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Renowned journalist Vinod Mehta passes away

Renowned journalist Vinod Mehta, who was the founder-editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on Sunday morning after a prolonged illness.
Vinod Mehta
Vinod Mehta
Renowned journalist Vinod Mehta, who was the founder-editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here this morning after a prolonged illness.
 
He was 72.
 
"Outlook Group announces with deep sadness the demise of its founder Editor-in-Chief and editorial chairman, Vinod Mehta, in New Delhi, today," the magazine said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta said Mr Mehta had been transferred to the hospital a week ago from Fortis Hospital for treatment of acute chest infection.
 
He had developed septicemia and was on a ventilator at AIIMS for the past week. He died of multiple organ failure this morning, Dr Gupta said.
 
Mr Mehta began his journalistic career as the editor of Debonair magazine and later edited other publications such as the Sunday Observer, Indian Post, The Independent and The Pioneer before joining Outlook. He was editor-in-chief of Outlook until February 2012 after which he served as the Editorial Chairman of the magazine.
 
He has also written several books such as his memoirs Lucknow Boy and biographies of film actress Meena Kumari and Indira Gandhi's son Sanjay Gandhi.
 
Born on May 31, 1942 in Rawalpindi in West Punjab of undivided India, his family moved to India when he was three. He grew up in the syncretic culture of Lucknow, having attended La Martinere school and the university there. 
 
He tried his hand at a variety of jobs before taking up an offer to edit Debonair magazine in 1974. Over the years, he became one of India's most influential and respected editors. He was till recently a regular on many television debates.
 
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Founder of Dalit Panthers Raja Dhale dead

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Well-known author Raja Dhale, who was one of the founders of the Dalit Panthers in 1972, passed away here early on Tuesday, family sources said. 
 
He was 79. He breathed his last around 5 a.m. at his home in Vikhroli here. 
 
The author is survived by his wife Deeksha and daughter Gattha.
 
On Wednesday morning, Dhale's mortal remains shall be taken out in a procession from Vikhroli to Dadar where the last rites shall be performed at the Chaityabhoomi Crematorium.
 
Renowned for his firebrand oratory and literary works, he had unsuccessfully contested the 1999 and 2004 Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai North-East constituency.
 
Top Dalit leaders, including Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale expressed grief over Dhale's demise and paid glowing tributes to the leader for his contributions to the Ambedkarite movement in the country.
 
IANS
 

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B. L. Santosh appointed BJP General Secretary

B L Santosh
B L Santosh
A day after BJP General Secretary (Organisation) Ramlal was moved back to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), party President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday elevated Joint General Secretary (Organisation) B. L. Santosh to the post.
 
After a stint of 13 years, Ramlal was moved back to the party's parent organisation on Saturday. The General Secretary's post is considered to be the second most powerful position in the BJP after its President.
 
In a statement issued on Sunday, the BJP said that Santosh has been appointed the party's General Secretary with immediate effect. 
 
Santosh, an RSS pracharak and a specialist on Karnataka, is considered a strong ideologue with vast experience in electoral politics. He hails from Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka. 
 
After serving for eight years as the party's General Secretary (organisation) in Karnataka, Santosh was made the national office bearer in charge of the southern states in 2014. 
 
Santosh will be in a position which normally acts as a bridge between the RSS and the party. His appointment has come at a crucial time when 15 MLAs from the JD(S)-Congress coalition in Karnataka have moved the Supreme Court against the Speaker of the legislative Assembly for not accepting their resignations.
 
Ramlal, 66, has been appointed the RSS' Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sampark Pramukh, or co-convenor, of all-India public relations. He is considered to be rooted to the ground and is known to take organisational meetings routinely. 
 
He was regarded as the voice of the party cadres, especially when it came to addressing their grievances. He also stepped in if there were differences between the senior leaders of the party.
 
