Obituaries Current Affairs - 2020

Fact Box: India’s first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary

The first woman Director General of Police (DGP) Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya passed away following illness in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She was 1973 batch IPS officer, who had scripted history when she was appointed DGP of Uttarakhand in 2004.

About Kanchan Chaudhary

She was born in Himachal Pradesh, Chaudhary. She was the country’s second woman IPS officer after Kiran Bedi.  She had led Uttarakhand Police force as DGP from 2004 to 2007. During her 33-year-long career, she had handled some sensitive cases, including killing of national badminton champion Syed Modi and Reliance-Bombay Dyeing case. She also had served as Inspector General of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

In 1997, she was awarded President’s police medal for distinguished service. She had made guest appearance in ‘Udaan’ TV serial aired on Doordarshan in late 1980s, which was based on her life, showing her struggles to become an IPS officer. After retirement, she had joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.

Udaan serial: It was one of the first shows on Indian television to deal with the subject of women empowerment. It was based on inspiring true life story of Kanchan Chaudhary and was aired on Doordarshan in late 80s. It was written and directed by Kanchan’s younger sister Kavita Chaudhary who also played lead protagonist.

Legendary astronaut, moonwalker John Young passes away

Legendary astronaut of NASA John Young, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight passed away in Houston, US. He was 87.

He was NASA’s only astronaut to go into space as part of Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle program, and the first to fly into space six times. He was 9th man to walk on moon.

John Young

He was born in San Francisco, California. He had earned degree in aeronautical engineering from Georgia Tech. Later he had joined US Navy. Later he took flight training. His first time in space came in 1965 with Gemini 3 mission that took him and astronaut Gus Grissom into Earth orbit in first two-man US space jaunt.

His NASA career spanned over 42 years, longer than any other astronaut’s. In 1965, he had flown the first manned Gemini mission and commanded another in 1966. In 1969, he became first person to orbit Moon alone for Apollo 10.

He also had driven Lunar Roving Vehicle on Moon’s surface during Apollo 16. He is one of only three people to have flown to the Moon twice. He also commanded two Space Shuttle flights, including its first launch in 1981, and served as Chief of Astronaut Office from 1974–1987. He retired from NASA in 2004.