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Yash Pal receives UNESCO's Kalinga Prize

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Well-known scientist and educator Yash Pal was awarded UNESCO's prestigious Kalinga Prize for the Popularisation of Science in Budapest on Thursday jointly with Prof Trinh Xuan Thuan of Vietnam.

The prize was presented by UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura during the opening of the World Science Forum in the Hungarian capital.

The Kalinga Prize, established in 1951, is given annually to a person who has helped interpret science, research and technology for the general public.

Prof Yash Pal, 83, a former Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, was chosen for the award for helping to develop the concept of a number of television shows that popularise science, such as the "Science is Everywhere" series for rural children in India.

The citation for prize also noted that he had contributed to the development of several institutions in India, including the University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune and the Centre for Educational Communication in Ahmedabad, a UNESCO press release said.

Prof Thuan is an astrophysicist internationally recognized for his research in extragalactic astronomy (concerning objects beyond the Milky Way). In 2004, he discovered the youngest known galaxy in the universe. Author of over 200 articles on the formation and evolution of galaxies, Prof Thuan has published numerous books for non-scientific readers. Among his best known are "Birth of the Universe - The Big Bang and After", an illustrated history of the Big Bang; and "The Quantum and the Lotus", a dialogue with the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard.

Among the other awards presented at the event was the Great Man-Made River International Water Prize for Arid and Semi-Arid Zones, given every two years for significant contribution to the management or development of water resources in arid and semi-arid regions. The laureate this year is Dr Bellachheb Chahbani, whose research over the last 25 years at the Institute of Arid Regions in Medenine (Tunisia) has helped improve water management and optimize irrigation systems by reducing evaporation and run-off.

The Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation for 2009 has been awarded to the Autonomous Authority for National Parks in Spain.

Prof Yash Pal took a degree in Physics from the Punjab University in 1949 and completed his Ph.D. in Physics at the Masachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1958. He has served at the Niels Bohr Institute, the California Institute of Technology and the Danish Space Research Institute.

In India, Prof Yash Pal has worked as Chief Consultant to the Planning Commission in 1983-84 and as Chairman of the University Grants Commission (1986-91). The Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1976.

In recent times, Prof Yash Pal was in the news for heading the committee that submitted a report on "Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education" in the country to the Government.

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D R Meena to be Secretary, Legal Affairs

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Mr D R Meena has been appointed as the Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, for a period of one year from the date of assumption of charge of the post.

An official press release said Mr Meena, an officer of the Indian Legal Service and currently the Additional Secretary in the Department, would succeed Mr T K Viswanathan, who completed his tenure on October 31.

The release also said that Ms Kiran Dhingra, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of the 1975 batch (Union Territory cadre), who is at present Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, would hold additional charge of the post of Secretary, Ministry of Shipping for a period of three months with effect from November 1 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

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Radhakrishnan takes over as ISRO Chairman

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Dr K Radhakrishnan, a member of the Space Commission and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, today assumed office as Chairman, Space Commission, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

He has succeeded Dr G Madhavan Nair, who during his six-year tenure from September 23 was responsible for the realisation of 25 successful launch vehicle and spacecraft missions, capped by the launch of India's first unmanned mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-1.

Dr Nair also operationalised the launch of multiple satellites using polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLV) and was responsible for the launch of 18 satellites for international customers. He was also responsible for bagging commercial satellite ventures such as W2M and Hylas for European customers.

Dr Radhakrishnan is an accomplished technocrat who has spent more than 38 years in the fields of space technology, applications and space programme management.

He graduated in Electrical Engineering from Kerala University in 1970 and then completed the Post-Graduate Programme in Management in the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore in 1976. He was awarded Ph.D. by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2000.

Dr Radhakrishnan started his career as an Avionics Engineer in 1971 at the VSSC. He went on to serve as Project Director for setting up Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (1987-89), Director of National Natural Resources Management System-Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (1989-97), Director of Budget and Economic Analysis for entire ISRO (1987-97), Mission Director of Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development and Deputy Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (1997-2000).

He had a short stint in the Ministry of Earth Sciences during 2000-05 as the founder Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services and the first Project Director of Indian National Tsunami Warning System.

