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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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Sibi George concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Liechtenstein

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Mr. Sibi George, presently Ambassador of India to Switzerland, has been concurrently accredited as the country's next Ambassador to the Principality of Liechtenstein, with residence in Berne.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. George, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1993 batch, was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Ravi Bangar concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Ecuador

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Mr. Ravi Bangar, presently Ambassador of lndia to Colombia, has been concurrently accredited as the country's next Ambassador to Ecuador, with residence in Bogota.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr. Bangar, (IFS: 1982), is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Daljeet Singh takes charge as Director (Works), DMRC

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Mr. Daljeet Singh has taken charge as Director (Works) of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).   
 
Before assuming charge of his new assignment, Mr. Singh was working as Director (Works & Infrastructure) in Lucknow Metro  and  was involved in the planning, design and construction of 23 km of North-South Corridor of Phase IA of Lucknow Metro Project. 
 
He was instrumental in commissioning of priority corridor of 8.5 km in less than three years, a press release from DMRC said.
 
Mr. Singh is a civil engineer who did his B.Tech from I.I.T. (BHU), Varanasi and M.Tech. from I.I.T. Kanpur . He joined the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in 1988 through Indian Engineering Services (IES) examination and was posted in various wings of CPWD. He also worked with DMRC from 1998 to 2014 and held various roles and position.
 
 In DMRC, he was involved in the construction of its first underground corridor from Central Secretariat to Vishwavidyalaya (11 km) of Phase-I during 1998-2004.  He was also involved in the construction of I.T. Park buildings as a part of DMRC Property Development and 'Metro Bhawan', the headquarter building of DMRC.  He was involved in the design and construction of 15 km elevated corridor from Qutab Minar to HUDA City Centre under Phase-II and design and construction of 13 km underground Metro Corridor from Kalkaji to Vasant Vihar under Phase-III of Delhi Metro project.
 
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Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia designated as new Finance Secretary

Hasmukh Adhia
Hasmukh Adhia
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia was today designated as the new Finance Secretary on the supernnuation of Mr. Ashok Lavasa, who was also Expenditure Secretary.
 
An official press release said this had been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
 
Mr. Adhia, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1981 batch (Gujarat cadre), had been appointed as Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance on August 29, 2015.
 
He was earlier the Secretary, Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finannce. 
 
Mr. Adhia had previously served as Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department in the Government of Gujarat.
 
Other positions held by him included as Principal Secretary Education Department in the Gujarat government from April 2008 to January, 2013 and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Gujarat from May 2004 to May 2006.
 
Earlier, the ACC had approved the appointment of Mr. Ajay Narayan Jha, as the new Secretary, Departmetn of Expenditure.
 
 
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Lt Gen Bipin Puri takes over as Director General, Armed Forces Medical Service

Lt. Gen. Bipin Puri
Lt. Gen. Bipin Puri
Lt Gen Bipin Puri has assumed charge as the Director General, Armed Forces Medical Service (DGAFMS) with effect from November 1.
 
An alumnus of the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, the General Officer was commissioned in the Indian Army (AMC) on March 30, 1979. He did his post=graduation in general surgery in 1985, M. Ch. (PaedSurg) from PGI, Chandigarh in 1993 and Fellowship in Paediatric Urology at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital (UK) in 1997.
 
A renowned paediatric surgeon, the General Officer has pioneered the NUSS Procedure for Pectus Excavatum deformity in India. For his contribution towards field of Paediatric Surgery, he was honoured with the “Ethicon Travelling fellowship” award for 2005 by the Indian Association of Paediatric Surgeons. For his excellence in medical  profession, the General Officer has been awarded “Double Helical’s National Health Awards-2017” by Indian Medical Association, which was presented by Minister of Health JP Nadda in May 2017.
 
Lt. Gen. Puri has commanded Command Hospital (Northern Command), Udhampur and 155 Base Hospital, Tezpur. He has also served as MG (Med) HQ Northern Command at Udhampur, Director General (Org & Pers) in the office of DGAFMS, Director General Medical Service (Navy) and Director General Medical Service (Army) from June 1 to October 31, 2017 before taking over as DGAFMS.
 
For his distinguished service, he has awarded GOC-in-C Commendation in 2010 and Chief of the Army Staff Commendation twice (2001 & 2012). He was appointed as President’s Honorary Surgeon (PHS) on June 1, 2016. He was conferred the Vishisht Seva Medal on January 26 this year.
 
