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Satbir Singh appointed as Ambassador to Algeria

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Mr. Satbir Singh, presently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Algeria.
 
An official press release from the Ministry said Mr. Singh, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1985 batch, was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Jawed Ashraf appointed as High Commissioner to Singapore

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Mr. Jawed Ashraf, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Singapore.
 
A press release from the MEA said Mr. Ashraf, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1991 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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P. Kumaran appointed as Ambassador to Qatar

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Mr. P. Kumaran, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the India's next Ambassador to Qatar.
 
A press release from MEA said Mr. Kumaran, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1992 batch, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Air Marshal H S Arora takes over as Director General Air (Operations)

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Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora , who was appointed Director General Air (Operations) on August 22, assumed charge today.  
 
Air Marshal Arora was commissioned in the Indian Air Force (IAF)as a fighter pilot in December 1981. He has over 2600 hours of operational flying on MiG 21, MiG 29 and other variants of aircraft in the IAF inventory, including helicopters, an official press release said.
 
He has served as Directing Staff at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and as a Flying Inspector in the Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI). He was deputed as Defence Attache in the Embassy of India, Bangkok, Thiland from 2006 to 2009.
 
He commanded 45 Squadron – 'The Flying Dagger' – as a Wing Commander and as a Group Captain he was ADDC Cdr and Station Commander at 33 SU – 'The Scanners'.
 
As an Air Commodore, he commanded Air Force Station Adampur in Punjab and as Air Vice Marshal he was Air Defence Commander at Headquarters of Western Air Command as well as Eastern Air Command.
 
He is a meritorious graduate of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment, Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College. He has a Master of Philosophy degree in Defence and Strategic Studies.
 
In recognition of his meritorious service he was commended by the AOC-in-C, in 1997 and was awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal on January 26, 2011 by the President.
 
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Ravi Shankar appointed as High Commissioner to Uganda

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Mr. Ravi Shankar, presently Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Rome, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Uganda.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Shankar, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1995 batch, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Venu Srinivasan, Ajay Piramal appointed non-executive directors of Tata Sons

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Mr. Venu Srinivasan, chairman, Sundaram-Clayton and TVS Motor Company, and Mr. Ajay Piramal, chairman, Piramal Group and the Shriram Group, have been appointed as non-executive directors of Tata Sons with effect from today.
 
Tata Sons is the promoter of the major operating Tata companies and holds significant shareholdings in these companies.
 
Mr Srinivasan has served as the president of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for the year 2009-10, president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) for the period 1999-2001 and chairman of the National Safety Council, Government of India. 
He is also the managing trustee of the Srinivasan Services Trust (SST). 
 
Mr Srinivasan has an engineering degree from the College of Engineering, Chennai, and a master's degree in management from Purdue University.
 
Mr. Piramal serves on the Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors and as the chairman of Pratham, the world's largest NGO in primary education. He is a former chairman of the board of governors of IIT Indore. He served on the board of State Bank of India and has been a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Trade and Industry.
 
Mr Piramal has a BSc (Hons) from Bombay University, a master’s in management studies from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, and has completed the Advanced Management Programme at the Harvard Business School. 
 
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Yes Bank appoints Amit Sanan as Group President & Country Head, Mid-Corporate Banking

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Private sector bank Yes Bank today said it had appointed Mr. Amit Sanan as Group President & Country Head for Mid-Corporate Banking.
 
Mr. Sanan has previously worked with Standard Chartered, DSP Merill Lynch, Rabo India Finance and American Express. He has a degree in engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and PGDM from IIM-Ahmedabad.
 
A press release from Yes Bank said Mr. Sanan would be responsible for further developing and deepening key corporate relationships in the mid-corporate space covering more than 30 locations nationally, with a clear mandate to grow and scale up the ‘Life-Cycle Banking Business’ significantly vide granular revenue, assets and liabilities. 
 