As the Director of National Remote Sensing Agency during 2005-08, Dr Radhakrishnan led NRSA to be the nerve centre of the ISRO’s Disaster Management Support Programme by successfully institutionalising the 24X7 Decision Support Centre (DSC) at NRSA which provides space-based inputs to various state and central government agencies during pre-disaster, disaster and post-disaster phases, in close coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

As the Director of VSSC, Dr Radhakrishnan (2007-09) led a team of about 4500 professionals, including more than 2000 engineers and scientists. He was the key person in the Chandrayaan-1 mission, responsible for the realisation of PSLV C-11 launch vehicle. Under his stewardship, five successful launches of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) were realised and 20 spacecraft, including Chandrayaan-1, were taken to the desired orbits precisely.

Dr Radhakrishnan is a member of the Space Commission since October 2008.

He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Systems Society of India, Indian Geophysical Union and Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and was the President of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing during 2005-07 and Vice President of Indian Geophysical Union during 2007-09.

Dr Radhakrishnan was bestowed with the Dr Y Nayudamma Memorial Award of Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences (2009), Bhaskara Award of Indian Society of Remote Sensing (2008), Silver Jubilee Honour by Ministry of Earth Sciences (2006), VASVIK Industrial Research Award in the field of Electrical and Electronics Sciences and Technology (2005) and K R Ramanathan Memorial Gold Medal of Indian Geophysical union (2003). Dr Radhakrishnan has authored more than 55 publications, including 12 in reputed journals and eight in edited books.

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Chakravarty next envoy to Thailand, Mitter to Bangladesh

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Mr Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, currently India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Thailand.

Mr Chakravarty will succeed Ms Vijaya Latha Reddy. His place in Dhaka will be taken by Mr Rajeet Mitter, at present the Indian Ambassador to Phillipines.

Mr Chakravarty and Mr Mitter belong to the 1977 batch of the Indian Foreign Service. Both of them are expected to take up their new assignments shortly, an official press release added.

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Dr K Radhakrishnan to be next Chairman of ISRO

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ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair and Dr. K. Radhakrishnan after the successful launch of PSLV C14 at Sriharikota on September 23, 2009.
ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair and Dr. K. Radhakrishnan after the successful launch of PSLV C14 at Sriharikota on September 23, 2009.

Dr K Radhakrishnan, the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, has been appointed as the next Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Official sources in ISRO, Bangalore, told NetIndian over the telephone that Dr Radhakrishnan would assume charge on November on the retirement of the present Chairman, Dr G Madhavan Nair.

The Government is expected to make a formal announcement about his appointment soon, the sources said.

Dr Radhakrishnan, who took over as Director of VSSC on November 30, 2007, is an engineering graduate from the Kerala University (1970) and then completed the post-graduate programme in management from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) in 1976. He completed his doctorate at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2000.

He started his career in ISRO in 1971 as an avionics engineer at the VSSC, which is ISRO's lead centre for development of satellite launch vehicles and associated technologies.

Later, he was the Director of Budget and Economic Analysis at ISRO Headquarters, Bangalore as well as Director of Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres.

Subsequently, he was the Mission Director of Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development and Deputy Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad of the Department of Space.

From 2000-2005, he was the Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad under the Department of Ocean Development (presently Ministry of Earth Sciences) and Project Director of Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges. In November 2005, Dr Radhakrishnan became Director of NRSA.

Dr Radhakrishnan was the Vice Chairman of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the founder Chairman of Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS). He was a member of the Indian delegation to the UN Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space since June 2006.

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Acharya to hold additional charge as Secretary, Women & Child Development

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Mr K M Acharya, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, will hold additional charge of the post of Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development.

An official press release said the appointment, approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, would be for a period of three months or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Mr Acharya is an officer of the Indian Administative Service (IAS) of the 1974 batch (Madhya Pradesh cadre).

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Admiral Sureesh Mehta named High Commissioner to New Zealand

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Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta has been appointed as India's next High Commissioner to New Zealand.

An announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs said Admiral Mehta was expected to take up his assignment shortly.

Admiral Mehta had retired from service on August 31 this year.

