Who’s Who in the World

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Abdul Aziz al Saud, Abdullah bin :

The King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud signed five agreements after extensive talks held with Dr. Manmohan Singh in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 28, 2010.

Earlier, he was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2006. The King signed the “Delhi Declaration” with Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh.

It was the first time that he had signed an agreement with any country. It was the first visit by a Saudi King to India in 51 years.

Adiga, Aravind :

Mr. Aravind Adiga, the 33 – year – old Chennai – born writer, was honoured with the 2008 Man Booker Prize for his debut novel The White Tiger on October 14, 2008.

He is the second – youngest writer in the Booker’s 40 – year history to win the prize after Mr. Ben Okri who won this award in 1991 at the age of 32. Mr. Adiga is also the second novelist of Indian origin to get the prize with a debut novel after Ms. Arundhati Roy.

Advani, Lal Krishna :

One of the topmost leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party and its former President, Mr. Lal Krishna Advani played a vital role in the emergence of BJP as a national party by leading a countrywide “Rath Yatra” (1991).

From two MPs in 1980, he helped raise the party to become major partner in the NDA Government led by Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was made Deputy Prime Minister & Home Minister in the NDA Government.

Mr. Advani also led “Bharat Uday Yatra” (2004), thus symbolically uniting numerous streams of the grand cultural landscape of India. After the defeat of the NDA in 2004 general elections, Mr. Advani was elected Leader of Opposition in the 14th Lok Sabha.

Advani, Pankaj :

The 24 – year old ace cueist from Bengaluru became the second Indian after Geet Sethi to win both the World Professional Billiards Championships and the International Billiards and Snooker Federation’s World Billiards tides when he beat defending and nine times champion Mike Russell of Qatar in the final of World Professional Billiard Championships at Leeds (England) on September 7, 2009.

Earlier, he had annexed World Billiards Championship in Bengaluru in September 2008.

He won his maiden Asian Billiards Championship tide in Pune in February 2005 defeating the former World Champion, Praput Chaithansukul of Thailand, and created history on March 21, 2005 when he became the first player in the world to clinch the rare grand double in both the points format and the time format titles in the IBSF World Billiards Championships at Qawra, Malta.

He was presented the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2005. Advani is also the second cueist in the world to have won both the World Billiards and Snooker tides after Paul Mifsud of Malta.

Later, Pankaj also bagged the men’s National Senior Snooker Championship on December 24, 2007. He won O.B. Agarwal Memorial Snooker National Championship and Asian billiards tide on March 15, 2010 and on April 15, 2010, respectively.

Afridi, Shahid :

This Pakistani all – rounder holds the world record of scoring the fastest ODI century (102 runs off 37 balls against Sri Lanka at Nairobi, Kenya in 1996).

Due to his aggressive style, Afridi has proved himself as a great asset for his team and has won matches for his country on many occasions. He was adjudged the ‘Player of the Tournament’ in the ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa in 2007.

In the second World Twenty20 held in UK, Afridi played a stellar role to help his country capture the tide defeating Sri Lanka. For his brilliant performance, he was declared “Man of the Match” in the final.

Agha Khan, Prince Karim (b. 1936):

The 49th Imam of Ismailia community, a sect of Shia Muslims. Richest head of any religious sect. Educated at Harvard, he succeeded his grandfather in 1957 as the Imam of his community. Claims to be a direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad.

Agassi, Andre :

Former World No. 1 and ace US tennis player, Andre Agassi is the sixth player in ATP Tour history, after Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Guillermo Vilas, John McEnroe and Stephen Edberg to record 800 career wins.

He reached this milestone on July 13, 2004, when he beat compatriot Alex Bogomolov in the first round of the Mercedes – Benz Cup. Agassi is also the fifth tennis player to win all four Grand Slams. He has since quit tennis.

Ahluwalia, Dr. Montek Singh :

Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Chief Economic Adviser under Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Secretary under Mr. P. Chidambaram during United Front regime and also former Member of the Planning Commission, who had been appointed Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in 2004 succeeding Mr. K.C. Pant, was re – appointed to the same post in 2009.

Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia was also a member of core team under Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Finance Minister with the then Prime Minister,

late P.V. Narasimha Rao (1991 – 96), which successfully ushered in economic reforms bailing the country out of serious economic crisis.

Akram, Wasim :

Former Pakistani cricketer and captain. Highest wicket-taker (502) in ODIs. Made the world record of maximum number of sixes (12) in a Test match against Zimbabwe in his 257 runs.

He was the only cricketer in the world who has crossed the magical figure of 500 wickets in ODIs. Besides, he has to his credit 414 wickets in Tests. Third bowler in the history of Test cricket to achieve two hat – tricks.

Aldorino, Kaiane :

22 – year old Ms. Kaiane Aldorino of Gibraltar won the 2009 Miss World crown at a glittering ceremony which was organised in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 12, 2009. She defeated 111 contestants from across the globe. She is an HR clerk by profession.

Aldrin, Dr. Edwin :

The US astronaut became only the second man in the history of space explorations to land on the Moon soon after Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969. Dr. Edwin Aldrin has set up a nonprofit organisation, Share Space Foundation, dedicated to research on affordable and safer space transportation.

Amano, Yukia :

Mr.Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat, was elected as the new Director – General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on July 3, 2009. He succeeds Mr. Mohamed Elbaradei. He is the 5th DG of IAEA.

Ambani, Anil :

Mr.Anil Ambani became 36th richest person in the world to possess assets worth $13.7 billion, according to March 2010 Forbes rankings. Earlier, he has been ranked sixth in the Forbes 2008 rankings of world’s richest persons list released on March 6, 2008.

Ambani, Mukesh :

Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, Mr. Mukesh Ambani became at one time the richest Indian in the world and the fourth person in the world to possess assets worth $29.0 billion, thus overtaking the richest Indian NRI steel tycoon Mr. L.N. Mittal in March 2010, according to Forbes magazine.

Earlier, he also won the Business Leader of the Year Award at The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in Mumbai at one time on September 10, 2006.

Amrithraj, Vijay (b. 1953) :

India’s former tennis star. Recipient of Main Fair Play Trophy of UNESCO. Only player to win Hall of Fame Tennis thrice. Appointed UN Ambassador for Peace.

Amte, Prakash :

Dr.Prakash Amte, son of Gandhian – humanitarian late Baba Amte, was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2008 for community leadership on August 31, 2008. Mr. Amte has been working for the improvement of the lives of Madia Gonds tribe in eastern Maharashtra for a long time.

Anand, Dev :

Veteran actor – producer – director Mr. Dev Anand’s autobiography ‘Romancing with Life’ was unveiled by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on September 26, 2007.

Earlier, he was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2002 in recognition of his contribution to all aspects of film – making. Dev Anand was the 34th winner of this coveted award.

Born on September 26, 1923 in Gurdaspur (Punjab) he began his acting career with Hum Naujavan (1944) and starred in memorable hits like Ziddi, Baazi, Taxi Driver, CID, Guide, Hare Kama Hare Krishna, etc. Known as ‘evergreen’ hero, Mr. Anand is still producing and acting in films at the age of 87 years.

He was also conferred the 2010 Phalke Ratna Award by Dadasaheb Phalke Academy.

Anand, Viswanathan :

Viswanathan Anand retained the FIDE World Chess Championship, defeating Bulgarian Veselin Topalov with black pieces in the final classic game of the series in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 11, 2010.

Anand won the 12 – game match with a score of 6.5 – 5.5 to defend the title he claimed in 2007. Earlier, he defeated Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen by a 3 – 1 margin and won the 13th Grenkeleasing rapid World Chess Championship tide at Mainz, Germany in 2008.

This was Anand’s 11th title victory in the tournament and for the eighth time in a row. The reigning world champion won the tide in 1997, 1998 and 2000 before the chess championship moved from Frankfurt to Mainz.

Viswanathan was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2008. He has won ‘Chess Oscar’ Award for 2008, 2007, 2004, 2003, 1998 and 1997. He is also the first recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (1991); Recipient of Arjuna Award (1985), Padma Shri (1988) and K.K. Birla Foundation Award (1992).

Ang, Rita :

A veteran Mount Everest climber, who has conquered the world’s highest peak ten times. Nicknamed ‘snow leopard’, Ang Rita rewrote a mountaineering record in May 1996 by reaching the 8,848 – metre – high summit of the Mount Everest for the tenth time without using oxygen.

Annan, Kofi :

The seventh UN Secretary – General, from Ghana, is credited with creation of East Timor as an independent country. Recipient of the Seoul Peace Prize 1998, the Millennium Peace Award 2001 and also Nobel Peace Prize 2001 along with United Nations for his contribution to the world peace.

Got a unanimous support of the UN in June 2001 for his second five – year term. During his four – day visit to India (April 26 – 29, 2005), Mr. Kofi Annan discussed with Indian leaders the reforms in the UN Security Council and also its expansion.

Mr. Annan favoured expansion of the UNSC, even if the new members did not get veto power. Mr. Annan has been succeeded by Mr. Ban Ki – moon of South Korea.

Ansari, Anousheh :

Iran – born US entrepreneur, became on September 18, 2006, the first woman space tourist to make a voyage to the International Space Station (ISS). She reached ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz TMA – 9 capsule, along with two other cosmonauts. She was the fourth paying tourist to the ISS.

Ansari, Hamid :

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate, was elected the 12th Vice – President of India on August 10, 2007. In a triangular contest, he won with a comfortable margin, securing 455 votes out of the 762 votes polled. Mr. Ansari earlier served as an officer with the Indian Foreign Service.

Atwal, Arjun :

This Asansol – born golfer has become the first from India and the sixth from Asia to win a US PGA Tour event. His name was included in the record books in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA on August 23, 2010 when he topped in the Wyndham Championship. He was named Asian Golfer of the Year on February 1, 2004.

Armstrong, Lance :

American cyclist Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France tide for the consecutive seventh time on July 25, 2005. It may be mentioned that Armstrong had contracted lung and brain cancer some years back but by dint of his impeccable will power, he not only overcame this deadly disease but also reached the zenith in his career.

Armstrong, Neil (b. 1930) :

American astronaut. First man to set foot on the Moon on July 21, 1969. Was the civilian commander of Apollo 11 mission.

Arora, Aastha :

The baby born at the Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi on May 11, 2000 was officially designated as India’s billionth citizen.

Arora, Lt. Gen. Punita :

Ms. Punita Arora, an Army Medical Corps doctor, who has also been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal for organising ‘efficient and prompt treatment’ to victims of Kaluchak Camp in 2002, is the first female Lieutenant General of Indian Army.

Ashraful, Mohammad :

The diminutive right – handed batsman from Bangladesh created history to become the youngest (17 years and 61 days) player to score a century; thereby bettering the 41 – year – old record set by Pakistan’s Mushtaq Mohammad who had scored a century against India in 1960 – 61 at the age of 17 years and 81 days.

The teenage prodigy also became the youngest batsman to make a ton on Test debut hitting a defiant 114 (including 16 fours) off 212 balls against Sri Lanka in the Asian Test Championships (ATC) on September 8, 2001.

Astle, Nathan :

New Zealand cricketer, nicknamed “Pistol” due to his quick – fire half centuries during the 1992 World Cup Cricket tournament, scored the fastest ever double century in Test Cricket, smashing 200 runs off 153 balls in the first Test against England (Christchurch : March 16, 2002).

He broke Australian Adam Gilchrist’s record of 200 runs off 212 balls made against South Africa (Johannesburg : February 23, 2002).

Attenborough, Richard (b. 1923) :

A British Actor – director. Known for his film Gandhi, which won eight Oscars in 1983.

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Bachchan, Amitabh (b. 1942) :

Bollywood screen legend Amitabh Bachchan, the first Indian film star to be honoured with a wax likeness at the Madame Tussauds museum in London, was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctorate of Arts by De Montford University, Leicester (UK) on July 19, 2006.

Adjudged the Best Actor at the 7th International Indian Film Academy (UFA) Awards 2006, India’s equivalent of the Oscars, held in Dubai on June 16, 2006. Was also presented the Best Actor Award for Black; at the 51st Filmfare Awards.

Mr. Bachchan started his film career with Saat Hindustani in 1969 and enacted his way to the hearts of the people to become the most successful actor of the Hindi films so far.

Bachchan also stole limelight in Star Plus as a host of India’s Biggest TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati followed by Kaun Banega Crorepati Dwitiya. Appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for Children by UNICEF in 2003.

Also won the Best Actor Award in the 53rd National Film Awards 2005 for his performance in Black This was for the third time that he bagged the prestigious award.

In recognition of his contribution to the promotion of Indian culture, he was also honoured with the International Award for Cultural Promotion 2008 along with Juhi Chawla at a function held in London.

At the 11th UFA Awards ceremony held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on June 5, 2010, he won the Best Actor award for his role in film Paa.

Bahuguna, Sunderlal (b. 1927) :

Indian environmentalist and leader of Chipko Movement.

Bajaj, Ajit :

Indian adventurer who unfurled the tri – colour at the South Pole on India’s 58th Republic Day on January 26, 2007.

Bajaj, Rahul :

Son of noted philanthropist Jamnalal Bajaj; Chairman of Bajaj Auto. First Indian to be elected Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Davos, as also Co – Chairman of Commonwealth Business Council. Mr. Bajaj is also a member of Rajya Sabha.

Baloch, Kiran :

A cricketer of Pakistan’s women’s team, created the new world record of highest individual score in women’s Test cricket by scoring 242 runs in a Test against West Indies in Karachi (Pakistan) on March 17, 2004.

She bettered the earlier record of 214 runs scored by Mithali Raj (India) against England in Taunton (UK) on August 17, 2002.

Bancroft, Ann :

First woman to reach North Pole. Was one of the six – member US – Canadian expedition which reached North Pole on dog sledge in April 1986.

Bandopadhyay, Padmavathy :

IAF’s first woman Air Marshal as also the first woman Director – General of Medical Services (Air). She holds the distinction of being the first woman officer to become an aviation medicine specialist and also the first woman officer to undergo the elite Defence Services Staff College course in Wellington (New Zealand).

The proud recipient of Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM), she is also a member of International Medical Society and New York Academy of Sciences.

Benegal, Shyam :

Renowned film director, regarded as one of pioneers of “new cinema” and producer of memorable films such as Zubeida, junoon, Aarohan, Manthan, etc., as also recipient of the 2005 Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

Mr. Benegal is a nominated member of Rajya Sabha. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards also. In March 2010, Mr. Benegal released the political satire Well Done Abba’.

Banerjee, Dola :

Ace Indian woman archer won the second international Gold medal of her career when she bagged the individual recurve tide of the fourth leg of the Meteksan World Cup Archery at Dover on August 5, 2007.

She also clinched the Gold Medal in women’s individual recurve competition at World Cup archery final, Dubai in November 2007. Dola was honoured with Padma Shri in 2008.

Bedi, Kiran :

The first Indian woman IPS Officer (1972), Ms. Kiran Bedi, former Director – General (Research and Development), Delhi Police, was the first woman and the first Indian to be appointed to the prestigious post of United Nations Civilian Police Adviser in the Department of Peace – keeping Operations.

Ms. Bedi is winner of Magsaysay Award (1994) and Joseph Beuys Prize (1997) for her role in improving living conditions in Tihar Jail, Delhi. Despite all such feathers in her cap, she missed top slot in Delhi Police and took voluntary retirement.

Bhagwati, P.N. :

The retired Chief Justice of India, was unanimously elected Chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. He is the first Indian to be elected a Chairman of a treaty body under the International Human Rights instruments.

Bhambri, Yuki :

Yuki Bhambri of India won the Australian Open boys’ singles tide in Melbourne on January 31, 2009. He defeated F. Georgoudas of Germany 6 – 3, 6 – 1.

Bhandarkar, Madhur :

Two – time National Award winning film maker Mr. Madhur Bhandarkar came in the news when his film Corporate was taken up by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad to teach the conflict between wealthy corporates and upcoming rich working class who run these corporations.

Mr. Bhandarkar has been invited as a guest lecturer. His movie Traffic Signal’ has also been selected by the Maharaja Ranjeet Singh College of Sciences, Indore to study the beggar mafia racket in Mumbai.

Bhatkar, Vijay :

Former Executive Director of Centre for Advanced Computing (C – DAC), the renowned Computer Scientist is the man behind the country’s first super computer “Param”.

Bhattacharya, Kanchan Choudhry :

Became the first woman Director – General of Police (DGP) in the country when she assumed charge as JDGP Uttarakhand on June 17, 2004. She qualified for the 1973 batch of IPS, only the second batch for which women were allowed to apply.

Bhatt, Salil :

Mr. Salil Bhatt, the creator of Satvik Veena, hit the headlines when he was nominated for the Juno Award on March 9, 2010. This award is known to be Canadian equivalent of the Grammys.

Mr. Bhatt received the nomination for his International album “Slide to Freedom – 2″ in the Best World Music Album Category.

Bhonsle, Asha :

Veteran playback singer. Younger sister of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar. Recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2000. Also awarded Padma Vibhushan for 2008. Her album Precious Platinum has made it to Amazon.com 100 Greatest World Music albums.

Bhupathi, Mahesh :

Indian tennis player who became the first Indian to make it to the finals of a Grand Slam event. He along with Japan’s Rika Hiraki won the 1997 French Open Mixed Doubles.

Also won French (2001 & 1999) & Wimbledon (1999) Men’s Doubles along with Leander Paes and US Open Mixed Doubles 1999 partnering with Ai Sugiyama of Japan.

Also clinched US Open 2002 Men’s Doubles and Wimbledon 2002 Mixed Doubles. On October 11, 2002, he won the Gold Medal at the 14th Asian Games held in Busan (Republic of Korea) in the Doubles final with Leander Paes.

He paired with Mary Pierce of France to beat Paul Hanley (Australia) and Tatiana Perebiynis (Ukraine) to win the Mixed Doubles title of Wimbledon 2005. He paired with Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) to win the US Open 2005 Mixed Doubles tide on September 8, 2005 in New York (USA).

Paired up with Martina Hingis of Switzerland to win the sixth mixed doubles and overall tenth doubles Grand Slam tide of his career at the Australian Open 2006 on January 29, 2006.

