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Thanglura Darlong appointed as Ambassador of India to Romania

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Mr. Thanglura Darlong, presently Chief Liaison Officer, South Asian University, New Delhi has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Romania.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Darlong, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1988 batch, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Subhash Kumar takes charge as Director (Finance), ONGC

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Mr. Subhash Kumar took charge as Director (Finance) of the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) here yesterday.
 
Mr. Kumar was recommended to the position by Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) on October 26, 2017 and has been appointed to the post by the President of India, a press release from the company said.
 
Prior to joining as Director (Finance), ONGC, Mr. Kumar served a brief stint with Petronet LNG Limited where he joined as Director (Finance) in August 2017.
 
Mr Kumar is Fellow Member of ICMAI and also Associate Member of ICSI. He is an alumnus of Panjab University, Chandigarh,where he obtained his Bachelors degree and Masters degree in Commerce with Gold Medal.
 
Mr Kumar joined ONGC in 1985 as Finance & Accounts Officer (F&AO). After initially working in Jammu and Dehradun, he had a long stint at ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of ONGC. During his tenure with ONGC Videsh, Mr Kumar was associated with key acquisitions and expansion of company's footprint from single asset company in 2001 into a company with global presence in 17 countries with 37 assets. He played a key role in evaluation and acquisition of many assets abroad by ONGC Videsh.
 
He worked as Head Business Development, Finance & Budget and also as Head Treasury Planning & Portfolio Management Group at ONGC Videsh from April 2010 to March 2015. He then went on to serve as Chief Financial Officer of Mansarovar Energy Colombia Limited, a 50:50 joint venture of ONGC Videsh and Sinopec of China, fromSeptember 2006 to March 2010.
 
Mr Kumar joined back ONGC as Chief Commercial & Head Treasury of ONGC in July, 2016 where he played a key role in evaluation, negotiation, and concluding outstanding issues pertaining to the organization.
 
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Errol D'Souza appointed as Director of IIM, Ahmedabad

Prof. Errol D'Souza
Prof. Errol D'Souza
Prof. Errol D'Souza has been appointed as the new Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) for a five-year term with effect from tomorrow.
 
The announcement was made by IIM Ahmedabad Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla here today.
 
Prof. D’Souza studied Economics and Statistics at the University of Mumbai where he was awarded the Kashinath Trimbak Telang gold medal for obtaining the first rank in in his M.A. (Economics) degree. He obtained his PhD as a University Grants Commission National Research Fellow from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
 
Prior to accepting this position, he served as a Professor of Economics and the Dean of Faculty at the Institute. He has held appointments such as the IFCI Chair Professor at the University of Mumbai, India Chair Professor at the University Sciences Po in Paris, as a Visiting Professor of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, as an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, and as a Visiting Professor at the Turin School of Development of the ILO. He has worked on academic committees of the University Grants Commission and the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and has been associated with the Planning Commission of India and the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities, including as a Member, Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy.
 
"Prof. D'Souza brings experience and a track record which will be invaluable in meeting the Institute's goals and objectives. I would like to thank my colleagues who participated in the selection process. Their efforts are deeply appreciated," Mr. Birla said.
 
"I am confident that Prof. D'Souza will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to the IIMA Community," he added.
 
Prof. D'Souza had been appointed as Director-in-charge of the institute with effect from September 2, 2017 for a period of six months or till the appointment of a regular Director, whichever is earlier.
 
He replaced Prof. Ashish Nanda, who had announced on April 27 his decision to step aside from his position as Director, IIMA with effect from September 1, citing personal reasons.
 
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IndiGo appoints Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as Chief Operating Officer

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo today announced the appointment of Mr. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as its Chief Operating Officer, subject to regulatory approvals.
 
An industry veteran with more than three decades of experience, Mr. Prock-Schauer has held senior leadership positions with leading airlines across Europe and Asia.
 
Mr. Prock-Schauer, a graduate from the University of Economics, Vienna. has previously worked with Austrian Airlines, Jet Airways (India), British Midland International, Air Berlin (Germany/ UK) and Go Air (India). 
 
In the new role, Mr. Prock-Schauer will be responsible for operational aspects of IndiGo such as Flight Operations, Maintenance and Engineering and Inflight Services directly as well as Airport Operations and Operations Control Centre which will report into Mr. Sanjeev Ramdas, Executive Vice President Customer Service and Operations Control who in turn will be reporting to Wolfgang.
 
He will be reporting to Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo, a press release from the airline said.
 
Mr. Ghosh said, “We are delighted to welcome Mr. Schauer to the IndiGo family. With an illustrious career in various leadership positions, Wolfgang is a proven leader and I am confident that this important and positive step in strengthening our leadership team will serve as a great building block for the future of IndiGo and our continued success as a team.”
 
He further added, “Over the last year we have elevated several colleagues internally to positions of leadership and have also attracted world class talent across verticals. As the company charts the next phase of growth, this hunt for talent, internally and externally, will be an on-going exercise.”
 
