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Person Current Affairs
Person Current Affairs October 1st Week 2017
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Person Current Affairs October 1st Week 2017

1. Indian Entrepreneur wins UK Business Award for Innovative IT Solutions.

A Ghana-based Indian entrepreneur has won a prestigious business award in the UK for his efforts to bring innovative IT solutions to Africa.

Birendra Sasmal, CEO of Subah, bagged the International Business Person of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards in London last week, for turning the company into a thriving IT, telecoms and manufacturing success story with operations across West Africa.

"We are successful because we are very focused on providing innovative solutions to solve problems that are being experienced not only in Africa but across the world," said Sasmal, who has his roots in West Bengal.

"For example, in Ghana we are currently carrying out the largest household data collection and streets and building mapping exercise in African history.

"The information gathered from this three-year project will enable the government to properly plan the expansion of municipal services including roads, schools, medical facilities etc - and apply property taxes consistently to maximise its revenues," he added.

Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, the Subah Group employs around 350 people with offices in Guinea, Sierra Leone, New York City and Dubai.

Under Sasmal`s leadership, the group`s revenues have increased by over 3,000 per cent and it has been named among one of Africa`s fastest growing tech companies.

"Since I moved to Ghana, the most striking change has been, as in India, the number of people who have mobile phones these days and how easy it is to access the internet and make cheap calls overseas.

"We are working with Governments and operators in West Africa to help reduce fraud on their networks - and maximise revenues," said the entrepreneur who has been based in Ghana since 2010.

The IT expert believes the next phase of growth for the industry will most likely involve artificial intelligence.
 
2. Sumitra Mahajan to lead Indian delegation at eighth Conference of Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians to be held in Colombo.
Sumitra Mahajan to lead Indian delegation at eighth Conference of Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians to be held in Colombo
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will attend a special parliamentary session in Sri Lanka that is being convened to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Parliament there.

The Sri Lankan Parliament is also hosting the eighth conference of the association of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Speakers and Parliamentarians. 

The association of the Saarc Speakers and Parliamentarians is a platform for the parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for "Sustainable Development".
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Mahajan is leading an Indian parliamentary delegation to the conference to be held in Colombo between October 4-6. 

She will deliver the lead speech on the importance and need for parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for "Sustainable Development".

Speakers and delegates from the Saarc countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, will attend the conference.

The Saarc envisages promoting parliamentary diplomacy and open Parliament in the digital age, encourage parliamentarians` role in preserving cultural and archaeological heritage in South Asia, support women to uplift themselves from poverty and build a better future for their communities, and attempts to counter violent extremism among the youth to prevent terrorism among other things.

The Young Parliamentarians Committee meeting will be held for the first time at the event.

The inaugural ceremony of the conference will be attended by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. 
 
3. Soumya Swaminathan is appointed as New Deputy Director General at WHO.
Soumya Swaminathan is appointed as New Deputy Director General at WHO
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has been appointed the deputy director general for programmes (DDP) of World Health Organisation (WHO).

WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement on Tuesday, while declaring the senior leadership team at the apex health agency.

She also holds a key position as secretary in the department of health research, ministry of health and family welfare.

Dr Swaminathan, a pediatrician by speciality, has more than 30 years of experience in clinical care, research and translating those findings into programs.

From 2009 to 2011, she served as coordinator of UNICEF, UN Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva.

A globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, Dr Swaminathan has been on several WHO and global advisory bodies and committees, including the WHO Expert Panel to Review Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of the Global TB Department at WHO and as Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on TB.

She received her academic training in India, the United Kingdom and the US and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She holds an MBBS degree from Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) in India, MD degree from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), along with a Diplomate of National Board from National Board of Examinations. She subsequently held post-doctoral medical fellowship in pediatric pulmonology at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She has bagged over nine awards in the field of medicine so far.

Dr Swaminathan’s father M.S. Swaminathan is considered the pioneer of Green Revolution in India and mother Mina Swaminathan is a known educationalist.
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Other new appointments at the WHO include Britain’s Jane Ellison, who will serve as deputy director general for corporate operations. The new team at WHO also includes former ministers of health, some of the world’s leading physicians, scientists and researchers, and programmatic experts in universal health coverage, health emergencies, communicable and non-communicable diseases, climate and environmental health, and women’s, adolescents’ and children’s health. Individually and collectively, they have a wealth of experience across government, private sector, multilateral, civil society and academic organizations.

“The team represents 14 countries, including all WHO regions, and is more than 60% women, reflecting my deep-held belief that we need top talent, gender equity and a geographically diverse set of perspectives to fulfil our mission to keep the world safe,” said Dr Tedros in a press statement.

