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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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Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh takes over as Western Fleet Commander

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Rear Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh took over charge of Western Fleet, the 'sword arm' of the Indian Navy, from Rear Admiral M. A. Hampiholi at a  ceremonial parade held at the Naval dockyard here on Friday.
 
Rear Admiral Singh was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1986 and is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. A specialist in Navigation and Direction, he has held a range of command, training and staff appointments during his career.
 
His sea command appointments include that of the ASW and UAV-control Frigate Taragiri, where he was awarded the Nao Sena Medal, and the multi-role Frigate Trishul.
 
His other important appointments include Officer-in-Charge Local Workup Team (West), Indian Naval Attache at Iran, Joint Director of Personnel, Principal Director of Naval Operation and Principal Director of Strategy, Concepts and Transformation at IHQ MoD (N).
 
On promotion to Flag rank, he served as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Communication Space and Network Centric Operation) and Flag Officer Sea Training.
 
He also has the distinction of being the lead drafter for the Indian Navy’s Maritime Doctrine in 2009, Indian Maritime Security Strategy and Strategic Guidance to Transformation in 2015.
 
A keen student of military affairs, he has completed several post-graduate study programmes, including MSc and MPhil in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University, MA in Defence Studies from King’s College, London and MA (History), MPhil (Pol) and PhD in Political Science from Mumbai University.
 
Rear Admiral Hampiholi is proceeding to IHQ MoD (N), New Delhi, as Director General Naval Operations in the rank of Vice-Admiral on March 27. Under him, the Western Fleet had undertaken several operational deployments and multinational exercises, strengthening maritime security and deterrence at sea, for which he was recently awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal.
 
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Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh appointed as next Navy chief

Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh
Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh
The Government on Saturday appointed Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command, as the next Chief of the Naval Staff.
 
He will succeed Admiral Sunil Lanba, whose term of office will end on May 31, an official announcement said.
 
"Govt of India appoints Vice Admiral Karambir Singh PVSM AVSM ADC as the next Chief of the Naval Staff. To assume charge on superannuation of Admiral Sunil Lanba on 31 May 19," the spokesperson for the Indian Navy said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh had assumed charge as the FOC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command, on October 31, 2017. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune.
 
Commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980, the Admiral 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 39 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. Ashore, the Admiral 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 a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Board (AIRCATS).
 
On promotion to flag rank, the Admiral was appointed as Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. 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, Ministry of Defence (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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Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose sworn in as India's first Lokpal

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
President Ram Nath Kovind administred the oath of office to former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the Chairperson of the Lokpal, or anti-corruption ombudsman, at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.
 
Justice Ghose, 67, who was a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 2017, retired from the Supreme Court on May 27, 2017. He had assumed charge as Supreme Court judge on March 8, 2013.
 
He is a former judge of the Calcutta High Court and former Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. 
 
Born in Kolkata, Justice Ghose is the son of late Justice Sambhu Chandra Ghose, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. 
 
Graduating in Commerce from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta, Justice Ghose completed graduation in law (LL. B.) from the University of Calcutta and obtained Attorney-at-Law at Calcutta High Court, and enrolled himself as an advocate on November 30, 1976 with Bar Council of West Bengal. 
 
He practised in civil, commercial, arbitration, constitutional and company matters both in the original side and appellate side at Calcutta High Court.
 
On July 17, 1997, Justice Ghose was elevated as a permanent Judge of High Court at Calcutta. He held the post of Executive Chairman, Andaman and Nicobar State Legal Services Authority and Executive Chairman, State Legal Services Authority, West Bengal, since January 2, 2007 and August 1, 2007 respectively.
 
Since January 14, 2005, he was associated with Indian Law Institute (Calcutta Chapter) and acted as the Treasurer of the Indian Law Institute till May 22, 2012. He eas Chairman of Institutional Ethics Committee of National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata.
 
Jutice Ghose's appointment has come nearly five years after the Lokpal Act was notified on January 16, 2014. 
 
The law provides for a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to probe cases of corruption against public servants.
 
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Senior Punjab CPI-M leader Balwant Singh passes away

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Former MLA and ex-state CPI-M Secretary Balwant Singh (82) passed away on Thursday at his residence here after a brief illness.
 
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed grief over the demise of the veteran CPI-M leader. 
 