 Mr. Prock-Schauer said, "I am very pleased to take up this new role at IndiGo and excited to be part of the dynamic team which has delivered such a consistent product for more than a decade. I look forward to working with the team in areas that can strengthen IndiGo’s operations. I look forward to meeting the organisation's objectives, strengthen this great brand and grow the business in the Indian market."
 
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NITI Aayog Member Vinod Paul chosen for WHO's IhsanDogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize

Vinod Paul
Vinod Paul
Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, has been awarded the prestigious IhsanDogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 
 
He is the first Indian to receive this global honour, which is conferred in recognition to his services in the field of family health, an official press release said.
 
The award, confirmed by the WHO Executive Board on January 27, will be presented to Dr Paul formally at the World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2018. He was chosen unanimously from six other shortlisted candidates from Algeria, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Russian Federation and Uzbekistan.
 
The WHO Board resolution acknowledges Dr Paul as an internationally renowned researcher, clinician, educator and public health advocate in the area of family health, with a special focus on newborn health. He has made distinguished contributions towards improving the health and well-being of families, especially in developing countries.
 
Dr Paul’s efforts brought the long-neglected issue of newborn health to the centre-stage of strategies for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through significant contributions to important documents used globally on family health.
 
Instrumental in establishing the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in 2005-06, Dr Paul is recognized world over as a leading expert in universal health coverage and human resources for health. He has published numerous articles on various issues, including on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, in international peer-reviewed journals as well as several books and monographs. His book on paediatrics is the standard textbook for medical students in India and several other countries.
 
A well-known name in public health circles in India, Dr Paul has played a key role in formulating national child health guidelines and programmes in the country. Prior to joining as Member, NITI Aayog, Dr Paul was head of the Department of Pediatrics at AIIMS, New Delhi.
 
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Illaiyaraja, Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Parameswaran chosen for Padma Vibhushan

Film music composer Illaiyaraja, Hindustani classical vocalist Ghulam Mustafa Khan and Hindutva thinker and RSS Pracharak in Kerala Parameswaran Parameswaran were chosen for the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour, on the eve of Republic Day 2018 on Thursday.

Illaiyaraja
Illaiyaraja
Film music composer Illaiyaraja, Hindustani classical vocalist Ghulam Mustafa Khan and Hindutva thinker and RSS Pracharak in Kerala Parameswaran Parameswaran were chosen for the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour, on the eve of Republic Day 2018 today.
 
Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the Valiya Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, billiards and snooker champion Pankaj Advani and cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni are among the nine chosen for the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour.
 
Others chosen for the Padma Bhushan include former Russian Ambassador in India Alexander Kadakin (posthumously), archaeologist Ramachandran Nagaswamy, legal scholar Ved Prakash Nanda, painter Laxman Pai, sitarist Arvind Parikh and folk singer Sharda Sinha.
Philipose Mar Chrysostom
Philipose Mar Chrysostom
 
The 73 Padma Shri awardees include herpetologist and wildlife conservationist Romulus Whitaker, badminton star Kidambi Srikanth, tennis player Somdev Devvarman, and social activists and health researchers Abhay Bang and Rani Dang.
 
Fourteen of the awardees this year are women and the list also includes 16 in the category  of foreigners, non-resident Indians, persons of Indian origin and Overseas Citizens of India. Three have been chosen for the award posthumously.
 
The following is the list of awardees:
 
Padma Vibhushan
1.   Illaiyaraja -- Art-Music -- Tamil Nadu
2.   Ghulam Mustafa Khan -- Art-Music -- Maharashtra
3.   Parameswaran Parameswaran -- Literature and Education -- Kerala
 
Padma Bhushan
 
4.   Pankaj Advani --  Sports- Billiards/Snooker -- Karnataka
5.   Philipose Mar Chrysostom -- Others-Spiritualism -- Kerala
6.   Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- Sports-Cricket -- Jharkhand
7.   Alexander Kadakin -- (Foreigner/Posthumous) -- Public Affairs -- Russia
8.  Ramachandran Nagaswamy -- Others-Archaeology -- Tamil Nadu
9. Ved Prakash Nanda -- (OCI) -- Literature and Education -- USA
10.  Laxman Pai -- Art-Painting -- Goa
11.  Arvind Parikh -- Art-Music -- Maharashtra
12.  Sharda Sinha -- Art-Music -- Bihar
 
