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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.
 
IANS
 

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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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Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed as Ambassador to United States

Harsh Vardhan Shringla
Harsh Vardhan Shringla
Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, presently High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to the United States of America.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Shringla, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1984 batch, is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
Before his assignment in Bangladesh, Mr. Shringla had served as Ambassador to Thailand.  He has also served in France (UNESCO); USA (UN, New York); Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City); Israel and South Africa (Durban). 
 
In Delhi, Mr. Shringla has served in the Ministry of External Affairs as Joint Secretary (Director General) responsible for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives. He has also headed the United Nations Political and SAARC Divisions in the Ministry. Earlier, he served as Director of the Northern Division dealing with Nepal and Bhutan and as Deputy Secretary of the Europe West Division. 
 
Mr. Shringla is an alumnus of St. Stephen' College, University of Delhi. 
 
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Riva Ganguly Das appointed as High Commissioner to Bangladesh

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Ms Riva Ganguly Das, presently Director General, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Bangladesh.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms. Ganguly Das, an  Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1986 batch, was expected to takeup her assignment shortly.
 
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IB, R&AW chiefs get extensions of six months in tenure

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the extension in service of Mr. Rajiv Jain, Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB) for a period of six months beyond the present tenure i.e. 30.12.2018.
 
Similarly, the ACC also approved the extension in service of Mr. A.K. Dhasmana, Secretary, Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) for a period of six months beyond the present tenure i.e. 29.12.2018, an official press release said.
 
The release said Mr. Anil Srivastava, IAS (MP:85), Advisor, NITI Aayog has been redesignated as Principal Adviser in NITI Aayog.
 
Mr. Ramphal Pawar, IPS (WB:88), whose tenure as Joint Secretary, NATGRID, has been curtailed, has been appointed as Director (ADG level) of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) against the existing vacancy from the date of joining the post and up to tenure extendable as per IPS Tenure Policy or till further orders, whichever is earlier, the release added.
 
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Bharat Bhushan Vyas takes oath as Member, UPSC

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Mr. Bharat Bhushan Vyas, who was until recently Adviser to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, took oath of office and secrecy as Member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here today.
 
He was administered the oath by UPSC Chairman Arvind Saxena, an official press release said.
 
Mr. Vyas, 61, is a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1986 batch. He served in the State and the Centre in various capacities and retired as Chief Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir.
 
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Regal wedding for corporate scions Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal dazzles Mumbai

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Top Indian and international personalities, film and sports icons, business tycoons, political heavyweights, celebrities and a host of others attended what was described as "a royal wedding" for the scions of two top business conglomerates - Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal - here on Wednesday.
 
The celebrations started in the afternoon with the traditionally attired groom, Anand, arriving on a mare at the head of a wedding procession (baraat) at the Ambani's towering Antilia residence.
 
The 27-storied Antilia, said to be one of the most expensive private residences in the world, itself has been decked up like a bride, and the entire stretch from the main road to the building has been decorated since the past few days with multi-hued fresh flowers, colourful lights and festoons to commemorate one of the most anticipated weddings in the country's commercial capital in recent times.
 
Later in the evening, the grand wedding saw the parents - industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita, tycoons Ajay Piramal and his wife Swati - and others welcoming the high-profile celebrity guests.
 
Former President Pranab Mukherjee was warmly received by business magnate Anil Ambani, the bride's uncle, while other top celebs like former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Praful Patel also made their presence felt.
 
Prominent invitees included Bollywood actors like Rajinikanth, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Kiran, Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and her husband Nick Jonas, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, Hritik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty and Vidhu Vinod Chopra et al.
 
Besides, Sachin Tendulkar and other sports personalities, top business honchos included K.V. Kamath, Sanjiv Goenka, Deepak Parekh, Sashi and Anshuman Ruia, Adi Godej, Rahul Bajaj and Harsh Mariwala were also seen at the wedding.
 
The grand wedding festivities had started several days earlier in Udaipur, Rajasthan which witnessed a performance by Grammy award winning singer Beyonce Knowles, a four-day special 'Anna Seva' and an expo on traditional Indian handicrafts, besides other events for the guests that included many of the biggest names from politics, business and Bollywood.
 
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We accept people's verdict with humility, says Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the BJP accepts with humility the verdict of people in the five states and congratulated the Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their victories.
 
Modi, in a series of tweets in the evening on a long day of results, said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had worked tirelessly for people.
 
"We accept the people's mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people," he said.
 
Modi said victory and defeat were an integral part of life.
 
"Today's polls will further our resolve to serve people and work even harder for the development of India."
 
"Congratulations to the Congress for their victories. Congratulations to KCR Garu for the thumping win in Telangana and to the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their impressive victory in Mizoram."
 
The Prime Minister also thanked the BJP workers for their hardwork in the Assembly elections.
 