Soumya Swaminathan is appointed as New Deputy Director General at WHO.

4. Satya Pal Malik sworn in as Bihar Governor.

Satya Pal Malik sworn in as Bihar Governor

Former MP and BJP national vice-president Satya Pal Malik took oath as the Governor of Bihar on Wednesday. The post had fallen vacant in June after Ram Nath Kovind was nominated as candidate for President by the NDA government and subsequently resigned. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has been holding additional charge of Bihar since.

“I understand the responsibility given to me and will fulfil it wholeheartedly,” Malik was quoted as saying by news agency ANI, following his appointment to the Patna Raj Bhavan.

Malik, 71, was a Lok Sabha MP from 1989-1990 and has also been elected to the Rajya Sabha for two terms. He was a MLA in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly between 1974 and 1977. He has also previously served as the MoS for Parliamentary Affairs, and Tourism. Through his political career, Malik has also served in several Parliamentary Committees.

Malik completed his B.Sc and LLB from Meerut University. He holds a Diploma in Parliamentary Affairs from the Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies run by Parliament of India.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had welcomed the appointment of Malik as Governor last week. He also expressed happiness at the appointment.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday appointed five new Governors for the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Meghalaya. The President’s Office had stated that the appointments will come into effect from the date on which the incumbents assume charge of their new posts.

5. Forbes India Rich List 2017 Mukesh Ambani Richest With $38 Billion.

Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani emerged on Thursday as India’s wealthiest for the 10th straight year as his net worth swelled to $38 billion (nearly Rs 2.5 lakh crore) while the wealth of 100 richest rose by 26% despite economic hiccups.

Wipro’s Azim Premji was the distant second with a net worth of $19 billion, moving up two places from last year, while Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi slipped from his earlier second place to the ninth now ($12.1 billion) on Forbes magazine’s annual India Rich List 2017.

Forbes said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “economic experiments” barely affected India’s billionaires while none gained more than oil-and-gas tycoon Mukesh Ambani, who cemented his decade-long hold on the top slot by adding a staggering $15.3 billion (67%) to his last year’s wealth to become one of Asia’s top five richest.

Anil Ambani, Mukesh’s younger brother, was ranked much lower at 45th place with $3.15 billion. He was ranked 32nd in 2016 ($3.4 billion) and 29th a year before that.

Patanjali Ayurved’s Acharya Balkrishna, known as a close associate of yoga guru Ramdev, made a big jump from 48th place last year to 19th now with a net worth of $6.55 billion (about Rs 43,000 crore).

“Despite India’s economic hiccups, tycoons on the 2017 Forbes India Rich List saw their wealth soar as their combined fortunes rose 26% to $479 billion (over Rs 31 lakh crore),” the magazine said.

“India’s turbo-charged economy sputtered in the quarter ended in June as it grew at a three-year low of 5.7%, due to the aftershocks of last November’s demonetisation and uncertainties over the rollout of a nationwide Goods and Services Tax. Despite this, the stock market scaled new heights and boosted the fortunes of the nation’s 100 richest,” it added.

In the case of Ambani, improved refining margins and his telecom unit Reliance Jio’s thundering success in notching up 130 million subscribers since its 2016 launch pushed up shares of Reliance Industries.

The Hinduja brothers are at the third position with $18.4 billion while Lakshmi Mittal is now ranked fourth ($16.5 billion) and Pallonji Mistry fifth ($16 billion).

Forbes said the list was compiled using shareholding and financial information secured from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and regulatory agencies.

The ranking lists family fortunes, including those shared among extended families such as the Godrej and Bajaj families. Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of September 15. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.

More than four-fifths of those who kept their spot on the list from last year saw their wealth rise, with 27 listees adding $1 billion or more to their net worth.

The richest newcomer is cookies-and-airline tycoon Nusli Wadia at the 25th place with a net worth of $5.6 billion. Among the five other new entrants to the list are Dinesh Nandwana (88, $1.72 billion) of e-governance services firm Vakrangee; Vijay Shekhar Sharma (99, $1.47 billion) of fast-rising mobile wallet Paytm and Rana Kapoor (100, $1.46 billion) of Yes Bank.

Veteran investor Radhakishan Damani, boosted by the listing of his supermarket chain D-Mart in March, returned to the list at 12th place with a net worth of $9.3 billion. Other returnees are Future Group’s Kishore Biyani (55th, $2.75 billion) and siblings Murli Dhar and Bimal Gyanchandani (75, $1.96 billion).

However, a dozen have turned poorer than a year ago, with half of them from the pharmaceutical sector, which has been plagued by challenges.

