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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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Prof. G. Raghuram takes over as Director of IIM Bangalore

G. Raghuram
G. Raghuram
Professor G. Raghuram, who has been a member of the faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), took charge as the new Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) here today.
 
Prior to this, he was Professor and Chairperson of the Public Systems Group at IIMA.
 
Prof. Raghuram has a Ph. D. from Northwestern University, USA, a Post-graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) from IIMA and a B. Tech. degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.
 
“I feel honoured and privileged to get the opportunity to work for IIM Bangalore. This is a top rated institution with a unique culture which I look forward to discovering. I would like to reach out to all its stakeholders: students and participants, faculty, staff, alumni, board members and the external ecosystem including industry and government, to enable IIMB reach greater heights," he said in a message to faculty and staff at IIMB soon after assuming charge.
 
Prof. Raghuram was Dean (Faculty), IIMA, from September 2013 to December 2015. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Indian Maritime University from July 2012 to March 2013. He was the Indian Railways Chair Professor from January 2008 to August 2010. He specializes in infrastructure and transport systems, and logistics and supply chain management. He conducts research on the railway, port, shipping, aviation and road sectors. He has published over 35 refereed papers in journals and written over 155 case studies. He has published six co-authored books. He was awarded the ‘MC Puri Memorial Award’ for Contribution to Operational Research in India, 2016; ‘Academician of the Year’ by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in 2012, and ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for contribution to logistics and infrastructure by EXIM News in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Operational Research Society of India, and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. He has teaching experience at universities in India, USA, Canada, Yugoslavia, Singapore, Tanzania and UAE.
 
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He is a member of the Global Future Council on Mobility of the World Economic Forum, Executive Council of the National Aviation University, and of the Board of Directors of six companies in the fields of infrastructure, logistics and education. Overall, he has been on the Board of 12 companies. He has offered consultancy services to over 100 organizations including multilateral agencies. He has served on various government policy making and advisory committees for the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Shipping, Cabinet Secretariat, Comptroller and Auditor General, the Planning Commission and various State Governments.
 
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Air Marshal Ajit Bhonsle, diplomat Sujata Mehta take oath as Members, UPSC

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Air Marshal Ajit Shankarrao Bhonsle and career diplomat Sujata Mehta took the oath of office and secrecy as Members, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here yesterday.
 
The oath was administered by Prof. David R. Syiemlieh, Chairman, UPSC, an official press release said.
 
Air Marshal Bhonsle, 60, has done M.Sc., MBA and M. Phil from National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, College of Defence Management and National Institute of Defence Studies, Japan. He has rich and varied experience in Command and Staff appointments during the 39 years of service in the Indian Air Force (IAF). His forte is Flying Operations, Pre-commissioning Military Training & Education, Infrastructure development, Counter Intelligence, Capacity Building of Training Institutions, Defence Civilian Personnel Management, Cyber Security and Aviation Safety.
 
He is the recipient of two Presidential Awards:- Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. 
 
Ms. Mehta belongs to the 1980 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Born on March 30, 1957, she has done M. Phil. in Political Science. She has served in Indian missions in Moscow, Dhaka and at the United Nations in New York. She also served on deputation to the United Nations in Gaza and New York. She served as Ambassador to Spain and as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva before returning to Headquarters in July, 2013 as Additional Secretary and later Special Secretary. 
 
She was appointed Secretary(ER) in Ministry of External Affairs in February, 2014 and as Secretary(West) in the Ministry in January, 2016.
 
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Former RAW chief appointed OSD (Neighbourhood Studies) in NSC Secretariat

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Rajinder Khanna, former Secretary, Research & Analysis Wing, Cabinet Secretariat, as Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
 
Mr. Khanna, who was appointed as Secretary (R) on December 20, 2014, is an officer of the RAS, 1978 batch.
 
The appointment is on contract basis, on standard terms and conditions applicable in similar cases, by temporarily upgrading the vacant post of Additional Secretary to that of a Secretary for a period of one year or until further orders, whichever is earlier, an official press release added.
 
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Vikas Swarup appointed as High Commissioner to Canada

Vikas Swarup
Vikas Swarup
Mr. Vikas Swarup, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, in the rank of Additional Secretary, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Canada.
 