The two existing teams of Emerging Corporate Banking and Commercial Business Banking of 300 Relationship managers nationally will now report to him. Besides a strong focus on granular transaction banking, cross sell and various digital banking solutions, Mr. Sanan would also drive business development in the key knowledge banking sectors of the bank.
 
"Amit has more than 20 years of corporate banking experience in the areas of relationship management, structured financing and commercial banking. He brings with him a strong track record of deal origination and structuring, leadership skills and key ability of launching and managing business," the release added.
 
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Former Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana Governor A R Kidwai passes away

A R Kidwai
A R Kidwai
Dr. Akhlaq Ur Rahman Kidwai, a distinguished scientist and educationist who also served as the Governor of Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana, passed away at a private hospital here today after a brief illness.
 
He was 96. He is survived by two sons and four daughters. His wife Jamila Kidwai had predeceased him. His funeral will be held tomorrow, sources said.
 
According to them, he was admitted to the Escorts Hospital here about ten days ago after complaining of breathing difficulties.
 
Dr. Kidwai served as Governor of Bihar from 1979 to 1985 and again from 1993 to 1998. He also served as Governor of West Bengal from 1998 to 1999 and Haryana from 2004 to 2009.
 
In between, he also held charge for some time as Governor of Punjab and of Rajasthan and Administrator of Delhi. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 2000 to 2004.
 
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Born on July 1, 1920 in Baragaon village of Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh, took a BA degree from Jamia Milia Islamia University here and went on to complete M. Sc. at the University of Illinois in the United States and Ph. D. from Cornell University, also in the US.
 
He worked as Professor and Head of the Department of Chemistry and the Dean of the Faculty of Science at the Aligarh Muslim University. He also served as Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) from 1974-77. He was Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University from 1983 to 1992.
 
Dr. Kidwai was associated with several bodies, incuding the National Committee on Science and Technology, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Central Advisory Board of Education and the Central Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
 
The Government honoured him with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian award, in 2011.
 
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Ashok Chawla appointed Non-Executive Part-Time Chairman of Yes Bank

Ashok Chawla
Ashok Chawla
Former Finance Secretary and Competition Commission of India Chairman Ashok Chawla will be the Non-Executive Part-time Chairman of Yes Bank.
 
A press release from the private sector bank said it had received approval for the appointment of Mr. Chawla from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
 
Mr. Chawla, who will have a three-year term, will take charge with effect from October 30 upon the expirity of the term of the current Chairperson of the bank, Ms. Radha Singh. He had appointed as an Independent Director on the Board of Yes Bank on March 5, 2016.
 
A distinguished civil servant with over 40 years of experience in various sectors of the economy in India as well as in international multilateral agencies, Mr. Chawla has a Master's in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics (1972). He joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1973. 
 
He started his career in Gujarat and held various positions, including Chief Executive of important state-owned enterprises. Among others, he was the head of Sardar Sarovar Narmada multi-purpose project. In the late 1980s, he was posted as Economic Counsellor in the Indian Embassy in Washington, United States. 
 
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Between 1998 and 2011, Mr. Chawla worked in several senior positions in the Union Government. He served as Secretary, Civil Aviation and Secretary, Economic Affairs, before being named Finance Secretary.
 
He has been on the Boards of Reserve Bank of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, State Bank of India and Life Insurance Corporation of India. He was also at different points in time India's Executive Director on the International Fund for Agricultural Development and Alternate Governor for India at the World Bank and at the Asian Development Bank.
 
Mr. Chawla had also held leadership positions in the corporate sector. He has been Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited and a Director in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). He served as Chairman of the Competition Commission of India during 2011-2016. 
 
Mr. Chawla is also currently the Chairman of the National Stock Exchange of India Limited, and Chairman of the Governing Council of The Energy and Research Institute (TERI).
 
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Mukherjee to visit West Bengal from August 22-24

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President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a three-day visit to West Bengal from August 22-24, during which he will inaugurate a CII-IIEST Conference on the theme ‘Enabling Make in India through Industry Academia Innovation Platform’ in Kolkata tomorrow.
 