In his condolence message, the Chief Minister described Singh as a leader of the masses who worked relentlessly throughout his life for the cause of the disadvantaged sections of the society, especially to safeguard the interests of the industrial workers.
 
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AIADMK MLA R Kanagaraj dies after suffering heart attack

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AIADMK legislator R. Kanagaraj, representing the Sulur constituency in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, died of heart attack on Thursday morning, said police.
 
Kanagaraj, 64, was at his residence when he passed away. He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter. Sulur is part of Coimbatore district.
 
With Kanagaraj's death, the number of vacant Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu goes up to 22 and the number of AIADMK legislators in the assembly comes down to 114,  including the Speaker.
 
The Election Commission has announced bye-elections for 18 Assembly constituencies on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha polls.
 
IANS

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Former SC judge Justice P. C. Ghose appointed as India's first Lokpal

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
The President today appointed former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose as the Chairperson of the Lokpal or anti-corruption ombudsman of India.
 
Justices Dilip B. Bhosale, Pradip Kumar Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and Ajay Kumar Tripathi will be its Judicial Members, a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
The non-judicial Members, will be Dinesh Kumar Jain, Archana Ramasundaram, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam, it said.
 
The appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices, it added.
 
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Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan assumes charge as Flag Officer Sea Training

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Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan assumed charge as Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) of the Indian Navy in Kochi on Monday.
 
Rear Admiral Swaminathan, a specialist in Communication and Electronic Warfare was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 1, 1987. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune; the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham in the United Kingdom; the College of Naval Warfare, Karanja in Mumbai, and the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
 
He has commanded five frontline ships of the Indian Navy including the missile vessels, INS Vidyut and INS Vinash; the missile corvette, INS Kulish; the guided missile destroyer, INS Mysore; and the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
 
Prior to assuming charge as FOST, the Admiral was the Chief Staff Officer (Training) at Headquarters Southern Naval Command and played a key role in the conduct of all training in the Indian Navy. He was also instrumental in raising the Indian Naval Safety Team that oversees operational safety across all domains of the Navy.
 
The officer has a BSc degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, MA in Defence Studies from King’s College, London, MPhil in Strategic Studies from the Mumbai University and a PhD in International Studies from the Mumbai University.
 
FOST functions under the operational and administrative jurisdiction of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command. His charter includes the conduct of operational sea training for ships of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard by enhancing crew proficiency in all aspects, including safe navigation practices, damage control and firefighting drills, weapon firings as well as seamanship training.
 
The officer has taken over the appointment from Rear Admiral Sanjay J Singh, who has proceeded to Mumbai to assume his next appointment as Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF).
 
IANS
 

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Ex-SC judge Justice P. C. Ghose to be India's first Lokpal

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was on Sunday recommended to be the first Lokpal or anti-corruption ombudsman of India.
 
His name was finalised and recommended by the Selection Committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi.
 
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who is part of the committee, did not attend the meeting.
 
Justice Ghose, 67, who is a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) since June 2017, retired from the Supreme Court on May 27, 2017. He had assumed charge as Supreme Court judge on March 8, 2013. His was among the top 10 names shortlisted by the Lokpal Search Committee.
 
In July 2015, a Supreme Court bench of Justice Ghose issued notice to late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on a petition by the Karnataka government challenging the high court verdict acquitting her and three others in a disproportionate assets case.
 
He is a former judge of the Calcutta High Court and former Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. 
 
Born in Kolkata, Justice Ghose is son of Late Justice Sambhu Chandra Ghose, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. 
 
Graduating in Commerce from St.Xavier's College, Calcutta, Justice Ghose completed graduation in law (LL.B.) from University of Calcutta and obtained Attorney-at-Law at Calcutta High Court, and enrolled himself as an advocate on November 30, 1976 with Bar Council of West Bengal. 
 
He practised in civil, commercial, arbitration, constitutional and company matters both in the original side and appellate side at Calcutta High Court.
 
On July 17, 1997, Justice Ghose was elevated as a permanent Judge of High Court at Calcutta. He held the post of Executive Chairman, Andaman and Nicobar State Legal Services Authority and Executive Chairman, State Legal Services Authority, West Bengal, since January 2, 2007 and August 1, 2007 respectively.
 
