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Vikram Misri appointed as Ambassador to Myanmar

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Mr. Vikram Misri, presently Ambassador of India to Spain, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Myanmar.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr. Misri, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1989 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
The MEA also said that Mr. Vishvas Vidu Sapkal (IFS: 1998), presently High Commissioner of India to Fiji, had been concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner of India to Vanuatu, with residence in Suva.
 
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Renowned painter S. H. Raza passes away at 94

S H Raza. Photo from Wikipedia by Pantalaskas.
S H Raza. Photo from Wikipedia by Pantalaskas.
Renowned Indian painter S H Raza, one of the country's most acclaimed artists whose "landscapes of the mind" fetched astronomical prices at auctions, passed away at a private hospital here today after a prolonged illness.
 
He was 94. His wife, French artist Janine Mongillat, his fellow student in Paris, had predeceased him in April, 2002. The couple did not have any children.
 
Raza was admitted to the Max Hospital at Saket here about two months ago for treatment of various old age-related ailments. 
 
He breathed his last around 11 am, according to well-known poet Ashok Vajpeyi, who was close to him.
 
Mr. Vajpeyi said the artist, who had returned to live in Delhi in 2011 after living and working for 60 years in Paris, France, had expressed a wish that he be buried next to his father's grave at Mandala in Madhya Pradesh, close to the Narmada, a river that he grew to love as a child.
 
Accordingly, his body will be taken there tomorrow for the last rites, Mr. Vajpeyi said.
 
An internationally acclaimed artist, Raza was honoured by the Government with the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour, in 2013. He had earlier received the Padma Shri in 1981 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007. He was elected as fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1983.
 
He was conferred with the highest French civilian honour, the Commandeur de la Legion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) on July 14, 2015.
 
In a discussion with Mr Vajpeyi during the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2011, soon after his return to India, Raza had said he had never really left India and that the country had always remained in his mind, heart, thoughts and even in his work.
 
To a question from the poet, Raza had said, "You ask me why I returned to India? But the fact is I never never left India, I lived in Paris for 60 years but never separated myself from the motherland, I have retained my Indian nationality and passport."
 
"India, Hindi and Hindu religion always remained close to my heart. At times, in free moments at night, I used to introspect and ask myself: I got recognition, fame, money but where is India in my works? I am now in India to get answer to the question," he had said.
 
Recalling his childhood and early school days, Raza said, "I was a bad student, not very bright in studies and examinations. There was a phase when, due to weak performance in class, I was directionless and uncertain about fate and future. At such a point of time, my teacher, Mr Darial Singh Rathore of Jaipur, showed me the path and gave a direction to my life and that was the turning point."
 
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Syed Haider Raza Alias was born on February 22, 1922. He did his early schooling at Mandla and then moved to Damoh, also in Madhya Pradesh, where he passed out from the Government HIgh School. He later studied at the Nagpur School of Art, Nagpur and then at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay.
 
In 1947, he co-founded the Bombay Progressive Artists Group, along with K. H. Ara and F. N. Souza, with the aim of breaking free from influences of European realism in Indian art and bringing Indian inner vision (antargyan) into art. 
 
He moved to France in October, 1950 to study at the at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A) in Paris, 1950-1953 on a Government of France scholarship. After completing his studies, he travelled across Europe, and continued to live and exhibit his work in Paris. He was later awarded the Prix de la critique in Paris in 1956, becoming the first non-French artist to receive the honour.
 
Over the years, Raza's works evolved from expressionistic landscapes to abstract ones, acquiring a more expressive language along the way. His works were mainly abstacts in oil or acrylic, with rich use of colour and with icons from Indian cosmology and philosophy.
 
In France, Raza continued to experiment with the latest trends in Western Modernism and later began incorporating elements of Tantrism from Indian scriptures into his works.
 
In the 1970s, after trips to India -- the caves of Ajanta-Ellora, Banaras, Gujarat and Rajasthan -- inspired him to study Indian culture closely and resulted in the "Bindu", which signified his rebirth as a painter.
 
