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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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Ashish Nanda steps aside as Director of IIM Ahmedabad

Ashish Nanda
Ashish Nanda
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) Director Ashish Nanda today announced that he would step aside from his position with effect from September 1, 2017, citing personal reasons.
 
"Professionally, I have enjoyed the experience immensely and I have learned a lot. However, personally, living a long distance from my wife and son has been a challenge," Prof. Nanda said in a letter to all members of the IIMA community.
 
"When I joined, I had committed to serving at most one term. On September 1, it will be four years, to the day, since I took charge. It is a good time to step aside and to hand over the responsibility and honour of leading the Institute to the next, fortunate person. I will hand over responsibilities of director at the end of that day," he said.
 
"These past three and a half years, I have woken up every day feeling fortunate to be working for an institution that has contributed tremendously to me. I feel privileged to have followed in the footsteps of people I greatly admire, to have had the opportunity to lead the Institute at a crucial time in its trajectory, and to have contributed to the best of my ability to its continuing success," he said.
 
"I believe we are at a point when there is alignment among various constituencies of the Institute as to the direction we ought to follow and considerable momentum along the path that we are following. We have a committed and enthusiastic chairman providing vision and guidance, a wise and engaged board, faculty that is productive and energized, staff that is loyal and devoted, brilliant and hardworking students, a diaspora of alumni committed to the Institute’s long term success, governmental support for operating autonomously to achieve our dreams, and industry that respects and values the Institute. This is as good a time as any for leadership transition at the Institute," he said.
 
Prof. Nanda said he had, thus, requested IIMA Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla that he be allowed to step aside from the position of director, and he had acceded to the request.
 
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"Of course, my heart is always with IIMA. I am always available to help the Institute in any way that I can. And I will contribute to effect a smooth transition," he said.
 
"I am grateful to Mr. Naik, Mr. Patel, and Mr. Birla for their unstinted support and guidance, to the board members for their selfless contribution and prudent counsel, to the faculty for their dedication and effort, to the alumni for their avowed affection and engagement, to the staff for their fidelity and goodwill, and to the students for their dreams and their dedication. But I couldn’t have had this extraordinary adventure without the love of my wife, who, despite the distance we have lived apart, has been a partner with me in this journey every step of the way, the blessings of my parents, and the affection of my son," he added.
 
Prof Nanda was the Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School, has been appointed as the new Director of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
 
He is an alumnus of the 1983 batch of IIMA. He is a gold medalist from both Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and from IIMA. He completed his M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught courses in Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. 
 
He was faculty director of Executive Education and research director at Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. 
 
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Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar appointed as DG, Central Reserve Police Force

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The Government has appointed Mr. Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, IPS (UP:1983), Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), as the new Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date of joining the post and up to December 31, 2019, the date of his superannuation or till further orders, whichever is earlier. 
 
The Government has also appointed Mr. R. K. Pachnanda, IPS (WB:1983), Director General, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the post of Director General, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
 
He will succeed Mr. Krishna Choudhary, IPS (BH:1979), DG, ITBP due to retire on superannuation on June 30, 2017.
 
The appointment will be effective from the date of joining the post and up to October 31, 2018 or till further orders, whichever is earlier, an official press release added.
 
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Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha given one year's extension in service

Pradeep Kumar Sinha
Pradeep Kumar Sinha
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved extension in service to Mr. Pradeep Kumar Sinha, IAS (UP:1977) as Cabinet Secretary for a further period of one year beyond June 12, 2017.
 
Mr. Sinha had assumed charge as Cabinet Secretary on June 13, 2015 for a two-year term.
 
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B.N.Mohapatra takes over as Financial Commissioner of Railways

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Mr. B. N. Mohapatra has been appointed as the new Financial Commissioner (FC) (Railways) and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India and has taken over the charge yesterday.
 
Prior to this posting, Mr. Mohapatra was posted as Additional Member, Finance in the Railway Board since November 1, 2016.
 
An officer of Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) of the 1980 batch, Mr. Mohapatra has a Master's degree in Political Science and a Bachelor's in Law.
 
During his career, Mr. Mohapatra has held positions such as Divisional Railway Manager, Tinsukhia in North-East Frontier Railway (NRF) and as Assistant General Manager in East Coast Railway. In the Railway Board, he has worked in various directorates like Pay Commission, Establishment, Expenditure and Accounts as Executive Director and Advisor, an official press release added.
 