In 2009, pairing with compatriot Sania Mirza, he won Australian Open Mixed Doubles tide. He later won Mixed Doubles at French & Wimbledon Open 2009 taking his Grand Slams tally to 11.

Bhutia, Baichung :

Indian Football skipper Baichung Bhutia led India to win the 2009 Nehru Cup in August 2009, beating Syria in the final in New Delhi. He was also the skipper of the Indian team which won the AFC Cup defeating Tajikistan (4 – 1) in New Delhi in August 2008.

Earlier, he captained India to annex the 2007 ONGC Nehru Cup Football tournament by beating Syria in the final in New Delhi in August 2007. Bhutia was awarded the Padma Shri in 2008.

Bigelow, Kathryn :

Ms.Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to be awarded the Best Director Oscar for the film The Hurt Locker at the 82nd Academy Awards Ceremony at Los Angeles, USA on March 7, 2010. She beat her ex – husband, Mr. James Cameron, the Director of the much talked – about film Avatar. The film she directed won 6 Oscars in 6 different categories.

Bindra, Abhinav :

The youngest – ever Olympian shooter of India and the Arjuna (2000) and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2001 – 02) awardee, Abhinav Bindra from Chandigarh carved a special niche for himself in the shooting firmament by becoming the first Indian to win an individual Gold for India in Olympics at the 29th Beijing Olympics (August 2008).

Earlier, he bagged a rich haul of 12 medals (inclusive of 6 Golds) at the European Championships in 2001.

Besides, he bagged one Gold and one Silver in the Commonwealth Games 2002 held at Manchester (the UK) as also a Gold medal in 10 m Air Rifle at the International Air Rifle and Pistol Shooting Championships 2004 in Germany.

Also bagged the first – ever Gold for the country in shooting on July 24, 2006, during the World Shooting Championships in Zagreb (Croatia). Chosen for 2009 Rajiv Gandhi Award (Sports) on August 20, 2009.

He won two gold medals at the 53rd International Shooting Championship at The Hague, Netherlands on February 6, 2010 and the Silver medal in the International Shooting Competition of Hannover in Germany on May 2, 2010.

Bolt, Usain :

The famous Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won the Paris IAAF Diamond League meeting in 100m in Paris on June 16, 2010. He was named one of the IAAF Athletes of the Year on November 22, 2009.

He has won the prestigious award for the second year in a row. He had broken his own 100 m and 200 m world records in the Berlin World Championships in August 2009.

Earlier, he broke his own record (9.69 sec, set at Beijing Olympics, 2008) by finishing the 100 metres in 9.58 seconds at the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Berlin, Germany and bagged the Gold.

He clinched the Gold in 200 metres also. In 200 metres also, he set a world record by finishing in 19.19 seconds (the earlier record of 19.30 sec. was also set by him in Beijing Olympics 2008).

Border, Allan (b. 1956) :

Former Australian cricket captain and one of the greatest batsmen in the history of Test cricket.

He made his Test debut against England in Melbourne in December 1978, and was the first cricketer to score over 11,000 Test runs (total runs 11,174) in 156 Tests at an average of 50.56 including 27 Test centuries. Captained his country 93 times, more often than any other Australian.

Bush, George W. :

Former US President who was re – elected for the second time in a row when his Democrat rival Mr. John Kerry conceded defeat on November 3, 2004; eldest son of George Bush Senior, former President of the USA (1988 – 1993); the second US President to step in the shoes of his father.

As a reprisal to September 11, 2001 terrorist blitz on the USA, attacked Afghanistan, dethroned Taliban and installed an interim Government under Mr. Hamid Karzai though the elusive Osama bin Laden is still believed to be at large and kicking.

Attacked Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, despite world opinion against this action. The USA had to beat a hasty retreat following widespread skirmishes between Iraqi nationalists and US – led occupation forces, handing over administration to an Iraqi interim Government on June 28, 2004.

Architect of Civilian Nuclear Agreement with India along with PM Dr. Manmohan Singh. Since retired, succeeded by Mr. Barack Obama, the Democrat in 2009.

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Carter, Jimmy :

Former US President won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2001 for his untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts and to advance democracy and human rights.

His vital contribution to the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt (Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat & Israeli Premier, Menachem Begin) and his efforts in conflict resolution on several continents and the promotion of human rights after his presidency.

His most significant work has been through the Carter Center, an Adanta – based think tank and activity policy center founded by him and his wife Rosalynn in 1982.

Castro, Fidel :

The world’s third longest-serving Head of State, the Cuban President, Mr. Fidel Castro stepped down from his post in 2006 due to illness. He handed over power, for the first time, to his brother Mr. Raul Castro.

Chatterjee, Somnath :

Leader of CPI(M) in the 15th Lok Sabha, the 10 – time MP, Mr. Somnath Chatterjee is the first Communist to become Speaker of 14th Lok Sabha. A forceful speaker known for his wit and sarcasm, Mr. Chatterjee was also conferred the Best Parliamentarian Award for 1996.

Expelled by CPI (M) on his refusal to quit Speakership in the confidence vote sought by UPA, following withdrawal of support by the Left on Civilian Nuclear Deal with the USA.

Chaudhary, Praveen :

A distinguished Indian – American scientist and IIT alumnus, Mr. Praveen Chaudhary has been named to head the Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of the world’s great research institutes which employs 3,000 scientists and has a budget of $500 million approximately.

At. Chaudhary, the well – known IBM dentist who was adviser to two American residents (Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr.) and also to two Indian Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao), is the second Indian to head a great American Institution after Mr. Arun Netravali who was appointed to head Bell Labs in 2000.

Chaudhary, Satveer :

First Indian – American Senator (2000) who was re – elected to the predominantly (90%) white Minnesota State’s Senate in November 2002.

Chawla, Navin :

Election Commissioner Mr. Navin Chawla took over as the Chief Election Commissioner succeeding Mr. N. Gopalaswami on April 20, 2009. An IAS officer of 1969 batch, Mr. Chawla held charge till July 29, 2010. He was appointed Election Commissioner on May 13, 2009.

Chopra, Priyanka :

Bollywood beauty Ms. Priyanka Chopra was named Best Actress at the 56th National Film Awards on January 23, 2010, for her role in Fashion. Two weeks earlier she was named Best Actress for Kaminey at the Apsara Awards.

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra was appointed UNICEF’s National Ambassador for promoting child rights and adolescence in New Delhi on August 10, 2010. She was crowned Miss World in 2000.

Chopra, Yash :

Veteran Film – Maker and director, Mr. Yash Chopra, who is better known for his romantic films such as Kabhie Kubhie, Silsila, Chandni, Lambe, Mohabbatein and Dil to Vagal Hai, besides other hits such as Dhool Ka Phool, Ittefaq, Trishul, etc., was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2001, the country’s highest honour in filmdom.

The first Indian to be given lifetime membership of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) in 2006. Born in Jalandhar in 1932, Mr. Chopra, who started his career as an assistant to his brother, Mr. B.R. Chopra, a celebrated film producer – director, has directed over 20 very successful films (under his banner Yash Raj Films).

Chowdhury, Bula :

India’s ace swimmer. World’s first woman to conquer five continents. The first woman to swim across seven important sea channels of the world. Recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for 2003 for Lifetime Achievement.

Chowrasia, Shiv Shankar :

The dashing golfer from Kolkata emerged on February 10, 2008, as the first Indian sportsperson to receive the single biggest cheque of $416,660 ([rupee] 1.61 crore) in India so far.

He achieved this outstanding feat by clinching the tide at the Indian Masters Golf Championship held in the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi. With this outstanding success, Chowrasia became only the third Indian after Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh to have won a European tour event. Chowrasia had finished second in the Indian Open in 1999 and 2006.

Clinton, Bill (b. 1946) :

42nd President of the United States. Succeeded Mr. George Bush in 1993. He was the first US President to visit India (March 20 – 24, 2000) after a gap of 22 years since Mr. Jimmy Carter in 1978. His autobiography My life (2004) has proved a big attraction throughout the world.

Clinton, Hillary :

Wife of 42nd President Bill Clinton who opposed Mr. Barack Obama as a Democrat Presidential candidate in 2008 but later withdrew. Now Secretary of State under Mr. Obama she visited India in July 2009 and signed 3 strategic agreements including the military end – user agreement, the technology safeguard agreement and the science and technology cooperation agreement.

Coetzee, J.M. :

The South – African novelist won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature worth $1.3 million. Earlier, he also won Booker Prize twice for Life and Times of Michael Kim (1983) and Disgrace (1999), thus becoming the first author to win the prestigious prize twice.

Collins, Colonel Eileen :

The US astronaut is the first woman in the space history to have commanded a space mission, the American Space shuttle Columbia which was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 23, 1999 carrying “Chandra” X – ray Observatory.

Cristiano Ronaldo :

The Manchester United striker from Portugal was voted ‘Player of the Year’ for the second straight year by England Professional Footballers Association (PFA). He was also adjudged the FIFA World Footballer of the Year for 2008.

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Dasgupta, Rana :

Mr.Rana Dasgupta hogged the limelight when he won the regional writer Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2010 in the Best Book category for Europe and South Asia on March 10, 2010.

He is an Indian – origin British citizen who has written the award – wining novel Solo. The story of the novel revolves round the life of a hundred – year – old Bulgarian.

David A. Paterson :

Took over as the Governor of New York (USA) on March 17, 2008, becoming the first legally blind person to assume such a high office in the US. He is also the first African – American to be the Governor of New York.

Desai, Kiran :

The prolific Indian writer has become the youngest woman author and the third Indian to win the Man Booker Prize. Daughter of the celebrated author Ms. Anita Desai, Ms. Kiran Desai has won the coveted prize for her novel, The Inheritance of Loss, for the year 2006.

Devendra :

India’s Devendra created history by winning the country’s first Gold in javelin throw at the Athens Paralympics on September 21, 2004.

Devi, Girija :

A Dalit woman from East Champaran district of Bihar, Ms. Girija Devi addressed the 15th Session of the United Nations Division of Advancement of Women and Department of Economic and Social Affairs on February 27, 2006 in New York (USA).

Devi, Kunjarani :

The ace Indian weightlifter has earned the distinction of being listed among the “Top 100 Weightlifcers of the Century” in an issue of World Weightlifting, published by the International Federation of Weightlifting.

Her tally of 55 medals in World, Asian and Commonwealth Games contests is unparalleled in the annals of world sport. 2001 Asian Women’s Championships Gold medallist. Recipient of 1995 – 96 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rama Award and K.K. Birla Sports Award 1996.

Dhoni, M.S. :

Under the captainship of M.S. Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings clinched the Indian Premier League – 3 title in Mumbai on April 25, 2010. Earlier, Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was awarded the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2007 for the most outstanding performance in 2007.

He is the second cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (1998) to win the prestigious i award. On September 10, 2008, he was named the ICC ODI Player of the Year.

Earlier, he was on April 8, 2009 named by Wisden as the captain of its first – ever Dream Team which featured 5 Indian players including V. Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh & Zaheer Khan. It was under his captaincy that India recorded on April 7, 2009 its first Test series win in New Zealand in 41 years.

Dhoni also brought laurels to the country when India annexed the first World Twenty20 crown in South Africa under his captaincy in September 2007 defeating arch rival Pakistan in the final. He also set the world record of highest runs in an ODI by a wicketkeeper in the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Jaipur (Raj as than) on October 31, 2005.

He slammed 183 runs (not out) off 145 balls, thus, breaking the record of 172 runs by Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

Donde, Dilip :

Dilip Donde, a naval officer, became the first Indian ever to circumnavigate the world solo on a sail boat Indian Naval Sailing Vessel, Mhadei on May 22, 2010, when he steered into the Mumbai harbour after an arduous voyage spanning a little over nine months.

Commander Dilip Donde had embarked on the voyage on August 19, 2009 and covered about 38,800 km. under sail.

Dravid, Rahul :

Former captain of the Indian cricket team. Under his captaincy, India won a Test series in the West Indies after 35 years, in June – July 2006. During the first Test against S. Africa (Chennai, March 29, 2008) Dravid also became the second Indian batsman to cross 11,000 run milestone in Test cricket (11,483 runs as on August 5, 2010).

Dravid has surpassed the record of most double centuries by an Indian in Tests of Sunil Gavaskar by hitting five double centuries. He is also the fourth batsman in the world and the first Indian to score four or more Test; centuries in four consecutive innings.

Dravid has been a recipient of the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being adjudged ICC Player of the Year and was also conferred the inaugural ICC Test Player of the Year 2004 Award.

He added another feather to his cap by becoming the world record holder of catches excluding wicket keepers in Tests after his 182nd catch in the third Test against New Zealand on April 6,2009.

He snapped up Tim McInfosh off Zahir Khan surpassing Australian Mark Waugh’s tally of 181 catches in Tests.

Dua, Tito :

Mr. Tito Dua, an American citizen of Indian origin born in Bareilly (UP), had the proud privilege of being the Commander of American Warship USS Gary which sailed into Kochi (Kerala) for a four – day port call on June 19, 2003.

Dutta, Hem :

Social activist from Assam, the 63 – year – old was honoured with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award on August 20, 2007. Mr. Dutta has been involved in building communal harmony among people living in Assam.

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Ebadi, Shirin :

Iranian lawyer, a human rights and democracy activist; won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. She won this award for her efforts that include promoting the rights of women and children in Iran and worldwide. She is the first Muslim woman and also the first Iranian to win the honour in the Prize’s 104 – year history.

Elbaradei, Dr. Mohamed :

Former Director – General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from Egypt, visited India in October 2007. Dr. Elbaradei, along with IAEA, was selected for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize on October 7, 2005.

The award was conferred in recognition of their efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons. Mr. Elbaradei was also conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2008. Since retired and succeeded by Mr. Yukiya Amano of Japan.

Eun – sun, Oh :

Ms. Oh Eun – sun, who is a South Korean mountaineer, became the first woman; to scale the world’s 14 highest mountains, crawling on all fours. Ms. Oh Eun – sun (44 – year – old) arrived at the final, steep stretch of Annapurna in the Himalayas on April 27, 2010.

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Fadia, Ankit :

The Delhi – based boy who cracked an encrypted message by Al – Qaeda which the Americans came across after September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks but failed to decipher it. Fadia is also the author of An Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking.

Fadia’s achievement is really creditworthy since the US, which is considered one of the leaders in encryption technology, failed while he succeeded in hacking Al – Qaeda website.

Federer, Roger :

Swiss maestro Roger Federer won his fourth Australian Open crown and in all the 16th Grand Slam of his career in Melbourne, Australia on January 31, 2010.

In the final, he defeated Andy Murray of Britain 6 – 3, 6 – 4, 7 – 6 (11). He became the most successful Grand Slam champion defeating Andy Roddick (USA) in the, Wimbledon 2009 Men’s Singles final in London on July 5, 2009.

He won his record 15th Grand Slam tide eclipsing USA’s Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major Grand Slam tides. Earlier, the ace Swiss tennis player became the Sixth player to have won all four Grand Slams when he won his first French Open Men’s Singles on June 7, 2009 defeating Robin Soderling of Sweden.

With the ride Federer had also equalled the World record of most Grand Slams (14) held by Pete Sampras (USA).

Fernandez, Stefania :

Eighteen – year – old Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe 2009 on August 23, 2009 at the Miss Universe Pageant. She is the sixth Venezuelan beauty to have won the Miss Universe title.

Her compatriot Dayana Mendoza, the incumbent crown holder, placed the crown on her head.

Fossett, Steve :

The American millionaire adventurer became the first person on March 4, 2005 to fly solo on a non – stop round – the – world flight when his plane, the Virgin Adantic Global Flyer, touched down back at 7.48 PM GMT (1.18 a.m. 1ST) in Salina (Kansas, USA), his starting point after covering a distance of 37,000 kms in 67 hours and one minute.

Mr. Fossett, who holds many records as a balloonist, pilot and a sailor, had earlier made five unsuccessful attempts for circumnavigating the globe solo in a balloon.

Fukuda, Yasuo :

Elected as the Prime Minister of Japan in Tokyo on September 23, 2007. He resigned from his post in September 2008. Mr. Fukuda, the President of the Liberal Democratic Parry of Japan, became the 91st Prime Minister of the country.

He had succeeded Mr. Shinzo Abe who resigned on September 12, 2007.

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Gandhi, Haren :

A distinguished Indian – American engineer whose contributions towards emission control have brought the USA to the forefront of automotive technology, Mr. Haren Gandhi is one of the recipients of 2002 National Medal of Technology.

Kolkata – born Gandhi, who did his schooling mostly in Mumbai, went to the USA in 1963 for a Masters degree and joined Ford in 1967 after obtaining a doctorate in Chemical Engineering. He is considered the guru of automotive catalysts that reduce auto emissions.

Gandhi, Rajmohan :

Mr.Rajmohan Gandhi, the noted peace activist and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi was honoured with a Doctorate of Letters by the Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom on July 14, 2010.

Mr. Gandhi is currently a Research Professor at the Centre for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois, USA.

Gandhi, Sonia (b. 1946) :

Congress President Ms. Sonia Gandhi set a unique example of high moral standards when, acting on the advice of her inner conscience, she declined to shoulder the responsibility of India’s highest executive post of Prime Minister even after her election as the Leader of Congress – led United Progressive Alliance with a strength of over 335 MPs. Instead, she nominated Dr. Manmohan Singh as the 14th Prime Minister of India.

Incidentally, it was the whirlwind countrywide mass contact program of Ms. Sonia Gandhi that brought Congress back to power after eight years.

She is the first Congress President who has completed ten years as the party’s Chief. She also led Congress – led UPA to capture majority of seats in the 15th Lok Sabha elections but again appointed Dr. Manmohan Singh as the 15th Prime Minister of India.

Gambhir, Gautam :

First left – handed opening batsman in the history of Test cricket to have scored a double century against Australia (206 at Delhi in 2008 – 09) and only Indian such player to have played two innings of 150 – plus in Tests (both against England at Mohali in 2008 – 09).

His average was the best among Indian batsmen in calendar year 2008 (Among the Indian batsmen with 1,000 runs in a calendar year, only Sunil Gavaskar had a better average than Gambhir). His overseas average of 62.80 is the best by any Indian batsman with a minimum of 500 career runs.