Mr. Swarup, an officer of the 1986 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and a well-known author, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
He is, in particular, known for his novel Q&A, which was adopted 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 Afica and Japan.
 
He was appointed as the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in April 2015.
 
Born in Allahabad in a family of lawyers, Mr. Swarup studied at the Allahabad University. 
 
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Arun Kumar appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Mines

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Mr. Arun Kumar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, has been appointed as the new Secretary, Ministry of Mines on the superannuation of incumbent Balvender Kumar.
 
Mr. Arun Kumar is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1983 batch (Assam-Meghalaya cadre).
 
An official press release said that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had also approved the appointment of Mr. Binoy Kumar, IAS (TG:83), Director General, Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, in the same position in the rank and pay of Secretary, by temporarily upgrading the post for a period of two years on until further orders.
 
Mr. R. Sridharan, IAS (KN:83), Special Secretary, Ministry of Mines, has been appointed as Member (Finance), Space Commission, in the rank and pay of Secretary, by restoring the post to the level of Secretary.
 
Mr. Raghvendra Singh, IAS (WB:83) Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare as Director General, National Archives of India, Ministry of Culture, in the rank and pay of Secretary, by temporarily upgrading the post to the level of Secretary for a period of two years or until further orders.
 
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Ravi Shankar concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to Rwanda

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Mr. Ravi Shankar, presently High Commissioner of India to Uganda, has been concurrently accredited as the country's High Commissioner to Rwanda.
 
Mr. Shankar, an officer of the 1995 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), will have residence in Kampala, Uganda, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
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Narinder Chauhan appointed as Ambassador to Philippines

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Ms. Narinder Chauhan (lFS : 1985), presently Ambassador of lndia to Serbia has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to the Philippines.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs also said that Mr.  Subir Dutta, presently in the Embassy of India, Vientiane has been appointed as the next Ambassador to Madagascar.
 
Both officers are expected to take charge of their new assignments shortly, the release added.
 
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ACC approves new Directors for ten IIMs

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of new Directors for 10 of the 14 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) where the posts were lying vacant.
 
The new Directors are Dr. G. Raghuram, IIM Bangalore; Prof. Ganesan Kannabiran, IIM Bodhgaya; Prof. Neelu Rohmetra, IIM Sirmaur; Dr. Chandrasekhar Mylavarapu, IIM Vishakapatnam; Dr. Bhimaraya Metri, IIM, Tiruchirappalli; Dr. L.S. Murty, IIM Nagpur; Dr. Mahadeo Prasad Jaiswal, IIM Sambalpur; Dr. Bharat Bhasker, IIM Raipur; Dr. Dheeraj Sharma, IIM Rohtak; and Dr. Shailendra Singh, IIM Ranchi.
 
A notification from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the appointments, on contract basis in the scale of pay of Rs.80,000 (fixed) plus usual allowances, would be for a period of five years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.
 
It said the appointment to the post of Directors in the Indian Institute of Management of Bodhgaya, Sirmaur, Vishakapatnam, Tiruchirappalli, Nagpur and Sambalpur would be subject to the outcome of the writ petition no. 1331/2016 in the matter of Dr. Pritam Singh & Anr. Vs Union of India in the High Court of Delhi.
 
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) also gave ex-post facto approval for acceptance of resignation of Prof. Sushil Vachani from the post of Director, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore with effect from 1.04.2016.
 
The Government had told the Lok Sabha earlier this week that the posts of Director in 14 of the 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in the country were lying vacant.  Apart from the ten IIMs where new directors have been appointed, the other four are IIM Kozhikode,  IIM Udaipur,  IIM Amritsar and IIM Jammu.
 
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Ajay Tyagi appointed Chairman of SEBI

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Mr. Ajay Tyagi, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs has been appointed as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
 
A notification from the Department of Personnel and Training said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had approved the appointment of Mr. Tyagi, IAS (HP:1984).
 
The appointment will be for a period not exceeding five years or till the age of 65 years or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.
 
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Karnal Singh appointed as Director, Enforcement Directorate

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Karnal Singh, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1984 batch (AGMUT cadre) as Director, Enforcement Directorate.
 
