up. The pageant was held at Nassau, Bahamas.

 

  August 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.


Yukio Hatoyama:
He has been elected as the Prime Minister of Japan.

C. Rangarajan: He has been appointed as the head of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC). The other members of PMEAC are: M. Govinda Rao, V.S. Vyas, Suman Bery and Saumitra Chaudhari.

Dr V.K. Saraswat: He has been appointed as the Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He will also be the new Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development, besides being the Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister.

U.D. Choubey: He has taken over as Director General of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), the apex body of public sector units.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Madhav Kumar Nepal: Prime Minister of Nepal.

Kim Jong-hoon: Trade Minister of South Korea.

Sujata Koirala: External Affairs Minister of Nepal.

DIED

Gulshan Bawra: Noted film lyricist who gave memorable songs like ‘Mere Desh ki Dharti’. He was 72.

Patwant Singh: One of the leading Sikh literary personalities and a noted writer on international issues. He was 84.

Les Paul: Legendary US guitarist and inventor who pioneered designs of electric guitars. He was 94.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy: The last surviving brother of President J.F. Kennedy and one of the most influential US Senators in history. He was 77. He was also known as the “Lion of Senate”.

EVENTS

AUGUST
3--First swine flu death in India is reported from Pune.

7--Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s most feared terrorist commander who established the Taliban as a force in huge swathes and unleashed attacks across the country, is killed in a US missile attack on the house he was hiding in.

7--Indian Coast Guard detains a “suspicious” North Korean ship for dropping anchor off Hut Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

10--Two truck bombs targeting a tiny sect in a village in northern Iraq and a spate of bloody bombings in Baghdad kill at least 47 persons.

10--Typhoon Morakot causes the worst flooding in Taiwan in half a century.

13--India and ASEAN sign a free-trade agreement to create a European Union-style single market that will boost trade by $10 billion in the very first year.

18--Taliban attacks rock Afghanistan two days before elections. Suicide bombers kill more than 12 people, including UN staff and NATO troops.

19--Series of explosions kill at least 95 people in Central Baghdad, the deadliest day in the Iraqi capital since US troops withdrew from urban centres in June 2009.

20--Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the terminally-ill Libyan who was the only person convicted for downing a US passenger jet that killed 270 people in 1988 over Lockerbie, is released by Scotland on compassionate grounds. The White House “deeply regrets” the Scottish decision and US family members of Lockerbie victims express outrage.

29--India’s first moon mission, Chandrayaan-1, looses radio contact with mission control leading to ISRO abandoning the mission.

29--Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turns the ‘wheel of fortune’—a valve—to allow first gush of oil from Cairn’s Mangala field in Barmer, Rajasthan, India’s biggest oil discovery in over two decades.

30--For only the second time in post-war history, Japan votes out Liberal Democratic Party and hands a landslide victory to the Democratic Party of Japan.

MILESTONES

Sonia Sotomayor: She is the first Hispanic to be sworn-in as the US Supreme Court judge. She also became the first high court member to have her oath-taking made available to TV cameras.

Nirmala Deshpande: The Pakistan government has decided to confer its highest civilian award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, posthumously on Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande for working towards peace, harmony and cordial relations between India and Pakistan. It is for the first time that services of any Indian woman to public life and her contribution to building amity in the region had been acknowledged by the Pakistan government.

Stefania Fernandez: She has won the Miss Universe pageant 2009. Miss Dominican Republic Ada Aimee De la Cruz was first runner-up and Miss Kosovo Gona Dragusha was second runner-up. The pageant was held at Nassau, Bahamas.

 

 

 

July 2009

 

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

Banwari Lal Joshi: He has been appointed as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
Gurbachan Jagat:
Governor of Manipur, he has been given additional charge as Governor of Nagaland.
Iqbal Singh:
He has been appointed as the Lt. Governor of Puducherry.
Jagannath Pahadia:
He has been appointed as the Governor of Haryana.
K. Sankaranarayanan:
He has been appointed as Governor of Jharkhand.
Margaret Alva:
She has been appointed as the Governor of Uttarkhand.
Syed Sibtey Razi:
He has been appointed as the Governor of Assam.
Nalin Surie:
He has been appointed as the High Commissioner of India to United Kingdom.
S. Jaishankar:
He has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to China.
Tim J. Roemer:
He has been appointed as the Ambassador of USA to India.
Nirupama Rao:
She has been appointed as the Foreign Secretary of India.
Pradeep Kumar:
He has been appointed as the Defence Secretary of India.
Ram Sevak Sharma:
He has been appointed as the first Director-General and Mission Head of the National Unique Identification Authority of India (NUIAI).
Sunil Mitra:
He has been appointed as the Disinvestment Secretary of India.
V. Sridhar:
He has been appointed as the Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