IANS
 

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SBI's Anshula Kant appointed World Bank Group MD & CFO

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Anshula Kant
Anshula Kant
World Bank Group President David Malpass announced on Friday the appointment of State Bank of India (SBI) Managing Director Anshula Kant as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of the World Bank Group. 
 
Kant has previously served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of SBI.
 
“I am very pleased to appoint Anshula Kant as World Bank Group Managing Director and CFO. Anshula brings more than 35 years of expertise in finance, banking, and innovative use of technology through her work as CFO of the State Bank of India,” said Malpass.  “She’s excelled at a diverse array of leadership challenges including risk, treasury, funding, regulatory compliance and operations.  I look forward to welcoming her to our management team as we work to increase our effectiveness in supporting good development outcomes.”  
 
As Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, Kant will be responsible for financial and risk management of the World Bank Group, reporting to the President. Among other key management duties, her work will include oversight of financial reporting, risk management, and working closely with the World Bank CEO on mobilization of IDA and other financial resources.
 
As CFO of SBI, Kant managed $38 billion of revenues and total assets of $500 billion. Stewarding the organization, she greatly improved the capital base and focused on the long-term sustainability of SBI within her mandate. She has been a Managing Director and member of the Board since September 2018, the release said.
 
With direct responsibility for the SBI’s Risk, Compliance, and Stressed Asset Portfolio, Kant led the creation of investment opportunities while empowering risk management throughout the bank. She held several positions across the organization and helped navigate a diverse array of leadership challenges.
 
Kant is a graduate in Economic Honours from Lady Shri Ram College for Women in Delhi and a Post-Graduate in Economics from Delhi School of Economics.
 
Kant’s start date will be announced shortly, the release added.
 
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Jaipur-based journalist Sunny Sebastian bereaved

A. C. Devasia
A. C. Devasia
Jaipur-based senior journalist and former Vice-Chancellor of the Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication Sunny Sebastian's father A. C. Devasia Ettiyil passed at his home in Kottayam district of Kerala on Friday morning.
 
Ettiyil (88) was suffering from age-related health problems for a couple of years, Sebastian said.
 
He is survived by his wife, three sons and as many daughters. The funeral will be held on Saturday.
 
Ettiyil was a progressive farmer. He was among the pioneers who cultivated rubber trees in Travancore region of Kerala many decades ago.
 
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Vikas Swarup appointed as Secretary (CPV & OIA) in MEA

Vikas Swarup
Vikas Swarup
Vikas Swarup, High Commissioner of India to Canada, has been appointed as the new Secretary (Consular, Passport & Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
 
An official press release said here today that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved the appointment of Swarup to the position with effect from August 1.
 
Swarup, an officer of the 1986 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), had earlier served as the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, in the rank of Additional Secretary, from April 2015 before being appointed as the High Commissioner in Ottawa in February 27.
 
He is also an author and is known, in particular, for his novel Q&A, which was adapted in film as Slumdog Millionaire, the winner of the Best Film for the year 2009 at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards. His other novels include Six Suspects and The Accidental Apprentice.
 
As a career diplomat, he has served in Indian missions in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Japan.
 
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Super 30's Anand Kumar suffering from brain tumour

Anand Kumar (File photo: IANS)
Anand Kumar (File photo: IANS)
Patna-based educationist and founder of the 'Super 30' programme Anand Kumar recently revealed that he is suffering from a brain tumour.
 
Kumar, whose life is the subject of the new Hrithik Roshan-starrer "Super 30", has opened up about his battle with acoustic neuroma, a non-cancerous tumour.
 
In an interview with a wire agency, Kumar said that trouble began in 2014, when he was "unable to hear" in his right ear. Tests revealed nearly 90 per cent of his hearing ability in the ear had been destroyed.
 
Kumar then got himself checked at Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. "They told me I had no issues with my ear. Instead a tumour had developed in the nerve that runs from ear to brain," he recalled.
 
Due to his health conditions, Kumar, who is currently on medication, wanted his biopic to be completed as soon as possible.
 