Padma Shri
 
13.  Abhay Bang and Rani Bang (Duo) -- Medicine -- Maharashtra
14.  Damodar Ganesh Bapat -- Social Work -- Chhattisgarh
15.  Prafulla Govinda Baruah -- Literature and Education-Journalism -- Assam
16.  Mohan Swaroop Bhatia -- Art-Folk Music -- Uttar Pradesh
17.  Sudhanshu Biswas -- Social Work -- West Bengal
18.  Saikhom Mirabai Chanu -- Sports-Weightlifting -- Manipur
19.  Pandit Shyamlal Chaturvedi -- Literature and Education-Journalism -- Chhattisgarh
20.  Jose Ma Joey Concepcion III (Foreigner) -- Trade & Industry -- Philippines
21.  Langpoklakpam Subadani Devi -- Art-Weaving -- Manipur
22.  Somdev Devvarman -- Sports-Tennis -- Tripura
23.  Yeshi Dhoden -- Medicine --  Himachal Pradesh
24.  Arup Kumar Dutta -- Literature and Education -- Assam
25.  Doddarange Gowda -- Art-Lyrics -- Karnataka
26.  Arvind Gupta -- Literature and Education -- Maharashtra
27.  Digamber Hansda -- Literature and Education -- Jharkhand
28.  Ramli Bin Ibrahim -- (Foreigner) -- Art-Dance -- Malaysia
29.  Anwar Jalalpuri -- (Posthumous) -- Literature and Education -- Uttar Pradesh
30.  Piyong Temjen Jamir -- Literature and Education -- Nagaland
31.  Sitavva Joddati -- Social Work -- Karnataka
32.  Malti Joshi -- Literature and Education -- Madhya Pradesh
33.  Manoj Joshi -- Art-Acting -- Maharashtra
34.  Rameshwarlal Kabra -- Trade & Industry -- Maharashtra
35.  Pran Kishore Kaul -- Art --  Jammu and Kashmir
36.  Bounlap Keokangna -- (Foreigner) -- Others-Architecture -- Laos
37.  Vijay Kichlu -- Art-Music -- West Bengal
38.  Tommy Koh -- (Foreigner) -- Public Affairs -- Singapore
39.  Lakshmikutty -- Medicine-Traditional -- Kerala
40.  Joyshree Goswami Mahanta -- Literature and Education -- Assam
41.  Narayan Das Maharaj -- Others-Spiritualism --  Rajasthan
42.  Pravakara Maharana -- Art-Sculpture -- Odisha
43.  Hun Many -- (Foreigner) -- Public Affairs -- Cambodia
44.  Nouf Marwaai -- (Foreigner) -- Others- Yoga -- Saudi Arabia
45.  Zaverilal Mehta -- Literature and Education-Journalism -- Gujarat
46.  Krishna Bihari Mishra -- Literature and Education -- West Bengal
47.  Sisir Purushottam Mishra-- Art-Cinema -- Maharashtra
48. Subhasini Mistry -- Social Work -- West Bengal
49.  Tomio Mizokami -- (Foreigner) -- Literature and Education -- Japan
50.  Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong -- (Foreigner) -- Others-Spiritualism -- Thailand
51. Keshav Rao Musalgaonkar -- Literature and Education -- Madhya Pradesh
52. Thant Myint – U -- (Foreigner) -- Public Affairs -- Myanmar
53.  V Nanammal -- Others-Yoga -- Tamil Nadu
54.  Sulagitti Narasamma -- Social Work -- Karnataka
55.  Vijayalakshmi Navaneethakrishnan -- Art-Folk Music -- Tamil Nadu
56.  I Nyoman Nuarta -- (Foreigner) -- Art- Sculpture -- Indonesia
57.  Malai Haji Abdullah Bin Malai Haji Othman -- (Foreigner) -- Social Work -- Brunei Darussalam
58.  Gobaradhan Panika -- Art-Weaving -- Odisha
59.  Bhabani Charan Pattanaik -- Public Affairs -- Odisha
60.  Murlikant Petkar -- Sports-Swimming -- Maharashtra
61.  Habibullo Rajabov -- (Foreigner) -- Literature and Education -- Tajikistan
62. M R Rajagopal -- Medicine-Palliative Care-- Kerala
63.  Sampat Ramteke -- (Posthumous) -- Social Work -- Maharashtra
64.  Chandra Sekhar Rath -- Literature and Education -- Odisha
65.  S S Rathore -- Civil Service -- Gujarat
66.  Amitava Roy -- Science and Engineering -- West Bengal
67.  Sanduk Ruit -- (Foreigner) -- Medicine-Opthalmology -- Nepal
68.  R Sathyanarayana  -- Art-Music -- Karnataka
69.  Pankaj M Shah -- Medicine-Oncology -- Gujarat
70.  Bhajju Shyam -- Art-Painting -- Madhya Pradesh
71.  Maharao Raghuveer Singh -- Literature and Education  -- Rajasthan
72.  Kidambi Srikanth -- Sports-Badminton --  Andhra Pradesh
73.  Ibrahim Sutar -- Art-Music -- Karnataka
74.  Siddeshwara Swamiji -- Others-Spiritualism -- Karnataka
75.  Lentina Ao Thakkar -- Social Work -- Nagaland
76.  Vikram Chandra Thakur -- Science and Engineering -- Uttarakhand
77.  Rudrapatnam Narayanaswamy Tharanathan and Rudrapatnam Narayanaswamy Thyagarajan -- (Duo) -- Art-Music -- Karnataka
78. Nguyen Tien Thien -- (Foreigner) -- Others-Spiritualism -- Vietnam
79.  Bhagirath Prasad Tripathi -- Literature and Education -- Uttar Pradesh
80.  Rajagopalan Vasudevan -- Science and Engineering -- Tamil Nadu
81.  Manas Bihari Verma -- Science and Engineering -- Bihar
82.  Panatawane Gangadhar Vithobaji -- Literature and Education -- Maharashtra
83.  Romulus Whitaker -- Others-Wildlife Conservation -- Tamil Nadu
84.  Baba Yogendra -- Art -- Madhya Pradesh
85.  A Zakia -- Literature and Education -- Mizoram
 
