IMPORTANT PERSONALITIES
Abe, Shinzo :Japan's Parliament formally elected Mr. Shinzo Abe as the new Prime Minister on December 26, 2012, ending a three-year break from decades of near-constant rule by his conservative Liberal Democratic Party. Mr. Abe won the support of 328 members of the 480
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. The second novelist of Indian origin to get the prize with a debut novel after Ms. Arundhati Roy. His latest novel is Last Man in Tower which depicts the typical urban society with ordinary activities.
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 p
Advani, Pankaj :The 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 titles 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. He was presented 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 titles after Paul Mifsud of Malta. In April 2012, Advani won the Asian Billiard Championship in Goa to become the first person in the history of the sport to win 5 Asian titles.
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). In November 2011, Afridi became the only cricketer to score a half-century and take five wickets on two separate occasions in ODIs. Afridi achieved this feat in an ODI against Sri Lanka.
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 :The sixth player in ATP Tour history to record 800 career wins. Reached this milestone on July 13, 2004. Also the fifth tennis player to win all four Grand Slams. Inducted into the US Open Court of Champions or US Open Hall of Fame on September 9, 2012.
Agrawal, Premlata :Ace woman mountaineer Ms. Premlata Agrawal became the first Indian woman mountaineer to scale the top seven continental peaks after climbing Alaska's Mckinley Peak—highest peak of North America on May 23, 2013. She had conquered the Mt. Everest on May 20,
Ahluwalia, Dr. Montek Singh :Appointed Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in 2004. Re­appointed to the same post in 2009. Honoured with Padma Vibhushan in 2011.
Akram, Wasim :Former Pakistani cricketer and captain. Made the world record of maximum number of sixes (12) in a Test match against Zimbabwe in his 257 runs. First cricketer in the world who crossed the magical figure of 500 wickets in ODIs. Has to his credit 414 wickets in Tests. Third bowler in history of the Test cricket to achieve two hat-tricks.
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.
Amano, Yukiya :Mr. Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat, is the current Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He assumed office on December 1, 2009.
Ambani, Mukesh :Reliance India Chairman Mr. Mukesh Ambani is the richest person in India according to the 2013 Forbes list. He has retained his position as the country's richest man for the sixth year in a row. The company led by him is the biggest in India by market value.
Amge, Jyoti :Ms. Jyoti Amge, an Indian student from Nagpur, was officially declared as the world's shortest living woman, by the Guinness World Records on December 16, 2011. Ms. Amge, 18, is also the world's shortest teenager measuring just 62.8 centimetres.
Amrithraj, Vijay (b. 1933) :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, Mandakini :Won the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in August 2008 along with her husband, Mr. Prakash Amte for improving the lives of Madia Gonds tribe in eastern Maharashtra.
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, Viswanathan :Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand beat Challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel in a tense rapid chess tie-breaker to win the World Chess Championship crown for the fifth time. He achieved this feat at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia on May 30, 2012.
Ang, Rita : A veteran Mount Everest climber, who has conquered the worlds 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 us
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. From February 23 until August 31, 2012, he was the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict there. However, Mr. Annan quit after becoming frustrated with the UN's lack of progress with regards to conflict resolution.
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 : Mohammad Hamid Ansari was sworn in as the Vice President of India for a second consecutive term on August 11, 2012. A former diplomat, Mr. Ansari defeated NDA candidate Mr. Jaswant Singh with a comfortable margin in the August 7, 2012 election to the post.
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 title for the consecutive seventh time on July 25, 2005. Retired from competitive cycling for good on February 16, 2011. In June 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charged Armstrong with having used illicit performance enhancing drugs, based on blood samples from 2009 and 2010 as well as the testimony of other cyclists. On August 23, 2012, Armstrong announced that he would not be fighting the USADA's charges. Later that day, the USADA confirmed in a statement that Armstrong was banned for life and would be disqualified from any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 1, 1998, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, winnings, finishes, points and prizes.
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.
Aatle, 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).
Aston, Felicity : British travel writer and adventurer Ms. Felicity Aston became the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone, as she completed her crossing of the icy continent on January 23, 2012. She accomplished the remarkable feat in 59 days. Ms. Aston, 34, is also  the first human to ski solo across Antarctica using her own muscle power.
Attenborough, Richard (b. 1923) : A British actor-director. Known for his film Gandhi, which won eight Oscars in 1983.
Azarenka, Victoria :Tennis star from Belarus. She won the Australian Open women's singles tide in 2013 and 2012. Formerly world no. 1, she is currently ranked second in the world. Has two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles as well (2007 US Open and 2008 French Open). She is also the winner of the mixed doubles Gold in the 2012 London Olympics.
Azevedo, Roberto :The career trade diplomat from Brazil, Mr. Roberto Azevedo, became the next head of the World Trade Organisation on September 1, 2013. He succeeded France's Mr. Pascal Lamy who stepped down on August 31, 2013. Mr. Roberto is the sixth Director-General of WTO
Bachchan, Amitabh (b. 1942) :Bollywood screen legend Amitabh Bachchan, the first Indian film star and the first living Asian to be honoured with a wax likeness at the Madame Tussauds museum in London, was given the due honour to carry the Olympic torch during the last leg of its relay in London's Southwark district on July 27, 2012. Winner of multiple awards and honours, Mr. Bachchan is the host of the 7th edition of the knowledge-based TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati.
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 die six-member US-Canadian expedition which reached North Pole on dog sledge in April 1986.
Bandopadhyay, Padmavathy :IAFs 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 die 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 title 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. In the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi, she won Gold Medal in Women's Team Recurve with Deepika Kumari and L Bombayala Devi. She also won a Bronze medal on the Recurve Individual event. Dola was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2005 and the Padma Shri in 2008. 
Barnes, JulianThe British novelist, Mr. Julian Barnes bagged the 2011 Man Booker Prize, one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes. The 65-year-old Mr. Barnes was awarded the prize for his novella The Sense of an Ending on October 18. 2011.
Bartoli, MarionFrance's Marion Bartoli clinched her maiden Grand Slam title, winning women's singles event at Wimbledon 2013 in London on July 6, 2013. She defeated Germany's Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 in the final. 15th seeded Bartoli did not lose even a single set in the entire tournament.
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. Was an active member of the "Team Anna" which fought vigorously for the enactment of a strong Lokpal Bill to bring the rampant corruption under control.
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. Awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, in 2007.
Bhambri, YukiYuki Bhambri or India won the Australian Open boys' singles title in Melbourne on January 31, 2009. He defeated F. Georgoudas of Germany 6-3, 6-1. Defeated Amir Weintraub in straight sets to win the first ever ATP Challenger singles tide of his career in Fergana, Uzbekistan on May 20, 2012. Currently an active player on the Challengers circuit.
Bhandarkar, Madhur Two-time National Award winning filmmaker 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. His movie Traffic Signal' was also selected by the Maharaja Ranjeet Singh College of Sciences, Indore to study the beggar mafia racket in Mumbai. He won the 2006 National Award for Best Director for Traffic Signal. Another film to receive critical acclaim is Heroine starring Kareena Kapoor in the lead which released in September 2012.
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,     ArundhatiTook over as the new Chairperson of the State Bank of India on October 7, 2013; is the first woman to be appointed to the top job at the country's largest lender; succeeded Mr. Pratip Chaudhuri who retired on September 30, 2013. She had joined SBI as a direct recruit officer in 1977.
Bhattacharya, Kanchan ChoudhryBecame the first woman Director-General of Police (DGP) in the country when she assumed charge as DGP 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, ElaSocial activist, Ms. Ela Bhatt was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2011 on February 18, 2013. The award has been constituted by Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. The 78-year-old Ms. Bhatt, founder of the NGO Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), was given the award for her lifetime achievements in empowering women through grass-roots entrepreneurship.
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.
Bhattarai, BaburamHe was the 36th Prime Minister of Nepal (August 2011 to March 2013). An alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, he has been associated with the Left Movement in Nepal for three decades.
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.   In   2011, the Guinness Book of World Records officially acknowledged Bhosle as the most recorded artist in the history of music. She was awarded a certificate for "the most studio recordings (singles! for recording up to 11.0(H) solo, duet and chorus-backed songs and in over 20 Indian languages since 1947.
Bhupathi, MaheshIndian tennis player who became the first Indian to win 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. Paired up with Martina Hingis of Switzerland to win the sixth mixed doubles and overall tenth doubles Grand Slam title 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 title. He later won Mixed Doubles at French & Wimbledon Open 2009. On June 7, 2012, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza won the French Open mixed doubles tide. In 2001, he was awarded die Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian awards.
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 die 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 2(KH. Bhutia was awarded the Padma Shri in 2008. In August 2011, Bhutia announced his retirement from international football.
Bigelow, Kathryn Ms. Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to be awarded the Best Director Oscar for the film The Hurl 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, Ahhinav 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 Gold) at the European Championships in 2001. Conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel (in the Territorial Army) on September 13,2011 by Hon'ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil.
Bolt, UsainArguably the greatest track and field athlete of all time. Cemented his place among sporting greats by becoming the winner of most medals at World Championships (8 Gold, 2 Silver) following his treble wins (100 m, 200 m and 4x100 m) at the Moscow IAAF World Championship in August 2013. The famous Jamaican sprinter is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977. Along with his teammates, he also set the world record in the 4x 100 metres relay. He is the reigning Olympic champion in these three events, the first man to win 6 Olympic Gold medals in sprinting He was the first to achieve a "double double" by winning 100 m and 200 m titles at consecutive Olympics (2008 and 2012), and topped this through the first "double triple" (including 4x100m relays). Bolt finished a fantastic 2013 season with a win in Brussels clocking 9.80 seconds in the 100 metres on September 6, 2013.
