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Voltas names Pradeep Bakshi as its next MD & CEO

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The Board of Directors of Voltas, the global air-conditioning and engineering services provider and a part of the Tata group, has announced that Mr. Pradeep Bakshi, executive director & chief operating officer, will succeed Mr. Sanjay Johri, MD and CEO, when the latter superannuates in February 2018.
 
Simultaneously, Mr. Anil George, executive director (finance and corporate affairs), will be elevated as deputy managing director, with increased responsibilities, a press release from the company said here today.
 
Mr. Noel Tata, chairman of the Board said that the company had achieved great success under Mr Johri, MD and CEO, since 2010. 
 
“We are market leaders in the room air conditioning business, with a market share of 22 percent. Our net profit jumped by 30 percent in FY2016-17, to reach Rs 511 crores, with ROCE at 21 percent. And the Voltas share price has grown by 340 percent in five years, from Rs 120 to Rs 530," he said.
 
“The appointments of Pradeep Bakshi and Anil George mark the culmination of a formal succession process at Voltas Limited, in which MD Sanjay Johri and the Board were engaged for two years to groom the leadership team of the company," he added.
 
Mr Johri said that he was proud of Voltas’s leadership team and confident about the company’s prospects. “Our flagship consumer arm will achieve rapid growth both in the existing room AC business, and also from the launch of refrigerators, washing machines and other consumer durables in Voltas’s JV with the Arcelik group of Turkey. We will also sustain profitable growth in our engineering projects and engineering products businesses. I wish Pradeep and Anil all success in taking the company to greater heights.”
 
Mr Bakshi said that he was gratified by the trust reposed in him by the Board of Directors. “I am fortunate to have outstanding colleagues at Voltas, as also the continued mentoring from our MD and CEO and the Board of Directors. My goal is to build on the strong foundations created by Mr Johri. I am confident we will attain market leadership in the wider basket of consumer durables, as we did in the room AC industry.”
 
Mr. George said that the leadership team of Voltas was dynamic, result-oriented and pro-active, and he had absolutely no doubt that the best years for the company lay ahead.  
 
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Gautam Bambawale appointed as India's next Ambassador to China

Gautam Bambawale
Gautam Bambawale
Mr. Gautam H. Bambawale, presently High Commissioner of India to Pakistan, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to China.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Bambawale, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1984 batch, was expected to take up his new assignment shortly.
 
He will succeed Mr. Vijay Keshav Gokhale, who was earlier appointed as  Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
 
Mr. Bambawale, who was appointed as High Commissioner to Pakistan in December 2015, was earlier the Ambassador of India to Bhutan.
 
Mr. Bambawale has a Master's degree in Economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune.
 
After joining the IFS in 1984, he opted to learn Mandarin Chinese as his foreign language and served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991. He also speaks German fluently.
 
Returning to Delhi, he was first the Desk Officer for China in the Ministry of External Affairs, later serving as Director in the Americas Division of the Ministry, responsible for relations with the US and Canada [1993-94].
 
Mr. Bambawale was then appointed the Director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Berlin, Germany between 1994-98. He returned to Beijing and functioned as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy there.
 
In March 2001, he returned to the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi as the Staff Officer to the Foreign Secretary from March 2001 to June 2002.
 
Later, he worked in the Prime Minister's Office as Deputy Chief for the Division of National Security Affairs, Defence and International Policy.
 
From July 2004 to September 2007, he was Minister (Political) and Head of the Political Wing at the Embassy of India in Washington D.C.
 
From September 2007 to December 2009, Mr. Bambawale functioned as the Consul General of India in Guangzhou, China.He was the first Consul General of India in Guangzhou.
 
Returning to Delhi from Guangzhou, Mr. Bambawale served as Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs from December, 2009 to July 2014, responsible for relations with Japan, China and South Korea, amongst other countries.
 
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Mahesh Kumar Gupta, D. K. Gayen appointed as new Members of Railway Board

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Mr. Mahesh Kumar Gupta has been appointed as the new Member, Engineering and Mr. D. K. Gayen as the new Member, Staff of the Railway Board.
 
Both officers will be ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India, a press release from the Ministry of Railways said.
 