Kumar recalled that the film's writers requested him to give permission to start work on the project as soon as possible. "You have no idea of life and death, so I wanted this biopic to be made while I was alive," he added.
 
Talking about the film, he had earlier told IANS: "Hrithik is a huge star and has a global reach. So, I believe people will get to know the essence of my life in detail now."
 
"Super 30" releases on Friday.
 
IANS

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Nalin Shinghal appointed as CMD of BHEL

Nalin Shinghal
Nalin Shinghal
Nalin Shinghal has assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a press release from the company said here today.
 
Shinghal has a B.Tech (Electrical Engg.) from IIT-Delhi and PGDM from IIM (Calcutta). He has been a Commonwealth Scholar and is a PhD in Transport Economics from the University of Leeds, UK.
 
Prior to joining BHEL, he was the Chairman and Managing Director of Central Electronics Limited (CEL).  He joined CEL in 2013 as CMD, when the company was facing chronic financial sickness with almost 90% net worth eroded.  Under his leadership, CEL was successfully turned around into a profit-making company which has been making rapidly growing profits in the past six years.
 
In his long career span of over 30 years, he has undertaken various assignments in the private and public sectors and in the Government.
 
He has worked with the Indian Railways Traffic Service (IRTS) in various capacities in Operations, Commercial & Marketing functions and also with PSUs like CONCOR, IRCTC and CEL, in diverse areas. He has also worked with the Long Range Decision Support group of the Ministry of Railways. Among other positions, he served as Director, Tourism & Marketing of Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC).
 
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CBI Additional Director Rao removed, posted as DG Fire Services

M Nageswar Rao (File photo: IANS)
M Nageswar Rao (File photo: IANS)
The government on Friday removed CBI Additional Director M. Nageswar Rao and posted him as Director General Fire Services, Civil Services and Home Guard.
 
The government in its order said, "Upon the curtailment of tenure of M. Nageswar Rao, IPS (OD 1986), Additional Director, CBI, by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and placing of his service with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the competent authority has approved his appointment as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guard by temporarily downgrading the post to the level of Additional Director General (Level-15 of pay matrix), for a combined tenure up to his superannuation on July 31, 2020 or until further orders, whichever is earlier."
 
Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, was first given charge as interim Director of the CBI after the government in October last year sent CBI Director Alok Verma on leave, divesting him of his powers along with Special Director Rakesh Asthana following a bitter spat between them alleging each other's involvement in corruption. 
 
Rao was again given the charge of the acting CBI chief on February 11, 2019, a day after Verma was removed from the post.
 
IANS
 

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Former Uttarakhand Governor Sudarshan Agarwal passes away

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Former Uttarakhand Governor Sudershan Agarwal died after a prolonged illness at a hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday. He was 88.
 
State mourning has been declared in the hill state on Thursday during which the national tricolour will fly at half mast. All cultural functions have also been cancelled.
 
Agarwal had served as the second Governor of the hill state from 2003 to 2007 during which he established the Him Jyoti school in the Sahastradhara area here. He had earlier served as the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha.
 
State Governor Baby Rani Maurya condoled the demise of Agarwal and prayed for the peace of his soul, a Raj Bhavan statement said. Agarwal was an efficient administrator and a great social worker, she said.
 
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also expressed grief over the death of Agarwal.
 
IANS

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K Natarajan takes over as DG of Indian Coast Guard

Krishnaswamy Natarajan
Krishnaswamy Natarajan
Krishnaswamy Natarajan has taken over as the 23rd chief of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) here. 
 
A 5th Batch Officer of the Indian Coast Guard, he joined service in January 1984.
 
During the initial years, Natarajan specialised in select core competencies such Search and Rescue as well as Maritime Safety and Port Operations, at the US Coast Guard Reserve Training Centre, Yorktown, Virginia. He holds a Master's Degree in Defence & Strategic Studies from Madras University and is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
 
In his career spanning over 35 years, the Flag Officer has had the distinction of holding important Command and Staff appointments, both afloat and ashore. He has commanded all classes of Indian Coast Guard ships, viz. Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV), Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) and Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV).
 