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Ajay Bisaria appointed as the next High Commissioner to Pakistan

Ajay Bisaria
Ajay Bisaria
Mr. Ajay Bisaria, presently Ambassador of India to Poland and Lithuania, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Pakistan.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Bisaria, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1987 batch, was expected to take up his new assignment shortly.
 
Mr. Bisaria has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi, a Master's in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta and a Master's in Public Policy from Princeton University, United States.
 
After training at the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi, he chose Russian as his language of specialisation and was posted at the Indian Embassy in Moscow (1988-1991) where he was attached to the economic and political wings of the Embassy. He worked as a Soviet internal affairs specialist in the months leading up to the break-up of the USSR.
 
He served as Under Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs on the East Europe desk (1991-92) when India was engaged in building new relationships with the post-Soviet countries. He then moved to the Ministry of Commerce (1992-1995), where he was part of a team that managed the transition of India’s trade from rupee barter arrangements to a hard currency system.
 
He was posted as First Secretary in the Indian Embassy in Berlin (1995-1999). During 1999-2004, he served as Private Secretary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
 
He was then posted to the World Bank in Washington D.C. as Advisor to the Executive Director for South Asia (2004-2008).
 
Mr. Bisaria returned to India in 2009, to serve as Joint Secretary (Eurasia) in the Ministry of External Affairs (2009-2014). His assignment was to head the Division coordinating overall policy and bilateral relations with the Eurasia region (including Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia). 
 
From January 2015, Mr. Bisaria has served as India’s Ambassador to Poland, based in Warsaw, with concurrent accreditation to Lithuania. He has also served as India’s representative in the Warsaw-based Community of Democracies.
 
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Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra given additional charge of Defence Production

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Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, IAS (WB: 1982), has been given the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Defence Production, an official press release said here today.
 
The release said the appointment was with effect from today and until further orders.
 
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Neelmani Raju becomes first woman to head Karnataka Police

Neelmani Raju
Neelmani Raju
Ms. Neelmani Raju has  become the first woman to be appointed as the Director General of Police (DGP) of Karnataka Police.
 
Ms. Raju, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1983 batch (Karnataka cadre), has succeeded Mr. R. K. Dutta, who retired from service yesterday.
 
She was the second woman IPS officer to join the Karnataka cadre. After serving in various positions in the state, she had gone on deputation to the Intelligence Bureau in 1993. She returned to the cadre last year in the rank of DGP. She later served as DGP of Internal Security Division and Fire and Emergency Services.
 
"Congratulations to Karnataka's first woman DG-IGP Neelamani N Raju on her appointment. Wish her a successful tenure in the post," State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on microblogging site Twitter.
 
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Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh takes over as FOC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command

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Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command (ENC), from Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht at a ceremonial parade held at the Naval Base here today.
 
He inspected the ceremonial guard and reviewed platoons of naval personnel drawn from various ships and establishments of the ENC.
 
Vice-Admiral Bisht retired from the Naval Service today on completion of forty years of illustrious career. He was accorded a farewell by the ENC by the traditional ‘Pulling Out’ ceremony, wherein he was ceremonially pulled out in a jeep by Flag Officers and Commanding Officers of Ships and Naval establishments, to resounding ‘Teen Jais’ from the men to the outgoing Commander-in-Chief.
 
Commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980, Vice-Admiral Singh is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla. He earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1982 and has flown extensively on the Chetak and Kamov helicopters. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington; College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and has served as Directing Staff in both these Institutions.
 
 
In his career spanning over 37 years, the Admiral has commanded an Indian Coast Guard Ship Chandbibi, Missile Corvette INS Vijaydurg as well as two Guided Missile Destroyers INS Rana and INS Delhi. He has also served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. 
 
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Ashore, he has served at Naval Headquarters as the Joint Director Naval Air Staff, and as Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai. He has also served as a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Board (AIRCATS).
 
On promotion to flag rank, the Admiral was appointed as Chief of Staff, ENC. His other important flag appointments include Chief of Staff of the Tri-Services Unified Command at Andaman & Nicobar Islands and as the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG).
 
In the rank of Vice-Admiral, he has been the Director General Project Seabird, in-charge of infrastructure development of the Navy’s modern base at Karwar. He was also assigned higher responsibilities at IHQ MoD (Navy) as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and Vice-Chief of the Naval Staff, prior to the present appointment. The Admiral is a recipient of the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) awarded by the President of India.
 