Border, Allan (b I956) 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 LS 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. Attacked Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, despite world opinion against this action. Architect of Civilian Nuclear Agreement with India along with PM Dr. Manmohan Singh. Since retired, succeeded by Mr. Barack Obama, the Democrat in 2009.
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 Atlanta-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 13th 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 CP1(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.
Chandhary, SatveerFirst Indian-American Senator (2000) who was re-elected to the predominantly (90%) white Minnesota State's Senate in November 2002.
Chawla, NavinElection Commissioner Mr. Navin Chawla rook 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,
Chopra, PriyankaBollywood 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. In 2011, she signed a worldwide recording agreement with Universal Music Group and DesiHits to record and release her first music album. The first single "In My City" made its debut on September 13,'2012 at the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football Kick-off match.
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 die Tenzing Norgay National Adventure-Award for 2003 for Lifetime Achievement. A Padma Shri recipient.
Chowrasia, Shiv Shankar The dashing golfer from Kolkata emerged on February 10, 2008. as the first Indian sportsperson lo receive the single biggest cheque of $416,660 in India so far. He achieved this outstanding feat by clinching the title 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.
Clinton, Bill (b. 1946)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, HillaryWas US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Was the First leady of die LIS during her husband Mr. Bill Clinton's tenure as President (1993-2001). She remains a popular figure among the global community of leaders to this date.
Coetzee, J.M. The South African novelist won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature worth $I.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 EileenThe 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 Portuguese footballer who turns out for Spanish giants Real Madrid, a club he had joined in 2009 for a then world record transfer worth $131.6 million. Considered one of die best footballers in history. Was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008. Had earlier played for Manchester United, the world famous British football club.
Dangi, Chandra Bahadur Nepal's Chandra Bahadur Dangi was declared the world's shortest living man, by the Guinness World Records, at a ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 26, 2012. The 72-year-old Mr. Dangi, who measures just 21.5 inches (54.6 cm), snatched the tide from Junrey Balawing of Philippines.
Dasgupta, RanaMr. 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-winning 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.
Dekker, Laura Dutch teen Ms. Laura Dekker became the youngest sailor to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world, as she reached the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten on January 21, 2012. The 16 year-old Ms. Dekker beat the previous record holder Ms. Jessica Watson of Australia.
Desai, Kiran The prolific Indian writer became the youngest woman author and the third Indian to win the Man Booker Prize. Daughter of the celebrated author Ms. Anita Desai, Ms. Karan Desai won the coveted prize for her novel, The Inheritance of Loss, for the year 2006.
Devi, Kunjarani The ace Indian weightlifter has earned the distinction of being listed among the "Top 100 Weightlifters of the Century" in an issue of World Weight lifting, 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 Ratna Award and K.K. Birla Sports Award 1996.
Dhawan, Shikhar The 27-year-old Delhi left-hander Shikhar Dhawan surpassed the earlier record of fastest hundred on debut which was in the name of West Indian Dwayne Smith. He raced to his century off a mere 85 balls during the third Test at Mohali on March 16, 2013. He scored 187 runs. In the process, Dhawan also became the highest individual scorer for India on debut, beating the previous record held by Gundappa Viswanath (137) against Australia, The prolific southpaw also emerged as the highest run-getter in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 that concluded on June 23, 2013 in England. Dhawan's final tally of 363 runs in the tournament made him die winner of the 'Golden Bat" and 'Man of the Tournament'. His purple patch was key to India's successful campaign in ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
Dhillon, Navneet Kaur 20-year-old Ms. Navneet Kaur Dhillon from Patiala, Punjab, was crowned Miss India 2013 on March 24, 2013 in the beauty pageant, held at Yashraj Studios, Andheri, Mumbai. This was the 50th year of the Miss India contest.
Dhoni, M.STeam India skipper and one of the most popular cricketing heroes in the world. In June 2013, Dhoni was ranked at the 16th place in the list of the highest paid athletes in the world, with an earning of $31.5 million. Under the captainship of M.S. Dhoni, India won the 2011 ICC World Cup in April 2011. He led the Chennai Super Kings to successive victories in the Indian Premier League-3 & 4 finals. Mr. Dhoni has been awarded the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2007. On September 10, 2008. he was named the ICC ODI Player of the Year. Earlier, he was on April 8, 2009 named by widen 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 (Rajasthan) 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; conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel (in the Territorial Army) on September 13, 2011.
Diack, Lamine Elected for a second time to the post of President of the International Association of Athletics Federation in August 2011. He has served as the top official in the Federation since 1999.
Djokovic, NovakSerbian tennis star; winner of six Grand Slam rides. Won the Australian Open in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2008; Wimbledon in 2011 and the US Open in 2011. He topped both the 2011 and 2012 year-end world rankings. He holds several men's world records in the Open Era: the youngest player in the Open Era to have reached the semi-finals of all four Grand Slam events both separately and consecutively; the first and only man to win three consecutive Australian Open titles in the Open Era; and playing the longest Grand Slam men's singles final in history (5 hours and 35 minutes).
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 12,000 run milestone in Test cricket. Dravid 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. Selected for the Polly Umrigar Award for India's best cricketer of the 2010-11 season by the BCCL On March 9, 2012 he bid adieu to Test cricket, bringing down the curtains on a glorious 16-year career. India's middle order bulwark Dravid has scored 13,288 runs in 164 Tests since making his debut in 1996. and has made 36 centuries.
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.
Dung, Nguyen Tan Mr. Dung was elected as Prime Minister of Vietnam for a second term in July 2011. He is a former Central Bank Governor.
Dutt, Yogeshwar Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt. clinched a Bronze Medal in the 60kg Freestyle event in the London Olympics on August 12, 2012. Honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on August 29, 2012.
Ebadi, ShirinIranian 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 (IAHA) from Egypt. He was the acting Vice-President of Egypt from July 14 to August 14, 2013, following the ouster by the army of the country's government. Dr. EIBaradei, along with IAEA, was conferred the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. 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.
Eun-sun, OhMs. 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.
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, RogerRoger Federer won his seventh Wimbledon singles ride and his 17th overall Grand Slam with a four-set victory over Andy Murray to equal Pete Sampras's record of wins on July 8, 2012. In August 2012, he won the Silver medal in the London Olympics 2012. Earlier, the ace Swiss tennis player became the sixth player to have won all tour Grand Slams when he won his first French Open men's singles title on June 7, 2009 defeating Robin Soderling of Sweden
Francis, Kulandei India's Kulandei Francis won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2012 on August 31, 2012. 66-vear-old Mr. Francis runs the self-help group Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) in Tamil Nadu for the eradication of poverty and empowerment of women.
Franklin, Missy American competition swimmer and four-lime Olympic Gold medallist Missy Franklin 118) claimed a 15th FINA World Swimming Championship in Barcelona, that ended on August 4, 2(113. She joins Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Australia's Ian Thorpe and Germany's Kristin Otto as the only swimmer to capture as many as six Gold medals at either World meets or an Olympics.
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) Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance (UPA), India's ruling dispensation since 2004, and the President of the Congress Party. Consistently ranked among the world's most powerful people. Was in news for most of 2012-13 owing to her impassioned backing
Gambhir, GautamFirst 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 1 fill-plus in Tests (both against England at Mohali in 2008-09). Gambhir's cool leadership helped his team the Kolkata Knight Riders secure their maiden victory against defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the final of the fifth edition of I PL at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on May 27, 2012. Member of the 2011 ICC World Cup-winning Team India.
Garg, Amit Dr. Amit Garg, a Haryana boy and a former IIT topper, created world record in mental mathematics by mentally dividing a 10-digit number with a five-digit number in 34.5 seconds. The previous world record of a similar mental calculation was 36 seconds.
Garg, AnuIndian "Wordsmith", Mr. Anu Garg, the creator of "A Word A Day" unique e-mail service worldwide, has today emerged, along with his wife, Ms. Stuti 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 July 25, 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. 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 S 24 billion "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" created to cater to health care worldwide, besides an investment of Rs. 2000 crore in software education, partnership development and localisation. Further, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg jointly pledged $500 million for an anti-tobacco campaign with special focus on India and China.
Gavaskar, Sunil Popularly known as "Little 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. 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.
Gayle, Chris Royal Challengers Bangalore's Chris Gayle of Jamaica smashed the most breathtaking knock in the history of Twentv20 cricket, blasting an incredible unbeaten 175 runs off only 66 balls in an I PL match against Pune Warriors at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on April 23, 2013. He struck a staggering 17 sixes and 13 fours and scored century off just 30 balls which is the fastest in all formats of the game.
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 lncheon (South Korea) on September 4, 2005. Anju was conferred Arjuna Award 2002 in Athletics. Winner of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2003.
Geun-hye, Park Conservative ruling party candidate Ms. Park Geun-hye secured a slim but historic victory in South Korea's Presidential elections, the results of which were declared on December 19, 2012. 60-year-old Ms. Geun-hye defeated her liberal rival Mr. Moon Jae-in. She became the first female President in the country's history.
Gopichand, Pullela : Pullela Gopichand won the All-England Open Badminton (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 20(H) and the Arjuna Award for 1999. He now roaches India's national badminton squad, which features the likes of (Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal and World Championship medallist P.V. Sindhu.
