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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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Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P takes over as FOC-in-C, Western Naval Command

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Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy in Mumbai yesterday.
 
He has succeeded Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, who has retired upon superannuation, after an illustrious career spanning nearly four decades in the Indian Navy. 
 
At an impressive ceremonial parade at the Naval Air Station Shikra, the outgoing and incoming Cs-in-C were accorded a guard of honour after which they proceeded to the Headquarters of the Western Naval Command for a formal handing-taking over. On completion, Vice- Admiral Luthra was “pulled out” in true Naval tradition.
 
An alumnus of Sainik School Kazhakootam and the National Defence Academy (NDA), Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar was commissioned in the Indian Navy (IN) on July 1, 1981. As a specialist in Missiles and Gunnery, the Flag Officer has served onboard frontline warships of the IN and abroad. 
 
Adm Ajit Kumar has the rare distinction of commanding six warships, including two foreign warships.  These include guided missile corvette INS Kulish, guided missile frigate INS Talwar, guided missile destroyers INS Mumbai and INS Mysore. The officer has completed the Naval Higher Command Course and is also an alumnus of the prestigious Naval War College, Newport, USA. The Admiral has served extensively in the Western Naval Command in the initial specialist and Command appointments. He has also been the Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Western Naval Command.
 
Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar P has also been the Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Fleet, Commanding Officer of  Gunnery and Missiles Training School - INS Dronacharya, served as Assistant Chief of Personnel (Human Resources Development) at IHQ MoD (Navy) and  Chief of Staff of Southern Naval Command. 
 
Promoted to the Rank of Vice-Admiral in December 2013, he has been Commandant of the prestigious Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala. His tenures also include extensive experience in higher joint defence management where he has served as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Policy Planning & Force Development), at the HQ IDS.  He was the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi in his last appointment prior to assuming charge as the Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
 
In recognition of his service, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2006, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014 and Param Vishist Seva Medal in 2019 by the President of India.
 
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Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra takes over as DG, NCC

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Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra assumed charge as Director General of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) here on Friday.
 
Commissioned in the Madras Regiment in December 1980, Lt Gen Chopra is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
 
Lt Gen Chopra has commanded an infantry battalion in Operation Rhino (Assam). He has commanded a Brigade in Eastern Command and was Inspector General of HQ IGAR (South) in the insurgency-torn state of Manipur.  The General Officer commanded a Corps in Eastern Theatre and has also been the Commandant of the prestigious Infantry School. He is also the Colonel of The Madras Regiment since June 2016.
 
He is a graduate of Technical Staff Officers Course, has attended the Higher Command Course at National Defence University, China and National Defence College, New Delhi. He holds a Diploma in Defence & Strategic Studies from National Defence University. He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service in January 2018.
 
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Rajiv Nayan Choubey takes oath as Member, UPSC

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Former Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey took the oath of office and secrecy as Member, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here today.
 
The oath was administered by UPSC Chairman Arvind Saxena, an official press release said.
 
An officer of the 1981 batch of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of Tamil Nadu cadre, Choubey, during his career spanning over more than 35 years, has held several important positions in the Central Government as well as in the Government of Tamil Nadu. 
 
Among other assignments, he has Development Commissioner (Handloom) in the Ministry of Textiles, Director General in the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, and Special Secretary, Ministry of Power.
 
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Ramesh Abhishek given additional charge as Secretary, Civil Aviation

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Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, IAS (BH:1982), Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, has been given the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation.
 
An official press release said that the arrangement, approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, would continue till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
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Mohit Malhotra named new CEO of Dabur India Ltd.

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The Dabur India Ltd board yesterday approved the appointment of Mohit Malhotra as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from April 1, 2019.
 
Malhotra, who is currently the CEO of the company’s India business, will succeed current CEO Sunil Duggal.
 
Announcing the appointment, Dabur India Ltd Chairman Anand C Burman said: “During the last few years, the Board of Directors of the company had undertaken a Succession Planning exercise to identify the successor to take over the responsibility from Mr.  Sunil Duggal, who has been the Dabur India Ltd CEO since 2002. Mr. Duggal was entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring a smooth transition. As a result of this process, Mr. Mohit Malhotra was found to be suitable as a successor to Mr. Duggal. Therefore, on the recommendation of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee, the Board today approved the appointment of Mr. Malhotra as the new Chief Executive Officer of Dabur India Ltd.”
 
