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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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Y. C. Modi appointed Director General of National Investigation Agency

Y. C. Modi
Y. C. Modi
Central Bureau of Investigation Additional Director Y. C. Modi was today  named as the new Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
 
Mr. Modi, who belongs to the 1984 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS) (Assam-Meghalaya cadre), will succeed Mr. Sharad Kumar, IPS (HY:79) on completion of his tenure on October 30, 2017, an official press release said.
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date of assumption of charge till the date of his superannuation on May 31, 2021 or until further orders, it said.
 
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has also approved the appointment of Mr. Modi as Officer on Special Duty in the NIA with immediate effect to ensure smooth takeover of responsibilities in the NIA, it said.
 
Mr. Modi was part of the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the 2002 Gujarat violence cases.
 
The release said the ACC had also approved the appointment of Mr.  Rajni Kant Misra, IPS (UP:84), Additional DG, Border Security Force (BSF) as Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) for a period upto the date of his superannuation, 31.08.2019, from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier. He will succeed Ms. Archana Ramasundram, IPS (TN:80) on completion of her tenure on September 30, 2017.
 
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Harsh Kumar Jain appointed as Ambassador to Slovak Republic

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Mr. Harsh Kumar Jain, presently Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Slovak Republic.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr. Jain, (IFS: 1993), was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Constitutional law exert and senior advocate P P Rao passes away

P P Rao
P P Rao
Senior advocate and constitutional law expert P P Rao passed away here today  after a cardiac arrest. He was 84.
 
Mr. Rao had appeared before the Supreme Court in several landmark cases including Kesavananda Bharati, SR Bommai, Unnikrishnan v. State of AP, TMA Pai, PA Inamdar, and the Babri Masjid demolition case.
 
Born on July 1, 1933, Mr. Rao completed his LL. B. and LL. M from Osmania University in Hyderabad.
 
He started out in his career by teaching law in Delhi University in 1961. He was enrolled as an ddvocate by the Bar Council of Delhi in 1967 and thereafter started practice in the Supreme Court.
 
In February 1969, he became an Advocate-on-Record. He was Advocate-on-Record for the State of Andhra Pradesh and a Junior Standing Counsel for the Central Government before he was designated as Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in August 1976.
 
He was elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association in 1991. The Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian honour, in 2006.
 
In 2014, then President Pranab Mukherjee had approved Mr. Rao's nomination as a jurist member of the selection committee for the appointment of a Lokpal.
 
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu was among those who condoled the passing away of Mr. Rao.
 
"My personal association with him goes back to the time to my early years in public life as he also hailed from the same district Nellore (United) in the state of Andhra Pradesh. He was considered as one of the foremost constitutional law experts in the country and had completed 50 years of his legal practice in July 2017," he said.
 
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Inder Jit Singh given additional charge as Chairperson, National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention

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Dr. Inder Jit Singh, IAS (KL: 1985), Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, has been assigned the additional charge of the post of Chairperson, National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC).
 
The appointment is with immediate effect and until further orders, an official press release added.
 
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Former IAS officer Sunil Arora appointed as Election Commissioner

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The President has appointed Mr. Sunil Arora, a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1980 batch (Rajasthan cadre), has been appointed as an Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India.
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date he assumes office, an official press release said.
 
Mr. Arora had served as Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting before superannuating on 30.04.2016.
 
Later, he was appointed as the Director General and CEO of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), a think tank under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
 
Among other assignments, Mr. Arora has served as Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the Ministry of Textiles; and as Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Airlines before it was merged with Air India.
 
In Rajasthan, he has held various  positions, including as Secretary to the Chief Minister.
 
One post of Election Commissioner had fallen vacant following the retirement of Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi. He was succeeded by Mr. Achal Kumar Joti, while Mr. Om Prakash Rawat is the other Election Commissioner.
 
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Govt. announces several Secretary, Additional Secretary level appointments

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved several Secretary and Additional Secretary level appointments.
 
An official press release said Dr. Asha Ram Sihag, IAS (HP:1983), Secretary Coordination, Cabinet Secretariat, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry in the vacancy caused due to superannuation of Mr. Girish Shankar, IAS (BH:1982) on 31.08.2017.
 