He has also served as the Commander Coast Guard District No. 5 (Tamil Nadu), the Commanding Officer ICGS Mandapam and as the first Officer-in-Charge of Coast Guard Training Centre (Kochi).
 
Post 26/11, the country was recovering from one of the worst terrorist attack. His moment of reckoning came during that period, when as the Deputy Director General (Policy & Plans), on being elevated to the Flag Rank he spearheaded the Staff Division of Policy & Plans at the Coast Guard Headquarters and was instrumental in giving a major fillip to the overall growth of the Coast Guard in terms of setting up of additional 20 Stations, 10 Air Establishment, two Regional Headquarters, two Seaboard Headquarters, contract for 120 ships & boats.
 
The Flag Officer was elevated to the rank of Additional Director General in August 2016 and took over the reins as Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard). Under his apex watch on the sensitive Western seafront, while there were no major marine incidents, the period saw a surge in major operations that included apprehension of 1.5 tonne of narcotic substance, mass rescue operations during cyclones, humanitarian assistance during natural calamities in coastal states and focussed Coastal Security Operations.
 
The Flag Officer is a recipient of President’s Tatrakshak Medal for his distinguished service to the nation.
 
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Amitabh Kant gets two-year extension as CEO of NITI Aayog

Amitabh Kant
Amitabh Kant
Former bureaucrat Amitabh Kant was today given a two-year extension in his tenure as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NITI Aayog, the government's think tank.
 
"The ACC has approved the extension of tenure of Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog for a further period of two years beyond 30.06.2019 i.e. up to 30.06.2021, on the same terms and conditions, as approved earlier," an official press release said.
 
Amitabh Kant, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1980 batch (Kerala cadre), had been appointed as CEO of NITI Aayog in January 2016 after his superannuation. His last assignment in the Government was as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
 
He had held additional charge of the post of CEO, NITI Aayog from December 31, 2015 following the completion of the tenure of Sindhushree Khullar.
 
He was also the Chairman of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC).
 
Kant is the author of “Branding India – An Incredible Story” and has been a key driver of the “Incredible India” and “God’s Own Country” campaigns which positioned and branded India and Kerala State as leading tourism destinations.  
 
He also conceptualized and executed the “AtithiDevoBhavah” – “Guest is God” campaign to train taxi drivers, guides and immigration officials and make them stakeholders in the tourism development process.  
 
Kant was also the National Project Director of the Rural Tourism Project of UNDP which made a paradigm shift in spreading tourism to Indian villages which had core-competency in handicrafts, handloom and culture.
 
Kant had earlier served as Chairman and Managing Director of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC); Joint Secretary,  Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Secretary, Tourism, Government of Kerala; Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation; District Collector, Kozikhode; and Managing Director, Matsyafed.  
 
Kant studied at Modern School, Delhi before graduating in Economics from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi and completing M. A. from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is a Chevening scholar.
 
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Arvind Kumar is new IB chief, Samant Goel to head R&AW

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Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers Arvind Kumar and Samant Goel were today named as the new heads of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research & Analysis Wing, the country's top intelligence agencies.
 
An official press release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved the appointments.
 
"The ACC has approved the appointment of Arvind Kumar,  IPS (AM:84), Special Director, Intelligence Bureau as Director, Intelligence Bureau vice Rajiv Jain on completion of his tenure on 30.06.2019 for a tenure of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier," the release said.
 
"The ACC has approved the appointment of Samant Kumar Goel, IPS (PB:84), Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat (SR) as Secretary, Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) vice A.K. Dhasmana on completion of his tenure on 29.06.2019 for a tenure of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or until further orders, whichever is earlier," the release added.
 