“I, on behalf of the Dabur Board, thank Mr Sunil Duggal for his invaluable contribution of over 24 years with the organization, including 17 years as the CEO. I also wish Mr. Mohit Malhotra all the best, and we are confident that under his leadership, the Company will continue to grow,” Burman added.
 
Malhotra, who was also appointed as a whole-time director of the company with effect from January 31, 2019, will work as CEO-designate till March 31, 2019, under the guidance of Duggal. Consequently, Duggal will hold the position of CEO till the end of financial year 2018-19, and will remain a whole-time Director till May 15, 2019. Duggal will then continue as a non-executive director till July 30, 2020, a press release from the company said.
 
Malhotra, 49, is a management graduate from Pune University and holds Executive Masters in International Business from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. He joined Dabur as a management trainee in 1994 and handled key assignments in marketing and sales, besides being CEO of Dabur International, based out of Dubai, before taking charge as the CEO-India Business in his current position.
 
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Vice-Admiral G Ashok Kumar assumes charge as Vice-Chief of the Naval Staff

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Vice-Admiral G Ashok Kumar assumed charge as Vice-Chief of the Naval Staff here today.
 
An alumnus of Sainik School, Amaravathi Nagar and National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune, he was commissioned into the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy on July 1, 1982.
 
The Admiral has held various challenging Staff and Command assignments during his distinguished naval career spanning more than three decades, an official press release said.
 
After having completed his specialisation in Navigation and Direction at Kochi in 1989, he served as the Navigating Officer of Indian Naval Ships Beas, Nilgiri, Ranvir and Vikrant. His other sea tenures include Commanding Officer of INS Kulish and Ranvir, and Executive Officer onboard INS Brahmaputra. 
 
Among his shore tenures, the important ones include Staff officer (Ops/ND) at Indian Naval Work-up team, Head of Training Team (Navy) at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Defence Advisor at the High Commission of India in Singapore and the Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Western Naval Command. 
 
On promotion to Flag rank, he has held the important assignments of Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), Chief of Staff (COS) of Southern Naval Command and Flag Officer Maharashtra and Gujarat (FOMAG). In the rank of Vice-Admiral he has been the Commandant of the National Defence Academy and the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.
 
He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and has attended the Army Higher Command Course at Mhow as well as the Expeditionary Operations Course at Quantico, Virginia, USA.
 
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Teejan Bai, A M Naik, Balwant Purandare among four chosen for Padma Vibhushan

Teejan Bai
Teejan Bai
A.M. Naik
A.M. Naik
Folk singer Teejan Bai, Larsen & Toubro Group Chairman A M Naik and Marathi writer and theatre pesonality Balwant Purandare are among the four persons chosen for the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour, on the eve of Republic Day 2019 today.
 
Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who has been in office since May 1999, has also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
 
Teejan Bai, 62, who hails from Chhattisgarh, is an exponent of Pandavani, a traditional performing art form in which she enacts tales from the Mahabharata, with musical accompaniments.
 
Naik, 77, had joined L&T as a junior engineer in 1965 and rapidly moved up the latter to become Managing Director and CEO, leading to his appointment as Chairman and Managing Director on December 29, 2003. He was the Group Executive Chairman of L&T from 2012 to 2017. In October 2017, he stepped aside from executive responsibilities, and was appointed Group Chairman.
 
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.
 
Balwant Purandare
Balwant Purandare
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.  
 
As many as 21 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 11 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI, three posthumous awardees and one transgender person.
 
Budhaditya Mukherjee
Budhaditya Mukherjee
Mohanlal
Mohanlal
The Padma Bhushan awardees include Malayalam film superstar Mohanlal; former Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa; Delhi businessman and MDH Spices owner Mahashay Dharam Pal Gulati; Haryana social activist Darshal Lal Jain; Dr. Ashok Laxmanrao Kukade, founder of Vivekanand Hospital, Latur, Maharashtra; former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and Jharkhand BJP leader Kariya Munda; well-known sitarist Budhaditya Mukherjee; former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayan; mountaineer Bachendri Pal; former Comptroller and Auditor General of India V K Shunglu; and Lok Sabha member and BJP leader Hukumdev Narayan Yadav.
 
Late journalist Kuldip Nayar, who passed away in August 2018 at the age of 95, has been given the Padma Bhushan posthumously. 
 
Two foreigners, former Cisco Sytems Chairman and CEO John Chambers of the United States and South African Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, were also chosen for the award.
 