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Gupta, an officer of the 1979 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE), was General Manager, Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli. He has also worked as Chief Administrative Officer (Constructions), Central Railway. He has also held various other posts like Chief Bridge Engineer, Eastern Railways and Central Railways, respectively, Chief Engineer (Planning & Design), Central Railways, Senior Divisional Engineer (Coordination), Nagpur Division, Central Railways, Deputy Chief Engineer, Konkan Railways, Joint Director(Tracks), RDSO, Lucknow and Deputy Chief Engineer, Central Railways.
 
He has a Bachelor in Engineering from the University of Roorkee (1979).
 
Mr. Gayen, an officer of the 1981 batch of Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), was earlier the General Manager of East Central Railway at Hajipur. Before that, he has worked as Chief Mechanical Engineer, South Eastern Railway. He has also worked in various important posts like Chief Rolling Stock Engineer, Eastern Railways & Chief Motive Power Engineer, Eastern Railways, Chief Workshop Manager, Jamalpur Workshop and Liluah Workshop. He has also worked as Divisional Railway Manager, Asansol and Mughalsarai Division, respectively. He has served in the capacity of Director (Inspection and Liaison), RDSO, Lucknow.
 
Mr. Gayen has a Bachelor in Engineering from the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (1979).
 
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ACC approves several Secretary-level appointments

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Mr. Ajay Narayan Jha, IAS (MN 82), Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty in the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance with immediate effect. 
 
Mr. Jha will assume charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Expenditure on superannuation of Mr. Ashok Lavasa, IAS (HY 80), an official press release said.
 
The release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had also approved the following appointments:
 
Mr. C.K. Mishra, IAS (BH 83), Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change in place of Mr. Jha.
 
Mr. Injeti Srinivas, IAS (OR 83), Secretary, Department of Sports & Director General, Sports Authority of India, has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
 
Mr. Gopal Krishna, IAS (WB 83), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Shipping in the vacancy caused due to appointment of Mr. Ravi Kant, IAS (BH 84) as Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution.
 
Mr. Rabul Prasad Bhatnagar, IAS (UP 83), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Sports & DG, SAI to succeed Mr. Srinivas.
 
Ms. Preeti Sudan, IAS (AP 83), Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to succeed Mr. Mishra.
 
Mr. Ravi Kant, IAS (BH 84), Secretary, Ministry of Shipping has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution to succeed Ms. Sudan.
 
Mr. Alok Shrivastava, IAS (MP 84), Special Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Justice.
 
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Mr. K.V. Eapen, IAS (AM 84), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances and Pensions & Pensioners' Welfare.
 
Ms. Shakuntala Gamlin, IAS (AGMUT 84), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DIVYANGJAN).
 
Mr. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Special Secretary, AYUSH, has been appointed as  Secretary, Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) on contract basis for the remainder period of three years, reckoned from the date of his assumption of charge i.e. 29.06.2017 as Special Secretary, AYUSH.
 
Ms. Amita Prasad, IAS (KN 85), Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation. The earlier order appointing Mr. V.K. Yadav, IRSEE (80) against this post stands cancelled and the officer is debarred for appointment to any post in the Central Staffing Scheme.
 
Mr. Ram Mohan Mishra, IAS (AM 87), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
 
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India to conduct first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise from October 10

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The first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency next week from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
 
The exercise will be a platform for sharing best practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries. 
 
The main focus will be on testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction, dialogue and  agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response, an official press release said.
 
"It will help create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries. The exercise will help strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving the breakdown of infrastructure and communication," the release said.
 
Delegates from all seven nations of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, representatives from Embassies/High Commissions of BIMSTEC nations in Delhi, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and senior officers from the Nodal Ministries will participate in the event.
 
At the end of the four-day exercise, a publication will be brought out on the outcomes and recommendations of the Joint/Common Exercise and include Agreement among BIMSTEC Nations on regional cooperation for Disaster Management and Emergency Response. This would be presented to the BIMSTEC Leaders at the Summit to be hosted by Nepal in October/November 2017.
 
The BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 is being conducted in two phases in Delhi and NCR. The main exercise will comprise of Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) which is scheduled for October 10-13, 2017. Earlier, the first phase comprising a Preparatory Meeting and field visit of the site selected for FTX during the main exercise was held in Delhi NCR on August 8-9, 2017.
 
