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PERSONS IN NEWS - June 2019

Jun 2019

Jun 29, 2019

Dreaded Chambal Dacoit Jagan Gujjar Surrenders

  •  Dreaded dacoit Jagan Gujjar, facing over 100 cases of robbery, kidnapping and looting and carrying a reward of Rs. 40,000 on his head, surrendered before the police in Rajasthan's Dholpur district.
  • He was earlier arrested several times since 1994, and was released on bail. The police had recently launched an operation to arrest him when reports of his attacks on villagers in Dholpur's Dang area surfaced earlier in June 2019.
  • Rashtriya Loktantrik Party chief and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal had raised the issue of Gujjar's criminal activities in the Lok Sabha recently and demanded his immediate arrest.
  • In the rural belts of Uttar Pradesh adjoining Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, his trail of loot and terror evoked images of Gabbar Singh, the iconic dacoit of the film Sholay.
  • Gujjar had many cases registered against him in these states.

Tamil Nadu's new Chief Secretary, police chief

  •  For the post of Chief Secretary, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami preferred Mr. Shanmugam to others, including R. Rajagopal and Rajeev Ranjan, who are his seniors.
  • As far as the DGP is concerned, Mr. Tripathy is the seniormost among those considered by the selection committee, which included representatives of the Union Public Services Commission, State and Central governments, apart from the Chief Minister.
  • Mr. Shanmugam's name figured as a possible successor to his batchmate, P. Rama Mohana Rao, in December 2016 after the latter's residence and Chief Secretary's chamber were searched by the Income Tax department. But, Ms. Vaidyanathan, who belonged to the 1981 batch, made it to the post. .
  • On 28 June 2019, the IAS Officers' Association held a function at the Secretariat to bid farewell to the outgoing Chief Secretary and A. Ramalingam, Commissioner of Art & Culture, who functioned as a Secretary to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for years. Mr. Shanmugam was among those who attended the function.
  • Earlier in the day, Mr. Tripathy met Ms. Vaidyanathan and the incoming Chief Secretary.
  • Mr. Shanmugam, who is holding the post of Finance Secretary since May 2010, was empanelled by the Centre for the post of Secretary or Secretary-equivalent in the Union government.
  • He is among the few IAS officers to be retained in the same post despite a change in regime in the State.

Ram Vilas Paswan Elected to Rajya Sabha

  •  Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan was elected unopposed as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Bihar. The LJP is an ally of the BJP.
  • Mr. Paswan replaced BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who had quit the seat to contest the Lok Sabha election from Patna Sahib.
  • While Mr. Paswan's entry to the Upper House did not change the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) numbers, the Rajya Sabha bypolls in Odisha, also led to the election of two Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs and one BJP MP.
  • Before this bypolls, the BJP had 75 MPs in Rajya Sabha, while its allies, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena, had three each, and the Opposition had 108 MPs in total.
  • Though its five MPs have been among the 20 undecided members, the BJD has supported the NDA's legislation in the past.

Jun 28, 2019

Haryana Congress Leader Killed

  •  Haryana Congress leader Vikas Chaudhary was shot dead by two unidentified men in Faridabad near Delhi.
  • The 38-year old had just got into his car at the parking lot of his local gym in Sector 9, when he was shot. The attackers had pumped 10 bullets through the windscreen of his car.
  • The Congress hit out at the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government over law and order in the state.
  • Vikas Chaudhary, the spokesperson of the Haryana Congress, had recently switched to the party, after leaving the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

Jun 27, 2019

Arvind Kumar Named New IB Director

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government appointed chiefs of two key intelligence units of the country, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
  • Two senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers of the 1984 batch were appointed to the key positions. 
  • The government appointed Samant Goel as the RAW chief and Arvind Kumar as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau.
  • Goel would replace Anil Dhasmana as the chief of the Research and Analysis Wing.
  • Arvind Kumar would replace current director Rajiv Jain.

Amitabh Kant Gets Extension

  •  The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved extension of tenure of Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog for a further period of two years beyond June 30 2019 i.e. up to June 30 2021, on the same terms and conditions, as approved earlier.
  • Kant was appointed as the CEO of the government think tank in February 2016, for a fixed two-year term. Kant was later given an extension till June 30, 2019.
  • Before taking over as the CEO of Niti Aayog, he was secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which was rechristened as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

Jun 26, 2019

 New Opposition Leader in Maharashtra Assembly

  •  Senior Congress legislator Vijay Wadettiwar was appointed the new Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly. The announcement was made by state Assembly speaker Haribhau Bagade in the lower house.
  • In April 2019, senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil had resigned from the post. On June 4, 2019, he resigned as a Congress MLA and was inducted as cabinet minister in the BJP-led state government.
  • Wadettiwar, a former Shiv Sena Sena leader, joined the Congress with former chief minister Narayan Rane. He is known for being an aggressive leader and comes from Chandrapur district in Vidarbha.
  • Congress had recently appointed Wadettiwar as group leader in the state Assembly after which both Congress and NCP jointly recommended his name for the post of leader of opposition.

New Director General of Indian Coast Guard

  •  Krishnaswamy Natarajan was appointed as the next Director General of the Indian Coast Guard replacing Rajendra Singh, who was the first cadre officer to head the force.
  • Natarajan, the second Coast Guard officer to lead the force, would take over on June 30. He joined the force in January 1984, and holds a Masters Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University.
  • Natarajan has held various important Command and Staff appointments, both afloat and ashore.

New White House Press Secretary

  •  Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump's communications director, would replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders as White House press secretary, continuing the ascent of a former campaign aide who established herself as a loyal and at times combative defender of the Trump family.
  • Ms. Grisham would also take on the added role of communications director, a job that has been vacant since the departure of Bill Shine in March, 2019, and would keep her role in the East Wing.

Saudi Arabia's New U.S. Ambassador

  •  Saudi Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan has a daunting task as she prepares to take up her role as the kingdom's ambassador to Washington with relations at their lowest point since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
  • Princess Reema, the daughter of former Ambassador to the US Bandar bin Sultan, renowned as one of the most influential Saudi envoys during his 22 years in Washington, the princess arrives with a deep knowledge of US politics and culture and a reputation as an advocate for women's rights.

Jun 25, 2019

Madan Lal Saini Passes Away

  • BJP's Rajasthan unit president Madan Lal Saini died in New Delhi. He was shifted from Jaipur to Delhi for treatment of blood-related ailment after being diagnosed with infection in the lungs. Mr. Saini, also a Rajya Sabha MP, was 75.
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