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Mukta Dutta Tomar appointed as Ambassador to Germany

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Ms. Mukta Dutta Tomar, (IFS: 1984), presently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Germany.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs also said Mr. Subir Dutta, (IFS: 2003), presently Ambassador to Madagascar, has been appointed as Ambassador to Comoros with residence in Antananarivo.
 
Both officers are expected to take up their assignments shortly, the release added.
 
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Gajendra Singh takes charge as Director (Marketing), GAIL

Gajendra Singh
Gajendra Singh
Mr. Gajendra Singh has taken charge as Director (Marketing) of the public sector natural gas processing and distribution major GAIL (India) Limited. 
 
Prior to his appointment as Director (Marketing), Mr. Singh served as Executive Director (Marketing), a press release from the company said.
 
He started his career in processing and interpreting of seismic data in upstream industry, and possesses 32 years of illustrious career in hydrocarbon sector, the release said.
 
Mr. Singh has been involved in the execution of several prestigious projects of GAIL starting from the HVJ and has held various leadership and strategic positions. Some of these key roles where he has served as the Head of Department include General Manager (Gas Sourcing and Gas Marketing), Executive Director (Operations & Maintenance).
 
He has  been managing  company`s  top line and bottom line through  various Zonal offices located across India. He joined GAIL in 1986, having worked in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) earlier.
 
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RBI appoints Malvika Sinha as new Executive Director

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Ms. Malvika Sinha as Executive Director (ED) consequent upon the appointment of Mr. B P Kanungo as Deputy Governor yesterday.
 
Ms. Sinha took charge of her new position yesterday, a press release from the central bank said.
 
As Executive Director, Ms. Sinha will look after Foreign Exchange Department, Department of Government and Bank Accounts and Internal Debt Management Department.
 
Ms. Sinha holds a Master's Degree from University of Bombay and has done her Master's in Public Administration. She is also a Certificated Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers.
 
She joined RBI in 1982 and as a career central banker served in the areas of regulation and supervision, foreign exchange and Government and Bank Accounts in the Bank. Prior to being promoted as ED, she was Principal Chief General Manager, Department of Co-operative Banking Supervision in the Reserve Bank.
 
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Mahesh Kumar Jain takes charge as MD & CEO of IDBI Bank

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Mr. Mahesh Kumar Jain has assumed charge as Managing Director & CEO of IDBI Bank with effect from April 3.
 
Prior to the current assignment, Mr. Jain was the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Indian Bank.
 
A press release from IDBI Bank said Mr. Jain had joined Indian Bank as an Executive Director in September 2013 where he handled key portfolios such as Corporate & Retail Credit, SME Credit, Risk Management, Recovery & Legal, Accounts, Technology Management, Banking Operations Department, Business Process Re-engineering and Compliance Department. 
 
Prior to joining Indian Bank, he served as General Manager with Syndicate Bank and handled various portfolios, including Credit, Operations, Investments and Risk Management. He began his banking career with Punjab National Bank.
 
He was a member of the Steering Committee on Risk Management of IBA and a Member of the IBA working group on Risk Management and implementation of Basel II and III. He was also the Secretary & Coordinator to Basant Seth Committee on Review & Revamp of Internal & Concurrent Audit System in PSBs.
 
At present, Mr. Jain is a member of the NIBM Governing Board, PGDM Executive Council of NIBM, CII National Committee on Banking 2016-17 and CII National Council on Financial Sector Development 2016-17.
 
Mr. Jain has M.Com., MBA, CAIIB, CFA and FRM to his academic credit.
 
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Renowned classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passes away

Kishori Amonkar
Kishori Amonkar
Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar, who was recognized as one of the foremost innovative exponents of the Jaipur gharana, passed away here late last night after a brief illness.
 
She was 84. She is survived by two sons. Her husband Ravindra Amonkar had predeceased her in the 1980s.
 
Ms. Amonkar, who was ailing for some time, breathed her last at her residence in central Mumbai a week before her 85th birthday, sources close to her family said.
 
The singer had a huge following for her rendering of classical khyals as well as the lighter classical genres of thumris and bhajans.
 
Born on April 10, 1932 in Mumbai, Amonkar trained under her mother, classical singer Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur gharana, but later experimented with a variety of vocal styles.
 
The singer also dabbled a bit in playback singing for Hindi movies, having sung for Geet Gaya Patharon Ne in 1964 and for Drishti in 1990.
 