 

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

General Bismilah Khan Mohammadi: Army Chief of Afghanistan.
Hillary Clinton:
Secretary of State of USA.
Samuel Aba:
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration of Papua New Guinea.

DIED

Corazon Aquino: Former President of Philippines who had led millions of Filipinos in protests against Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, in a popular revolt in 1986, before taking over as the President. She was 76.
Gangubai Hangal:
Doyen of Hindustani vocal music. She was 97.
Devendra Dwivedi:
Governor-designate of Gujarat. He was 73.
Gayatri Devi:
Erstwhile Rajmata fo Jaipur. She was 90. She was once listed among the world’s ten most beautiful women by Vogue magazine.
Leela Naidu:
Hindi film actress, who mesmerised audiences with her classic beauty in films like "Anuradha" and "Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke”. She was 69.
Tyeb Mehta:
Noted Indian painter. He was 84.
Walter Cronkite:
America’s legendary broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman Walter Cronkite. He was 92.

EVENTS

JULY
2--The Union Cabinet decides to recommend the extension of President’s Rule in Jharkhand by another six months, on the ground that no party or grouping had been able to muster the numbers required to form a government in the State.

4--
In its second biggest salvo of ballistic weaponry in three years, North Korea test-fies seven missiles, sending a message of defiance to USA on its Independence Day.

12--
Naxalites kill 26 police personnel in Chhattisgarh.

13--
At least 16 people, many of them children, are killed as a powerful explosion rips apart a madrassa-cum-bomb-making factory in a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

15--
An Iranian passenger Airliner crashes near Tehran, shortly after take-off, killing all 168 on board.

17--
Bombs rip through two luxury hotels in the heart of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, killing eight persons and wounding a dozen.

22--
Twenty-first century’s longest total solar eclipse occurs over India. Totality lasts for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds and will not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 2132.

25--
History is created as Border Security Force (BSF) inducts the first batch of women constables who will be deployed in combat role on the international border.

25--
The first-ever women’s batch of Border Security Force (BSF) passes out of BSF’s Subsidiary Training Centre, Kharkan, Hoshiarpur, Punjab. Deployed for the first time in combat role, the women will be required to stand guard at the international border at Atari-Wagah border near Amritsar.

26--
India, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays homage to the martyrs of the Kargil war.

26--
India’s first indigenously developed nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, is launched by Mrs Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

28--
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah resigns on sex romp charges by Opposition PDP party. He is, however, persuaded to stay after Union Home Minister says the charge is false.

31-
Britain withdraws its troops from Iraq, concluding six years of military involvement in the country that began with the US-led invasion which ousted Saddam Hussein.

MILESTONES

Edmond Salis: French pilot, he flew on July 26, 2009 to Dover on a ‘Bleriot XI’, a restored original of the plane in which Louis Bleriot crossed the English Channel exactly a 100 years ago.

Russell Peters: Canadian comedian of Indian parents who came from Kolkata, he has been ranked among the top 10 Earning Comedians in the world by Forbes.

Sanjukta Pangi: A Class 12 student at a government school in Karanjaguda village of Orissa’s Koraput district, she was one of the 14 participating youngsters from different countries who are in Italy for the J8 (Junior 8) summit, an offshoot of the powerful G8, the group of world’s most wealthy and industrialised countries. The 14 youngsters were selected to meet the top world leaders from G8 and G5 from among 54 youngsters aged between 14 and 17 years. At the meeting, the J8 representatives called on their respective leaders to get tough with countries who don’t meet climate change targets and teachers whose standards slip.

