(Current Affairs) Person in News | July + August: 2015

Person in News

Aruna Shanbaug

  • Aruna Shanbaug, a former nurse at Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial Hospital who spent the last 42 years on a bed in a vegetative state after a sexual assault by a ward boy in 1973, died.

  • Shanbaug’s condition had been deteriorating for the last few years and she had difficulty swallowing food. The staff was feeding her nutrition powder through a tube (Ryle’s tube).

  • On November 27, 1973, Shanbaug, then a junior nurse at KEM, was brutally assaulted and raped by a ward boy-cum-sweeper Sohanlal B. Valmiki. He throttled her with a dog chain, cutting off the supply of blood and oxygen to key parts of her brain. She has been in a vegetative state ever since, confined to a bed at the hospital where nurses and staff took care of her.

  • After her death, a controversy erupted when her family members reached the hospital to claim the body, which the staff and nurses opposed. Later in the evening, a compromise was reached and she was cremated at the Bhoiwada crematorium. Dr. Supe and her family members collectively performed the last rites.

Mukesh Khanna

  • Veteran actor Mukesh Khanna, has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Children Film Society of India (CFSI).

  • CFSI started functioning in 1955 as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with Pandit Hriday Nath Kunzru as President. CFSI’s maiden production Jaldeep won the first prize for best Children’s Film at the 1957 Venice Film Festival. Since then CFSI has continued to produce, exhibit and distribute quality content for children: from feature films, shorts, animations to television episodes and documentaries.

KV Thomas

  • Outgoing chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, senior Congress leader K V Thomas, has been renominated to the post for a second term. PAC is one of the most important finance committees along with the Committee on Estimates and the Committee on Public Undertakings.

  • Since 1967, the post of the PAC Chairman has been held by a senior member of the main Opposition party. The key committee examines CAG reports after they are tabled in Parliament.

  • The PAC, constituted every year, may consist of not more than 22 members 15 from Lok Sabha and not more than seven members from Rajya Sabha. Members from Lok Sabha have to be elected to the panel while the representatives from Rajya Sabha are nominated. A minister cannot be a member.

  • Interestingly, the chair of the Committee on Estimates has always been held by a member of the ruling party and is currently occupied by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi. Joshi was the Chairman of the PAC in the last Lok Sabha.

Ninad Bedekar

  • Noted historian and orator Ninad Bedekar, known for his studies on the Maratha king, Shivaji, and his extensive research on the forts of Maharashtra, passed away aged 65 at a hospital in Pune.

  • Mr. Bedekar, a mechanical engineer by training, breathed his last on Sunday. According to relatives, he had been suffering from heart and kidney ailments for the last couple of years.

  • A prolific writer in his mother-tongue Marathi, he is credited with popularising the history of Maharashtra.In 2003, Mr. Bedekar, along with the right-wing Shiv Sena, was instrumental in bringing about the ban on American scholar James Laine’s book on Shivaji titled Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India . Mr. Bedekar had written to the Oxford University Press seeking a ban.

Daniel Mookhey

  • Daniel Mookhey has become first Indian-origin Member of Parliament (MP) from the Australian state of New South Wales to be sworn in to Australian parliament on the Hindu religious text, the Bhagavadgita.
  • Recently, he was chosen by the Australian Labour Party to fill the casual vacancy in the New South Wales upper house. Thus, making him state’s first politician of Indian background.
  • Daniel Mookhey was born in Blacktown suburb in New South Wales to Indian parents who had migrated to Australia from Punjab in 1973.
  • He holds three university degrees and currently is working as a consultant to unions, charities and community groups.

Suchitra Bhattacharya

Celebrated writer Suchitra Bhattacharya, many of whose books had been made into cult Bengali films including “Dahan”, passed away. Suchitra penned over 20 novels, including Dahan, Kachher Manush, Hemonter Pakhi, Alik Sukh, most turning into bestsellers in Bengali literature and was popular among the new generation of women as well as others. She had received several literary awards.

Harbhajan Kaur Dheer

  • Harbhajan Kaur Dheer an Indian-origin councillor woman has became the first Asian woman elected mayor of Ealing Council in London; she became the Mayor of Ealing Council after succeeding councillor Tej Ram Bagha.

  • Her husband councillor Ranjit Dheer is a former Mayor of Ealing. Born in Punjab in 1953, Harbhajan Kaur came to Britain in 1975. She studied Social Sciences at Kingston University and obtained a degree in 1995. She worked as an Approved Mental Health Professional in Surrey County Council until 2003. She has served the borough as a governor of a number of schools. She is a passionate advocate of rights of children and elderly including those with mental health issues.

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