As in Tests, Gambhir’s performance in ODIs in 2008 was his career best – 1,119 at an average of 46.62 including 3 centuries and 7 fifties with a strike rate of 90.53 in 27 games.

In the 2009 ICC Twenty20 in South Africa too, Gambhir performed creditably with 227 runs at an average of 37.83.

Garg, Anu :

Indian “Wordsmith”, Mr. Anu Garg, the creator of “A Word A Day” unique e-mail service worldwide, has today emerged, along with his wife, Ms. Stud Garg, as the instant best – selling husband-wife authors’ team in the USA.

Half – a – million subscribers spread over 195 countries, open their e-mail every day to learn a new English word – unusual, fascinating, quirky or just timely from a free Internet service called “A Word A Day” and receive its dictionary meaning, a brief comment on its origin, an illustration of its usage from a publication and an audio clip with its pronunciation.

Gates, Bill :

Founder of Microsoft, world’s renowned software company and formerly the world’s richest person, was conferred Indira Gandhi Peace, Disarmament & Development Prize 2007 by President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil on July25, 2009 in New Delhi in recognition of his contribution in the field of health in India and the world over by his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Earlier, he stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft on June 27, 2008. Post retirement, he, intends to devote his time to charity works.

During his visit to India in November 2002, Gates donated $ 100 million (doubled to $200 million in October 2003) for AIDS control in India through his $ 24 billion “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” created to cater to health care worldwide, besides an investment of [rupee] 2000 crore in software education, partnership development and localisation.

Further, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg joindy pledged $500 million for an anti – tobacco campaign with special focus on India and China.

Gavaskar, Sunil :

Popularly known as “Litde Master”, Sunil Gavaskar, who has won many national and international honours such as Arjuna Award (1977), Padma Bhushan (1979) and Wisden Cricketer of the Year (1980), was felicitated with his 1985 squad being declared as “Indian Team of the Century” at the Wisden selections on July 23, 2002.

Gavaskar’s career highlights are : First to score 10,000 runs in Tests (Total runs 10,122) and record number of Test centuries (34), which has since been surpassed by Sachin Tendulkar. Sunil Gavaskar along with compatriots Kapil Dev and Bishen Singh Bedi figured in the ICC’s inaugural Hall of Fame list released on January 2, 2009.

George, Anju Bobby :

Anju Bobby George, the ‘wonder athlete’ from Kerala, did the country proud by annexing Bronze medal in Long Jump at the 9th IAAF World Athletics Championship in St. David’s City in France on August 31, 2003.

In the process, she emerged the first-ever Indian athlete to bag a medal at a World Athletics Meet. Anju won a Gold at the Asian Games in Busan (South Korea) and a Bronze in Commonwealth Games in 2002 at Manchester.

She also won a Gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon (South Korea) on September 4, 2005. Anju was conferred Arjuna Award 2002 in Athletics. Winner of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rama Award for 2003.

Ghosh, Amitabh :

Dr. Amitabh Ghosh, an IITian showcased for exceptional achievement and the only Indian in the Mars Mssion, is the planetary geologist of NASA participating in the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission which landed its rovers Spirit and Opportunity on the Red Planet in January 2004.

Earlier, Dr. Ghosh, who worked on the Mars Pathfinder Mission in 1997, bagged the MASA Mars Pathfinder Achievement Ward. He analysed the first – ever Martian ock.

Gopichand, Pullela :

Pullela jopichand won the All – England Open 3adminton Championship Men’s Singles crown at Birmingham on March 11, 2001 beating Chen Hong of China, thus emulating the legendary Prakash Padukone who was the first Indian to win the championship in 1980.

Won Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2000 and the Arjuna Award for 1999. He is now coaching India’s badminton sensation Saina Nehwal.

Gordhan, Pravin :

South Africa’s Chief Revenue Officer, Mr. Pravin Gordhan, an ethnic Indian, has been elected Chairperson of the 156 – nation World Customs Union at Brussels (Belgium). He is the first person from Africa to be elected to this position.

Goyal, Karan :

This student from Delhi has been selected to work for the European Space Agency’s Student Orbiter Mission tasked with designing the power supply technology for a moon orbiting satellite.

He is the only Indian among the team at Warwick University which is working on the design to be launched in 2011.

Gromov, Mikhail Leonidovich :

Russian – French mathematician Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov was chosen for the Abel Prize for 2009 on March 28, 2009. The award is given by Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He is known for his contribution in many areas of mathematics and has produced profoundly original ideas which have resulted in new perspectives on geometry and other areas.

Gupta, Abhinn Shyam :

Ace Indian Badminton player Abhinn Shyam Gupta won laurels for the country by bagging the $10,000 French Open Championships tide in Paris defeating China – born Xie Yang Chun of Germany in the final on March 18, 2001.

Also Asian Satellite Men’s Singles 2002 Champion and Senior National Champion (2003 & 2002).

Gusamao, Xanana :

Independence hero and former guerrilla leader, Mr. Xanana Gusamao won a landslide victory with 82.69 percent of the votes in East Timor’s first Presidential elections on April 17, 2002.

With this, East Timor, that was once a Portuguese colony but was invaded and taken over by Indonesia in 1975, became the world’s then newest nation after the United Nations handed over administration to the new Government. East Timor joined the United Nations as 191st member in September 2002.

Gyanendra, King :

The Nepalese monarch, King Gyanendra summarily sacked the Sher Bahadur Deuba Government on February 1, 2005 accusing it of its failure to begin the process of conducting elections by April 1, 2005 and also to restore peace in the country badly mauled by Maoist insurgency.

Reverting to absolute monarchy, he clamped emergency, suspended Fundamental Rights and assumed all executive powers to head a 10 – member Council of Ministers.

With the abolition of monarchy, King Gyanendra has quit the royal palace along with all executive power and even kingship under growing Maoists clout in Government as well as in the country.

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Haasan, Kamal :

The versatile actor was the recipient of the Best Actor for 1996 National Film Awards. This award was for his fascinating performance in the Tamil film Indian (whose Hindi version was Hindustani). In his long career in films, he has bagged 15 Filmfare and two National awards.

Producer of controversial film Hey Ram. He completed 50 years in film industry in 2009.

Haffajee, Ferial :

A South African Indian woman, Ms. Ferial Haffajee, who started her journalistic career 12 years ago as an intern at the weekly Mail, earned the distinction of becoming South Africa’s first woman Editor of Mail and Guardian on February 1, 2004.

Haignere, Claudie :

Ms. Claudie Haignere, a French astronaut, became the first European woman to board the International Space Station accompanied by Mr. Viktor Afanasyev and Mr. Konstantin Kozeyev of Russia on an eight – day (October 23 – 30, 2001) Andromeda mission.

It was the second space flight for the French astronaut who speaks Russian also. Earlier, she had spent 16 days aboard Russia’s Mir orbital station in 1996.

Hargreaves, Alison :

A resident of Britain, she became the first woman to climb Mount Everest alone and without oxygen, on May 13, 1995. Was also the first British woman to ascend the north wall of the Eiger in the Alps in 988 and the first person to scale the six classic north faces of the Alpine peaks in 1993.

Harikrishna, Pentyala :

The chess prodigy from Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Pentyala Harikrishna, became the youngest Indian Grand Master at the age of 15 on August 15, 2001, breaking the 14 – year record of World Champion Viswanathan Anand by three years (Anand had become India’s first GM at 18 in 1987).

In 2000, he erased another record of Viswanathan when he became Iftalia’s youngest International Master. He also became the youngest Indian to qualify for the FIDE World Championships.

He also won the Commonwealth Chess Championship held in London on August 28, 2001 defeating Grandmaster Dimitri Anagnostopolous of Greece, the Nancy Masters International Chess tournament in France on February 24, 2009 and Chigorin memorial blitz chess tournament at St. Petersburg, Russia on October 26, 2009.

Harsha, Indira (b. 1987) :

India’s first scientifically documented test – tube baby born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai on August 6, 1987.

Harveen, Sarao :

Harveen Sarao became the first Indian shooter to win a Gold medal in the World University Games on August 10, 2007, when she grabbed the first place in the 10 metre air pistol event in the Games held at Bangkok, Thailand.

Hawking, Stephen :

The physically challenged and wheelchair – bound British theoretical physicist and Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, Dr. Stephen Hawking is the author of the international best – seller A Brief History of Time and is an important force in the development of the science of cosmology.

In 2006, he was selected for the prestigious Copley Medal from the UK Royal Society and thereby joined an elite list of scientists in receiving the oldest and the most significant award for scientific achievement. He visited India in January 2007.

Henry, Karla Paula :

Miss Philippines, Karla Paula Henry was crowned Miss Earth 2008 at, Pampanga, Philippines on Novembers, 2009.

Heptullah, Najma :

The former Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha and distinguished Human Development Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), she was elected as the President of the Inter – Parliamentary Council of the 138 – nation Inter – Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Berlin on October 16, 1999.

She is the first woman in the 110 – year history of the IPU to be elected to the highest office of the Union. She has since been made Honorary life Member of the IPU.

Ms. Heptullah unsuccessfully fought the election for 12th Vice – President of India as an NDA candidate against Mr. Hamid Ansari of UPA. Now she is a member Rajya Sabha.

Hume, John :

Renowned Irish civil rights champion, Mr. John Hume was the main architect of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Recipient of the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize 2001 for his fearlessness and dedication to the cause of humanity and ideals which had been dearest to Mahatma Gandhi; also shared the Nobel Peace Prize 1998 with Mr. David Trimble for resolving conflict in N. Ireland.

Humpy, Koneru :

Koneru Humpy became the world’s youngest Grandmaster when she setded for a quick draw against IGM Lukas Peter of Austria in the 10th and final round to log 7.5 points and thus achieved a third G.M. norm at the Elekes Memorial G.M. Chess Tournament played in Hungary on May 27, 2002.

Won Asian Women’s 2003 Championship tide. In the process, she broke the record of her idol, Judith Polgar. Humpy accomplished the feat at 15 years, one month and 27 days. Recendy on March 19, 2009 she won the Women’s Grand Prix Series in Istanbul, Turkey.

Hussain, M.E (b. 1915) :

Renowned Indian artist and a former nominated member of Parliament. He signed a [rupee] 100 crore contract, the biggest – ever by any Indian painter, to make a series of 12 paintings for Mumbai – based steel magnate Guruswaroop Srivastava.

His paintings include Lighting Horses, Shiva Natarafa and Mother Teresa and also a series of paintings on Hanuman and Madhuri Dixit. He has also produced and directed a film Gajgamini with Madhuri Dixit in female lead role.

Now in self – exile in Dubai to avoid hundreds of cases against him for sacrilege of Hindu gods and goddess in many of his painting.

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Inglis, Mark :

Mark Inglis of New Zealand made history on May 15, 2006, when he became the first double amputee to scale Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world.

Inglis, who had lost both his legs in a climbing accident 24 years ago, reached the summit after 40 days of tough climbing.

Isinbayeva, Yelena :

The Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva set a new world record in 29th edition of Olympics when she cleared 5.05 metres in Beijing (China) in August, 2008.

She is the only woman to have crossed 5.0 metre mark. Yelena also won the Laureus World Sports woman of the year on May 27, 2009. However, She lost her five – year strangle – hold on pole – vault on August 17, 2009, to Anna Rogowska of Poland at the World athletics Championships at Berlin.

She fouled all three attempts. However, she atoned for her Berlin flop by clearing 5.06 metres on August 28, 2009 to beat her previous Beijing Olympic record by one centimetre at Welkasse Golden League in Zurich; thus reclaiming the top slot.

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Jagdeo, Bharrat :

Bharrat Jagdeo, an ethnic Indian, was sworn in as the President of Guyana on March 31, 2001. He was re – elected for a second term in 2006.

Jahangir, Asma :

Pakistani lawyer. Founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Won 1995 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. She has also shared Millennium Peace Prize for Women 2001 with her sister, Hina Jilani, and others. She visited India in 1997, 2000 and 2001.

Jiabao, Wen :

Elevated as Chinese premier on March 16, 2003. Mr. Jiabao, a former geologist, whose loyalty helped him rise to the highest ranks of power, is universally regarded as a responsive and highly adaptive individual. Made a path-breaking visit to India in 2005, the third by a Chinese Prime Minister to India after Zhou Enlai (1954) and Li Peng (1991).

Jindal, Bobby :

Republican Congressman of Indian origin, Mr. Bobby Jindal was elected Governor of Louisiana (USA) on October 20, 2007. He is the first non – White to rule the State and the youngest Governor in the USA.

Earlier, Mr. Jindal made history with a landslide win to the US Congress, becoming the second Indian American to enter the House of Representatives after Dalip Singh Saund who was elected in 1956.

Jintao, Hu :

The President of China. He succeeded Mr. Jiang Zemin. He is the first among equals as he steers the Communist Party of China (CPC) towards higher growth. He also retains power over the military establishment.

He has the final say over China’s strategic status as a major player on the international stage.

Johnson – Sirleaf, Ellen :

Elected as the new President of Liberia. A Harvard – educated banker, Ms. Johnson – Sirleaf defeated her closest rival Mr. George Weah’ to become the first elected woman Head of State of an African nation.

Joshi, Pandit Bhimsen :

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a Hindustani vocalist of the Kirana Gharana, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award on February 6, 2010 by the Delhi Government.

Earlier, he was with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Rama, on November 4, 2008. He is renowned for the Khayal form of singing as well as for his popular renditions of Bhajans.

He has also sung for films like Vasant, Bahen, Birbal My Brother, Tansen and Ankahee. A disciple of Sawai Gandharva, he gave his first live performance at the age of 19. He is also known for his superb performance in the famous Doordarshan tune, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara.

Joshi, Deep :

The famous Indian social activist Mr. Deep Joshi, who has done pioneering work for development of rural communities, was named for Ramon Magsaysay Award on August 3, 2009.

A Masters in Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Joshi has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of rural development and livelihood promotion. He also advises the Government on poverty alleviation strategies.

Jung, Samaresh :

The ace shooter became the first Indian to be awarded the David Dixon Award after being adjudged the ‘Best Athlete of the 18th Commonwealth Games’.

He won five Gold medals, one Silver medal and one Bronze medal at the Games held in Melbourne (Australia) in March 2006. However, he failed to make a mark at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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Kaji, Gautam :

He is the first Indian to have been appointed as one of the Managing Directors of the World Bank (1994 – 1997).

Kaka :

Brazilian midfielder Kaka was conferred the ‘2007 Player of the Year’ Award in Zurich (Switzerland) on December 17, 2007. In the same year, Kaka had also won European football’s Golden Ball and World Soccer magazine’s ‘Player of the Year’ Award.

Kalam, A.P.J. Abdul :

Noted scientist and the architect of the India’s ballistic missile program. Became the 11th President of India on July 25, 2002 succeeding Mr. K.R. Narayanan. Dr. Abdul Kalam is a recipient of Bharat Ratna.

Earlier, he was the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and Chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Dr. Kalam had the distinction of being the first Indian President to be invited to address the European Parliament. He was succeeded by Ms. Pratibha Patil, the first woman President; of India, on July 25, 2007.

Kapadia, Harish :

Renowned mountaineer, Mr. Harish Kapadia has been awarded Gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his contribution to Geography and Mountaineering in the Himalayas.

He is the first Asian and Indian to receive the award in the past 130 years – the only other Indian being the legendary Nain Singh who won it in 1877.

Kapadia, Sarosh Homi :

The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia was appointed as the 38th Chief Justice of India. His tenure started on May 12, 2010. He succeeded Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

Kapoor, Deepak :

Lt. General Deepak Kapoor took over as the Chief of Army Staff from his predecessor General J.J. Singh on September 30, 2007.

Kapoor, Ekta :

Queen of Indian television, known for family serials Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, etc. Ekta Kapoor was selected as one of the ’40 Asian Global Leaders 2005′ by the Forum of Young Global Ixaders, an agency of World Economic Forum.

Kapur, Shekhar :

The Hindi fdm director who received applause for his Films – Aforaww (1983), Mr. India (1987) and Bandit Queen – won kudos for unusual treatment in directing Britain’s most successful historical film, Elizabeth.

Also director of a film on “Nelson Mandela”, former South African President. He, along with the music director A. R. Rahman, also collaborated with the internationally acclaimed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to produce the musical Bombay Dreams.

Kapur, Shiv :

Indian golfer Shiv Kapur was named Asia’s Rookie of the Year 2005 at the Asian Tour’s Awards Night in Bangkok (Thailand) on December 12, 2005. Kapur had also beaten defending Champion Jyoti Randhawa to win the Volvo Masters of Asia.

Karnik, Kiran :

Mr. Kiran Karnik, the former President of Nasscom, was appointed as the Chairman of Satyam Computer Services on February 6, 2009. Earlier, he was appointed as one of the directors of the company after the finding of the Satyam’s scam.

Karzai, Hamid :

Mr. Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan’s President for a second term on November 19, 2009. After having sworn in he vowed to combat corruption and terrorism.

Earlier, he paid a four – day visit to India on August 3, 2008. He held talks on regional and bilateral issues with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who announced a further aid of $ 450 million to the war – torn country.

The Afghan leader has Indian links. Mr. Karzai has decades – old India connection. He studied Political Science at the Himachal University, Shimla at post – graduation level.

Kasturirangan, Krishnaswamy :

Former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). A rocket payloads expert, he is the architect of India’s Remote Sensing Satellite Program.

Awarded Padma Bhushan in 1992, M.P. Birla Memorial Award and 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award. India’s third generation satellite INSAT – 3B was also successfully launched from Kourou in French Guyana on March 22, 2000 under his direct supervision. GSLV – D1 was also launched on April 18, 2001 under his stewardship.

Kaushal, Reena :

Ms. Reena Kaushal of Delhi became on December 31, 2009 the first Indian woman to ski to the South Pole. She made the historic ski – run as part of an eight – woman Commonwealth team which crossed a 900 km Antarctic ice trek to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth.

Kavya, Shivshankar :

An Indian – American girl who won the prestigious Scripps Spelling Bee contest in 2009 by correctly spelling a word, “Laodicean” which means lukewarm or indifference in religion or politics.

Kejriwal, Arvind :

The co – founder of the NGO Parivartan, was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for the year 2006 in the Emergent Leadership category in Manila (the Philippines) on August 31, 2006.