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S. K. Sinha appointed as Secretary (Security) in Cabinet Secretariat

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Mr. S. K. Sinha, Special Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB), has been appointed as Secretary (Security) in the Cabinet Secretariat with effect from November 30, 2017.
 
Mr. Sinha, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1983 batch (Bihar cadre), will succeed Mr. A. R. K. Kini, IPS (BH: 1981), who will superannuate on that date, an official press release said.
 
The release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had also approved the appointment of Mr. A. P. Maheshwari, IPS (UP:1984), Special Director General, Border Security Force (BSF), as Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) for a period up to his superannuation on 28.02.2021 or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
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Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P assumes charge as Vice Chief of Naval Staff

Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P (left) taking charge as the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh (right) at a ceremony at South Block, New Delhi on October 30, 2017.
Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P (left) taking charge as the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh (right) at a ceremony at South Block, New Delhi on October 30, 2017.
Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P has assumed charge as the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff from Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh at a formal ceremony held this morning at South Block, New Delhi.
 
Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh proceeds to Visakhapatnam and is scheduled to take over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, tomorrow.
 
Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA). He was commissioned in the Indian Navy on July 1, 1981 and is a specialist in Missiles & Gunnery. 
 
The Flag Officer has had extensive operational tenures onboard frontline warships of the Indian Navy. He has had the distinction of having commanded six seagoing platforms which include the guided missile corvette Kulish (commissioning), the guided missile frigate Talwar and the guided missile destroyers Mumbai and Mysore. The officer has done the Naval Higher Command Course and is also an alumnus of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
 
His important shore/ staff assignments include Director Maritime Warfare Centre, Visakhapatnam, Commanding Officer of INS Dronacharya, Kochi, and Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Western Naval Command, Mumbai.
 
He was promoted to Flag Rank in September, 2009 and as a Rear Admiral, his assignments included Assistant Chief of Personnel (HRD) at Naval Headquarters, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF) and Chief of Staff of Southern Naval Command. 
 
On promotion to the Rank of Vice-Admiral on December 1, 2013, he was appointed as the Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala and thereafter has completed two joint service tenures as Principal Staff Officer at Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff, tenanting the billets of Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Policy Planning & Force Development).
 
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N. J. Gangte appointed as High Commissioner to Zambia

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Mr. N. J. Gangte, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Zambia.
 
A press release from MEA said Mr. Gangte, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1994 batch, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Renowned singer Girija Devi passes away

Girija Devi
Girija Devi
Renowned classical vocalist Girija Devi, whose renditions of thumris, khyal and tappa won her millions of admirers, passed away at a hospital here tonight after suffering a cardiac arrest, sources said.
 
She was 88. She is survived by a daughter.
 
Girija Devi was taken to the B M Birla Heart Research Centre this afternoon for treatment of cardiovascular ailments and was put on life support, the sources said.
 
Hospital sources said she was admitted to the Cardiac Care Unit and kept under continous watch. The end came at around 8.45 pm, they said.
 
"Saddened by demise of Girija Devi ji. Indian classical music has lost one of its most melodious voices. My thoughts are with her admirers," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter. 
 
"Girija Devi ji's music appealed across generations. Her pioneering efforts to popularise Indian classical music will always be remembered," he added.
 
Girija Devi was born on May 8, 1929 to Ramdeo Rai, a zamindar. Her father played the harmonium and taught music, and he made Girija Devi take lessons in singing khyal and tappa from vocalist and sarangi player Sarju Prasad Misra from the age of five.
 
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She made her public debut in 1949 on All India Radio, Allahabad and sang at her first concert in Bihar in 1951. She continued to study with Sri Chand Misra for some more years, until his death. She worked as a member of the faculty at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata in the 1980s and at the Banaras Hindu University during the early 1990s. She also toured and continued to perform and taught several students to preserve her musical heritage.
 
Girija Devi sang in the Banaras gharana and performed the purabi ang thumri style, typical of the tradition, whose status she helped elevate. Her repertoire included the semi-classical genres kajri, chaiti, and holi and she sang khyal, Indian folk music, and tappa.
 
The Government had honoured her with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour, in 2016. She had been awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan in 1989.
 
She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1977 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2010.
 
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Bishop Zacharias Mar Theophilus of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church passes away

Zacharias Mar Theophilus
Zacharias Mar Theophilus
Bishop Zacharias Mar Theophilus, the Metropolitan of the Malabar Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, passed away here today, the church announced today.
 
He was 65.
 