India has been at the forefront of DRR efforts by hosting the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) and the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR). India has also offered its expertise and capabilities in DRR such as the South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and the Tsunami Early Warning Centre to other countries. Disaster Management was one of the important Agenda items the BIMSTEC leaders deliberated upon during the Goa BRICS Summit in October last year where BIMSTEC leaders were the Special Invitees.
 
The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people, constituting around 22% of the global population with a combined GDP of US $2.7 trillion economy. Majority of the BIMSTEC countries are situated in the South Asian Region (SAR), prone to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, avalanches and drought.
 
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Rajnish Kumar appointed as Chairman of State Bank of India

Rajnish Kumar
Rajnish Kumar
Mr. Rajnish Kumar, Managing Director, State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, has been appointed as its Chairman, succeeding Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya.
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for appointment of Mr. Rajnish Kumar, Managing Director (MD), State Bank of India as Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI)," a notification from the Department of Personnel and Training, said.
 
The appointment will be for a period of three years from the date of his taking over charge of the post on or after October 7, or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the notification added.
 
“It is indeed an honour to be entrusted with the leadership of SBI at a time when India is best poised for growth. I look forward to serving  the bank to the best of my abilities along with the support of all my colleagues spread across the globe," Mr. Kumar said.
 
Mr. Kumar has been Managing Director of SBI since May 26, 2015. Currently, he is looking after retail banking and latest initiatives in payments and digital banking. Prior to that, he headed SBI Capital Markets Ltd., which is the merchant banking arm of SBI, in the capacity of MD & CEO.
 
Mr. Kumar, who has an M. Sc. in Physics and is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB), has been with SBI for over three decades, having joined the bank as a probationary officer in 1980. He has held several key assignments across various business verticals, including two overseas assignments in Canada and the United Kingdom. He has vast experience in handling large credit, project finance, forex and retail banking. He has also held important positions such as Regional Head - SBI (UK); Chief General Manager - North East Circle, Chief General Manager - project Finance and Managing Director (Risk & Compliance). 
 
Ms. Bhattacharya had assumed charge as Chairperson of SBI on October 7, 2013. She was given a one-year extension in tenure last year.
 
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ICMR chief Soumya Swaminathan appointed Deputy Director General of WHO

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, Department of Health Research, Government of India and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), was appointed today as one of the two Deputy Directors-General of the World Health Organisation.
 
While Dr Swaminathan will be Deputy Director-General for Programmes (DDP), Ms. Jane Ellison of the United Kingdom will be Deputy Director-General for Corporate Operations (DDC), WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement announcing senior leadership team in Geneva today.
 
Dr Swaminathan, 58, a paediatrician, has more than 30 years of experience in clinical care, research and translating those findings into programs. 
 
The statement noted that Dr. Swaminathan is a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, and brings with her 30 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into impactful programmes.
 
From 2009 to 2011, she also served as Coordinator of the UNICEF/ UNDP/ World Bank/ WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva. She has sat on several WHO and global advisory bodies and committees, including the WHO Expert Panel to Review Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of the Global TB Department at WHO, and as Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on TB. 
 
"She received her academic training in India, the United Kingdom and the United States and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters," it said.
 
Dr. Swaminathan has been Director General of ICMR since August 2015. She completed her MBBS from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and then did her M. D. in paediatrics from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.
 
Later, she held a post-doctoral medical fellowship in paediatric pulmonology at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, in the United States.
 
Dr Swaminathan is the daughter of well-known agricultural scientist M. S. Swaminathan, regarded as the father of India's green revolution, and renowned educationist Mina Swaminathan.
 
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Well-known actor Tom Alter passes away

Tom Alter
Tom Alter
Well-known film and theatre actor Tom Alter passed away at his residence here on Friday after losing a battle with skin cancer.
 
He was 67. He is survived by his wife Carol Evans, son Jamie Alter, a sports journalist, and daughter Afshaan.
 
According to sources, Alter was being treated for stage four of squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, at a Mumbai hospital, where he had been admitted earlier this month. He returned home on Thursday and breathed his last on Friday night, they said.
 
"It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father. Tom passed away Friday night at home with his family and close family members in attendance. We ask for their privacy to be respected at this time," a statement issued by the family said.
 
During an illustrious career of more than four decades, Alter acted in more than 300 movies and in several television series and plays.
 