Gordhan, Pravin :South Africa's Chief Revenue Officer, Mr. Pravin Gordhan, an ethnic Indian, was 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.
Gupta, Abhinn Shyam : Ace Indian Badminton player Abhinn Shyam Gupta is the first shuttler of India who became national champion in all the categories viz., mini, sub-junior, junior (twice), and senior.
Gusmao,Xanana : Prime Minister of East Timor since 2007. Earlier, the independence hero and former guerrilla leader won a landslide victory with 82.69 per cent 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 an independent 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 quit the royal palace along with all executive power and even kingship under growing Maoists clout in Government as well as in the country.
Haasan, Kamal : The versatile actor is the winner of numerous awards, including three National Film Awards. Has been a stellar presence in Indian filmdom for several decades. Producer of controversial film Hey Ram. He completed 50 years in film industry in 2009. Strides like a colossus in the film industry as actor, producer, director, screenwriter, lyricist, playback singer and choreographer.
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.
Hamid, Abdul : Bangladesh's veteran politician and parliamentary Speaker Mr. Abdul Hamid was elected un-contested as the 20th President of Bangladesh on April 22, 2013. The office of the President of Bangladesh had been vacant since the demise of President Zillur Rahman on March 20, 2013.
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 India's youngest International Master. He also became the youngest Indian to qualify for the FIDE World Championships. Winner of many international tournaments over the years, the latest being double title wins (both in Masters and Rapid category) at the Biel International chess tournament in Switzerland in August 2013.
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. Widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time who has redefined scientific research and broadened the horizons of human understanding.
Hazare, Anna : Popularly known as Anna, Kisan Baburao Hazare is a Gandhian and a social activist. A former soldier in the Indian army, Anna is well known and respected for upgrading the ecology and economy of the village of Ralegan Siddhi which is located in the drought prone Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra State. The force behind the nationwide campaign "India Against Corruption" he undertook a number of fasts to secure the Parliament's approval on key elements of the Jan Lokpal Bill. He is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri Awards.
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. She was a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan from July 2004 to July 2010. She was nominated by die BJP for the upper house in 2012 from Madhya Pradesh, and assumed office on April 24, 2012.
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. In 2010, he was named "Ireland's Greatest" in a public poll by Irish national broadcaster RTE to find the greatest person in Ireland's history. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made Hume a Knight Commander of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great.
Humpy, Koneru : Koneru Humpy became the world's youngest Grandmaster when she settled 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 GM. norm at the Elekes Memorial G.M. Chess Tournament played in Hungary on May 27, 2002. Won Asian Women's 2003 Championship title, In the process, she broke the record of her idol, Judith Polgar. Humpy accomplished the feat at 15 years, one month and 27 days. She won the Women's Grand Prix Series in 2009 & 2011.
Inglis, Mark : Mark Inglis of New Zealand made history on May 15, 2006, when he became the first double amputee to scale Mf. 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. He is also an accomplished cyclist and, as a double leg amputee, won a Silver medal in the 1 km time trial event at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Isinbayeva, Yelena : Russian pole vaulter. She is twice an Olympic Gold medallist (2004 and 2008), a three-time World Champion (2005, 2007 and 2013) and the current world record holder in the event. She became the first woman to clear the five-metre barrier in 2005. Isinbayeva's current world record is 5.06 m (outdoors), a record Isinbayeva set in Zurich in August 2009. She is the first woman to have cleared five metres. Earlier held the indoors record as well, which has since been broken. She is one of only nine athletes in history to win World Championships at the youth, junior and senior levels.
Jagdeo, Bharrat : Mr. 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. He was succeeded by Mr. Donald Ramotar who was sworn in on December 3, 2011.
Jahangir, Asma : Leading 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. She was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief from August 2004 to July 2010. On December 10, 2010 she was awarded with the 2010 UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, recognising her efforts as a human rights defender.
Jhajharia, Devendra : Rajasthan's para-athlete and javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia gave India its first-ever Gold Medal in the World Para Athletics Championships in Lyon, Prance on July 21, 2013. The one-armed paralympian, who bagged a Gold medal in the Athens Paralympics in 2(X)4, set a new meet record surpassing the previous record set by China's Chunliang Guo (55.90m) by throwing a distance of 57.04m in F42 men's javelin throw event.
Jiabao, Wen : Was Chinese premier from March 2003 to March 2013. 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 Finlai (1954) and Li Peng (1991).
Jindal ,  Bobby : Republican Congressman of Indian origin, Mr. Bobby Jindal was elected Governor of Louisiana (USA) in both the 2007 and 2011 elections. 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. In August 2011, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) awarded Mr. Jindal the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award for "outstanding public service".
Jinping, Xi : The Communist Party of China's (CPC) new leader Mr. Xi Jinping was formally appointed as the country's President on March 14, 2013. It brought an end to parry's four-month-long once in 10 years leadership transition. Mr. Xi, chosen as the CPC's General Secretary in November 2012, was approved by the National People's Congress, a largely rubber-stamp Parliament.
Jintao, Hu : Former President of China (March 2003 - March 2013). He presided over nearly a decade of consistent economic growth and development that cemented China's position as a major global power.
Johnson-Sirleaf, Ellen : Elected as the President of Liberia for the second time in 2011. 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 in 2006. Ms. Sirleaf was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Ms. Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Ms. Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.
Joneja, Raghav: At 15 years and seven months, Raghav Joneja became the youngest Indian to scale Mount Everest, climbing the world's highest peak with five teenage mates. The boy achieved the remarkable feat on May 21, 2013 after a month-long gruelling expedition.
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 decades 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 Gaines held in Melbourne (Australia) in March 2006.
Kalam, A.P.J. Abdul : Noted scientist and author, and the architect of the India's ballistic missile programme. 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—die only other Indian being die legendary Nam Singh who won it in 1877.
Kapadia, SaroRh 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 Ma\ 12, 2010. He succeeded Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan. He was succeeded by Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir who took over on September 29, 2012.
Kapoor, Deepak : Lt. General Deepak Kapoor took over as the Chief of Army Staff from his predecessor General |.|. Singh on September 30, 2007. He was succeeded by General V.K. Singh in March 2010.
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 Leaden 2005' by the Forum of Young Global Leaders, an agency of World Economic Forum. The years 2010 and 2011 proved to be important for her with critical and commercial succeses such as Love Sex aur Dhokha, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai. Shor in the City, Ragini MMS and The Dirty Picture.
Kapur, Shekhar : The Hindi film director who received applause for his films—Masoom (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 Bomaby Dreams. Awarded Padma Shri in 2000.
Kapur, Shiv :Indian golfer. Was named Asia's Rookie of the Year 2005 at the Asian Tour's Awards Night in Bangkok (Thailand) on December 12, 2005. An active participant in international competitions.
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 unearthing of the Satyam scam.
Karzai, Hamid : Mr. Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan's President for a second term on November 19, 2009. 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 Programme. 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. He is now a Member of the Planning Commission; he is also the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University and is the Chairman of Karnataka Knowledge Commission . He is also the Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, since April 2004. He is a recipient of the three civilian awards from the Government of India: the Padma Shri (1982), Padma Bhushan (1992) and Padma Vibhushan (2000).
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.
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; one of the prominent members of Anna Hazare's team fighting for the enactment of a strong Lokpal Bill to check corruption at many levels. Presently the supremo of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Keqiang, Li: Mr. Li Keqiang assumed office on March 14, 2013 as the new Prime Minister of China amid feverish expectations for democratic reforms and reduced govern-ment controls. Mr. Li Keqiang is a principal member of the new team led by Mr. Xi Jinping, which took over the reins of the Chinese government in a once-in-a-decade leadership change. He made India his first overseas destination after becoming Premier. During his May 2013 visit to India. India and China signed a number of important agreements.
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 film '3 Idiots', which was the highest-ever grosser in the history of Indian cinema before being replaced by the 2013 movie Chennai Express, is a splendid proof of his ever-growing popularity. Most of his films, including blockbusters like Taare Zameen Par' and 'Rang De Basanti', have kick-started new trends and set the benchmark for others to follow. 'Peepli live', a film produced by him, made headlines due to a realistic presentation of the issue of farmers' suicide. He was appointed as the national ambassador of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on November 30, 2011. Hosted in 2012 a highly successful TV show titled Satyamev Jayate, which sought ways to tackle India's social ills and for which he received a prestigious US award by the America Abroad Media (AAM) on October 29, 2013.
Khan, Amjad AJi : 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. He received the Banga-Vibhushanin 2011.
Khan, Shah Rukh : Actor Shah Rukh Khan's 2013 movie Chennai Express has become the highest grosser in the annals of Indian cinema. Is the first of his ilk to be conferred a Malaysian title, 'Daruk', equivalent to the British Knighthood. Popularly known as SRK, he has won a plethora of international accolades. He is the 3rd Bollywood Star to have his wax figure at Madame Tussaud's in London. Again, he is the third Indian film personality 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. The West Bengal Government on February 13, 2012 appointed Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador for the State. Co-owner of IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders.
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 August 15. 2005 overseeing a budget of $750 million. He was reappointed to the same post on January 2, 2007.
Khanna, Mahima : The 23-year old Kolkata girl is the third Indian after Mr. Amartya Sen and Sir Partho Dasgupta to win one of Cambridge University's highest honours, the prestigious Stevenson Prize. Nobel laureate Sen was the first Indian to win the award in 1956.
Khemka, Asha : NR1 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 Asian Woman of Achievement award.
Kher, Kirron 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. Ms. Kher, wife of veteran actor 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).