Mr. Kejriwal won the award for “activating India’s right to information movement at the grassroots, and empowering New Delhi’s poorest citizens to fight corruption by holding the government answerable to the people”.

Khan, Aamir :

A versatile actor, a talented director and an astute marketeer all rolled into one, Aamir Khan has added a whole new dimension to the domain of Indian filmdom? His recent film ‘3 Idiots’, which has become the highest – ever grosser in the history of Indian cinema, is a splendid proof of his ever – growing popularity.

Most of his films, including blockbusters like ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’, have kickstarted new trends and set the benchmark for others to follow. ‘Peepli (Live)’, a film produced by him, has made headlines due to a realistic presentation of the issue of farmers’ suicide.

Khan, Amjad Ali :

Indian classical musician. Sarod maestro. First honorary visiting professor at the University of New York. Given the first chair in Indian classical music in Britain. On October 23, 1996, he was appointed as UNICEF Ambassador for Children in the sphere of culture and creative art.

Conferred the 33rd Tansen Award on December 6, 2001. He was also presented the Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters Award on behalf of the French Government on October 28, 2003 in New Delhi.

Khan, Shah Rukh :

Actor Shah Rukh Khan became the first of his ilk to be conferred a Malaysian title, ‘Datuk’, equivalent to the British Knighthood, in Kuala Lumpur on December 6, 2008.

Shah Rukh Khan, popularly known as SRK, has won a plethora of international accolades – his film Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna became the highest earning Indian film of all time. He is the 3rd Bollywood Star after Amitabh Bachchan & Aishwarya Rai to have his wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s in London.

Again, he is the third Indian film personality after Adoor Gopala Krishnan and Amitabh Bachchan to receive the French Government’s Award Officer of the Order of Arts & Letters – also adjudged one of the 50 Most Powerful Persons in the world by Newsweek.

A recipient of Honorary Doctorate in Arts & Culture from University of Bedfordshire. SRK was the first Bollywood star to win a Golden Globe Award.

Khanna, Gopal :

Indian – born MBA from University of Maine and currently Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the US-based Peace Corps, was appointed to the prestigious post of CFO of White House, the official residence of the US President, with effect from May 8, 2005 overseeing a budget of $750 million.

Khemka, Asha :

NRI academician Ms. Asha Khemka was honoured with Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in July 2009. Born in Sitamarhi (Bihar), Ms. Khemka, Principal and CO of West Nottinghamshire College, is the first Asian woman to receive this award. Earlier, in May 2008 she was conferred with Asian Woman of Achievement award.

Kher, Kiron :

The talented Bollywood actress won international acclaim by winning the Best Actress Award at the 56th Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland on August 16, 2003 for her role in Khamosh Paani, a Pak – German – French co – production directed by Pakistani woman director, Ms. Sabeeha Sumar.

Mr. Anupam Kher, won Best Actress Award for her role in Bariwali (in Bengali) in the 46th National Film Awards in 1999. She was also presented the 2006 Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress (Rang De Basanti) and 2010 Apsara Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kurbaan).

Khorana, Hargobing :

Indian – born scientist. Migrated to the USA. Shared the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine for interpretation of genetic code and its function in protein synthesis. In 1987, he was awarded the US National Medal of Science.

Kirchner, Nestor :

Elected as 52nd President of Argentina, Mr. Nestor Kirchner joined Mr. Fidel Castro (Cuba), Mr. Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) and Mr. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Brazil) as Latin America’s fourth leftist Head of State. He was succeeded by his wife Ms. Cristina Fernandez Kirchener.

Kirsten, Gary :

South African Batsman, with his unbeaten 188 against the UAE in Wills World Cup Group B match in Rawalpindi on February 16, 1996, made a new World Cup record, eclipsing Vivian Richards’ 181 against Sri Lanka at Karachi in 1987. Also the first batsman in the world to score centuries against each of the nine Test playing countries. Presently coach of Indian Cricket Team.

Ki – Moon, Ban :

Mr. Bam Ki – moon of South Korea became the 8th Secretary General of United Nations succeeding Mr. Kofi Annan (Ghana) for a five – year term beginning January 1, 2007.

He is the second Asian after Mr. U. Thant of Myanmar to occupy the prestigious UN office. He was presented the sustainable Development Leadership Award at the 9th Sustainable Development Summit organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) held in Delhi on February 5, 2009.

Kochler, Horst :

Former Managing, Director of INternation Monetaru Fund, who resigned on March 4, 2004, was subsequently elected President of Germany.

Klose, Miroslav :

Miroslav Klose of Germany won the Golden Shoe award for scoring the highest number of goals in the FIFA World Cup Tournament 2006. He scored a total of five goals in the tournament to win the award.

Krishnamoorthy, Ennapadam S. :

Dr. Ennapadam S. Krishnamoorthy is a Chennai – based neuropshychiatrist. He is one of the few physicians to have the distinction of achieving three FRCPs.

Kucharova, Tatana :

Miss Czech Republic Tatana Kucharova was crowned Miss World 2006 in Warsaw (Poland) on September 30, 2006. Ms. Kucharova, an 18 years old student, beat 104 contestants to win the coveted title for her country for the first time.

Kumar, Dilip :

The veteran thespian is the recipient of the 1994 Dadasaheb Phalke Award and 2007 Phalke Ratna Award. Real name Yusuf Sarwar Khan, he made his film debut with Jwar Bhatta in 1944.

Popularly known as the “tragedy king”. Also conferred the Nishan – e – Imtiaz, the highest civilian award of Pakistan on March 23, 1998. Elected to Rajya Sabha in 2000 from Maharashtra. He was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Rashtriya Sadbhavana Award on August 20, 2000.

Also conferred Lifetime Achievement Award at the 5th IIFA Awards Ceremony held in Singapore on May 24, 2004. Honoured with Lifetime Achievement award by President Pratibha Patil on September 2, 2008 for his contribution to acting and also the CNN – IBN Indian of the Year – Life Achievement Award in 2009.

Kumar, Sushil :

An in – form Sushil Kumar notched up his first – ever gold medal in the Asian WrestlingChamipionship meet at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi on May 13, 2010. Sushil (66 kg freestyle) outsmarted Korean Dae Sung Kim, in two rounds (4 – 0, 2 – 0) to stamp his class.

Earlier, he claimed the bronze medal in the 66kg men’s freestyle wrestling event at the Beijing Olympics 2008. Sushil defeated Doug Schewab of the US., Albert Batyrov of Belarus and Kazakhstan’s Leonid Spiridonov to become only the second Olympic medalist in wrestling for the country after K.D. Jadhav’s Bronze in Helsinki Olympics, 1952.

He was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2008 on August 29, 2009.

Kumar, Manoj :

The veteran film actor, producer and director, Mr. Manoj Kumar was conferred Dada Saheb Phalke Award on April 17, 2009. Mr. Manoj Kumar had produced many patriotic films which have made him famous as Bharat Kumar. In all the films that he has produced, he has played the main character role.

Kumar, Meira :

An Indian Parliamentary delegation to Bhutan led by Lok Sabha Speaker Ms. Meira Kumar met the Fourth Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck on May 27, 2010. They exchanged views on bilateral relations and a number of issues of interest to both the countries.

Kumar, Vijender :

Olympic and Worl Championship Bronze medalist Vijender stole the limelight once again when he won the gold medal in the XXX Energy Drink Commonwealth boxing championship in New Delhi, concluded on March 17, 2010.

Earlier, he became the world’s top – ranked pugilist in the middle weight (75 kg) category. The 23 year – old Bhiwani boxer, gained 2,700 points by winning India’s maiden World Championship medal in Milan in September, 2009.

He won a Bronze medal for the country in the 75 kg men’s middleweight category in the Beijing Olympics 2008. The Asian games Bronze medalist, Vijender defeated Carlos Gongora of Ecuador in the quarterfinal but lost to Cuba’s Emilio Correa in the Semifinal.

Now ranked at No. 2 in the world. He was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2008 on August 29, 2009. In September 2009, he added another feather to his cap by clinching a Bronze at World Boxing Championship in Milan (Italy), again a first for any India Pugilist.

Kumari, Devli :

The 11 Year – old girl from Jodhpur (Rajasthan), who worked as stone – cutter, addressed the UN General Assembly on Child Labour. Ms. Devli is a student of Class VI. Her track record has been quite impressive.

In 2004, she spoke at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, and in 2005 she attended the second World Children’s Congress on Child Labour and Education.

Kumble, Anil :

India’s former Test Captain; ace leg spinner and India’s highest wicket – taker for India, surpassing the previous record (434 wickets in 131 Tests) set by the former Indian skipper Kapil Dev.

Earlier, Kumble became the only player with over 500 Test wickets to score a Test century in the Third Test against England at Oval on August 10, 2007. He is also the first Indian and ninth bowler in the world to take 10 wickets in a match six or more times.

He has also the distinction of being only the second bowler in tge history of Test cricket, after Jim Laker of England, to have taken all ten wickets in an innings.

Kumble also became the 7th Indian Captain to record a Test win in his first ever Test as Captain (Indo – Pak first Test at Delhi November 26, 2007). He was also adjudged the greatest Indina player against Australia by CEAT in Mumbai on October 18, 2007.

Kurien, Verghese (b. 1922) :

Former Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board, Anand (Gujarat). The brain nejind “Operation Flood”. Known as Father of India’s White Revolution. Winner of World Food Prize, 1989, and Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1963. First Indian to win International Dairy Person Award, 1993.

Kutraleeswaran :

A school boy from Chennai. His name entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for crossing six major waterways in a calendar year. He crossed Palk Strait, English Channel, two waterways of Italian Coast, Rottnest Channel in Western Australia and one more waterway in 1994.

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Laden, Osama bin :

The world’s most wanted and dangerous terrorist, who is considered a prime suspect in Black Tuesday’s suicide attacks on World Trade Center (New York) and Pentagon (Washington), on September 11, 2001 resulting in a loss of over six thousand lives as also property worth over $23 billion.

Osama, also believed to be behind the first bomb attack on World Trade Center in 1993 (in which six persons died and over 1,000 injured) as also bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya in August 1998, is still elusive despite intensive search by the Allied Forces after the fall of Taliban Government in Afghanistan.

He is otherwise a very wealthy multimillionaire sponsoring and financing Islamic terrorists throughout the world from Chechnya to Philippines including Kashmir.

Lahiri, Jhumpa :

The London – born ethnic Indian won the Pulitzer Prize 2000 on April 10, 2000 for her debut collection of short stories, The Interpreter of Maladies : Stories of Bengal, Boston and Beyond. Raised in Rhode Island (the USA) by her Bengali parents, she is the first writer with an Indian background to win the prestigious American literary award.

Lama, Dalai (Tenzin Gyatso) (b. 1935) :

The 14th Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso has been selected by the US Senate for the highest US civilian honour – the Congressional Gold Medal.

The Dalai Lama has been selected in recognition of his enduring and outstanding contribution to peace, non – violence and human rights.

Established Government – in – exile at Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) in 1959. Recipient of 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his non – violent struggle to free his Himalayan nation from Chinese rule.

Also won the 1997 Paulos Mar Gregorious Award. Has authored My Land and People, Freedom in Exile, etc.

Lamy, Pascal :

The former Trade Chief of European Union, Mr. Pascal Lamy of France took over as the Director – General of World Trade Organisation. He took up his new assignment on September 1, 2005 following retirement of incumbent Director – General, Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi of Thailand.

Lara, Brian :

The great West Indies cricketer announced his retirement from the international cricket on April 21, 2007. In Tests, Lara made a then world record 11,953 runs in 131 matches, 232 innings with an average of 52.88, which include 34 centuries and 48 half centuries.

Lara’s unbeaten individual score of 400 runs against England is also recorded as the highest in a Test innings.

Laxman, R.K. :

Indian cartoonist, associated with The Times of India. Winner of B.D. Goenka Award for Journalism (1980 – 81), and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism (1984). Author of 50 Years of Independence through the Eyes of R.K. Laxman. Brother of the famous writer the late R.K. Narayan.

Lawton, Maxwell :

South African painter. Himself an AIDS patient, his paintings Christ Child with AIDS and Man of Sorrows depict Christ as an AIDS sufferer.

Lessing, Doris :

British novelist Ms. Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature for the year 2007 on December 10, 2007. Her pioneering novels have covered ferninism and politics, as well as her youth in Africa. Her masterpiece ‘The Grass is Singing’ is a searing examination of racial oppression and colonialism.

Loreton, Erhard :

Swiss mountaineer. Became the third man in the world to have climbed world’s 14 highest peaks, when he scaled Kanchenjunga in 1995. The other two who have achieved this feat are Reinhold Messner (Italy) and Jerzykukucha (Poland).

Lucid, Shannon :

The celebrity astronaut, who’ spent a record 188 days in space in 1996, became the first woman to be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honour (Washington : December 2, 1996).

Her mission to the Russian space station Mir was the longest-ever by a woman or an American. She returned to Earth in September 1996.

Lyngdoh, J.M. :

The former Chief Election Commissioner of India, was conferred 2003 Magsaysay Award, Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize, in the Government Service category for his “convincing validation of free and fair elections as the foundation and best hope of secular democracy in India”.

Mr. Lyngdoh was credited with holding fair and free elections in communal strife – torn Gujarat and militant – infested Jammu & Kashmir in a peaceful manner. Mr. Lyngdoh also evolved a ‘Code of Conduct’ for election in Delhi University.

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Mahalanobis, Abhijit :

An Indian American scientist, he was named the ‘2006 Scientist of the Year’, a top US award, by the .Minorities in Research Science organisation of the US. Mr. Abhijit led a breakthrough research that helped the defence company Lockheed Martin win a key role in the US Army’s Future Combat System.

Maini, Ravinder :

A world – famous doctor who developed a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis of knees, Mr. Ravinder Maini, an NRI hailing from Ludhiana (Punjab), has the rare honour of being knighted, following the footsteps of his father, Sir Amar. There is no parallel in the nearly seven – and – half centuries of knighthood since 1257 that both father and son were knighted.

Malavalli, Kumar :

Considered as one of the founding forces in the fibre channel technology, this Indian – American has been a major contributor to the development of fibre channel standards and products over the past 15 years and has been instrumental in the evolution of the storage area networks, which support present – day leading companies.

He is one of the two Indian Americans along with Mr. Mihir Parikh to have the honour of being inducted into the prestigious Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame.

Malinga, Lasith :

Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga became the first player in international cricket to take four wickets off four consecutive balls in a World Cup Super Eight match against South Africa on March 28, 2007 at Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown, West Indies.

Malinga removed Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini in successive deliveries.

Malleswari, Karnam :

Indian weightlifter from Andhra Pradesh. First Indian woman ever to win an Olympic medal – Bronze in 69 kg at Sydney Olympics 2000. She was adjudged Commonwealth Championship’s Best Weightlifter (May 2003).

Won Golds in Asian Championships (54 kg category) at Busan, Korea (1995) and in Istanbul World Championship (1994). Set a new wqrld record by winning three Golds in 54 kg category in World Weightlifting Championships at Guangzhou (China) on November 19, 1995.

Awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 1994 – 95. Also named “South Asian of the Year” by Time magazine.

Mandela, Nelson (b. 1918) :

Leader of African National Congress, and South Africa’s first Black President (1994 – 1999). The former political prisoner (from 1964 to 1990), was the only nominee to succeed EW de Klerk, with whom he shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end of apartheid.

Recipient of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding (1979) and Bharat Ratna (1990), he was on March 16, 2001 conferred die Gandhi Peace Prize along widi the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh; was also honoured with the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace on July 23, 2008.

In November 2009, the UN General Assembly announced that Mandela’s birthday, July 18, should be known as ‘Mandela Day’ to mark his contribution to world freedom.

Mandakini, Amte :

Won the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in August 2008 along with her husband, Mr. Prakash Amte for improving the lives of Madia1 Gonds tribe in eastern Maharashtra.

Mangeshkar, Lata (b. 1929) :

The world-famous Indian singer, Lata Mangeshkar once again came into news when she was awarded the highest French civilian honour “The Insignia of Officer de la Legionne d’ Honneur” by the French Ambassador to India Mr. Jirtme Bonnafont on December 2, 2009.

She has already been conferred the highest civilian honour of India, Bharat Ratna. She is also recipient of 1989 Dadasaheb Phalke Award for her contribution to Indian film music. Completed 50 years of singing in September 1992.

As world’s most recorded artiste, she figures in Guinness Book of World Records. Honoured with the Padma Vibhushan on March 23,1999. Nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1999.

Also conferred “Jeevangaurav Lifetime Achievement Award” 2000 on December 29, 2000. Honoured, with One – time Lifetime Achievement Award by Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil on September 2, 2008 for outstanding contribution to music.

Manohar, Sujata Vasant : India’s second woman judge of Supreme Court after Fathima Beevi (1989).

Manorama, Ruth :

An Indian women’s rights activist, was chosen as one of the winners of the Right Livelihood Awards (popularly known as Alternative Nobels’)
for the year 2006 in recognition of her work to achieve equality for Dalit women in India.

Mary Kom, M.C. :

M.C Mary Kom, India’s prominent pugilist, clinched an unprecedented fourth successive Gold medal in the 46 kg category at the fifth World Women’s Boxing Championships in Ningbo city of China on November 29, 2008.

In a repeat of the previous World Championship final in New Delhi, the 25 year – old out – punched Romania’s Steluta Duta 7 – 1 to grab the only Gold medal for India at the event.

She has won the Women’s World tide in Boxing 4 times till 2008. In recognition of her contribution to India’s sports, she was conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2008 in August 2009.

Mathew, Amit :

Mr. Amit Mathew, Resident Editor of Malayala Manorama in Kochi, Kerala who was elected executive board member of the Vienna – based International Press Institute (TPI) at its 54th General Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya, became the youngest member to have this honour.

Mayawati :

The Bahujan Samaj Party supremo was sworn in as the 32nd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh by the State Governor Mr. TV. Rajeswar at the Raj Bhawan in Lucknow on May 13, 2007.

She became the Chief Minister of the country’s most populous State for the fourth time. In October 2007, she was included in the Newsweek (USA) magazine’s list of eight most powerful women on the earth.

