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Lalji Singh: Father of DNA fingerprinting in India passes away

Eminent scientist and father of DNA fingerprinting in India Lalji Singh passed away following heart attack. He was 70. He was one of the leaders instrumental in making DNA fingerprinting mainstream in India, both at level of research as well as for forensic applications.

Contributions of Lalji Singh

He also set up a slew of dedicated labs that worked on several aspects of genetics such as population biology, structural biology and transgenic research. His work in field of DNA fingerprinting technology also contributed for sex determination, Wildlife conservation forensics and evolution and migration of humans.

Based on his work he was tasked by government to establish Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in late 1990s with mandate of making it a nodal centre for DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics for all species and several diseases.He also had founded Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES).

Lalji Singh

Dr. Singh served as a director at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad from 1998 to 2009. He also had served as Vice Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University (2001 – 2014), his alma mater.

Until recently, he was active in the Genome Foundation, a non-profit organisation that aims to diagnose and treat genetic disorders affecting the underprivileged, especially from rural India. He was awarded prestigious Padma Shri award.

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Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor passes away

Veteran Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra reportedly due to kidney failure. He was 79.

Iconic star of Indian cinema was worn in the first family of Hindi film industry. He had starred in more than hundred movies, out of which he was the lead actor in at least 61.

Shashi Kapoor

Shashi Kapoor was born on March 18, 1938 in Calcutta (Kolkata) as Balbir Raj Kapoor. He was the third and the youngest son of legendary film actor Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsarni Kapoor. He was married English actress Jennifer Kendal in 1956 and the duo established Prithvi Theatre in 1978.

He had started acting in films as child actor in late 1940s. Since then he has appeared in 160 movies altogether, 12 being in English and the rest in Hindi. His Bollywood debut as lead actor was in film Dharmputra (1961). His best known performances as child artist were in Aag (1948), Awaara (1951) and Sangram (1950).

He is also best-known for his performances in Hindi films like ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Waqt’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Utsav’and ‘Kabhi Kabhie’. He also acted in American and British films. They are The Householder (1963), Shakespeare Wallah (1965), Bombay Talkie (1970) etc.

His last and most recent film appearances were in Jinnah in 1998, a biographical film of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, father of Pakistan. His biography, Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, The Star was released in 2016 and is authored by Aseem Chhabra.

For his contribution to cinema, he has been conferred many awards including National Film Award for Best actor for film New Delhi Times (1986), National Film Award Special Jury Award/Special Mention (Feature Film) for Muhafiz (1993), National Film Award Best Feature Film in Hindi (as Producer) for Junoon (1979), Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), Padma Bhushan (2011) and Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2015).

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