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 Pilchards' 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. As a coach he guided Team India to win the ICC World Cup 2011.
Ki-moon, Ban : Mr. Ban 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 was re-elected on June 21, 2011 unanimously. He is the second Asian after Mr. U. Thani of Myanmar to occupy the prestigious UN office. He was presented the Sustainable Development leadership Award at the 9th Sustainable Development Summit organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) held in Delhi on February 5, 2009.
Kochhar, Chanda : Ms. Chanda Kochhar, CEO & Managing Director of the ICICI Bank, was named Economic Times Business leader of the Year 2011 as per a report released on October 4, 2011. Ms. Kochhar is the first woman to win the award. Ranked fourth in the fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2013.
Kohli, Virat : 25-year-old batsman became the fastest Indian ODI century scorer (unbeaten 100 off only 52 balls on October 16, 2013 in Jaipur against Australia. Made his Test debut against the West Indies in 2011; played a significant role in India's ICC World Cup win in 2011 and the 2013 ICC Championships Trophy triumph. A recipient of the Arjuna Award (2013) and the ICC ODI Player of the Year Award (2013). Was officially appointed brand ambassador of the Border Security Force on September 22, 2013.
Kumar,      Anand    :Indian mathematician renowned for his Super30 programme that prepares poor students for the MT-JEE exam. Known worldwide as a pioneering presence in the sphere of education.
Kumar, Dilip : The veteran thespian is the recipient of the 1994 Dadasaheb Phalke Award and 2007 Phalke Rama 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 Achievemcni Award at the 5th UFA awards ceremony held in Singapore on May 24, 21X14. 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 : Grappler Sushil Kumar won India its sixth and final medal in the 2012 London Olympics after settling for Silver in the final of the Men's 66kg Freestyle Wrestling on August 12. 2012. Sushil is the first Indian to win two individual Olympic medals. He had claimed the Bronze medal in the 66 kg men's freestyle wrestling event at the Beijing Olympics 2008. Earlier, he became the first-ever Indian wrestler to win a Gold in World Championship in Moscow, Russia in 66 kg freestyle on September 12, 2010. He had notched up his first-ever Gold medal in the Asian Wrestling Championship meet in New Delhi on May 13, 2010. He was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rama 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. Besides a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards, he was conferred the "Bharat Gaurav Award" in New Jersey, USA in 2012.
Kumar Pradeep : A 1972-batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, Mr. Kumar is Central Vigilance Commissioner, the highest post in the Centre's anti-corruption watchdog.
Kumar, Vijay : Shooter Vijay Kumar, who clinched a Silver Medal in the 25 m Rapid Fire Pistol in the London Olympics on August 3, 2012, was conferred the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on August 29, 2012.
Kumar, Vijender : Olympic and World Championship Bronze medallist Vijender stole the limelight once again when he won the Gold medal in 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Earlier, he clinched die Gold medal in the XIX Commonwealth boxing championship in New Delhi in March 2010. Won a Bronze medal for the country in the 75 kg men's middleweight category in the Beijing Olympics 2008. Awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2008 on August 29, 2009. He however, could not shine in the London Olympics 2012; he lost his bout in the quarter-final itself.
Kumble, Anil : India's former Test Captain; ace leg spinner and India's highest wicket-taker (619 wickets in 132 Tests). Anil Kumble announced his retirement on November 8, 2008. He became the highest wicket-taker for India, surpassing the previous record (434 wickets in 131 Tests) set by die 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 the 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). Adjudged the greatest Indian player against Australia by CF.AT in Mumbai on October 18, 2007.
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, Rottenest Channel in Western Australia and one more waterway in 1994. He is the youngest Arjuna Award winner.
Lagarde, Christine: Former Finance Minister of France; elected Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund in July 2011 and succeeded Mr. D. Strauss-Kahn. In 2011, Ms. Lagarde was ranked the 8th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.
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 was by the US Senate the highest US civilian honour—the Congressional Gold Medal. The Dalai Lama was 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. In 2012, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Templeton Prize. He later donated the entire prize money to an Indian charity. Save the Children. Has authored My Land and People, Freedom in Exile, etc.
Lamy, Pascal : Former Director-General of World Trade Organisation  (WTO).  Held office from September 2005 to August 2013. He was formerly the Trade Chief of European Union.
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.
Lessing, Doris : British novelist Ms. Dons Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature for the year 2007 on December 10, 2007. Her pioneering novels have covered feminism and politics, as well as her youth in Africa. Her masterpiece 'The Grass Is Singing' is a searing examination of racial oppression and colonialism.
Lopes, Leila : The 25-year-old business student from Angola. Ms. Leila Lopes, emerged victor at the 60th Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011. The panellists, who ranged from race car driver Helio Castroneves to actress Vivica Fox and journalist Connie Chung, evaluated the women, narrowing a group of 16 down to a final five that included women from China, the Philippines and the home country, Brazil. In all. 89 beauties competed for the title. The show was hosted by the US television personalities Andy Cohen and Natalie Morales.
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 tree 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.
Mahalanobis, Abhijit : An Indian American scientist, be 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 Pankh 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 Light match against South Africa on March 28, 2007 at Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown, West Indies. Won the Purple Cap for 28 wickets in 16 matches he played tor Mumbai Indians in 4th Indian Premier League in May 2011. In August 2011, he managed another hat-trick, against Australia, to become the first man to take three hat-tricks in ODI cricket. Malinga also holds the record for most wickets taken in a single IPL season. 28, in the 2011 Indian Premier league 4.
Malleswari, KarnamIndian 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 world record by winning three Golds in 54-kg category in World Weightlifting Championships at Guangzhou (China) on November 19, 1995. Awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Rama Award for 1994-95. Also named "South Asian of the Year" by Time magazine.
Mandela', Nelson (b. I9I8) : 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 F.W. 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 the Gandhi Peace Prize along with the Gramcen Bank of Bangladesh; was also honoured with the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace on July 2.3. 2008. In November 2009, the U N General Assembly announced that Mandela's birthday, July 18, should be known as 'Mandela Day' to mark his contribution to world freedom.
Mangeshkar, Lata (b. 1929) : World famous Indian singer, winner of the highest French civilian honour "The Insignia of Officer de la Legionne d" Honneur". Won 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 Word Records. Honoured with the Padma Vibhushan on March 23, 1999. Nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1999. Honoured, with One-time Lifetime Achievement Award by Hon'ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil on September 2, 2008 for outstanding contribution to music. Honoured with the first Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award on September 28, 2011. First recipient of the National Yash Chopra Memorial Award (October 19, 2013).
Manning, Bradley : US soldier and whistleblower Mr. Bradley Manning was sentenced by a military court on August 21, 2013 to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. Mr. Manning leaked more than 700.000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and the State Department cables in 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
Manohar, Sujata Vasanl : India's second woman judge of Supreme Court after Fathima Beevi (1989). Retired in 1999.
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 woman pugilist, clinched the Bronze Medal in the 51kg Fly category in the London edition of the Olympic Games on August 8, 2012. She is the country's first woman boxer to win an Olympic medal. Clinched an unprecedented fifth successive Gold medal in the 46 kg category at the fifth World Women's Boxing Championships in Barbados in 2010. She is also 2010 Asian Champion and has won 2011 Asian Cup Tournament Gold medal. In recognition of her contribution to India's sports, she was conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2008.
Mathai, Ranjan : A 1974-batch IFS officer. Former Foreign Secretary of India (August 2011 to July 2013); a former Ambassador to France; also worked as a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
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 (IPI) at its 54th General Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya, became the youngest member to have this honour.
Mazumdar-Shaw, Kiran :One of India's most outstanding businesswomen, she is the founder-chairperson of the Bengaluru-based biotech firm Biocon. 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. She was ranked 80 in the Forbes' world's 100 most powerful women list of 2012.
Mehta, Major Gen. Randhir Kumar : Major Gen. Randhir Kumar Mehta, who was appointed 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. Mr. Mehta has also been honoured with Life Membership of the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Shot into limelight in September 2013 for conducting an orchestra in Kashmir.
Merkel, Angela :First female Chancellor of Germany. Assumed office on November 22, 2005 and again joined in the same capacity on October 28, 2009. She again emerged victorious in the September 2013 German Parliamentary elections, thus making a hat-trick win. Consistently ranked high by Forbes in the list of the world's most powerful women. On February 15, 2011, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Mr. Barack Obama. Presented Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in May 2011, which she had been awarded for the year 2009.
Messi, Lionel : Lionel Messi, the celebrity footballer of Argentina, made headlines when he won the 2012 FIFA/ Ballon d'Or in Zurich (Switzerland) in 2013. Messi is the first footballer in history to win four FIFA/Ballon d'Or awards. He won all of them consecutively. Also won the Golden Ball awarded to the European Footballer of the Year on December 1, 2009.
Miller, Portia Simpson : 7th and current Prime Minister of Jamaica. Now in her second term, she is the first female PM 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. First Indian woman to win a WTA title. First Indian girl to have won a Grand Slam title in July 2003. 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 in 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 Bhupathi. With this, the duo became the first Indian pair to win a Grand Slam Mixed Doubles title. Won the 2012 French Open Mixed Doubles title as well, which is her second Grand Slam title.
Mishra, Vanya : 19-year-old Chandigarh student Ms. Vanya Mishra was crowned the Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2012 at a star-studded event in Mumbai, Maharashtra on March 30, 2012. Earlier, Ms. Mishra had also won titles like Dabur Gulabari Miss Rose Glow 2012, Bharathi Vidyapeeth Femina Miss Photogenic 2012 and Maybelline Femina Miss Colossal Eyes 2012.