An official press release said here today that the appointment was for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the post.
 
Mr. Karnal Singh, who was Special Director, Central Region, Enforcement Directorate, was given additional charge as Director on August 20, 2015.
 
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Prafulla Kumar Gupta takes charge as Director (HR), GAIL

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Mr. Prafulla Kumar Gupta has taken charge as Director (Human Resources) of public sector gas major GAIL (India) Limited. 
 
A B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, Mr. Gupta has more than 33 years of experience in the oil and gas sector.
 
Prior to his appointment as Director (HR), he served as Executive Director (Marketing-Petrochemicals) in GAIL.
 
Mr. Gupta joined GAIL in 1985 and has been associated with many prestigious projects of the company, starting from project execution of Hazira – Vijaipur – Jagdishpur pipeline. He also held the position of Managing Director of Mahanagar Gas Limited and Head of Gas Processing Unit, Vaghodia.
 
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Arjun Dhawan appointed Whole Time Director & Group CEO of HCC

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) today appointed Mr. Arjun Dhawan as its Whole Time Director & Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from April 1, 2017.
 
He will succeed Mr. Rajgopal Nogja, who has decided to step down from the Group CEO’s post to pursue his own interests, a press release from the company said.
 
Mr. Nogja will continue in his present role till March 31, 2017. He will, however, continue to be a Delegate of the Board of Steiner AG, Switzerland, a HCC Group Company on a 20% time commitment basis, it said.
 
“Rajgopal’s leadership has made significant contribution to HCC’s success as the country’s premier infrastructure company during a difficult economic period. We understand and support his decision to step down and wish him well. Rajgopal will remain associated with the HCC Group by continuing to oversee Steiner AG, Switzerland,” said Mr. Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, HCC.
 
Mr. Dhawan will oversee the HCC Group businesses including HCC Limited, HCC Concessions Limited, Lavasa Corporation Limited, Steiner India and Charosa Wineries Limited. Prior to being appointed to this position, Mr. Dhawan has been the President & CEO of the Infrastructure business since November, 2009.
 
“Arjun is deeply familiar with the company's strategy and leadership team. HCC’s growing order backlog and the receipt of over Rs. 2000 crores of arbitration monies post the cabinet decision has poised HCC for success. We are confident the company will grow and deliver robust performance under his stewardship," Mr. Gulabchand said.
 
Mr. Dhawan holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Middlebury College. Prior to starting his career at HCC, Mr. Dhawan acquired global expertise in the area of investment management across various businesses and industries. As Managing Director with Arya Capital Management (Mumbai) and formerly with Trellus Management Company (New York), Mr. Dhawan oversaw material portfolios comprising equity investments and real estate assets. During an earlier stint with Banc of America Securities, he helped build a proprietary investment group focused on distressed strategic assets. As a former investment banker in New York with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Credit Suisse First Boston, Mr. Dhawan has executed large leveraged buyout, high yield, M&A and equity transactions across multiple industries and geographies.
 
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Sanjeevani Kutty given additional charge as Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat

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Ms. Sanjeevani Kutty, Secretary (Border Management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs has been assigned the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat.
 
Ms. Kutty is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1983 batch (Maharashtra cadre).
 
The arrangement will be with immediate effect and until further orders, an official press release added.
 
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Amulya Kumar Patnaik appointed as Commissioner of Police, Delhi

Amulya Kumar Patnaik appointed as Commissioner of Police, Delhi
Amulya Kumar Patnaik appointed as Commissioner of Police, Delhi
Mr. Amulya Kumar Patnaik, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1985 batch (AGMUT cadre), has been appointed as the new Commissioner of Police of Delhi, an official press release said here today.
 
The appointment would be with effect from the date of actual assumption of the charge, until further orders.
 
Mr. Patnaik succeeds Mr. Alok Kumar Verma, IPS (AGMUT: 1979), who has been appointed as the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
 
Mr. Patnaik is currently the Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) in Delhi. Apart from various positions in the Delhi Police, he has also served as SSP (Law and Order), Puducherry and Director General of Police, Mizoram. He is a recipient of the  President’s Police Medal for distinguished service and Police Medal for meritorious service.
 