The Padma Shri awardees include well-known painter Jyoti Bhatt, actor Manoj Bajpayee, actor Dinyar Contractor, Tamil actor and dancer Prabhu Deva, well-known Delhi-based surgeon Dr Sandeep Guleria, physicist Rohini Godbole, former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, eminent theatre director Waman Kendre, singer Shankar Mahadevan, percussionist Anandan Sivamani and well-known writer Gita Mehta, the sister of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
 
Cricketer Gautam Gambhir, footballer Sunil Chhetri, table tennis star Sharath Kamal, archer Bombayla Devi Laishram, wrestler Bajrang Punia, kabbadi player Ajay Thakur,  and basketball player Prashanti Singh were among the sports honours given the Padma Shri.
 
Well-known Bollywood actor and comedian Kader Khan, who passed away recently in Canada, was also given the Padma Shri posthumously.
 
The following is the list of awardees:
 
PADMA VIBHUSHAN
Ms. Teejan Bai, Art-Vocals-Folk, Chhattisgarh
Ismail Omar Guelleh (Foreigner), Public Affairs, Djibouti
Anilkumar Manibhai Naik, Trade & Industry-Infrastructure, Maharashtra
Balwant Moreshwar Purandare, Art-Acting-Theatre, Maharashtra
 
PADMA BHUSHAN
 
John Chambers (Foreigner), Trade & Industry-Technology, USA
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Public Affairs, Punjab
Pravin Gordhan (Foreigner), Public Affairs, South Africa
Mahashay Dharam Pal Gulati, Trade & Industry-Food Processing, Delhi
Darshan Lal Jain, Social Work, Haryana
Ashok Laxmanrao Kukade, Medicine-Affordable Healthcare, Maharashtra
Kariya Munda, Public Affairs, Jharkhand
Budhaditya Mukherjee, Art-Music-Sitar, West Bengal
Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair, Art-Acting-Film, Kerala
S Nambi Narayan, Science & Engineering-Space, Kerala
Kuldip Nayar (Posthumous), Literature & Education (Journalism), Delhi
Ms. Bachendri Pal, Sports-Mountaineering, Uttarakhand
V K Shunglu, Civil Service, Delhi
Hukumdev Narayan Yadav,  Public Affairs, Bihar
 