Mistry, Rohinton : The Indian-born Canadian 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. In 2012, he won the Neustadt International Prize for 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. Mr. Mittal was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2008. US Business magazine Forbes also conferred the third Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Mittal for entrepreneurial capitalism and ideals of free enterprise. With a total wealth of £12.7 billion, he once again topped the list of Britain's 1,000 richest people, as per 'The Sunday Times' annual Rich List released on April 29, 2012.
Mittal, Sunil Bharti : The Founder, Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises; honoured by the leading international business school, INSEAD, with its Business Leader for the World Award. He was awarded for the successful expansion of Bharti Enterprises from a manufacturer of push-button phones to India's leading business conglomerate.
Miura, Yuichiro : Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura became the world's oldest person to climb Mount Everest on May 23, 2013 at the age of 80. He broke the record set by a Nepali citizen Min Bahadur Sherchan who had climbed Mount Everest at the age of 76 in 2008.
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.
Modi, Narendra : Chief Minister of Gujarat since 2001. Praised for his economic policies and credited with creating the environment for fast growth in Gujarat. On September 13, 2013, the BJP declared him as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Mohapatra, Sitakanta : Odiya poet. Third Odiya 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. Awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2011.
Moily, M. Veerappa : Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Formerly held the portfolios of Power and Corporate Affairs. A former Chief Minister of Karnataka. A literary figure of some note. Recipient of many awards, including the 2010 Moorti Devi Award.
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 : Former Egyptian President, deposed in February 2011. Earlier, he was conferred the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for 1995 in New Delhi in November 2008.
Mukherjee, Pranab : Former Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee was sworn in as the 13thPresident of India on July 25, 2012. 76-year-old Congress veteran Mr. Mukherjee succeeds Ms. Praribha Patil, who was India's first woman President. In a political career spanning six decades, Mr. Mukherjee was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India. Awarded "Finance Minister of the Year for Asia" by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for the World Bank and the IMF. Honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of India, in 2008.
Muralitharan, Muttiah : Sri Lankan off spin wizard Muttiah Muralirharan ended his Test career in a blaze of glory 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 (1,334) wicket-taker both in Test cricket and ODIs. Earlier, he surpassed the world record of Shane Warne of Australia (708 in 145 Tests) on December 3, 2007 in Kandy (Sri Lanka). He is also the highest wicket-taker in One Day Internationals with 534 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, Andy : Andy Murray became the first British male singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936 and rewrote Wimbledon history by bringing the men's crown back to Britain after 77 years. He scripted history by winning the Wimbledon men's singles title on July 7, 2013 bearing Novak Djokovic of Serbia in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in a match that lasted three hours and nine minutes.
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 :lnfosys founder Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy was re-appointed as the company's Executive Chairman on June 1, 2013. Earlier, he had stepped down as Chairman of lnfosys in 2006 and later went on to become the company's Chief Mentor, lnfosys, the company he founded in 1981, was the first Indian firm to be listed on NASDAQ. He was chosen as the Chairperson of the Public Health Foundation of India in July 2011. 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.
Musharraf, Pervez : Former military dictator of Pakistan (2001-2008). 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. Was charged in August 2013 with murder and criminal conspiracy in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case by a Pakistani court. He is the first former army general to be indicted in Pakistan, a nation which has for a major part been ruled by the military.
Nadal Rafael: Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final of the US Open 2013 to win his 13th Grand Slam. Nadal captured four straight French Open Singles tides from 2005 to 2008. Nadal's 2012 French Open tied him with Chris Evert with seven French Open titles. His title triumph at the French Open 2013 made him the winner of the highest number of titles (8) in a single Grand Slam event. He is also the first, and only player to date, to win three consecutive Grand Slam Tournaments on three different surfaces (clay, grass and hard court) in the year 2010. At the Beijing Olympics 2008, Nadal defeated Roger Federer to win the Gold. He pulled out of London Olympics 2012 due to a knee injury.
Nagarajegowda, Girisha Hosanagara :Girisha Hosanagara Nagarajegowda clinched the first medal at the London Paralympic Games 2012 after bagging Silver in the Men's High Jump F42 event on September 3, 2012. The 24-year old from Karnataka, who has an impairment in his left leg, sailed over a height of 1.74m using scissors technique in the final of the event.
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.
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". In 2012, she was awarded India's third highest civilian award the Padma Bhushan by the then President of India, Ms. Pratibha Patil.
Nair, T.K.A. : Adviser to Prime Minister from October 3, 2011; served as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister; a retired Punjab-cadre IAS officer.
Nambiar, Vijay : UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon appointed veteran Indian diplomat Mr. Vijay Nambiar as his Chief of Staff on January 1, 2007. Retired in February 2012. Currently serves as the acting Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict of the United Nations Secretary-General.
Nandan, Rohit: Appointed CMD of Air India on August 12, 2011; a UP cadre IAS officer of 1982-batch, he served as Joint Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Narang, Gagan : The ace Indian shooter bagged the country's first medal, a Bronze, in the London edition of the Olympic Games on July 30, 2012. Won four Gold medals in the XIX Commonwealth Games held in Delhi in October 2010 and became the first male athlete in the 2010 Commonwealth Games to win four Gold medals. He had come into the limelight after his success at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. He was conferred the highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in August 2011.
Nariman, Rohinton :Was the Solicitor General of India from July 2011 to February 2013. Was succeeded by Mohan Parasaran.
Nasreen, Taslima : Feminist writer of Bangladesh. Facing death threats at home from fundamentalists for criticising Islam in her novel Lajja (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. His autobiography entitled "Beyond the Lines." was released in July 2012.
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.
Negi, Parimarjan : Winner of many international chess tournaments, the latest being the Politiken Cup in Denmark in August 2013. 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. Was the 2010 National Champion. Won the 11th Asian continental chess championship held in Vietnam in 2012.
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. Earned India a Bronze medal in the London Olympics on August 4. 2012. Won her first title of the season when she retained the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold trophy with a straight game victory over China's Shixian Wang in the summit clash at Basel, Switzerland on March 18. 2012. Won her third Indonesia Open title, beating Xuerui Li of China in Jakarta, Indonesia on June 17, 2012. Prior to this, she had won the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold final defeating Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand on June 10, 2012. Has been presented the 2009 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the country's highest sports honour. At Beijing Olympics (August, 2008), Nehwal reached the quarter final stage of the women's singles. She became the first Indian shuttler 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 2009 and 2010. She won 2011 Swiss Open Grand Prix title and had clinched Gold medal in Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. Led her team Hyderabad Hotshots to the title at the inaugural Indian Badminton 'League (IBI.) in August 2013.
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. Inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on March 8. 2010.
Nilekani, Natulan : Mr. Nandan Nilekani. the former Co-Chairman of Infosys, was appointed as head of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) 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. He also heads Government of India's technology committee, TAGUP.
Nooyi, Indra : An American of Indian origin, was elected as the Chairperson of the US-India Business Council on January 2.3. 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 released in 2011 and the most powerful woman by the Fortune magazine in its list of powerful women for the year 2006. Ms. Nooyi was named 2009 CFO of the year by Global Supply Chain leaders Group.
Obama, Barack Hussein : US President Mr. Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in tor a second term as the President of the US on January 20, 2013. In the elections, he defeated his Republican rival Mr. Mitt Romney. Earlier, he won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, 2009. He was honoured tor 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 had become the first-ever Black President of USA when he convincingly defeated 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. Retired in 2010. In January 2012. Mr. Ozzie started a new-company called Cocomo.
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. Presently also serving as the head of Yale's  Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI). Mr. Pachauri shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as head of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) with former Us Vice-President Al Gore. Mr. Pachauri was awarded Padma Vibhushan 2008 as well. He has been elected unopposed for a second six-year term as the Chairman of the IPCC (Geneva: September 4, 2008). In November 2009, Mr. Pachauri was rated fifth in the list of 'Top 100 Global Thinkers' by Foreign Policy Magazine and in February 2010, he was conferred Order of the white Rose of Finland by the Prime Minister of Finland in recognition of his work.
Paes, Leander :India's Leander Paes (40) became the oldest man to have won a Grand Slam following his men's doubles title at the 2013 US Open in September 2013, partnering Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic. This is Paes' 14th Grand Slam. He had completed the career Grand Slam in men's doubles after winning the Australian Open in 2012. Holds the record for most Grand Slam titles by an Indian. Second Indian after Vijay Amritraj to win the Hall of Fame Tennis award. His Grand Slam wins include 8 men's doubles titles (Australian Open 2012; French Open 1999, 2001, 2009; Wimbledon 1999; US Open 2006, 2009, 2013) and 6 mixed doubles titles (Australian Open 2003, 2010; Wimbledon 1999, 2003, 2010; and US Open 2008). Also won an Olympic Bronze medal in 1996. Honoured with 1996 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
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. She has also conquered Mount Blanc. Mount Agirus and main other peaks. Conferred the 1984 Padma Shri; 1984 Arjuna Award. She continued to be active after ascending the highest peak in the world. In 1985, she led an lndo-Nepalese Everest Expedition team comprising only women. The expedition created seven world records and set benchmarks for Indian mountaineering. Nine years later, in 1994, she led an all women team of rafters.
Pal, Yash :Noted Indian scientist and educator Prof. Yash Pal was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, in 2013. He was the Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University. New Delhi from March 2007 to March 2012. Amongst multiple awards and honours, he was awarded the prestigious 'Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management 2011' on October 15, 2011, for his deep engagement with areas like technology, communication, education and development. Was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1976.
