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President appoints 5 new members to Rajya Sabha

Last updated on: March 19, 2010 20:01 IST

Noted lyricist Javed Akhtar and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar were nominated to Rajya Sabha along with three others on Friday.

Noted economist and former Planning Commission member Bhalchandra Mungekar, educationist Ram Dayal Munda and theatre personality B Jayshree are the other three who have been nominated by President Pratibha Patil.

There were 12 vacancies of nominated members in Rajya Sabha. Recently, six people including noted journalist H K Dua were nominated by the President.

Under Article of 80 of the Constitution, the President nominates members from the fields of literature, science, art and social service.

Recently noted bollywood actress Hema Malini, former and Indian Space Research Organisation chief Kasturi Ranganathan had retired while former Reserve Bank of India Governor C Rangarajan had resigned following his appointment as the chairman of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.

Padma Bushan awardee, 65-year-old Akhtar is a prolific writer of songs for the bollywood and has also scripted dialogues for many films including blockbuster Sholay.

His wife and noted actress Shabana Azmi was nominated to Rajya Sabha in 1997 by the United Front government under I K Gujaral. He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1999 and received the Padma Bhushan in 2007.

Sixty-eight-year-old Aiyar, a former diplomat who resigned from the Indian Foreign Service to enter politics, was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1991 for the first time and had served as Union Minister between 2004 and 2009.

He was defeated in the 2009 general elections from Mayiladuthurai constituency in Tamil Nadu.

Dr Balchandra Mungekar is an economist of repute who specialised in agricultural economics. He was born in a dalit family in Munge village, in the Konkan region of Maharashtra.

He had been vice-chancellor of Mumbai University and had served in the Planning Commission. Mungekar has been involved in various social activities and a known expert on Dr B R Ambedkar.

Sixty-year-old Jayashree, granddaughter of the legendary Kannada theatre personality Gubbi Veeranna, is herself an eminent theatre director.

She debuted as a child in her grandfather's company before going on to study at the National School of Drama.

Munda made a mark at the international level through his extensive research in Indian languages and literatures. Born in 1939 in Diuri village in Jharkhand, he studied anthropology at Ranchi University, obtained a master's degree and had his PhD in linguistics at the University of Chicago.

He was vice-chancellor of Ranchi University from 1986 to 1988. Munda has contributed significantly to the uplift of tribal people through his work as a successful teacher and institution-builder.
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