Great Personalities

Jamshedji Tata

He laid the foundations of India's new Industrial economy.  

Salim Ali



Ambani Dhirubhai 

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) 
Chairman is the first Indian to be awarded the Dean's Medal from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of his leadership in founding and building RIL into India's largest most widely traded and most profitable company.


A.P.J.Abdul Kalam 

The Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and former Chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was appointed the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government on November 25, 1999 with the rank of a Cabinet Minister. Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Advises the government on scientific development and scientific and technical policies in different sectors.

Athavale, Pandurang Shastri

 The founder and leader of Swadhyaya movement, was named as the Templeton Award winner for 1997. The award, which carries a purse of US $ 1.2 million, was in recognition of his movement, which had liberated hundreds of villagers in India from the bondage of casteism and other social vices. He also won the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1996 for Community Leadership.


Amte, (Baba) Muralidhar Devidas

 Indian social worker. Known for his work among leprosy patients. Established Anand Van, a colony for leprosy patients, near Nagpur. Founder of Knit India Movement. Recipient of first G.D.Birla International Award for outstanding contributions to humanity. Also winner of Templeton, Ramon Magsaysay, and UN Right Livelihood Awards. Awarded 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize for his exemplary work for treatment and rehabilitation of leprosy patients and his concept of the "Shramik Vidyapeeth".

Balayogi, GMC 

The 47-year-old lone TDP MP from Coastal Andhra Pradesh has the distinction of becoming the first Dalit Speaker of 12th Lok Sabha succeeding Mr.P.A.Sangma. Again elected Speaker of the 13th Lok Sabha unanimously in October, 1999. Mr.Balayogi unanimously elected as the "Asia Region Representative" of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at Edinburgh (UK) on September 27, 2000.

Bahuguna, Sunderlal

 Indian environmentalist, and leader of Chipko Movement, which has been resisting construction of Tehri Dam on Bhagirathi in the Uttarakashi region of Himalayans on ecological grounds. He fears that the site of the dam is in the seismic zone and construction of the dam would spell disaster for the region.


Bali, Beneka 

 The 21-year-old Delhi girl made history in the US by becoming the first Asian woman to join the American Army on May 27, 2000. She joined the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army after graduating from the famous West Point Military Academy as a full-fledged lieutenant following a gruelling four-year training.

Bedi, Kiran (b.1949)

 India's first woman IPS officer (1972). Was Asian Games women's tennis champion. As Inspector-General of Prisons in Delhi's high-security Tihar Jail, she brought about many reforms in Asia's biggest jail. Has won 1994 Magsaysay Award for controlling crime and improving living conditions in prisons. Also won the Joseph Beuys Prize (1997) for reform work in Tihar jail.

Chawla, Kalpana 

The girl from Karnal in Haryana is the first Indian or Indian-American woman to go on a space launch (Nov. 19, 1997) as Mission Specialist as a member of 6-member crew on the fourth US microgravity payload flight on board Columbia on mission "STS-87" to study the outer atmosphere of sun.

Coyaji, Banoo Jehangir  

An honorary doctor with King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune. Associated with a rural health project in 300 villages of Maval and Sirur taluks in Pune since 1977. Recipient of Padma Bhushan (1989), Rameshwardas Birla Award (1992), and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service (1993).

Heptullah, Najma 

The Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha and the distinguished Human Development Ambassador of the United Nations Development Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 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.

Kurien, Verghese 

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

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