Pandian, S. Ratnavel :A former Supreme Court judge, he was appointed as the Chairman of the National  Commission for Backward Classes, for a period of three years, on August 7, 2006. Earlier, Justice Pandian hail headed the fifth Central Pay Commission.
Patel, Dr. Kiran :An Indian émigré, Thampa Bay-based cardiologist, who donated $18.3 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 Shauthalayas (poor flush toilets). Bindeshwar Pathak, the Sulabh International founder, was conferred the Legend of Planet award, a prestigious international honour, in June 2013. He was named among "Heroes of Environment 2009" by Time magazine under the "Scientists and Innovators" category. 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 Jumna 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 hattrick 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 the late B.S. Shekhawat. Ms. Patil, the first woman and Maharashtrian to hold the highest office, is a member of the Indian National Congress Party. Ms. Patil made history by becoming the first woman head of state to fly in a fighter jet on November 25, 20O9 and the first woman President to sail a warship, during the 10th Presidential Fleet Review off the Mumbai coast on December 20, 2011. As President of India, she was succeeded by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in 2012.
Pattnaik, Sudarsan :Internationally acclaimed sand artist from Odisha Mr. Sudarshan Pattnaik won the first prize in Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Championship 2012 held in June in Denmark. Mr. Pattnaik created a 20-ft-high sand sculpture on 'Save the Ocean'.
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 :Became the most decorated Olympian of all time with his record haul of 22 Olympic Medals (18 Golds, 2 Silvers, 2 Bronzes), out of which 6 are from the London 2012 edition of the Games. Retired from the game in a befitting style by winning his fourth consecutive Gold Medal in the 4 × 100-metre medley relay on August 4, 2012. Displayed an unprecedented feat of winning eight Gold medals at the Beijing Olympics 2008.
Pillai, A. Sivathanu :Chief Controller of Research and Development and also holds the rank of "Distinguished Scientist" at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Was conferred   Padma Bhushan in 2013. This missile technologist was awarded the Lokmanya Tilak Award for 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. In 2003, Pillay received the inaugural Gruber Prize for Women's Rights.
Pillay, Dhanraj :The star hockey player was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 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
Ponting, Ricky :Former 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. Led Australian team to win ICC World Cup in 2003 and 2007. Earlier, he won the Allan Border Medal and the Test Player of the Year Award on February 5, 2007 in Melbourne (Australia).
Poonia, Krishna :Discus thrower Krishna Poonia won the Gold at the Portland athletics meet in August 2011. Earlier, she had made history in October 2010 by becoming the first Indian woman athletics Gold medallist in Commonwealth Games. Poonia led a historic Indian clean sweep of the discus event by clearing 61.5 metres to also become only the second from die host country to win an athletics Gold after track legend Milkha Singh's glory days in 1958 at Cardiff Wales.
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, was elected as the 265th Pope of Roman Catholic Church on April 19, 2005, being named Pope Benedict XVI. One of the closest collaborators of late Pope John Paul II, he was described as a conservative intellectual who was dead against greed, gay marriages, rock music, etc. In February 2013, he became the first person in 600 years to abdicate the pontifical office. He was succeeded by Pope Francis (real name Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a native of Argentina).
Pookutty, Resul :He won the Best Audiography Award of the National film Awards 2009. Earlier, he had won the Oscar for the Best Sound Mixing in the Slumdog Millionaire on February 22, 2009. Awarded Padma Shri in 2010.
Powell, Asafa :Jamaican Sprinter acknowledged as one of the fastest sprinters ever. Won the 100 m sprint at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in 2012, among many other titles. Currently serving a ban after charges of doping proved to be true.
Prachanda, Pushpa Kamal Dahal :The 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 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". In February 2013, he donated 12 percent stake in his Wipro Ltd. (equivalent to Rs. 12,300 crore) to fund his education-focussed trust, the Azim Premji Foundation. A stellar presence among the world's billionaires who have committed their wealth to charity. 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 $5 million a year, besides working with the charitable foundation of Mr. Bill Gates. Premji has been listed among top 30 global entrepreneurs. Currently the third wealthiest Indian, and the 41st richest in the world, with a personal wealth of $15.9 billion in 2012. Awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2011.
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 Empire 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 Prime Minister, Mr. Vladimir Putin, became the President of the country for the third time on May 7, 2012.
Quraishi, Shahabuddin Yaqoob :Appointed 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. Succeeded by Mr. VS. Sampath on June 11, 2012.
Radhakrishnan, K. :Mr. K. Radhakrishnan became the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on October 24, 2009. He took over from Mr. G. Madhavan 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's composition was a part of the Danny Boyle-orchcstrared opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics on July 27, 2012. Bagged two Grammy awards for his number 'Jai Ho...', and outstanding track for the film Slum dog 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. 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 die Tamil film Varalaru in the best Indian Album Category at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Music Award held in September 2009 in USA.
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 Miss 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. 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 IIFA Awards held in Macau. In 2011, Ms. Rai was selected for the prestigious French honour Officer Dan Ordre Des Arts Et Des Letters (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), the second-highest civilian award in France.
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.
Raina, Suresh : Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina became the first-ever batsman to cross 2,000-run mark in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on April 30, 2012.
Raj, Mithali : Skipper of India's women's cricket team, she led India to their fourth successive Asia Cup title and reached the 3000-run landmark on the way in May 2008. Earlier, 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.
Rajan, Raghuram G. : Chief Economic Advisor and former IMF Chief Economist Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan took over as the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for a period of three years on September 4, 2013. An alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad and IIT-Delhi, Dr. Rajan did his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He succeeded Dr. D. Subbarao.
Rajapaksa, Mahinda : Re-elected on January 27, 2010 for a second term as Sri Lankan President. 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 LTTE 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 his 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 Rs. 26 crore for his role in a movie. In 2010, he received the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema. He was also named by Forbes India as the most influential Indian of the year 2010. Awarded the Entertainer of the Decade Award by NDTV in 2011.
Rani, N. : Former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu (retired on January 18, 2012). 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 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. Conferred Knighthood in 2012.
Ramgoolam, Navin : 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.
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) title 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 in Rs. 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 as Chairman in August, 2009 resigning from Rajya Sabha.
Rao, Nirupama :She succeeded Ms. Meera Shankar as India's Ambassador to US; had served as Foreign Secretary till July 2011. She is a 1973 batch IFS officer.
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. Prof. Rao is 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 equalled the world record to win Gold in Double Trap event at the first Asian Shotgun Shooting Championships in Kuala Lumpur on November 27, 2011. Mr. Rathore's dream score of 148 out of 150 equalled Russian Vitaly Fokeev's mark set at the World Cup in Chile in March 2011. Earlier, bagged an individual Silver, the first-even for India in Olympics, in Men's Double Trap event of the Athens Olympics on August 17, 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 Germany. He left his post on October 31, 2007. Succeeded by Mr. Dominique Strauss Kahn.
Ravishankar, Sri Sri :Spiritual guru and founder of the 'Art of Living', was conferred Paraguay's highest civilian honour, National Order of Merito de Comuneros, in September 2012. Also conferred the highest honour of Mongolia, the Pole Star Award, He was also honoured with the Crans Montana Forum Award in 2011.
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.
Ray, Pratibha :Eminent Odiya litterateur, fiction writer and educationist Dr. Pratibha Ray received the 47th Jnanpith Award for the year 2011 on May 22, 2013. She has made outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Indian literature.
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.
Rogge, Dr. Jacques :An Orthopaedic Surgeon of Belgium who was elected (Moscow : July 16, 2001) as the new President of International Olympic Committee succeeding Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch. He was succeeded by Thomas Bach of Germany on September 10, 2013.
Romero, Jordan :US teenager Jordan Romero, 15, became the youngest person to successfully climb to the summits of the seven tallest mountains on Earth's seven continents, after he reached the top of Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica on December 24, 2011.
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).
Roshan, Hrithik :Hogged the limelight on the back of  his stellar performance in the 2012 blockbuster Agneepath. 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 IIFA Award ceremony for his sterling performance in Judah Akbar. Received critical acclaim for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
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 was Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows Part II. Her book for adults The Casual Vacancy hit the stands in September 2012.
Roy, Arundhati :The internationally renowned and best-selling celebrity author of Booker Prize winner. The God of Small Things. Awarded the Knight Of The Order Of Arts And letters by the French Government in 2001. Awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in May 2004, the Sahitya Akademi Award on 2006 and the Norman Mailer Prize in November 2011.
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. Soma Gandhi, to oversee the implementation of the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA Government. In 2010. she received the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academia and Management.
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.' His memoirs, entitled Joseph Anton: A Memoir came out in September 2012.
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 tor 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 eye of US Open 2003 which catapulted him to international fame. Sampras, who turned professional in 1988, won as many as 64 career titles 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 won the 2010 Shotgun Championship title; Earlier, he was presented the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, 2006 by the then Hon'ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil.
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 celebrated pro-democracy campaigner Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, was honoured with the Mahatma Gandhi International Peace Prize 2009 on July 20, 2009 in absentia. Ms. Suu Kyi, who had been under house arrest for years, was freed in Iate-2010 from detention. Took her oath as an MP on May 2, 2012. Embarked on her first trip abroad in 24 years on May 29, 2012 by making a visit to Thailand. On June 16, 2012, she was finally able to deliver her Nobel acceptance speech at Oslo's City Hall, Norway, two decades after being awarded the peace prize.