Mr. Rajiv Kumar, IAS (JH:1984), Special Secretary & Establishment Officer has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Financial Services in the vacancy caused due to superannuation of Ms. Anjuly Chib Duggal, IAS (PB:1981) on 31.08.2017.
 
Ms. Surina Rajan, IAS (HY:1985), Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Production has been appointed as Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards, in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
 
Dr. Inder Jit Singh, IAS (KL:1985), Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce has been appointed as Additional Secretary (Coordination), Cabinet Secretariat, vice Dr. Sihag.
 
Mr. Surendra Nath Tripathi, IAS (OR:1985), Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises has been appointed as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare vice Mr. Sunil Kumar Singh, IAS (BH:1983).
 
Dr. N. Baijendra Kumar, IAS (CG:1985), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Chairman & Managing Director, National Mineral Development Corporation, Ministry of Steel.
 
Ms. Veena Ish, IAS (AP:1985), Member (Administration), National Highways Authority of India has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Department of Land Resources.
 
Ms. Rajni Sekhri Sibal, IAS (HY:1986), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Director General, Employment & Training, Ministry of Labour & Employment, in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India
 
Mr. Pradip Kumar Tripathi, IAS (JK:1987), Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, has been appointed as Establishment Officer & Additional Secretary vice Mr. Rajiv Kumar.
 
Mr. Rajesh Bhushan, IAS (BH:1987), Joint Secretary, Department of Rural Development has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat vice Mr. Alok Tandon, IAS (UP:1986), on his repatriation to the cadre.
 
Mr. Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, IAS (MP:1987), Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education has been appointed as Director General, National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
 
Mr. Satyajeet Rajan, IAS (KL:1987), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Director General, Tourism in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
 
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Mr. Rameswhar Prasad Gupta, IAS (GJ:1987), MD NAWADCO, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog. The officer will continue to hold additional charge of the post of MD, NAWADCO until further orders.
 
Mr. Ali Raza Rizvi, IAS (HP:1988), Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, has been appointed as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting vice Mr. Subhas Sharma, IAS(BH:1984). The earlier order appointing Mr. Rizvi as CMD, NMDC stands cancelled.
 
Mr. Apurva Chandra, IAS (MH:1988), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Production vice Ms. Surina Rajan.
 
Ms. Anita Karwal, IAS (GJ:1988), Additional Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources Development, has been appointed as Chairperson, Central Board of Secondary Education vice Mr. R.K. Chaturvedi.
 
Mr. Vinod Kumar Yadav, IRSEE (1980), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
 
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Ranjan Kumar Ghose appointed as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Ranjan Kumar Ghose (IA&AS:1982) as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General with effect from 01.09.2017.
 
Mr. Ghose has succeeded Mr. Rakesh Jain (IA&AS:1981), who superannuated today, an official press release said.
 
The release also said that the ACC had approved the appointment of Mr. Ashwini Attri (IA&AS:1981) and Ms. Anita Pattanayak (IA&AS:1982) as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General with effect from 01.07.2017 vice Mr. Prasenjit Mukherjee (IA&AS:1980) and Mr. Hindupur Pradeep Rao (IA&AS:1981), respectively, who superannuated on 30.06.2017. 
 
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Rajiv Gauba takes over as Union Home Secretary

Rajiv Gauba
Rajiv Gauba
Mr. Rajiv Gauba, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1982 batch (Jharkhand cadre), took over as the Union Home Secretary here today.
 
Mr. Gauba had joined the Ministry of Home Affairs as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) on June 27 and took charge as the Union Home Secretary upon the superannuation of Mr. Rajiv Mehrishi.
 
Prior to this, Mr. Gauba was Secretary in the Union Ministry of Urban Development. 
 
Born in 1959, Mr. Gauba is a graduate in Physics and has worked as Chief Secretary, Jharkhand. He has also served at the Centre in the Ministries of Home, Defence, Environment and Forests and Department of Electronics and Information Technology.
 
He has also served in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), representing the country for four years on the Board of IMF.
 
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Errol D'Souza appointed Director-in-charge at IIM Ahmedabad

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Professor Errol D'Souza, Dean of Faculty, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, has been appointed as Director-in-charge of the institute with effect from September 2, 2017.
 