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Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin passes away

Alexander Kadakin
Alexander Kadakin
Russia's Ambassador in India Alexander Kadakin passed away at a hospital here today after a brief illness. 
 
He was 67.
 
Mr. Kadakin, who spoke Hindi fluently, was the head of the Russian mission in Delhi since 2009.
 
Starting from 1971, Mr. Kadakin's entire career was closely associated with promoting Russian-Indian relations.
 
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Nita Ambani honoured by Metropolitan Museum of Art for her philanthropic efforts

Ms. Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Reliance Foundation, receiving the Honoree's trophy for her efforts in Philanthropy from Tom Campbell, CEO & Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York on January 24, 2017.
Ms. Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Reliance Foundation, receiving the Honoree's trophy for her efforts in Philanthropy from Tom Campbell, CEO & Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York on January 24, 2017.
Ms. Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Reliance Foundation, was honoured by the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York for her expansive philanthropic work in the areas of Education, Sports, Healthcare, Rural Transformation, Urban Renewal, Disaster Response, Women Empowerment and Promotion of the Arts. 
 
She is the first South Asian to receive this distinguished accolade, a press release from the Foundation said.
 
The Met is recognised as one of the most iconic museums in the world. It currently lives in three celebrated sites of the city -- The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters -- housing  over 5,000 years of art from around the world.
 
The release said the Met was most impressed by the diversity and scale of the work carried out by Reliance Foundation, led by Ms. Ambani. 
 
"The direction she gives the Foundation has helped it to focus its work on sustainable urban and rural transformation as well as healthcare, education, grassroots development through sport, and women empowerment. The Foundation’s support of Indian Art and the aim to take it global stems from Ms. Ambani’s personal passion. 
 
"Reliance Foundation has benefited over ten million Indians, touching the lives of individuals across more than 10,500 urban areas and villages," the release said.
 
On the honour bestowed on her by The Met, Ms. Ambani said, “I am delighted and humbled by this honour for our work at Reliance Foundation. It is truly gratifying that our efforts, especially in education, sports, health and rural transformation, are bringing smiles to millions of people. This recognition from a distinguished global institution like The Met is a tribute to our commitment towards sustainable development and social empowerment, and will inspire each one of us at Reliance Foundation to constantly do the best to make the world a better place for the next generation.”
 
Ms. Ambani's work in developing sports in India was recently recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which elected her as its first Indian woman member.  She is currently the only member from India in the IOC.
 
The event, hosted by The Met’s Multicultural Audience Development Initiative, celebrates The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s diverse communities and raises awareness and support for the Audience Development Department. The event is a cornerstone of the Museum’s strategic mission to serve the widest possible audience in a spirit of inclusiveness.
 
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S. Jaishankar, Shaktikanta Das get extensions in tenure

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved a one-year extension in tenure for Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar with effect from January 29 to January 28, 2018.
 
An official press release said the ACC had also approved a three-month extension in tenure for Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, from March 1 to May 31 this year.
 
Dr. Jaishankar, 62, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1977 batch, was appointed Foreign Secretary on January 28, 2015, a few days before he would have retired from service, replacing Ms. Sujatha Singh, whose tenure was curtailed abruptly. He was given a two-year tenure.
 
He had served as India's Ambassador to the United States and China before that. Prior to that, he had also headed the Americas Division in the Ministry from 2004 to 2007, in which assignment he played a key role in the negotiations for the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement of July 2005.
 
Born on January 9, 1955, Dr. Jaishankar holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil in International Relations and an M.A. in Political Science. 
 
Mr. Das is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1980 batch (Tamil Nadu cadre). He was appointed as Secretary, Economic Affairs on August 29, 2015. Prior to that, he had served as Secretary, Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.
 
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Delhi Police chief Alok Kumar Verma appointed new CBI Director

Alok Kumar Verma
Alok Kumar Verma
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr. Alok Kumar Verma, Commissioner of Police, Delhi, as the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
 
His appointment will be for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of his office, an official press release said.
 
Mr. Verma is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1979 batch of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.
 