 
 
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Tsewang Namgyal appointed as Ambassador to Poland

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Mr. Tsewang Namgyal, presently Ambassador of India to Cuba, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Poland.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Namgyal, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1992 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Malayalam actor and director Sreenivasan hospitalised in Kochi

Sreenivasan
Sreenivasan
Well-known Malayalam actor and director Sreenivasan was hospitalized here late on Tuesday night.
 
The 61-year-old actor was admitted to the Aster Medcity here, where doctors treating him said he was in a stable condition. Hospital sources told NetIndian over the telephone that he would be shifted to a private room from the intensive care unit (ICU) in a couple of days.
 
Sreenivasan's son and actor Vineeth Srinivasan said on his Facebook page that his father had been taken to hospital due to variations in his blood sugar level.
 
"The doctor has recommended staying in the hospital tonight and discharging him tomorrow. I request everyone not to spread baseless news. Thanks everyone,” Vineeth said in his post.
 
Sreenivasan is also an acclaimed scriptwriter in Malayalam cinema and has also produced movies.
 
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Anandiben Patel appointed as Governor of Madhya Pradesh

Anandiben Patel
Anandiben Patel
President Ram Nath Kovind today appointed former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel as the new Governor of Madhya Pradesh.
 
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said the appointment would be with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office.
 
Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli is currently holding charge of the post of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh after Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav completed his tenure on September 7, 2016.
 
Ms. Patel, 76, had become the first woman Chief Minister of Gujarat in May, 2014, succeeding Mr. Narendra Modi, who moved to Delhi as the Prime Minister after ruling the state for more than 12 years. She had earlier served as Revenue Minister in Mr. Modi's cabinet.
 
On August 1, 2016, Ms. Patel sprang a surprise by offering to resign from her position, citing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) "tradition" of leaders quitting their posts when they attain the age of 75.
 
In a letter to BJP President Amit Shah, which she posted on her Facebook and Twitter pages, she said she had always abided by the party's ideology, principles and discipline. She said many leaders had established the tradition of voluntarily giving up their positions when they reached 75 years of age, which had set an example for everyone in the party.
 
She said this tradition had provided opportunities for younger leaders to work for the party and the country.
 
The offer of resignation served to end months of speculation about whether Ms. Patel would be able to complete her term, especially in the wake of criticism of the way her Government had handled the agitation by members of the influential Patidar community in the state as well the protests by Dalits.
 
Her resignation had been accepted by the party's leadership and Mr. Vijay Rupani was chosen to succeed her as Chief Minister of Gujarat.
 
Born on November 21, 1941, Ms. Patel has been a member of the BJP since 1987.
 
She studied as the only girl in a school with some 700 boys because there was no other school nearby. She went on to complete her M.Sc. and M.Ed. degrees. She joined a school in Ahmedabad as a teacher and went on to become its principal.
 
She came into prominence when, during a school excursion, she jumped into the Narmada river to save two of her girl students who had fallen into it, a feat for which she received a bravery award from the President. Following this, the BJP invited her to join the party and she went on to become the head of its women's wing in Gujarat.
 
She was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1994 and has been elected as a member of the State legislative assembly for four consecutive terms since 1998 and served as a Minister in the State Cabinet since then till she resigned as Chief Minister in 2016.
 
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Vice-Admiral A B Singh takes over as Chief of Staff Western Naval Command

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Vice-Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh took over as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command from Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh today.
 
Vice Admiral A B Singh was the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command prior to his current appointment, an official press release said.
 
An alumnus of National Defence Academy (NDA), Vice-Admiral AB Singh was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 1, 1983. He is a specialist in Navigation and Aircraft Direction and his important specialist appointments include Navigating Officer of INS Kamorta (during Op Pawan), and the destroyer INS Ranjit, besides being the Fleet Navigating Officer of Western Fleet during Op Prakaram.
 
The Flag Officer has commanded IN Ships Veer (Missile Vessel), Vindhyagiri (Frigate), Trishul (Guided Missile Frigate) and Viraat (Aircraft Carrier). He has also been an instructor at NDA, Khadakwasla, Navigation and Direction School, Kochi and Directing Staff at DSSC Wellington. Vice-Admiral AB Singh has served at Naval Headquarters as Deputy Director and Principal Director at the Directorate of Naval Plans. He also set up the Directorate of Strategy, Concepts and Transformation as the Principal Director.
 
