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Person Current Affairs September 2nd Week 2017
Author : Admin
Category : International Current Affairs
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Person Current Affairs September 2nd Week 2017

 1. President Ram Nath Kovind to lay foundation stone for Link-4 of SAUNI Scheme in Rajkot.

President Ramnath Kovind will today lay foundation stone for link – 4 of Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Scheme -SAUNI- Yojana in Rajkot district.

SAUNI project had been launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat aims to fill up 115 major dams by diverting overflow of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River. Three phase of SAUNI yojana already dedicated to the people following completion of the work. President will also go to Ghela Somnath – an ancient Shiv Temple near Jasdan for Darshan before his departure for Delhi.
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Earlier yesterday, the President addressed Guru Ashish Mahaparva at Mehsana in Noth Gujarat on the occasion of 83rd birth day of eminent Jain saint Acharya Padma Sagar Suriji Maharaj last evening.

On this occasion Mr. Konvind said, every person should contribute in nation building. He said that Maharj Shri is a national saint who is following the principal of trusteeship-given by father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. Gujarat Governor Mr. O.P.Kohli, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel were present on this occasion.
 
2. Kenneth I. Juster named as U.S Ambassador to India.
Kenneth I. Juster named as U.S Ambassador to India
Kenneth I. Juster, until recently deputy director of the National Economic Council at the White House, has been nominated as the next U.S ambassador to India, on Friday. The appointment will take effect once the U.S Senate confirms him. The post is vacant since January 20.

Mr. Juster has been a strong supporter of India-U.S ties and played a key role in the civil nuclear deal and in the advancement of defence ties between the two countries when he was under secretary of Commerce under former president George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the co-chair of the U.S.-India High Technology 

Cooperation Group set up during the George W. Bush presidency, and was instrumental in the formation of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership, a diplomatic initiative between the United States and India on cooperation in strategic areas such as nuclear, space and military, in 2004.
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As deputy assistant to President Donald Trump for international economic affairs and the deputy director of the National Economic Council until June, Mr. Juster became a key player in the “globalist" wing of the Trump administration that supported trade treaties and continuing international engagement of the U.S.

He was also counselor (acting) of the State Department from 1992-1993, and deputy and senior adviser to the Deputy Secretary of State from 1989-1992.

“His move to India was because he was extremely qualified for the position,” White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters had told the The Hindu in June.“Ken has a strong and positive relationship with everyone in the White House, including the president,” she had said.
 
3. Astronaut Peggy Whitson returns to Earth after spending a record breaking 288 days in outer space.
Astronaut Peggy Whitson returns to Earth after spending a record breaking 288 days in outer space
Astronaut Peggy Whitson headed back to Earth on Saturday to wrap up a record-breaking flight that catapulted her into first place for American space travelers.  

Whitson’s 665 days off the planet _ 288 days on this mission alone _ exceeds that of any other American and any other woman worldwide.  Whitson left the International Space Station, along with another American and a Russian. Their Soyuz capsule was expected to land in Kazakhstan late Saturday, U.S. time.

She’s returning with multiple other records: world’s oldest spacewoman, at age 57, and most experienced female spacewalker, with 10. She also became the first woman to command the space station twice following her launch last November.   Returning cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin has logged even more time in orbit: 673 days over five missions. Also headed home is space newcomer Jack Fischer, with 136 days aloft. The men flew up in April.

It was an emotional farewell for Whitson, Yurchikhin and Fischer. Before retreating into their Soyuz, they embraced the three colleagues they were leaving behind. 
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Yurchikhin patted the inside of the station before floating into his Soyuz for the final time.    The station’s newest commander, Randy Bresnik, noted the outpost was losing 1,474 days of spaceflight experience with the departure of Whitson, Yurchikhin and Fischer. Four years and two weeks, he pointed out.

“We are in your debt for the supreme dedication that you guys have to the human mission of exploration,” Bresnik told them on the eve of their departure. He offered up special praise for Whitson _ “American space ninja” _ and wished them all Godspeed.

Whitson, a biochemist, set a breakneck pace on all three of her space station expeditions, continually asking for more _ and still more _ scientific research to do. 