 

 

 

June 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

Hans Raj Bhardwaj: He has been appointed as the Governor of Karnataka.
Rameshwar Thakur: He has been appointed as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.
Devanand Konwar: He has been appointed as the Governor of Bihar.
Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank: He has been elected as the Chief Minister of Uttarkhand.
Meira Kumar (Mrs): She has been elected as the first woman—who also happens to be a Dalit—as the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Her deputy would be BJP leader Karia Munda.
Pawan Kumar Bansal: Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, he has been given additional charge of Water Resources Ministry.
Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik: He has taken over as the Chief of Indian Air Force.
Goolam E. Vahanvati: He has been appointed as the Attorney-General of India. He is the first Muslim to hold the top law officer’s post.
Gopal Subramaniam: Former additional Solicitor-General, he has been appointed as the Solicitor-General, the second most important law officer of the central government.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia: He has become the first deputy chairman of Planning Commission to retain the post after the government reconstituted the plan panel, which will also have three new members. The new entrants to the Commission are: Saumitra Chaudhuri, former member of the PM's Economic Advisory Council, Narendra Jadhav, honorary vice-chancellor of Pune University, and Mihir Shah, Secretary of Samaj Pragati Sahayog.
Kamlesh Chandra Chakrabarty: He has taken charge as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Nandan Nilekani: Co-chairman of Infosys, he has been appointed as the chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India, constituted to provide national identity cards to Indian citizens.
G.K. Pillai: He has been appointed as the Home Secretary of India.
Peter Varghese: He has been appointed as Australia’s High Commissioner to India.

RESIGNED

Bhuvan Chand Khanduri: Chief Minister of Uttarkhand.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y. Thinley: Prime Minister of Bhutan, he is the first head of a foreign State to visit India during the second term of the UPA government.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan: External Affairs Minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE).


DIED

Habib Tanvir: World-renowned theatre personality. He was 86.
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan: Sarod maestro. He was 88. His father, Baba Allauddin Khan, was one of the greatest names of Hindustani music.
Michael Jackson: The King of pop, who first enraptured audiences as a child star and eventually moon-walked his way into hearts of millions around the world. He was 50.
Shiv Charan Mathur: Governor of Assam.
Millivina Dean: The last survivor of the 1912 sinking of the “Titanic”. She was 97. Dean was just nine weeks old when her family sold a pub they owned in London to travel on the maiden voyage of the passenger liner and begin a new life in Wichita, Kansas, in the United States. Her father was one of the 1,517 people who died. Dean, who was wrapped in a sack to protect her from the cold and lowered into a lifeboat, was the youngest of the 706 Titanic survivors.




EVENTS

JUNE
1--An Air France plane with 228 persons on board crashes into Atlantic Ocean after hitting heavy turbulence during a flight from Rio de Janerio to Paris.
5--In raging violence in Pakistan’s restive north-west, a suicide bomber blows himself in a mosque at Hayagai Sherqi in Upper Dir district near Peshawar, killing more than 40 people.
18--The rate of inflation, as measured by the wholesale price index, turns negative for the first time in over 30 years.
20--Security forces re-capture Lalgarh police post in West Bengal from Maoists. The post had been under the control of Maoists for last eight months.
21--Saina Nehwal scripts history by becoming the first Indian Badminton player to win a Super Series tournament.
29--In Central America’s first military coup since the end of Cold war, Honduras President Manuel Zelaya is overthrown and exiled by the army.



 

MILESTONES

Farah Pandith: A Kashmiri-origin woman, she has been appointed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a Special Representative to Islamic communities to reach out to the Muslim world, providing momentum to US President Barack Obama’s efforts for a “new beginning” with the community.

 

 

 

  April-May 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

Jacob Zuma: He has been elected as the President of South Africa.
Dr Manmohan Singh: He has been elected as the Prime Minister of India.
Madhav Kumar Nepal: Veteran Communist leader and former general-secretary of CPN-UML, he has been elected as the Prime Minister of Nepal.
Naveen Patnaik: He has been elected as the Chief Minister of Orissa. His Biju Janata Dal has become the first regional party to come to power on its own in Orissa.
V.S. Sampath: He has been appointed as the Election Commissioner of India.
Pawan K. Chamling: He has been elected as Chief Minister of Sikkim.D.D. Lapang: He has been elected as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
Timothy J. Roemer: He has been appointed as the US Ambassador to India.
Madhu Kannan: He has been appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bombay Stock Exchange.
J.S. Sarma: TDSAT member, he has taken-over as Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), succeeding Nripendra Mishra.