In August 2008, she was named in a list of world’s 100 most powerful women compiled by Forbes magazine.

Mazumdar – Shaw, Kiran :

One of India’s most outstanding businesswomen, she is the founder – chairperson of the Bengaluru – based biotech firm Biocon with a networth of over [rupee] 2,100 crore. With this, Biocon has now emerged as world’s 16th biggest biotechnology company in terms of revenue and the ninth largest in terms of profit.

An entrepreneur par excellence, Ms. Kiran Mazumdar – Shaw has been awarded the Nikkei Asia Prize 2009 for promoting regional growth in Asia. Biocon also won the Bio – Singapore Asia – Pacific Biotechnology Award at Bio – Medical Asia 2009 event in Singapore at March 17, 2009.

Ms. Mazumdar was also named India’s biotech queen by Economist and India’s mother of invention by New York Times.

Mehra, Madhav :

A prosperous London – based NRI hailing from Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) having spent over three decades as an industrialist, Mr. Madhav Mehra is now devoted to environmental protection and cleaning up of industrial production processes.

Mr. Mehra is presendy Chairman, World Environment Forum (WEF) which has instituted the Golden Peacock Awards. These awards are given to corporates that have a proven record in controlling pollution, minimising waste and putting an emphasis on re – cycling.

Menta, Major Gen. Randhir Kumar :

Major Gen. Randhir Kumar Mehta, who was appointed new Military Adviser in the UN Peace – keeping Department as successor to Major General Patrick Cammaert of the Netherlands, became the second Indian officer to be appointed to this Dept. after Ms. Kiran Bedi who was earlier appointed as Civilian Police Adviser.

Mehta, Zubin :

Indian – born musician, conductor of New York and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, recipient of Padma Bhushan, co – winner of Wolf Prize 1995 – 96 along with Romanian – born composer Gyorgy Ligeti, added one more feather to his crown when he was honoured with the tide of “The Knight of the Legion of Honour” in Paris on April 24, 2001.

On his 65th birthday on April 29, 2001, Mr. Mehta was also honoured with Life Membership of the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mendoza, Dayana :

Miss Venezuela, a 22 year – old interior designer, was crowned Miss Universe 2008 in Nha Trang, Vietnam, on July 14, 2008. Mendoza defeated 14 contestants in the final round of the 57th edition of the pageant held in this central Vietnamese city.

Merkel, Angela :

The first female Chancellor of Germany, was ranked No. 1 in the Forbes’ list of 100 Most Powerful Women published on August 31, 2006. She displaced Ms. Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, to occupy the first position.

She assumed office on November 22, 2005 and again joined in the same capacity on October 28, 2009.

Messi, Lionel :

Lionel Messi, the celebrity footballer of Argentina, made headlines when he won the Golden Ball awarded to the European Footballer of the Year on December 1, 2009, following an exceptional season with Spanish giants Barcelona. He was declared ahead of last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal by the biggest margin ever.

Miller, Portia Simpson :

Jamaica’s Local Government Minister, Ms. Portia Simpson Miller, was voted as party president of the ruling People’s National Party (PNP), on February 25, 2006 in Kingston, thereby positioning her to become the first woman Prime Minister of the country.

Mirza, Sania :

Indian tennis icon from Hyderabad Sania Mirza added another feather to her crown by breaking into the top 30 in world rankings on August 6, 2007. She also won the West Bank Classic Tournament doubles in the USA in July 2007.

Earlier, she earned the distinction of being the first Indian woman to win a WTA title when she beat Aloyna Bandarenko (Ukraine) 6 – 4, 5 – 7, 6 – 3 in the final of Hyderabad Open Women’s tennis tournament on February 12, 2005.

She is the first Indian girl to have won a Grand Slam tide in July 2003. She also became the first Indian to enter the third round of Australian Open 2005 Tennis Tournament and the fourth round of any Grand slam when she entered the fouth round of the US Open 2005.

Sania has achieved the distinction of being the first Indian Sportswoman to feature on the cover of TIME magazine and was included in its 2005 list of Asian Heroes. She was also included inb New Statesman periodical’s “List of 10 People Who Will Change The World”.

Sania won her first Grand Slam in Mixed Doubles in Australian Open 2009 pairing with Mahesh Bhupati. With this, the duo became the first Indain pair to win a Grand Slam Mixed Doubles title.

Mistry, Rohinton :

The Indian – born Candian writer is the first person to win the ‘Commonwealth Writers’ Prize twice. He has also been awarded the Kiriyama Prize for his outstanding contribution to literature.

Mittal, Lakshmi Niwas :

Chairman of world’s largest steel – making company Mittal Steel, clinched a deal with the world’s second largest steel – making company Arcelor to form Arcelor – Mittal, the world’s first 100 million tonnes plus steel – making company. He was elected in October 2008 as the Chairman of World Steel Associations representing 180 Steel Producers from across the world.

During his visit to India in July 2006, he announced a [rupee] 40,000 crore, 12 – million tonnes steel plant to come up in two phases in Orissa. The prestigious Sunday Times has placed Mittal as the richest person in Europe and England with an estimated fortune of $27.7 billion.

Whereas Fortune magazine, on August 6, 2007, placed Mittal’s riches at $32 billion. Mr. Mittal was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2008. US Business magazine Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Mittal for entrepreneurial capitalism and ideals of free enterprise.

As of July 2010, Mr. Mittal is the richest man in Europe and the fifth richest in the world with personal wealth of $28.7 billion, according to Forbes 2010 rankings.

Modi, M.C. :

Indian eye surgeon from Bengaluru. Recipient of 19th Dhanvantari Award (1990). Has performed half a million eye operations and his feat has been inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mohapatra, Sitakanta :

Oriya poet. Third Oriya writer to receive Jnanpith Award (1993), after Gopinath Mohanty and Sachi Raut Roy. His major works include Astapadi and Sabdar Akash, which had won him Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974.

Moily, M. Veerappa :

The Union Law and Justice Minister, Mr. M. Veerappa Moily, received the Moorti Devi Award of the Bharatiya Jnanpith on March 18, 2010. The award was given to him for his work Sri Ramayana Mahanveihnam.

Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil presented the award to him in New Delhi. Mr. Moily is presently writing a classical epic poem Shreemudi Parikramanam.

Moorthy, V.K. :

Veteran cinematographer Mr. V. K. Moorthy was honoured with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2008 on January 19, 2010. It is the first time in the history of Indian cinema that a cinematographer has been chosen for the prestigious award.

Mubarak, Hosni :

Egyptian President Mr. Hosni Mubarak was conferred the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for 1995 in New Delhi on November 18, 2008. Mr. Mubarak was awarded for his “unique role in providing stability and progress to his country, upholding the Arab cause, promoting peace and understanding in the region.”

He presided over the 15th NAM meet held at Sharm – El – Sheikh (Egypt) in July 2009.

Mukherjee, Rani :

Noted film actress, bagged two Awards – Best Actress (Hum Turn) and Best Supporting Actress (Yuva) – in the 50th Filmfare Awards function in Mumbai on February 26, 2005.

She added another feather to her cap by her soul – stirring and unforgettable performance as a deaf – blind Michelle McNally in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black. Her other notable films include Veer – Zaara and Chalte Chalte.

She won the UFA Award for Best Actress in the years 2005 and 2006, for her movies Hum Turn and Black, respectively.

Muralitharan, Muttiah :

Sri Lankan off – spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan ended his Test career in a blaze of glorv in Galle, Sri Lanka on July 22, 2010. The off – spinning legend reached an astonishing record of 800 wickets in Tests while playing a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s emphatic 10 – wicket victory over India on the final day of the first Test.

He is the highest (1,315) wicket – taker both in Test cricket and ODIs as on August 5, 2010. Earlier, he surpassed the world record of Shane Warne of Australia (708 in 145 Tests) on December 3, 2007 in Kandy (Sri Lanka).

He became the first bowler in cricket history to claim over 1,300 wickets in international cricket. He is also the highest wicket-taker in One Day Internationals with 515 wickets in his kitty.

Muralitharan was also adjudged as “Sri Lanka’s Most Outstanding Sportsman of the Year” in 2008.

Murdoch, Rupert :

American media baron. Owns a number of TV stations (including the Star – TV), publishing concerns and also a movie company.

Murray, Jennifer :

The English adventurer touched down on September 6, 2000 at Brooklands airfield in Surrey, Southern England, becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the globe solo in a helicopter and thus got her name etched into the record books.

Murthy, N.R. Narayana :

The Chief Mentor and former CEO of Infosys, has been included among the world’s top 25 businessmen by the Time Magazine stating that Mr. Murthy is one of the richest men and Infosys, the company he founded in 1981, was the first Indian firm to be listed on NASDAQ.

Mr. Murthy, according to the Time, has not sold his soul for money and success. One of the country’s most admired men, he is ever vigilant about his employees’ well – being – granting stock options, building exercise facilities and spreading values as much as wealth.

His company, Infosys, was declared, for the second successive year in 2002, the Best Employer in India, in a survey conducted bv Hewitt Associates and Business Today.

On the occasion of his 60th birthday on August 20, 2006, he announced his retirement from the executive post as Chairman of Infosys. He was also conferred Padma Vibhushan 2008, the second highest Civilian Award and “The Legion of Honour”, the highest honour of the French Government, both in January 2008. In 2010, the American National Academy of Engineers (NAE) elected Mr. Murthy as a foreign member.

Musharraf, Pervez :

Pakistan’s former Army Chief, who had swept to victory in Pakistan Presidential elections on October 6, 2007, resigned on August 18, 2008 to avoid impeachment by PPP – PML coalition Government for subverting democratic process in the country by imposition of martial law and sacking Chief Justice and other judges of Supreme Court.

He is the 4th Pak military dictator to bite dust Earlier, he had seized power in a bloodless military coup dismissing the democratically – elected Nawaz Sharif Government on October 12, 1999 to become the all – powerful Chief Executive of the country, assumed office as Pakistan’s 10th President on June 20, 2001.

Musharraf sought the presidential referendum on April 30, 2002, in which he was declared the winner with 98% approval in a record voter turnout of 58%. He got himself sworn in as Pakistan’s President on November 16, 2002 for a new five – year term (after October 10, 2002 Parliamentary elections) when the Pak Parliament met for the first time.

During his second visit to India (April 16 – 18, 2005), Musharraf used cricket diplomacy to further the ongoing bilateral peace process with India. He discussed many Confidence Building Measures with Prime Minister – Dr. Manmohan Singh.

He released his autobiography In The Line of Fire : A Memoir on September 26, 2006. Now in self – exile in London facing trial for “treason” following imposition of emergency in the country in 2007 unconstitutionally and sacking the Chief Justice and other judges of Supreme Court. Has admitted (September 12, 2009) diversion of US military aid for war on terror to strengthen defences against India.

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Nadal, Rafael :

Rafael Nadal of Spain clinched the 2010 Wimbledon men’s singles crown in London, UK on July 4, 2010. This is Nadal’s eighth Grand Slam. With this win, he retook the World No. 1 rank from Swiss maestro Roger Federer.

Earlier, Nadal recaptured the French Open crown defeating Robin Soderling of Sweden in Paris, France on June 6, 2010.

He became the first player to win both French Open and Wimbledon in the same year after Rod Laver of Australia in 1962 and Bjorn Borg of Sweden in 1980. At the Beijing Olympics 2008, Nadal defeated Roger Federer.

Naipaul, V.S. :

A West Indies (Trinidadian) novelist of Indian origin. Received Knighthood in the British Government’s New Year honours list. Won 1971 Booker Prize for ‘In A Free State’. Also bagged the 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Mr. Naipaul was in India in February – March 2002 in connection with the festival of Indian Literature tided ‘At Home In The World’. Married to Lady Nadira Naipaul, a Pak national, Mr. Naipaul also attended the meet of the Nobel Laureates of South Asia held in Dhaka in November – December, 2002.

Nair, G. Madhavan :

Member, Space Commission and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram had assumed office as Secretary, Department of Space on September 1, 2003 succeeding Mr. K. Kasturirangan who was nominated to Rajya Sabha. Mr. Madhavan is the former Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO). Credited with the launch of India’s first lunar spacecraft, Chandrayaan – I.

Following his election as President of the International Academy of Astronautics on August 31, 2009, Ms. Nair became the first Indian and first non – American to head the 50-year old organisation of world’s topmost space scientists.

Nair, Mira :

Indian film director. Her films include Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala, Kamasutra, Monsoon Wedding, etc. Won the Golden Camera Award at Cannes in 1988 and also Golden Lion Award for Monsoon Wedding, adjudged as the Best Film at Venice Film Festival in September 2001.

She also won the Honorary Maverick Award for her “Independent Vision and Social Activism”.

Nambiar, Vijay :

UN Secretary – General Mr. Ban Ki-moon has appointed veteran Indian diplomat Mr. Vijay Nambiar as his Chief of Staff on January 1, 2007.

Nasheed, Mohamed :

Maldives President Mr. Mohamed Nasheed won 2009 Anna Lindha Prize. This prize has been awarded to him for his efforts to fight climate change and for peacefully bringing democracy to the island nation.

Nasreen, Taslima :

Feminist writer of Bangladesh. Facing death threats at home from fundamentalists for criticising Islam in her novel I-ajja (Shame). Fled to Sweden on August 10, 1994.

Winner of Sweden’s literary Award Kurt Tucholsky Prize (1994), named after a German writer who was killed by the Nazis.

Nayar, Kuldip :

Indian journalist. Former Indian High Commissioner to the UK during the National Front Government. Author of India – The Critical Years, Between the Lines, Distant Neighbours, India after Nehru, The Judgement, etc.

Recipient of Pride of India Award 1996. Was also nominated to Rajya Sabha.
Nazario de Lima, Ronaldo Luis : Star striker of the Brazilian football team, Ronaldo became the player with the highest number of goals scored in the FIFA World Cup matches.

He achieved the feat when he scored a goal against Ghana in Dortmund (Germany) on June 27, 2006. He took his tally of goals to 15, thereby beating the previous world record of 14 goals set by Gerd Muller of Germany in 1974.

He had produced a virtuoso display and clinched a record fifth World Cup crown for his country scoring both the goals against Germany in the World Cup final held at Yokohama (Japan) on June 30, 2002. He also won the Golden Shoe Award in the FIFA World Cup 2002.

Negi, Parimarjan :

This Indian chess player was selected for Arjuna Award 2009 on August 5, 2010. Earlier, he became the world’s youngest International Master in the game. He defeated Israel’s Grandmaster and second seed Sergey Erenburg in the Hastings Masters Chess Tournament in Hastings (UK), to achieve the feat.

Negi, S.C. :

Additional Deputy Inspector General of the Border Security Force, became the oldest Indian to scale Mt. Everest, the highest peak of the world. The 57 year – old Mr. Negi reached the summit of Mt. Everest on May 24, 2006.

Nehwal, Saina :

Ace Indian shuttler has been presented the 2009 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rama award, the country’s highest sports honour. She has climbed to No. 2 in world rankings following three major title wins – Indian Open Grand Prix, Singapore and Indonesia Open Super Series tournaments.

She is the first Indian woman player to win a four – star badminton tournament. At Beijing Olympics (August, 2008), Nehwal reached the quarter final stage of the women’s singles. She became the first Indian shutder to win two Grand Prix tides when she won the Chinese Taipei Open on September 14, 2008. Won World Junior Championships on November 2, 2008.

The first – ever Indian to win a Super Series by clinching the Indonesian Open title on June 21, 2009.

Nesterenko, Yuliya :

The relatively unknown athlete of Belarus became the fastest woman on earth, clocking 10.93 seconds in women’s 100 metre sprint in Athens Olympics on August 21, 2004.

Nikhanj, Kapil Dev :

The all – rounder “Haryana Hurricane”, who captained the Indian team to win the World Cup (1983). Was deservingly declared the “Wisden Indian Cricketer of the Century” at the Wembley Conference Hall, London on July 23, 2002.

Establishing the remarkable feat of a world record at the time of taking 434 wickets (this record has since been broken and many bowlers have crossed the mark of 500 Test wickets), and scoring 5,248 runs in Test Cricket are the other markers in Kapil’s illustrious cricket career. He is now heading ICL (Indian Cricket League) sponsored by Zee TV as a rival to BCCI’s IPL.

Nilekani, Nandan :

Mr. Nandan Nilekani, the former Co – Chairman of Infosys, was appointed as head of the Unique Identification Authority of India tasked to provide unique identification numbers to all bonafide citizens of India.

Mr. Nilekani who joined his assignment on July 23, 2009 has been accorded Cabinet rank. This Government project to give each resident a unique 16 digit identity number got a new name, Aadhar (foundation) and logo on April 26, 2010.

Nooyi, Indra :

An American of Indian origin, was elected as the Chairperson of the US – India Business Council on January 23, 2008; thus becoming the first – ever woman to serve at the helm of this premier advocacy organisation. Earlier, she was appointed as the worldwide CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the multinational company Pepsico.

She was also ranked fourth in the Forbes’ list of 100 Most Powerful Women and the most powerful woman by the Fortune magazine in its list of powerful women for the year 2006.

She was presented the Woman Pioneer Award in Corporate Strategy and Development by US Secretary of Labour, Elaine L. Chao in a function organised by US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce in Washington on May 9, 2003. Ms. Nooyi was named 2009 CEO of the year by Global Supply Chain Leaders Group.

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Obama, Barack Hussein :

US President Barack Hussein Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act, a major piece of health care reform legislation which came into law in March 2010. Earlier, he won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2009.

He was honoured for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co – operation between peoples. He is the third sitting US President to be awarded the Prize.

Democratic candidate Mr. Obama, African – American Senator, became the first – ever Black President of USA when he convincingly debated his Republican rival Mr. John McCain (364 – 174) on November 4,2008.

The 44th US President is a biracial man with an African father, an American mother, an Indonesian stepmother and having a family in Kenya.

Ozzie, Ray :

Assumed the position of Microsoft Chief Software Architect on June 15, 2006, previously held by its Chairman Mr. Bill Gates. He is working side by side with Mr. Gates on all technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities in anticipation of Mr. Gates’ departure from a day – to – day role in Microsoft in July 2008.

