Sunday, December 31, 2006

Round up of the year 2006

Prominent visitors:

India received some powerful leaders of the world and some of the not so powerful came calling on India. The high profile visits in 2006 included:

  1. George Bush, the President of USA
  2. Jacques Chirac, the President of France
  3. Mikhail Fradkov, the Prime Minister of Russia
  4. Hu Jintao, the President of China

Other prominent visitors included:

  1. Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek in January
  2. Australian Prime Minister John Howard in March
  3. Cpriot Prime Minister Tassos Papadopoulos in April
  4. Afghan President Hamid Karzai in April
  5. Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in June
  6. Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmonov in August

Prominent personalities of the year:

L.N. Mittal: Succeeded in his bid for the Luxembourg-based steel major Arcelor. The merged company Arcelor-Mittal became the largest steel company in the world with a 100 million tonne annual capacity.

Indira Nooyi: She was named the CEO of PepsiCo. PepsiCo became the biggest US company to be run by a woman.

Jeev Milkha Singh: Won 4 major titles in 2006 and became the first Indian to take part in the Augusta Masters to be held in 2007. First Indian to break into the top 50 golfers in the world.

Jaspal Rana: Triple gold-medalist in the Doha Asian Games. Equalled the world record in 25 meters Center-Fire Pistol with 590 points.

Kiran Desai: Won the 50,000 pound 2006 Man Booker Prize. The 35 year old is the youngest woman to win the award. She won it for her second book “The Inheritance of Loss.”

Shanti Sounderajan: Indian runner, won a silver medal in the women’s 800 meters run at the Doha Asian Games. But lost the medal in the gender test that followed.

Shashi Tharoor: The UN Deputy Secretary General, who made a bid to succeed the present UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Lost the race to South Korean Ban Ki Moon ultimately. Received the Rajan Pillai Foundation’s “Man of Excellence” award this year for his contribution to literature and global peacekeeping operations.

Shibu Soren: Was found guilty of murder of his former personal secretary Shashinath Jha. The first case of a Union Minister being found guilty of involvement in a murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sunita Williams: The second woman of Indian origin to have been selected by NASA for space mission after Kalpana Chawla. She flew aboard the Discovery shuttle in December, 2006.

Hrithik Roshan: With just two releases doing very well at the box office, the industry gasped for breath when it was known that he was signed for a three-movie contract for Rs. 35 crores by AdLabs films.

Sunil Mittal: Created records of sorts, by tying up with WalMart for the retail foray.

Lalu Prasad Yadav: Credited for the turnaround in the Indian Railways. The turnaround became a case study of sorts with the rustic minister being even invited by the famed IIM, Ahmedabad for giving a guest lecture.

Shahrukh Khan: Took over as the new host of KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati) from Amitabh Bachchan.

Kaavya Vishwanathan: Her first novel “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life” was published in April. Soon after the allegations that she plagiarized passages from two novels by Megan McCafferty proved right and her publisher Little Brown and Company has withdrawn the book and cancelled her publicity tour.

Navjot Singh Sidhu: The former cricketer, MP was convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, of one Gurnam Singh in December 1988. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 year prison term.

Top grossers (movies) of the year:

Dhoom II: Rs. 74.90 crores

Lage Raho Munnabhai: Rs. 69.86 crores

Krrish: 64.96 crores