Thomas Beach Alter was born on June 22, 1950 at Landour near Musoorie, now in Uttarakhand, to American Christian missionaries of English and Scottish ancestry, who had made India their home.
 
His grandparents migrated to India from Ohio, United States in November 1916, arriving first in Madras, now Chennai and later settling down in Lahore. His father was born in Sialkot, now in Pakistan.
 
After the partition of India, his parents moved to India and lived in Allahabad, Jabalpur and Saharanpur before finally settling down in Rajpur, a small town between Dehradun and Mussoorie in present-day Uttarakhand in 1954. His elder sister, Martha Chen, has a PhD in South Asian Studies from University of Pennsylvania and teaches at Harvard University. His brother John is a poet and a teacher.
 
Alter picked up fluent Hindi at Woodstock School in Mussoorie and later went to study at Yale, but returned after a year. He worked as a school teacher and worked at various other jobs, but somewhere along the way was bitten by the Hindi film bug, especially after watching Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana. He finally ended up enrolling at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune and studied acting there from 1972-74 with  Naseeruddin Shah, Benjamin Gilani and Shabana Azmi among his fellow-students.
 
He made his debut in HIndi movies in 1976 with a small role in Charas and went on to appear in films such as Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Krant, Bose: The Forgotten Hero, Veer Zara, Junoon, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Aashiqui, Gumrah, Sardar, Kala Pani and Parinda. He worked with top directors such as Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Raj Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, V. Shataram, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Subhash Ghai, Chetan Anand, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Mahesh Bhatt and Ketan Mehta.
 
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He also acted in several films in Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kumaoni. Foreign films he appeared in included Gandhi and One Night with the King.
 
He also appeared in the much-acclaimed television series Zabaan Sambhalke (1993-97), an adaptation of the British sitcom Mind Your Language, which also featured Pankaj Kapoor. He was also part of TV shows such as Shaktiman and Captain Vyom, which were popular with children. He also did the role of the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit television series Junoon in the 1990s.
 
He remained active in theatre throughout his career and played Mirza Ghalib in the play Ghalib in Delhi.
 
In 1977, Naseeruddin Shah, Benjamin Gilani and he formed a theatre group called Motley Productions, which has produced many plays over the years. He also worked with New Delhi theatre group Pierrot's Troupe.
 
Among other things, he dabbled in direction and also worked as a sports journalist in the 1980s and 1990s. He has written three books, including two works of fiction.
 
The Government honoured him with the Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian honour, in 2008 for his services to the field of arts and cinema.
 
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Mridul Kumar appointed as High Commissioner to Malaysia

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Mr. Mridul Kumar, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Malaysia.
 
A press release from MEA said Mr. Kumar, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1992 batch, is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Rajiv Mehrishi sworn in as Comptroller and Auditor General of India

Rajiv Mehrishi
Rajiv Mehrishi
Former Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was today sworn in as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, succeeding Mr. Shashi Kant Sharma.
 
Mr. Mehrishi, 62, took and subscribed to the oath of office before President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
 
He will have a tenure till August 7, 2020, an official press release said.
 
A retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of the 1978  batch (Rajasthan cadre), Mr. Mehrishi had been appointed as the Home Secretary on August 31, 2015 for a two-year term.
 
 
Rajiv Mehrishi takes oath as new CAG of India
Before that, he had served as Finance Secretary and Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, and as Chief Secretary of Rajasthan.
 
Apart from handling various assignments in his parent cadre, he had also served at the Centre as Secretary, Department of Fertiliers and as Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. 
 
Born on August 8, 1955, Mr. Mehrishi has a BA and an MA in History from St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi and also a degree in business administration from Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow.
 
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Y. C. Modi appointed Director General of National Investigation Agency

Y. C. Modi
Y. C. Modi
Central Bureau of Investigation Additional Director Y. C. Modi was today  named as the new Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
 
Mr. Modi, who belongs to the 1984 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS) (Assam-Meghalaya cadre), will succeed Mr. Sharad Kumar, IPS (HY:79) on completion of his tenure on October 30, 2017, an official press release said.
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date of assumption of charge till the date of his superannuation on May 31, 2021 or until further orders, it said.
 
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has also approved the appointment of Mr. Modi as Officer on Special Duty in the NIA with immediate effect to ensure smooth takeover of responsibilities in the NIA, it said.
 
Mr. Modi was part of the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the 2002 Gujarat violence cases.
 