PADMA SHRI
 
Rajeshwar Acharya, Art-Vocal-Hindustani, Uttar Pradesh
Bangaru Adigalar, Others-Spiritualism, Tamil Nadu
Illias Ali, Medicine-Surgery, Assam
Manoj Bajpayee, Art-Acting-Films, Maharashtra
Uddhab Kumar Bharali, Science & Engineering-Grassroots Innovation, Assam
Omesh Kumar Bharti, Medicine-Rabies, Himachal Pradesh
Pritam Bhartwan, Art-Vocals-Folk, Uttarakhand
Jyoti Bhatt, Art-Painting, Gujarat
Dilip Chakravarty, Others-Archaeology, Delhi
Mammen Chandy, Medicine-Hematology, West Bengal
Swapan Chaudhuri, Art-Music-Tabla, West Bengal
Kanwal Singh Chauhan, Others-Agriculture, Haryana
Sunil Chhetri, Sports-Football, Telangana
Dinyar Contractor, Art-Acting-Theatre, Maharashtra
Ms. Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli, Social Work-Divyang Welfare, Gujarat
Babulal Dahiya, Others-Agriculture, Madhya Pradesh
Thanga Darlong, Art-Music-Flute, Tripura
Prabhu Deva, Art-Dance, Karnataka
Ms. Rajkumari Devi, Others-Agriculture, Bihar
Ms. Bhagirathi Devi, Public Affairs, Bihar
Baldev Singh Dhillon, Science & Engineering-Agriculture, Punjab
Ns. Harika Dronavalli, Sports-Chess, Andhra Pradesh
Ms. Godawari Dutta, Art-Painting, Bihar
Gautam Gambhir, Sports-Cricket, Delhi
Ms. Draupadi Ghimiray, Social Work-Divyang Welfare, Sikkim
Ms. Rohini Godbole, Science & Engineering-Nuclear, Karnataka
Sandeep Guleria, Medicine-Surgery, Delhi
Pratap Singh Hardia, Medicine- Ophthmology, Madhya Pradesh
Bulu Imam, Social Work-Culture, Jharkhand
Ms. Friederike Irina,  (Foreigner), Social Work-Animal Welfare, Germany
Joravarsinh Jadav, Art-Dance Folk, Gujarat
S Jaishankar, Civil Service, Delhi
Narsingh Dev Jamwal, Literature & Education,  Jammu & Kashmir
Fayaz Ahmad Jan, Art-Craft-Papier Mache, Jammu & Kashmir
K G Jayan, Art-Music-Bhakti, Kerala
Subhash Kak (Foreigner), Science & Engineering-Technology, USA
Sharath Kamal, Sports-Table Tennis, Tamil Nadu
Rajani Kant, Social Work, Uttar Pradesh
Sudam Kate, Medicine-Sickle Cell, Maharashtra
Waman Kendre, Art-Acting-Theatre, Maharashtra
Kader Khan (Posthumous-Foreigner), Art-Acting-Films, Canada
Abdul Gafur Khatri, Art-Painting, Gujarat
Ravindra Kolhe (Duo)* Medicine-Affordable Healthcare, Maharashtra
Ms. Smita Kolhe (Duo)*, Medicine-Affordable Healthcare, Maharashtra
Ms. Bombayla Devi Laishram, Sports-Archery, Manipur
Kailash Madbaiya, Literature & Education, Madhya Pradesh
Ramesh Babaji Maharaj, Social Work-Animal Welfare, Uttar Pradesh
Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, Others-Agriculture, Gujarat
Ms. Gita Mehta (Foreigner), Literature & Education, USA
Shadab Mohammad, Medicine-Dentistry, Uttar Pradesh
K K Muhammed, Others-Archaeology, Kerala
Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Medicine-Affordable Healthcare, Jharkhand
Daitari Naik, Social Work, Odisha
Shankar Mahadevan Narayan, Art-Vocals-Films, Maharashtra
Shantanu Narayen, (Foreigner), Trade & Industry-Technology, USA
Nartaki Natraj, Art-Dance-Bharatnatyam, Tamil Nadu
Tsering Norboo, Medicine-Surgery, Jammu & Kashmir
Anup Ranjan Pandey, Art-Music, Chhattisgarh
Jagdish Prasad Parikh, Others-Agriculture, Rajasthan
Ganpatbhai Patel, (Foreigner), Literature & Education, USA
Bimal Patel, Others-Architecture, Gujarat
Hukumchand Patidar, Others-Agriculture, Rajasthan
Harvinder Singh Phoolka, Public Affairs, Punjab
Ms. Madurai Chinna Pillai, Social Work-Microfinance, Tamil Nadu
Ms. Tao Porchon-Lynch, (Foreigner), Others-Yoga,  USA
Ms. Kamala Pujhari, Others-Agriculture, Odisha
Bajrang Punia, Sports-Wrestling, Haryana
Jagat Ram, Medicine-Ophthalmology, Chandigarh
R V Ramani, Medicine-Ophthalmology, Tamil Nadu
Devarapalli Prakash Rao, Social Work-Affordable Education, Odisha
Anup Sah, Art-Photography, Uttarakhand
Ms. Milena Salvini, (Foreigner), Art-Dance-Kathakali, France
Nagindas Sanghavi, Literature & Education-Journalism, Maharashtra
Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry, Art-Lyrics, Telangana
Shabbir Sayyad, Social Work-Animal Welfare, Maharashtra
Mahesh Sharma, Social Work-Tribal Welfare, Madhya Pradesh
Mohammad Hanif Khan Shastri, Literature & Education, Delhi
Brijesh Kumar Shukla, Literature & Education, Uttar Pradesh
Narendra Singh, Others-Animal Husbandry, Haryana
Ms. Prashanti Singh, Sports-Basketball, Uttar Pradesh
Sultan Singh, Others-Animal Husbandry, Haryana
Jyoti Kumar Sinha, Social Work-Affordable Education, Bihar
Anandan Sivamani, Art-Music, Tamil Nadu
Ms. Sharada Srinivasan, Others-Archaeology, Karnataka
Devendra Swarup (Posthumous), Literature & Education-Journalism, Uttar Pradesh
Ajay Thakur, Sports-Kabaddi, Himachal Pradesh
Rajeev Tharanath, Art-Music-Sarod, Karnataka
Ms. Saalumarada Thimmakka, Social Work-Environment, Karnataka
Ms. Jamuna Tudu, Social Work-Environment, Jharkhand
Bharat Bhushan Tyagi, Others-Agriculture, Uttar Pradesh
Ramaswami Venkataswami, Medicine-Surgery, Tamil Nadu
Ram Saran Verma, Others-Agriculture, Uttar Pradesh
Swami Vishudhananda, Others-Spiritualism, Kerala
Hiralal Yadav, Art-Vocals-Folk, Uttar Pradesh
Venkateswara Rao Yadlapalli, Others-Agriculture, Andhra Pradesh
 