Apart from performing at music recitals, Ms. Amonkar also used to speak at lecture-demonstrations on the role of rasa in music.
 
Ms. Amonkar was honoured by the Government with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour, in 1987 and with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, in 2002. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1985 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2009.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the passing away of Ms. Amonkar. "Demise of Kishori Amonkar is an irreparable loss to Indian classical music. Deeply pained by her demise. May her soul rest in peace," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"The works of Kishori Amonkar will always remain popular among people for years to come," he added.
 
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Aruna Sethi appointed as Chief Adviser (Cost) in Dept. of Expenditure

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Mrs. Aruna Sethi, a 1985 batch officer of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS) has been elevated to the position of Chief Adviser (Cost) in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure with effect from April 1, 2017.
 
She is the first lady ICoAS officer who has reached this position.  Earlier, she headed ICoAS from 1st February, 2016 onwards, being the senior most ICoAS officer, an official press release said.
 
ICoAS is one of the six Organized Accounting Services of the Government of India. Chief Adviser (Cost) is advising the Ministries and Government Undertakings on cost accounts matters and undertaking cost investigation on their behalf, the release added.
 
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Vanaja Sarna appointed as Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs

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Ms. Vanaja N. Sarna, IRS (C&CE:1980), presently serving as Member (Administration), has been appointed as Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). 
 
She will succeed Mr. Najib Shah, IRS (C&CE:79), who superannuated from service today, an official press release said.
 
Ms. Sarna has served CBEC in several capacities over the last 36 years. These include postings in Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax formations in Kochi, Delhi, Chennai, Meerut, Chandigarh and Bangalore. She has also worked as Additional Director General, National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics (NACEN), in Chennai. 
 
She was also Additional Director General in Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence, New Delhi. She also served on deputation as Under Secretary, Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and as Director/ Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. 
 
Prior to becoming Member, CBEC, she held the charge of Director General of Vigilance and Chief Vigilance Officer of the Department.
 
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Rajiv Kumar Chander named Ambassador to UN Offices in Geneva

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Mr. Rajiv Kumar Chander, presently Consul General of India in Vancouver, Canada, has been appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Offices in Geneva.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Chander, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1983 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Air Marshal S Harpal Singh assumes charge as Director General (Inspection & Safety) at Air HQ

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Air Marshal S Harpal Singh has assumed office of Director General (Inspection and Safety) at the Indian Air Force (IAF) headquarters here.
 
Air Marshal Harpal Singh graduated with 56th course of National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF on June 15, 1980. He has over 2400 hours of flying on various aircrafts.
 
The Air Officer has commanded a fighter squadron, was Chief Operations Officer of a major fighter base in the Western sector, commanded a radar base and was Air Officer Commanding of a major fighter station in the Eastern sector.
 
He has served in various staff appointments at Air Headquarters, Tri Services Organisations and was the Senior Air Staff Officer of South Western Air Command prior to assuming the present assignment.
 
He is a Fighter Combat Leader, a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, and has undergone the General Course for Senior Officers at National Institute of Defence Studies, Japan. For his distinguished services of an exceptionally high order he was awarded ‘Ati Vashist Seva Medal’ and ‘Vayu Sena Medal’, an official press release added.
 
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Hardeep Singh Puri named Chairman of Research and Information System for Developing Countries

File photo of Mr Hardeep Singh Puri
File photo of Mr Hardeep Singh Puri
Former career diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri, who had served as India's Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi.
 
An official announcement from the Ministry of External Affairs said he was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
Mr. Puri, who was the Permanent Representative of India to the UN in New York from May 4, 2009 to February 27, 2013, had joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on January 2, 2014.
 
Mr Puri belonged to the 1974 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and had, during a distinguished career spanning 39 years, served in various positions in the Ministries of External Affairs and Defence.
 
Regarded as an expert on World Trade Organisation (WTO) issues, he has long years of experience in multilateral institutions. 
 
Before being appointed as the Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, he served as India's ambassador to Brazil, where he had an important role in the shaping of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit.
 
Before that he had served as India's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and as the Deputy High Commissioner in London.
 
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During 2011 and 2012, as Permanent Representative, he led the Indian Delegation to the Security Council. He also chaired its Counter Terrorism Committee from January 2011 to February 2013, and served as President of the United Nations Security Council in August 2011 and November 2012.
 