Scientists on the ground said it often was hard to keep up with her. She even experimented on food up there, trying to add some pizazz to the standard freeze-dried meals. Tortillas transformed into apple pies on her watch.

Whitson was supposed to fly back in June. But when an extra seat opened up on this Soyuz, she jumped at the chance to stay in orbit an extra three months. Only one other American _ yearlong spaceman Scott Kelly _ has spent longer in space on a single mission.

Except for the past week, Whitson said her mission hurried by. She’s hungry for pizza and can’t wait to use a regular flush toilet again. She’s also eager to reunite with her husband, Clarence Sams, a biochemist who also works at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Because of the effects of Hurricane Harvey, NASA could not get its plane from Houston to Kazakhstan in time for the crew’s landing. Instead, the European Space Agency offered to transport Whitson and Fischer to Cologne, Germany, where they will meet up with the NASA plane for the final leg of their journey. They should be back in Houston on Sunday night.

Three men remain at the space station: Bresnik, a Russian and an Italian. They will be joined by two Americans and a Russian following liftoff from Kazakhstan on Sept. 12.
 
4. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore appointed as New Sports Minister.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore appointed as New Sports Minister 
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was on Sunday appointed as the country’s Youth Affairs and Sports Minister in place of Vijay Goel who has been made the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs. The 47-year-old Rathore was up until now serving as the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting.

The changes have been made in a major cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it sees Rathore replace a pro-active Goel who had started off with controversies but since had been applauded by people and sportspersons alike.
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Rathore’s appointment can be hailed as a no-brainer for the government considering his Olympic silver medal at the 2004 Games. Colonel Rathore stepped into the shooting range in the mid 1990s and in 2004 he won the silver medal at Athens in the men’s double trap event. It made him the first to win an individual silver medal for the country in the Summer Games. A year prior, he had won a silver medal at the World Championships in Sydney.

After his premature retirement from the Indian army, Rathore joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2013 and was sworn in as minister of state for information & broadcasting when the Modi government came to power in May, 2014. His appointment, and change in portfolio, has been hailed by former sportspersons.
 
5. President Ram Nath Govind Laid Foundation Stone of SAUNI Yojana.
 
President Ram Nath Govind Laid Foundation Stone of SAUNI Yojana
 
President Ram Nath Kovind, who reached Ahmedabad on Sunday on a two-day visit to Gujarat, would lay the foundation stone of the second phase of link-IV pipeline canal of Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana at Ghela Somnath in Rajkot district on Monday.

Kovind began his first visit to Gujarat after becoming the President in July this year by visiting the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. The President was greeted by Governor O P Kohli, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel upon his arrival the Ahmedabad airport in the afternoon.

On Monday, the President would fly to Ghela Somnath, a shrine of Shiva near Pipaliya village in Vinchhiya taluka, and launch the water project for the parched Saurashtra region. The ground-breaking ceremony is being organised less than three months after the CM dedicated to public the first phase of link-IV at a mega event in Jasdan town of Rajkot district on June 9. The Opposition Congress has alleged that the BJP government was misusing the state machinery by organising multiple ceremonies for the same project in the run-up to Assembly elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated first phases of link-I, II and III of SAUNI project at three separate ceremonies held on September 30, 2016, and April 17 and June 29 this year. During the same events, he had laid the foundation stones of second phases of these links.
“Just three months ago, the CM inaugurated the first phase of this link. Now, they are organising a huge ceremony for laying the foundation stone for the second phase of the same link. This is like holding multiple ceremonies to lay foundation stones at different junctions for a road project. The government is misusing state machinery to gain political milage out of the SAUNI project ahead of the elections,” said Kunvarji Bavaliya, working president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, at a meeting of party workers at Gadhadiya village near Jasdan on Sunday.

Official sources too claimed that foundation stones were laid for second phases of some links when only technical approval had been granted. “Tenders had been floated for the second phase of link-IV when its first phase was inaugurated in June. Now, the tenders have been finalised and work orders have been issued for three out of four packages in the second phase,” a source said.

Gujarat BJP spokesman Bharat Pandya rejected Congress’s allegations. “Different events are organised at different locations so that people of different areas get details of the project. These have nothing to with election. 