He will also attend a function ‘The Legacy to Humanity: Celebrating 150 years of Homeopathy’ organized by the Dr. Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation in Kolkata as Chief Guest on the same day, an official press release said.
 
On August 23, Mr. Mukherjee will launch Akashvani’s Moitree Service in Bangla for listeners in Bangladesh in Kolkata. He will also attend the 125th anniversary celebrations of Bangiya Sahitya Parisad, inaugurate a new building of Bharat Chamber of Commerce and address the first foundation day of Bandhan Bank in Kolkata on the same day. 
 
On August 24, the President will inaugurate a Mega Food Park at Jangipur, Murshidabad. He will also attend the convocation of Management Development Institute-Murshidabad at Jangipur before returning to New Delhi, the release added.
 
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Yogeshwar Sangwan concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Georgia

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Mr. Yogeshwar Sangwan (IFS: 1994), presently Ambassador of India to Armenia, has been concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Georgia, with residence in Yerevan (Armenia).
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs also said that Mr. Vishvas Vidu Sapkal (IFS:1998), presently High Commissioner of India to Fiji, had been concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner to Kiribati, with residence in Suva (Fiji).
 
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Farooq Khan appointed as Administrator of Lakshadweep

Farooq Khan
Farooq Khan
Mr. Farooq Khan, a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, has been appointed as Administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
 
His appointment is effective from the date he assumes charge of his office, an official press release said.
 
Mr. Khan, who was an Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Jammu & Kashmir, headed the Sher-e-Kashmir Police Academy at Udhampur before his retirement from the IPS.
 
He had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in March 2015 and a year later was appointed as one of its national secretaries. He was also put in charge of the party's Minority Morcha.
 
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Anita Nayar appointed as Ambassador to Chile

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Ms. Anita Nayar, presently Ambassador of lndia to Lebanon, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Chile.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms. Nayar, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1983 batch, was expected to take up her new assignment shortly.
 
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Birender Singh Yadav appointed as High Commissioner to Ghana

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Mr. Birender Singh Yadav, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Ghana.
 
A press release from the MEA said Mr. Yadav, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1997 batch, is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Sekhar Basu gets an extension in tenure

Sekhar Basu
Sekhar Basu
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension of tenure of Dr. Sekhar Basu, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission.
 
An official press release said the extension was for a period of one year beyond 19.09.2016 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
Dr. Basu, who was earlier the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, had taken over as Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission in October last year.
 
Dr. Basu graduated in Mechanical Enginering from VJTI, University of Mumbai in 1974. After completing the one-year BARC Training School programme, he joined the Reactor Engineering Division of BARC in 1975.
 
He has served as Project Director of the Prototype Marine Nuclear Propulsion Plant and subsequently as Chief Executive of the Nuclear Recycle Board.   He has guided several programmes related to the development and operation of nuclear recycle plants, involving fuel reprocessing and nuclear waste management. 
 
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Dr. Basu and his colleagues were mainly responsible for evolving strategies for safe radioactive  disposal of waste in gas, liquid and solid forms containing various levels of radioactivity  He was also involved in the effective management of nuclear waste which includes segregation, characterisation, handling, treatment, conditioning and monitoring prior to final disposal.  He has vast industrial operating experience in safe management of different kinds of radioactive wastes including high level liquid waste.  
 
Public acceptance of nuclear energy largely depends on safe management of nuclear waste and Dr. Basu has developed best practices for all the back-end operations of the closed fuel cycle for the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors.
 
As Chief Executive, Nuclear Recycle Board, Dr. Basu was responsible for the design, development, construction and operation of nuclear recycle plants involving reprocessing and waste management. He has designed and built reprocessing plants, fuel storage facilities and nuclear waste treatment facilities at Trombay, Tarapur and Kalpakkam. 
 
He also took up the design of the first Integrated Nuclear Recycle Plant which will take the Indian Nuclear Recycle Programme to a greater level of maturity and pave the way for complete solutions to the back-end of the nuclear power programme. 
 