Pharmaceutical magnate Dilip Shanghvi is the biggest dollar loser on the list as his net worth fell by $4.8 billion, ending his three-year run as India’s second-richest. The Gupta family (40, $3.45 billion), heirs of patriarch Desh Bandhu Gupta, who died in June, saw their fortune shrink as shares of their generics maker Lupin declined.

Brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia suffered a drop as their Essar Steel faced bankruptcy proceedings under India’s stricter new law, Forbes said.

The 100 wealthiest on this year’s list are all billionaires. The minimum amount required to make the list was $1.46 billion, up from $1.25 billion last year.

6. Mongolian Parliament Confirms New Prime Minister.

Mongolian Parliament Confirms New Prime Minister

The Mongolian legislature installed a new prime minister Wednesday, bringing into focus the potential implications for diplomatic relations with North Korea as well as neighboring Russia and China.

Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, the deputy prime minister from the ruling Mongolian People`s Party, took office after a confirmation vote in the parliament. He succeeds Erdenebat Jargaltulga, who was ousted by the legislature last month in a no-confidence vote.

Mongolia is known to be friendly with North Korea, taking in workers from the reclusive state. Amid international efforts to clamp down on the North`s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, attention will turn to the new prime minister`s ability to parlay his country`s own diplomatic channels in addressing the issue.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke with Mongolian President Battulga Khaltmaa in September, with the two leaders agreeing on the importance of implementing United Nations Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang. They also reaffirmed cooperative efforts toward returning Japanese nationals abducted in the past by North Korea.

While the Mongolian president is officially head of state and wields veto power, the prime minister holds sway over national policy as head of government. The focus will be on how the two leaders work together.

Khurelsukh, 49, has a military background and has built connections to North Korea. He first won election to the parliament in 2000 and has served as minister for emergency situations and elsewhere in the cabinet. He is seen as having initiated the push to unseat Erdenebat while deputy prime minister.

The new prime minister must also deal with the looming debt crisis that led to his predecessor`s downfall. Erdenebat agreed to a $5.5 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund earlier this year that came with a set of austerity measures. Angry voters responded by electing Battulga -- an opposition candidate -- as president in July.

A portion of Mongolian sovereign debt will reach maturity in early 2018. But to refinance the bonds or take other stopgap measures, Khurelsukh needs to restore the nation`s creditworthiness -- a task that entails fiscal reform. Balancing that initiative against the will of the people will put his political skills to the test.

7. Banwarilal Purohit Sworn-in as Governor of Tamil Nadu.

Banwarilal Purohit Sworn-in as Governor of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit was sworn-in by Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Friday.

The Chief Justice administered the oath of office to the new Governor in the lawns of the Raj Bhavan.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Deputy Lok Sabha Speaker M. Thambi Durai, Minister of State Pon. Radhakrishnan, Speaker of State Legislative Assembly P. Dhanapal and Leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin were present.

Judges of the Madras High Court, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, DGP T.K. Rajendran and senior officials of the State government and members of the Consular Corps were also present.

Mr. Purohit, a public personality involved in social, political, educational and industrial fields of Vidarbha in Maharashtra, plunged into active politics in 1977.

He entered the Maharashtra Assembly for the first time in 1978 from the Nagpur east seat. He was re-elected in 1980 from Nagpur south and became a minister in 1982.

In 1984 and 1989, Mr. Purohit was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Nagpur-Kamptee seat and was a member of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Defence Ministry.
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He was re-elected from the Lok Sabha seat in 1996 and served as a member of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Home Affairs, a member of the Standing Committee on Defence, and a member of the Public Sector Undertaking Committee.

Mr. Purohit is also credited with the revival of ‘The Hitavada’, an English daily founded by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a mentor to Mahatma Gandhi.

Under him, ‘The Hitavada’ became a leading newspaper of central India and apart from its headquarters edition at Nagpur, the daily also launched editions from Jabalpur, Raipur, and Bhopal.

Mr. Purohit was appointed as Governor of Assam State by the President of India on August 17, 2016. He has been thrice elected as a member of Parliament from Nagpur, twice on the Indian National Congress`s ticket and once as a BJP member.
 
8. Kazuo Ishiguro selected for 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Kazuo Ishiguro selected for 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature
The Swedish Academy has selected Japanese-born English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro (62) for the 2017 Nobel Prize in literature.

The award was given for his works that are of great emotional force which uncovers the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.
Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan and moved to the UK when he was five years old. He had started writing career in 1981 and has written seven novels, five works in short fiction and four screenplays so far. He is best known for his emotionally resonating prose style and his inventive subversion of literary genres.