Since January 14, 2005, he was associated with Indian Law Institute (Calcutta Chapter) and acted as the Treasurer of the Indian Law Institute till May 22, 2012. He Was Chairman of Institutional Ethics Committee of National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata.
 
Jutice Ghose's appointment has come nearly five years after the Lokpal Act was notified on January 16, 2014. 
 
The law provides for a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to probe cases of corruption against public servants.
 
The Supreme Court, hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, has been pushing the government to make the appointments. In its hearing on January 4, the apex court had asked the government to appoint a Lokpal at the earliest, saying "much time has elapsed, something needs to be done".
 
On January 17, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for repeatedly delaying the appointment of the Lokpal. On March 7, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had asked the Modi government to inform the court within a fortnight by when it would finalise the names. 
 
Delayed for some reason or the other, the search committee was constituted on September 27, 2018, after the Supreme Court's intervention and former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai was nominated to head it.
 
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Former SC judge Justice P. C. Ghose to be India's 1st Lokpal

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose
Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was on Sunday recommended to be the first Lokpal or anti-corruption ombudsman of India.
 
His name was finalised and recommended by the Selection Committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and eminent jurist Mukul Rohatgi.
 
Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who was a special invitee to the committee, did not attend the meeting.
 
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Santosh Jha appointed as Ambassador to Uzbekistan

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Santosh Jha, presently Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Washington, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Jha, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1993 batch, was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
The MEA also said Anurag Bhushan (IFS:1995), presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Malawi. 
 
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A. K. Mohanty takes over as Director BARC

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Dr. A. K. Mohanty, distinguished Scientist and Director, physics group of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata today took over as Director, BARC from K. N. Vyas, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy. 
 
Dr. Mohanty graduated from the 26th batch of the BARC Training School and joined Nuclear Physics Division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1983. 
 
During the past 36 years, he has worked in several areas of nuclear physics covering collision energy from sub-Coulomb barrier to relativistic regime.
 
Dr. Mohanty is the recipient of Young Scientists Award of Indian Physical Society (1988), Young Physicist Award by Indian National Science Academy (1991) and Department of Atomic Energy Homi Bhabha Science & Technology Award (2001).
 
While taking over as Director-BARC, Dr. Mohanty has expressed gratitude towards his predecessors in Physics Group who have helped him in understanding finer nuances of low and high energy nuclear physics.  He also gratefully acknowledged the efforts put in by his seniors which have helped in completion of projects of national and international importance in which he could contribute, and said he is committed to continue further the work of BARC in the fields of societal importance.
 
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Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs meets Modi, Swaraj

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Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today when the two sides agreed they should work together for irreversible, verifiable and credible steps against all terrorists without any discrimination.
 
Al Jubeir's visit was a follow-up of the visit to Delhi last month by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud last month.
 
The Saudi Minister conveyed the greetings of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Prime Minister. 
 
The Prime Minister warmly reciprocated the wishes. He thanked the leadership of Saudi Arabia for expressing full solidarity with India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. 
 
Al Jubeir briefed the Prime Minister on the follow up of the outcomes of the visit of Prince Mohammed in February 2019. Both the countries have taken significant steps including to boost trade and investment and to achieve $ 100 billion investment from Saudi Arabia into India, which was announced during the visit of the Crown Prince.
 
Later, Minister Al Jubeir met and held discussions with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the entire gamut of bilateral relations. They took note of significant developments after the visit of Prince Mohammed to India. 
 
Swaraj reiterated that an immediate irreversible and verifiable action to dismantle terror infrastructure is essential to fight the menace of terror. 
 
It was agreed to set up the Strategic Partnership Council at the earliest. The gesture from Saudi side to increase the Hajj Quota to 2,00,000 and grant royal pardon to 850 Indian prisoners was highly appreciated.
 
"India and Saudi Arabia enjoy warm, close and multifaceted relations underpinned by historic, cultural, religious and economic linkages which stand elevated to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner and second largest supplier of our crude oil needs," a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs addded.
 
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Kovind presents Padma Awards to 55 awardees

Balwant Purandare
Balwant Purandare
President Ram Nath Kovind presented the prestigious Padma Awards to 55 eminent persons from India and abroad at a civil investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.
 