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Pachauri, R.K. :

Director General, The Energy and Resource Institute (TERi), he has also been appointed, Chairman of Governing Council of National Agro Foundation (NAF) founded by the late C. Subramaniam, regarded as architect of India’s Green Revolution.

Mr. Pachauri shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as head of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) with former US.

Pal, Bachendri :

First Indian woman and fifth woman in the world to scale Mount Everest or “Sagarmatha”, as Everest is called by the Nepalese. She achieved this feat through South Col route along with two male members, Lhatoo Dorjee and Ang Dorjee on May 23, 1984. Has also conquered Mount Blanc, Mount Agirus and many other peaks.

Papa, Dr. Barwatha Regina :

Dr. Barwatha Regina Papa was included in the list of ’10 People Who Could Change The World’ released by the UK newspaper New Statesman on February 8, 2009. The 64 year old retired academician set up the Department of Women Studies in 1989 at Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu.

Patel, Dr. Kiran :

An Indian emigre, Thampa Bay – based cardiologist, who donated $18.5 million to the University of Florida, has become one of the largest known contributors from the Indian – American community for any single cause.

Born in Zambia, Dr. Patel who studied medicine in Ahmedabad has built a $1 billion health care business in Florida in collaboration with his physician wife Pallavi. Only one other Indian – American, Mr. Desh Deshpande and his wife Jai Shree had made donations on a similar scale when they contributed $20 million to establish the Deshpande Institute of Technological Innovation at MIT.

Pathak, Bindeshwar :

Noted Indian social worker. Dedicated to the cause of scavengers’ liberation. Known for Sulabh Shauchalayas (poor flush toilets). Bindeshwar Pathak, the Sulabh International founder, was named among “Heroes of Environment 2009” by “Time” magazine under the “Scientists and Innovators” category.

The magazine credited Dr. Pathak with developing the technology for a new toilet and founding the non – profit non – Government Sulabh sanitation movement to bring his creation to those who need it most. The “Time” list consists of 31 persons divided under various categories.

Earlier, Mr. Pathak was conferred the prestigious Renewable Energy Award of the United Nations on June 12, 2009 for developing low – cost toilet technology to produce energy out of human waste.

He is the First Indian to receive International St. Francis Prize for Environment (1992). He was also conferred the Stockholm Water Prize in August 2009.

Pathan, Irfan :

Son of a caretaker priest in Vadodara’s Mandvi Jumma Masjid, the swing sensation Irfan Pathan who learnt his cricket in the courtyard of the mosque, was announced as ICC’s Emerging Player of the Year 2004.

He became the first bowler in the history of Test cricket to claim a hat-trick in the first over of a match. He achieved this unique feat in the third Test against Pakistan in Karachi (Pakistan) on January 29, 2006.

Earlier, Irfan made history by capturing nine wickets including a hat – trick against Bangladesh in Asian Under – 19 Cricket Championship tournament, held in Lahore in November 2003 and was declared “Man of the Series”.

Patil, Pratibha :

Former President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee and former Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha (1986 – 1988), and first woman Governor of Rajasthan, Ms. Pratibha Patil became the first woman President of India on July 25, 2007 defeating Mr. B.S. Shekhawat. Ms. Patil, the first woman and Maharashttian to hold the highest office, is a member of the Indian National Congress Party.

Throughout her long and eventful career, she has held a number of important designations. A trained lawyer, she was a successful sportswoman during her college days.

Ms. Patil made history by becoming the first woman head of state to fly in a fighter jet on November 25, 2009. In a first for a visiting head of state, Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil sought China’s backing for a permanent UN Security Council seat for India on May 27, 2010.

Ms. Patil raised India’s Security Council ambitions in her talks with China’s Prime Minister Mr. Wen Jiabao and President Mr. Hu Jintao.

Pattnaik, Sudarsan :

Indian sand artist Mr. Sudarsan Pattnaik’s work – a polar bear on top of a globe praying “save my family” – won the first prize in a competition on “sculpture on global warming” held in Berlin, Germany.

Paul, Lord Swraj :

The leading non-resident Indian and Chairman of the $500-million Caparo Group, served from September 1, 1999 as Chancellor of University of Wolverhampton (UK). He is the first Asian to head this premier university with a student strength of 25,000.

Prior to it, Mr. Swraj Paul was the Pro – Chancellor of Thames Valley University (UK). Awarded the Dadabhai Millennium Award for 2000. He also took over as the first – ever Chancellor of the University of Westminster in Britain on October 9, 2006.

Lord Swraj Paul scripted history by becoming the first Asian to preside over the House of Lords, in the UK; He was appointed as Deputy Speaker on December 18, 2008. Lord Swraj Paul was honoured with Punjab Ratan Award on October 11, 2008 in recognition of his achievements in the field of business, politics, public service, etc.

Pele, Edson A.D.N. :

Legendary soccer player from Brazil. Played in four World Cup tournaments, a world record. Scored 1281 goals in 1363 games. Has been declared a national treasure by the President of Brazil.

Phelps, Michael :

The 23 year – old American swimmer displayed an unprecedented feat of winning eight Gold medals at the Beijing Olympics 2008, surging past Olympic milestone. Phelps overtook compatriot Mark Spitz, whose seven swimming Golds at Munich Olympics in 1972 were the most at a single Olympic Games.

Competing in his third Olympics, Phelps took his total of Olympic Gold medals to a record 14, including six from Athens where he also won two Bronze medals.

Pillai, A. Sivathanu :

This missile technologist was awarded the Lokmanya Tilak Award for 2007 on August 1, 2007 for his contribution to the development of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, different indigenous missiles and naval systems.

Pillay, Navanethem :

Indian – origin International Criminal Court (ICC) judge, who is from South Africa, is named the United Nations’ new Human Rights Chief, succeeding Ms. Louise Arbour of Canada. He assumed office on September 1, 2008.

Pillay, Dhanraj :

The star hockey player was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rama Award for 1999 – 2000 on August 29, 2000 in recognition of his outstanding performance in hockey.

Dhanraj Pillay also played a major contributory role in India’s previous two victories in International Hockey – the 1998 Bangkok Games and the Four Nation Hockey tournament in Perth (Australia) in May 2000. Was awarded Padma Shri in 2001. Was also declared “Player of the 2002 Champions Trophy” (Germany : September 2002).

India won Asia Cup for the first time under his captaincy in September 2003 at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

Polyakov, Valery :

Russian cosmonaut. Has the record of 438 days in space. He and two other crew members landed aboard a Soyuz TM – 20 about 32 km northeast of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on March 22, 1995. Broke the endurance record of one year in space when he spent his 366th day in orbit on January 9, 1995.

Ponting, Ricky :

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was chosen as the “ESPN Cricinfo Batsman for the 2000s” on January 14, 2010. The selection was made by a 38 – strong panel of experts, including former and current players. Ponting was presented the Golden Bat for scoring the most runs in the ICC Championship Trophy in Centurion, South Africa on October 5, 2009.

Earlier, he won the Allan Border Medal and the Test Player of the Year Award on February 5, 2007 in Melbourne (Australia). He also bagged the ODI Player of the Year Award, thus becoming the first player to claim all the three awards in one year.

Ponting who had won the Allan Border Medal earlier in 2004 and 2006 also is the first player to win the medal thrice. He led his team to a 4 – 2 victory in the seven – match ODI series played in India in September – October 2007. Under his leadership, Australia has won the 2007 ICC World Cup.

Popat, Aparna :

National champion in women’s badminton, became the first woman from India to win an international ranking tournament claiming the $10,000 French Open Badminton Championship in Paris on March 22, 1998, defeating top-seeded Katja Michlowsky of Germany.

Also won Silver medal in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. She won the women’s singles crown at the Asian Satellite Badminton Championships in 2003.

Pope Benedict XVI :

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from Germany, elected as the 265th Pope of Roman Catholic Church on April 19, 2005, was inaugurated on April 24, 2005 being named Pope Benedict XVI.

One of the closest collaborators of late Pope John Paul II, the new Pope has been described as a conservative intellectual who is dead against greed, gay marriages, rock music, etc.

Powell, Asafa :

Jamaican Sprinter who clocked 9.74 seconds in 100 metres at Reiti Grand Prix (September 9, 2007) broke the world record jointly held by him and Justin Gatlin of USA (977 second) in 2006.

In 2008, he clocked 9.72 seconds along with his compatriot, Usain Bolt but came a poor fifth in Beijing Olympics with Usain Bolt winning the Gold with 9.69 seconds. Powell, however, retrieved his position by clocking 9.72 seconds in the Athleticssima Grand Prix in Lausanne on September 3, 2008.

Prachanda, Pushpa Kamal Dahal :

The 54 year – old Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) under
whom the Nepalese Maoists had fought and won a 10 – year underground war to overthrow the all powerful King – was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on August 18, 2008. He has since resigned in May 2009.

Premji, Azim Hashim :

Chairman of Wipro, has been singled out by Financial Times as the only Indian billionaire, out of a list of world’s top 25 billionaires, “who have changed the life of people”.

He has been adjudged as one of the 10 richest tech billionaires in the world. Known as ‘Indian Bill Gates’, Mr. Premji has been lending financial support to education in rural areas donating S5 million a year, besides working with the charitable foundation of Mr. Bill Gates.

Premji has been listed among top 30 global entrepreneurs. He is currently the second richest Indian with a personal wealth of $17 billion according to Forbes 2010.

Prizm, Wahida :

Surgeon Lt. Commander Wahida Prizm became the first woman to command a passing out parade in the history of the Indian Armed Forces Medical Services. She commanded the passing out parade at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune (Maharashtra) on March 13, 2006.

Puri, Om :

Mr. Om Puri, the noted Indian actor, was conferred ‘honorary officer’ of the Order of the British Fmpire by the British crown in July 2004 in recognition of his ‘outstanding services to the British film industry’. Mr. Puri, whose association with Britain began in 1981 with the film The Jewel in the Crown, also acted in Gandhi in 1982.

The other British films in which he has acted include City of Joy; Brother in Trouble; My Son, a Fanatic; East is East, etc. Puri has given sterling performance in various Bollywood films also. He won 2009 Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

Putin, Vladimir :

The former Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin, became the Prime Minister of the country on May 8, 2008. Mr. Putin promised that he would make Russia the world’s sixth largest economy based on purchasing power in 2008.

Pookutty, Resul :

Sound engineer Resul Pookutty of Kerala won the Oscar for the Best Sound Mixing in the Slumdog Millionaire in Los Angeles, USA on February 22, 2009.

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Quraishi, Shahabuddin Yaqoob :

Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil appointed Election Commissioner (EC) Mr. Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on July 27, 2010.

He assumed charge as the CEC on July 30, 2010. Mr. Quraishi is an IAS officer of the 1971 – batch from the Haryana cadre.

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Radhakrishnan, K. :

Mr. K. Radhakrishnan became the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on October 24, 2009. He took over from Mr. G. Manhavan Nair. He also assumed office as Chairman of the Space Commission and Secretary of the Department of Space. He has 38 years of experience.

He is an Electrical Engineer from Kerala University and MBA from IIM Bangalore. He has also got a Ph.D. degree from IIT-Kharagpur.

Rahman, A.R. :

Oscar – winner music maestro Mr. A.R. Rahman bagged two Grammy awards for his number ‘Jai Ho…’, and outstanding track for the film Slumdog Millionaire on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, USA. Earlier, he bagged the prestigious Academy Awards (Oscars) in two categories – Best Original Score and Best Song – on February 22, 2009 for his work in Slumdog Millionaire.

He is already a well – known name across the globe. He is credited with redefining contemporary Indian music. The theme song for the Commonwealth Games 2010, “Jiyo, Utho, Badho, Jeeto”, has been sung and composed by him, which has added to his ever – growing popularity.

Mr. Rahman, once labelled ‘Mozart of Madras’ by Time, became the first Indian to win the Golden Globe award in Beverly Hills, USA on January 12, 2009. He also won his first Bafta trophy for the Best Music Score for Slumdog track Jai Ho on February 8, 2009.

He hogged the limelight again when he, won the “Grassroot Grammy” for his sound track of the Tamil film Varalaru in the best Indian Album Category at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Award held in September 2009 in USA. He also won the third place in the “Best Indian Song” category for Innisai from the same film.

Rai, Aishwarya (b. 1974) :

A student of architecture from Mumbai, she was crowned Miss World at Sun City, Johannesburg, in November 1994. Second Indian to hold Mss World title (the first being Reita Faria, 1966), and third Indian to win a world beauty contest (the second being Sushmita Sen, “Miss Universe” 1994).

Won the Filmfare and Screen Videocon Best Actress Awards 1999 for her role in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. She is the first Indian actress to be on the jury of Cannes International Film Festival in 2003. Her film Devdas was also nominated to Oscar, the third film after Mother India and Lagaan.

Ms. Aishwarya Rai has also figured in Time’s list of 100 most powerful and influential figures in the world today. Aishwarya married actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007. In 2009, Ms. Rai was awarded the Padma Shri and the same year she was chosen for Order of France also. In June 2009, she was declared the ‘Female Star of the Decade’ at the tenth UFA Awards held in Macau.

Rai, Nivruti :

The first Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card was presented to Ms. Nivruti Rai, an IT professional working in Intel, by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at the inaugural function of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas – 2006 in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) on January 7, 2006.

Raj, Mithali :

Skipper of India’s women’s cricket team, led the team to a historic Test series victory over the English team on their soil in September 2006. Created a new world record in Test history by piling up 214 runs in the second Test against England at Taunton (the UK) on August 17, 2002.

It was also the highest individual score made by any Indian woman cricketer against England. However, her record has since been broken by Kiran Baloch of Pakistan who scored 242 runs in a Test innings against West Indies in March 2004.

As on February 22, 2010, Mithali Raj was the No. 1 batsman in the ICC World, Women’s Cricket rankings.

Rajapaksa, Mahinda :

Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New Delhi on June 8, 2010. He held delegation – level talks with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Earlier, he was reelected on January 27, 2010 for a second term.

With 58 percent of the total vote, he beat former Army Chief Gen. (Retd.) Sarath Fonseka, who got 40 percent of the vote. He spearheaded Sri Lanka’s efforts to crush the LITE menace.

Rajnikanth :

Mr. Rajnikanth, originally named Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, is one of the most popular actors in the Indian (South) film industry. He once again proved his mastery on the silver screen with the release of hts film ‘Sivaji : The Boss’. Released on June 15, 2007 in two languages, the film (Rajnikanth’s 154th movie) made the veteran star the highest paid actor in India receiving [rupee] 20 crore for his role in a movie.

In 2010, he received the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema.

Ram, N. :

The Editor – in – Chief of The Hindu, Mr. N. Ram was conferred the Sri Lanka Ratna by the then President of Sri Lanka, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga on November 14, 2005 for his outstanding professional contribution towards journalism. Mr. N. Ram is the first Indian to get Sri Lanka’s highest honour for non – nationals.

Ram, Diwakar :

The 20 year – old penalty corner specialist, Diwakar Ram, who scored two goals in the final and was the highest scorer (10 goals) in the sixth Junior Asia Cup Hockey Championship, helped India win the tournament in Hyderabad on July 18, 2008.

Ramakrishnan, Venkatraman :

Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with two other scientists – Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath – for his studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.

Born in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu in 1952, Dr. Ramakrishnan is a Senior Research Fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil conferred on him the second most prestigious civilian award, Padma Vibhushan on March 31, 2010.

Ramgoolam, Navin :

Mr. Navin Ramgoolam, leader of the Social Alliance and Person of Indian Origin, was elected as the new Prime Minister of Mauritius, ousting Mr. Paul Berenger, the first white Prime Mnister of the country.

Ramos, Larissa :

Ms. Larissa Ramos of Brazil was crowned Miss Earth 2009 on November 22, 2009. The beauty pageant was organised at Boracav Island in Aklan province, central Philippines. Ms. Ramos won from among 80 contestants from all over the world. She became 2009’s environment diplomat for environment awareness and an eco – friendly lifestyle.

Ranawat, Chittaranjan Singh :

The world – renowned orthopaedic surgeon who flew to Mumbai from New York, successfully operated upon Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee replacing his left and right knee – joints at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on October 10, 2000 and June 2001. Dr. Ranawat has performed more than 3000 such operations and was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

Randhawa, Jyoti :

Ace Indian golfer Jyoti Randhawa clinched the Indian Open Golf Tournament on October 23, 2006. Earlier, he did the country proud by becoming the first Indian professional golfer to annex the 100 million yen Japanese Suntory Open (Asian PGA Tour) tide on September 14, 2003.

In October 2007, Randhawa equalled Peter Thompson’s record of winning the Indian Open thrice (2000, 2006 and 2007). In December 2008, Randhawa walked away with a win is in [rupee] 80 lakh BILT Open in Greater Noida; thus maintaining his all win record on the Professional Golf Tour of India circuit.

Rangarajan, Chakravarthi :

Indian economist. Former Governor of Reserve Bank of India. Was a member of Planning Commission and Governor of Andhra Pradesh and also Chairman of 12th Finance Commission and Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

Nominated as Member of the Rajya Sabha in August – 2008. Rejoined PM’s Economic Advisory Council in August, 2009 resigning from Rajya Sabha.

Rao, Prof. C.N.R. :

Eminent scientist and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister since 2005, became the first recipient of the India Science Award 2004. He was given the award for his “pioneering contributions to solid state and materials chemistry”.

Rao, S.N. Subba :

Mr. S.N. Subba Rao, veteran Gandhian social worker and National Youth Project (NYP) Director, was conferred the Anuvrat Ahimsa International Peace Award. Former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam presented the award to the 81 – year old Mr. Rao, known for his peace initiatives in the past, in New Delhi on June 14, 2010.

Rao, U.R. :

Former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation & Space Commission, was ranked by the US magazine Space News, in its August 23, 2004 issue, among the top international personalities who have made a difference in civil, commerce and military space in the world since 1989.

Prof. Rao, now Chairman of the Research Council of Physical Laboratory, Ahmedabad, guided India to the status of a major space power. During his tenure, India developed its own communication, weather and high resolution imaging (remote sensing) satellites, ASLV and PSLV. He was also responsible for launching India’s first satellite Aryabhatt in 1975.