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Bengali actress-cum-MP Nusrat Jahan ties the knot in Turkey

Bengali actress and TMC MP Nusrat Jahan with Kolkata-based businessman Nikhil Jain after their wedding at Bodrum in Turkey, on June 19, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/@nusratchirps)
Bengali actress and TMC MP Nusrat Jahan with Kolkata-based businessman Nikhil Jain after their wedding at Bodrum in Turkey, on June 19, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/@nusratchirps)
Bengali actress and newly-elected Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan got married to her businessman beau Nikhil Jain in the picturesque Turkish town of Bodrum
 
The newly-wed couple shared a picture of themselves walking hand-in-hand after they tied the knot on Wednesday.
 
"Towards a happily ever after with Nikhil Jain," the Basirhat MP captioned the image on Twitter.
 
She looked stunning in a red designer lehenga while Jain, who is a city-based entrepreneur with a thriving textile business, opted for a whitish outfit.
 
The 29-year-old actress was working as the face of his textile chain when they got acquainted last year.
 
Jain is a former student of MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School. After studying management at the University of Warwick, he worked as a consultant in a UK-based multi-national company.
 
The couple got married in the presence of close relatives and friends in the port town in Mugla province on the southern Aegean coast of Turkey. Nusrat's parents and sister and other close relatives flew with her to Bodrum on June 16.
 
Bengali actress and Jadavpur MP Mimi Chakraborty, who is one of Nusrat's friends from the industry, was also present.
 
Chakraborty opted for a bright pink lehenga.
 
Both the actresses who recently became MPs couldn't take their oath in the Lok Sabha because of Jahan's wedding.
 
Mimi had also organised 'Aiburo Bhaat' (bachelorette feast) as per Bengali traditions for Nusrat in Kolkata before leaving for the D-day.
 
Also, her 'haldi' ceremony was both emotional and full of mirth. While she seemed emotional in the company of her father M. Shahjahan, the actress's fun-loving persona came out while she was in the company of friends.
 
The couple has planned a gala reception ceremony in Kolkata on July 4. A large number of Bengali film personalities and political leaders are expected to attend the reception.
 
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BJP's Om Birla elected unopposed as Speaker of 17th Lok Sabha

BJP MP from Rajasthan Om Birla was on Wednesday unanimously elected the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha.
Om Birla
Om Birla
BJP MP from Rajasthan Om Birla was on Wednesday unanimously elected the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha.
 
Birla, 56, was elected after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed his name on Day 3 of the Budget session.
 
All members of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as well the Congress and the Trinamool Congress supported the proposal to pick Birla as the Speaker.
 
Birla, a two-time MP from Kota and a three-time MLA, was personally escorted to the Speaker's chair by the Prime Minister after the formalities were over.
 
"It is a matter of pride that Om Birla has been elected the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Public service has been the focal point of the politics of Om Birla. He is a compassionate leader who will preside over the House," Modi said.
 
Modi told Parliament that Birla's "unanimous" election was a "matter of great pride".
 
"I personally remember working with Birlaji for a long time. He represents Kota, a place that is a mini India, a land associated with education and learning. He has been in public life for many years. He began as a student leader and has been serving the society since then without a break."
 
A total of 13 motions were moved in support of Birla.
 
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, named the Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, urged Birla that the House should abide by democratic practices.
 
"We believe in discussion, dissent and decision. And we expect our right to be respected. In parliamentary discussions, we must avoid the ordinance route because it is against democratic norms," the Congress leader said.
 
IANS
 

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Nripendra Misra gets another term as Principal Secretary to PM with Cabinet Minister rank

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Nripendra Misra, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, has been appointed for another term as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister with effect from May 31.
 
Notifications issued by  the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) also said  P K Mishra, also a retired IAS officer, has been appointed for another term as Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister with effect from May 31.
 
Their appointments will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister or until further orders,whichever is earlier.
 
During the term of their offices, they will be assigned the rank of Cabinet Minister in the Table of Precedence, the notifications added.
 
Misra and Mishra had served in the same positions in the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from May 2014 to May 2019. Modi assumed office for a second five-year term on May 30, 2019.
 