This was announced here today by Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Board, IIMA Society.
 
The appointment is for a period of six months or till the appointment of a regular Director, whichever is earlier, a press release from IIMA said.
 
Prof. D'Souza will replace Prof. Ashish Nanda, who had announced on April 27 his decisiont to step aside from his position with effect from September 1, citing personal reasons.
 
Prof. D'Souza has a Ph.D. in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Prior to joining IIMA, he was the IFCI Chair Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Mumbai and was also a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.
 
He was the India Chair Professor at Sciences Po in Paris in 2009 and a Visiting Professor at the institute for Advanced Study, Shimla in 2009. He has worked on academic committees of the University Grants Commission and the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and has been associated with the Planning Commission and the Reserve Bank of India. He is a consultant to industry, the banking sector, UNDP, ILO, and government. He is a Director on the board of the National Housing Bank.
 
Prof Nanda was the Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School before taking up his present position. 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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Former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan appointed as High Commissioner to Cyprus

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Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director R. K. Raghavan has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Cyprus.
 
"He is expected to take up the assignment shortly," a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said here today.
 
An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1963 batch, Mr. Raghavan, 74, headed the CBI from January 4, 1999 to April 30, 2001. Among other assignments, he headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed cases related to the 2002 post-Godhra violence in Gujarat.
 
Mr. Raghavan has an MA in Politics and Public Administration from the Madras University, an M. S. in Criminal Justice from Temple University, Philadelphia and a Ph.D. in political science. He was a Visiting Fellow at Rutgers University and the Harvard Law School. 
 
He has served as the director of Tamil Nadu Fire Service and as the director-general of the Tamil Nadu State Vigilance Directorate. He has also had a long stint with the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
 
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Justice Dipak Misra sworn in as 45th Chief Justice of India

Mr. Justice Dipak Misra taking oath as the Chief Justice of India, in New Delhi on August 28, 2017.
Mr. Justice Dipak Misra taking oath as the Chief Justice of India, in New Delhi on August 28, 2017.
Mr. Justice Dipak Misra was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India at a brief ceremony in the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.
 
Mr. Justice Misra was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of a large number of dignitaries.
 
Born on October 3, 1953, he was enrolled as an advocate on February 14, 1977 and practiced in constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service and sales tax matters in the Orissa High Court and the Service Tribunal. 
 
He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court on January 17, 1996 and transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court on March 3, 1997. He became permanent Judge on December 19, 1997.
 
Mr. Justice Misra assumed charge of the office of Chief Justice, Patna High Court on December 23, 2009 and charge of the office of the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on May 24, 2010. 
 
He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India with effect from October 10, 2011. He is due to retire from the Supreme Court on October 2, 2018.
 
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Rajiv Bansal takes over as CMD of Air India

Rajiv Bansal
Rajiv Bansal
Mr. Rajiv Bansal, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1988 batch (Nagaland cadre), took over as the Chairman and Managing Director of national carrier Air India here today.
 
Mr. Bansal, who was serving as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, has succeeded Mr. Ashwani Lohani, an officer of the Indian Railways Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), 1980 batch, who has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Railway Board in place of Mr. A. K. Mital, who resigned in the wake of two major train accidents in four days.
 
Mr. Bansal had earlier worked as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) where he was looking after Digital Payments, IT Act, Aadhaar, and Internet Governance. 
 
He had earlier also served as Director in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and had played a crucial role as a Board member of the National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) during the formative years of the merged national carrier. He has also earlier served as a board member of the Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, adding to his experience of the civil aviation sector.
 
"I feel happy and proud to be given this opportunity to lead the national carrier. The company has been growing from strength to strength - inducting new aircraft and introducing new routes. We will plan to work on profitability with a missionary zeal, improve our On Time Performance and ensure customer satisfaction. I seek the support of all fellow Indians to fly Air India our national carrier - Air India – Truly Indian!" he said after assuming office.
 
Among other assignments, Mr. Bansal has worked as Secretary, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and Joint Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries, Government of India. He has also served on the Boards of BHEL, AYCL, HMT and the GITA.
 