Those who received the awards included Marathi writer and theatre personality Balwant Purandare, who was conferred the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour.
 
Purandare, 96, has written works which are mostly based on the events related to the life of Shivaji, the 17th-century founder of the Maratha Empire. In particular, he is known for his play on Shivaji, "Jaanta Raja", which is popular in Maharashtra. He has also studied the history of the Peshwas of Pune.
 
Kovind also presented eight Padma Bhushan and 46 Padma Shri awards today.
 
Fomer CISCO Systems Chairman and CEO John Chambers of the United States, South African Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, Malayalam actor Mohanlal, sitarist Budhaditya Mukherjee, former Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Karia Munda and Lok Sabha member and BJP leader Hukumdev Narayan Yadav.
 
Late journalist Kuldip Nayar, who passed away in August 2018, was given the Padma Bhushan posthumously.
 
Those who received the Padma Shri today  included actors Manoj Bajpayee, Dinyar Contractor, Prabhu Deva, well-known Delhi-based surgeon Sandeep Guleria, former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, eminent theatre director Waman Kendre, singer Shankar Mahadevan and percussionist Anandan Sivamani.
 
Table tennis star Sharath Kamal Achanta, wrestler Bajrang Punia and kabbadi player Ajay Thakur also received the Padma Shri.
 
Budhaditya Mukherjee
Budhaditya Mukherjee
Well-known Bollywood actor and comedian Kader Khan, who passed away recently in Canada, was honoured with the Padma Shri posthumously.
 
Others who received the Padma Shri today were Bangaru Adigalar, Spiritualism, Tamil Nadu); Prof. Ilias Ali, Medicine, Assam; Prof. Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti, Archaeology, Delhi; Dr. Mammen Chandy, Medicine, West Bengal; Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli, Social Work, Gujarat;  Babulal Dahiya, Agriculture, Madhya Pradesh; Bhagirathi Devi, Public Affairs, Bihar; Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, Science & Engineering, Punjab;  Harika Dronavalli, Sports, Andhra Pradesh; Dr. P. S. Hardia, Medicine, Madhya Pradesh;  Bulu Imam, Social Work, Jharkhand; Kadamputharamadom Gopalan Thanthri Jayan, Art, Kerala; Dr. Rajani Kant, Social Work, Uttar Pradesh; Dr. Ravindra Deorao Kolhe and Dr. Smita Ravindra Kolhe (Duo), Medicine, Maharashtra; Raj Kumari, Agriculture, Bihar; Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, Agriculture, Gujarat; Prof. Shadab Mohammad, Medicine, Uttar Pradesh; Prof. (Dr.) Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Medicine, Jharkhand; Shantanu Narayen, Trade & Industry, United States of America; Jagdish Prasad Pareek, Agriculture, Rajasthan; Dr. Bimal Hasmukh Patel, Architecture, Gujarat;   Ganpat I. Patel, Literature & Education, United States of America; Dr. R.V. Ramani, Medicine, Tamil Nadu; Yadlapalli Venkateswara Rao, Agriculture, Andhra Pradesh; Mahesh Sharma, Social Work, Madhya Pradesh;  Narender Singh, Animal Husbandry, Haryana; Brahmasree Visudhananda Swami, Spiritualism, Kerala;  Jamuna Tudu, Social Work, Jharkhand;  and Ram Saran Verma, Agriculture, Uttar Pradesh.
 
Well-known painter Jyoti Bhatt was amongst those who could not attend the ceremony to receive the Padma Shri. Others included Thanga Darlong, Art, Tripura; Dr. Subhash Kak, Science & Engineering, United States of America; Ramesh Baba Maharaj, Social Work, Uttar Pradesh; Ms. Milena Salvini, Art, France; and Nagindas Sanghavi, Literature & Education (Journalism), Gujarat.
 
Mohanlal
Mohanlal
The Padma Awards -- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri -- are announced ahead of the Republic Day every year and given in various fields of activities, including art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, and so on.
 
‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. 
 
This year the President of India has approved conferment of 112 Padma Awards including one duo case (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one). 
 
Apart from the four Padma Vibhushan, the list includes 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri Awards.  
 