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Popular Tamil writer, actor Crazy Mohan passes away

Tamil actor Crazy Mohan (File photo: IANS)
Tamil actor Crazy Mohan (File photo: IANS)
Renowned Tamil writer, actor and comedy giant Crazy Mohan breathed his last here on Monday after he suffered a major heart attack. He was 67.
 
"After he complained of pain in his chest and suffered a heart attack, he was rushed to Kauvery hospital in the afternoon. Efforts were taken to revive him but unfortunately he passed away around 2 p.m.," a family source told IANS.
 
Born as Mohan Rangachari in 1952, Mohan's first stint with writing began in college, where he was studying Mechanical Engineering, when he wrote the script for "Great Bank Robbery" for an inter-collegiate contest.
 
He then started writing scripts for his brother Maadhu Balaji's drama troupe. In 1976, Mohan wrote his first full-length play called "Crazy Thieves in Paalavakkam", thereby, earning the moniker 'Crazy' to his name.
 
By 1979, Mohan started his own drama troupe Crazy Creations which went on to create over 30 plays that have been staged over 6,500 times till date. Some of their popular plays include "Chocolate Krishna", "Satellite Saamiyar", "Marriage Made in Saloon" and "Return of Crazy Thieves", among others.
 
In 1983, Mohan made his film debut as a writer for K. Balachander's "Poikkal Kuthirai", which was based on Mohan's own play "Marriage Made in Saloon". The film featured Kamal Haasan in a cameo.
 
As a writer, Mohan was widely popular for his association with Kamal Haasan in multiple Tamil comedies which include "Sathi Leelavathi", "Michael Madana Kama Rajan", "Apoorva Sagodharargal", "Avvai Shanmugi", "Panchatanthiram" and "Vasool Raja MBBS".
 
Mohan forayed into television in 1989 and produced popular comedy serials, which include "Crazy", "Kalyanathukku Kalyanama" and "Vidathu Sirippu".
 
Mohan was a recipient of the Kalaimamani award given by the Tamil Nadu government for excellence in the field of art and literature.
 
IANS
 

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Noted playwright, actor and filmmaker Girish Karnad passes away

Girish Karnad (File photo: IANS)
Girish Karnad (File photo: IANS)
Girish Karnad, a Jnanpith award winner, multi-lingual scholar, master playwright, screenwriter, actor, director and a colossus in India's cultural landscape, passed away at his residence here on Monday, an official said. He was 81.
 
"Karnad died at home at around 8.30 a.m. due to age-related symptoms," an official in the Karnataka Chief Minister's office told IANS.
 
The veteran artist is survived by his son Raghu, a writer and journalist.
 
According to a family source, Karnad succumbed to multi-organ failure at his residence at Lavelle Road near the famous Cubbon Park.
 
Besides the Jnanpith, he was also honoured with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan, apart from multiple National Film Awards and a Sahitya Akademi honour. 
 
He was a reputed scholar, who raised his voice on socio-political issues.
 
In a career spanning six decades, Karnad acted mostly in Kannada and Hindi films, which were both mainstream and off-beat. He also featured in television serials, including the famous "Malgudi Days", based on the works of renowned Indian English author, R.K. Narayan.
 
Karnad, who straddled the worlds of theatre and cinema in various languages, was born on May 19, 1938 in Matheran. He graduated from the Karnatak University, and was a Rhodes Scholar in the University of Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics.
 
With his plays "Yayati", "Tughlaq", "Hayavadana", "Naga-Mandala", "Taledanda" and "Agni Mattu Male", he used his creativity in merging folk and historic references to modernism, capturing changes in India's cultural, social and economic changes since gaining independence. 
 
His plays have been translated into English as well as different Indian languages.
 
"Samskara" marked Karnad's entry into filmmaking in 1970. He wrote the screenplay and played the lead role in the film.
 