The Congress is set to form government in Chhattisgarh, where it routed the BJP after 15 years. In Rajasthan, the Congress emerged as the  single largest party ousting the BJP and is poised to form the next government.
 
In the closely fought battle in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has reached close to the halfway mark in 230-member Assembly and was likely stake claim to for government with support of Independents and other parties. The BJP is following it as a close second.
 
The TRS is poised to win 77 seats in the 119-member Telangna Assembly. In Mizoram, the MNF has won majority by defeating the Congress.
         
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Kerala: Senior Congress leader C.N. Balakrishnan dead

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Senior Congress leader and former Kerala Minister C. N. Balakrishnan died at a private hospital here due to pneumonia, party sources said on Tuesday. He was 87.
 
He died on Monday night, the sources said.
 
A long-standing aide of former Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, Balakrishnan was the Thrissur district Congress committee president for 17 years and was also the treasurer of the state unit for long.
 
It was in 2011 that Balakrishnan first contested the polls and went on to become the state Cooperation Minister in the Oommen Chandy cabinet.
 
He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
 
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Renowned historian Mushirul Hasan passes away

Mushirul Hasan
Mushirul Hasan
Renowned historian Mushirul Hasan, a former Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, died on Monday. He was 71.
 
Hasan, who was also a former Director General of the National Archives of India, wrote extensively on the 1947 partition of India. 
 
He served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia between 1992 and 1996 and headed the institution between 2004 and 2009.
 
Hasan's 'Namaz-e-Janaza' was performed at Babul Ilm and Jamia Mosque. The burial will take place at the Jamia graveyard.
 
Condoling his death, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said his work would continue to shape the nation's consciousness.
 
"A historian, a teacher, a Vice-Chancellor, an archivist: Mushirul Hasan blended all fine qualities of our syncretic culture and scholarship. His work and his books continue to shape our consciousness. Condolences to Zoya Hasan (wife) and others in his family," he tweeted.
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter: "Shocked to know about the sad demise of noted scholar and writer Mushirul Hasanji. His contribution to Jamia Millia Islamia will always be remembered."
 
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Biju Balendra appointed as MD & CEO of Renault Nissan Automotive India

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Biju Balendran has been appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Renault Nissan Automotive India (RNAIPL).
 
A press release from the company also said Sambath Kumar has been appointed as the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) for Nissan India Operations.
 
In their new roles, Balendra will be responsible for all the manufacturing operations of the Renault-Nissan Alliance factory at Oragadam, Chennai; Kumar will lead finance for Nissan India Operations (Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. and Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt. Ltd.), it said.
 
Thomas Kuehl, President - Nissan India Operations, said, “As a part of the Nissan India Strategy, we aim to substantially increase plant utilization enabling greater efficiency and build capacity to develop products which meet the expectations of Indian customers. Under the leadership of Biju, the manufacturing plant will serve as a key contributor to the growth of Nissan in India. I also want to take the opportunity to thank Colin MacDonald, outgoing MD & CEO, RNAIPL, for his contribution and leadership during the last five years to make RNAIPL facility amongst the best in our organization.”
 
“Sambath has played a key role in setting up the finance function for Nissan India. His strong financial and analytical skills will help us continue to execute our strategy in Indian market," he added.
 
Balendra has more than two decades of experience in automobile manufacturing in India and international markets. He was the first employee to join RNAIPL in 2008 and over the years has worked in various functions, including the Head of Stamping at the Nissan South Africa (NSA) Plant in Pretoria. Based in Chennai, he will report to Kuehl and functionally to Sakamoto Masahiro, RVP Monozukuri, AMI, Nissan and Pascal Felten, RSVP Alliance, Africa Middle East and India (AMI) Monozukuri.
 
After successful completion of his tenure at RNAIPL, MacDonald will move on to a new role based in Europe, the release said.
 
Sambath is an industry veteran with over two decades of experience and has played key roles in finance, internal controlling, audit and strategic planning. He joined the Nissan family in 2009 and in this new position will be based in Chennai and report to Kuehl and Jay Cook, RVP Finance and GA, AMI Nissan.
 
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Ambanis seek Udaipur’s blessings for their daughter’s wedding through special ‘Anna Seva’

Isha Ambani, daughter of Mukesh and Nita Ambani (seen in the background), serving food to people at an
Isha Ambani, daughter of Mukesh and Nita Ambani (seen in the background), serving food to people at an "Anna Seva" organised ahead of her wedding with Anand Piramal, in Udaipur on December 7, 2018.
 
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and his family today commenced a special "Anna Seva" in Udaipur as a mark of respect and gratitude to  the city in Rajasthan and seek its people's blessings for the upcoming wedding of their daughter Isha.
 