Dr. Basu was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government in 2014.
 
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Takehiko Nakao re-elected for second term as ADB President

Takehiko Nakao
Takehiko Nakao
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors has unanimously re-elected Mr. Takehiko Nakao as President of ADB for a further 5 years beginning on 24 November 2016.
 
Mr. Nakao was first elected as President by the Board of Governors on 28 April 2013 to serve the three and a half years remaining of the term of his predecessor, Haruhiko Kuroda. 
 
Mr. Nakao is the ninth President of ADB. He was the sole nominee after ADB’s Governors were invited from 31 May to 30 June 2016 to make nominations for the organization’s presidency.
 
“It is a great honour to receive the mandate of ADB members to serve as President of the ADB for another five years,” said Mr. Nakao. “I will devote myself to continuing to lead ADB to an even more elevated standing as the primary development institution in the region that helps achieve inclusive and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.”
 
During Mr. Nakao’s first term, ADB has realigned its strategic priorities through the Mid-term Review of Strategy 2020 and increased its lending capacity from $13 billion in 2014 to $20 billion by 2020 through the merger of Asian Development Fund operations with the Ordinary Capital Resources balance sheet. 
 
The scaling up of its operations has already made good progress. Last year, ADB’s loan and grant approvals reached a record $16.3 billion, including private sector operations of $2.6 billion, which is also a record high. ADB’s Board of Governors in May approved a replenishment of the Asian Development Fund of $3.8 billion.
 
Under Mr. Nakao’s leadership, in order to serve client countries better, ADB has also implemented institutional reforms including delegating more authority to resident missions, streamlining procurement and other procedures, establishing the Office of Public-Private Partnership, and strengthening sector and thematic expertise.
 
Prior to joining ADB in 2013, Mr. Nakao was a senior official in the Ministry of Finance, Japan, where he gained extensive experience in international finance and development. Mr. Nakao also taught international finance as a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo in 2010 and 2011. Born in 1956, Mr. Nakao holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Tokyo and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
 
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.
 
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Vijay Thakur Singh appointed as Ambassador to Ireland

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Ms. Vijay Thakur Singh, presently High Commissioner of India to Singapore, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador  to Ireland.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms. Thakur Singh, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1985 batch, was expected to take up her assignment shortly.
 
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Rina Mitra appointed as Additional Director General, BSF

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Ms. Rina Mitra, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1983 batch (Madhya Pradesh cadre), has been appointed as Additional Director General in the Border Security Force (BSF).
 
An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from the date of taking over the charge of the post for a period upto 31.8.2019, the date of her retirement on superannuation, or until further orders, whichever event takes place earlier. 
 
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Air Marshal B Suresh assumes charge as Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel

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Air Marshal B Suresh has assumed charge as Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel (AOP) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Air Headquarters.
 
A graduate of the Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun and National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla, the Air Marshal was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the IAF on December 13, 1980.
 
He is a meritorious graduate of the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE), a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College Wellington and a post-graduate from Cranfield University, Shrivenham, UK.
 
He commanded No. 2 Squadron – The Winged Arrows – as a Wing Commander, TACDE as a Group Captain and a strategic fighter base as an Air Commodore. He is a highly experienced fighter pilot who has flown a variety of fighter aircraft and helicopters.
 
He has held a number of staff appointments that include Joint Director and Director (Air Staff Inspection), Director Operations (Joint Planning), Directing Staff (TACDE), Air Assistant to Chief of Air Staff, Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) and Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command.
 
He is a recipient of two AOC-in-C's commendations, the Vayu Sena Medal and the Ati Vishist Seva Medal.
 
Air Marshal Suresh is married to Radha Suresh and they have a son and a daughter. 
 
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Air Marshal NJS Dhillon takes over as SASO, WAC

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Air Marshal NJS Dhillon has taken over as Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command from Air Marshal B Suresh,  who has been appointed Air Officer-in-Charge Personnel at Air Headquarters.
 