Some of his best-known works include Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, which he had written in just a month. His latest book, The Buried Giant, was published in 2015. ?He had received four Man Booker Prize nominations and won it in 1989 for his novel ‘The Remains of the Day’.
 
9. Donald Trump is Most Followed World Leader on Twitter, PM Modi Third.
Donald Trump is Most Followed World Leader on Twitter, PM Modi Third
Donald Trump is now the world’s most followed leader on Twitter, while Narendra Modi is the third, according to the latest report by Twiplomacy, a Burson Marsteller research project that tracks the use of Twitter by governments and international organisations.

Trump overtook Pope Francis by a few thousand followers to occupy the first place in Twiplomacy’s October report. The US president’s personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump has 39, 735, 749 followers, while the Pope’s official account, @Pontifex, trails behind by more than 2 lakh followers at number two. The Pope’s numbers show a total of his nine different accounts, that dispense prayers and reflections in nine different languages such as English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Latin, French, German and Arabic.

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, known for his adroit use of social media to reach the masses, has kept his third place consistently since last year. Modi’s own account, @narendramodi, has more than 34 million followers, while the official @PMOIndia account is at the fourth position with a following of more than 21 million.

India’s Foreign Minister, @SushmaSwaraj, is the most followed female world leader in the world with a 9.6 million following on Twitter. Swaraj has been lauded for using Twitter effectively to respond to people asking for help, whether it is for visas or rescue.

The @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts come in at the fifth and sixth position respectively. Other world leaders that make the top ten are Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at number 6 with 11.2 million followers, Indonesian president Joko Widodo with 8.5 million and UAE’s prime minister and ruler of Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad with 8.4 million followers.
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But the rankings cannot be seen as a measure of popularity, as some Twitter users sharply pointed out that many of Trump’s followers are bots.

Former US president Barack Obama was undisputedly the most followed world leader on Twitter. In 2016, Obama’s Twitter acoount, @BarackObama had a following of more than 74.9 million. Twiplomacy’s 2016 report called him “the uncontested leader of the digital world” and said he will go down in history as the first digital president who effectively used social media while in office.

Even after exiting office, Obama’s following has only surged, currently standing at a whopping 95 million -- which is much more than the Twitter following of Trump and the Pope combined.
 
10. Gauri Lankesh is the First Indian Journalist to win Anna Politkovskaya Award.
Gauri Lankesh is the First Indian Journalist to win Anna Politkovskaya Award
Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, a strident critic of religious extremism who was shot dead last month, has been awarded a prestigious global award, given in the memory of a slain Russian reporter and political activist.

Lankesh, 55, shared the Reach All Women in WAR (RAW in WAR) Anna Politkovskaya Award with Gulalai Ismail, 31, a Pakistani peace activist who has faced death threats for speaking out against the Taliban.

“This award is a morale booster for people who want to write, and fight...It honours what Gauri stood for -- that you cannot silence me,” Lankesh’s sister, Kavitha, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation .

In a note, the award committee said, “It is not by coincidence that Gauri’s work, her personality and the way she was killed for her work reminded us so much of the way Anna lived and died for the truth”.

Lankesh is the first person from India to receive the honour.

Addressing a press conference here, Kavitha said the award does not belong to the family but to “everyone who stood by Gauri”.

Lankesh, an outspoken newspaper editor, was shot dead outside her home by unidentified assailants in Bengaluru on September 5, raising concerns about press freedom in India.

Opposition parties and critics say that journalists seen as critical of the ruling BJP and ts brand of Hindutva are often insulted on social media and women reporters have been threatened with assault.

Lankesh often wrote about religious violence, the malaise of India’s hierarchical caste system and criticised the rise of hardline Hindu groups since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in 2014.
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Speaking about the investigation into Lankesh’s murder, Kavitha said the family will be happy only after the killers are brought to justice.

“I want the motive to be known so that Gauri will get justice,” Lankesh’s brother Indrajit said.

The family said they are in touch with senior officers of the special investigation team formed to probe the murder.

The family recently opposed a proposal to make a movie on the murder. Kavitha said the family doesn’t have a problem with people making a movie about the slain journalist. “But we don’t want it now, when the family is still mourning,” she said.

The award marks the 11th anniversary of the killing of Politkovskaya, a Russian investigative reporter and activist who uncovered state corruption and rights abuses, especially in Chechnya.

She was shot dead in the lobby of her Moscow apartment block at the age of 48 on October 7, 2006.

RAW in WAR, a London-based, non-governmental organisation supporting women human rights defenders and victims of war, also honoured Rohingya refugee Jamalida Begum, who spoke out publicly about her rape by Myanmar security forces.

 

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