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Maroon 5 performs at Akash, Shloka's wedding party

Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta Ambani during their wedding reception at Jio World Garden in Mumbai on March 10, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta Ambani during their wedding reception at Jio World Garden in Mumbai on March 10, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
After getting Beyonce to perform at a pre-wedding party for his daughter Isha last year, industrialist Mukesh Ambani -- the richest Indian -- on Sunday hosted a post-wedding celebration for his son Akash with American pop rock band Maroon 5 regaling a star-studded crowd.
 
Maroon 5, which has Adam Levine as its lead vocalist, took the stage at the Jio World Centre, and performed some of their hit tracks, including "Girls like you" and "What lovers do".
 
While a social media policy was issued to the guests urging privacy for the celebrations, a few video snippets from the private show made it to social media.
 
In one of the videos, the couple is seen dancing away and lip syncing to Levine's live rendition of his popular song "She will be loved".
 
Their songs "Sugar" and "Moves like Jagger" are reportedly loved by Akash and Shloka, respectively.
 
Having the Grammy Award-winning Maroon 5 at the party took Akash and Shloka's wedding celebrations to the next level after the Ambani family had already made the world sit up and take notice of the celebrations by roping in Coldplay and The Chainsmokers to perform at their pre-wedding gala in St. Moritz, Switzerland last month.
 
Akash, son of Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, and Shloka, youngest daughter of diamond merchant Russell Mehta, got married here on Saturday at a lavish ceremony.
 
The celebration night on Sunday saw elaborate fireworks and a performance by Akash's mother Nita Ambani. She danced to Krishna bhajan "Achyutam Keshavam" with a musical fountain adding to the drama.
 
A host of Bollywood celebrities, politicians and sportspersons came together for the evening.
 
Bollywood celebs turned up in full force for the gala evening.
 
The guests included Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karan Johar, Jeetendra and daughter Ekta Kapoor, Suniel Shetty and Mana Shetty, Riteish Deshmukh, Goldie Behl and Sonali Bendre Behl, Prasoon Joshi, Shankar Mahadevan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna.
 
There was also Karisma Kapoor, Pooja Hegde, Boney Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Raj Kundra, Madhur Bhandarkar, Padmini Kolhapure, Falguni Pathak, Farah Khan, Sanjay Khan, Kiara Advani, Anu Malik, Dia Mirza, Kriti Sanon, Arjun Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Juhi Chawla, Rajkumar Hirani, Diana Penty and David Dhawan among others.
 
Sachin Tendulkar, Irfan Pathan, P.V. Sindhu, Anil Kumble, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya were seen from the sports world, while politician Uddhav Thackeray was seen with his son Aditya at the function.
 
A reception party on Monday will wrap up the celebrations.
 
IANS
 

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Ausaf Sayeed appointed as Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia

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Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, presently High Commissioner of India to Seychelles, has been appointed as the next Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
 
Dr. Sayeed, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1989 batch, is expected to take up the assignment shortly, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
The Ministry also announced the appointment of Kishan Dan Dewal (IFS:2003), presently Deputy High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, as the next Ambassador to Armenia.
 
B. S. Mubarak, (IFS:2001), presently Ambassador of India to Guatemala, has been concurrently accredited as Ambassador to El Salvador, with residence in Guatemala City, the release added.
 
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Subhash Chandra Garg is new Finance Secretary

Subhash Chandra Garg
Subhash Chandra Garg
Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, will be the new Finance Secretary.
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, lAS (RJ:1983), Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance as Finance Secretary," a notification from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) said.
 
Garg has succeeded Ajay Narayan Jha, who had been given an extension in service for one month beyond his superannuation on January 31, 2019 in view of the Union Budget that was presented to the Lok Sabha on February 1. Jha has, after superannuation, joined the Fifteenth Finance Commission as a Member with effect from March 1.
 
Garg, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1983 batch (Rajasthan cadre), had assumed office as the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), on July 12, 2017. He was Executive Director, World Bank, Washington D.C. before that.
 
Among other assignments, Garg has served as Director, DEA from May, 2000 to September, 2003. Later he took over as Joint Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and continued to hold that position till May, 2005. He has also worked in the Cabinet Secretariat where he held the position of Joint Secretary/Additional Secretary from February, 2012 to December, 2013,
 
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Manpreet Vohra appointed as Ambassador to Mexico

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Manpreet Vohra, presently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Mexico.
 