RESIGNED

Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda: Prime Minister of Nepal.
Arun Bhatnagar:
Chairman of Prasar Bharti Board.


DIED

Raja Chelliah: Noted economist who led the first tax reforms as India was undertaking its economic restructuring in early 90s. He was 86.

Vishnu Prabhakar: Renowned Hindi litterateur. He was 97. His famous works include Awara, Masiha, Pankheen, Jane Anjane, Dhalti Raat, Swapnamayi, Nav Prabhat and Doctor, besides Ardhanarishwar for which he was awarded Sahitya Akademi award.

J.G. Ballard: Renowned British author. His novel Empire of the Sun vividly portrayed his childhood imprisonment in wartime Shanghai and was adapted into a Hollywood film by Steven Spielberg.
Kamala Das: Well-known writer Kamala ‘Suraiya’ Das , who courted controversy with her unorthodox views. She was 75.


Feroz Khan: Hindi film actor, who made a place in the hearts of film lovers with his romantic portrayals. He was 69. He had made his debut in 1960 with Didi.
Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga: He was the only surviving legendary revolutionary of the Ghadar party and one of the most respected revolutionaries of pre- and post-Independence era.
Prakash Mehra: Legendry Hindi-film producer-director who gave Amitabh Bachchan his first success with “Zanjeer”. He was 69.
Robert Furchgott: An American scientist who shared the 1998 Nobel prize for his work that led to the development of the anti-impotency drug Viagra. He was 92.


UNION COUNCIL OF MINISTERS


Dr Manmohan Singh:
Prime Minister

Cabinet Ministers
Pranab Mukherjee: Finance
P. Chidambaram: Home
A.K. Antony: Defence
Sharad Pawar: Agriculture and Food and Civil Supplies
S.M. Krishna: External Affairs
Mamata Banerjee: Railways
Virbhadra Singh: Steel
Vilasrao Deshmukh: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
Ghulam Nabi Azad: Health and Family Welfare
Sushil Kumar Shinde: Power
M. Veerappa Moily: Law and Justice
Dr. Farooq Abdullah: New and Renewable Energy
S. Jaipal Reddy: Urban Development
Kamal Nath: Road Transport and Highways
Vayalar Ravi: Overseas Indian Affairs 
Dayanidhi Maran: Textiles
A. Raja: Communications and Information Technology
Murli Deora: Petroleum and Natural Gas
Ambika Soni: Information and Broadcasting
Mallikarjun Kharge: Labour and Employment
Kapil Sibal: Human Resource Development
B.K. Handique: Mines and Minister of Development of North Eastern Region
Anand Sharma: Commerce and Industry
C.P. Joshi: Rural Development and Panchayati Raj
Selja: Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Tourism
Subodh Kant Sahay: Food Processing Industries
Dr M.S. Gill: Youth Affairs and Sports
G.K. Vasan: Minister of Shipping
Pawan Kumar Bansal: Parliamentary Affairs
Mukul Wasnik: Social Justice and Empowerment
Kantilal Bhuria: Tribal Affairs
M.K. Azhagiri: Chemicals and Fertilizers

Ministers of State
(Independent Charge)

Praful Patel: Civil Aviation
Prithviraj Chavan: Science and Technology; Earth Sciences; Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; and Parliamentary Affairs
Sriprakash Jaiswal: Coal; and Statistics and Programme Implementation
Salman Khursheed: Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs
Dinsha J. Patel: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Krishna Tirath: Women and Child Development
Jairam Ramesh: Environment and Forests

