Persons in News 2018
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President Ram Nath Kovind has nominated former MP Ram Shakal, RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and stone artist Raghunath Mohapatra as members of Rajya Sabha. They were nominated as per Article 80(1)(a) of the Constitution, based on the recommendation of Council of Minister headed by Prime Minister Naredra Modi. Prior to these four nominations, there were eight nominated members in Rajya Sabha.
Ram Shakal: He is farmers leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh. He has devoted his life for welfare and well-being of Dalit community. He is widely respected for championing cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He was three-time member of Lok Sabha, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
Rakesh Sinha: He is RSS ideologue Sinha and is the founder and honorary director of Delhi-based think-tank India Policy Foundation. He was professor at Motilal Nehru College of Delhi University. He was also member of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).
Raghunath Mohapatra: He is internationally renowned authority on stone carving. He has been practicing since 1959 and has trained over 2,000 students. He has contributed to preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments and has worked on beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. His famous works include 6-feet-high statue of sun god carved in grey sandstone in Central Hall of Parliament and Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris, France.
Sonal Mansingh: She is among India’s foremost exponents of Indian classical dance. She is also well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for overs six decades. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances in Delhi in 1977.
Nomination of eminent members to Rajya Sabha
As per Article 80 (Part V) of the Constitution, President can nominate 12 members in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha). These persons should have special knowledge or practical experience in the field of Art, Science, Literature and Social Service. The rationale behind principle of the nomination is to facilitate the representation of eminent professionals and experts who cannot face direct elections.
Former careered diplomat Dr. TCA Raghavan was appointed as the Director General (DG) of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA). He was selected by Governing Body and Governing Council of ICWA headed by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. The post of DG is equivalent to the rank of Secretary to Government of India. Dr. Raghavan is Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1982 batch. He had served as India’s High Commissioner to Islamabad (Pakistan) and Singapore. He has also served in Indian missions in London, Kuwa and Thimphu.
Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA)
It was established in 1943 by group of Indian intellectuals as think tank. It was established as non-official, non-political and non-profit organisation under Registration of Societies Act 1860. It was declared institution of national importance by Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), 2001 enacted by Parliament.
ICWA is devoted exclusively for the study of international relations and foreign affairs. Vice President of India is its ex-officio President. It had conducted historic international conferences like Asian Relations Conference in 1947 under leadership Sarojini Naidu and United Nations and New World Order in 1994