The fact that the President is coming and that majority of work on the Narmada dam project has been done by the BJP governments is an eyesore for Congress. Their criticism shows their mentality against providing water in water-starved areas,” Pandya told The Indian Express.

Every major milestone of the SAUNI project has coincided with an election. When he was chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi had announced the project around two months before the Assembly polls in 2012. Then, he laid the foundation stone of the entire project a month before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.  The state BJP government has organised three ceremonies to dedicate the first phases of link II, III and IV this year when the state is again headed to polls. The project is likely to be completed in 2019, coinciding with the Lok Sabha elections.
The scheduled event at Ghela Somnath is also significant because Jasdan Assembly constituency, which also covers Vinchhiya taluka, is a fortress of Congress. Barring a bypoll victory in 2009, the ruling BJP has never managed to win the seat during its long continuous rule in the state. The constituency is dominated by the Koli community and Kovind had in the past served as president of national organisation of the Kolis, though he himself is a Dalit.

SAUNI is an ambitious project to fill up 115 dams of water-starved Saurashtra region by diverting one million acre feet of floodwaters of Narmada. The project envisages lifting water from various canals of Narmada project and pump it to these reservoirs by a 1,165-km-long network of giant pipelines. The estimated project cost is Rs 16,500 crore.

The second phase of this giant pipeline canal would begin from Sartanpar minor irrigation scheme near Ankadiya village of Vinchhiya and tail in Dhrafad dam in Visavadar taluka of Junagadh district. The designed length of the second phase is 147 km.
 
6. Sushma Swaraj arrives in Russia for third Eastern Economic Forum.
 
Sushma Swaraj arrives in Russia for third Eastern Economic Forum
 
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday arrived in the Russian port city of Vladivostok on a three-day visit to attend the third Eastern Economic Forum, which will deliberate on pressing issues relating to global trade.

She will also hold bilateral talks with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, during which various issues relating to trade, investment and defence cooperation are likely to figure. Swaraj is visiting Russia at the invitation of deputy prime minister and presidential plenipotentiary envoy to the far eastern federal district, Yury Trutnev.

“The external affairs minister’s visit reflects the importance attached by India to emerging opportunities in the Russian far east, and to its strategic partnership with Russia,” the external affairs ministry had said last week. The Eastern Economic Forum is considered the biggest international communication platform for cooperation between businesses leaders and senior government representatives from Russia, the Pacific Region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
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Delegates from at least 24 countries including the US, Japan, China, Australia, Canada, Britain and Germany are attending the gathering, as per Russian media reports. Swaraj’s trip to Russia follows the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as guest of honour at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.

On Monday, Modi had held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Brics summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen and discussed ways for boosting bilateral trade and investment. They also discussed the security situation in Afghanistan.
 
7. N Baijendra Kumar to take charge as National Mineral Development Corporation CMD.
 
N Baijendra Kumar to take charge as National Mineral Development Corporation CMD
 
Senior IAS officer N Baijendra Kumar took charge as CMD of state-owned NMDC today.

"N Baijendra Kumar, an IAS officer of 1985 batch of Chhattisgarh Cadre has assumed charge as Chairman-cum- Managing Director of NMDC Ltd on 6 September 2017," the company said in a statement.

Prior to joining National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Kumar was Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) with charge of industries and power besides serving as ACS to the states chief minister.

During his tenure of over three decades, Kumar held important positions, including of collector.

He also headed the administration of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
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He was the chairman of Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) and Chhattisgarh Housing Board (CGHB).

"He has worked extensively in the field of Forest & Environment and Housing. He also has...experience in administration, public relations, information and broadcasting both at Centre and at the state level," it said. 
 
8. Sankara Narayanan takes charge as MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank.
Sankara Narayanan takes charge as MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank 
R A Sankara Narayanan has taken charge as Managing Director and Chief Excecutive Officer of Vijaya Bank. He has taken over the reigns of the bank from Kishore Sansi, who reached superannuation on August 31.

Narayanan is a post-graduate in Public Administration with an MBA in Finance, CAIIB, PGDPM, PGDFM, DTIRM, DCP and BRM. He joined Bank of India as a direct recruit officer in 1983 and has headed various branches, zones and national banking groups across the country and many other departments in the corporate office, including treasury, retail, international banking, corporate credit, risk management, compliance, retail, marketing, recovery and human resources, with overseas assignments in Tokyo and Singapore.