Ministers of State
Srikant Jena: Chemicals and Fertilisers
E. Ahamed: Railways
Mullappally Ramachandran: Home Affairs
V. Narayansamy: Planning and Parliamentary Affairs
Jyotiraditya Scindia: Commerce and Industry
D. Purandeswari: Human Resource Development
K.H. Muniyappa: Railways
Ajay Maken: Home Affairs
Panabaka Lakshmi: Textiles
Namo Narain Meena: Finance
M.M. Pallam Raju: Defence
Saugata Ray: Urban Development
S.S. Palanimanickam: Finance
Jitin Prasad: Petroleum and Natural Gas
A. Sai Prathap: Steel
Preneet Kaur: External Affairs
Gurdas Kamat: Communications and Information Technology
Harish Rawat: Labour and Employment
Prof. K.V. Thomas: Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
Bharatsinh Solanki: Power
Mahadev S. Khandela: Road Transport and Highways
Dinesh Trivedi: Health and Family Welfare
Sisir Adhikari: Rural Development
Sultan Ahmed: Tourism
Mukul Roy: Shipping
Mohan Jatua: Information and Broadcasting
D. Napoleon: Social Justice and Empowerment
Dr. S. Jagathrakshakan: Information and Broadcasting
S. Gandhiselvan: Health and Family Welfare
Tusharbhai Chaudhary: Tribal Affairs
Sachin Pilot: Communications and Information Technology
Arun Yadav: Youth Affairs and Sports
Pratik Prakashbapu Patil: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
R.P.N. Singh: Road Transport and Highways
Shashi Tharoor: External Affairs
Vincent Pala: Water Resources
Pradeep Jain: Rural Development
Agatha Sangma: Rural Development



EVENTS

APRIL
13--Eleven CISF jawans and four Maoists are killed in a gunfight in a well-
guarded armoury and bauxite mine of Nalco in Orissa.
14--Notwithstanding opposition from various countries, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari ratifies a regulation for enforcing Islamic Shariah laws in the restive Swat Valley as part of a peace deal with the Taliban militants.
15--India successfully test fires a version of nuclear-capable Prithvi-II ballistic missile with a range of 350 km from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, off the Orissa coast.
16--In the first phase of elections, about 58-62% of the 14.3 crore voters exercise their franchise in 124 constituencies across 17 States, even as Naxalites kill 19 people, including 10 security personnel, across Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
18--A suicide bomber rams his explosive laden vehicle into a police check post killing 23 people, most of them secu-rity personnel, in Pakistan’s troubled NWFP.
20--India successfully launches a surveillance satellite, RISAT-2, built jointly with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.
22--Over one lakh Tamil civilians have flee the LTTE-held No Fire Zone (NFZ) amid intense fighting between the LTTE cadres and the Sri Lankan Army (SLA).
23--Phase II of general elections in 140 constituencies across 12 States is completed.
26--Governments around the world rush to check the spread of a new type of swine flu that kills more than 100
people in Mexico.
29--The Pakistan government claims successes in its war against militants in Buner after capturing strategic points and villages. However, the army action leads to internal displacement of thousands of people.
30--Nearly 50 per cent of the voters exercise their franchise in the third phase of the general elections in 107
constituencies spread over nine States and two Union Territories.
—A wave of ethnic violence sweeps Karachi, Pakistan, killing at least 29 persons, including Pashtuns and Urdu-speaking supporters of the MQM.



MAY

6--More than 100 civilians are killed in Army strikes on militants in Afghanistan.
7--Polling is held for 85 Lok Sabha seats across eight States.
13—Curtain rings down on the massive exercise of voting in the Lok Sabha elections with nearly 62 per cent electorate casting ballots in the fifth and final phase.
16—The first case of swine flu in India is confirmed in Hyderabad by the director-general of health services in New Delhi. A 23-year-old passenger from Dubai was suspected of having contracted the virus and quarantined after his samples tested positive of the H1N1 flu.
18—For the first time in the history of Mumbai Stock Exchange, circuit breaker is applied to stop trading after just 30 seconds to cool down an over-heated market as a buying spree pushes the Sensex up by 2000 points.
--President Pratibha Patil dissolves the 14th Lok Sabha, paving way for the constitution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
--The chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), V. Prabhakaran is killed by Sri Lanka army. Sri Lanka armed forces free the nation from three decades of LTTE terror.
--In a frenzy unprecedented in the history of Indian stock market, Sensex jumps up by 2,110.79 points, or 17.3 per cent, following Congress win in Lok Sabha elections.
19—India successfully test-fires its nuclear-capable ‘Agni-II’ missile with a strike range of upto 3,000 km from a launch pad of Integrated Test Range at Wheelers Island near Dhamra, off Orissa coast.
22—Dr Manmohan Singh is sworn-in as the Prime Minister of India for a second term.
23—Pakiatani security forces enter Mingora, the main city of Swat valley, killing more than 17 militants and signalling a new phase of their offensive against the Taliban militants.
24—Curfew is clamped in Jalandhar city in Punjab as tension grips the DOaba region within hours of attack in the head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan in a temple shootout in Vienna, Austria.
25—Cyclone “Aila” kills more than 100 people in West Bengal.
--North Korea conducts a second nuclear test, far more powerful than its first one.
26—North Korea tests two short-range missiles a day after detonating a nuclear bomb underground, pushing the regime’s confrontation with world powers further.
27—A massive car bomb rips through headquarters of ISI in Lahore, killing more than 30 people. It is termed as one of the most devastating suicide attacks by Taliban elements in Lahore.