At the MEA headquarters here, Mr. Puri had served as Secretary (Economic Relations) before being posted to the UN in New York.
 
Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) is an autonomous think-tank under the MEA, specializing in policy research on international economic issues and development cooperation. 
 
RIS is envisioned as a forum for fostering effective policy dialogue and capacity-building among developing countries on international economic issues. The focus of the work programme of RIS is to promote South- South Cooperation and assist developing countries in multilateral negotiations in various forums. 
 
RIS is engaged in the Track II process of several regional initiatives. It provides analytical support to the Government of India in the negotiations for concluding comprehensive economic cooperation agreements with partner countries.
 
Through its intensive network of policy think tanks, RIS seeks to strengthen policy coherence on international economic issues.
 
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Car racer Ashwin Sundar, wife die as their BMW hits tree in Chennai, goes up in flames

Well-known professional car racer Ashwin Sundar and his wife Nivedhita, a doctor working for a local hospital, were charred to death when their BMW car rammed into a tree on the roadside and went up in flames on the San Thome High Road in Chennai late on Friday night.

Ashwin Sundar
Ashwin Sundar
Well-known professional car racer Ashwin Sundar and his wife Nivedhita, a doctor working for a local hospital, were charred to death when their BMW car rammed into a tree on the roadside and went up in flames on the San Thome High Road here late last night.
 
According to police and other sources, Sundar, 31, who was driving, and his wife were trapped in the car, which had got stuck between the tree and a wall, and they could not open the doors. 
 
Both of them died before firefighters or other help could reach the spot, the sources said.
 
The tragedy was caught on mobile phone cameras by some passers-by, but they could not approach the car, which was in flames. They alerted the police, and a team soon rushed to the spot. Fire brigade personnel from Mylapore also reached the scene in a while and put the fire out.
 
The police broke open the door of the car and extricated the bodies, which were sent to the Government Royapettah Hospital for post-mortem examination.
 
Later, the couple was identified with the help of the car's registration number and other details. They had reportedly visited a friend in Raja Annamalaipuram and were returning home to their residence in Aolappakkam, near Porur, when the mishap occurred. 
 
 
Racer Ashwin Sundar, wife charred to death after BMW catches fire
The racing world mourned the death of the young driver.
 
"#FMSCI deeply regrets death of national racing champ #AshwinSundar and wife Nivedhita in car crash last night. Our condolences to the family," the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) said on Twitter.
 
"Motor sports has lost a truly fine driver and an amazing person in #AshwinSundar. May his soul rest in peace. #RIPAshwin," FMSCI added.
 
Sundar had won the Formula 4 national title twice and the MRF Formula 1600 International Challenge competition two times.
 
Former Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok said on Twitter: "Very sad to hear this morning that the young Indian National racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife were killed in a road accident. #RIP."
 
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Malayalam film director Diphan passes away

Diphan Sivakumar
Diphan Sivakumar
Well-known Malayalam film director Diphan Sivakumar, who made a string of hits during a 14-year career as an independent filmmaker, passed away here at a private hospital here where he was undergoing treatment for cirrhosis of the liver and kidney-related issues, sources said.
 
He was 47. He is survived by his wife and two children. His body will be cremated in Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow, they said.
 
Diphan, who was also known as Deepan, was admitted to the hospital on February 26 undergoing treatment at the hospital since February 26 for cirrhosis of the liver and kidney-related issues, they said.
 
Diphan directed seven movies, including Leader, D Company, SIM and Dolphin Bar as well as Puthiyamukham and Hero, which featured popular actor Prithivraj Sukumaran.
 
His last film, Sathya, starring Jayaram and Roma in the lead roles, is in the post-production stage, the sources said.
 
"Will miss you Diphan chetan! Thank you for giving me one of the most important films in my career. Rest in peace now..rest in peace!" Prithviraj said on his Facebook page.
 
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Manjeev Singh Puri appointed as Ambassador to Nepal

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Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri , presently Ambassador of India to Belgium, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Nepal.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Puri, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1982 batch, was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Narendra Kumar takes over as Chairman Central Water Commission

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Mr. Narendra Kumar, an officer of Central Water Engineering Service (1979 batch), has assumed office as Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC).
 
Prior to this, he was serving as Member (River Management) of CWC since October 2014.
 