The release said the ACC had also approved the appointment of Mr.  Rajni Kant Misra, IPS (UP:84), Additional DG, Border Security Force (BSF) as Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) for a period upto the date of his superannuation, 31.08.2019, from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier. He will succeed Ms. Archana Ramasundram, IPS (TN:80) on completion of her tenure on September 30, 2017.
 
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Harsh Kumar Jain appointed as Ambassador to Slovak Republic

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Mr. Harsh Kumar Jain, presently Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Slovak Republic.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr. Jain, (IFS: 1993), was expected to take up the assignment shortly.
 
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Constitutional law exert and senior advocate P P Rao passes away

P P Rao
P P Rao
Senior advocate and constitutional law expert P P Rao passed away here today  after a cardiac arrest. He was 84.
 
Mr. Rao had appeared before the Supreme Court in several landmark cases including Kesavananda Bharati, SR Bommai, Unnikrishnan v. State of AP, TMA Pai, PA Inamdar, and the Babri Masjid demolition case.
 
Born on July 1, 1933, Mr. Rao completed his LL. B. and LL. M from Osmania University in Hyderabad.
 
He started out in his career by teaching law in Delhi University in 1961. He was enrolled as an ddvocate by the Bar Council of Delhi in 1967 and thereafter started practice in the Supreme Court.
 
In February 1969, he became an Advocate-on-Record. He was Advocate-on-Record for the State of Andhra Pradesh and a Junior Standing Counsel for the Central Government before he was designated as Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in August 1976.
 
He was elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association in 1991. The Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian honour, in 2006.
 
In 2014, then President Pranab Mukherjee had approved Mr. Rao's nomination as a jurist member of the selection committee for the appointment of a Lokpal.
 
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu was among those who condoled the passing away of Mr. Rao.
 
"My personal association with him goes back to the time to my early years in public life as he also hailed from the same district Nellore (United) in the state of Andhra Pradesh. He was considered as one of the foremost constitutional law experts in the country and had completed 50 years of his legal practice in July 2017," he said.
 
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Inder Jit Singh given additional charge as Chairperson, National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention

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Dr. Inder Jit Singh, IAS (KL: 1985), Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, has been assigned the additional charge of the post of Chairperson, National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC).
 
The appointment is with immediate effect and until further orders, an official press release added.
 
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Former IAS officer Sunil Arora appointed as Election Commissioner

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The President has appointed Mr. Sunil Arora, a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1980 batch (Rajasthan cadre), has been appointed as an Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India.
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date he assumes office, an official press release said.
 
Mr. Arora had served as Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting before superannuating on 30.04.2016.
 
Later, he was appointed as the Director General and CEO of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), a think tank under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
 
Among other assignments, Mr. Arora has served as Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the Ministry of Textiles; and as Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Airlines before it was merged with Air India.
 
In Rajasthan, he has held various  positions, including as Secretary to the Chief Minister.
 
One post of Election Commissioner had fallen vacant following the retirement of Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi. He was succeeded by Mr. Achal Kumar Joti, while Mr. Om Prakash Rawat is the other Election Commissioner.
 
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Govt. announces several Secretary, Additional Secretary level appointments

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved several Secretary and Additional Secretary level appointments.
 
An official press release said Dr. Asha Ram Sihag, IAS (HP:1983), Secretary Coordination, Cabinet Secretariat, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry in the vacancy caused due to superannuation of Mr. Girish Shankar, IAS (BH:1982) on 31.08.2017.
 
Mr. Rajiv Kumar, IAS (JH:1984), Special Secretary & Establishment Officer has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Financial Services in the vacancy caused due to superannuation of Ms. Anjuly Chib Duggal, IAS (PB:1981) on 31.08.2017.
 
Ms. Surina Rajan, IAS (HY:1985), Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Production has been appointed as Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards, in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
 
Dr. Inder Jit Singh, IAS (KL:1985), Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce has been appointed as Additional Secretary (Coordination), Cabinet Secretariat, vice Dr. Sihag.
 
Mr. Surendra Nath Tripathi, IAS (OR:1985), Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises has been appointed as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare vice Mr. Sunil Kumar Singh, IAS (BH:1983).
 
Dr. N. Baijendra Kumar, IAS (CG:1985), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Chairman & Managing Director, National Mineral Development Corporation, Ministry of Steel.
 