 

MILESTONES

Jose Brasa: of Spain, he has been appointed the chief coach of India’s men’s hockey team.

Milan Vohra: Mills & Boons, the biggest, most breathless romance publisher in the world, has completed its search for fresh literary talent and its first writer from India is Milan Vohra. It was Vohra’s short story, The Love Asana that impressed the judges.

Shubhra Saxena: of Ghaziabad, she has topped the Civil Services Examination, 2008.
Yelena Isinbayeva: Russian pole vaulter and Olympic gold medallist, she has won her second Laureus World Sportswmoan of the Year award.
Kavya Shivashankar: Indian-American teenager who won the televised US National Spelling Bee competition, nailing esoteric words from “hydrargyrum” to “Laodicean.


 

 

 

  Feb-March 2009

APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

 

Zillur Rahman: He has been elected as the President of Bangladesh.

 

Benjamin Netanyahu: He has been elected as Prime Minister of Israel.

 

Navin Chawla: He has been appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner of India. He will take over from April 20, 2009.

 

Sharat Sabharwal: He has been appointed as India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.

 

Meera Shankar: She has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to USA.

 

Pavan K. Varma: He has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to Bhutan.

 

Dhanendra Kumar: He has been appointed as Chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

 

N.P.S. Aulakh: He has been appointed as the Director General of National Security Guards (NSG).

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Boni Yayi: President of Benin.


Ban Ki-Moon:
Secretary-General of United Nations.

 

Richard Holbrooke: US special envoy

 

Robert Mueller: Chief of Federal Bureau of Information (FBI) of USA.

EVENTS

FEBRUARY
9--A female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber, hiding among a group of civilians fleeing Sri Lanka’s war zone, blows herself, killing at least 28 persons and wounding 90.
11--Eight Taliban gunmen wearing suicide vests attack three Afghan government buildings in a coordinated assault, killing 20 people in the heart of Kabul.
12--Two big communications satellites collide in space, in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds.
13--One of India’s flagship trains, Coromandel Express, crashes out of its tracks, leaving at least 15 people dead and more than 140 injured.
16--In a first-ever such accident a British and a French nuclear submarines—HMS Vanguard, a Royal Navy’s Trident class, and French Navy’s new Le Tricomphant—both carrying nuke warheads, are reported to have collided in the Atlantic Ocean, but there was no loss of life.
18--A Pakistani journalist with Geo TV, Musa Khan Khel, is shot dead in Matta area of Swat Valley in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), two days after Islamabad allowed the Taliban to impose Shariat in the area.
20--A suicide bomber kills 30 people in the northwestern Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan.
—At least 38 people are wounded aftern two Tamil Tiger rebel planes raid Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, and bomb the country’s tax headquarters.
25--Bangladesh Border Guards (BDR) launch a dramatic mutiny, taking officers hostage and sparking a gun-battle that leaves many dead.
26--The Mutiny by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) ends in Dhaka and six other locations across Bangladesh. The stand-off leaves an estimated 100 people dead.
—The term of the 14th Lok Sabha comes to a friendly end
28--The keel of India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) is laid at the Cochin Shipyard.

MARCH
2--The Election Commission of India announces the dates for holding elections to the 15th Lok Sabha. The general elections would be conducted in five phases between April 16 and May 13, 2009
3--In a brazen attack on a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, a dozen masked gunmen wound seven players and a British coach and kill at least six Pakistanis, including five police escort.
6--Liquor baron Vijay Mallya bids over Rs 10 crore to buy the lot of personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi that were put on auction by Los Angles- based film-maker James Otis.
—India successfully tests interceptor missile to engage and destroy “enemy” missile.