He said later that one of the reasons for the origin of the Bindu was his primary school teacher, who thought he lacked concentration and asked him to focus on a dot he drew on the blackboard.
 
In later works, he also introoduced the themes of Tribhuj (Triangle) and 'prakriti-purusha' (the female and the male energy). He also created works around the Kundalini, Nagas and the Mahabharat.
 
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A. B. P. Pandey appointed CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Dr. A.B.P.Pandey as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
 
Dr. Pandey, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1984 batch (Maharashtra cadre), is currently Director General and Mission Director, UIDAI.
 
An official press release also said that Mr. K. K. Jalan, IAS (HY:1982), Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, had been assigned the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises from 24.7.2016 to 13.8.2016 during the period of absence on training of Mr. Girish Shankar, IAS (BH:1982). 
 
Similarly, Mr. Neeraj Kumar Gupta, IAS (UP:1982), Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, Ministry of Finance, has been assigned the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises from 24.7.2016 to 21.8.2016 during the period of absence on training of Mr. Ameising Luikham, IAS (MN:1981), the release added.
 
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Abhay Thakur appointed as High Commissioner to Mauritius

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Mr. Abhay Thakur, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Mauritius.
 
A press release from MEA said Mr. Thakur, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1992 batch, would take up his new assignment shortly.
 
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Ashok Kumar Patnaik appointed as CEO of NATGRID

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Mr. Ashok Kumar Patnaik, Additional Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB), has been appoined as Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID).
 
Mr. Patnaik is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1983 batch (Gujarat cadre).
 
An official press release said the appointment would be effective from the date of assumption of charge of the post upto December 31, 2018, the date of his retirement on superannuation or until further orders, whichever is earlier. 
 
Mr. Patnaik is a son-in-law of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. His wife Daman Singh, the second of Dr. Singh's three daughters, is a writer based in Delhi.
 
Mr. Patnaik’s appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the release added.
 
NATGRID is meant to be a project that will network all the databases in the country that contain vital information and intelligence and enable security agencies to meet the challenges of terrorism better.
 
The project was proposed in the wake of the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
 
One of the weaknesses in the Indian internal security system was felt to be the fact that each database stood alone, without being able to talk to another. Nor could the "owner" of one database access another database. As a consequence, crucial information that was available in one database was not available to another agency. The NATGRID project seeks to remedy this deficiency.
 
According to official sources, under NATGRID, different sets of databases would be networked to achieve quick, seamless and secure access to desired information for intelligence and enforcement agencies. These would include databases related to air and rail travel, income tax, bank accounts, credit cards, visas and immigration records.
 
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Vijay Singh Chauhan appointed as Ambassador to Libya

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Mr. Vijay Singh Chauhan, presently Counsellor in Embassy of India, Paris, has been appointed as the country's next Ambassador to Libya.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Chauhan was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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Lt Gen M K Unni takes over as new DGAFMS

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Lieutenant General Manoj Kumar Unni has assumed charge of the post of Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS).
 
A graduate from the Armed Forces Medical College AFMC, Pune, Lt. Gen Unni was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps on February 27, 1977. He trained as a paratrooper and has served with the Special Forces as a Regimental Medical Officer of the elite 9 Para Commandos.
 
During his illustrious service career of over 39 years, the General Officer, apart from specialist duties, has also held important staff and command appointments. He was Major General Medical Northern Command. He commanded the prestigious Army Hospital (Research & Referral), Delhi Cantt before becoming Director General Medical Services (Army).
 
The General Officer has received several commendations and awards during his career. He has received two Presidential awards, VSM and AVSM. He was elected Colonel Commandant of the Army Medical Corps in 2014. 
 
Lt. Gen Unni was appointed Honorary Surgeon to the President of India on July 1, 2015.
 
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Chirravuri Viswanath to hold additional charge as Secretary, DoPT

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Mr. Chirravuri Viswanath, Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Reforms and Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare, has been assigned the additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
 
Mr. Viswanath, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1981 batch (Andhra Pradesh cadre), will take over from Mr. Sanjay Kothari, IAS (HY:1978) on his superannuation on 30.06.2016.
 