Rathore, Lt. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh :

The ace Indian shooter bagged an individual Silver, the first-ever for India in Olympics, in Men’s Double Trap event of the Athens Olympics on August 17, 2004. He got his name etched in the annals of India’s Olympics record.

Earlier, the Champion of Asian Shooting (2003) and Afro – Asian Games (2003) and also Bronze medallist in World Shooting Championships (2003) and World Cup Shooting (2003) and fourth ranked shooter in the world, also won a Gold in Double Trap event in Masters Cup Shooting Championships in Ceske Budjovice (Czech Republic) in July 2004.

Won 2003 Arjuna Award as also AVSM (Ati Vishishta Seva Medal), the second highest honour for serving officers of Indian Army and Padma Shri on January 25, 2005. He was honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2004 by the then Hon’ble President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on August 29, 2005.

Rato, Rodrigo :

Former Spanish Finance Minister who on the basis of consensus and backing of Europe and several Latin American countries was appointed Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on May 4, 2004 succeeding Mr. Horst Koehler of Germanv. He left his post on October 31, 2007.

Ravishankar, Sri Sri :

Spiritual guru and founder of the ‘Art of Living’, has been conferred with the highest honour of Mongolia, the Pole Star Award. He has been honoured for his efforts at improving the ties between India and Mongolia.

Rahi, Rahman :

The octogenarian Kashmiri poet, Mr. Rahman Rahi, was presented the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2004 in New Delhi on November 6, 2008. He is the first Kashmiri writer to get this award.

Rice, Dr. Condoleezza :

The former US Secretary of State, the first woman to ever occupy the sensitive post of the US National Security Adviser under President George W. Bush’s first term, made history with her appointment as US Secretary of State during the second tenure of President Bush.

She is not only the second female Secretary of State after Ms. Madeleine Albright, but also the first African – American woman to occupy this powerful post.

Repale, Rupali :

The 16 year – old, Class XI student from Mumbai, entered the Guinness Book of World Records for becoming the youngest swimmer to swim six channels in different parts of the world, the last being Cook Strait in New Zealand.

Robert Zoellick :

The World Bank unanimously approved Mr. Robert Zoellick as its President after a controversial two – year term by Mr. Paul Wolfowitz. He was appointed on June 26, 2007 for a five-year term. He is the eleventh President of the World Bank.

Rogge, Dr. Jacques :

An Orthopaedic Surgeon of Belgium who was elected (Moscow : July 16, 2001) as the new President of International Olympic Committee for an eight – year term succeeding Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch.

Ronaldinho :

Star footballer and Brazilian mid – fielder Ronaldinho was selected as the European Player of the Year and was presented the Golden Ball Award on November 28, 2005. He is the third Brazilian to win this award after Rivaldo (1999) and Ronaldo (1997 & 2002).

Rongji, Zhu :

The former Chinese Prime Minister paid a six – day (January 13 – 18, 2002) visit to India at a very crucial time amidst tense situation following Indo – Pak military build – up at the border.

Departing from past Chinese threatening postures during 1965 & 1971 Indo – Pak wars, the Chinese Prime Minister advised restraint by both sides. He was the first Chinese Prime Minister to visit India in a decade since 1991 when Mr. Li Peng came here.

Rosamma, C.A. :

Indian agricultural scientist from Kerala. Winner of 22nd International Rice Research Institute Award given by the Philippines.

Roshan, Hrithik :

The cine actor, who starred in the 2006 Bollywood blockbuster Krrish, which made waves as the first Hindi sci – fi movie. Hit the silver screen with his debut performance in one of the biggest blockbusters Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, was presented the Best Actor Award as also the Best Male Newcomer Award for this film at the 46th Filmfare Awards in Mumbai on February 17, 2001.

Hrithik also bagged the Best Actor and Best Male Debutant Awards at the Screen – Videocon Award on January 20, 2001 besides Z – Gold Bollywood Award 2001. Won the Best Actor Award in 10th UFA Award ceremony for his sterling performance in Jodha Akbar.

Rowling, J.K. :

Billionaire author J.K. Rowling’s sixth and penultimate Harry Potter book titled “Harry Potter & The Half – Blood Prince” came out in July, 2005. Millions of copies of this book were sold world – wide within 24 hours of its release. Around 275 million copies of previous five Harry Potter’s books have been sold so far, which is a world record. Her last book in the Harry Potter series “Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows” was released in 2007.

Roy, Arundhati :

The internationally renowned and best – selling celebrity author of Booker Prize winner, The God of Small Things, donated her entire proceeds of the award – approximately [rupee] 15 lakh – to support the tribals, who will be displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the Narmada Valley subsequent to her visit to die Narmada Valley in April 2001.

She suffered a token one day’s imprisonment and a fine of [rupee] 2000 for contempt of court on March 6, 2002 for her alleged derogatory remarks against Supreme Court on the go – ahead signal by the Court to Sardar Sarovar Dam. Awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Tetters by the French Government in 2001.

Roy, Aruna :

The Tamil Nadu – born former IAS Officer who quit IAS in 1974 to work among the people who had no voice and later founded the Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) in 1990 based in Dev Dungri village of Rajasthan, was on August 31, 2000 conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2000 for Community Leadership.

She has been nominated to the National Advisory Council, headed by Ms. Sonia Gandhi, to oversee the implementation of the Common Minimum Program of the UPA Government.

Rushdie, Salman :

The Mumbai-born British writer became the first writer from the Indian sub-continent in the post-colonial era to be awarded Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II of England in June 2007 in recognition of his services to literature.

Earlier, the 1993 Booker of Bookers, Recipient of the 1981 Booker Prize for Midnight’s Children. He was also adjudged the winner of the prestigious Best of Booker Prize on July 10, 2008 for this novel. For nearly seven years Iranian fundamentalists pronounced a death sentence on him for blaspheming Islam in the Satanic Verses.

In May 2008, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the same year, The Times ranked Rushdie thirteenth on their list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.’

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Sai Baba, Sri Sathya :

Spiritual head of Sathya Sai Movement. Hailed as reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, a saint of the 19th century. Has built hospitals and educational institutions at Puttaparthi, Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh).

Sampras, Pete :

American tennis maestro, popularly known as ‘Pistol Pete’ in view of his splendid performance winning a record 14 Grand Slam titles
(Wimbledon : 7, US Open : 5, Australian Open : 2) beating Roy Emerson’s record of 12 Grand Slams and his unrivalled supremacy for six years in a row from 1993 to 1998 as World’s No. 1, ultimately said good – bye to the game on August 25, 2003 on the eve of US Open 2003 which catapulted him to international fame.

Sampras, who turned professional in 1988, won as many as 64 career tides in his 762 match wins and grossed in over $43 million as prize money. His record of 14 Grand Slams was broken by Roger Federer in 2009.

Sandhu, Manavjit Singh :

Ace Indian trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu was presented the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, 2006 by Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil in New Delhi on August 29, 2007.

Sanghvi, Vir :

Renowned Indian journalist. Former editor of Hindustan Times, Sunday, Mumbai Magazine and Imprint. First journalist to be selected as one of “100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow” by World Economic Forum.

San Suu Kyi, Aung :

Myanmar’s pro – democracy leader, a Nobel laureate, who has been in detention for decade, was honoured with Mahatma Gandhi International Peace Prize 2009 in July 20, 2009 in absentia.

Sarin, Arun :

Former Vodafone CEO Mr. Arun Sarin was appointed as a member of the British Business Council, a high powered body comprising representatives of the UK – based businesses, in London on June 29, 2007.

Sarma, Nandini :

An asteroid has been named after Nandini Sarma, an 18 year – old girl of Assamese origin. Ms. Sarma won the first place in the 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her micro – biology project.

Savitskaya, Svetlana :

Soviet cosmonaut. First woman to walk in space. She left the Salyut – 7 space station on July 27, 1984, to do a welding job outside the orbital complex. Only woman to have made two space flights, and the second woman to go into space, almost 20 years after the first woman Soviet cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova, orbited the earth in Vostok – 6 in 1963.

Schumacher, Michael :

Seven rimes Formula One World Champion. Became the Formula One World Champion for the record-breaking sixth time and surpassed the legendary Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio’s previous record of five World Championship titles, after earning the required point at the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix in October 2003.

Won record breaking 52nd title, clinching the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix title in September 2001 and smashed all time record of 51 career Grand Prix triumphs of Alain Prost of France. By winning Japanese Grand Prix title in October 2004, he has swept to his record 13th victory in a season and notched a remarkable 82nd career victory. In 2006, he won the US Grand Prix, the French GP and the German GP.

Shwe, Than :

Head of military leadership and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council of Myanmar. Military ruler Senior General Than Shwe arrived in New Delhi on July 26, 2010.

General Shwe and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh agreed that security cooperation should be given immediate attention since terrorists, insurgents and criminals respect no boundaries and undermine the social and political fabric of a nation.

Sehwag, Virender :

The flamboyant opener from rural Delhi, who announced his entry in Test cricket with a debut century against South Africa in 2001, achieved another unique honour by scoring a triple century against South Africa in Chennai (March 29, 2008) thus joining an illustrious group of cricketers who have scored two triple centuries in Tests.

Earlier, Sehwag achieved this feat by scoring 309 runs against Pakistan in the first Test in Multan on March 29, 2004. In the process, he not only shattered the highest individual score record by Indian cricketer against Pakistan held by Sanjay Manjrekar (218) but also the highest individual score by an Indian against any team notched up by V.V.S. Laxman (281) against Australia in 2001 in Kolkata.

In the second India – Sri Lanka Test at Galle on July 31, 2008, Sehwag became the 10th Indian player to cross the 5000 – run milestone scoring 218. It was Virender Sehwag’s belligerent 125 off just 74 balls in the 4th ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton (March 11, 2009) that helped India win the first ODI series in New Zealand in 33 year.

In this match Sehwag scored his century in just 60 balls which is the fastest by any Indian and the 7th fastest overall in the history of One Day Internationals.

The feat bettered former Indian Skipper Mohd. Azharuddin’s 62 – ball – hundred against the same opponents in Baroda in 1988 – 89. Sehwag also won on January 16, 2009 the Cricinfo Test Batsman of the Year Award 2008.

He was presented the CSR gold medal on March 5, 2010 and the prestigious Padma Shri Award on March 31, 2010.

Sen, Amartya Kumar :

Indian economist. Member of World Bank Advisory Board. Has researched into the behavioural foundations of economic theory, and development economics. First Indian to be the President of American Economics Association (AEA), 1994.

Only person to have been President of AEA, International Economic Association and Indian Economic Association. Made Master at Trinity College, Cambridge (He has since shifted to Harvard University in the USA).

He is the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Economics (1998); the sixth Indian Nobel Laureate. Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999 and D.Litt. degree by Kerala University in 2001; was also chosen for 2007 World Economics Prize popularly known as Kiel Prize. In the year 20l0, Time Magazine listed him among the 100 most influential person in the world.

Sengupta, Dr. Arjun :

The UN’s independent expert on human rights and extreme poverty, has been invited by the US Government to study acute poverty in the US and suggest solutions to it.

Dr. Sengupta headed the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) which stated that a staggering 304.9 million workers, 80% of India’s workforce (457 million) work in unorganised sector. Further 80% of these workers are among those who live on less than [rupee] 20 per day.

Sekhar, S. Chandra :

The 15 year – old M.Tech. student from IIT – Madras, has become the youngest engineering graduate in the country. He has received a package of grants worth over [rupee] 7 lakh from the Tata Consultancy Services, for his education.

Seth, Vikram :

Indian writer of this century’s longest English novel, A Suitable Boy. Has won the 1994 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and also Britain’s 1994 WH. Smith Prize. His Avion and the Dolphin, is the first opera written by an Indian to have a world premiere in UK.

The Golden Gate, a novel in verse, won him Sahitya Akademi Award. The Suitable Boy fetched him the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2001. In 2007, he was conferred the Padma Shri in Literature and Education and in 2009 the Comedy Circus.

Sethi, Geet :

This Indian cueist was the youngest ever to win World Billiards Championship in 1985. Also won Gold Flake Championship in 1992 and 1993. Winner of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 1992 – 93 and K.K. Birla Foundation Award for Sports, 1992; Silver medallist in the 1998 Asian Games, Bangkok.

He also bagged the Fred Davis Award for Billiards (Player of the Year) 1998 – 99.

Sethi, Najam :

Mr. Najam Sethi, the former Editor – in – Chief of the Friday Times and Daily Times of Pakistan, hogged the limelight when he was presented the “2009 Golden Pen of Freedom”, the annual press freedom prize of the World
Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The award was presented to him during the opening ceremony of the 62nd World Newspaper Congress and 16th World Editors Forum on December 1, 2009 at Hyderabad, Andhra Pra’desh.

Sethi, Pramod Karan :

A much decorated Indian pioneer, his invention “Jaipur Foot” is most suited to the lifestyle of handicapped rural Indians. Winner of Guinness Award, Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1981, Padma Shri, 1981, and Dr. B.C. Roy National Award, 1979.

Shah, Chirag :

An Indian – American student. Youngest to pilot an airplane, Cessna C – 150, coast to coast, in US. He took off from Santa Ana, California, and landed at Long Island Macarthur airport, Ronkonkoma.

Shankar, Pandit Ravi :

The internationally acclaimed sitar maestro was honoured with Bharat Rama on January 30, 1999. On June 12, 1999 in Bonn, Pandit Ravi Shankar also received the International Film and Media Music Award in recognition of his “special achievements” in enhancing the significance of music.

Was conferred the Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire by the British Queen in 2001.

Sharma, Kamlesh :

Former Indian High Commissioner in London, was elected the Secretary – General of the Commonwealth in Kampala (Uganda) on November 24, 2007. He succeeded Mr. Don McKinnon.

Sharma, Rakesh :

Patiala – born Indian test pilot. The world’s 138th and India’s first cosmonaut to go into space on April 3, 1984. Together with two Soviet cosmonauts, he soared into space aboard Soyuz T – 11 from Baikonour cosmodrome for a historic rendezvous with Salyut – 7.

Sharma, Suman :

Ms. Suman Sharma, daughter of a retired Indian Naval officer, became the world’s first woman to fly the mighty Russian MiG – 35 fighter jet at the Aero India International Air Show in Bengaluru on February 13, 2009.

The 30 year – old also became the first civilian woman to co – pilot the American strike fighter F – 16 IN of Lockheed Martin.

Sherchan, Min Bahadur :

Nepal’s 75 year – old resident became the oldest person to reach the summit of the 8,848 metre high Mt. Everest on May 25, 2008. Mr. Sherchan broke the record held by a Japanese climber, Mr. Katsusuke Yanagisawa.

Shetty, Salil :

India – born Mr. Salil Shetty was appointed new Secretary – General of Amnesty International on February 2, 2010. Mr. Shetty is the first Indian to occupy this post. He assumed his charge in June 2010.

Shetty, Shilpa :

Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty became the first Indian to win the celebrity “Big Brother” show on Channel – 4 in London on January 28, 2007. She won by garnering 63 percent of the votes.

Shuttleworth, Mark :

The millionaire computer wizard from South Africa is the first African hailed as the world’s first “Afronaut” and the second paying space tourist to travel to International Space Station aboard a Russian spacecraft on April 25, 2002 on a 10 – day mission from Baikonur launch pad along with Russian Cosmonaut, Mr. Yuri Gidzenko and Italian Air Force Pilot, Mr. Roberto Vittori. He paid $20 million for this trip.

Sinha, Shanta :

Ms. Shanta Sinha, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, has been appointed the Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, a statutory body notified under an act of Parliament on December 29, 2006, aims to ensure proper enforcement of children’s rights and effective implementation of laws and programmes relating to children.

Silva, Luiz Inacio Lula da :

Simply Lula to the man in the street, he was elected as the head of the first Leftist Government in Brazil, a country as big as the USA and the world’s ninth largest economy.

Mr. Lula was the Guest of Honour at India’s 55th Republic Day Celebrations on January 26, 2004. Brazil, together with South Africa and India, is an active member of Group of 21 which successfully opposed Western attempts of hegemony at WTO in the realm of agriculture on January 25, 2004.

The Brazilian President also attended the G-5 meet in L’Aquila (Italy) in 2009.

Singh, Jaswant :

Mr. Jaswant Singh, the veteran leader of the BJP and MP, created a controversy when his book “Jinnah : India, Partition, Independence” was published. Mr. Singh has held the late Jawaharlal Nehru and the late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel responsible for India’s partition and called the late Muhammad Ali Jinnah a secular politician.

He has also asserted that Jinnah was a symbol of Hindu – Muslim unity. In the wake of this controversy, he was expelled from the BJP but has come back into the party.

Singh, Jeev Milkha :

India’s ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh was named Asian Player of the Year on March 3, 2007 at Phuket (Thailand) after a successful season where he lifted four tides and topped the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Singh is also the winner of Volvo China Open and Volvo Masters in Spain (2006), in addition to his two consecutive titles on the Japanese Tour. The 37 year – old ace golfer was named the “Players’ Player of the Year” and also won his second Order of Merit crown in three years at the Asian Tour’s Awards Gala 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand on December 21, 2008.

Singh, Dr. Manmohan :

The bureaucrat – turned – politician, Dr. Manmohan Singh earned the coveted distinction of becoming India’s Prime Minister for the second term on May 22, 2009.

He is the first PM after Nehru to complete a full term and then return for a second. Dr. Singh who has had a brilliant academic record, has held many a covered assignment in the country as well as abroad.

These include Chief Economic Adviser, GOI; Secretary, Ministry of Finance; Governor, RBI; Chairman, UGC and Chairman, South Commission, Geneva. It was Dr. Singh, the internationally – acclaimed economist, who bailed the country’s economy out of its worst crisis in 1991 as Finance Minister under Narasimha Rao Government through his pro – reform and liberalisation programs.

He was chosen the ‘CNN – IBN Indian of the Year 2006’ and ‘The Best Politician’ (2006) for his all – round performance. He was also conferred the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, USA’s World Statesmen Award on March 11, 2010.

Dr. Singh represented India at the SAARC Summit in Thimphu, Bhutan on April 28, 2010, Washington Nuclear Security Summit on April 13 – 14, 2010 and the BRIC and IBSA Summits at Brasilia, Brazil on April 15, 2010.