As part of the Anna Seva, the family has taken up the auspicious task of feeding 5,100 people (a majority of them with special abilities) three times every day from today till December 10 to coincide with the pre-wedding functions of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal on December 8-9.
 
Family members, including Mukesh and his wife Nita Ambani, Ajay and Swati Piramal, Isha and Anand, were present at the Anna Seva function, serving people and interacting with them. The Anna Seva functions will continue for four days and will be performed three times a day at the Narayan Seva Sansthan, Udaipur, a representative of the family said in a statement.
 
In addition, the pre-wedding festivities will also see the setting up of a specially curated exhibit called the Swadesh Bazaar that will showcase 108 traditoinal Indian crafts and  art forms from different regions of the country for the national and international guests. Presenting the art will be master craftsmen and craftswomen themselves, who are keeping these traditional arts alive, creating an interesting experience as also an immersion into India’s cultural heritage.
 
"Swadesh Bazaar is a unique concept to encourage the craftsmanship of traditional Indian artisans, especially for a lot of indigenous crafts that need conservation and revival and have been supported by Reliance Foundation over the years. The Foundation aims to broaden and deepen its support to the goals of Swadesh Bazaar on a bigger and more sustainable scale in future," the statement said.
 
From the rich Kanjeevaram, exclusive Patola, intricate Chikankari to fine Bandhani, exhibits cover over 30 types of textiles and weaves. Depicting folktales and local legends, artists will showcase ancient painting forms like Gond, Madhubani, Phad, Warli and Thangka. Weavers, potters and sculptors from all around the country will make this a mega celebration of art and culture.
 
"This unique exhibit has not just provided livelihoods to thousands of such artisans, but also giving an opportunity to showcase their rare works from every nook and corner of India, for people’s interest, appreciation and support," the statement added.
 
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Congress MP from Bihar Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasmi passes away

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Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP from Bihar's Kishanganj, Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasmi, passed away early on Friday following a heart attack. He was 76.
 
According to district officials, he died at the Kishanganj Circuit House. He will be buried at his native Tarabadi village.
 
Qasmi was a noted Islamic scholar and a popular face of the party in the state, particularly in Seemanchal comprising Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria and Katihar districts.
 
He won the Kishanganj seat on a Congress ticket in the 2009 general elections after five consecutive failures. He retained the constituency in 2014 despite the Narendra Modi wave in Bihar and across the country.
 
He had defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party's Dilip Kumar Jaiswal by a margin of over 1 lakh votes in 2014.
 
He was a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and also a founder member of the All India Milli Council.
 
IANS
 

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Ex-Indian diplomat elected to UN's socio-economic, cultural panel

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Former Indian diplomat Preeti Saran has been elected unopposed to an Asia Pacific seat on the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) of the United Nations.
 
The UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) elected Ms. Saran, who had recently retired as Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, by acclamation on Wednesday to the 18-member committee of experts that monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR).
 
Saran will begin her four-year term on January 1, after another former Indian diplomat, Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, completes his third term on the CESCR at the end of this year.
 
After Saran's election, India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin tweeted: "Thanks to all our friends for electing by acclamation India's candidate Amb. Preeti Saran..."
 
Members of the CESCR serve in their personal capacities as experts and do not represent their countries even though they may have been nominated by their own nation.
 
India was elected in October to the UN Human Rights Council, where the representation is by countries and not individuals.
 
It received 188 votes in the 193-member General Assembly, the highest number polled by any of the contestants.
 
When the rotating elections for the nine members to start their terms next year on the CESCR was held in April, Heisoo Shin of South Korea was re-elected but the Asia Pacific region did not have a nominee for the second seat leading to the postponement of the election for it.
 
While any country from the Asian Pacific group was free to put up a candidate for that seat, none did deferring to India, according to diplomatic sources.
 
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In November, India nominated Saran, who had retired from the foreign service in September, and her nomination was circulated to UN members by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on November 23, paving the the way for Wednesday's delayed election.
 
Saran's election will add a woman to the CESCR, which has been criticised for having only five women on the 18-member panel.
 
An international NGO, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which monitors the CESCR, commented earlier in 2018, "Unfortunately the gender balance on the Committee remains poor."
 
"States should be very concerned by this gender imbalance on a UN human rights treaty body, particularly given the Committee's mandate to monitor implementation of States obligations to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights," it said.
 
CESCR was set up in 1985 by the ECOSOC to monitor on its behalf the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which has been ratified by 169 countries.
 
Countries that are parties to the covenant are required to submit reports to the CESCR every five years on how they protect those rights.
 
The CECSR meets in Geneva for four weeks every year. The other Asian member is Shiqiu Chen of China, whose term ends in 2022.
 
During her 36-year diplomatic career, Saran had also served as the ambassador to Vietnam and was a minister and a counsellor at India's mission to the UN in Geneva.
 
IANS
 

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