A press release from the MEA said Vohra, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1988 batch, is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Pranay Kumar Verma appointed as Ambassador to Vietnam

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Pranay Kumar Verma (IFS:1994), presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Vietnam.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Sanjiv Kohli (IFS:1988), presently High Commissioner of India to New Zealand has been appointed as the next High Commissioner to Tanzania.
 
Abhay Thakur, (IFS:1992) presently High Commissioner to Nigeria, has been concurrently accredited as Ambassador of India to Chad, with residence in Abuja, it said.
 
Nina Tshering La, presently Ambassador to Congo, has been concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Gabon, with residence in Kinshasa, the release added.
 
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Ajay Narayan Jha joins as Member, Finance Commission

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Former Finance Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha joined the Fifteenth Finance Commission as its Member here on Friday.
 
He has replaced Shaktikanta Das, who had resigned as a Member of the Commission after being appointed as Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
 
Jha, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Manipur cadre, had earlier served as Secretary to the Fourteenth Finance Commission which was headed by former RBI Governor Y. V. Reddy.
 
The Fifteenth Finance Commission was constituted by a Presidential Order in November, 2017 under the Chairmanship of N. K. Singh to decide the formula for devolution of revenue between Centre and States, for a period of five years – April, 2020 to March, 2025.
 
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Kamalesh Das appointed Director (Engineering, R&D), BHEL

Kamalesh Das
Kamalesh Das
Kamalesh Das has been appointed as Director (Engineering, R&D) of the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
 
Prior to this, as Executive Director, Das was heading various business verticals at BHEL’s Industry Sector, which is responsible for carrying out the company’s diversification and growth initiatives. Major verticals in his portfolio included Renewable Energy, Industrial Systems, Electrical and Transmission Products, a press release from BHEL said.
 
Earlier he was also the head of various manufacturing units of BHEL like Insulator Plant, Jagdishpur, Electro-Porcelains Division, Bengaluru, and Component Fabrication Plant, Rudrapur.
 
Das, 57, is an engineering graduate from Calcutta University and also has a post-graduate diploma in management. He joined BHEL as an Engineer Trainee at the company’s Insulator Plant in 1982.
 
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Viraj Singh appointed as Ambassador to Tajikistan

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Viraj Singh, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Tajikistan.
 
A press release from MEA said Viraj Singh, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the  1997batch, would take up the assignment shortly.
 
The MEA also said Rajeev Kumar (IFS: 2001), presently Ambassador to Senegal, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Mozambique.
 
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AIADMK MP S. Rajendran dies in road accident in Tamil Nadu

S. Rajendran
S. Rajendran
S. Rajendran, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) member of the Lok Sabha from Villupuram in Tamil Nadu, died in a road accident at Tindivanam, about 125 km from here, early this morning.
 
He was 62. He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
 
According to reports reaching here, the mishap occurred at around 6.30 am when Rajendran was on his way from Tindivanam to Chennai. The driver of the vehicle apparently lost control over the wheel and it crashed into the median, they said.
 
The report said Rajendran suffered serious injuries and died on the spot, while the driver of the car has been admitted for treatment to the Tindivanam General Hospital.
 
Rajendran, a former district panchayat president, was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in the 2014 general elections. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers and Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
 
"My colleague,  Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Viluppuram (TN) and senior AIADMK leader Shri S Rajendran is no more with us. He died in a car accident that took place early Saturday morning in Viluppuram district. I offer my condolences to his wife Smt Shantaji and the family," Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Twitter.
 

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Tarun Shridhar given additional charge as Secretary of newly created Department of Fisheries

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Tarun Shridhar, IAS (HP:1984), Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, has been given additional charge as Secretary  of the newly created Department of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
 
The appointment is with immediate effect and till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders, whichever is earlier, an official press release said.
 
The appointment has come a day after the Cabinet approved the creation of one post of Secretary and  one post of Joint Secretary in the new department.
 
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Sushil Chandra takes over as new Election Commissioner

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Sushil Chandra, former Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner here today.
 
He has joined Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner in the three-man Election Commission of India (ECI).
 
Born on May 15, 1957, Chandra was an officer of the 1980 batch of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and has served in various states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
 
Among other positions, he has served as Director of Investigation, Mumbai and Director General (Investigation), Gujarat. 
 
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