 
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IndiGo appoints aviation veteran Ronojoy Dutta as CEO

Low-cost carrier IndiGo today announced the appointment of aviation industry veteran Ronojoy Dutta as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
 
The Bord of Directors of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) also announced the appointment of M. Damodaran as an independent non-executive Director and the Chairman of the Board.
 
On Dutta's appointment, Rahul Bhatia, co-founder and interim CEO of IndiGo said, “We are very pleased that Rono is joining the IndiGo team. His enormous and varied experience and understanding of the complexities of the airline industry will be invaluable as IndiGo embarks on its next phase of growth".
 
Dutta has extensive experience in the aviation industry. He was President of United Airlines, where he worked for nearly twenty years, holding a broad spectrum of senior leadership positions including Senior VP Planning, Senior VP Maintenance, VP Finance and VP Information Technology. He was an advisor to the restructuring of both Air Canada and US Airways, and was engaged in long-term consulting contracts with Hawaiian Airlines and Air Canada. 
 
Dutta also has experience in the aviation industry in India, having served as the President of Air Sahara for two years.
 
Dutta has served on the Boards of United Airlines, US Airways and Marsico Trust Funds. He has a Bachelor of Technology degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
 
Dutta said, “IndiGo has had phenomenal success in establishing itself as a world class airline, and I am so very happy to be given this opportunity to be a part of it. IndiGo is blessed to be operating in one of the highest growth economies of the world, and this opens up future opportunities for rapid growth. Most importantly, IndiGo has an enthusiastic, energetic workforce who are an absolute delight to work with. I look forward to working with the employees to ensure that IndiGo’s future is even brighter than its past”.
 
Dutta has succeeded Aditya Ghosh, who resigned in April 2018 from the position with effect from July 31. Bhatia had been been appointed as interim CEO.
 
Damodaran has held a number of important positions in the Central and State Governments and in India’s financial sector, including Chairman, Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Chairman, Unit Trust of India (UTI), Chairman, Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), and Chief Secretary, Government of Tripura.
 
Later, he set up Excellence Enablers Private Limited (EEPL), a corporate governance and board advisory consultancy firm. In addition, he is presently a consultant, advisor, coach and mentor and serves on the Boards of some leading companies as well as on the Advisory Boards of some foreign entities. He is Practice Professor of Eminence at International Management Institute (IMI), Delhi. He is the founder Chairman of the Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli and the Chairman and one of the promoters of Glocal Healthcare Systems Private Limited.
 
"I am delighted to join the Board of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo), the airline which has redefined the aviation sector in India. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board as well as the management of the company to enhance the interests of all stakeholders," Damodaran said.
 
IndiGo is amongst the fastest growing carriers in the world. With its fleet of over 200 aircraft, the airline offers over 1300 daily flights and connects 52 domestic destinations and 15 international destinations.
 
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Piyush Goyal given temporary charge of Finance, Corporate Affairs

Piyush Goyal
Piyush Goyal
Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal was today given the temporary additional charge of the Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs in place of the indisposed Arun Jaitley.
 
"The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister; the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Shri Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios," a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
"Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley be designated as Minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs," it added.
 
Mr. Jaitley is currently in the United States for medical treatment.
 
Mr. Goyal had earlier, in May last year, been given the additional charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs for about three months after Mr. Jaitley undewent a kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and was convalescing at home. Mr. Jaitley resumed his charge in late August, 2018.
 
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Karnataka seer Shivakumara Swami passes away at 111

Shivakumara Swami
Shivakumara Swami
Widely-revered Karnataka seer and spiritual leader, Shivakumara Swami of the Siddaganga Mutt at Tumakuru near here, passed away today at the age of 111 due to age-related illnesses, sources said.
 
He was suffering from a lung illness and was in a critical condition for more than two weeks. His condition took a turn for the worse yesterday and he had been put on health support. He breathed his last at 11.44 am today, they said.
 