The arrangement will be for a period of three months or till appointment of a regular incumbent to that post or till further orders, whichever is the earliest, an official press release added.
 
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Nand Kishore appointed as Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Nand Kishore (IA&AS:1981), Additional Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General as Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General in the rank and pay of Secretary to the Government of India.
 
An official press release said the appointment would be with effect from 1.09.2016 in the vacancy arising on account of the retirement of Mr. Balvinder Singh (IA&AS:1981) on attaining the age of superannuation on 31.08.2016 or on relief of Mr. Balvinder Singh to join as Technical Member in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, whichever is earlier. 
 
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Renowned painter K G. Subramanyan passes away at 92

K G Subramanyan
K G Subramanyan
Renowned painter K. G. Subramanyan, one of India's most respected contemporary artists who was equally celebrated for his scholarship and for his visual satires, passed away here today.
 
He was 92. He is survived by his daughter Uma and son-in-law. His wife Sushila had predeceased him some years ago.
 
A versatile artist, Subramanyan worked on murals, craft traditions, toy-making, pottery, illustration and design and terra cotta sculpture. His works are appreciated for their inherent wit, ironies, satire and critical social commentaries.
 
He studied at Visva Bharati University and later taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University of Baroda. In 1980, he went back to teach at Kala Bhavan in Viswa Bharati University until he retired in 1989. He returned to Baroda, or Vadodara, some years ago and spent the last years of his life here.
 
Sources close to him said the artist, who had undergone a hip surgery some weeks ago, suddenly took ill last night and breathed his last around 3 am today.
 
Born on February 15, 1924 in Kerala, Subramanyan studied under great artists such as Benode Behari Mukherjee, Nandalal Bose and Ramkinkar Baij at Santiniketan. 
 
He graduated from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University, in 1948, after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Presidency College in Chennai. In 1955, he received a British Council Research Fellowship to the Slade School of Art at the University of London. 
 
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Subramanyan, who exhibited his works in several solo shows around the world, was also a prolific writer, scholar, teacher and art historian. He used his deep knowledge of various artistic traditions to create  fantastical images of wit and eroticism that are universal in their appeal.
 
Fondly called as "Mani Sir" by his students, he also wrote fables for children and illustrated them. He also experimented with weaving and toymaking. He gave a new lease of life to terracota mural and glass paintings with his experiments.
 
The Government honoured him with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour in 2012, with the Padma Bhushan in 2006 and the Padma Shri in 1975.
 
He won several other awards, including the Lalit Kala Ratna Puraskar from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi on the occasion of its golden jubilee and the Kalidas Sanman in 1980.
 
He was a Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi and a Visiting Fellow at Kala Bhavan, Visvabharati, Santiniketan. He was awarded a fellowship by the J. D. Rockefeller III Fund in the United States in 1966.
 
The National Gallery of Modern Art had held a retrospective of his work in New Delhi and Mumbai in 2003. His works are displayed in many collections around the world.
 
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C. H. Kharshiing appointed Planning Adviser in NEC Secretariat

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the  appointment of Mr. C.H. Kharshiing, IA&AS (1991) to the post of Planning Adviser (JS level) in North Eastern Council (NEC) Secretariat, Shillong under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
 
An official press release said the appointment would be for a period of five years from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier vice Mr. J. Lhungdim, IDAS (1984). 
 
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Malayalam playwright, Kavalam Narayana Panikkar passes away

Kavalam Narayana Panicker
Kavalam Narayana Panicker
Noted Malayalam theatre personality Kavalam Narayana Panikkar, a versatile playwright and poet who brought a new dimension to Malayalam theatre by adapting several classical Sanskrit works and Shakespeare plays, passed away at his residence here late tonight.
 
He was 88. He is survived by his wife and a son, Kavalam Sreekumar, a playback singer. His elder son son Harikrishnan had died in 2009. 
 
Panikkar suffered from various age-related ailments in the past few years and had been hospitalised on June 13. He breathed his last around 10 pm today, sources said.
 
