: AUGUST 2009
Yukio Hatoyama: He has been elected as the Prime Minister of Japan.

C. Rangarajan: He has been appointed as the head of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC). The other members of PMEAC are: M. Govinda Rao, V.S. Vyas, Suman Bery and Saumitra Chaudhari.

Dr V.K. Saraswat: He has been appointed as the Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He will also be the new Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development, besides being the Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister.

U.D. Choubey: He has taken over as Director General of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), the apex body of public sector units.

Madhav Kumar Nepal: Prime Minister of Nepal. Kim Jong-hoon: Trade Minister of South Korea. Sujata Koirala: External Affairs Minister of Nepal.

Gulshan Bawra: Noted film lyricist who gave memorable songs like ‘Mere Desh ki Dharti’. He was 72. Patwant Singh: One of the leading Sikh literary personalities and a noted writer on international issues. He was 84. Les Paul: Legendary US guitarist and inventor who pioneered designs of electric guitars. He was 94. Senator Edward M. Kennedy: The last surviving brother of President J.F. Kennedy and one of the most influential US Senators in history. He was 77. He was also known as the “Lion of Senate”.

AUGUST 3—First swine flu death in India is reported from Pune.

7—Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s most feared terrorist commander who established the Taliban as a force in huge swathes and unleashed attacks across the country, is killed in a US missile attack on the house he was hiding in.

7—Indian Coast Guard detains a “suspicious” North Korean ship for dropping anchor off Hut Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

10—Two truck bombs targeting a tiny sect in a village in northern Iraq and a spate of bloody bombings in Baghdad kill at least 47 persons.

10—Typhoon Morakot causes the worst flooding in Taiwan in half a century.

13—India and ASEAN sign a free-trade agreement to create a European Unionstyle single market that will boost trade by $10 billion in the very first year.

18—Taliban attacks rock Afghanistan two days before elections. Suicide bombers kill more than 12 people, including UN staff and NATO troops.

19—Series of explosions kill at least 95 people in Central Baghdad, the deadliest day in the Iraqi capital since US troops withdrew from urban centres in June 2009.

20—Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the terminally-ill Libyan who was the only person convicted for downing a US passenger jet that killed 270 people in 1988 over Lockerbie, is released by Scotland on compassionate grounds. The White House “deeply regrets” the Scottish decision and US family members of Lockerbie victims express outrage.

29—India’s first moon mission, Chandrayaan-1, looses radio contact with mission control leading to ISRO abandoning the mission.

29—Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turns the ‘wheel of fortune’—a valve—to

allow first gush of oil from Cairn’s Mangala field in Barmer, Rajasthan, India’s biggest oil discovery in over two decades.

30—For only the second time in post-war history, Japan votes out Liberal Democratic Party and hands a landslide victory to the Democratic Party of Japan.

Sonia Sotomayor: She is the first Hispanic to be sworn-in as the US Supreme Court judge. She also became the first high court member to have her oath-taking made available to TV cameras.

Nirmala Deshpande: The Pakistan government has decided to confer its highest civilian award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, posthumously on Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande for working towards peace, harmony and cordial relations between India and Pakistan. It is for the first time that services of any Indian woman to public life and her contribution to building amity in the region had been acknowledged by the Pakistan government.

Stefania Fernandez: She has won the Miss Universe pageant 2009. Miss Dominican Republic Ada Aimee De la Cruz was first runner-up and Miss Kosovo Gona Dragushawas second runner-up. The pageant was held at Nassau, Bahamas.