Mary Kom, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Subramanian Swamy among 6 nominated to Rajya Sabha

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President Pranab Mukherjee has nominated six eminent members to the Rajya Sabha as per the provisions laid down in Article 80 of the Constitution.

The six who have been nominated are Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom, Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy,  former journalist and party ideologue Swapan Dasgupta, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and economist Narendra Jadhav. 

Background : There are 12 nominated members in Rajya Sabha out of which seven seats were vacant after industry expert Ashok Ganguly and journalist HK Dua had retired from the Rajya Sabha in 2015 and five others including Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer, lyricist Javed Akhtar, theatre personality B Jayashree, educationalist Mrinal Miri and economist Bhalchandra Mungekar retired on 2nd March 2016. This had resulted in seven vacancies in the upper house, where the ruling BJP is in a minority.

Constitutional provisions : 

 As per the legal provisions laid down in Article 80 (Part V) of the Constitution,  President can nominate 12 members in the Rajya Sabha on the recommendation of the government.

 The government recommends names of people having "special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art and social service". The objective of nomination is to give voice to eminent professionals and experts who cannot face direct elections.

Mary Kom: 

  • Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom belongs to the Sino-Tibetan speaking Kom tribe of Manipur.
  • She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. 
  • She is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal.
  • She has also been ranked as No. 4 AIBA World Women's Ranking Flyweight category.  
  • She became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea.

Narendra Jadhav

  • He is a noted economist, educationist, administrator, writer and a thought-leader. He holds a doctorate in Economics from Indiana University, USA.
  • He  is the recipient of as many as 67 national and international awards for his contribution to the fields of Economics, Education, Literature, Culture and Social Work.
  • He has earlier held several distinguished positions including Member- Planning Commission (2009–14), Member- National Advisory Council (NAC) (2010–14), Vice- Chancellor of the University of Pune (2006–09).

Suresh Gopi: He is an Indian film actor and singer who has starred in over 200 Malayalam films. He is a winner of the National Film Award, Kerala State Film Awards and Filmfare Award.

Swapan Dasgupta: He is a senior journalist. He has held senior editorial posts at The Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, The Times of India, The Indian Express and most recently India Today.  He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in the field of Literature and Education in 2015. He has been seen supportive of BJP and its politics.

Subramanian Swamy: He is an economist and a former cabinet minister. He was the President of the Janata Party until he merged on with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1977, 1980 and 1988, and to the Rajya Sabha in 1974 and 1998.

Navjot Singh Sidhu: He is cricketer-turned-politician and former two time member of Lok Sabha. He is also the present president of World Jat Aryan Foundation.

Note : The strength of Lok Sabha is 545, including the two seats reserved for members of the Anglo-Indian community. The strength of Rajya Sabha, is 245, out of which 233 are  representatives of the States and Union territories and 12 are nominated by the President.

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