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PERSONS IN NEWS - July 2019

Jul 2019

Jul 30, 2019

Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation Gets New Chairperson

  • The Union Culture Ministry appointed journalist Kanchan Gupta the chairperson of the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation till May 2020, weeks after Union Culture and Tourism Minister of State (independent charge) Prahlad Singh Patel was nominated to the post.
  • On July 3, 2019, Mr. Patel had been nominated to the post of chairperson of the foundation, which is headquartered in Kolkata, with effect from May 16, 2019 till the tenure of the foundation.
  • In a notification on July 25, the Ministry partially modified its July 3 notification, nominating Mr. Gupta with immediate effect till May 15, 2020 or till further orders, whichever is earlier.

India's First Woman Legislator

  •  Google Doodle celebrated Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddi, a surgeon, educator, lawmaker and social reformer, on her 133rd birth anniversary.
  • Dr. Reddi devoted her life to public health and fought the battle against gender inequality.
  • The Government of Tamil Nadu announced that government hospitals in the State would celebrate her birth anniversary as 'Hospital Day' every year.
  • Born in 1886 in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, Dr. Reddi was the first Indian girl student in the Department of Surgery at Madras Medical College.
  • This was just one of her many firsts. She became one of the first women doctors in India in 1912, and the first woman house surgeon in the Government Maternity Hospital, Madras.
  • She co-founded the Women's Indian Association in 1918, and as the first woman member (and vice president) of the Madras Legislative Council — making her the first woman legislator in India — she helped raise the minimum age for marriage for girls and pushed the Council to pass the Immoral Traffic Control Act, and the Devadasi system abolishment Bill.

Jul 29, 2019

Meghalaya Speaker Donkupar Roy Passes Away

  • Meghalaya Assembly speaker Donkupar Roy passed away at a hospital in Gurgaon following a brief illness. He was 64.
  • Roy was first admitted to a state-run hospital in Shillong before being referred to the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana, on July 19 where he was undergoing treatment for the last 10 days. His condition deteriorated after suffering a multi-organ failure.
  • Besides holding several positions in his long political career, Roy served as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya between 2008-2009.
  • Roy won his first election as an independent from the Shella assembly seat in 1988. He later joined the United Democratic Party and continued to retain the Shella Assembly constituency on UDP ticket.
  • His mortal remains would be brought to his hometown tomorrow morning.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended condolences to Roy's family and supporters.

India's Newest Billionaire

  • India's newest billionaire is a former classroom teacher who developed an education app that's grown to a valuation of almost $6 billion in about seven years.
  • Byju Raveendran joined the rarefied club after his Think & Learn Pvt scored $150 million in funding earlier this month. That deal conferred a value of $5.7 billion on the company in which the founder owns more than 21%, people familiar with the matter said. Its closing coincided with the announcement that the company's Byju's app -- named after the founder -- will team up with Walt Disney Co. and taking its service to American shores by early 2020.
  • The 37-year-old entrepreneur -- who has said he wants to do for Indian education what the Mouse House did for entertainment -- is taking his biggest step yet geographically and creatively. In his new app, Disney staples from The Lion King's Simba to Frozen's Anna teach math and English to students from grades one through three. The same characters star in animated videos, games, stories and interactive quizzes.

Jul 28, 2019

New DGMO of Army

  • Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, who has vast experience in counter-terror operations, would be the next Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army.
  • Lt Gen Singh, currently serving as General Officer Commanding of the Army's Nagrota-based XVI Corps, would take over as the new DGMO on October 15, succeeding Lt Gen Anil Chauhan.
  • Lt Gen Chauhan was appointed new General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command.
  • As DGMO, Lt Gen Singh would oversee various operations of the Indian Army including along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Lt Gen Singh has extensive experience of counter-terror operations and was involved in the planning of the 2016 surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Lt Gen Singh was commissioned into the Army in 1982 in Madras Regiment and he was shifted to the elite Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) in January 1984.

Jul 26, 2019

Subhash Garg Takes Charge as Power Secretary

  •  Senior bureaucrat and former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg will take over as the power secretary even as he waits for the government's approval to his request for voluntary retirement on October 31, 2019.
  • He took over as finance secretary in March, 2019.
  • Garg was secretary in the Department of Economic affairs (DEA) and was designated as finance secretary since he was the senior-most bureaucrat among the five secretaries in the finance ministry.
  • According to retired bureaucrats, the position at the finance ministry is considered a highprofile posting in comparison to the position of the power secretary.
  • Garg was due to retire in October 31, 2020, when he turned 60 years. He joined the service in 1983 as an IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre. He was appointed DEA secretary on June 21, 2017.
  • In March 2019, Garg was elevated as the finance secretary after the retirement of Hasmukh Adhia in December 2018.

Jul 24, 2019

Li Peng Dies

  •  Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests that ended with a bloody crackdown by troops, has died. He was 90.
  • Li died of an unspecified illness. 
  • Li, a keen political infighter, spent two decades at the pinnacle of power before retiring in 2002. He left behind a legacy of prolonged and broad-based economic growth coupled with authoritarian political controls.
  • While broadly disliked by the public, he oversaw China's reemergence from post-Tiananmen isolation to rising global diplomatic and economic clout, a development he celebrated in often defiantly nationalistic public statements.
  • Li, who became acting premier in November 1987, triumphed over pro-reform party leader Zhao Ziyang in 1989 after the fellow native of Sichuan province was toppled from power for sympathising with the student protesters.

Johnson Chosen New UK Leader

  •  Boris Johnson was elected leader of the ruling Conservative party and will become the next British prime minister, taking up the Brexit challenge that consumed his predecessor, Theresa May.
  • Johnson, 55, a former journalist educated at Eton and Oxford, won the leadership contest against foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
  • He polled 92,152 of the 1.6 lakh votes from members of the party, which is leading a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party.
  • May will formally step down before Queen Elizabeth after attending her last Prime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons. Johnson will then be invited to the Buckingham Palace and will return to 10 Downing Street as PM and address the nation.
  • The Tory government has a thin majority of just two in the House of Commons, which may dwindle further if the party loses the Brecon and Radnorshire bypolls in Wales. It is one of the first tests Johnson will face as prime minister.
  • Johnson is expected to bring back Priti Patel to the cabinet, and promote junior ministers Alok Sharma and Rishi Sunak, son-in-law of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy.
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