Ms. Veena Ish, IAS (AP:1985), Member (Administration), National Highways Authority of India has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Department of Land Resources.
 
Ms. Rajni Sekhri Sibal, IAS (HY:1986), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Director General, Employment & Training, Ministry of Labour & Employment, in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India
 
Mr. Pradip Kumar Tripathi, IAS (JK:1987), Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, has been appointed as Establishment Officer & Additional Secretary vice Mr. Rajiv Kumar.
 
Mr. Rajesh Bhushan, IAS (BH:1987), Joint Secretary, Department of Rural Development has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat vice Mr. Alok Tandon, IAS (UP:1986), on his repatriation to the cadre.
 
Mr. Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, IAS (MP:1987), Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education has been appointed as Director General, National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
 
Mr. Satyajeet Rajan, IAS (KL:1987), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Director General, Tourism in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
 
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Mr. Rameswhar Prasad Gupta, IAS (GJ:1987), MD NAWADCO, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog. The officer will continue to hold additional charge of the post of MD, NAWADCO until further orders.
 
Mr. Ali Raza Rizvi, IAS (HP:1988), Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, has been appointed as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting vice Mr. Subhas Sharma, IAS(BH:1984). The earlier order appointing Mr. Rizvi as CMD, NMDC stands cancelled.
 
Mr. Apurva Chandra, IAS (MH:1988), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Production vice Ms. Surina Rajan.
 
Ms. Anita Karwal, IAS (GJ:1988), Additional Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources Development, has been appointed as Chairperson, Central Board of Secondary Education vice Mr. R.K. Chaturvedi.
 
Mr. Vinod Kumar Yadav, IRSEE (1980), presently in the cadre, has been appointed as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
 
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Ranjan Kumar Ghose appointed as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Ranjan Kumar Ghose (IA&AS:1982) as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General with effect from 01.09.2017.
 
Mr. Ghose has succeeded Mr. Rakesh Jain (IA&AS:1981), who superannuated today, an official press release said.
 
The release also said that the ACC had approved the appointment of Mr. Ashwini Attri (IA&AS:1981) and Ms. Anita Pattanayak (IA&AS:1982) as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General with effect from 01.07.2017 vice Mr. Prasenjit Mukherjee (IA&AS:1980) and Mr. Hindupur Pradeep Rao (IA&AS:1981), respectively, who superannuated on 30.06.2017. 
 
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Rajiv Gauba takes over as Union Home Secretary

Rajiv Gauba
Rajiv Gauba
Mr. Rajiv Gauba, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1982 batch (Jharkhand cadre), took over as the Union Home Secretary here today.
 
Mr. Gauba had joined the Ministry of Home Affairs as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) on June 27 and took charge as the Union Home Secretary upon the superannuation of Mr. Rajiv Mehrishi.
 
Prior to this, Mr. Gauba was Secretary in the Union Ministry of Urban Development. 
 
Born in 1959, Mr. Gauba is a graduate in Physics and has worked as Chief Secretary, Jharkhand. He has also served at the Centre in the Ministries of Home, Defence, Environment and Forests and Department of Electronics and Information Technology.
 
He has also served in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), representing the country for four years on the Board of IMF.
 
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Errol D'Souza appointed Director-in-charge at IIM Ahmedabad

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Professor Errol D'Souza, Dean of Faculty, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, has been appointed as Director-in-charge of the institute with effect from September 2, 2017.
 
This was announced here today by Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Board, IIMA Society.
 
The appointment is for a period of six months or till the appointment of a regular Director, whichever is earlier, a press release from IIMA said.
 
Prof. D'Souza will replace Prof. Ashish Nanda, who had announced on April 27 his decisiont to step aside from his position with effect from September 1, citing personal reasons.
 
Prof. D'Souza has a Ph.D. in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Prior to joining IIMA, he was the IFCI Chair Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Mumbai and was also a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.
 
He was the India Chair Professor at Sciences Po in Paris in 2009 and a Visiting Professor at the institute for Advanced Study, Shimla in 2009. 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 and the Reserve Bank of India. He is a consultant to industry, the banking sector, UNDP, ILO, and government. He is a Director on the board of the National Housing Bank.
 