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Atul Chaturvedi is new Steel Secretary

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File photo of Atul Chaturvedi.
File photo of Atul Chaturvedi.

Mr Atul Chaturvedi, at present the Secretary, Department of Fertilisers, has been appointed as the Secretary in the Ministry of Steel from October 31.

Mr Chaturvedi, who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1974 batch (Uttar Pradesh cadre), will succeed Mr P K Rastogi, who will retire from service on that date.

Mr S Krishnan, an IAS officer of the 1975 batch (Uttarakhand cadre), at present Special Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, will take Mr Chaturvedi's place in the Department of Fertilisers, an official announcement said.

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Yogendra Kumar to be Ambassador to Phillipines

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Mr Yogendra Kumar, currently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to the Phillipines.

Mr Kumar, an officer of the 1977 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), will succeed Mr Rajeet Mitter and was expected to take up his assignment shortly, an MEA press release added.

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Madhavan Nair is new President of International Academy of Astronautics

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File photo of ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair.
File photo of ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair has taken over as the President of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

Dr Madhavan Nair, the first Indian space expert to become president of the academy, assumed charge yesterday during the General Assembly of the IAA in Daejeon, South Korea, an ISRO press release said. He was the Vice-President of Scientific Activites of the IAA for the last four years.

The IAA, with its headquarters in Paris, is an independent organisation of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for their outstanding contributions to astronautics and the exploration of space.

The IAA organises conferences and collaborates with other partner societies. Although the IAA has many connections to other similar organisations, it is the only international academy of elected members in the broad area of astronautics and space. IAA membership consists of individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of the fields of astronautics or one of the branches of science of fundamental importance for the exploration of space.

The academy, founded in 1960, today has a total of about 1200 members from 85 countries. It is an honorary society with an action agenda. The academy has a strong scientific programme this year with about 16 stand-alone conferences around the world.

Dr Madhavan Nair, who is also Secretary, Department of Space in the Government of India, is also the President of the Astronautical Society of India (ASI).

He started his career as Avionics Project Manager in the first Indian launch vehicle project. He was responsible for design, development and operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the work-horse launch vehicle of India. He held various responsibilities in ISRO, including Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and Director of Liquid Propulsion System Centre.

He became Chairman, ISRO in 2003, and has 25 successful missions so far during his tenure. He operationalised multiple satellite launches using PSLV. His most significant contribution is the successful launch of India’s first mission to the Moon, the Chandrayaan-1.

The Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1998 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2009.

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Sudesh Kumar joins Railway Board as Member

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Mr Sudesh Kumar has assumed charge as Member (Electrical) of the Railway Board, an official press release said here today.

Prior to this, he was posted as General Manager, North Central Railways, with headquarters at Allahabad.

An officer of the 1972 batch of the Indian Railway Engineering Service, Mr Kumar is an engineering graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.

In his long career in the Indian Railways, Mr Kumar has served in various important positions, including as Chief Electrical Engineer South-Central Railway, Divisional Railway Manager, Asansol and Additional Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board.

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Bishnoi to be Ambassador to Ethiopia

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Mr Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, at present Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangkok, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Ethiopia.

Mr Bishnoi, an officer of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), 1983 batch, will succeed Mr Gurjit Singh. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly, an official statement added.

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Vijay Kelkar elected Chairman of Forum of Federations

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Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission has been unanimously elected as Chairman of the Forum of Federations, an international organization headquartered in Ottawa which seeks to strengthen democratic governance by promoting dialogue on the practices, principles, and possibilities of federalism through partner governments.

The Forum builds international networks and fosters the exchange of experience on federal governance with a strong focus on fiscal federalism. The Forum also disseminates knowledge and technical advice of interest to existing federations and of benefit to countries seeking to introduce federal elements into their governance structures and constitutions. Thus, the Forum deals not only with governments and administrations, but also with civil society organizations in sharing federal knowledge and promoting a federal spirit in a society.

India, represented through the Inter State Council, is a partner government since 2005 in the Forum, which includes Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Switzerland and also Brazil which joined the Forum last year.

In November, 2007, the Forum held its Fourth International Conference on Federalism in New Delhi which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by several heads of government.