As per report of magazine Newsweek published in August 2010, Dr. Singh tops the list of 10 world leaders, who has won respect and is described as ‘The Leader Other Leaders Love’. Dr. Manmohan Singh is the first Prime Minister belonging to the Sikh community.

Singh, Khushwant :

Indian journalist and writer, he was the editor of many newspapers and weeklies. Was a nominated member of Rajya Sabha. His autobiographical work is Truth, Love and A Tittle Malice. Other works include Train to Pakistan, History of the Sikhs, etc.

Won the 1997 Mondello Award and the Honest Man of the Year Award 1998, instituted by Sulabh International and also National Amity Award 2009.

Singh, Rajendra :

Won the 2001 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. He rejuvenated the Arvari river in Rajasthan with the construction of a series of check dams (johads) along the slopes of the Aravalis, thus, solving the water problem of dozens of villages.

He also organised a two – day Jal Biradari Convention (New Delhi : March 5 – 6, 2002) in collaboration with the Times Foundation and Oxfam India Trust to discuss the National Water Policy.

Singh, Rajnath :

Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, took over as the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on January 2, 2006. He succeeded Mr. L.K. Advani who resigned on December 31, 2005. He was succeeded by Mr. Nitin Gadkari in December 2009.

Singh, Vijay :

The ace golfer Vijay Singh (41) of Fiji dethroned the reigning World Champion Tiger. Woods by defeating him in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts (USA) on September 7, 2004.

Singh, who traces his roots to India, also became the richest golfer in a single season earning a prize money of over $9.46 million breaking the record of Woods ($9.1 million). He also matched the career record for American titles by a non – US player when he won the PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Championship on March 17, 2007.

Singh’s victory was the 31st of his US PGA career, equalling the record of 1930s’ English star Harry Cooper for the most by any non – American golfer.

Singh, Yuvraj :

Yuvraj Singh, the swashbuckling cricketer from Punjab, strode into the record books when he hit the first – ever six 6s in an over in Twenty20 cricket in the match against England in the ICC Twenty20 on September 19, 2007.

Awarded the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year by ICC on September 10, 2008. In the Wealthsurance ODI series against Sri Lanka in January – February 2008 which India won 4 – 1, Yuvraj Singh was declared the Man of the Series.

Singhania, Vijaypat :

Chairman – Emeritus of the Raymond Group, a leading textile company, Mr. Vijaypat Singhania of India set a new world record for the highest flight in a hot air balloon on November 26, 2005.

He reached a height of 21,290.89 metres on board his hot air balloon named as ‘Mission Impossible 70,000’ (MI – 70K).

Sood, Manjula :

Ludhiana-born Ms. Manjula Sood took the oath of office as the Mayor of Leicester, Britain, on May 15, 2008. Ms. Sood is the first Asian woman to hold this coveted post in Britain. She is proud of her Indian identity and the saree.

Sorabji, Soli (b. 1930) :

Nominated as the Prosecutor of International War Crimes Court for the former Yugoslavia by the UN Secretary – General, Mr. Boutros Boutros Ghali (1993). Was Attorney General and Solicitor – General of India.

Re – appointed Attorney General of India by the BJP Government in 1998 and again in 2002. Resigned after the ouster of the NDA Government in 2004 general elections.

Spielberg, Steven (b. 1947) :

Film director. His famous films are Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978), Raiders of the Tost Ark (1982), ET – the Extra Terrestrial (1983), Jurassic Park (1993).

Won many awards including seven Oscars for Schindler’s List (1994). Awarded Germany’s highest civic award “The Cross with Star of the Order of Germany.” Conferred “Knighthood” by the British Queen in 2001.

Sreedharan, E. :

Chairman and Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., Mr. E. Sreedharan was chosen for Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics & Management 2008 on June 27, 2008.

Earlier, he was named one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2005′ by the USA periodical Engineering News – Record in recognition of his stewardship for timely completion of the first phase of Delhi’s 66-km Metro rail project. Mr. Sreedharan was awarded Padma Vibhushan 2008 and D.Litt. by Rajasthan Technical University Kota, Rajasthan in 2009.

Strasser, Valentine :

Former President of Sierra Leone. At 27, he was world’s youngest Head of State.

Sudarshan, E.C . George :

Indian physicist. Advanced the theory of V – A (left – handed) current. Known for his theory on “tacheons”.

Sukumar, Raman :

Dr. Raman Sukumar, Professor of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bengaluru, won the prestigious International Cosmos Prize for 2006. The prize was in recognition of his outstanding work related to ecology.

Swaminathan, M.S. :

Eminent agricultural scientist and “Father of India’s Green Revolution”, was appointed Chairman of National Commission on Farmers. Dr. Swaminathan (78) has held many prestigious national as well as international assignments and has also been the recipient of the 1987 World Food Prize considered by many as equivalent to Nobel Prize.

A recipient of Magsaysay Award (1971), Volvo Environment Prize (1999) and Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development (2002).

Swaminathan, Soumya :

Ms. Soumya Swaminathan became the girls’ champion in the World junior chess championship at Puerto Madryn, Argentina on November 3, 2009. The 36 – move triumph made her the third Indian girl and second in succession to win the crown.

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Tabei, Junko :

A Japanese housewife, the first woman to climb Mount Everest, a feat she achieved on May 16, 1975.

Taibu, Tatenda :

At twenty years of age, Tatenda Taibu became the youngest captain in international cricket ever by leading Zimbabwe’s all Black rookie team in an ODI Series against Sri Lanka after Heath Streak quit with 13 other Whites over race – related selection wrangles.

Tagore, Sharmila :

The veteran actress of yesteryears, Ms. Sharmila Tagore who played memorable roles in various box office hits like Kashmir Ki Kali, Aradhana, Amar Prem, Mausam, etc., is the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification known as Censor Board.

She was presented the 2007 Lifetime Achievement National Award (Actress) by Journalist Association of India.

Takhar, Karan :

The 14 year – old Indian – American 8th grader student of Rhode Island, won a $15,000 college scholarship as a runner – up in the 17th annual National Geographic Bee Contest participated by nearly five million students across the USA.

Talabani, Jalal :

Mr. Jalal Talabani, a former. Kurdish rebel leader, was chosen by the new Iraqi Parliament as country’s first freely-elected President and assumed office on May 3, 2005.

His appointment followed a series of negotiations involving the MPs from Shia and Kurdish communities, which together emerged as the largest alliance in the January 30, 2005 elections for Iraq’s 275 member Parliament.

Talukdar, Jayant :

He became the first Indian archer to win the Gold medal in the Archer) World Cup in Porec (Croatia) on May 13, 2006. Subsequently, he also emerged as the first Indian to become the World No. 1 archer.

Tata, Ratan :

Chairman of Tata Group, Mr. Ratan Tata was, during his 2004 visit to China, made an honorary Economic Adviser to the booming east Chinese city of Hangzhou by its Mayor, Mr. Mao Linstong. He is the first Asian businessman to receive this honour.

In 2006, he joined the elite Board of the International Business Advisory Council, UK He has also been appointed Chairman of a high level steering group to draw up an action plan for promoting hydrogen usage including commercialisation of technologies for vehicles based on alternate fuels.

On October 20, 2006, Mr. Ratan Tata’s company Tata Steel acquired the Anglo-Dutch company Corus group for £4.3 billion, (which is the largest Indian takeover of a foreign company) making it the fifth largest steel producer in the world.

At the ninth Auto Expo in New Delhi (January 10, 2008) Mr. Ratan Tata unveiled the Rs. 1 lakh car, christened as “Nano”, which was launched in Mumbai on March 23, 2009. It is the cheapest four – wheeler in the world till date.

Mr. Tata was also conferred the prestigious Padma Vibhushan 2008 in recognition of his service to the nation in the auto sector. In 2009, he was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of British Empire.

Tejpal, Tarun :

The former Managing Editor of the well – known English magazine Outlook, who with the cooperation of a few investigative and committed journalists, established @tehelka.com in March 2000.

The Chief Executive Officer and Chief Editor of tehelka has earned a name by first exposing the match – fixing scandal in Indian Cricket followed by kickbacks received by some politicians, bureaucrats and army high-ups in the fake defence deal in Armsgate.

Tendulkar, Sachin :

With his 169th Test appearance, Sachin Tendulkar has become the most-capped player in Tests. He achieved this feat in the third Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo on August 3, 2010, surpassing Australian Steve Waugh’s record of 168 Tests.

Earlier, he scored his 48th century and fifth double – century (203 runs) in the second Test in Colombo, Sri Lanka on July 29, 2010. In One – Day Internationals also, Sachin holds the record of highest centuries (46). The Master Blaster is the highest scorer (17,598 runs in 442 ODIs and 13,837 runs in 169 Tests) in both forms of cricket as on August 5, 2010.

Sachin is the only batsman in the history of international cricket to have made 94 centuries, as on August 5, 2010 in both versions of the game. Sachin has been conferred Padma Vibhushan for 2008. He is also the first cricketer to receive Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1998.

Also named among 25 most powerful global sports figures by American Financial publication Business Week in October 2008.

Tendulkar, Suresh D. :

Appointed as the first Chairman of the newly – constituted National Statistical Commission (NSC) on July 4, 2006. The NSC has been set up by the Government as its premier statistical organisation to improve the standard of national statistical system. Now heads the PM’s Economic Advisory Committee.

Tereshkova, Valentina :

Soviet cosmonaut. First woman to make a space flight aboard Vostok – VI in June 1963.

Tito, Dennis :

The first Space tourist in the world, 60 year – old Californian millionaire, blasted off in a Russian Soyuz space capsule along with two Russian cosmonauts, Talgat Musabayev and Yuri Butarin from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 28, 2001 on his way to the International Space Station (ISS).

He returned on May 6, 2001 after a week’s stay. Mr. Tito, a former NASA engineer, paid $20 million to Russia to take part in the mission.

Trehan, Dr. Naresh :

Eminent Indian cardiologist. First Asian to perform robotised heart surgery in Escorts Hospital (New Delhi). First Indian to be elected President of US – based International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery in its conference held in London in June 2004.

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Vaas, Chaminda :

Chaminda Vaas, the left – arm seamer of Sri Lanka, blazed a new trail in World Cup by claiming a hat – trick off the first 3 deliveries in the match against Bangladesh at Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) on February 14, 2003.

Though this feat was the third hat – trick at the World Cup after India’s Chetan Sharma (against New Zealand in 1987 – 88) and Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq (against Zimbabwe in 1999), its unique feature was that it was for the first time in ODIs history, that it came off the first 3 balls of the match.

Incidentally, Vaas also became the third bowler after Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq (both of Pakistan) to have recorded two hat-tricks in ODIs. He took his first hat – trick against Zimbabwe in Colombo in 2001 where he established another record for best performance ever in ODIs (8 – 3 – 19 – 8).

In August 2008, Vaas became the second Sri Lankan and fourth player in the world to take 400 wickets in ODIs.

Vajpai, Arjun :

Arjun Vajpai, a 16 year – old schoolboy from Noida (UP), became the youngest Indian to successfully climb the world’s highest peak, 8,848 – metre – high Mount Everest on May 22, 2010. He was introduced to mountaineering only three years ago.

Vajpayee, Atal Bihari :

The topmost BJP leader and former Prime Minister of India, who represented the moderate face of the party, said good – bye to active politics in December 2005.

A pacifist and true nationalist, he tried his best, as the head of the NDA coalition at the Centre, to mend fences with a belligerent Pakistan through Lahore Bus Journey, Agra Summit and the 12 – point Peace Package of ()ctober 2003.

He is also the first Indian to have addressed UN General Assembly in Hindi as External Affairs Minister in 1978 and as PM in 2001.

Varadarajan, Srinidhi :

Director of Terascale Computing Facility, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, who built the world’s third – fastest supercomputer from a cluster of 1,100 Apple Macintoshes for $5 million (when world – class super computers cost $100 million or more), is one of the seven Indian NRI young researchers to figure among world’s top 100 young researchers in Technology Review published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Varadan, Geeta :

Ms. Geeta Varadan attracted the attention of the media when she became the first Indian in the history of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to be appointed as the Director of a national centre – ADRIN or Advanced Data Researcg Institute in Hyderabad on August 31, 2009. She plays a pivotal role in the satellite image and data processing area of ISRO.

Venugopal, P. :

Indian doctor, Former Head of Cardio – Thoracic Vascular Surgery Department of All – India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. Conducted India’s first heart transplant operation on August 3, 1994.

Had a controversial innings under Union Health & Family Planning Minister Mr. Ambumani Ramadoss in which he won his case. Since retired.

Vilku, Dr. Kanwal :

The first Indian woman to visit Antarctica as part of the 23 – member team of the 22nd Indian expedition. After spending 16 months at Maitri Station, a wooden habitat on an iron plate, 53 years old Dr. Vilku returned on March 22, 2001.

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Wadekar, Ajit :

Mr. Ajit Wadekar’s name made headlines when on March 26, 2010 he was selected for Mother Teresa Lifetime Achievement Award for the year was a leading sportsperson of his time.

Walesa, Lech :

Nobel Prize winning Polish trade union leader became the first popularly elected Polish President (1990). An electrician at the Lenin Shipyard in Golansk in 1970, ten years later he led the strikers as leader of solidarity.

Walsh, Courtney :

The West Indies fast bowler, who was the first to take 500 or more wickets in Test cricket, bowed out of international cricket on April 24, 2001 as per his earlier announcement, with a rich haul of 519 wickets in 132 Tests to his credit.

Wangchuk, King Jigme Singye :

Bhutan’s former King and a close friend of India for several years. He had actively collaborated with India in flushing out ULFA and other North – East militant groups from Butan which not only posed a threat to Bhutan’s sovereignty and secutiry but also to India’s territorial integrity. Has now ushered Parliamentary form of Government in his country.

Warne, Shane :

The Australian ace leg spinner Shane Warne created history by becoming the first bowler to take 600 Test wickets in his 126th test match when he captured English batsman Marcus rescothick’s wicket on August 11, 2005, during the third Test match of Ashes 2005 series. He has retired from international cricket with a haul of 708 Test wickets in 145 matches.

Waugh, Steve :

The most successful Australian Captain who led his country to victory in 41 Tests out of 57 played under his captaincy. Stephen Rodger Waugh (Steve Waugh) announced his retirement after Australia – India Test series which concluded on January 6, 2004. During his cricket career spanning over 18 years, Tugga, as Steve Waugh is known, scored 10,927 runs in 168 Tests.

Weihenmayer, Erik :

Erik Weihenmayer of Colorado (USA) created history by becoming the first blind person to scale Mount Everst on May25, 2001 along with 18 other climbers in an expedition sponsored by the Baltimore – based National Federation of the Bline and led by Pasquate Scaturro.

He has also authored a book Touch the Top of the World : A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See.

Williams, Serena :

Serena Williams of USA clinched her fifth Australian Open title and her 12th Grand Slam overall in Melbourne, Australia on January 30, 2010. In the final, she beat Justine Jenin of Belgium.

She won her fourth Wimbledon Women’s Singles title, defeating Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final in London, Britain on July 3, 2010. This is the 13th Grand Slam crown of her career.

Williams, Sunita :

Indian-American astronaut had been on a record – setting mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for 195 days, the longest by a woman. She returned to Earth on June 22, 2007. Ms. Williams also made history by making spacewalks, totalling 29 hours and 17 minutes.

She hopes her mission would pave the way for more women to travel to space. Ms. Sunita Williams was in India in September – October 2007 to give a lecture on her experience in space. She was conferred Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award.

Wilmut, Ian :

The embryologist at the Roslin Institute in Scotland is the laboratory father of Dolly, the sheep, history’s first cloned adult mammal. His team took a single cell from the udder of a sheep and turned it into a viable embryo, mating it with an unfertilised egg implanted in a surrogate mother. The result was Dolly.

Woods, Tiger :

The world – renowned golfer of the US, Tiger Woods became the first player in the golf history to hold four Grand Slam titles consecutively, winning the Masters 2001 Title in Georgia (US) on April 8, 2001.

The other Major titles he has won include : PGA Championship (August 20, 2000); British Open (July 2000); US Open (June 2000); British Open (July 23, 2006). He also won the Buick Open in USA to become the youngest golfer to own 50 career PGA tour victories.

Besides, he won US Masters title (April 14, 2002) and US Open 2002 title. In August 2007, he won the World Bridges Golf Championship thus becoming the first player in the US PGA Tour history to claim two hat – trick wins in the same event.

Woods also bagged the Target World Challenge title in Thousand Oaks (the USA) on December 16, 2007. Won the Australian Masters title in Melbourne, Australia on November 15, 2009.

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Yadav, Ram Baran :

Indian – born Nepali Congress leader Dr. Ram Baran Yadav was sworn in as the first President of Nepal in Kathmandu on July 23, 2008. During an official visit to India Mr. Yadav met Dr. Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Mr. S.M. Krishna in New Delhi on February 16, 2010.

Yadav, Santosh (b. 1969) :

Deputy Superintendent in Indo – Tibetan Border Police, only woman in the world to climb Mount Everest (8,848 metres high) twice. She had reached the peak first on May 10, 1992. In 1993, the same day, she reached the peak again along with Kunga Bhutia and Dicky Dolma.

She was the leader of the Millennium Indian Everest Expedition 1999 that rewrote history when three of its members scaled the Mount Everest from the treacherous Kansung face on May 28, 1999.

Yunus, Muhammad :

The founder of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh and the Grameen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for the year 2006. He was selected for the award for helping millions escape the poverty trap through a system of small – scale loans known as microcredits.

Mr. Yunus received the Dwight D. Eisen – hower Medal for Leadership and Service from the Eisenhower Fellowship at a ceremony in Philadelphia on May 21, 2009 as well.

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Zidane, Zinedine :

French soccer star won the Golden Ball Award for the best player of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The French midfielder Zidane beat Italians Fabio Cannavaro and Andrea Pirlo in the ballot for the award.

The 2006 World Cup final was the last match as a professional for Zidane. The star of France’s maiden victory at the World Cup, FIFA’s 2000 World Player (which earned him the honour of being named as European Footballer of the Year).

And the Reuters Sports Personality of the Year Award and also the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, became the world’s highest – paid Soccer Player when he struck a deal with Real Madrid worth $87 million on July 9, 2001. He has now retired from international soccer.

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