Air Marshal Dhillon is a graduate of the National Defence Academy, the Defence Service Staff College and National Defence College. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force in December 1981. He has over 3700 hours accident free flying to his credit including 3100 hrs on all variants of MiG-21 aircraft, an official press release said.
 
He topped the Fighter Strike Leader Course at TACDE and also served as Directing Staff there as of Head of Training and Deputy Commandant. He has commanded a MiG-21 Squadron and has been the Chief Operational Officer of a premier flying base.
 
In addition to commanding an operational fighter base, he also commanded a helicopter base in Congo as part of the UN Peace Keeping Mission. He was Principal Director Air Defence at Air HQ and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Inspection) at Air HQ.
 
Prior to his present appointment, he was Air Defence Commander HQ SAC.
 
He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in the year 2013. He is married to Simmar Dhillon and they have a son and daughter.
 
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Vishvas Vidu Sapkal concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to Cook Islands

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Mr. Vishvas Vidu Sapkal (IFS: 1998), presently High Commissioner of India to Fiji, has been concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, with residence in Suva (Fiji).
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs also said that Mr. B N Reddy (IFS: 1993), High Commissioner to Nigeria, had been concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to Cameroon.
 
The two officers are expected to take up their assignments shortly, the release added.
 
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BCCI president Anurag Thakur, MP, joins Territorial Army

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Lok Sabha member and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur was yesterday commissioned to the Territorial Army (TA) in the rank of Lieutenant and was conferred the ranks by General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of the Army Staff.
 
The solemn 'commissioning' ceremony was held at Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence at South Block in the presence of military dignitaries and Lt. Thakur’s family members, an official press release said.
 
Lieutenant Thakur was welcomed into the folds of Territorial Army by Maj Gen Surinder Singh, Additional Director General, TA.
 
Lt. Thakur cleared Services Selection Board (SSB) and was found fit for joining the Territorial Army. The officer has been commissioned in 124 Inf Bn (TA) Sikh, the release said.
 
Territorial Army is part of the Indian Army and is manned by officers and men who are embodied for training for two months in a year. Their actual role is during national emergencies, war and in support of the Army when they relieve the Regular Army for operations. The Territorial Army also guards vital installations like headquarters, ammunitions dumps and airports as also vital lines of communications.
 
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A.K.Mital reappointed as Chairman, Railway Board for two years

A.K. Mital
A.K. Mital
Railway Board Chairman A. K. Mital has been reappointed to the position for a period of two years, till he attains the age of 62 years, with effect from August 1, an official press release said here today.
 
Mr. Mital was appointed as Chairman, Railway Board on December 31, 2014. Prior to that, he was Member Staff, Railway Board. Earlier, he served as General Manager of South Western Railway (SWR), Hubli and was also looking after the additional charge of General Manager, South Central Railway (SCR) whose headquarters are in Secunderabad. He also held charge as General Manager, Central Railway, Mumbai and General Manager, Southern Railway, Chennai for some time.
 
Born on July 7, 1956, Mr. Mital is a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.). An officer of 1976 batch of Indian Railways Service of Stores (IRSS), he has worked on various important posts on Indian Railways. He was Director/Stores, Executive Director/Vigilance and Executive Director/Stores in Railway Board, Ministry. He has also served as Chief Material Manager in Northern Railway. 
 
He was Divisional Railway Manager of Izzatnagar Division in North Eastern Railway and Controller of Stores in South Central Railway/Secunderabad and Diesel Locomotive Works/Varanasi. 
 
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Boyapati Venkat Sudhakar appointed Secretary, Department of Posts

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Boyapati Venkat Sudhakar as Secretary, Department of Posts.
 
Mr. Sudhakar, an officer of the 1981 batch of the Indian Postal Service (IPoS), will succeed Ms. Kavery Banerjee (IPoS:1978), who superannuated on April 30 this year, an official press release said.
 
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Eminent writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi passes away

Mahasweta Devi
Mahasweta Devi
Well-known writer and social activisit Mahasweta Devi, who championed the cause of India's nomadic and tribal groups and the oppressed classes, who face discrimination at every step of their lives, died at a private hospital here today of multi-organ failure.
 