The bishop had been undergoing treatment for cancer at the MVR Cancer Centre here, and breathed his last at around 3.40 pm, the announcement said. He had also undergone treatment at the Tata Memorial Cancer Institute in Mumbai and at a hospital in Bengaluru.
 
His mortal remains will be interred at the Thadakam Kristhusishya Ashramam, Coimbatore, on Thursday.
 
Bishop Zacharias was born on August 17, 1952 as M.C. Cherian, the second of the three children of  M.P. Chandapillai and Achamma of Chengaroor, Mallappally, Pathanamthitta. 
 
After completing his college education, he joined the Old Seminary in Kottayam. He was made a Ramban in 2004 and named Zacharias. In 2005, he was made a Metropolitan with the name Zacharias Mar Theophilus.
 
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Eminent Malayalam filmmaker I. V. Sasi passes away

I. V. Sasi
I. V. Sasi
Eminent filmmaker I. V. Sasi, who had helmed more than 150 movies, mainly in Malayalam, passed away here today, sources close to his family said.
 
He was 69. He is survived by his wife, well-known actress Seema, and their two children, daughter Anu and son Ani.
 
According to the sources, Mr. Sasi died while he was being taken to a hospital after complaining of uneasiness.
 
The sources said that he was planning to leave later today on a visit to Australia, where his daughter lives, when the end came suddenly.
 
Mr. Sasi was one of the dominant figures in Malayalam cinema during the 1970s, '80s and '90s. He also made several films in Tamil and some in Hindi, too.
 
He was credited with introducing several new aspects to filmmaking during his illustrious career and played an important role in establishing actors such as Mammootty and Mohanlal as superstars. 
 
Born as Irruppam Veedu Sasidaran on March 28, 1948, Sasi moved to Chennai and began his career in films as an art director with Kaliyalla Kalyanam in 1968.
 
He worked as an assistant director in some films before directing his first film, Ulsavam, in 1975. He went on to make more than 170 films, many of which turned out to big hits. "Avalude Raavukal" helped him establish himself in the industry. He met his future wife Seema during the making of that film, and the two worked together on about 30 movies.
 
He introduced Mammootty as a hero in his film Thrishna and gave Mohanlal a major break in Ineyengillum. His collaborations with M. T. Vasudevan Nair, Padmarajan and T. Damodaran produced some memorable movies.
 
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He worked with Mammootty in more than 35 films and gave Mohanlal one of his biggest hits, Devaasuram.
 
He directed superstar Kamal Haasan in films like Guru, Kasishma and Eeta. He introduced megastar Rajanikanth to Malayalm films through through Allauddinum Albhutha Vilakkum in 1979. Other films with Rajinikanth include the Telugu-Tamil bilingual film Kaali and Ellam Un Kairasi. 
 
His Hindi movies included Patita (Mithun Chakraborty), Anokha Rishta (Rajesh Khanna and Smita Patil), Pratishodh (1980) and Karishma.
 
He won the Nargis Dutt Award for the best feature film on National Integration in 1982 for Aaroodam.
 
At the Kerala State Film Awards, he won awards for Best Art Director in Anubhavam (1976), Second Best Film for Aalkoottathil Thaniye (1984), Best Popular Film for 1921 (1988) and Best Director Mrigaya.
 
He won the Filmfare Awards (South) for Best Director for Itha Ivide Vare (1977) and for Eetta (1978. In 2015, Filmfare honoured him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also won the prestigious J. C. Daniel Award for the year 2015.
 
His daughter has acted in Symphony directed by him. His son is also into filmmaking.
 
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Alok Kumar Pateria appointed as ADG, CISF

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Alok Kumar Pateria, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1986 batch (Madhya Pradesh cadre), as Additional Director General, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) on  deputation basis.
 
An official press release said the appointment would be for a period upto May 31, 2020, the date of his superannuation, from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
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IPPB appoints Suresh Sethi as its MD & CEO

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India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has appointed Mr. Suresh Sethi, the former MD of Vodafone M-Pesa Ltd. as its Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
 
Mr. Sethi had been selected by the Banks Board Bureau from amongst top contenders for the post, from both public and private sector banking and fintech professionals, a release from IPPB said.
 
The release said Mr. Sethi has broad international experience of over 27 years in the banking and financial services industry with Citigroup, Yes Bank and Vodafone M-Pesa across India, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Argentina and the United States. He has extensively worked in the financial inclusion space leveraging fintech and digital-led innovation.
 
