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PERSONS IN NEWS - September 2020

Sep 2020

Sep 30, 2020

Kuwaiti Ruler Sheikh Sabah Passes Away

  • Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the ruler of Kuwait who drew on his decades as the oil-rich nation's top diplomat to push for closer ties to Iraq after the 1990 Gulf War and solutions to other regional crises, passed away. He was 91.
  • In a Middle East replete with elderly rulers, Sheikh Sabah stood out for his efforts at pushing for diplomacy to resolve a bitter dispute between Qatar and other Arab nations that continues to this day.
  • His 2006 ascension in Kuwait came after parliament voted unanimously to oust his predecessor, the ailing Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, just nine days into his rule.
  • Yet as Kuwait's ruling emir, he struggled with internal political disputes, the fallout of the 2011 Arab Spring protests and seesawing crude oil prices that chewed into a national budget providing cradle-to-grave subsidies.
  • Sheikh Sabah is expected to be succeeded by his half brother, the crown prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

Shekhar Kapur New President Of FTII Society and its Governing Council

  • Noted filmmaker Shekhar Kapur was appointed president of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society and chairman of the institute's governing council, an official said. FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola said Shekhar Kapur's appointment was announced by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The 74-year-old filmmaker's tenure will be till March 3, 2023, the official said. Born on December 6, 1945 at Lahore in Pakistan, the critically acclaimed director and actor is known for films like Elizabeth (1998), Bandit Queen (1994) and The Four Feathers (2002).
  • Shekhar Kapur directed the 1983 film Masoom, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Urmila Matondkar.
  • Shekhar's tenure as President if FTII Society and Chairman of Governing Council of FTII is till March 3, 2023.
  • After Bollywood actor Anupam Kher resigned as the chairman of the premier institute in October 2018, B P Singh, producer-director of popular TV serial CID, was named president of FTII Society and Chairman of Governing Council in December 2018.

Sep 29, 2020

Assam's Sole Woman CM Syeda Anwara Taimur Passes Away

  • Syeda Anwara Taimur, the only woman Chief Minister of Assam, died in Australia after a prolonged illness. She was 84.
  • As per reports, Taimur, Chief Minister from December 6, 1980 to June 30, 1981, was residing in Australia with her son for the past few years.
  • A teacher of economics in Debicharan Barua Girls College in Jorhat before joining politics, she had an illustrious career spanning over four decades.
  • Elected to the Assam Assembly four times — 1972, 1978, 1983 and 1991 — as nominee of the Congress, she also served as state Public Works Department (PWD) minister from 1983 to 1985.
  • In 1988, she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. In 2011, the veteran leader left the Congress and joined the All India United Democratic Front. She figured in the headlines after her name was found missing from the NRC (National Register of Citizens) list in 2018.

P. D. Vaghela New Chairman of TRAI

  • Senior IAS Officer P. D. Vaghela was appointed as the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory of India) Chairman. He succeeded R. S. Sharma.
  • Vaghela is a Gujarat-Cadre IAS Officer. He is currently in the Department of Pharmaceuticals that operates under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Prior to this, he was the commissioner of commercial tax in Gujarat. He played a key role in the roll out of GST, 2017.
  • Usually, the TRAI chairman is appointed for a term of three years. However, RS Sharma was provided a rare two-year extension till 30th September, 2020 though he turned 65 in 2018 and attained the age of retirement. Prior to chairman of TRAI, Sharma led the creation of Aadhar. He was the director of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) between 2009 and 2013.

Sep 28, 2020

Alapan Bandyopadhyay New West Bengal's Chief Secretary

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appointed Alapan Bandyopadhyay as the new chief secretary of the state, replacing Rajiva Sinha who has been shifted to West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.
  • Apart from this, Banerjee also announced a couple of other changes at the bureaucratic level in the state. The changes include the appointment of HK Dwivedi as new Home Secretary and Manoj Pant was given charge of Finance.

Sep 27, 2020

Jaswant Singh, Former External Affairs Minister, Passes Away

  • Jaswant Singh, former leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and External Affairs Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, passed away . He was 82.
  • Singh was one of its early founding members of the BJP after serving in the Indian Army. In 2014, he had a bitter falling out with his party when he was denied a Lok Sabha ticket of his choice from Barmer in Rajasthan.
  • Singh held several high-profile portfolios like external affairs, defence surface transport, over the years.. He often acted as Vajpayee's globetrotting trouble-shooter. Within the BJP, he was considered a gentleman politician but also known for his heated debates in Parliament.
  • He contested the 2014 general election, which was his last as an independent, but lost.
  • Singh has authored six books including "Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence" and "Defending India".

Economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia Passes Away

  • Economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia passed away at New her Delhi residence after a long battle with high-grade cancer for months. She was 74.
  • The wife of India's leading economic policy driver, and former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Isher Judge carved her niche in the sector serving as the head of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Affairs for 15 years.
  • Isher Judge stepped down as the chairperson of ICRIER on August 10, 2020, on account of her poor health. She was elected as the Chairperson of the Council at the Annual General Meeting held on August 8, 2005.
  • Isher—as she affectionately known to her friends and colleagues— however, continued as the Chairperson Emeritus of the Council. The position was created to honour her exceptional contributions to ICRIER.
  • Isher Judge is known to have curated and chaired the ICRIER-India Habitat Centre 'Conversations on Urbanisation' that became very successful and widely appreciated.
  • She was awarded the Padma Bhushan by President of India in 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature.

Sep 26, 2020

SP Balasubrahmanyam Passes Away

  • Renowned Indian singer SP Balasubrahmanyam has died after contracting Covid-19.
  • Balasubrahmanyam, 74, died after spending days in intensive care in a hospital in the southern city of Chennai.
  • SPB, as he was popularly known, sang more than 40,000 songs for movies in 16 Indian languages over 50 years.
  • Celebrities and fans alike have paid tributes to him, acknowledging his contribution to music.
  • Balasubrahmanyam tested positive for Covid-19 in early August and was admitted to hospital soon after. He tested negative in September but continued to receive life support treatment. The hospital where he was being treated said in a statement that he died of a cardio-respiratory arrest.
  • As news of his death broke, social media was flooded with condolences and memories as people recollected some of their favourite songs sung by him.
  • He was a legendary "playback singer" - that is, his voice was pre-recorded for use in films in which actors would lip-sync to the songs. He sang for top composers of his time, including AR Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja.
  • Balasubrahmanyam began his career in Tamil and Telugu cinema in southern India - but he was also the first crossover singer who gained success in Bollywood.
  • His breakthrough Bollywood film came in 1981 when he sang for Ek Duuje Ke Liye (We Are Made For Each Other), a romantic tragedy that was one of the year's biggest hits.

CEAT Signs up Aamir Khan as Brand Ambassador

  • Actor Aamir Khan will be CEAT Tyres' brand ambassador for two years. He will be a part of the new marketing campaign of the Mumbai-based company, featuring in two commercials during the course of IPL 2020, as per the terms of the deal. Khan will promote CEAT's SecuraDrive, a range of mass premium tyres.
  • According to Arnab Banerjee, COO, CEAT, tyre is a low involvement purchase category and primarily male dominated. So our media plan has always focussed on cricket and Bollywood.
  • As per Arnab, CEAT has been associated with cricket since 1995 with CEAT Cricket Ratings and has been a partner of several cricketers, including Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill and Harmanpreet Kaur. The company has also been a strategic time-out partner of the IPL since last year, spending Rs. 23 crore annually.

Yuvraj Singh Brand Ambassador of Akash Educational Services

  • Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) appointmented Yuvraj Singh as its brand ambassador. The cricketer has come on board to help promote the company and its various brands including Aakash Institute, Aakash IIT-JEE, Aakash Digital and Meritnation. As the face of Aakash, Yuvraj Singh will lead the brand's latest omni-channel 'Success is Waiting' campaign for Aakash Digital.
  • The 'Success is Waiting' campaign, conceptualised in partnership with Cheil India, the creative agency of AESL, will be for students re-appearing for medical and engineering entrance examinations. It intends to inspire such students to give it another shot and will be visible through the digital medium.
  • As per the company, Yuvraj was the ideal fit to drive home the message effectively as the company needed an inspiring comeback story of a sportsperson, with the core messaging of 'come back stronger'. With cricket being the most widely followed sport in the country, the communication has been designed around the comeback story of Yuvraj Singh. He has been an inspirational figure for many Indians, first through his successful cricketing career, then his battle with cancer and his inspirational comeback and now with his humanitarian initiatives.
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