Mr. Bansal has a degree in civil engineering from IIT Delhi, a diploma in finance from ICFAI, Hyderabad and an Executive Master's in International Business from IIFT, New Delhi.
 
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Banmali Agrawala appointed President, Tata Sons

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Tata Sons has announced the appointment of Mr. Banmali Agrawala as President, Infrastructure, Defence and Aerospace. 
 
He will report to the Executive Chairman, N Chandrasekaran, in his new role, a press release from the company said.
 
“The Tata group has a significant footprint in the infrastructure, defence and aerospace sectors. Banmali’s global experience in these industries will be very beneficial as we build scale and aspire for the next phase of growth. As part of the Tata Sons leadership team, his knowledge in several areas, including leadership development, digital infrastructure, innovation and technology, will be very beneficial to the Tata group,” Mr Chandrasekaran said.
 
“I am delighted to be back as part of the Tata group and contribute towards the phenomenal opportunities that the Tata group has in the core infrastructure-related sectors, in India as well as globally. I was privileged to be part of GE for close to six years and have learnt a lot at GE. I look forward to taking all my learnings and experience from GE onto my new role at Tata Sons,” Mr Agrawala said.
 
Mr Agrawala will assume his new role on October 1, 2017. Prior to this, he was President and CEO of GE South Asia, a position he held since February 2013. Earlier, Mr Agrawala was the executive director on the Board of Tata Power.
 
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Air India chief Ashwani Lohani appointed as new Chairman of Railway Board

Ashwani Lohani
Ashwani Lohani
Air India Chairman & Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, an officer of the 1980 batch of the Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Railway Board in place of Mr. A. K. Mital, who has resigned in the wake of two major train accidents in four days.
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Ashwani Lohani, IRSME (80), CMD, Air India, as Chairman, Railway Board vice Shri A. K. Mital," a notification from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) said.
 
"Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Railways," it said.
 
Mr. Lohani had been appointed as the CMD of national carrier Air India on August 20, 2015. He was at that time on deputation to the Government of Madhya Pradesh, where he was serving as the Commissioner of Tourism and Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.
 
Mr Lohani had earlier served as Chairman and Managing Director of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
 
In the Railways, he has held positions such as Chief Mechanical Engineer, Northern Railway, Divisional Railway Manager of Delhi and Director, National Rail Museum, New Delhi.
 
Mr. Mital had been reappointed to the position of Chairman, Railway Board for a period of two years with effect from August 1, 2016. He was earlier appointed as Chairman, Railway Board on December 31, 2014. Prior to that, he was Member Staff, Railway Board. Earlier, he served as General Manager of South Western Railway (SWR), Hubli and was also looking after the additional charge of General Manager, South Central Railway (SCR) whose headquarters are in Secunderabad. He also held charge as General Manager, Central Railway, Mumbai and General Manager, Southern Railway, Chennai for some time.
 
Mr. Mital met Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu earlier in the day and is understood to have submitted his resignation in view of the two major rail mishaps since Saturday.
 
These developments took place even as Mr. Prabhu himself met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today and is understood to have offered to resign, taking full moral responsibility for the accidents, including the derailment of the Utkal Express on Saturday in which 21 people died and 97 suffered injuries.
 
"I met the Hon'ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility. Hon’ble PM has asked me to wait," Mr. Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter, hours after 12 coaches and engine of the the 12225 Azamgarh-Delhi Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh after a dumper collided with the train at an unauthorised crossing in the early hours of today.
 
While Mr. Prabhu did not explicity state that he had offered to resign, the wording of the tweet clearly suggested that he had done so and that Mr. Modi had asked him to wait.
 
"I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish," Mr. Prabhu said.
 
"In less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways," he said in the first of five tweets.
 
"Undr leadership of PM, tried 2 overcome decades of neglect thru systemic reforms in all areas leading 2 unprecedented investment& milestones," he said.
 
"New India envisioned by PM deserves a Rlys which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path, on which Rlys is progressing now," he said.
 
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On Saturday evening, the 18477 Utkal Express was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand when it derailed at derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh.
 
On Sunday, a day later, the Ministry of Railways suspended four officials and sent three top officials, incuding Railway Board Member Engineering Aditya Mittal, on leave.
 