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Lt. Gen. Sarath Chand takes over as Vice-Chief of Army Staff

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Lieutenant General Sarath Chand took over as Vice-Chief of Army Staff and paid homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti here today.
 
Before taking over as Vice-Chief of Army Staff, the General Officer was commanding South Western Command of the Indian Army.
 
The General Officer was commissioned into the Garhwal Rifles in June 1979. During a career spanning over 38 years, he has served in all operational theatres and has participated in many active combat leadership roles at every stage of command. 
 
The early operational service of the General includes the command of a company in the Kargil Sector of Ladakh and in active operations during Operation Pawan as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF)in Sri Lanka.
 
He commanded a battalion in Operation Rhino and Operation Falcon, an Infantry Brigade in the deserts and a Counter Insurgency Force deployed in the Kashmir Valley and thereafter commanded a strategically important 4 Corps. He has also held a number of important staff as well as instructional appointments during his career. The General Officer has served at the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM-II). 
 
The General Officer in his capacity as Vice-Chief will head the General Staff Branch at the Army Headquarters and will provide crucial support to the Army Chief in discharge of his duties. He will be responsible for ensuring the operational effectiveness of the Army by directly overseeing the functioning of the military operations, intelligence and logistics directorates. He will coordinate and facilitate decision making on critical issues involving multiple stakeholders within and outside the Army, an official press release added.
 
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Ausaf Sayeed appointed as High Commissioner to Seychelles

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Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, presently Consul General of India in Chicago, United States of America, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Seychelles.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Dr. Sayeed, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1989 batch, was expected to take up his new assignment shortly.
 
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Veteran actor Om Puri passes away after cardiac arrest

Om Puri
Om Puri
Veteran actor Om Puri, one of the most versatile and intense artistes in Indian cinema, passed away at his residence here in the early hours of today after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.
 
He was 66.
 
The actor's friends, who reached his residence after hearing the news, said he appeared to have suffered a heart attack this morning. 
 
According to various sources, Puri had returned home last evening after a shoot. This morning, his driver raised an alarm when he got no response after repeatedly ringing the door bell. The actor was found dead when the door was forced open, they said.
 
Born on October 18, 1950, at Ambala in Haryana to a Punjabi family, Puri had earned an enviable reputation with his work, first in art cinema and later in mainstream commercial Indian, British, Hollywood and Pakistani films as well as in independent films.
 
Puri graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune and was also an alumnus of the National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, from where he passed out in 1973 and had the well-known actor Naseeruddin Shah as a co-student.
 
He made his film debut in 1976 in Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal, based on the play of the same name by Vijay Tendulkar.
 
Puri was one of the leading lights, along with Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, in the so-called "art films" of those years such as Bhavni Bhavai (1980), Sadgati (1981), Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1986) and Dharavi (1992).
 
He won critical acclaim for his performances in films such as Aakrosh (1980), Disco Dancer (1982) and Ardh Satya. He got the National Award for Best Actor for Ardh Satya for his role as a police inspector.
 
He also acted in movies such as Maachis in 1996, Gupt (1997) and Dhoop (2003).
 
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In 1999, he acted in Kannada movie AK 47 and also in British comedy East is East, in which he played a first generation Pakistani immigrant in the north of England, struggling to come to terms with his far more westernised children.
 
He had a cameo in Richard Attenborough's highly-acclaimed film Gandhi (1982).
 
By the mid-1990s, Puri began appearing in character roles in mainstream Hindi cinema, which won him a following among the masses. He also appeared in British films such as My son the Fanatic (1997) and The Parole Officer (2001).
 
In Hollywood, he appeared in films such as City of Joy (1992) with Patrick Swayze; Wolf (1994) with Jack Nicholson; and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) with Val Kilmer. In 2007, he appeared as General Zia-ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson's War, which starred Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
 
Puri also appeared in Hindi television serials such as Kakkaji Kaheen (1988) as a paan-chewing 'Kakkaji', which was a parody on politicians, and Mr. Yogi (1989) as a suave 'sutradhaar' who enjoys pulling the protagonist's leg. These two serials underlined the actor's abilities as a comedian.
 
He received critical acclaim for his performance in Govind Nihalani's television film Tamas (1987) based on a Hindi novel of the same name. 
 