Prof Nanda was the Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School before taking up his present position. He is an alumnus of the 1983 batch of IIMA. He is a gold medalist from both Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and from IIMA. He completed his M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught courses in Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. 
 
He was faculty director of Executive Education and research director at Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. 
 
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Former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan appointed as High Commissioner to Cyprus

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Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director R. K. Raghavan has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Cyprus.
 
"He is expected to take up the assignment shortly," a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said here today.
 
An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1963 batch, Mr. Raghavan, 74, headed the CBI from January 4, 1999 to April 30, 2001. Among other assignments, he headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed cases related to the 2002 post-Godhra violence in Gujarat.
 
Mr. Raghavan has an MA in Politics and Public Administration from the Madras University, an M. S. in Criminal Justice from Temple University, Philadelphia and a Ph.D. in political science. He was a Visiting Fellow at Rutgers University and the Harvard Law School. 
 
He has served as the director of Tamil Nadu Fire Service and as the director-general of the Tamil Nadu State Vigilance Directorate. He has also had a long stint with the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
 
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Justice Dipak Misra sworn in as 45th Chief Justice of India

Mr. Justice Dipak Misra taking oath as the Chief Justice of India, in New Delhi on August 28, 2017.
Mr. Justice Dipak Misra taking oath as the Chief Justice of India, in New Delhi on August 28, 2017.
Mr. Justice Dipak Misra was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India at a brief ceremony in the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.
 
Mr. Justice Misra was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of a large number of dignitaries.
 
Born on October 3, 1953, he was enrolled as an advocate on February 14, 1977 and practiced in constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service and sales tax matters in the Orissa High Court and the Service Tribunal. 
 
He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court on January 17, 1996 and transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court on March 3, 1997. He became permanent Judge on December 19, 1997.
 
Mr. Justice Misra assumed charge of the office of Chief Justice, Patna High Court on December 23, 2009 and charge of the office of the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on May 24, 2010. 
 
He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India with effect from October 10, 2011. He is due to retire from the Supreme Court on October 2, 2018.
 
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Rajiv Bansal takes over as CMD of Air India

Rajiv Bansal
Rajiv Bansal
Mr. Rajiv Bansal, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1988 batch (Nagaland cadre), took over as the Chairman and Managing Director of national carrier Air India here today.
 
Mr. Bansal, who was serving as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, has succeeded Mr. Ashwani Lohani, an officer of the Indian Railways Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), 1980 batch, who has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Railway Board in place of Mr. A. K. Mital, who resigned in the wake of two major train accidents in four days.
 
Mr. Bansal had earlier worked as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) where he was looking after Digital Payments, IT Act, Aadhaar, and Internet Governance. 
 
He had earlier also served as Director in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and had played a crucial role as a Board member of the National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) during the formative years of the merged national carrier. He has also earlier served as a board member of the Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, adding to his experience of the civil aviation sector.
 
"I feel happy and proud to be given this opportunity to lead the national carrier. The company has been growing from strength to strength - inducting new aircraft and introducing new routes. We will plan to work on profitability with a missionary zeal, improve our On Time Performance and ensure customer satisfaction. I seek the support of all fellow Indians to fly Air India our national carrier - Air India – Truly Indian!" he said after assuming office.
 
Among other assignments, Mr. Bansal has worked as Secretary, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and Joint Secretary, Department of Heavy Industries, Government of India. He has also served on the Boards of BHEL, AYCL, HMT and the GITA.
 
Mr. Bansal has a degree in civil engineering from IIT Delhi, a diploma in finance from ICFAI, Hyderabad and an Executive Master's in International Business from IIFT, New Delhi.
 
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Banmali Agrawala appointed President, Tata Sons

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Tata Sons has announced the appointment of Mr. Banmali Agrawala as President, Infrastructure, Defence and Aerospace. 
 
He will report to the Executive Chairman, N Chandrasekaran, in his new role, a press release from the company said.
 
“The Tata group has a significant footprint in the infrastructure, defence and aerospace sectors. Banmali’s global experience in these industries will be very beneficial as we build scale and aspire for the next phase of growth. As part of the Tata Sons leadership team, his knowledge in several areas, including leadership development, digital infrastructure, innovation and technology, will be very beneficial to the Tata group,” Mr Chandrasekaran said.
 