The Karnataka government has declared three days of state mourning and announced a holiday tomorrow, when his last rites will be conducted.
 
Karnataka Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy, BJP leader B. S. Yeddyurappa and Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda were amongst those who visited the Mutt in recent days to enquire about his health.
 
Last week, Kumaraswamy demanded the nation's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for the seer in recognition of his service to society.
 
Shivakumara Swami was the head of the Sree Siddaganga Math which has a recorded history of 600 years and is located about 63 km from Bengaluru on the highway to Pune.
 
The Sree Siddaganga Education Society has established more than 130 schools and colleges, mostly in rural areas.
 
Born on April 1, 1907, Shivakumara Swami was initiated into the holy order in 1930 He assumed full responsibility of the Mutt in 1941 after the death of Uddana Swami. He was described as the most esteemed adherent of Lingayatism and was often referred to as the "Walking God".
 
Then President A P J Abdul Kalam had visited the Siddaganga Mutt in 2008 to celebrate the 100th birthday celebrations of Shivakumara Swami.
 
The Union Government had honoured him with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour in 2015 and the state government had honoured him with Karnataka Ratna in 2007.
 
Shivakumar Swami had studied English in college and was proficient in Kannada and Sanskrit. In recognition of his humanitarian work, the Swami was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Karnataka University in 1965. 
 
Thousands of poor students received free education, food and stay at the many institutions founded by him. Among them was the Guru Kula, which housed more than 8,500 children at any point in time and provided them free food, education and shelter.
 
The seer had been in and out of hospital for the past many months for treatment of various illnesses.
 
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Gajendra Singh takes over as Chairman of IGL

Gajendra Singh
Gajendra Singh
Gajendra Singh, Director (Marketing), GAIL (India) Ltd., has taken over the additional responsibility as Chairman of the public sector Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the largest compressed natural gas (CNG) distribution company in the country.
 
He replaces Arun Kumar Singh, Director (Marketing), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), who has relinquished the charge upon completion of the two-year chairmanship tenure of BPCL.  
 
IGL is a joint venture of public sector GAIL (India) Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
 
GAIL owns and transports approximately three-quarters of India's natural gas and markets three-fifths of the country's gas consumption. It has been a pioneer in City Gas Distribution projects in the country and has a presence in around 50 cities / geographical areas on its own and through its joint ventures and subsidiaries.
 
Mr. Singh with over 30 years of experience in the hydrocarbon sector joined GAIL in 1986 when foundation of the Indian gas industry was being laid. He has led and contributed in Gas Sourcing and Marketing, Operations & Maintenance, Exploration & Production, essentially, entire hydrocarbon value chain, in GAIL.
 
As Director (Marketing) and member of the Board of the Organization, he represents GAIL before national and state policy makers and energy industry executives and directs GAIL’s marketing strategic plans and policy positions. He has been leading GAIL’s initiative to fulfil its vision of providing India an access to reliable and secured supply of clean energy from International and domestic sources. 
 
IGL supplies CNG and piped natural gas in Delhi as well as the nearby towns of Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Rewari.
 
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T.C.A. Anant takes oath as Member, UPSC

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Dr. T.C.A. Anant, former Chief Statistician of India & Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, took the oath of office and secrecy as Member, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here today. 
 
The oath was administered by Mr. Arvind Saxena, Chairman, UPSC, an official press release said.
 
Dr. Anant has a Master's in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and a Ph. D. from Cornell University in the United States.
 
Prior to his appointment as Chief Statistician, Dr. Anant served as Professor at Delhi School of Economics for more than a decade. 
 
He has served in a number of Expert Committees of various Ministries and agencies of Government of  India. He has also served in the Academic Council and Boards of a number of universities and has been a consultant to many international organizations. His publications in the field of Labour, Industry and Economic Theory have appeared in a number of international and national journals. He was also Joint Managing Editor of the Journal of Quantitative Economics.
 
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Banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal passes away at 57

Meera Sanyal
Meera Sanyal
Banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal, who had joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, passed away here today after a brief illness. 
 
She was 57. She is survived by her husband Ashish Sanyal, a businessman, daughter Priyadarshini and son Jai.
 
Ms. Sanyal had served as the chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)-India before quitting her banking career to join politics. Earlier, she had served as the head of corporate finance and chief operating officer for ABN Amro for Asia.
 
She joined AAP, headed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai South constituency. She had also contested as an independent candidate in the 2009 Lok Sabhe elections from the same constituency.
 