Sarabi, Habiba :Afghanistan's first and only female Provincial Governor Ms. Habiba Sarabi won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award 2013. Ms. Sarabi was chosen for helping build a functioning local government and pushing for education and women's rights in Afghanistan's Bamyan province despite working in a violent and impoverished environment.
Sarnobat, Rahi :Ms. Rahi Sarnobat shot her way into history on April 5, 2013 by becoming India's first pistol shooter to win Gold in World Cup. The 22-year-old from Kolhapur, Maharashtra won the 25 m sports pistol event in the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.
Sathasivam, P :The 40th and current Chief Justice of India. Began his term on July 19, 2013, succeeding Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir.
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 times Formula One World Champion. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. 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 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.
Sherpa, Chhurim :According to Guinness World Records, Nepalese climber Chhurim Sherpa became the first woman to scale Mount Everest twice in a single season. She achieved this feat on February 25, 2013.
Shinawatra, Yingluck :She led the Puea Thai Party to a landslide victory in Thailand's general elections and became Thailand's first woman Prime Minister in July 2011.
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 an astonishing 219 in the ODI against West Indies in Indore in 2011. Was a member of the ICC World Cup-winning Indian team in 2011. Scored 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. 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 years. 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 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 2010, Time Magazine listed him among the 100 most influential persons in the world. Conferred the prestigious National Medals of Arts and Humanities award by US President Mr. Barack Obama on February 14, 2012. First non-American recipient of the Medal. First Chancellor Designate of the proposed Nalanda International University.
Sekhar, S. Chandra:The 15-year old M.Tech. student from IIT-Madras, holds the record for being the youngest engineering graduate in the country.
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 W.H. Smith Prize. His Arion 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 Hoy fetched him the Commander of the Order of the British Umpire in 2001. In 2007, he was conferred the Padma Shri in Literature and Education. Also won the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.
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. Conferred Padma Shri and Arjuna Award in 1986. 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 Pradesh.
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.
Sharapova, Maria :Maria Sharapova of Russia won her maiden French Open title by defeating Italian Sara Errani in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in the women's singles final in Paris. France on June 9, 2012. With this, Sharapova completed her career Grand Slam. She has a total of four Grand Slam wins. She is as famous for her on-court exploits as her off-court fashion trend-setting.
Sharif, Nawaz :PML-N led by Mr. Nawaz Sharif won 176 seats in the 342-member Lower House of Parliament in May general elections held in Pakistan. In Pakistan's National Assembly, 272 seats are elected directly. A further 70 seats reserved for women and minorities are distributed to parties proportionally. PML-N formally nominated Mr. Nawaz Sharif on May 27, 2013 for Pakistan's prime minister's post. He was sworn in on June 5, 2013.
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. Re-elected on October 30, 2011.
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. Conferred the Ashoka Chakra and the Hero of Soviet Union.
Sharma, Shashikant :An IAS officer of 1976-batch from Bihar cadre, he took charge as the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India in May 2013, succeeding Mr. Vinod Rai. Earlier, he was India's Defence Secretary (from July 2011 to May 2013).
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 co­pilot the American strike fighter F-16IN of Lockheed Martin.
Shetty, Salil :India-burn 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, who hails 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 Baikonour launch pad along with Russian Cosmonaut. Mr. Yuri Gidzenko and Italian Air Force Pilot, Mr. Roberto Vittori. He paid $20 million for this trip.
Silva, Jose Graziano da :The Brazilian was elected as the Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the UN agency tasked with reducing world hunger at a time of high food prices.
Silva, Luiz Inacio Lula da :Former Brazilian President. 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. Was succeeded by Ms. Dilma Rousseff on January 1, 2011.
Sindhu, P.V. :P.V. Sindhu became the first female badminton player from India to win a medal in World Badminton Championship. She won Bronze medal defeating former World No. 1 Shixian Wang of China to enter in the semifinal of the World Badminton Championship 2013 held in Guangzhou, China. Sindhu is also the third Indian badminton player overall to win a medal at the World Badminton Championship.
Singh, Fauja :Mr. Fauja Singh, a 100-year-old runner of Indian origin, completed the 42-km Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Toronto, Canada on October 16, 2011. It took him over eight hours to cross the finish line and accomplish the amazing feat. This was his eighth marathon.
Singh, Indarjit :Dr. lndarjit Singh scripted history as he became the first turbaned Sikh selected to sit in the UK's House of Lords. Rawalpindi-born Dr. Indarjit, 79, is the director of the Network of Sikh Organisations and is also credited with promoting inter-faith understanding.
Singh, Jaswant :Former Finance, External Affairs and Defence Minister of India. Veteran leader of the BJP and sitting MP. NDA candidate for the post of the Vice President in 2012. lost to Dr. Hamid  Ansari.
Singh, Jeev Milkha :India's ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh won the Scottish Open title in Scotland in July 2012. Was named Asian Player of the Year on March 3, 2007 at Phuket (Thailand) after a successful season where he lifted four titles and topped the Asian Tour Order of Ment. 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 held many a coveted 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 programmes. 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 addressed the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, USA on September 24, 2011 and 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 1BSA Summits at Brasilia, Brazil on April 15. 2010. Represented India at the 2013 G20 Summit at St. Petersburg, Russia in September 2013. Dr. Manmohan Singh is India's first Prime Minister belonging to the Sikh community. Earlier, in May 27, 2013, he signed an Extradition Treaty with Thailand during his visit to that country.
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 Little 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. Also honoured with Sahitya Academy fellowship award and Padma Vibhushan.
Singh, Milkha :Milkha Singh (born 1935) is a legendary Indian sprinter. Born in Punjab in undivided India, he was a witness to the massacre of his family during the tumultuous time of Partition before fleeing to India. He joined the Indian Army where he blossomed as an athlete. Widely regarded as the finest track and field athlete India has ever produced. Till date he is the only Indian male athlete to win an individual athletics Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games (400 m, 1958). He won two Gold medals at the 1958 Asian Games (200 m and 400 m) and another two Gold medals at the 1962 Asian Games (400 m and 4×400 m relay). Finished fourth in 400 m at the 1960 Rome Olympics clocking 45.6 seconds, setting a national record that went unbroken for almost 40 years. The 2013 movie Bhag Milkha Bhag, which is based on his life's story, went on to become a roaring success at the box office.
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 Aravallis, thus, solving the water problem of dozens of villages. In 2008, The Guardian named him amongst its list of "50 people who could save the planet".
Singh, Rajnath :He is the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He assumed office succeeding Mr. Nitin Gadkari on January 23, 2013. Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he was elected 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. Mr. Singh was succeeded by Mr. Nitin Gadkari in December 2009.
Singh, Vijay :The ace golfer Vijay Singh (41) of Fiji dethroned die 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).
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. For his scintillating performance, he was adjudged the 2011 ICC World Cup "Man of the Tournament'. He is also the first Indian player to cross 100 Sixes in Twenty 20 matches. Successfully battled lung cancer. Resumed playing cricket. Honoured with Arjuna Award on August 29, 2012.
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). Holds a world record for his solo microlight flight from the UK to India in 1998. Singhania has flight experience of over 5,000 hours.
Sinha, Arunima :A former national level volleyball player Arunima Sinha, who had lost one of her legs after being thrown off a moving train, created history on May 21, 2013 by becoming the first Indian amputee to conquer Mount Everest. Twenty-five years old Arunima hailing from Uttar Pradesh reached the 8,848 metre-high summit of the world's highest peak at 10:55 am on May 21, 2013.
Sinha, Shanta :Ms. Shanta Sinha, a Ramon Magsaysay and Padma Shri awardee, was appointed the Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights for two consecutive terms (three years each). 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.
Snowden, Edward :Mr. Edward Snowden, the former US government contractor and whistleblower, in a big revelation said that the National Security Agency collects Americans' phone records and internet data from US communication companies. Mr. Snowden embarrassed the United States by disclosing that it was snooping on its own people and rest of the world. He now faces charges of espionage and theft of government property. He has been granted political asylum by Russia.
Sodhi, Ronjan :The 33-year-old Asian Games champion and winner of multiple World Cup Gold medals, trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi won the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award 2013. He is the seventh shooter to win the award.
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 Jams 1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978), Raiders of the Lost 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. On October 22, 2011 he was admitted as a Commander of the Belgian Order of the Crown.
Sreedharan, E. : Former Chairman and Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. Retired from the Delhi Metro in 2012. Mr. E. .Sreedharan was chosen for Lil Bahadur Shastri National Award tor 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 ISA 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.
Stosnr, Samantha : Samantha Stosur of Australia outplayed three-time champion Serena Williams of USA in straight sets to win the US Open women's single's crown in New York on September 11, 2011. Stosur became the first Australian woman to take the US Open title since Margaret Court in 1973.
Strasscr, Valentine : Former President of Sierra Leone. At 25. 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". Winner of multiple awards.
Sugathakumari : Malayalam poetess Sugathakumari was chosen for the prestigious Saraswati Samman 2012 for the collection of her poems 'Manalezbutbu' (The Writing on the Sand). The award is given annually to an outstanding literary work written in an) Indian language during the last 10 years.
Sukumar, RamanDr. 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 "bather 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), Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace. Disarmament and Development (2002) and Indira Gandhi Award tor National Integration for 2012.
Swaminathan, Soumya :In January 2011. Ms. Soumya Swaminathan won the National woman chess championship. 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.
Tabei, Junko : A Japanese housewife, the first woman to climb Mount Everest, a feat she achieved on May 16, 1975.