"His experience in the Digital & Mobile Payments space will be of great relevance to IPPB which aims to deliver financial inclusion with special focus in rural and semi-urban India and among the under-banked segments," it said.
 
Mr. Sethi takes over from Mr. A.P. Singh, who had been the interim MD & CEO of IPPB since January 2017.
 
IPPB has been incorporated as a public limited company under the Department of Posts with 100% Government of India (GOI) equity. 
 
"IPPB plans to leverage the unparalleled reach of the India Post network to achieve a pan India roll out of 650 branches by early next year," the release added.
 
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HSBC appoints Jayant Rikhye as CEO India

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The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) today announced the appointment of Mr. Jayant Rikhye as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for HSBC India with effect from 1 December 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
 
In his new role, Mr Rikhye will lead HSBC’s next phase of growth in the country, where he first joined the group in 1989, a press release from the bank said.
 
A HSBC Group General Manager, Mr Rikhye is currently Head of International, Asia-Pacific, responsible for 11 markets in the region. He is also Head of Strategy and Planning, Asia-Pacific.
 
Mr Rikhye succeeds Stuart Milne, who is also a Group General Manager, after five years in the role. Mr Milne will take a three month sabbatical from the beginning of January 2018 and his next role at HSBC will be announced in due course, the release said.
 
Mr. Peter Wong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, said: “Jayant brings with him a vast experience of leading international banking operations in Asia. I am confident he will be able to take the Bank’s India operations to the next level of development. I would like to thank Stuart for his significant contribution during his five years in India.”
 
During his career with HSBC, Mr Rikhye has worked in a number of countries and territories in a variety of functions, including Corporate Banking in Taiwan, Institutional Fund Services in Hong Kong and Head of Securities Services for the Middle East and North Africa, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
 
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Sibi George appointed as Ambassador to Switzerland

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Mr. Sibi George, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Aftairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Switzerland.
 
A press release from MEA said Mr. George, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1993 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Manika Jain appointed as the next Ambassador to Cambodia

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Ms. Manika Jain, presently Consul General of India, Melbourne has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Cambodia.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms. Jain, an Indian Foreign Service of the 1993 batch, was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Leslie Thng joins Vistara as chief executive officer

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Mr. Leslie Thng took over as the chief executive officer (CEO) of full-service carrier Vistara, a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, here yesterday.
 
He has succeeded Mr. Phee Teik Yeoh, who has returned to Singapore Airlines to take up a senior appointment. 
 
"Mr Thng has taken over as the airline’s new CEO post all requisite approvals from the Government of India and regulatory authorities," a press release from Vistara said here yesterday.
 
Mr Thng has joined Vistara from Budget Aviation Holdings (BAH, a Singapore Airlines Holding Company) where he was serving as the chief commercial officer.
 
“I am delighted to be joining Vistara that has transformed air travel experience in India and cultivated a reputation of setting new standards in service excellence in the Indian aviation industry,” said Mr Thng. “I look forward to the opportunity to build on the strong foundation and momentum created by Phee Teik Yeoh, and work with the wonderful team of Vistara. I hope to get the support of all stakeholders, including the customers, to take Vistara through its next phase of growth and development,” he added.
 
Mr Thng, who started his career in SIA in 1999 and held many senior positions in the airline, has significant leadership experience and deep knowledge of the aviation sector across international markets and various businesses. Prior to being appointed chief commercial officer for Budget Aviation Holdings, he was chief executive of SilkAir. 
 
Mr Thng holds a bachelor’s degree (Honors) in Business Administration from the National University of Singapore.
 
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Voltas names Pradeep Bakshi as its next MD & CEO

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The Board of Directors of Voltas, the global air-conditioning and engineering services provider and a part of the Tata group, has announced that Mr. Pradeep Bakshi, executive director & chief operating officer, will succeed Mr. Sanjay Johri, MD and CEO, when the latter superannuates in February 2018.
 
Simultaneously, Mr. Anil George, executive director (finance and corporate affairs), will be elevated as deputy managing director, with increased responsibilities, a press release from the company said here today.
 
Mr. Noel Tata, chairman of the Board said that the company had achieved great success under Mr Johri, MD and CEO, since 2010. 
 
“We are market leaders in the room air conditioning business, with a market share of 22 percent. Our net profit jumped by 30 percent in FY2016-17, to reach Rs 511 crores, with ROCE at 21 percent. And the Voltas share price has grown by 340 percent in five years, from Rs 120 to Rs 530," he said.
 