Mr. Kumar, 59, has a B.E. in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee and an M. Tech. from IIT Delhi in Structural Engineering. He has served in various capacities in CWC as Assistant Director in Design Organisation, Deputy Director in Project Appraisal Directorate and Director in Dam Safety Organisation and Project Monitoring Directorate. He has also served as Senior Joint Commissioner in Command Area Development wing of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation from 2002 to 2005. 
 
From 2009 to 2011, he served as Chief Engineer, Brahmaputra and Barak Basin, Shillong. He has also worked as Commissioner of B&B wing of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation during 2011 to 2014.
 
He was also member of Experts Committee for Scientific Assessment of flood prone area in India and Standing Committee for Morphological studies of Indian rivers. 
 
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D. Bala Venkatesh Varma concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Andorra

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Mr. D. Bala Venkatesh Varma, presently Ambassador of lndia to Spain, has been concurrently accredited as the country's next Ambassador to the Principality of Andorra, with residence in Madrid.
 
Mr. Varma, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1988 batch, was expected to take charge of the assignment shortly, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
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Assembly elections: ECI issues directions for fool-proof security arrangements for counting of votes

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The Election Commission of India (EC) has issued directions to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur to ensure fool-proof security arrangements for counting of votes, slated for March 11, in the Assembly elections in the five States.
 
The Commission had earlier issued detailed instructions to the CEOs regarding storage and safety arrangements for the electronic voting machines (EVMs), appointment of counting staff/counting agents and counting procedures.
 
An official press release said the Commission had held several rounds of video conferences with the CEOs and Returning Officers of all five states to take first hand inputs on their preparedness for counting of votes.
 
The ECI has set up 157 counting centres in the five states -- 53 in Punjab, two in Goa, 75 in Uttar Pradesh, 15 in Uttarakhand and 12 in Manipur.
 
"The ECI has taken feedback from all political parties and candidates, based on which these additional instructions have been issued with a view to further bolster security arrangements to tackle both general as well as situation specific exigencies and ensure a smooth counting process in a transparent manner," the release said.
 
According to the release, the instructions are:
 
1.      All the existing instructions of ECI on counting arrangement to be strictly followed by the DEOs and ROs in letter and spirit.
 
2.      Proper barricading arrangements to be ensured inside each of the counting hall with weld wires mesh to segregate the counting agents from the counting personnel and EVMs etc. as per the Commission’s instructions.
 
3.      In each of the counting hall proper arrangement for videography should be made to record the general happenings in the counting hall for effective monitoring of the counting process as per the Commission’s instructions.
 
4.      Effective barricading from the strong room door up to the counting hall door shall made in such a way that EVMs of each constituency should go to its respective counting hall only and shall not criss-cross each other.
 
5.      For ease of identification, coloured badges may be given to the staff engaged for transporting the EVMs to a particular counting hall each of constituency.
 
6.      As per the Commission’s instructions, all counting arrangements must be completed by the night of 7th March, 2017. The Observers shall visit the counting halls on the 8th March, 2017 and shall send a report to the Commission on counting arrangements.
 
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7.      It should be ensured that security protocol of strong rooms, as given in the Commission’s letter no. 51/8/VVPAT/2015-EMS dated 5th May 2015, in no way shall be breached while making the barricading arrangements and other preparatory work for the counting hall. If anywhere, counting hall is in the proximity of the strong room or the passage to the counting hall is near the strong room, then proper strong barricading should be erected to ensure that the access to the inner perimeter of the strong room is completely blocked. In all such matters, the DEO shall personally oversee and approve all such arrangements and ensure that security of EVMs in no way breached. Further, in all such places CCTV cameras may be placed, before under taking the counting arrangements, from where all the happenings of the movement are recorded and shown on a separate TV placed next to the TV fixed already for round the clock viewing of strong room doors by the candidates.
 
8.      On the date of counting, additional CCTV camera may be installed at such locations from where carrying of EVMs from the strong room to the counting hall can be recorded for effective monitoring.
 
9.      The CEO shall personally monitor and ensure that all the counting arrangements are done as per the instructions of the Commission.
 
10.  The entire plan would  be shared with contesting candidates by each DEO. The actual work of preparing for the counting shall be started thereafter for which all the contesting candidates/representatives may be invited to be present, if they wish so.
 
 The EC officer further said that these arrangements would ensure prevention of access to any anti-social element ,and that frisking will be done so that  no one enter the area with arms & ammunitions. Further, no one would be able to enter the counting arena without getting frisked.
 
