NEWS : Death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi observed
• One of the popular Prime Ministers of India
• Developmental projects launched by him include the national education policy and expansion of telecom sector
• Born on 20 August 1944
• His mother Indira Gandhi was the first and the only woman Prime Minister of India.
• His father Feroze was a key member of the Indian National Congress became the editor of The National Herald newspaper founded by Motilal Nehru in Allahabad
• Rajiv Gandhi’s last public meeting was on 21 May 1991, at Sriperumbudur, a village approximately 40 km (25 mi) from Madras (present-day Chennai), where he was assassinated while campaigning for the Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha Congress candidate.
• Signed an accord with Akali Dal president Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, on 24 July, 1985. The key points of the pact were:
o Along with ex-gratia payment to those innocent killed in agitation or any action after 1- 8-1982, compensation for property damaged will also be paid.
o All citizens of the country have the right to enroll in the Army and merit will remain the criterion for selection.
o For all those discharged, efforts will be made to rehabilitate and provide gainful employment.
• Decided to improve the bilateral relationships with the United States of America and subsequently expanded the economic and scientific cooperation with it
• A revived foreign policy, emphasizing on the economic liberalization and information and technology moved India closer to the West
• Introductory measures to reduce the “Red Tapism” and allow business house to set up their establishments was remarkable
• In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi announced a “national education policy” to modernize and expand higher education programs across India. Rajiv Gandhi brought a revolution in the field of information technology and telecom. The idea helped in originating the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, popularly known as MTNL. Rajiv Gandhi was the man to transcend telecom services to the rural India or “India in true sense”.