Popularly known as Kavalam, Panikkar was founder-director of ‘Sopanam’ theatre troupe and later the Bhasha Bharati Centre for Performing Arts, Training and Research in Thiruvananthapuram.
 
His notable plays include Madhyamavyayogam (1979), Vikramorvashiyam (1981, 1996), based on Kalidasa’s famous work, Shakuntalam (1982), Karnabharam, Bhasa’s Uru Bhangam, Swapnavasavadattam and Dootavakyam, authored and staged over a period from 1979 to 1996.
 
He was a recipient of the 1983 Sangeet Natak Akademi award in direction and later received the Akademi’s highest honour, the Sangeet Natak Akademic Fellowship in 2002.
 
The Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2007.
 
Born on April 28, 1928, Panikkar took a degree in Economics from S. D. College, Alapuzha and later obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from the Madras Law College. He practised law for six years before deciding to devote himself to art and literature.
 
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In 1961, he was nominated as Secretary of Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy, Thrissur, where lived for some time before shifting his residence to the state capital in 1974.
 
During this period, his play Avanavan Kadamba was filmed by well-known filmmaker G. Aravindan. He also worked in the Soviet Union and with Greek artists on a production of Iliyayana, a fusion of India's Ramayana and the Greek epic Iliad.
 
Panikkar directed two films about Kutiyattam maestro Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar: Mani Madhava Chakyar: The Master at Work (1994) and Parvati Viraham (1993) in Kuttiyattam form featuring Mani Madhava Chakyar as Ravana.
 
He also wrote lyrics for Malayalam films such as Ulsavapittennu, Manjadikuru, Vadakakkoru Hridayam and Marmaram. He won Kerala State Film Award for Best Lyrics for the latter two films.
 
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Anurag Srivastava appointed as Ambassador to Ethiopia

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Mr. Anurag Srivastava, presently Director in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) here, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Ethiopia.
 
A press release from MEA said Mr. Srivastava, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1999 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
 
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SoftBank president Nikesh Arora quits, a day after getting clean chit from board

Nikesh Arora
Nikesh Arora
Nikesh Arora, Representative Director, President and COO of Japan's SoftBank Group quit the company today, a day after getting a clean chit from its board over questions about his investment strategy, but will continue for some time as an adviser to the group.
 
Mr. Arora's decision came because it became clear to him that he would not be taking over as CEO of the group, a global technology player, anytime soon, as he had hoped.
 
He was widely considered as the successor to SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.
 
"Masa 2 continue 2 be CEO for 5-10 years, respect that. Learnt a lot. Clean chit from board after through review. Time for me to move on," Mr. Arora said on Twitter.
 
"Masa and I are still in love with each other. I will support everyone I invested in, and they know that," he said as he spent most of the responding to questions and comments from friends and admirers on the micro-blogging site.
 
"No...didn't want to be CEO in waiting past my sell by date :)", he said in response to a query on Twitter about whether he had quit because of the "integrity test".
 
SoftBank Group announced in a statement in Tokyo that Mr. Arora would assume an advisory role, effective July 1.
 
“Nikesh and I have been partners in creating SoftBank 2.0. He has been able to help think through our vision, future growth plans and articulate the SoftBank strategy. He brought world class execution skills to SoftBank, as evidenced in our myriad of investments over the last year, as well as the complex monetization of our Alibaba stake, and most recently our successful sale of Supercell. I am indebted to him for his contributions," Mr. Son said.
 
“Nikesh is a unique leader with unparalleled skills around strategy and execution. He should be CEO of a global business, and I had hoped to hand over the reins of SoftBank to him on my 60th birthday - but I feel my work is not done. I want to cement SoftBank 2.0, develop Sprint to its true potential and work on a few more crazy ideas.
 
"This will require me to be CEO for at least another five to ten years - this is not a time frame for me to keep Nikesh waiting for the top job," he said.
 
“Nikesh and I have decided that he would move to an advisory role and continue to support SoftBank, while he zeroes in on his next challenge. He will continue to be friend of SoftBank, and I will have my hand on his shoulder," he added.
 