Dr Kelkar, a former Finance Secretary, is expected to submit the Report of the 13th Finance Commission by December this year. He will take over the Chair of the Forum in January, 2010 from Dr. Arnold Koller, former President of Switzerland, who has been Chairman since February, 2005.

Dr. George Anderson, former Deputy Minister in Canadian Government, is the President & CEO of the Forum.

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Aruba Networks appoints Shalendra Singh as Sales Director

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Aruba Networks, Inc., which provides wireless LAN and secure mobility solutions, has appointed Mr Shalendra Singh as its Sales Director for India.

Mr Singh will be based in New Delhi and lead sales, partner and reseller operations throughout the country.

A press release issued by the company said Mr Singh had more than 15 years of IT and networking experience in the United States, Asia and India.

Before joining Aruba, he was the Vice-President of Sales and Business Developlment at O-Zone Networks in India. He has also worked for IBM India, PeopleSoft Singapore and webMethods.

"The wireless market in India is experiencing tremendous growth, and we believe a seasoned executive manager is essential in order to navigate the many potential opportunities and spur growth," Mr Albert Tay, Aruba's Regional Managing Director for ASEAN & India, said.

"We have invested heavily in the region, both in our Bangalore research and development center and a growing network of national sales representatives. Shalendra will be invaluable in driving new business and supporting our large and growing base of existing customers," he added.

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Journalist Shivnath Thukral joins Essar Group

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Mr Shivnath Thukral, who was until recently the Group Business Editor of NDTV, will join the Essar Group as its Group President - Corporate Branding & Strategic Initiatives with effect from October 12, the company announced here today.

Mr Thukral has a Master's degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a Master's in Journalism from the United States. He was with NDTV for 14 years.

“Shivnath has a rich experience of analyzing Indian businesses, financial markets and economic affairs.  He also brings to the table international experience of engaging with global thinkers, economists and CEOs. His skills and expertise will be invaluable in strategically reaching out to appropriately position the Essar Brand with its various stake holders whilst articulating and helping Essar’s journey from being a domestic manufacturing company to being a respected global entrepreneur," Mr Shashi Ruia, Chairman of Essar Group, said.

He said the group, with operations in five continents, had made several global acquisitions and alliances in the last few years and launched a refreshed brand identity and vision.

"Shivnath’s inclusion in its senior leadership team will add great value to the transformational process the Group is going through currently," he added.

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Chandrasekaran takes over as CEO and MD of TCS

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Mr N Chandrasekaran today assumed charge as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, the leading IT services, business solutions and outsourcing firm.

Mr Chandrasekaran, who was till now the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of the company, succeeded Mr S Ramadorai, who is stepping down from the executive role to take the position of non-executive vice chairman.

"Chandra is extremely well equipped to take over the mantle from his illustrious predecessor, Ram. This has truly been a seamless transition process," Mr Aman Mehta, independent director on the board of TCS said.

Mr Chandrasekaran said: "I take over at a time when Mr Ramadorai has ensured a strong position for TCS as a $6 billion company and a global IT services powerhouse. With our strong customer base, full services offering, multi-domain capability, and presence across emerging markets, I believe that we are optimally positioned to take advantage of the opportunity in the global market," said Mr Chandrasekaran."

He added: "It is important to drive excellence and growth through empowerment of our 140,000-strong employee base and value articulation for our global customers."

"Over the last 13 years, we’ve seen a tremendous transformation and growth not only in TCS but across the Indian IT services industry as a whole. I wish Chandra the very best, I am sure he will steer TCS to its next level of development and growth," Mr Ramadorai said.

Mr Ramadorai is retiring from his executive position after 13 years as CEO, upon reaching the retirement age of 65 years as per the company’s governance policy. He will remain involved in the company as a non-executive vice chairman and a member of the board of directors, a TCS press release added.

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Air Marshal Bhangu takes over as AOC-in-C, SW Air Command

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Air Marshal Paramjit Singh Bhangu has taken over as as the new Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), South Western Air Command (SWAC) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Gandhinagar.

Air Marshal Bhangu was commissioned in the IAF as a fighter pilot on January 22, 1972.