Taibu, Tatenda : On May 6, 2004 he became the youngest Test captain in history, when he captained the Zimbabwean team against Sri Lanka. On July 10, 2012 Taibu, aged only 29, decided to quit cricket and focus on his work in church.
Tagore. Sharmila : The veteran actress of yesteryears, Ms. Sharmila Tagore who played memorable roles in various box office hits like Kashmir Ki Kali, Aradbana. Amar Prem, Mausam, etc., was the Chairperson of the Central Board of film Certification known as Censor Board from October 2004 till March 2011. She was presented the 2007 Lifetime Achievement National Award (Actress) by Journalist Association of India. Presented with Outstanding Achievement in Indian cinema at the Floriana IIFA Awards, Toronto, Canada in 2011.
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. Began his second term as President of Iraq., becoming the first President elected under the country's new Constitution on November 11, 2010.
Tan, Tony : Elected President of Singapore on August 2011; former Deputy Prime Minister; a banker who came to power on the back of his promise of providing strong leadership and unequivocal economic guidance for the nation.
Talukdar, Jayant: He became the first Indian archer to win the Gold medal in the Archery World Cup in Porec (Croatia) on May 13, 2006. Subsequently. he also emerged as the first Indian to In-come the World No. 1 archer. Conferred the Arjuna Award on August 29, 2007.
Tata, Ratan :Former Chairman of Tata Group He was Chairman of the conglomerate from 1991 to 2012. Succeeded by Mr. Cyrus Mistry. During Mr. Tata's time at the helm, in October 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 10t. 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, featured in the 2011 Leader RepTrak list of World's Top 10 most reputed people, released on September 21, 2011. Mr. Tata ranked 9th in the list, leaving behind the Pope, the British Queen, the US President Mr. Barack Obama and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Lifetime Achievement Award conferred by prestigious Rockefeller Foundation in 2012. He is currently the Chairman Emeritus of several Tata Group companies, including Tata Motors and Tata Sons. He was appointed as the Chief Adviser to the board of' Air Asia India, a joint venture between the Tatas, the Malaysian low-cost carrier, and Telstra Tradeplace in June 2013.
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 @tebelka.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 : The willow wizard achieved his historic hundred of hundreds when he scored 114 against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup OD1 in Mirpur on March 16, 2012. With this, the 38-year-old became the first cricketer in the world to notch up 100 international centuries—a magical collection of 51 Test and 49 ODI hundreds. Has scored more than 34,000 runs in international cricket across all formats. Was nominated to the Rajya Sabha on April 26, 2012. Tendulkar is the first active sportsman and cricketer to be nominated to the 250-member Upper House. Conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2008. He is also the first cricketer to receive Rajive Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (1998). Also named among 25 most powerful global sports figures by American Financial publication Business Week in October 2008. He is the first sportsperson and the first person without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force on September 3, 20111. On June 11. 2012. he was presented with the Wisden India Outstanding Achievement Award. Announced his retirement from ODIs in December 2012. and from T20s in May 2013.
Tereshkova, Valentina : Soviet cosmonaut. First woman to make a space flight aboard Vostok-VI in June 1963."
Thatcher, Margaret : Margaret Thatcher (87), Britain's first woman Prime Minister who led the Conservative Parry for more than a decade through one of the most tumultuous periods in British history and became a deeply divisive political figure, died following a stroke in London on April 8, 2013.
Thomas, Tessy : DRDO scientist. Ms. Tessy Thomas guided a team of scientists to successfully test Agni V, the most potent weapon in India's armoury, in April 2012. Earlier, she had proved her mettle as the Project Director of the 3,500-km new generation Agni-IV missile which was successfully test-fired on November 25, 2011. Ms. Thomas is the first-ever woman director of an Indian missile project. Fondly referred to as "the missile woman" by the Indian media.
Thomson, Peter : Fiji's permanent representative to the United Nations Mr. Peter Thomson was elected as the new President of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on July 14, 2011. Fiji has played a prominent role at the ISA since its inception. The decision was taken by the ISA assembly during its annual session in Kingston, Jamaica.
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 Musa-bayev 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.
Tomy, Abhilash : Indian Navy's Lt. Cdr. Abhilash Tomy became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe non-assisted. It took him 150 days of continuous sailing in INSV Mhadei to reach the milestone.
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.
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. 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 (U.P.), became the then-youngest Indian to successfully climb the world's highest peak. 8,848-metre-high Mount Everest on May 22, 2010. His record was broken in May 2013 by N. Chingkheinganba, a Manipur boy.
Vajpayee, Atal Bihari : The topmost BJP leader and former Prime Minister of India, who represented the moderate face of the party, said good­bye 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 October 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.
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 (1SRO) to be appointed as the Director of a national centre-ADRIN or Advanced Data Research 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-ThoracicVascular Surgery Department of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. Conducted India's first heart transplant operation on August 3. 1994.
Verma, Nirmal : Former Chief of the    Naval   Staff    (August 2009 August 2012). In November 2012. he was    appointed    as    the    High Commissioner to Canada.
Vilku, Dr. Kanwal : The first Indian woman to visit Antarctica as part of the 23-member team of the 22nd Indian expedition. Alter spending 16 months at Maitri Station, a wooden habitat on an iron plate, 53 years old Dr. Vilku returned on March 22, 2001.
Wadekar, Ajit : Former skipper of the Indian cricket team. Selected for the Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Trophy by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. On March 26. 2010 he was selected for Mother Teresa Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2010.
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.
Wallenda, Nik : Nik Wallenda of USA became the first person in the world to cross the Grand Canyon on a 2-inch (5 cm) steel cable. He completed the historic high-wire walk over the Grand Canyon on June 23, 2013 in a hair-raising stunt and took 22 minutes and 54 seconds to walk 1.400 feet.
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 during his tenure. He had actively collaborated with India in flushing out ULFA and other North-East militant groups from Bhutan which not only posed ,a threat to Bhutan's sovereignty and security bur also to India's territorial integrity. He 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 Trescothick'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 wickers in 145 matches.
Watanabc, Tamae : 73-year-old Japanese climber Ms. Tamae Watanabe made history by becoming the oldest woman to scale the world's highest mountain. Mount Everest, on May 19, 2012, topping a record, she herself set in 2002 at the age of 63.
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.
Weihenmaycr,    ErikThe 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.
Williams, Serena : Already regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, her 32 Grand Slam titles tie her for eighth on the all-time list: 17 in singles, 13 in women's doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. Her total of 17 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list, and fourth in the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each). She won her 17th Grand Slam singles crown clinching the 2013 US Open title in September 2013. On August 4, 2012, she became the second player after Steffi Graf to win a career Golden Grand Slam after winning the Gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the first player in history, male or female, to win the Golden Grand Slam in both singles and doubles. Only female player to have won over $50 million in prize money.
Williams, Sunita : She took over the command of the International Space Station on September 16, 2012 becoming only the second woman in history to do so. Regained the record for the maximum number of spacewalks for a female, and most spacewalk time for a female on September 5, 2012. Currently has 50:40 hours of spacewalk time. 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 Praribha Award.
Wilmiit, 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 2011 Title in Georgia (US) on April 8. 2001. He also won the Buick Open in USA to become the youngest golfer to own 50 career PGA tour victories. 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. His achievements place him among the most decorated golfers of all time. Has 79 PGA Tour titles, the second highest ever, and 40 European Tour titles, the third highest ever. Has won 14 professional golf championship Majors, one short of the tally of the legendary-Jack Nicklaus.
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, 20O8.
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 in less than a year and the first woman to successfully climb Mt. Everest from Kangshung Face. Conferred Padma Shri in 2000.
Yadu, Himangini Singh : 23-year-old green-eyed beauty from Indore, Ms. Himangini Singh Yadu, won the Miss Asia Pacific 2012 title in Busan, South Korea on June 16, 2012. Ms. Yadu is a protégée of ex-beauty queen Ms. Sushmita Sen's grooming academy I AM SHE.
Yousufzai, Malala : 15-year-old Pakistani teenage activist Ms. Malala Yousufzai who attracted global attention when she was shot by Taliban for her girls' education campaign; signed a deal reported to be worth nearly 2 million pound to publish a book which, she said, would tell not only her own Story but also that of "61 million children who can't get education." The book, titled 'I am Malala',  was released on October 8, 2013, a day before the one-year anniversary of the Taliban attack that almost killed her. Her story of courage spread through the world following her recovery after the brutal attack, and she was hailed as a role model by all. Was honoured with a number of prestigious awards in 2013.
Yu, Wenxia : China's Ms. Wenxia Yu was crowned Miss World 2012 on August 18, 2012 in a glittering ceremony hosted in the Inner Mongolian city of Ordos in People's Republic of China. India's contender, Ms. Vanya Mishra, could only make it to the top seven. However, she bagged the titles of "Miss Social Media" and "Beauty with a Purpose". The 23-year-old Wenxia Yu is a music student.
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 micro-credits. Mr. Yunus received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for leadership and Service from the Eisenhower Fellowship at a ceremony in Philadelphia on May 21. 2009 as well. In 2012, he was appointed Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, serving in this capacity as the university's titular head.
Zidane, Zinedine : French soccer star won the Golden Ball Award for the best player of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The star of France's maiden victory at the World Cup, he then 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.
Zoellick, Robert : 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 that ended on June 30. 2012. Mr. Zoellick was the eleventh ( President of the World Bank and succeeded by Korean-Amencan Mr. Jim Yang Kim.