“Helping Masa begin the transformation of SoftBank and sowing the early seeds has been a great experience. I have enjoyed working with Masa and the SoftBank team and I look forward to my next challenge. In the meantime I will continue to support SoftBank and our investee companies," Mr. Arora said.
 
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Mr. Arora, 48, joined SBG from Google, where he was the Chief Business Officer, in September 2014. 
 
During his tenure, SBG invested in a set of ground-breaking growthstage companies in India like Snapdeal, Ola, Oyo, Grofers, Housing and extended its footprint in Asia successfully with the mobile e-commerce company Coupang in Korea and the ride-share player Grab in Southeast Asia. SBG started building its portfolio in the US with interesting investments like SoFi, a fintech company that’s taking a radical approach to lending and wealth management and Banjo, which utilizes data analytics.
 
Recently, the company sold a small part of its shareholding in Alibaba Group to reduce leverage and improve financial health over the long term. SBG entered an agreement to sell its stake in Supercell for a total return of $ 7.3 billion.
 
Mr. Arora had invited criticism from some of SoftBank's unnamed investors about his investment strategy and there were also references to a possible conflict of interest. He was cleared of all charges by an internal probe, the outcome of which was disclosed by the company said.
 
Mr. Arora reportedly drew a salary of $ 73 million a year, making him one of the highest paid executives in the world.
 
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Nengcha Lhouvum Mukhopadhaya concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Timor-Leste

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Ms. Nengcha Lhouvum Mukhopadhaya, presently Ambassador of India to Indonesia, has been concurrently accredited as the country's Ambassador to Timor-Leste,
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms. Mukhopadhaya, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1990 batch, would have residence in Jakarta.
 
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Sunil Bharti Mittal elected as Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce

Sunil Bharti Mittal
Sunil Bharti Mittal
Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman, Bharti Enterprises has been elected as the Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), one of the world’s oldest and most respected global business organisations. 
 
He is the third Indian business leader to hold this prestigious position in ICC’s near-100 year history.
 
Mr. Mittal takes over from Mr. Terry McGraw, Chairman Emeritus of S&P Global, who will subsequently become ICC’s Honorary Chairman. The ICC World Council elected the new leaders in a voting held on Wednesday in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
 
“I am honoured at being given the opportunity to lead this prestigious global institution and look forward to working with our members to ensure that we continue to play a constructive role as the voice of global business in formulation of economic and trade policies to support inclusive growth. The global economy is facing unprecedented headwinds to growth and there is an urgent need to restore trade and investment as a driver of growth and jobs, particularly in the developing world and this will be a central focus of my tenure," Mr. Mittal said on his election.
 
Founded in 1919, ICC is the world’s largest business organization which represents private-sector views to national governments and intergovernmental bodies around the world. It advocates for free trade and the market economy, working through a network of national committees and direct members in over 130 countries. ICC was awarded the highest level consultative status with the United Nations (UN) in 1946, and since then has represented the private sector by engaging in a broad range of activities with the UN and its specialized agencies.
 
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Mr. Mittal serves on many international bodies and think-tanks. He is currently the Chair of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Telecommunications Steering Committee, Member: International Business Council-WEF, GSMA Board, Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Commissioner of the Broadband Commission, International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Prime Minister of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council. He is a Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and on the Board of Qatar Foundation Endowment.
 
He has served on the Prime Minister of India’s Council on Trade & Industry. He is also a member of the India-US, India-UK and India-Japan CEO Forums. He is Co-Chair of the India-Africa Business Council and India-Sri Lanka CEO Forum.  He was the President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the premier industry body in India in 2007-08.
 
Mr. Mittal has been honoured by the Government with the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors. 
 
Industrialists Bharat Ram (1969-71) and Hari Shankar Singhania (1993-94) are the two Indians who have served as chairman of ICC in the past. India-born Rajat Gupta served as its chairman in 2010-11.
 
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Suresh Chandra appointed as Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs

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The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Suresh Chandra as Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs. 
 
Mr. Chandra, an officer of the Indian Legal Service, is currently Additional Secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law & Justice, an official press release added.
 