For television audiences, Karnad may be best remembered as Swami's father in the much-loved "Malgudi Days" or as the presenter of Doordarshan's science show "Turning Point", while for Hindi movie audiences, his roles in "Manthan", "Nishant", "Pukar", "Iqbal", "Dor" and "Ek Tha Tiger" left an impact.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda were among those who condoled his passing away.
 
IANS

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Multi-lingual actor, Jnanpith winner Girish Karnad passes away

Girish Karnad (File photo: IANS)
Girish Karnad (File photo: IANS)
Jnanpith award winner, multi-lingual film actor and noted theatre personality Girish Karnad passed away here on Monday, an official said. 
 
He was 81.
 
"Karnad died at home at around 8:30 a.m. due to age-related symptoms," an official in the Karnataka Chief Minister's office told IANS.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha gets three months extension in service

Pradeep Kumar Sinha
Pradeep Kumar Sinha
Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha was today given a three-month extension in service beyond June 13, 2019.
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved extension in service to Shri Pradeep Kumar Sinha, IAS (UP:1977) as Cabinet Secretary for a further period of three months beyond 12.06.2019 or until further orders, whichever is earlier," an official press release said.
 
Sinha had assumed charge as Cabinet Secretary on June 13, 2015 for a two-year term. 
 
In 2017, he was given extension for a period of one year beyond June 12, 2017. 
 
Last year, he was given another one-year extension in service till June 12 this year.
 
NNN

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Actor Dinyar Contractor passes away at 79

Dinyar Contractor
Dinyar Contractor
Veteran actor, comedian and model Dinyar Contractor passed away here on Wednesday morning, according to family sources.
 
He was 79 and was suffering from old-age related issues.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Smriti Irani condoled his death.
 
"Dinyar Contractor was special because he spread lots of happiness. His versatile acting brought smiles on several faces. Be it theatre, television or films, he excelled across all mediums. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and admirers," Modi tweeted.
 
Irani wrote: "He brought bursts of laughter with him wherever he went, he lit up the screen and our lives with his wit and charm. We will miss your presence Dinyar bhai. Rest in Peace Padma Shri Dinyar Contractor, theatre legend, actor par excellence."
 
Dinyar Contractor was an accomplished actor, comedian and was renowned for his work in Gujarati and English theatre, TV serials and films. He acted in several Gujarati, Hindi and English stage productions as well as Hindi movies.
 
Launching his acting career while at school, he began as a professional in 1966 in Mumbai.
 
Initially, he was seen on television programmes with the legendary Adi Marzban when Mumbai Doordarshan launched the DD-2 channel in Mumbai with "Aao Marvao Meri Saathe," a Gujarati programme. 
 
He was awarded the Padma Shri in January 2019.
 
Popular for his roly poly looks, his ability to tweak both ears and other acting skills, some of the prominent films in which he acted in "Baazigar", "Khiladi" and "36 China Town".
 
IANS
 

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Comedian Dinyar Contractor passes away at 79

Dinyar Contractor
Dinyar Contractor
Veteran model, comedian, film and theatre actor Dinyar Contractor died here on Wednesday, family sources said. He was 79.
 
He had been suffering from various age-related illnesses for some time.
 
His last rites will be performed later in the day in Worli.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Indian cuisine 'czar' Jiggs Kalra no more

Jiggs Kalra (Photo: Facebook)
Jiggs Kalra (Photo: Facebook)
Celebrated chef Jiggs Kalra, who earned epithets like 'Czar of Indian Cuisine' and 'Taste Maker to the Nation', passed away on Tuesday here. He was 72.
 
He was unwell for the past few weeks, and passed away at a hospital here, said a source close to his family. 
 
Last month, his son Zorawar had shared an update about his health on Instagram. 
 
"Today is my father Jiggs Kalra's 72nd birthday. This is the first time, unfortunately, it has been celebrated in hospital, as he isn't well. Last year we celebrated it together as a family. Nothing matters more than time spent with your parents as each and every single Birthday matters. He is a toughie. Has been battling his stroke for 19 years and will be back soon," Zorawar had posted on May 21.
 
