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Rajiv Gandhi


Rajiv Gandhi

(Born on 20th August 1944-21st June 1991),

Known by the nick name ‘Mr. Clean’ the late Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was born in Bombay and educated at Cambridge University and Imperial College, London. His grandfather was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the independent state of India, and his mother was Indira Gandhi, also prime minister.

 Rajiv Gandhi initially had no interest in politics and became a commercial airline pilot. When his younger brother Sanjay, heir apparent to the family political dynasty, died in a plane crash, Rajiv sought his seat in parliament and won by a landslide (1980). He soon became his mother’s chief adviser and an important political force himself. Appointed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi as a general secretary of the ruling Congress-I party (1983), he moved to reorganize it.


His fight against corruption earned him the nickname “Mr. Clean”. By 1984 he was the most powerful political figure in India after his mother. When she was assassinated later that year, he was unanimously elected by party leaders to replace her as prime minister. After a ritual mourning period he was unanimously elected president of the Congress-I party, as well. After a triumph in the national elections he pledged to deal with population control, educational and social reforms, and ethnic problems, but by 1989 little headway had been made in solving these problems, and charges of corruption plagued his administration. He was accused of isolating himself from the people, and many questioned his credibility. He ran for re-election in 1989 and was defeated. Trying for a comeback in 1991, he was assassinated by a bomb at a campaign rally in Tamil Nadu.

Rajiv Gandhi was assisinated at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by the first human bomb in the world – an LTTE woman militant called Thenmozhi Rajaratnam alias Dhanu. Architects of the assassination plot Sivarasan, Nalini and Murugan remained elusive from the special investigation team.

It is said, it was the portrait-building software developed in the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)-Ahmedabad and later upgraded at Dharamsinh Desai University (DDU) that cracked the case in a month by drawing near-similar features of the criminals from witness statements. The software was called the Facial Analysis and Criminal Identification System (FACIS Project III)

Professor H S Mazumdar, who heads the research wing at DDU, was working with PRL’s electronics department on the day of Rajiv’s assassination. “Initial attempts to put together faces of suspects did not head anywhere. So we developed an indigenous software,” says Mazumdar in a  coverage of Times of India.

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Khel Ratna

The words “Khel Ratna” literally translate to “Sports Gem” in Hindi.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (RGKR) is India’s highest honour given for achievement in sports. The award is named after the late Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India. It carries a medal, a scroll of honour and a substantial cash component. As of 2004-05, when the award was last bestowed, the cash component stands at Rs. 500,000/- (c.11,500 USD)

The award was instituted in the year 1991-92 to supply the lack of a supreme national accolade in the field of sports. Predating the RGKR are the Arjuna awards that have always been given to outstanding sportspersons in each of many sporting disciplines every year.

The Khel Ratna was devised to be an overarching honour, conferred for outstanding sporting performance, whether by an individual or a team, across all sporting disciplines in a given year.

Some achievers of the Award

Vishvanath Anand – Chess
Geet Sethi – Billiards
Abhinav Bindra – shooting
Anju Bobby George – Athletics
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Cricket

For more information
Click Wiki For Khel Ratna Awards


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