Official sources said that, based on prima facie evidence, the Junior Engineer (Permanent Way), the Senior Section Engineer (PW) and the Assistant Engineer of the concerned section as well as the Senior Divisional Engineer (II), Delhi Division of Northern Railway had been placed under suspension.
 
They said that, apart from Mr. Mittal, a Secretary-level officer, the General Manager (GM) of Northern Railway, Mr. R. N. Kulshreshtha, and the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Delhi Division, Northern Railway, Mr. R. N. singh, had been sent on leave. The Chief Track Engineer of Northern Railway has been transferred.
 
Mr. M. C. Chauhan, General Manager, North Central Railway, will look after the duties of the post of General Manager, Northern Railway, while Mr. Anshul Gupta, Executive Director (Telecom Development), Railway Board has been temporarily posted as DRM, Delhi Division, the sources said.
 
The stern measures came hours after Mr. Prabhu said earlier that day that laxity would not be allowed in the Railways' operations and that he had asked the Chairman, Railway Board, to fix responsibility on the basis of prima facie evidence today itself.
 
"Will not allow laxity in operations by the Board. Have directed CRB to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by end of day," he had said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
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Dharmendra Kumar appointed as DG, Railway Protection Force

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Mr. Dharmendra Kumar, presently working as Additional Director General of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), has been appointed as the Director General of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
 
Mr. Kumar is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1984 batch (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory cadre).
 
An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
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Retired IAS officer I. V. Subba Rao appointed Secretary to Vice-President

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Dr. I.V. Subba Rao, a retired officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), as Secretary to Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
 
An official press release said that the appointment would be  on contract basis, in the rank and pay of Secretary, for a period of two years initially.
 
Dr. Subba Rao, who belonged to the 1979 batch of the IAS (Andhra Pradesh cadre), had retired from service in 2015.
 
He  had served as Establishment Officer and Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, among other key assignments.
 
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Lok Sabha member and former Union Minister Sanwar Lal Jat passes away

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Sanwar Lal Jat, former Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Ajmer in Rajasthan, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here early today after a brief illness.
 
He was 62. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
 
Mr. Jat, who had served as the Minister of State for Water Resources in the Narendra Modi government, had been in coma for more than a week before the end came at 6.15 am today.
 
He had suffered a heart attack during a meeting of the party in Jaipur on July 22, sources said.
 
Born on January 1, 1955, Mr. Jat had a Master's degree in Commerce and a Ph.D. from the Rajasthan University. He initially worked as a supervisor at the Ajmer Dairy and later taught at the local government college.
 
He was a five-time member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly and had also served as a Minister in the State Government. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in May 2014 and served as Minister of State for Water Resources from November 9, 2014 to July 5, 2016.
 
He had also served as the Chairman of the Rajasthan Farmers' Commission.
 
His body was flown to Jaipur today and kept at the State BJP headquarters there for people to pay their last respects. His last rites will be performed at Gopalpura, his native village, tomorrow.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his passing away. " Anguished by the demise of MP & former Union Minister, Shri Sanwar Lal Jat. This is a big loss for the BJP & the nation. My condolences," he said on Twitter.
 
"Shri Sanwar Lal Jat worked extensively for wellbeing of villages & farmers. My thoughts are with his family & supporters in this sad hour," he added.
 
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S. Aparna appointed as Executive Director in World Bank

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Ms. S. Aparna, a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1988 batch (Gujarat cadre), has been appointed as the Executive Director representing the constituency of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka in the World Bank.
 
Ms. Aparna is currently serving as the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
 
A notification from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said Ms. Aparna would succeed Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg, who has taken over as the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance.
 
The appointment is for a period of three years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the notification added.
 
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Economist Rajiv Kumar appointed as new Vice-Chairperson of NITI Aayog

Rajiv Kumar
Rajiv Kumar
Noted economist Rajiv Kumar has been appointed as Vice-Chairperson of the NITI Aayog to succeed Dr. Arvind Panagaria, who has resigned from the position to return to academics in the United States.
 
A notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved:
 
"Accepting the request of Dr. Arvind Panagaria to relieve him from the post of Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog w.e.f. 31.08.2017;
 
"Appointment of Dr. Rajiv Kumar as Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog vice Dr. Arvind Panagaria, until further orders, on the same terms and conditions as were applicable to the previous Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog."
 
The notification also said that the ACC had approved the appointment of Dr. Vinod K. Paul as Member, NITI Aayog, until further orders, on the same terms and conditions as are applicable to other full-time Members of the NITI Aayog.
 
Dr. Kumar, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy and Research (CPR), New Delhi, had earlier served as Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). 
 
He has also served as Director & Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), as well as in positions with the Asian Development Bank, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Finance.
 
He is also Chancellor of the the Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics in Pune and the founding director of Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit research organisation that specialises in policy-oriented research and analysis.
 
Dr. Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University, has written several books on the Indian economy and India's national security. 
 
He presently sits on the boards of several international and national institutions, including the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and Asia in Jakarta, the State Bank of India, and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. He was a member of the Government of India's National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008.
 
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Dr. Paul is a professor and chair of the Department of Paediatrics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) who has worked in the area of public health for long.
 
He leads the WHO Collaborating Centre on Newborn Health for South East Asia Region; and the Centre for Advanced Research in Newborn Health (Indian Council of Medical Research). He is also a visiting professor at the Public Health Foundation of India.
 
Dr Paul is the chair of the Technical Advisory Group on Child Health, and co-chair of the Newborn Health Action group of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and has been a member of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Healthcare Coverage of the Planning Commission the country.
 
He developed the Maternal and Child Health strategy for RCH II program under National Rural Health Mission, the Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI). He is a member of the core group on health, the National Human Rights Commission of India; a member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, and co-chair of the Commission on Health of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
 
Prof Paul is recognized among the key academics worldwide who brought newborn health to the centre-stage for the attainment of MDG 4 through writings, research and advocacy efforts at highest international fora. He is the principal author of the historic Delhi Declaration on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (2005). He contributed to the formulation of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP).
 
Dr Paul is the recipient of the highest award of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) -- the Dr B. R. Ambedkar Centenary Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research. He was recently conferred the Public Health Champion Award by WHO India.
 
Economist Bibek Debroy, agricultural economist Ramesh Chand and scientist V K Saraswat are the other three full-time members of NITI Aayog.
 
The Narendra Modi government had, on January 1, 2015, replaced the Planning Commission with the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) to serve as a "think tank" of the government and a directional and policy dynamo.
 
The NITI Aayog is meant to provide governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy.
 
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Govt. announces several Joint Secretary-level appointments

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved several Joint Secretary (JS)-level appointments, an official press release said here today.
 
According to the release, the following are the details of the appointments:
 
(1)     Mr. Atul Kumar Tiwari, IAS (KN:1990), as Joint Secretary, Department of Rural Development, from the date of assumption of the charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Santosh A. Mathew, IAS (BH:1985);
 
(2)     Ms. Anju Bhalla, CSS, as Joint Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, from the date of assumption of the charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Ms. Anita Chauhan, CSS;
 
(3)     Ms. Bharati, IFoS (SK:1992 ), as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, from the date of assumption of the charge of the post, for a tenure of overall five years up to 13.02.2019 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Ms. Jyoti Arora, IAS (HY:1987);
 
(4)     Mr. Govind Mohan, IAS (SK:1989) as Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, from the date of assumption of the charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Saurabh Garg, IAS (OR:1991);
 
(5)     Mr. Lok Ranjan, IAS (TR:1989) as Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services by temporarily upgrading a vacant post of Director (held by Mr. Mihir Kumar, IDAS (1996) for a period of two years or till a regular JS level vacancy arises), from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier;
 
(6)     Mr. Kishore B, IAS (AP:1993) as Joint Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure upto his superannuation on 30.11.2018 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Dr. E. Ramesh Kumar, IAS (MP:1999);
 
(7)     Mr. Ram Krishna Khandelwal, IAS (BH:1989), as Joint Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Prashant Trivedi, IAS (UP:1989);
 
(8)     Mr. Kamal Datta, IFoS (UT:1994), as Joint Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of combined 7 years upto 10.03.2020 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. T.K. Manoj Kumar, IAS (KL:1987);
 