She was 90.
 
Mahasweta was admitted to the Belle Vue nursing home here on May 22 and breathed her last at around 3.15 pm today, when she suffered a cardiac arrest.
 
Hospital sources said her condition took a turn for the worse suddenly around 3 pm and doctors tried their best to save her, but she passed away.
 
During an illustrious career, which spanned a period of tumultuous change in India, from British rule, independence and the turmoil that the country faced in the first few decades after independence, Mahasweta's writing inspired whole generations of readers, writers, journalists and filmmakers.
 
Born on January 14, 1926 into a family of writers and social workers in Dhaka, East Bengal, which is modern-day Bangladesh, Mahasweta's family moved to West Bengal after partition. She completed her schooling and graduation in English at Visvabharati, Santiniketan and later earned an M. A. in English Literature from the University of Calcutta.
 
In Kolkata, she came into contact with Gananatya, a group which worked to take social and political theatre to the rural parts of the state in the 1930s and the 1940s.
 
She completed M.A. in English Literature from the University of Calcutta and started out as a tacher and journalist. She published her first book, Jhansir Rani, in 1956, and never quite stopped after that as she launched into a prolific literary career, publishing scores of novels and several collections of short stories, mainly in Bengali.
 
She also contributed regularly to literary magazines such as Bortika, which was dedicated to the cause of the oppressed communities. She took retirement from her job as a lecturer in English at the University of Calcutta in 1984 to focus on writing.
 
Her father Manish Ghatak was a well-known poet and novelist, while her uncle was noted filmmaker Ritwik Ghatat. Her mother, Dharitri Devi, was also a writer and social worker whose brothers were very distinguished in various fields, such as the noted sculptor Sankha Chaudhury and the founder-editor of the Economic and Political Weekly of India, Sachin Chaudhury. 
 
After finshing her studies, Mahasweta had got married to well-known playwright Bijon Bhattacharya, one of the founders of the IPTA movement. Their son Nabarun Bhattacharya was also a renowned poet and novelist in his own right and had won the Sahitya Akademi award. She was divorced from her husband in 1959.
 
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Mahasweta won the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary honour, in 1995 and was conferred with the Magsaysay Award in 1996.
 
"I have always believed that the real history is made by ordinary people. I constantly come across the reappearance, in various forms, of folklore, ballads, myths and legends, carried by ordinary people across generations. ... The reason and inspiration for my writing are those people who are exploited and used, and yet do not accept defeat. For me, the endless source of ingredients for writing is in these amazingly noble, suffering human beings. Why should I look for my raw material elsewhere, once I have started knowing them? Sometimes it seems to me that my writing is really their doing," Mahasweta had once said about her work.
 
In recent years, she had launched a campaign against the industrial policies of the West Bengal government, especially with regard to acquisition of land from farmers in areas such as Singur and Nandigram.
 
Some of her works were made into acclaimed films such as Sunghursh (1968), Rudaali (1993), Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998) and Maati Maay (2006).
 
Mahasweta received the Sahitya Akademi award for Aranyer Adhikar in Bengali in 1979.
 
She was honoured by the Government with the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour in 2006. In 2011, she received the Bangabibhushan, the highest civilian award from the Government of West Bengal.
 
Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari condoled the passing away of Mahasweta, saying that she would always be remembered for her popular stories that sought to raise awareness about social injustice, discrimination, poverty in the country. 
 
“I am deeply grieved to hear about the passing away of acclaimed writer and activist Ms. Mahasweta Devi. 
 
'I offer my heartfelt condolences to her family members and pray for eternal peace for the departed soul," he said.
 
"Mahashweta Devi wonderfully illustrated the might of the pen. A voice of compassion, equality & justice, she leaves us deeply saddened. RIP," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"India has lost a great writer. Bengal has lost a glorious mother. I have lost a personal guide. Mahashweta Di rest in peace," West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Twitter.
 
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