“The appointments of Pradeep Bakshi and Anil George mark the culmination of a formal succession process at Voltas Limited, in which MD Sanjay Johri and the Board were engaged for two years to groom the leadership team of the company," he added.
 
Mr Johri said that he was proud of Voltas’s leadership team and confident about the company’s prospects. “Our flagship consumer arm will achieve rapid growth both in the existing room AC business, and also from the launch of refrigerators, washing machines and other consumer durables in Voltas’s JV with the Arcelik group of Turkey. We will also sustain profitable growth in our engineering projects and engineering products businesses. I wish Pradeep and Anil all success in taking the company to greater heights.”
 
Mr Bakshi said that he was gratified by the trust reposed in him by the Board of Directors. “I am fortunate to have outstanding colleagues at Voltas, as also the continued mentoring from our MD and CEO and the Board of Directors. My goal is to build on the strong foundations created by Mr Johri. I am confident we will attain market leadership in the wider basket of consumer durables, as we did in the room AC industry.”
 
Mr. George said that the leadership team of Voltas was dynamic, result-oriented and pro-active, and he had absolutely no doubt that the best years for the company lay ahead.  
 
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Gautam Bambawale appointed as India's next Ambassador to China

Gautam Bambawale
Gautam Bambawale
Mr. Gautam H. Bambawale, presently High Commissioner of India to Pakistan, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to China.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Bambawale, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1984 batch, was expected to take up his new assignment shortly.
 
He will succeed Mr. Vijay Keshav Gokhale, who was earlier appointed as  Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
 
Mr. Bambawale, who was appointed as High Commissioner to Pakistan in December 2015, was earlier the Ambassador of India to Bhutan.
 
Mr. Bambawale has a Master's degree in Economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune.
 
After joining the IFS in 1984, he opted to learn Mandarin Chinese as his foreign language and served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991. He also speaks German fluently.
 
Returning to Delhi, he was first the Desk Officer for China in the Ministry of External Affairs, later serving as Director in the Americas Division of the Ministry, responsible for relations with the US and Canada [1993-94].
 
Mr. Bambawale was then appointed the Director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Berlin, Germany between 1994-98. He returned to Beijing and functioned as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy there.
 
In March 2001, he returned to the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi as the Staff Officer to the Foreign Secretary from March 2001 to June 2002.
 
Later, he worked in the Prime Minister's Office as Deputy Chief for the Division of National Security Affairs, Defence and International Policy.
 
From July 2004 to September 2007, he was Minister (Political) and Head of the Political Wing at the Embassy of India in Washington D.C.
 
From September 2007 to December 2009, Mr. Bambawale functioned as the Consul General of India in Guangzhou, China.He was the first Consul General of India in Guangzhou.
 
Returning to Delhi from Guangzhou, Mr. Bambawale served as Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs from December, 2009 to July 2014, responsible for relations with Japan, China and South Korea, amongst other countries.
 
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Mahesh Kumar Gupta, D. K. Gayen appointed as new Members of Railway Board

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Mr. Mahesh Kumar Gupta has been appointed as the new Member, Engineering and Mr. D. K. Gayen as the new Member, Staff of the Railway Board.
 
Both officers will be ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India, a press release from the Ministry of Railways said.
 
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Gupta, an officer of the 1979 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE), was General Manager, Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli. He has also worked as Chief Administrative Officer (Constructions), Central Railway. He has also held various other posts like Chief Bridge Engineer, Eastern Railways and Central Railways, respectively, Chief Engineer (Planning & Design), Central Railways, Senior Divisional Engineer (Coordination), Nagpur Division, Central Railways, Deputy Chief Engineer, Konkan Railways, Joint Director(Tracks), RDSO, Lucknow and Deputy Chief Engineer, Central Railways.
 
He has a Bachelor in Engineering from the University of Roorkee (1979).
 
Mr. Gayen, an officer of the 1981 batch of Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), was earlier the General Manager of East Central Railway at Hajipur. Before that, he has worked as Chief Mechanical Engineer, South Eastern Railway. He has also worked in various important posts like Chief Rolling Stock Engineer, Eastern Railways & Chief Motive Power Engineer, Eastern Railways, Chief Workshop Manager, Jamalpur Workshop and Liluah Workshop. He has also worked as Divisional Railway Manager, Asansol and Mughalsarai Division, respectively. He has served in the capacity of Director (Inspection and Liaison), RDSO, Lucknow.
 
Mr. Gayen has a Bachelor in Engineering from the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (1979).
 
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