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Filmmaker Karan Johar becomes father to twins via surrogate

Karan Johar
Karan Johar
Well-known filmmaker and talk show host Karan Johar today announced that he had become the father of twins, a boy named Yash and a girl named Roohi, who were born via a surrogate.
 
“I am ecstatic to share with you all the two most wonderful additions to my life, my children and lifelines;  Roohi and Yash.  I feel enormously blessed to be a parent to these pieces of my heart who were welcomed into this world with the help of the marvels of medical science," Johar, 44, said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Johar said this was an emotional yet well thought-out decision which he had taken after considering all the responsibilities and duties that come with being a parent.
 
"In order to arrive at this decision, I have prepared myself mentally, physically, emotionally and logistically to ensure that my children get all the unconditional love, care and attention from me and mine. I have submitted to the fact that my children are my world and priority.  My work, travels and social commitments would have to  take a back seat and I am prepared for that. By the grace of God, I have the most caring and supportive mother who will be an integral part in the up-bringing of her grandchildren and of course, friends who are family.
 
"I am eternally grateful to the surrogate who has fulfilled my lifelong dream and provided a warm, loving and nurturing environment to my children before bringing them into this world. She will always remain in my prayers.
 
"Finally, a big thank you to Dr. Jatin Shah for his guidance and support and for being like a family member through this wonderful and exciting journey," he added.
 
The boy is named after Karan's father Yash Johar, a renowned filmmaker who passed away in 2004, while the girl's name is an anagram of Hiroo, his mother's name.
 
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ACC approves several senior appointments

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Ms. Nutan Guha Biswas, IAS (AGMUT:1983), Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development has been appointed as Chairperson, Inland Waterways Authority of India under Ministry of Shipping in the rank and pay of Secretary.
 
This has been done by temporarily upgrading the post till 31.07.2018 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Amitabh Verma, IAS (BH:1982), an official press release said.
 
The release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had also approved the repatriation of Mr. Verma to his cadre with immediate effect.
 
Mr. Bala Prasad, IFos (MN:1983) (presently on compulsory wait), has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj vice Mr. A.K.Goyal, IFoS (KL:1981) (superannuated). 
 
Mr. T. Jacob, IAS (TN:1984), Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, has been appointed as Secretary (AS level), Union Public Service Commission vice Mr. Asha Ram Sihag, IAS (HP:1983).
 
Ms. Vandita Sharma, IAS (KN:1986), Member (Finance), Atomic Energy/Earth Commission, has been appointed as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Department of Space vice Mr. A. Vijay Anand, IRS (C&CE:1980), (superannuated). 
 
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Ruchi Ghanashyam appointed as Secretary (West) in Ministry of External Affairs

Ruchi Ghanashyam
Ruchi Ghanashyam
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Ms. Ruchi Ghanashyam as Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
 
Ms. Ghanashyam, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1982 batch, is currently the High Commissioner of India to South Africa. She will succeed Ms. Sujata Mehta, a press release from MEA said.
 
Born on 4 April 1960, Ms. Ghanashyam joined the IFS in 1982 after obtaining a Master's in Psychology from Bhopal University. She is married to Mr. A.R. Ghanashyam, who also joined the Indian Foreign Service the same year. She has two grown up sons. 
 
She had earlier served as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi heading the Europe West Division. She has also served as High Commissioner of India in Ghana with concurrent accreditation to Burkina Faso, Togo and Sierra Leone, from March, 2008 to October, 2011. Earlier she served as Minister in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York from May, 2004 to March 2008. She served as Director for Pakistan at Headquarters in Delhi from August, 2000 to March, 2004 having earlier served as Counsellor [Political, Press & Info] in Islamabad.  She also served in the Embassy of India in Brussels, Belgium,Kathmandu, Nepal and Damascus, Syria where she learnt Arabic, and as Under Secretary in New Delhi looking after audio-visual publicity for the Ministry of External Affairs.
 
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D. R. Doley Barman appointed as Director, SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad

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Ms. D. R. Doley Barman, presently working as Director, North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong, Meghalaya, has been appointed as Director, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.
 
Ms. Doley Burman, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1986 batch (JK cadre), will succeed Ms. Aruna M. Bahuguna, IPS (AP:79) by temporary downgrading the post to Additional Director General (ADG) level for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is  earlier, an official press release said.
 
She would also hold additional charge of the post of Director, NEPA till the appointment and joining of regular Director, NEPA, the release added.
 
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