Promoted to Flag Rank in 2012, he has since tenanted the appointments of Flag Officer AOB Project, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy and Plans) at Naval Headquarters and Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. The Flag Officer was awarded with Vishisht Seva Medal in 2011 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2016 for his exemplary service to the nation, the release added.
 
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K. Sivan appointed as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman Space Commission

Dr. K. Sivan
Dr. K. Sivan
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal based on the recommendation of the SCSC, for appointment of Dr. K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC )as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman Space Commission.
 
Dr. Sivan, who will succeed Dr. A.S. Kiran Kumar, will have a tenure of three years, from the date of assumption of charge of the post, an official press release added.
 
Dr. Sivan graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in Aeronautical engineering in 1980. He took his ME in Aerospace engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 1982. Subsequently, he completed his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from IIT, Bombay in 2006.
 
He joined Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1982 in its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project and has played a major role in end to end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis. The mission design process and innovative mission design strategies perfected for PSLV has become the foundation for ISRO launch vehicles like GSLV, GSLV-MK3 and RLV-TD. 
 
He is the chief architect of 6D trajectory simulation software, SITARA which is the back-bone of the real-time and non-real-time trajectory simulations of all ISRO launch vehicles. He commissioned world class simulation facility in ISRO for mission synthesis and analysis which is used for mission design, sub-system level validation and integrated validation of avionics systems in all ISRO launch vehicles. He developed and implemented an innovative day-of launch wind biasing strategy which has made possible rocket launch on any day of the year at any weather and wind conditions.
 
Dr. Sivan has contributed significantly in establishing a parallel computing facility and hypersonic wind tunnel facility, which has opened new avenues in the area of computational fluid dynamics, and self-reliance in wind-tunnel testing. He evolved novel strategies for launching India's Mars mission endeavor through PSLV, ISRO's work horse. He also led the RLV-TD development program and spearheaded its design, qualification, aerodynamic characterization and hardware development.
 
He joined GSLV Project in April 2011 as Project Director with a mandate to demonstrate the robustness and reliability of GSLV as well as flight demonstrate the Indigenous Cryo Stage. His leadership led to the historical achievement of most successful GSLV flight with indigenous cryogenic stage.
 
During his career at ISRO, he has held many responsibilities like Group Director, MSSG, Project Director, RLV-TD, Deputy Director, Aeronautics Entity, Deputy Director, Structures Entity, Project Director, GSLV, Chief controller, VSSC and Director, LPSC from July 2014.
 
He has numerous publications in various journals and is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India and Systems Society of India. He has received numerous awards throughout his career which includes Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014, The Distinguished Alumnus Award 2013 from MIT Alumni Association, Chennai, Dr Biren Roy Space science award for the year 2011, ISRO merit award for the year 2007 and Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research award for the year 1999.
 
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Former RAW chief Rajinder Khanna appointed as Deputy NSA

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Mr. Rajinder Khanna, former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has been appointed as the new Deputy National Security Adviser.
 
Mr. Khanna, who retired as head of RAW in December 2016, was serving as Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat. 
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Rajinder Khanna, former Secretary (R) and currently OSD (Neighbourhood Studies) (NSCS) as Deputy National Advisor, on remployment on contract basis, until further orders, as per usual terms and conditions as are admissible to Dy. NSA," a notification from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
 
Mr. Khanna succeeds Mr. Arvind Gupta, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, whose tenure had ended in August this  year. Mr. Gupta is currently Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation, a prominent think tank in Delhi.
 
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Vijay Keshav Gokhale appointed as next Foreign Secretary

Vijay Keshav Gokhale
Vijay Keshav Gokhale
Mr. Vijay Keshav Gokhale, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs has been appointed as the next Foreign Secretary.
 
Mr. Gokhale, 58, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1981 batch, will succeed Dr. S. Jaishankar, who will complete his tenure on January 28.
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr. Vijay Keshav Gokhale (IFS: 1981), Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs as the Foreign Secretary vice Dr. S. Jaishankar, who is completing his tenure on 28.01.2018," a notification from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
 
Before taking over as the Secretary (Economic Relations) in June 2017, Mr. Gokhale was posted as the Ambassador of India in Beijing.
 
Mr. Gokhale, who has an MA in History (History), Delhi University, has served in, among other places, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and NewYork. He has also served as Deputy Secretary (Finance), Director (China & East Asia) and Joint Secretary (East Asia) during his stint at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
 
He was High Commissioner of India to Malaysia from January 2010 to October 2013. From October 2013 to January 2016, he was the Ambassador of India to Germany, before taking over as Ambassador in Bejing.
 
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M. Subbarayudu appointed as Ambassador to Peru

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Mr. M. Subbarayudu, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru.
 
A press release from the MEA said Mr. Subbarayudu, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1994 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Actor-director Neeraj Vora passes away at 54

 
Actor-director Neeraj Vora passes away at 54

Bollywood actor and filmmaker Neeraj Vora breathed his last on Thursday after being in coma for over a year.

He was admitted to the Criti Care hospital in Mumbai. It is being said that Vohra had been moved to friend Firoz Nadiadwala’s house after he slipped into coma. A room in Nadiadwala’s residence was converted into an ICU for his speedy recovery.