MILESTONES

Prasoon Joshi: Executive chairman of McCann Worldgroup India, he has been named as part of the ten-member Cannes Titanium and Integrated Jury 2009, a first for an Indian ad professional.

Justice Kamaljit Singh Garewal: of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he has been elected to UN Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) for a seven-year-term beginning July 1, 2009.

Sourabhee Debbraman: of Tripura has bagged the Indian Idol crown 2009. She is the first girl to win the contest.

 

 

 
January-February 2009
APPOINTED; ELECTED; Etc.

 

Radha Vinod Raju:He has been appointed as the first of the newly formed National Investigative Agency (NIA).

 

K.C. Verma: He has been appointed as the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) Chief.

 

A.S. Gill: He has been appointed as the Chief of CRPF.

 

S.S. Khurana: He has taken over as the Chairman of Railway Board.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

Nursultan Nazarbayev: President of Kazakhstan. He was the Guest of Honour at the Republic Day parade 2009.

 

Hamid Karzai: President of Afghanistan.

 

Rear Admiral Ahmed Mohammed al-Sabah al-Tenaji: Commander of the United Arab Emirates Navy.

 

Gerry Ritz: Agriculture Minister of Canada.

 

David Miliband: Foreign Secretary of UK.

 

Moctar Ouane: Foreign Minister of Mali.

 

Ameen Faisal: Defence and National Security Minister of Maldives.

 

DIED


R. Venkataraman:
Former President of India. He was 98.

 

Ranbir Singh Hooda: The last surviving member of the Constituent Assembly of India.

 

Tapan Sinha: Noted film maker of Bengal. He was 84. A Dadasaheb Phalke award recipient, he was best known for films like Kabuliwallah, Ek Doctor Ki Maut, Atanka and, more recently, Wheelchair.

 

John Updike: A giant of the written word, best known as a prolific chronicler of American suburban mores, manners and misbehaviour in best-selling novels. He was 76. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for literature twice.

EVENTS

JANUARY
17--A suicide car bomb kills a US service member and four Afghan civilians in an attack outside a US military base and the German Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul.
19--Jharkhand is placed under President’s rule following resignation of Chief
Minister Shibhu Soren after losing a by-poll. The Assembly is put under suspended animation to allow formation of a new government.
20--Barack Hussein Obama takes oath as the 44th President of USA, shattering American racial barriers as the first black leader of the nation.
23--India slaps a ban on import of toys from China for a period of six months over fears of safety of children, following bans being imposed by many countries after some Chinese toys were found to be toxic.

FEBRUARY
1--At least 15 poicemen are killed as a group of 40 Maoists ambushes a squad in the jungles of Dhanora tehsil in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district.
2--India signs a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on as part of India’s obligations to enable full civil nuclear cooperation with rest of the world. Out of its 22 civilian reactors, India has agreed to open up 14 to
regular IAEA inspections by 2014.
8--More than 200 people and entire towns razed in the worst wildfire disaster
in Australian history. Australian
government blames arsonists for the fires.
9--A suicide bomber kills 28 people in Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka.
11--Three near-simultaneous attacks
on government offices, carried out
by the Taliban, claimed 26 lives and injure over 55 people in Kabul, Afghanistan.


MILESTONES


Jeev Milkha Singh:
He is the first Indian golfer ever to endorse a course, at the Kensville Golf and country club in Ahmedabad. Golfing legends like Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods have all lent their names to golf courses.

 

Anand Mahindra: Managing Director of  Mahindra Group, he co-chaired the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, joining global leaders like Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General and media moghul Rupert Murdoch as a co-chair.

 

Kavita Barala: Seventy-five years after its formation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has finally
broken the gender barrier with this young woman reaching out to the skies as its first woman flying officer.


 

Marais Erasmus: When he walked out with Bangalore’s Shahvir Tarapore in West Zone’s 100th Duleep Trophy fixture against East Zone, he became the first overseas umpire to officiate in a domestic match in independent India. He belongs to South Africa.

 

Sankha Samanta: Since 1947, the postal department has issued 33 commemorative stamps on Gandhi, in addition to a handful of more standard definitives. Of those 33, Samanta has designed 14, making him the most prolific Gandhi stamp artist.