Persons in News 2017

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Justice Gita Mittal appointed as acting Chief justice of Delhi High Court

Justice Gita Mittal, the senior-most judge of Delhi High Court, has been appointed as the acting Chief justice of Delhi High Court with effect from April 14. Her appointment comes at the backdrop of the retirement of current Chief justice Gorla Rohini.

President of India has appointed Justice Mittal as the Chief Justice by exercising his powers conferred by article 223 of the Constitution of India. 

Article 223 of the Indian Constitution provides for the appointment of acting Chief Justice by the President of India whenever the office of the Chief Justice of a High Court falls vacant due to any reason such as absence or otherwise.

About Justice Gita Mittal

In 2004, Justice Mittal was appointed as Additional Judge of Delhi High Court and was made permanent in 2006. Justice Mittal is one of the members of the Governing Council of the National Law University and Indian Law Institute. She has also been nominated to the Administrative Committee of the Indian Law Institute.

Justice Mittal is currently chairing the Delhi High Court committees on Mediation and Conciliation Centre and also over the committee monitoring the implementation of Judicial Guidelines for Dealing with cases of Sexual Offences and Child Witnesses. Justice Mittal spearheaded the inauguration of Vulnerable Witness Court Project in trial courts in Delhi. First such court room in the country was inaugurated in September 2012 and the second on September 2013.

Her important judicial pronouncements include pronouncements on compensation for riot victims, right to shelter of internally displaced persons, right to marriage of a female member of the Armed Force, principles governing DNA testing in paternity issues in the absence of statutory provisions, right to workers in labour force etc.


Malala Yousafzai made youngest UN Messenger of Peace

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has bestowed the highest honour UN Messenger of Peace upon Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.

She was described as a symbol of the most important thing in the world-education for all. With this, she became youngest ever UN Messenger of Peace.

About Malala Yousafzai

  • Malala was born on 12 July 1997 in Mingora city in Swat province of Pakistan.
  • At the age of 11 she had caught international attention as female education activist after writing for the BBC about life under the Taliban in Pakistan under pseudonym Gul Makai.
  • Her campaign had led to a Taliban assassination attempt near that left her severely wounded after she was shot in head in 2012.
  • Awards and Honours: In 2014, at the age of 17 she was awarded Nobel peace prize, becoming youngest Nobel Laureate in the history of Nobel award.
  • National Youth Peace Prize (2011), Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice (2012), Simon de Beauvoir Prize (2013), Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (2013), Anna Politkovskaya Award (2013).
  • UN has declared  12 July as ‘Malala Day’ in her honour.

About UN Messenger of Peace

  • The coveted title is bestowed by UN upon distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, music and sports or other fields of public life.
  • The Messengers of Peace scheme was instigated in 1997 as a central addition to the system of UN goodwill ambassadors and honorary ambassadors, run by the different UN agencies since 1954.
  • The messengers of peace are appointed directly by the Secretary-General of the UN and are intended to promote the work of the United Nations in general and
  • Initially they were chosen for a period of three year, but three of the current twelve messengers, Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall, and Yo-Yo Ma have served for more than ten years.


Colson Whitehead wins 2017 Pulitzer Prize for ‘Underground Railroad’

Colson Whitehead’s celebrated novel The Underground Railroad has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The novel is about an escaped slave that combined liberating imagination and brutal reality.

Earlier in November 2016, the novel had received the National Book Award of US. This makes Colson Whitehead first person to win Pulitzer and National Book Award for fiction in last 20 years. 

List of 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Letters, Drama & Music
  • Fiction: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
  • Drama: Sweat by Lynn Nottage.
  • History: Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson.
  • Biography or Autobiography: The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar.
  • Poetry: Olio, by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)
  • General Nonfiction: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond.
  • Music: Angel’s Bone, by Du Yun.
  • Public Service: New York Daily News and ProPublica
  • Breaking News Reporting: Staff of East Bay Times, Oakland.
  • Investigative Reporting: Eric Eyre of Charleston Gazette-Mail, Charleston/.
  • Explanatory Reporting: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and Miami Herald
  • Local Reporting: The Salt Lake Tribune Staff
  • National Reporting: David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post
  • International Reporting: The New York Times Staff
  • Feature Writing: C. J. Chivers of The New York Times
  • Commentary: Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal
  • Criticism: Hilton Als of The New Yorker
  • Editorial Writing: Art Cullen of The Storm Lake Times, Storm Lake.
  • Editorial Cartooning: Jim Morin of Miami Herald
  • Breaking News Photography: Daniel Berehulak, freelance photographer
  • Feature Photography: Jason Wambsgans of Chicago Tribune

About Pulitzer Prize

  • The Pulitzer Prize is an annual award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States.
  • It was established in 1917 by provisions in will of American-Hungarian newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The award is administered by Columbia University in New York City.
  • Prizes are awarded yearly in 21 categories. In 20 of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism is awarded a gold medal.