(9)     Mr. Ritesh Kumar Singh, IAS (KN:1996), as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Manoj Kumar Singh, IAS (UP:1988);
 
(10)  Mr. Roshan Jaggi, IFoS (UT:1988), as Joint Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Anurag Srivastava, IAS (UP:1992);
 
(11)  Mr. Ravinder Goyal, IRTS (1987), as Advisor (JS level), NITI Aayog, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever  is earlier vice Mr. Anil Kumar Jain, IAS (MP:1986);
 
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(12)  Mr. Surendra Singh Meena, IAS (JH:1993), as Joint Secretary, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Ms. Ghazala Meenai, IA&AS (1985)
 
(13)  Mr.  Sanjai  Singh,  ICAS  (1993),   as  Joint  Secretary,   Department   of  Defence,  from  the date of assumption of charge  of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further  orders whichever is earlier vice Mr. Deepak Anurag, IA&AS (1988);
 
(14)  Mr. Satinder Pal Singh, IPS (HP:1996), as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of overall five years upto 25.11.2020 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Barun Mitra, IAS (MN:1987);
 
(15)  Mr. Amit Kumar Ghosh, IAS (UP:1994), as Joint Secretary, Ministry  of Road Transport & Highways, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice  Ms. Leena Nandan, IAS (UP:1987);
 
(16)  Mr. Anil Kumar Agarwal, IPS (UP:1988), as Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Smt. Ravneet Kaur, IAS (PB:1988);
 
(17)  Mr. Vinod Kumar Jindal, ICoAS (1988), as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Praveen Prakash, IAS (AP:1994);
 
(18)  Ms. Archana Varma, IAS (AM:1995), as Additional Secretary (JS level), Central Vigilance Commission, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of combined 7 years upto 06.02.2020 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. Salim Haque, IPoS (1984) by treating the post akin to Non-CSS;
 
(19)  Mr. Sandip Mukund Pradhan, IRS (IT:1990), as DDG (JS level), Sports Authority of India (SAI) under the Department of Sports, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of combined 7 years upto 05.06.2020 (including ex-cadre tenure) or until further orders, whichever is earlier by temporarily upgrading one vacant post of Deputy Director for a period of two years;
 
(20)  Mr. Anil Sant, IAS (UP:1988), presently working as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, as Additional Registrar General (JS level), O/o Registrar General & Census Commissioner India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, by treating the post akin to a Non-Central Staffing Scheme post, on lateral shift basis, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of overall five years upto 03.09.2017 (further extendable upto a combined tenure till his superannuation i.e. 28.02.2019 on availability of NOC from the state) or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. C.K. Khaitan, IAS (CG:1987);
 
(21)  Ms. Chhavi Jha, IRAS (1990), as Joint Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier by temporarily upgrading one vacant post of Director vice Mr. Shlok Bhardwaj, IIS (1995) or till a regular JS level vacancy arises;
 
(22)  Mr. Rakesh Ranjan, IAS (MN:1992), presently working as Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education, as Member Secretary (JS level), National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, on lateral shift basis, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, for a tenure of combined seven years upto 14.10.2019 or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Ms. Sharmila Mary Joseph, IAS (KL: 1997).
 
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G. Latha Krishna Rao assigned additional charge as Secretary, Dept. of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

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Ms. G. Latha Krishna Rao, IAS (KN:1982), Secretary, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, has been assigned the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
 
An official press release said the appointment was with immediate effect and until further orders.
 
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Air Marshal Hemant Bhagwat is new Air Officer-in-charge Administration of IAF of Indian Air Force

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Air Marshal Hemant Narayan Bhagwat has taken over as Air Officer-in-Charge Administration of Indian Air Force at Air Headquarters here from August 1.
 
Air Marshal Bhagwat was commissioned in Administrative branch of the IAF in June 1981. After serving for seven years as an Air Traffic Control officer in three different operational bases of the IAF, the Air Officer qualified as Parachute Jump Instructor and served in instructional capacity for fifteen years. 
 
During his paratrooping career, the officer has undertaken over 2400 live parachute jumps in combat as well as sport profile from twenty different types of aircraft. He has also served as Chief Instructor of Paratroopers’ Training School, Agra for five years and was leader of prestigious IAF Skydiving Team, Akashganga for several years. 
 