Born on October 15, 1961 as the daughter of Vice-Admiral Gulab Hiranandani and his wife Banu, Ms. Sanyal graduated in commerce from Sydenham College here and took an MBA from INSEAD in France. She also completed an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2006. 
 
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Shah Faesal, 2009 IAS topper, quits in protest against "unabated killings" in Kashmir

Shah Faesal (Photo: Facebook)
Shah Faesal (Photo: Facebook)
Shah Faesal, the 2009 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) topper from Jammu and Kashmir today resigned from the service in protest against the "unabated killings" in Kashmir and the "lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union Government".
 
"To protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union Government; the marginalization and invisiblization of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens; insidious attacks on the special identity of the J&K State and growing culture of intolerance and hate in the mainland India in the name of hypernationalism, I have decided to resign from Indian Administrative Service," Faesal said in a post on his Facebook page.
 
"Kashmiri lives matter," he said in a similar post on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"I wish to remind the regime of the day that subversion of public institutions like RBI, CBI and NIA has the potential to decimate the Constitutional edifice of this country and it needs to be stopped. I wish to reiterate that voices of reason in this country cannot be muzzled for long and the environment of siege will need to end if we wish to usher in true democracy.
 
"I am thankful to my family, friends and well-wishers for supporting me in this amazing journey in IAS. One of my important tasks hereafter will be train and guide aspiring civil servants to help them in achieving this dream.
 
"I will be addressing a press conference on Friday to share my future plans. I will look forward to your support and blessings in this new mission," he added.
 
Faesal, 35, a medical doctor who had opted for the civil services, had returned recently to India from a stint at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Fulbright fellow. In the Jammu and Kashmir government, he served as Director of School Education.
 
Last year, he had faced an inquiry ordered by the Government for remarks made by him about rampant rapes in South Asia.
 
"The bureaucracy’s loss is politics’ gain. Welcome to the fold," National Conference vice-president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Twitter.'
 
This set off speculation that Faesal was likely to join the National Conference. 
 
Following this, the former Union Minister clarified his remark. "Actually I welcomed him to the fold of politicians. His future political plans are his to announce," he said.
 
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Kumar Rajesh Chandra appointed as Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Kumar Rajesh Chandra, IPS (BH:85), presently working as Director General, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) as the new Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal.
 
An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from his date of joining the post and up to December 31, 2021, the date of his retirement on superannuation, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
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Emergency-fame retired judge C. S. Dharmadhikari passes away

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Retired justice Chandrashekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari, who delivered a landmark verdict during the Emergency on human rights, died here on Thursday at a private hospital following a brief illness.
 
Justice Dharmadhikari, 91, was also an eminent Gandhian, freedom-fighter, legal luminary and social activist. He is survived by his medico daughter Aruna Patil and two sons -- Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari of Bombay High Court and lawyer Ashutosh -- family sources said.
 
Born in Raipur, Madhya Pradesh, his last rites shall be performed at the Ambazari Ghat crematorium later on Thursday.
 
A recipient of many awards, including Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Justice Dharmadhikari was appointed a judge in Bombay High Court in July 1972. He served as Acting Chief Justice here, and retired in November 1989.
 
In his landmark ruling during the Emergency, Justice Dharmadhikari had held that apart from constitutional rights, the Right to Life is natural and a human right, and therefore, even during the Emergency, a citizen could approach the high court.
 
Accordingly, he entertained petitions and ordered the release of those against whom there was no material (evidence).
 
Post-retirement, he was the Chairman of Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (1991-1992) and later a committee headed by him in 2014 had recommended a complete ban on dance bars in hotels/restaurants and 'curbs on social media' since they had a 'corrupting influence', in order to reduce crimes against women.
 
Hailing from a family of staunch Gandhians who are largely into the legal profession, Justice Dharmadhikari also served as Chairman of Educational Regulatory Authority, on the Maharashtra State Women's Commission and National Commission for Women, besides penning books in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati.
 
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Government appoints four new Information Commissioners in CIC

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The Government has appointed four new Information Commissioners in  the Central Information Commission (CIC), who assumed office here on Tuesday.
 
The new Information Commissioners are Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer; Vanaja N. Sarna, former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer; Neeraj Kumar, former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and former Law Secretary Suresh  Chandra.
 
All four were administered the oath of office here yesterday by Mr. Sudhir Bhargava,  who had taken over as the new Chief Information Commissioner earlier in the day.
 