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M. Sevala Naik appointed as High Commissioner to Jamaica

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Mr. M. Sevala Naik, presently Consul General of India in Munich, Germany, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Jamaica.
 
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Sevala Naik, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1995 batch, would take up his new assignment shortly.
 
The MEA also said that Mr. Suresh Kumar Menon, presently Director in the Ministry, had been appointed as the next High Commissioner to Malawi.
 
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Social activist Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati nominated to Rajya Sabha

Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati
Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati
Well-known social activist Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati, a descendant of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, was today nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament.
 
"The President has nominated Shri Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati to the Rajya Sabha to fill the vacancy of nominated member," an official press release said.
 
Mr. Raje, 45, who has direct lineage from Chhatrapati Shivaji and Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj of Kolhapur, set up the Shivshahu Manch to take up various social initiatives. He is also the Vice-President of the Pune-based All India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society.
 
Mr. Raje's nomination has come after Dr. Pranav Pandya, head of the Haridwar-based All World Gayatri Pariwar and a pioneer of scientific spirituality, who had been nominated to the Rajya Sabha, decided not to accept it.
 
He is the seventh person to be nominated to the Upper House of Parliament in recent weeks.
 
On April 22, the President had nominated six members to the Rajya Sabha -- former Indian cricketer and two-time Lok Sabha member Navjyot Singh Sidhu, well-known Malayalam film actor Suresh Gopi, journalist Swapan Das Gupta, former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, former Planning Commission member Narendra Jadhav and boxer M. C. Mary Kom.
 
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Veteran journalist Inder Malhotra passes away at 86

Inder Malhotra
Inder Malhotra
Inder Malhotra, one of India's most distinguished and respected journalists and political commentators, passed away here today.
 
He was 86. He is survived by a son. His wife, Rekha Malhotra, a classical dancer, had predeceased him in 2007.
 
During a long career, spanning more than five decades, Malhotra served as the Chief of Bureau and later Resident Editor of The Statesman and then as the Editor of The Times of India, New Delhi. He also simultaneously worked as the India correspondent of The Guardian.
 
After taking premature retirement from The Times of India in 1986, he became a syndicated columnist. He combined his journalism with authorship and scholarly research, and was a Nehru Fellow (1986-88) and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow (1992-93).
 
Among the books he authored are: Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography (1989) and Dynasties of India And Beyond (2003).
 
Born in 1930, he began his journalistic career with the United Press of India after taking a degree from the Punjab University. He received the Ramnath Goenka Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
 
Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari condoled the passing away of Malhotra.
 
"He combined fearless journalism with immaculate authorship and scholarly research and was one of the most distinguished and respected editors of the country," he said.
 
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Veteran journalist K. K. Katyal passes away

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Veteran journalist K. K. Katyal, who had a long innnings as the Chief of Bureau of The Hindu in the national capital, passed away at a hospital here today after a brief illness.
 
He was 88. He is survived by his wife Darshan and daughters Anita and Sugita, both journalists.
 
During a long and illustrious career, Mr. Katyal had also worked for The Statesman and the Hindustan Times in Delhi.
 
Mr. Katyal, who hailed from Jhang in what is now Pakistan, was widely travelled and had friends and contacts across the political spectrum and in bureaucratic and diplomatic circles.
 
After his retirement from The Hindu in 2004, he was associated with the South Asia Free Media Association, serving as the president of its India chapter, and worked for bringing about an improvement in India-Pakistan ties.
 
President Pranab Mukherje condoled the passing away of Mr. Katyal, saying that he was a much loved and admired personality in the world of media.
 
"His services as President of the South Asia Free Media Association will be remembered by members of the media across the region," he said.
 
He said Mr. Katyal made important contribution to making the newspapers he worked for symbols of excellence in journalism. 
 
"In his death, the nation has lost an outstanding and veteran journalist who will continue to be a source of inspiration to the younger generation of journalists," he added.
 
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also condoled his passing away. Describing him as a conscientious chronicler of the nation's evolution over decades, she said that his contributions would be remembered always.
 
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A.K. Mittal takes over as new Member Engineering, Railway Board

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Mr. A.K. Mittal, an officer of the 1978 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE), took over as Member Engineering, Railway Board here yesterday.
 