Besides para jumps in all parts of the country, the officer has also participated in several international para exercises including in the United States, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Seychelles. He is the senior most active parachute jump instructor of the IAF.
 
The Air Officer is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and has undergone Higher Air Command Course at College of Air Warfare, Hyderabad and Senior Defence Management Course at College of Defence Management, Secunderabad. The officer has completed his M Sc in Strategic Studies from Madras University and M Phil from Osmania University. 
 
Air Marshal Bhagwat has held several important appointments including that of a Chief Administration Officer of a premier fighter base, Commandant of Garud Regimental Training Centre, as Chief Personnel Staff Officer at HQ South Western Air Command, Senior Officer in charge Administration at HQ Western Air Command and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Org & Cer) at Air HQ. Prior to assuming the appointment of AOA, he was Director General (Works & Ceremonials) at Air HQ.
 
The Air Officer was commended by Chief of Air Staff in 1999 and was awarded Vayu Sena Medal by the President of India in 2005 for his contributions to paratrooping field. He has been awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal by President of India for distinguished service of a very high order.
 
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Prabhat Kumar appointed as Ambassador to Kazakhstan

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Mr. Prabhat Kumar, (IFS: 1991), presently Ambassador of India to Colombia has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Kazakhstan.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said that he was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev passes away in Silchar

Santosh Mohan Dev
Santosh Mohan Dev
Former Union Minister and veteran Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev, who was a heavyweight in the party and the Government in the 1980s and 1990s, passed away at a hospital in Silchar, Assam this morning.
 
He was 83. He is survived by his wife and four daughters, including Ms. Sushmita Dev, a Congress member of the Lok Sabha from Silchar.
 
"Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. I lost him at 6.06 am today. Thank you everyone for your prayers, your love for him," Ms. Dev said on microblogging site Twitter.
 
Born on April 1, 1934, Mr. Dev had a degree in Commerce from the Gurucharan College, Silchar and an MBA from the Welsh College of Advanced Technology and Commerce, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
 
Starting out in public life as the Chairman of the Municipal Board in Silchar, Mr. Dev was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1980 and was re-elected six times in the years that followed. Of his seven terms in the Lok Sabha, he represented Silchar five times and was elected from Tripura twice.
 
He served as Union Minister of State for Tourism and Communications from October 1986 to February 1988, Minister of State for defence from February 1988 to June 1988 and Minister of State for Home Affairs from June 1988 to December 1989.
 
He was Union Minister of State for Steel with  independent charge from June 1991 to May 1996 in the P V Narasimha Rao Government.
 
In the first term of the Manmohan Singh government, he served as Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, with independent charge, from May 23, 2004 to November 17, 2005. He was elevated to Cabinet Rank and put in charge of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises from November 18, 2005.
 
He lost to Mr. Kabindra Purkayastha of the BJP in the 2009 elections for the 15th Lok Sabha.
 
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Among other things, Mr. Dev was associated with sports and was Vice-President of the Assam Olympic Association and President of the Delhi Soccer Association. He was part of the Organising Committee of the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi. He was a certified and professionally qualfied football referee.
 
Mr. Dev was a third generation Congressman. His father was one of the first legislators in independent India and his grandfather had played an active part in the freedom struggle was was a member of the first Silchar Municipal Council in 1913.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Mr. Dev's passing away. "Saddened by the passing away of Shri Santosh Mohan Dev. He was veteran political leader who worked extensively for welfare of people," he said on Twitter.
 
"My thoughts are with the family and supporters of Shri Santosh Mohan Dev in this hour of grief," he added.
 
Congress President Sonia also condoled Mr. Dev's death and expressed her deepest condolences to his family.
 
She noted that, in a political career spanning five decades, Mr. Dev held numerous crucial political assignments in the Congress party and in the Government including that of a Union Cabinet Minister.
 
"His immense contribution to build the party in the Northeast, right from the grassroots level would always be remembered, she said. His death is an irreparable loss to the nation," she said, expressing her solidarity with his family and supporters, particularly Congress MP Sushmita Dev.
 
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