As Executive Director of Bank of India from May 2015, he was responsible for treasury, corporate credit, recovery, risk management, compliance apart from international banking, retail, HR, IT, planning and finance. He has represented BoI on various boards including PT Bank of India Indonesia Tbk, Bank of India - Tanzania, Commonwealth Finance Corporation Ltd (CFCL-Hongkong), BoI New Zealand Ltd, BoI Shareholding and SUD Life Insurance.

9. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani flags off two week long Ma Narmada Mahotsav Yatra.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani flags off two week long Ma Narmada Mahotsav Yatra 
Surendranagar, September 6: The Gujarat’s Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday flagged off the ‘Ma Narmada Mahotsav Yatra’ from Surendranagar which will cover 24 districts, 7 cities & over 7200 villages. Notably, the two weeks long ‘Ma Narmada Mahotsav Yatra’ is being celebrated after the completion of Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river.

During the two week long Narmada fest, a chariot, named as ‘Narmada Rath’ will carry a statue of `Maa Narmada` would move about in 10,000 villages of 24 districts with an aim to spread awareness about the importance of the project and its effect on the lives of around 4 crore citizens of the state. Also, in the Narmada Yatra, 84 raths will go to the 24 districts and 7 municipalities.

There will be Poojan-Urchhan of village Rath. All these chariots will reach Kevda on the evening of September 16. Various cultural events will be held during the Narmada Rath Yatra festival from September 6 to September 17. On 16th and 17th September, lightning has been organized at 15 different places of 15 districts.

BACKGROUND:

The dam was finally completed fifty-six years after the foundation stone was laid as the state government on June 17 got permission from the Narmada Control Authority to close all the 30 gates of the dam, raising its height to 138.68 metres. The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the dam in 1961.

However, the construction work for the dam was suspended in 1996, after the massive Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) took place and activists related to this movement obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court, by raising environmental and rehabilitation issues.

It was only after the SC gave an order in October 2000 in favour of the construction of the dam that the work on it resumed. However, the SC had set a condition that permission to increase the dam height would be given in parts after the project-affected-people are resettled or compensated.
 
10. Nirmala Sitharaman takes charge as India’s new defence minister.
Nirmala Sitharaman takes charge as India’s new defence minister
Nirmala Sitharaman, who earlier held the Commerce and Industries portfolio in the Narendra Modi-led government, on Thursday took charge as the country’s new defence minister. She was welcomed by outgoing defence minister Arun Jaitley. Sitharaman was given charge of the ministry after the reshuffle on Sunday where she was elevated to cabinet rank. She is the country’s first full-time woman defence minister. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi also held the defence portfolio but as additional charge.

On her first day in office, she approved financial assistance for military veterans. Sitharaman released a grant of more than Rs 13 crore for 8,685 ex-servicemen, widows and dependents from the Armed Forces Flag Day fund.

“I thank PM Modi for having vested confidence in me and giving me such a critical portfolio,” news agency ANI quoted Sitharaman as saying. She added that the armed forces are her first priority. “Armed forces’ families are a priority,” said Sitharaman as she stressed on ensuring taking care of soldiers.

Seema Dundia, DIG, RAF, said it was a “positive development” that Sitharaman was accorded the portfolio. “Being a woman defence minister doesn’t mean she is less than any of her counterparts; it’s a welcome change,” she said.
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Endorsing Dundia’s view, Padma Bandyopadhyay, first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force, said, “I am extremely happy and proud that she Sitharaman has broken the glass ceiling. She proved herself at every point and was promoted. She’ll surely bring laurels to cabinet and the country.”

The ministry ceased to have a full-time minister when Manohar Parrikar took charge of Goa as the chief minister after the BJP was able to form a coalition government earlier this year. The charge was then given to Jaitley who also handled the finance and corporate affairs portfolio.
 
11. Viveck Goenka elected as Chairman of Press Trust of India.
Viveck Goenka elected as Chairman of Press Trust of India
Viveck Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director of the Express Group, and N. Ravi, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, were on Thursday unanimously elected Chairman and Vice Chairman of Press Trust of India, the country’s largest news agency.