An official press release said he had more than 4000 hours of combat flying experience and commanded a front line air base.

A qualified A2 Category Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader, he has served as Commanding Officer of a Fighter Combat Squadron and the Tactics & Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE).

He is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College, Wellington. Besides staff appointments at Air Headquarters as Joint Director Air Defence and Principal Director Flight Safety, the Air Officer had a flying instructional tenure of two years in a friendly country and also a diplomatic tenure in the Embassy of India Moscow, Russia as Air Attache for over three years.

The release said he had also held the appointments of Director General, Air Force Naval Housing Board, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Airmen & Civilians) at Air Headquarters.

Air Marshal Bhangu was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1992 and the Ati Vishist Seva Medal in 1996 for exceptional devotion to duty. He was serving as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command, New Delhi before taking over as AOC-in-C, SWAC, the release added.

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B Prasada Rao named CMD of BHEL

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B. Prasada Rao
B. Prasada Rao

Mr B Prasada Rao has assumed charge as the Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

Mr Rao, 55, has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh and a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering from NITIE, Mumbai.

According to a press release from BHEL, Mr Rao started his career in BHEL as an Industrial Engineer in the Industrial Systems Group at Bangalore in 1978. It said he had been responsible for conceptualising the approach for organisation of BHEL's Industry Sector business segment and drawing up a blueprint for Electronics in the company.

The release said that Mr Rao had later spearheaded the diversification initiative in the company's Electronics Division for BHEL's entry into Defence Simulators and Telecom products. He was instrumental in setting up the company's Electronics Systems Division in addition to Planning and Development activities.

Mr Rao has also served in BHEL's Heavy Power Equipment Plant at Hyderabad as in-charge of manufacture of steam turbines, gas turbines and compressors. He underwent training in GE, United States, in the manufacture of advanced class gas turbines. He led two corporate plan exercises at the Corporate Planning and Development department.

Mr Rao was working as head of BHEL's Industrial Systems and Products business until he was selected as the Chairman and Managing Director.

He takes over the position at a time when BHEL is enhancing its manufacturing capacity to 15,000 MW per annum and plans to augment it further to 20,000 MW by March, 2012.

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Rakesh Vaid is new president of Garment Exporters' Association

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Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman Rakesh Vaid has taken over as the new president of the 700-member Garments Exporters Association (GEA) for 2009-10.

Mr Vaid was elected unanimously to the position at the 35th annual general meeting of the GEA held here recently. He succeeds Mr G S Madan, who served as GEA president for two years.

Mr Vaid is founder-chairman of Usha Fabs, a manufacturer and exporter of readymade garments in the knits and woven segments. It has one of the largest schiffi embroidery unit in north India.

The AEPC represents more than 8000 small, medium and large garment exporters in India.

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Air Marshal Karnik to take over as SASO, Western Air Command

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Air Marshal Ajay Shriniwas Karnik will take over tomorrow as Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of the Western Air Command, one of the senior-most operational commands of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1972, Air Marshal Karnik has flown over 3000 hours on fighter aircraft like MiG-21 Bis and MiG-29.

A Fighter Combat Leader and a Qualified Flying Instructor, he is an alumnus of the Air War College, University of USAF, Montgomery, in the United States.

Having trained in the erstwhile Soviet Union on MiG-29, he went on to command a prestigious MiG-29 Squadron. He has also commanded important operational Air Force bases in the Western Desert Sector and the Western Coastal Region of India.

An official press release said Air Marshal Karnik had vast experience in operational flying, training, Command and Staff Appointments, having served as Head of Training Team (Air) and Senior Instructor at the premier tri-services Defence Staff College, Wellington.

He has also served as Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) at Southern Air Command (SAC) and as Senior Air Staff Officer at Head Quarters Eastern Air Command (EAC), Shillong, making him the most operational Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force. During his tenure at Head Quarters Eastern Air Command, he has been instrumental in conducting various Disaster Relief Operations in the difficult terrain of the North Eastern India. He was also instrumental in the infrastructure development of North Eastern region of Eastern Air Command, the release said.

He has been awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal by the President of India for his distinguished service of very high order, the release added.

