Persons in News 2017

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Renowned Scientist MGK Menon passes away

Acclaimed high energy particle physicist and an institution builder of Indian science  Prof. M G K Menon passed away. He was 88.

He was Scientist, Science & Technology policy-maker, scholar, parliamentarian, Cabinet Minister. He has been described as one of India’s most eminent “statesmen of science”

About M.G.K. Menon

  • Mambillikalathil Govind Kumar Menon was born on 28 August 1928 in Mangalore, Karnataka. He was famously known as MGK or Goku.
  • He was awarded a Ph.D. at a relatively young age of 25 by University of Bristol, UK in 1953.
  • He had joined TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) in 1955 at invitation of Homi Bhabha. In 1966, he was appointed Director of TIFR after death of Homi Bhabha.
  • In 1971, he was appointed Secretary in the Department of Electronics. Since then for two decades plus, he played important role in India’s science and technology policy-making.
  • In 1971, after death of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, he was given additional charge as Chairman of ISRO and the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.
  • Subsequently in 1974 he was appointed Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and concurrently looked after the DRDO.
  • In 1978 he was appointed Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Director-General of the CSIR.
  • He had served as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from January 1972 and September 1972.
  • He had served as member of the Planning Commission (1982-1989), Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister (1986-1989), Vice President, CSIR (1989-1990).
  • He had served as a Minister of State (MoS) in the short-lived V.P. Singh Cabinet; and a Rajya Sabha member from 1990 to 1996.
  • Awards and Honours: Padmabhushan (1968), Padma Vibhushan (1985). The asteroid 7564 Gokumenon was named in his honour in late 2008. In May 1970, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.


Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa to be Chief Guest of 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

António Costa (54), the Indian origin Prime Minister of Portugal will be the chief guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention.

The PBD Convention is scheduled to be held from January 7 to 9, 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Mr. Costa will participate in the inaugural session of the PBD Convention on January 8 and address the delegates.

Besides, Surinam Vice president Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held in Bengaluru on January 7, 2017.

About Antonio Costa

  • Atonio Costa was born on 17 July 1961 in Lisbon, capital city of Portugal. By profession he is lawyer. He traces his paternal roots to Goa (India)
  • He is son of Orlando Costa, an accomplished poet and writer and has several relatives at Margao in Goa. His grandfather, Luis Afonso Maria da Costa hailed from Goa.
  • After Portugal’s 2015 general election, he was appointed as Prime Minister after he had put together a coalition of left parties that is currently in power in Portugal.
  • In 2004, he was elected as one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament and also had served on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
  • He was Mayor of Lisbon City from 2007 to 2015. He was elected as Secretary-General of the Socialist Party in September 2014.

About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)

  • The PBD is celebrated every year on January 9 to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India. It is celebrated every year since 2003.
  • It provides a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities.
  • January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa.
  • Thus, this event marks the importance of arrival of India’s greatest Pravasi who led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.


Pankaj Patel elected as FICCI President for 2017

Pankaj Patel was elected as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for the year 2017.

He will take over after incumbent Ambuja Neotia Group Chairman Harshavardhan Neotia completes his term in December 2016.

At present Pankaj Patel is Chief Managing Director of Zydus Cadila. He is actively involved in various educational institutions and is on advisory committees and academic councils of several educational institutions such as IISER (Kolkata), IIM Ahmedabad etc.

He is also the Vice President, Executive Chairman and Trustee of the Gujarat Cancer Society and Chairman of the Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, one of the largest of its kind regional Cancer Centre in India.

About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

  • FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organization in India. It is a non-governmental and non-profit organization.
  • Establish: 1927
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Mission: To enhance efficiency and global competitiveness of Indian industry.
  • To expand business opportunities both in domestic and foreign markets through a range of specialized services and global linkages.