Prior to this posting, Mr. Mittal was General Manager, East Central Railway, (Hazipur). 
 
A graduate of the Regional Engineering College, Allahabad in 1977, Mr. Mittal has held important assignments in the Indian Railways, including as Divisional Railway Manager, Sonapur, in East Central Railway and Divisional Railway Manager, Bhusawal in Central Railway. 
 
As Principal Head of department, he has worked as Chief Administrative Officer, Construction, Eastern Railway, Kolkata and as Principal Chief Engineer, Central Railway. He joined as General Manager, East Central Railway on December 31, 2014.
 
During his tenure, two mega bridges on the river Ganga – one at Digha/Patna and another at Munger – were inaugurated, an official press release said.
 
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E.S. Ranganathan takes over as MD of Indraprastha Gas Limited

E.S. Ranganathan
E.S. Ranganathan
Mr. E.S. Ranganathan took over as Managing Director of the public sector Indraprastha Gas Ltd. (IGL), the largest compressed natural gas (CNG) distribution company of the country operating in the national capital of Delhi and the nearby cities of Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
 
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Ranganathan was serving as Executive Director (Corporate O&M) in GAIL (India) Ltd.
 
He has succeeded Mr. Narendra Kumar, who has been posted back to GAIL as Executive Director (Corporate Planning) at the end of his three-year tenure.
 
IGL is a joint venture of GAIL and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), with the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi holding a five per cent stake in the company.
 
Mr. Ranganathan, an instrumentation & control engineer with an MBA in marketing, has over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas sector.
 
In GAIL, he has been in charge of Construction and has led the successful commissioning of the Dahej- Vijaipur, Vijaipur-Dadri and Bawana Nangal pipeline projects. He had also overseen the development and commercialization of GAIL’s state-of-the-art ultrasonic meter testing facility at Hazira, which is the first in Asia.
 
As head of Business Information System in GAIL, he had played a pioneering role in using technology towards smart working in the field of O&M and Project Management.
 
Mr. Ranganathan is actively involved in various industry forums in India and overseas. He is currently Member Technical on the Governing Board of Fluid Control and Research Institute (FCRI). He was also part of the team which finalized the Indian Standards for Metering Design and Construction under the aegis of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Due to his vast experience in Pipeline Projects, Mr Ranganathan has been a Consultant to ADB in revamping of Gas Pipeline System in Afghanistan. He has been representing the country in Pipeline Operators Forum based in Netherlands and is a Working group member for the prestigious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project.
 
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B. N. Reddy appointed as High Commissioner to Nigeria

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Mr. B. N. Reddy, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1993 batch and presently Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the Permanent Mission of India, Geneva, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to Nigeria.
 
He is expected to take up his assignment shortly, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
The Ministry also said that Mr. Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi (IFS:1991), presently Ambassador of India to Mexico, had been concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to Belize with residence in Mexico City.
 
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Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh assumes charge as Vice-Chief of Naval Staff

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Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh assumed charge as the Vice-Chief of Naval Staff here today.
 
The Admiral, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980. He earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1982 and has flown extensively on the Chetak and Kamov helicopters. He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington; College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and has served as Directing Staff in both these institutions.
 
In his career spanning nearly 36 years, the Admiral has commanded an Indian Coast Guard Ship, a Naval Missile Corvette as well as Guided Missile Destroyers. He has also served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. 
 
Ashore, the Admiral has served at Naval Headquarters as the Joint Director Naval Air Staff, and as Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai. He has also served a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Team (AIRCATS).
 
On promotion to flag rank, the Admiral was appointed as Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. His other important flag appointments include Chief of Staff of the Tri-Services Unified Command at Andaman & Nicobar Islands and as the Flag Officer Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG).
 
In the rank of Vice-Admiral, he has been the Director General Project Seabird, in-charge of infrastructure development of the Navy’s expansive and modern base at Karwar, followed by a tenure as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff. 
 
The Admiral has been commended by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief and is a recipient of the prestigious Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) awarded by President of India.
 
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