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Lt Gen Lamba is new GOC-in-C Army Training Command

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Lt Gen A S Lamba has taken over as the General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Army Training Command in Shimla.

A graduate of the 38th course of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla in Pune, Lt Gen Lamba was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in June, 1971.

An official press release said the officer had vast experience of conventional warfare and unconventional counter-insurgency operations, having participated in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, served on almost all fronts and served in Nagaland, Manipur and Sri Lanka with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF).

The General is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom.

His varied command assignments include the command of an Infantry Brigade in counter insurgency and later in Operation Parakram, 16 Infantry Division on the Western border and the elite 21 Strike Corps in Central India.

His staff tenures include Brigade Major in Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and the North East, Colonel Administration and Brigade General Staff in the Eastern Theatre and appointments in Army Headquarters, including Deputy Director General, Additional Director General Operational Logistics and Deputy Director General Strategic Planning in Perspective Planning Directorates.

The General Officer was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) in 2004, and is also a recipient of the Chief of Army Staff Commendation twice and GOC-in-C’s Commendation. His civil qualifications include MBA, M.A. in international Affairs from King's College London, M.Sc .and M. Phil. in Defence and Management Studies.

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Lt. Gen. Badhani takes over as DG, Border Roads

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Lieutenant General M C Badhani has taken over as Director General, Border Roads, succeeding Lt Gen A K Nanda, an official press release said here today.

It said Lt Gen Badhani was the 20th head of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) since it was established in 1960. 

The BRO has constructed 46,780 km of roads and 33060 metres of bridges in India and abroad. In India it has executed projects in difficult and inhospitable terrain and climate on the country's borders. It has also constructed 19 airfields and allied works.

Lt Gen Badhani is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakvasla in Pune, the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and the National Defence College, New Delhi.

The General Officer was commissioned into Bengal Sappers in November 1971. During his 38 years in the Army, he has held varied command, instructional and staff appointments, which include the Command of a Specialist Engineer Regiment, Chief Engineer of a Strike Corps, Chief Engineer Command, Brigadier-in-charge administration of a Desert Corps and instructional appointments at the Army War College, Mhow and Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar.

Before taking over his new assignment, he was Commandant, Selection Centre East at Allahabad, the release added.

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Sujatha Rao is new Secretary, Health & Family Welfare

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Sujatha Rao
Sujatha Rao

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Ms K Sujatha Rao, an Indian Administrative Service ((IAS) officer of the 1974 batch (Andhra Pradesh cadre), as the new Secretary, Health and Family Welfare.

Ms Rao will succeed Mr Naresh Dayal, IAS, (UP: 1972), who will retire from service on September 30, an official press release said.

Ms Rao is at present the Secretary, Deparment of AIDS Control, in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Timken appoints Ajay Das as MD for its India business

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The Timken Company, which provides friction management and power transmission products and services, has announced the appointment of Mr Ajay Das its new managing director for its business in India, headquartered in Bangalore.

In this new role, Mr. Das will oversee the continued growth of the company's business in India, including the Timken Engineering Research Institute, the global R&D and engineering facility at Bangalore, operations at Jamshedpur and Chennai, as well as sales, marketing and all supporting functions, a Timken press release said.

"I am optimistic about returning to India and the significant growth opportunities we have in this region. Timken has created the 'best in the industry' engineering, manufacturing, sales and services capabilities to serve a growing customer base in India. We will continue to focus on leveraging those capabilities to improve the performance of our customers' operations, and to deliver additional value to them," Mr. Das said.

During his 17 years with Timken, Mr Das has served as national sales manager of the automotive business in India, and later as the director of manufacturing of the Jamshedpur plant between 2001 and 2005.

In 2005, he relocated to Shanghai as director of new business development, and in 2007 he became the general manager of Timken's wind energy business unit based in Canton, Ohio, United States of America.

Mr Das has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jamshedpur and a post-graduate diploma in Business Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur, the release added.

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Ashok Kumar concurrently accredited as envoy to Malawi

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Mr Ashok Kumar, High Commissioner of India to Zambia has been concurrently accredited as the country's High Commissioner to Malawi.

An official press release said Mr Kumar would have residence at Lusaka in Zambia.

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