The late actor is known for his work in films like, 'Company', 'Pukar', 'Rangeela', 'Satya', 'Baadshah', ‘Bol Bachchan’ and 'Mann'. He also directed films 'Phir Hera Pheri' and 'Chachi 420'.

ANI

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Lalji Singh, father of Indian DNA fingerprinting passes away

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The world of science has lost an icon with the passing away of Dr. Lalji Singh, who died in Varanasi on Sunday at the age of 70 following a heart attack.
 
Reports said Dr. Singh suffered the heart attack while waiting to board a flight for Delhi at the Varanasi airport late on Sunday night. He was rushed to the BHU Hospital, but could not be revived.
 
Fondly called Father of Indian DNA Fingerprinting, Dr Singh was an outstanding personality: an excellent scientist, an able administrator, an institution builder and a social worker all rolled into one persona.
 
He was one of the leading lights in taking DNA fingerprinting to the mainstream in India, both in terms of research and for forensic applications. Enthused by his work, the Government of India entrusted him with the task of establishing a Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics at Hyderabad in late 1990s, which has since grown into a major institution with global standing.
 
His contributions to science including the setting up of a slew of laboratories dedicated to work on the different aspects of genetics such as population biology, structural biology and transgenic research.
 
His life journey makes for interesting reading. He was born on July 5, 1947, just one month before India attained independence, in a poor farmer’s family in a village near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. A brilliant student right from the beginning, he got admission to the venerable Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi after he completed his intermediate (class 12).
 
His break came when he went and asked his teacher to suggest the topic for a special paper when he was doing his M.Sc. His teacher was none other than G.P.Roy Chowdhury, a big name in Genetics. Without batting an eyelid, he suggested that he work on the chromosome of snakes.
 
Narrating the turning point in his career in an interview a few years ago to Eureka, a television programme of Vigyan Prasar and Rajya Sabha Television, Singh recalled that was petrified as he was frightened of snakes. But, he had to do it as he had been instructed by his teacher. He had meekly asked Dr. Chowdhury as to why he had to do the work on snakes and he was told he had to do it since none had done it so far. That was it. No more questions. No more answers.
 
The ball started rolling and soon he came up with a startling result: the chromosome analysis revealed evolution of sex chromosomes according to the evolutionary status of various families of snakes, being homomorphic in the primitive families and highly differentiated between Z and W chromosomes in highly evolved and poisonous species of snakes. As Dr. Singh put it, "molecular basis of sex determination on which I did a lot of work later actually began from snakes."
 
He came up with a hypothesis that the W sex chromosome of female snakes have specific satellite DNA, which is not present in the male. It had to be confirmed. But, facilities for such studies were not available in India those days. Attempts to enlist the support of scientists abroad also proved futile as none was convinced that such a thing was possible. He finally managed to get a Commonwealth Fellowship on his own.
 
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He then went on to successfully isolate a high molecular weight DNA from a sample for the Indian Banded Krait and from that a sex specific minor satellite DNA. This led to the now famous DNA fingerprinting probe.
 
The probe was developed at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology at Hyderabad where he joined at the invitation of its then Director, late P.M.Bharagava. It came as an alternative to a probe already developed abroad with human DNA. The imported probe was expensive as the technology was patented.
 
Dr. Singh’s probe has been used in several high profile cases including former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Beant Singh murder case in Punjab, and Swami Premanand case of Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu and Swami Shraddhanand case of Bengaluru.
 
He is also known for his DNA study of Indian population. The path breaking work was conducted on the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The study found that the tribes were perhaps the first escendants of the people who moved out of Africa to India about 60,000 to 70,000 years ago and proposed a theory of a southern route of migration via India through coastal route.
 
Dr. Singh, who started his education from BHU, went on to become its Vice-Chancellor. He remained the head of his alma mater from August 2011 to 2014.
 
Among other things, he was till recently active in a no-profit organisation called Genome Foundation that aims to help diagnose and treat genetic disorders affecting the underprivileged especially from rural areas.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Pradeep Singh Kharola assumes charge as CMD of Air India

Pradeep Singh Kharola
Pradeep Singh Kharola
Mr. Pradeep Singh Kharola, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1985 batch (Karnataka cadre), assumed charge yesterday as the Chairman and Managing Director of national carrier Air India.
 
Mr. Kharola had earlier served as the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Karnataka from 2012-2013. He also led Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC), which was involved in raising funds from international institutions to build infrastructure across cities. 
 
As Joint Secretary of National Administrative Reforms Commission he aided in the formulation of governance reforms in public administration. 
 
A press release from Air India said Mr. Kharola brings with him an extensive and rich career-experience of 30 years, having held key positions in areas such as Urban Governance, Urban Public Transport and Policy making. He has also won the National Award for e-Governanace in 2012 and the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2013.
 