“I am delighted to be back as part of the Tata group and contribute towards the phenomenal opportunities that the Tata group has in the core infrastructure-related sectors, in India as well as globally. I was privileged to be part of GE for close to six years and have learnt a lot at GE. I look forward to taking all my learnings and experience from GE onto my new role at Tata Sons,” Mr Agrawala said.
 
Mr Agrawala will assume his new role on October 1, 2017. Prior to this, he was President and CEO of GE South Asia, a position he held since February 2013. Earlier, Mr Agrawala was the executive director on the Board of Tata Power.
 
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Air India chief Ashwani Lohani appointed as new Chairman of Railway Board

Ashwani Lohani
Ashwani Lohani
Air India Chairman & Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, an officer of the 1980 batch of the Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Railway Board in place of Mr. A. K. Mital, who has resigned in the wake of two major train accidents in four days.
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Ashwani Lohani, IRSME (80), CMD, Air India, as Chairman, Railway Board vice Shri A. K. Mital," a notification from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) said.
 
"Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Railways," it said.
 
Mr. Lohani had been appointed as the CMD of national carrier Air India on August 20, 2015. He was at that time on deputation to the Government of Madhya Pradesh, where he was serving as the Commissioner of Tourism and Managing Director of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.
 
Mr Lohani had earlier served as Chairman and Managing Director of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
 
In the Railways, he has held positions such as Chief Mechanical Engineer, Northern Railway, Divisional Railway Manager of Delhi and Director, National Rail Museum, New Delhi.
 
Mr. Mital had been reappointed to the position of Chairman, Railway Board for a period of two years with effect from August 1, 2016. He was earlier 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.
 
Mr. Mital met Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu earlier in the day and is understood to have submitted his resignation in view of the two major rail mishaps since Saturday.
 
These developments took place even as Mr. Prabhu himself met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today and is understood to have offered to resign, taking full moral responsibility for the accidents, including the derailment of the Utkal Express on Saturday in which 21 people died and 97 suffered injuries.
 
"I met the Hon'ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility. Hon’ble PM has asked me to wait," Mr. Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter, hours after 12 coaches and engine of the the 12225 Azamgarh-Delhi Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh after a dumper collided with the train at an unauthorised crossing in the early hours of today.
 
While Mr. Prabhu did not explicity state that he had offered to resign, the wording of the tweet clearly suggested that he had done so and that Mr. Modi had asked him to wait.
 
"I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish," Mr. Prabhu said.
 
"In less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways," he said in the first of five tweets.
 
"Undr leadership of PM, tried 2 overcome decades of neglect thru systemic reforms in all areas leading 2 unprecedented investment& milestones," he said.
 
"New India envisioned by PM deserves a Rlys which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path, on which Rlys is progressing now," he said.
 
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On Saturday evening, the 18477 Utkal Express was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand when it derailed at derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh.
 
On Sunday, a day later, the Ministry of Railways suspended four officials and sent three top officials, incuding Railway Board Member Engineering Aditya Mittal, on leave.
 
Official sources said that, based on prima facie evidence, the Junior Engineer (Permanent Way), the Senior Section Engineer (PW) and the Assistant Engineer of the concerned section as well as the Senior Divisional Engineer (II), Delhi Division of Northern Railway had been placed under suspension.
 
They said that, apart from Mr. Mittal, a Secretary-level officer, the General Manager (GM) of Northern Railway, Mr. R. N. Kulshreshtha, and the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Delhi Division, Northern Railway, Mr. R. N. singh, had been sent on leave. The Chief Track Engineer of Northern Railway has been transferred.
 
Mr. M. C. Chauhan, General Manager, North Central Railway, will look after the duties of the post of General Manager, Northern Railway, while Mr. Anshul Gupta, Executive Director (Telecom Development), Railway Board has been temporarily posted as DRM, Delhi Division, the sources said.
 
The stern measures came hours after Mr. Prabhu said earlier that day that laxity would not be allowed in the Railways' operations and that he had asked the Chairman, Railway Board, to fix responsibility on the basis of prima facie evidence today itself.
 
"Will not allow laxity in operations by the Board. Have directed CRB to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by end of day," he had said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
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Dharmendra Kumar appointed as DG, Railway Protection Force

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Mr. Dharmendra Kumar, presently working as Additional Director General of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), has been appointed as the Director General of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
 
Mr. Kumar is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1984 batch (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory cadre).
 
An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
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