Lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, eminent editor HK Dua, Prof CNR Rao (chairman of the scientific advisory council to the PM), and former Isro chairman G Madhavan Nair are being nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the government said on Monday.
The four have been nominated in place of Hema Malini, Dara Singh, Dr Chandan Mitra and Dr Narain Singh Manaklao, whose term expired in August. K Kasturirangan and Bimal Jalan too retired in August, but the government is yet to decide on who will fill in their vacancies.
Under article 80 of the Constitution, the President of India nominates 12 members to the Rajya Sabha for a term of six years. Nominated members should have “special knowledge or practical experience in fields like literature, science, art or social service.” The practice of nominating MPs to the upper house began in 1952 and like all Rajya Sabha members one-third nominated members must retire every two years.
Javed Akhtar received the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and the Padmashri in 1999. His wife, actress Shabana Azmi, was a Rajya Sabha member from 1997 to 2003. HK Dua has edited The Times of India, Hindustan Times and The Indian Express and now edits The Tribune. A Padma Bhushan, he has also served as media adviser to former PMs HD Deve Gowda and AB Vajpayee.
G Madhavan Nair is the chairman, Space Commission, and acting chairman of governing body, Antrix Corporation, Bangalore. He received the Padma Vibhushan in January. Prof CNR Rao is honorary president of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.