Mr. Kharola graduated in mechanical engineering from University of Indore in 1982 and did his post-graduated in industrial engineering at IIT Delhi in 1984 with top honors. He has a Diploma in Management from All India Management Association, New Delhi and a Masters in  Development Management from Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines. He also holds a PhD in Public Transport systems from IIT Delhi.
 
Mr. Kharola has the distinction of turning around a public transport undertaking to become profitable. He revived Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), the city bus service from a loss making entity to be profitable in 2000, the first in the country. As Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation of India he has played a key role in kick starting Bengaluru Metro, the release added.
 
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Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma get married at ceremony in Italy

Cricketer Virat Kohli and film actress Anushka Sharma at their wedding in Tuscany, Italy on December 11, 2017.
Cricketer Virat Kohli and film actress Anushka Sharma at their wedding in Tuscany, Italy on December 11, 2017.
India's cricket captain Virat Kohli married popular Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma at a ceremony in Italy today, an announcement by the couple said.
 
"Today we have promised each other to be bound in love forever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you," Kohli and Sharma said in brief and identical posts on their Twitter pages.
 
"This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans & well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey," they said.
 
The wedding, at a private ceremony at a luxury resort in Tuscany, Italy, came after months of speculation about their plans.
 
The ceremony was attended only by close family and friends of the couple, sources close to them were quoted as saying in media reports.
 
The couple is expected to host receptions in Delhi and Mumbai for their friends later this month.
 
Kohli and Sharma, both 28, were dating each other since 2013 after meeting during the making of an advertisement film and more or less made their relationship public when they appeared together at a football match.
 
Speculation about their wedding plans heightened after Kohli pulled out of India's limited overs matches against Sri Lanka recently.
 
 
Cricketer Virat Kohli and film actress Anushka Sharma at their wedding in Milan, Italy on December 11, 2017.
Cricketer Virat Kohli and film actress Anushka Sharma at their wedding in Milan, Italy on December 11, 2017.
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K. Jeeva Sagar appointed as next Ambassador to Kuwait

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Mr. K. Jeeva Sagar, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Kuwait.
 
A press release from MEA said Mr. Jeeva Sagar, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) of the 1991 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor passes away at 79

Shashi Kapoor
Shashi Kapoor
Veteran Hindi film actor and producer Shashi Kapoor passed away  here this evening after a prolonged illness.
 
He was 79. He is survived by his daughter Sanjana, and sons Kunal and Karan.
 
He was married to well-known English actress Jennifer Kendal, who predeceased him in 1984. The two had established the Prithvi Theatre here in 1978.
 
Sources at the Kolkilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital said the actor breathed his last at 5.20 pm.
 
Kapoor had been honoured by the Government with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2014 -- the top honour in Indian cinema -- for his utstanding contribution to the growth and development of the industry.
 
He was the the third member of the family to get the honour after his grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor in 1971 and eldest brother Raj Kapoor in 1987.
 
Born in 1938, Shashi, born as Balbir Raj Kapoor, belonged to the Kapoor family, regarded as the top dynasty in Hindi filmdom. He was the  youngest son of the late Prithviraj Kapoor and the brother of late Raj Kapoor and late Shammi Kapoor, all renowned actors.
 
Kapoor started acting at the age of four in plays directed by his father, while travelling with Prithvi Theatres. He began acting in films as a child artiste in the late 1940s, including in Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951), in which he played the younger Raj Kapoor. He also worked as an assistant director in the 1950s.
 
Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in more than 100 Hindi films. He was a very popular actor in Bollywood during the 1960s, '70s and until the mid-'80s. 
 
He had the distinction of being one of the first Indian actors to go international, having starred in many British and American films, notably Merchant Ivory Proudctions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, such as The Householder (1963), Shakespearewallah (1965), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1982). He also starred in other British and American films such as Siddhartha (1972) and Muhafiz (1994). 
 
In 1978, Kapoor set up his production house Filmvalas which produced critically acclaimed films such as Junoon (1978), Kalyug (1981), 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), Vijeta (1982) and Utsav (1984). He also produced and directed a fantasy film titled Ajooba which had Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in the lead roles. 
 
In 2011, Kapoor was honoured with the Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India. He is also a recipient of three National Film Awards. 
 
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Former Chief Justice of India A S Anand passes away

Justice Adarsh Sein Anand
Justice Adarsh Sein Anand
Former Chief Justice of India Adarsh Sein Anand passed away at his residence here today after a brief illness, sources close to his family said.
 
He was 81.
 
"With profound grief and a very heavy heart we would like to inform you that our most beloved chachaji Dr. Justice (Retd.) A.S Anand passed away on Friday 1st December 2017, in New Delhi," his niece Varuna Anand said on her Facebook page.
 
The sources said Justice Anand had been ailing for some time from age-related problems and breathed his last this morning. He had been admitted to a private hospital recently for treatment of a lung problem.
 
Justice Anand had served as the 29th CJI from October 10,1998 to October 31, 2001. He had also served as chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NLSA) and had helped establish Lok Adalats in all districts of the country.
 
He had also served as Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission from February 17, 2003 to April 1, 2007. 
 