He played comic roles in Hindi films like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro which attained a cult status, followed by Chachi 420 (1997), Hera Pheri (2000), Chor Machaye Shor (2002) and Malamaal Weekly (2006).
 
In recent years, he appeared in Hindi films such as Singh Is Kinng, Mere Baap Pehle Aap and Billu. He was seen in the role of Mohammad Ali Kasuri in Road to Sangam (2009). In 2010, he appeared in The Hangman. In 2011 he was in the Indian action movie Don 2.
 
In 2014, he appeared opposite Helen Mirren in the comedy-drama The Hundred-Foot Journey.
 
Puri married Seema Kapoor in 1991 but they separated some months later. In 1993, he married Nandita Puri, with whom he had a son. The couple separated in 2013.
 
The Government honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1990. 
 
He had won the National Award for Best Actor for Arohan in 1982 and the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Aakrosh in 1981, for Ghayal in 1990, Maachis in 1997, gupta in 1998 and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha in 1999.
 
He was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
 
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Justice J S Khehar sworn in as Chief Justice of India

 
Justice J S Khehar sworn in as new Chief Justice of India
Mr. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today. 
 
He made and subscribed to the oath of office before President Pranab Mukherjee.
 
Mr. Justice Khehar, 64, who assumed office as a Judge of the Supreme Court on September 13, 2011, is due to retire on August 28, 2017.
 
Born on August 28, 1952, he graduated in science from Government College, Chandigarh in 1974. He was awarded the LL.B degree by the Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1977 and LL.M. in 1979. He was awarded the gold medal for standing first in the university in LL.M. examination.
 
He was enrolled as an advocate in 1979 and practised mainly in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh High Court, Shimla and the Supreme Court of India, New Delhi.
 
Mr. Justice Khehar was appointed as Additional Advocate General, Punjab, in January 1992, and then as Senior Standing Counsel, Union Territory, Chandigarh. He was designated as Senior Advocate in February, 1995. He remained standing counsel for Universities of the area, corporate bodies and a large number of companies and cooperative organizations.
 
He appeared as counsel for Mr. M. Krishnaswamy, M.P. (from the Arani constituency in Tamil Nadu), in the defence of Mr. Justice V. Ramaswami, then Judge of the Supreme Court of India, before the Judges Inquiry Committee (comprising Mr. Justice P.B. Sawant, then Judge Supreme Court of India; Chief Justice P.D. Desai of the Bombay High Court; and Mr. Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India) constituted to investigate the grounds on which the removal of Justice V. Ramaswami was sought.
 
Mr. Justice Khehar was elevated to the Bench of High Court of Punjab and Haryana, at Chandigarh, on February 8, 1999. He was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court twice, with effect from August 2, 2008, and again, with effect from November 17, 2009.
 
He was elevated as Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand, at Nainital, on November 29, 2009 and thereafter he was transferred as Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka, where he assumed his office on August 8, 2010.
 
By a notification dated May 20, 2010 the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha appointed Mr. Justice Khehar as a member of the Judges Inquiry Committee for investigating the grounds on which the removal of Mr. Justice P.D. Dinakaran, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, had been sought.
 
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Global crude oil price of Indian basket rises to $ 54.88/bbl

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The international crude oil price of the Indian basket, as computed and published today by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, rose to $ 54.88 per barrel (bbl) yesterday from $ 54.41 per bbl on the previous day.
 
In rupee terms, the price of the Indian basket increased to Rs. 3736.33 per bbl on 03.01.2017 as compared to Rs. 3701.40 per bbl on 02.01.2017, an official press release said.
 
The rupee closed weaker at Rs. 68.09 per US$ on 03.01.2017 as compared to Rs. 68.02 per US$ on 02.01.2017, it added.
 
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David R. Syiemlieh to perform duties of Chairman, UPSC

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The President has appointed Prof. David R. Syiemlieh, Member, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), to perform the duties of the post of Chairman, UPSC with effect from the forenoon of January 4.
 
An official press release said the appointment would be till further orders or till the completion of his term as Member on January 21, 2018, whichever is earlier.
 
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