Mr. Goenka (60) succeeds Riyad Mathew, who is Senior Assistant Editor and a member of the Manorama management. Mr. Ravi (69) succeeds Mr. Goenka as Vice Chairman.

The election took place at a meeting of the Board of Directors following the Company’s 69th Annual General Meeting here on Thursday.

Mr. Goenka, an engineer by qualification and a publisher by profession, is also a director of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) besides being a member of the Advertising Association, India Chapter. He also served as Chairman of United News of India news agency, as a Council Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and was one of the youngest past Presidents of the Indian Newspaper Society. He is also a wildlife photographer and an avid student of conservation.

Mr. Ravi, an award-winning journalist with an illustrious career in India and the United States, is a Director at Kasturi & Sons Ltd, which publishes The Hindu.

Mr. Ravi joined The Hindu in 1972, and served as reporter, leader writer and Washington Correspondent until 1980 when he became a Deputy Editor. He was Editor from 1991 to 2011 and Editor-in-Chief from October 2013 until January 2015.

He has a Master’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in law. He has previously been Chairman of the Press Trust of India, and President of the Editors’ Guild of India. He was a member of the Indian government’s National Security Advisory Board from 2006 to 2008.

The other members of the PTI Board are Mahendra Mohan Gupta (Dainik Jagran), K.N. Shanth Kumar (Deccan Herald), Vineet Jain (Times of India), Aveek Kumar Sarkar (Anand 

Bazar Patrika), M.P. Veerendra Kumar (Mathrubhumi), R. Lakshmipathy (Dinamalar), Vijay Kumar Chopra (The Hind Samachar Ltd), Rajiv Verma (Hindustan Times), Hormusji N. Cama (Bombay Samachar), Justice R.C. Lahoti, Prof. Deepak Nayyar, Shyam Saran and J.F. Pochkhanawalla.

Addressing shareholders during the Annual General Meeting, outgoing Chairman Mathew noted that the Company posted a revenue of Rs. 172.76 crore during 2016—17 as against Rs.166.36 crore in the preceding year, an increase of Rs. 6.4 crore.

“PTI once again proved to be the pre-eminent news service in India with its fact-based and balanced reportage, fulfilling the news cooperative’s core commitment to its diverse subscribers,” Mathew said.

The PTI Board took a major decision last year to split the roles of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Editor-in-Chief (EIC), which were traditionally held by one person, to meet growing challenges resulting from the changing media landscape.

The editorial team is now led by a new Editor-in-Chief, Vijay Joshi, a veteran journalist with more than three decades experience in the profession. The CEO is Venky Venkatesh, who also has more than three decades experience in sales, marketing, corporate affairs and media.

12. UIDAI CEO A.B. Pandey appointed as interim Chairman of GSTN.

UIDAI CEO A.B. Pandey appointed as interim Chairman of GSTN 
The Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) chief executive officer (CEO) A.B. Pandey was on Friday appointed interim chairman of the goods and services tax network (GSTN)—the firm providing information technology (IT) backbone and portal for registration and tax returns under the GST regime.

Pandey was given additional charge days after GSTN’s first chairman Navin Kumar completed his term on 29 August.

An order issued by the department of revenue under the ministry of finance said, “A.B. Pandey, CEO, Unique Identification Authority of India is assigned the additional charge of the post of chairman, GSTN with immediate effect and until further orders.” The UIDAI issues unique identification numbers (UID), named as Aadhaar, to all residents of India.

Kumar, former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from Bihar cadre, was the first chairman of GSTN. He was appointed as the firm’s chairman in 17 May 2013 for three years, on completion of which his term was extended, with the condition that he would remain in office till he turns 65.

The government has constituted a search committee for a new GSTN chairman comprising senior officials from the department of revenue.

GSTN is a section 8 (under new companies Act, not-for-profit companies are governed under section 8), non-government, private limited company. It was incorporated on 28 March 2013 with the Government of India holding 24.5% equity.

All states of the Indian union, including the national capital territory of Delhi and Puducherry together holding an equivalent equity. The remaining 51% equity is with non-government financial institutions.

The company was set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the central and state governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for implementation of the GST.

 

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