The cremation will be held on Thursday at the Lodhi crematorium. 
 
Born on May 21, 1948, Kalra, whose name was Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra, was a pioneering food columnist, author and food consultant. In a career spanning close to five decades, he was instrumental in introducing Indian cuisine to the international audience as well as setting standards of the same.
 
He is also credited with establishing some of the most critically acclaimed and best-performing restaurants in the country. He represented India at various international food festivals and summits, apart from having served the likes of British royals Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, apart from former US President Bill Clinton.
 
The senior Kalra authored over 11 titles on Indian cuisine, including "Prashad". 
 
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta wrote a condolence message for Jiggs Kalra on Twitter, saying: "Thank you for introducing me to Indian food and its treasure of recipes. All your books adorn my bookshelf and the masala and oil on each page is testimony to how your recipes have shaped my passion for cooking."
 
Over the past some years, he was instrumental in launching revolutionary restaurant concepts like Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, Made in Punjab, Farzi Cafe and Pa Pa Ya.
 
IANS

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Singer-actress Ruma Guha Thakurta passes away

Ruma Guha Thakurta (File photo: IANS)
Ruma Guha Thakurta (File photo: IANS)
Celebrated Bengali singer-actress Ruma Guha Thakurta died at her residence here on Monday following old age-related problems, family sources said. She was 84.
 
Founder of the Calcutta Youth Choir (CYC), which played a stellar role in popularising 'gana sangeet' or mass songs in Bengal, she showcased her talent in a number of Hindi and Bengali movies working with celebrated directors like Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar.
 
Born Ruma Ghosh in Kolkata in 1934, she married legendary singer Kishore Kumar in 1951 and the couple's only child Amit Kumar was born next year. The couple divorced in 1958 and that year Guha Thakurta formed the CYC with composer Salil Chowdhury and Ray.
 
The choir rendered with aplomb the Bengali translations of popular mass songs from various languages. Their discs were lapped up by music lovers.
 
In 1974, the CYC, under her direction, won the first prize at the Copenhagen Youth Festival.
 
After her divorce from Kishore Kumar, she married Arup Guha Thakurta. They have a son Ayan and a daughter Sramana, a noted singer.
 
She has done playback for a number of films including "Lukochuri", "Tin Kanya" (directed by Ray), "Baksho Badal" and "Amitra Kumbher Sandhane".
 
Beginning with the Hindi film "Jwar Bhata" in 1944, she acted in "Mashaal", "Afsar" and "Rag Rang" in Bollywood, before moving into Bengali films with Rajen Tarafdar's classic "Ganga" in 1952.
 
Under Ray's direction, Guha Thakurta acted in "Abhijaan" and "Ganasahtru" while playing prominent roles in three of Sinha's films "Nirjan Saikate", "Khaniker Atithi" and "Wheel Chair". 
 
Majumdar directed her in "Polatak", "Balika Bodhu" and the evergreen comedy "Dadar Kirti". She also acted in Aparna Sen's maiden directorial venture "36 Chowringhee Lane".
 
In 2006, she acted in Mira Nair's English movie "The Namesake", which was her last film.
 
IANS
 

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Veteran industrialist B. M. Khaitan passes away at 92

B M Khaitan
B M Khaitan
Veteran industrialist and Williamson Magor Group patriarch Brij Mohan Khaitan died on Saturday at his residence here. He was 92.
 
He was suffering from old-age ailments, according to company sources.
 
Khaitan had recently resigned as Chairman of the group's flagship companies, Eveready Industries and McLeod Russel, citing his old age. He became Chairman Emeritus for both the companies.
 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her condolences.
 
"Saddened at the passing away of noted industrialist BM Khaitan Ji. He was a much respected elder statesman of the business community of Bengal. My condolences to his family, his colleagues and his friends," Banerjee said on Twitter.
 
IANS
 
 

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