With their induction, the total number of Information Commissioners in  the CIC, including the Chief Information Commissioner, has gone up to seven.
 
Mr. Sinha, who belonged to the 1981 batch of the IFS, had served as the High Commissioner of India in the United Kingdom, besides other assignments.
 
Ms. Sarna, who belonged to the 1980 batch of the IRS (Customs and Excise), had served as the Chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.
 
Mr. Gupta is from the 1982 batch of the IAS and had served as Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.
 
Mr. Chandra is a former Indian Legal Service officer.
 
The CIC had been functioning with just three Information Commissioners after the recent retirement of Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur and three Information Commissioners.
 
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Sudhir Bhargava takes over as Chief Information Commissioner

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Mr. Sudhir Bhargava, Information Commissioner, took over as the Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission (CIC) here today.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Mr. Bhargava at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
 
Mr. Bhargava, a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, who belonged to the 1979 batch (Rajasthan cadre), had earlier served as Secretary, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
 
Born on January  12, 1955, he has a B.Sc. (Hons). and an M. Sc. (Physics) from the University of Calcutta and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University in the United States.
 
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V K Yadav appointed as Chairman, Railway Board

V. K. Yadav
V. K. Yadav
Mr. V. K. Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railway, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Railway Board, an official announcement said here today.
 
Mr. Yadav (IRSEE:1980) will succeed Mr. Ashwani Lohani on his superannuation from service today.
 
A notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training  (DoPT) said the appointment had been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
 
Mr. Yadav has a Bachelor's degree in  Electrical Engineering and a Master's degree in Business Administration (Technology Management) from Allahabad University.
 
During his career, he has held several important executive and managerial positions in Indian Railways, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Union Ministry of Industry, Indian Railway Construction Company Limited, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited.  
 
He served as the Divisional Railway Manager, Lucknow Division, North Eastern Railway; Additional Divisional Railway Manager (Operation), Delhi Division, Northern Railway;  and Group General Manager (Electrical), Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited.
 
He also held assignments as Programme Manager, Technology Diffusion and Support Programme and as Project Director, International Centre for Advancement of Manufacturing Technology at United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and as Director, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
 
He also held an important foreign assignment as Deputy Manager (Electrical), IRCON at Turkey, where he was instrumental in planning, execution and commissioning of Railway Electrification Project for Turkish Railway.
 
During his stint as General Manager of South Central Railway, he was instrumental in bringing about several transformational initiatives which enabled the zone to attain the peak in various spheres. The Ministry of Railways bestowed him with the award for Best Transformation Initiatives for 2017-18,  for excellence in service delivery on Indian Railways. South Central Railway earned recognition as the best zone on Indian Railways and was awarded the top most honour for all-round performance excellence for the year 2017-18.  
 
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Former Bengal Minister Nirupam Sen dead

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Veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former West Bengal Commerce and Industries Minister Nirupam Sen died early on Monday, party said. Sen was 72.
 
The former politburo member succumbed to multi-organ failure around 5 a.m. at a private hospital in the satellite township of Salt Lake.
 
Sen, who handled the industrial reconstruction, planning and power portfolios in the erstwhile Left Front regime under Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, was suffering from neurological and kidney related ailments.
 
Sen was elected to Bengal state assembly in 1987, 2001 and 2006 from Burwan South seat. He lost to Trinamool Congress candidate Rabi Ranjan Chattopadhyay in 2011.
 
He was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
 
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Infosys appoints Nilanjan Roy as CFO

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IT services major Infosys today said that its Board of Directors had appointed Nilanjan Roy as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the company with effect from March 1, 2019.
 
He joins Infosys from telecom services provider Bharti Airtel, where he holds the position of Global Chief Financial Officer.
 
“We are delighted to announce that Nilanjan will join Infosys as our CFO. He comes to us with extensive and rich global experience. We would like to express our deep appreciation to Jayesh Sanghrajka for taking charge as interim CFO and thank him for ably executing this very important responsibility," Salil Parekh, CEO & MD, Infosys said.
 
Nilanjan has spent the last 13 years with Bharti Airtel, prior to which he worked for 15 years with Unilever across their global operations. He is a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) from the University of Delhi and is a Chartered Accountant.
 
Sanghrajka will resume his responsibilities as Deputy CFO, effective March 1, 2019, a press release from the company said.
 
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