Born on November 1, 1936, in Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Anand graduated from Jammu & Kashmir University in 1958 and then took a degree in Law and a diploma in Labour Laws from the Lucknow University. He completed his Ph.D. in Laws (Constitutional Law of the Commonwealth) from London University in 1963. He called to the Bar from the Society of Inner Temple, London in 1964.
 
He practised law in the Punjab & Haryana High Court at Chandigarh for some time. In May, 1975, he was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and confirmed as a Judge in February, 1976. He was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court on May 26, 1984 and Chief Justice of the same High Court on May 11, 1985. He was transferred as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court with effect from November 1, 1989. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in November, 1991. 
 
He was appointed as Chief Justice of India on October 10, 1998 and retired in the forenoon of November 1, 2001.
 
“Saddened by the demise of former Chief Justice of India, Justice AS Anand. My thoughts are with his family in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.
 
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Rear Admiral Sandeep Beecha takes over as Commandant, Naval War College

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Rear Admiral Sandeep Beecha took over the reins of the Naval War College from Rear Admiral Monty Khanna, as its third Commandant, at a ceremonial parade held at INS Mandovi, Goa on Wednesday.
 
The Naval War College is an iconic institution facilitating higher education, war gaming and cutting-edge research on maritime security and warfare at strategic and operational level.
 
Rear Admiral Beecha is an alumnus of Naval Academy and commissioned in the Indian Navy on July 21, 1986. He is a Navigation and Direction Specialist. He has commanded CGS C-05, INS Ajay, INS Vindhyagiri, INS Rajput and has earlier served as Commanding Officer of INS Mandovi.
 
His staff appointments include Joint Director Staff Requirements, Naval Assistant to the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and Principal Director Foreign Cooperation, all at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi.
 
The officer has undergone the Principal Warfare Officers (PWO Basic) Course at HMS Dryad (UK), the Staff Course at the Defence Services Staff  College, Wellington and the Naval Higher Command Course at Mumbai. 
 
He is a post graduate in Defence Studies and holds the degree of MSc in Strategic Studies, an official press release said.
 
He has also served in the capacity of Naval Adviser at the High Commission in London from September 2012 to March 2016. On promotion to Flag Rank, the officer was appointed as the Flag Officer Gujarat Naval Area from March 30, 2016, to November 28, 2017.
 
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Popular Malayalam actor and mimicry artiste Kalabhavan Abi passes away

Malayalam actor Abi
Malayalam actor Abi
Popular Malayalam actor and mimicry artiste Kalabhavan Abi passed away at a private hospital here today after a brief illness. 
 
He was 52. He is survived by his wife Sunila and children Ahana and Aleena. Young Malayalam actor Shane Nigam is his son.
 
Sources close to his family said he was undergoing treatment for low blood platelet  count and breathed his last this morning.
 
Born as Habeeb Ahmed, Abi had acted in more than 50 films and appeared in hundreds of stage shows. He made his debut in movies in  Mammootty-starrer Nayam Vyakthamakkunnu (1991). He became a household name with his portrayal of "Amina thaata", an aged Muslim woman, in Kireedamillatha Rajakkanmar.
 
Other movies in which he acted include Mazhavil Koodaram, Mimics Action 500, Aniyathipraavu and Rasikan. His last appearance in a film was in Happy Wedding in 2016.
 
As a mimicry artiste, Abi had worked with well-known troupes like Kalabhavan, Harisree and Cochin Sagar. He had bagged the first prize twice in mimicry competitions in the Mahatma Gandhi University Youth Festival.
 
He also used to imitate Hindi film actors and had lent his voice for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in advertisement films in Malayalam.
 
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Snehlata Shrivastava appointed as Secretary-General of Lok Sabha

Snehlata Shrivastava
Snehlata Shrivastava
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has appointed Ms. Snehlata Shrivastava, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1982 batch (Madhya Pradesh cadre), as the Secretary-General of Lok Sabha and Lok Sabha Secretariat in the rank and status of Cabinet Secretary with effect from December 1.
 
Ms. Shrivastava will be the first woman Secretary-General of Lok Sabha and Lok Sabha Secretariat, a press release from the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.
 
Ms. Shrivastava has 35 years of varied administrative experience, having served in positions such as Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice and as Special/Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.
 
She has also served in senior positions in the Government of Madhya Pradesh, including as Principal Secretary, Culture and Parliamentary Affairs; Principal Secretary, School Education Department; Relief Commissioner, Revenue Department; and Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department & Technical Education & Training.
 
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Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das appointed as India’s G 20 Sherpa

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Mr. Shaktikanta Das, former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, has been appointed as India’s G 20 Sherpa till December 31, 2018 for the Development Track of the G20. 
 
There are two tracks in G 20- Finance Track and Development Track. Finance Track is managed by the Secretary (Economic Affairs) as India’s Deputy to G 20 and the Development Track is coordinated by the Sherpa. 
 
The Department of Economic Affairs will provide necessary support to the Sherpa, an official press release added.
 
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